Thursday, 12 November 2015

Improving My Running In 30 Days - Day 12

A lot can happen in 48 hours.. I've stopped smoking, I've had another tempo run with the running club, I've ran a slow 10K, I've GAINED 7 lbs in weight (yes, really) and I've treated myself to some chocolate and beer.

Becoming A Smoke Free Runner

My Final Cigarette
My Final Cigarette

It's now about 30 hours since the picture above was taken. That was it, the last cigarette being smoked before becoming a smoke free runner. I guess it's a bit early to start celebrating, but I'm feeling good about it and looking forward to the next few weeks. During that time my body will start to get rid of a lot of the gunge I've been inhaling for the past 24 years.

Smoking And Running Don't Mix

To most runners I must seem stupid. I try to look after my health, and then I poison myself with tar filled smoke. I complain about not having enough money to buy new running shoes or enter races, but I still spend £25 a week on my addiction. I want to improve my running, but my oxygen processing abilities are being damaged everyday with every cigarette.

And after races I hate getting that look from other runners. I try to hide my smoke, as I stand 50 yards away from everyone else, getting my fix. I feel like a leper.

Well, this is all in the past. Yeah yeah, I know, I've said this before, but it's time for me to kick the habit and beat the addiction. Even though the hardest part is very nearly over, there will be plenty of challenges over this next few weeks.

There are times when I used to really enjoy a smoke. After eating, while driving, taking a break from cleaning or working and first thing in the morning. Funnily enough, the one I've missed the most was the smoke I used to have as soon as I came back from running. I guess it got straight into my lungs or something, but I found that tough.

Treating myself to some quality beers.. And also promoting Guide Dogs.. 

The other times I used to always smoke was when I was drinking beer. Or wine. Or any type of alcohol. And when we stop smoking, drinking alcohol is when the cravings really start to hit.

Drinking while still wearing my running gear.. 

So I decided to get myself a few fancy beers last night and just get the first drink without smoking over and done with. I had a few cravings, and it did feel like there was something missing, but I got through it pain free.

I ate all this. 

I also bought myself other distractions to get me through my first night without them.

And I ate this too. I am a greedy man, yes. 

I think this might be why all the weight I had previously lost is returning so quickly. I've had a couple of slips with the beer this month, and this is my second chocolate binge.


If this is the week when I have smoked my last cigarette I will be extremely happy. Even if I put a bit of weight on, or if I don't get the PRs I'm chasing, or if I have a few days off while my body and lungs readjust, as long as I stay away from cigarettes.

It could be the best thing I do all year. And once my lungs start working, I'm gonna be smashing those PRs... 1.25 half marathon here we come...


Do you eat cookies by covering them in custard, or is that just me? Do you, or have you ever smoked?


  1. I've never tried cookies and custard, I'm a cookies and ice cream girl!

    Well done on giving up smoking, I know a lot of people who successfully gave up after reading Allen Carr's book. Keep up the good work!

  2. I actually love ice cream and custard lol.. it's a bit of a race to eat it before it all melts though.. Thanks for the support Sara, I'm finding it tough tonight, but still smoke free :)

  3. You are awesome James, keep up the good work! My sister and brother in law gave up smoking after many years, and now use the electronic cigarettes. Which I know is another addiction, but at least it's not killing them. Cookies and custard must be an Ireland thing...

    1. Thanks Katie. a few of my friends have been smoking the electronic cigarettes, but now can't give them up! I'm nearly finished day four, so I hope it just gets easier.. Not sure if it's and Ireland thing, I just love custard on everything.Maybe I'm just a freak that way lol


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