Friday, 28 August 2015

Number 11 tomorrow + a simple formula for achievement!

I have 2 trips lined up this weekend. The first one on Saturday morning is a 1 hour trip to Craughwell, Co. Galway. At 9am Craughwell AC and Marathon Club Ireland (remember, the club of all clubs!! :) ) are holding a Full and Half Marathon. I am so looking forward to meeting some of my running buddies again. My last race seems like an eternity ago. Courtmacsherry was 5 weeks back.

I always had Craughwell pencilled in as my August Marathon for the 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. In line with 1 marathon per month expectations this should be Marathon number 8 for 2015. In fact it will be number 11 (eleven). And my third in Co. Galway!!

2 years ago I had what I thought to be a mad idea to run 12 Marathons in 12 Months. That was early 2013. The most Marathons I had run in 1 year was 2! My total Marathon count stood at 6.

But somehow I believed this was possible. Those 6 Marathons had given me the belief I could do this. And I loved running (even more now). And I was doing it for a Charity. So I told a lot of people I was doing this from mid 2013. There's a formula in there somewhere!

Belief + Passion (Love) + Purpose + Accountability = Marathon 11 in 8 months tomorrow!

Belief as a starting point!

2013 was 4, 2014 7, 2015 ??

I have another mad plan. For 2018. I believe I can do it. The Passion is there. I will find a purpose to align to it and when I have then I will tell you all.

For now I ask you 2 things:
1- What do you deep down believe you want to/can do? What would you love to do? Believe, Take Action, align to a Purpose and make your self accountable! Enjoy!!!
2- Can you please spread this link to donate for the Gorta Self Help Africa Challenge:

Oh and the second trip is at 6.20am on Sunday from Shannon to Nice on the Cote D'Azur for a 2 week travel fix/book reading extravaganza/summer training camp/French Food trip! I'll be blogging from a Café with Croissants, Salade Nicoise, Socca (a Nice speciality, chickpea flatbread) and 1 or 2 Kronenbourg! A la Prochaine mes amis, j'espere que vous passez un bon weekend!!!!

Nice Port Area on Cote D'Azur

Monday, 24 August 2015

Running from Limerick to Warsaw or Rome!

That's the milestone I reached this week. Combining all my training and races I have gone past the 2,000 Kilometre mark. In fact this Monday morning the counter is at 1,281 miles or 2,061 Kms. In a straight line that is running from Limerick to Rome or Warsaw.

The most I had ever run in a year was 1,911 Kms last year. Now I have gone past 2,000 and it's just the end of August! I'm not telling you this to boost my ego. It is to show that when you have a clear focus and there is a reason or purpose attached to that focus you can achieve so much more. That 1,911kms took a lot out of me last year. The 2,000+ this year has less so. While I'm not sure I will get to 3,000 this year I envisage I will at some stage soon for 1 calendar year.

Enough about that. I also had the pleasure and privilege to run the second half of the Great Limerick Run route with Noel Mccarthy last Tuesday. Noel finished running a stunning 6 Marathons in 6 Days in 6 Munster counties challenge on Saturday in Tralee. He did Clare on Monday, Limerick Tuesday, Tipperary on Wednesday, Waterford Thursday, Cork Friday and Kerry Saturday. And all for Bumbleance, the free children's ambulance service. Great cause, great man!!! Well done Noel and thank you for letting me be part of the Tuesday run.

On O'Connell Street with Noel Mccarthy at the end of his 2nd Marathon of the 6in6. I just ran the second half of the GLR route with him. Respect Noel!

Here's a link to a Limerick Leader article by Anne Sheridan on his visit to our Treaty City!

I'm using running as a learning station for my business and my life. I learn so much from it that is applicable elsewhere. For instance when you have a clear focus and a purpose in whatever it is you do, you will automatically what I like to call 'level up'. And that levelling up is individual. I have no clear focus on going faster, if that happens to be a by product of running more great yet it is not the focus. The focus is testing myself to see how FAR I can take this while keeping the love for it alive.

I have started watching documentaries and video's on Ultra running and sporting adventures. I have started listening to podcasts and reading Ultra running blogs. How far can I go while staying in love with running and keeping it as part of a balanced lifestyle? First steps to be taken next year trying some of the shorter Ultra distances. More about this soon!!!!

On the running front this week it is just 3 times 10K Monday to Wednesday and then Marathon number 11 Saturday morning in Craughwell, Co. Galway with loads of my MCI running buddies!!!!

You can donate for the 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on

Monday, 17 August 2015

It's all about relaxing into it!

The power of words. A few of them put together in a short sentence. Uttered without thinking about it too much. Gone and forgotten about. Inconsequential. Next sentence please!

Only for someone else to pick up those words and get an AHA moment. What you just said has become a shining light in their mind. Even better they decide to run with it (pardon the pun) and it makes a huge difference to them. And then they say thank you for something you didn't think mattered too much when you said it. Saying thank you like I'm doing here today.

A number of weeks ago news got around our club that Collette O'Hagan was getting interviewed on Dundalk FM to celebrate a 300 Marathon achievement. I always made a point to listen to people who know more than me. Collette is always supportive and open for questions. Top human being!

Collette O'Hagan in full flow!
I listened to the interview on podcast. It was a very nice story with loads of great information for runners of all ilk. And then the sentence. The interviewer asked about injuries from running that much. Collette's answer was that she 'simply relaxes into her runs'. Relaxing into your runs prevents injuries????

