Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Stop trying so hard to be successful!

Most people crave it. They seek it in themselves and in others. To be like the heroes in their Rugby club or the Premiership Club they follow or the Band they listen to or the Film Stars they adore.

They would like to emulate that success they see others have in their career, business, college degree, sport, art. Because then they will be happy! So the desire to succeed is a desire for happiness.

Even when power is the outcome of success, that power is designed to create happiness. As such we do not crave success, we crave happiness. And peace of mind.

The vast majority of us though find real happiness to be illusory as a concept. You can't be happy most of the time, this is 'the real world'. So we settle for external manifestations of success to create a happiness feeling. When we get a promotion and a larger pay package, we are happy. When we sign a big client for our business, we are happy. When that cute person in the bar asks us out, we feel happy. When we are able to buy the new car, pay the mortgage, go on an exotic holiday, eat in our favourite restaurants; we are happy.

The issue with searching for happiness through external factors is that these are all transient. As in they can be taken away in a moment. Our entire source of happiness can be gone in a single instant, forever. Then what do we do?

True happiness is internal. It is a way of life, a state of mind. Sadness is part of that state of mind. As is elation and frustration. To name but a few. The way you feel comes from within. It is your choice and decision.

When you decide that whatever happens, you will simply do the best you can in any given moment; you will find happiness in that.

When you decide that you are going to do more of what you love and less of what you tolerate or dislike; you will find happiness in that.

When you decide to contribute more of your unique gift to make others lives better; you will find happiness in that.

When you decide to be honest with your self and those around you; you will find happiness in that.

When you live an intentional life of purpose that serves both you and others; you will find happiness in that.

So next time someone is trying to sell you happiness via seminars or webinars or books or whatever way where they promise you increased, amazing or exceptional Success in Business or Life just ask your self the question if you want transient happiness or lasting happiness.

The choice is entirely yours. I know what I prefer and share!

Happy Wednesday.

Patte xxxx

Monday, 25 January 2016

Marathon Club Ireland Lilliput Marathon race report.

As travelling in the middle of the night at silly o'clock to Marathons is not something that's in the 'I love doing' bucket, we travelled up on Friday evening to Tullamore in Offaly. There's a couple of things about that town that make it an ideal base for Midlands marathons.

I know the town and have stayed there a number of times. It has a great pre-marathon restaurant in the 'Captain House Restaurant', a place I have eaten beautiful food on a couple of occasions. It has some decent hotels. It is 30 minutes in the morning from the Lilliput Adventure Centre. Lilliput is a 75 bed hostel at the shores of Lough Ennell within a forest near the 'Nure Bog' between Kilbeggan and Mullingar in Westmeath.

Last year this was my first marathon of what ended up being a year of 16. I remember a delayed start because of ice on the roads and a -1 starting temperature. No chance of a repeat this year. +7 at the start and cloudy yet dry conditions.

Arrived at 8.30am to see some of the early starters enter their first big lap. There is always 2 starts at Marathon Club Ireland races to accommodate people who take longer and also those that need to be home early.

Marathon Club Ireland (MCI) Marathons are quite unique. A lot of the participants are seasoned Marathon runners and the atmosphere is very convivial and friendly. The 2 starts mean the competition is almost always personal rather than against others. I love that aspect of running. Purely for the love of it. And MCI excel at friendly races packed with support, camaraderie, respect and love.

This was confirmed again at Lilliput. We were running a once off loop of just over 2 miles followed by 4 loops of 6 miles. The course was a quite flat (You know about my predilection and love for hilly courses) and was part tarmac, part trail. As there was a loop back on the course we got to meet other runners on a continuous basis which makes for brilliant atmosphere, high fives, encouragements and a feeling of togetherness. Another thing that is so nice about MCI races.

The camaraderie at MCI Marathons is legendary, here with Valerie Fogarty and Dec Mc Donagh. (Picture Stephen Mooney)
Personally I am getting stronger. As a result of combining a few of the things I love most (work, running, contributing to others, food & travel) into intentional living, I am enjoying what I do even more. This makes for a balanced approach both mentally and physically to all aspects of life. Top that with the brilliant results from going vegetarian Monday to Friday and I am covering 150% mileage compared to my record year in 2015.

