Monday, 30 June 2014

Day 1 - First Day Of Training

Welcome To Half Marathon James


This is it, the moment has finally arrived. The hardest day of the challenge so far.... Day Number One.

But before I do any actual running, I think I should start with an introduction. It would seem rude not to.


My name is James Best. I am 35 years old and will be 36 in a few weeks. I am not skinny. Not at all. I love my food. I love good food, healthy food and food that will help me run 13.1 miles in under 1 hour and 25 minutes. I also love unhealthy food, processed food, fast food, burgers, chips, fried food, sweet food, puddings, takeaways, and I have a serious chocolate addiction. I smoke, I drink beer and wine a few times a week (I'm going to say between three - four times per week, but sometimes it can get to five..) and I occasionally like a party at the weekends.

I don't sleep enough, or regularly, and my training up to this point can, at best, be called sporadic. My aim is to run the Great North Run in under 1 hour 25 mins. Somehow.

A half marathon carrying a lot more weight than is ideal, a chest with 18 years of smoke in it, beer sweats and a body that is starting to actually feel its age. I also have arthritis in my lower back.

And I have just (literally) weighed myself, 183 lbs in the nip. That's 13.07 stone. Far too heavy for my liking, although at one stage I weighed 222 lbs, so it could be a lot worse.

Great North Run


I have ran this race for the past two years, and a few years ago I ran my only attempt at a marathon. My marathon was my first big run, and then after that I was unable to do anything because of my back. I mean anything, I was off work for six months. A five minute walk was hard to complete. This was when I reached my heaviest. 40 lbs heavier than I am today.

Anyway, I got back to the running, got drunk one night and decided I would enter into the Great North Run.

After The Great North Run 2012
After the Great North Run 2012

That was me on the right in the grey t shirt, just after completing it in 1 hr 47 mins. I spent a few months after this doing very little, before deciding to enter it for a second year. The training increased from the previous year, up until the the last month, when I decided just to drink and eat all the unhealthiest food I could, whilst stopping nearly all my running.


After the Great North Run 2013
After the Great North Run 2013

This time I am on the left, again wearing a grey t shirt, but slightly slimmer. I managed to run it in 1 hour 32 minutes. Losing weight had helped, but I think I can do better still. This time I mean business. So much so, that I have decided to write a blog about this challenge.

I will try and keep the blog as varied as I can, and not just bore you with stats and training logs. This has to be a whole new outlook. Food, training, smoking, drinking, sleeping.. All of it needs to be dealt with over the next ten weeks.. I hope that you will follow what will be one massive mission for me. 

One day at a time though. So far today I have managed to eat breakfast (not something I usually do), have eaten some fruit at work instead of fried sausages, and I'm now getting ready for a 4.7 mile run. I also stopped at the supermarket after I finished work, and tried to buy healthy (ish) foods. Chicken drumsticks marinaded in BBQ sauce are on the menu tonight. I also think I should give the beer a miss this evening. Wouldn't seem the best way to start a 70 day training programme if I got drunk... 

Steady Run :

4.7 miles
38 mins 30 secs 

Pace - 8.11 minutes per mile

Half Marathon James

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