Light bulb on in my head. I have never relaxed into my runs. I have relaxed during my runs but not into them. Simple words in a short sentence. I must try that!!

Cue a number of weeks later. Yesterday was my 17th run in 19 days. Whereas before I used to run 5 days a week on average, that's 15 in 21 for you maths nerds :)  Also I have come from 30 to 35-ish miles per week to last week doing 46 miles and holding back a bit! I just had to learn to relax INTO my runs.

Here's my learning for this week. Seek out someone who has excelled in what you are trying to achieve. Ask them for an hour of their time or read their book or blog. Listen to a podcast with them or follow them on social media. And then simply shut up and listen. The clue could be in a very small sentence.

Thanks Collette for speaking that small sentence!

My next Marathon, number 11 of the 12 Marathons in 12 months for Gorta Self Help Africa is on in 12 days in Craughwell, Co. Galway. After yesterday's epic Hurling result there will be great atmosphere in Galway!! And I will relax into that race!

You can sponsor my challenge on

Monday, 10 August 2015

2016 has been decided, now for the journey!

It is safe to say that at this stage of the year a lot of people are still in holiday mood. It's August after all. Time to relax and unwind, plan weekends in Ballyheigue, Courtmacsherry, Tramore or Kilkee. Head to Lanzarote for 2 weeks. Kayak on the Gorges de l'Aveyron.

So what's with that title Patrick? 2016? That's ages away.

I like the peace of mind and joy that come with purpose, focus, structure, and making decisions. I find all of those things in running. I get joy and peace of mind from the physical exercise combined with mental relaxation. I have purpose behind my running with the energy, calmness and clarity it gives me for the other things in my life. Purpose through charitable running. Etcetera....

So if it works for must work for the other things I love doing. So I have spent some time over the weekend making decisions for 2016 based on my values and purpose. Decisions around running, business and personal life. There are loads of things I want to do so I need focus and structure.

One weekend and it's all done! Now it's up to me to make the journey really enjoyable. After all I only picked things I love and enjoy doing. So it should be great fun! And the prize when I turn these decisions into reality? Joy and Peace of Mind through Purpose! There is no greater prize for me.

I will unveil  a number of these decisions in this blog while other decisions are for the ears of just a few key people as I like to make myself accountable to others, it helps with the Focus!!

So here for all of you to know are my running decisions for 2016:
1- Get to 50 Marathons by end 2016 (Counter stands at 27 right now).
2- Run a Back 2 Back. (That's 2 marathons in 2 consecutive days).
3- Run my first Ultra's (These are races that are longer than Marathons)

Sounds like great fun to me!!

As mentioned I have learned an awful lot of life lessons from running and so I have made personal and business decisions using the same principles. That means loads more to come.

In the mean time my next Marathon on the 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa takes place in Craughwell, Co. Galway on August 29th. In 19 days. It will be number 11!

You can donate for the Challenge on

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

What you love becomes what you do.

I come across a lot of people who tell me they want to do something different in their life but they don't know where to start. They want to shake things up a bit without throwing their entire being upside down. Just one thing. Something that they enjoy and is good for them. But what is that???

There are different equally valid ways to find out what your next step is going to be. By exploring your interests, your values, reading books, checking which programs on radio or TV you enjoy most etc...

Another really fun way of discovering what you might do next is trying things out. Write a blog to find out if writing is what you want to do. If you think you are into food, go to a local cookery class. Go to a CoderDojo to check your interest in coding.

That's how I rediscovered running. I decided to try and run Dublin Marathon in 2008 for charity. My first 'run' was 0.75 miles and I had to walk back. Yet I had committed to running the Marathon and kept going. And I fell in love with it. Slowly at first and head over heels later.

I knew I was an outdoors person so I had tried Golf before but didn't like it as it was to static and monotonous for me personally. If running had not worked I would have tried something else next, probably hill climbing.

So now 7 years later, running is not even a sport to me anymore. It is a love and a way of life. It is an integral part of my being. It teaches me to sleep better, eat better, continuously push boundaries, to overcome obstacles easier, to move forward relentlessly. It has a positive effect on nearly everything in my life.

So go on, be adventurous and start trying new things. If they don't fit in, move on. If they do, stick to it and you too might discover a new love. Something that will make you a happier person. Isn't that what we all want? More happiness?!

On Friday I went for a short 4.67 mile run as I had decided to attend the Saving Grace runs in the University of Limerick on Saturday and Sunday morning. Running legends Stevey McGeown and Larry Maguire from were in UL running marathons 72 & 73 and dedicating them to Grace Kenneally from Galway who is 10 and fighting cancer for the third time.

So both days I ran the 4 and a bit miles from home to the UL Arena, did a 6.5 mile lap with them and ran back home. That meant 14.74 miles on Saturday and 15.23 miles on Sunday. Back to Back 15 miles for the first time believe it or not and the Sunday was easier than the Saturday so that promises for the Back to Back Marathons I will attempt some time in the future when I feel like it.

As we all paid €25 in to run, all funds went to saving Grace and I believe €1,000 was raised. And I was in the company of like minded people. The best way to spend weekend mornings :)

The Saturday Saving Grace runners!

Thanks Gerladine Cawley for the invite, it was tremendous fun. And look at the bling Stevey and Larry are giving for running with them! :)

Regards my own Challenge of 12 Marathons in 12 Months for Gorta Self Help Africa, Marathon 11 is on August 29th in Craughwell, Co. Galway as a guest of Craughwell AC. You can donate on