And for the moment at least this is happening with relative ease. Yesterday Sunday I had a radio interview with Limerick City Community Radio ( and I ran the 4.36 miles to the station and back (8.72 miles in total). Less than 20 hours after finishing a Marathon. Without discomfort. In fact feeling great afterwards. (I will post the link to the interview here soon).

I am so convinced of the results of this intentional lifestyle I am ready to spread its fantastic results launching it to all who want serious change in their life and take control back. More about this very soon.

Back to the race I finished the 26.22 miles quite easily. It started raining on the last lap and as a confirmed pluviophile that meant a great finish.

At the end of the week I have covered 194 miles so far in January. I am doing more of what I love. And that can only be good.

MCI Marathon medal.

A BIG, BIG thank you to all involved at MCI (from committee to food table volunteers to the sausage and soup delivery team) for yet again delivering beyond what is expected at your marathons. What a Club!!!!

So that's number 34 in the bag. And number 1 of 2016. The journey continues and if it's even possible I love running more and more each week!

Getting the MCI medal from Vincent Guthrie, 34 done!
(Picture Maura Coppinger)

Next race is the Milford 10K in the University of Limerick next Sunday. I am running the 5 mile to the start and back, making it a 16 miler. More about that next Friday!

In the mean time learn to live intentionally, it'll suit you! :)

Miles with Smiles, Patte xxxx

Friday, 22 January 2016

2016 season starts tomorrow!

The journey enters the next intentional step. The #50at50 is part of intentional living where the emphasis is on doing more of what you love on a daily basis until what you love overtakes what you tolerate or don't love.

By doing this for one of my loves, running, I have in the first 3 weeks seamlessly covered 150% of the mileage I did in 2015, which was a record year!

That is simply because of a better food intake, I love food and am finding more ways to incorporate tasty food that is also good for me into my meals. I love running and simply added 1 mile to my short runs and 2 miles to my middle distance runs. This will enable easier longer runs too. I sleep better because of the above. All good just because I do more of what I love most!

And I love travel, so tonight I'm off to Tullamore for an overnight before the first marathon of 2016 and number 34 of my running career tomorrow morning with Marathon Club Ireland in Lilliput Adventure Centre by the gorgeous Lough Ennell in Westmeath.

Looking forward to this, it opens the racing year officially!

Monday race report! Talk to you then!

In the mean time have an intentional weekend!

Miles with Smiles, Patte xxx

Monday, 18 January 2016

Tony Robbins, Pope Francis & Joe Brolly. The search for authenticity continues! + The 100Km week.

I was given an article to read yesterday. It was written by Joe Brolly for the Sunday Independent. It is entitled: 'Who needs a life coach when our teams are full of them?'. If you want to read it here is the link:

Personal likes and dislikes aside (I know a lot of people don't like him) I thought Joe made some very valid points in the article. And then I disagreed firmly with some other points he made. You see, I have my opinions based on my personal life experience and they are valid only to me. That is one of the reasons why a cohesive group is made up of independently thinking individuals who together make the unit a better place to be.

Joe attacked the validity of personal success as it is seen now, against the injustices of this world. 'Victoria Beckham's €17,500 handbag sold out within a few hours of its unveiling. On the day this triumphant announcement was made across front pages, there was a news item tucked away on page seven about the average wage in Malawi falling to under $1 a day.'

Joe also played the individuality card against Robbins. 'Put another way, he appeals to people's deep-seated need to believe in something, mainly the self. In American and UK society, where the individual is everything and God's power has waned, these people are filling the vacuum and getting very rich in the process.'

Funny that. There was a 1000's of people in that room. Hardly individual. All listening to the same words as if they were mantra's. Repeating them in blogs and FB messages for the unfortunates that weren't 'blessed' enough to be there. Hardly individual Joe!

Tony always plays the individuality card. To 1000's at a time using the same message to tell them they all need to do the same things to get success (and wealth). Hardly individual Tony!

It is easy to criticise Joe and Tony. And I'm trying hard not to. They have brilliant individual minds which they use to the best of their ability.

Yet they sound a bit like Pope Francis who is constantly bemoaning the excesses of wealth by a minority without mentioning the Vatican's wealth which according to banker's best guesses stands somewhere between $10 & $15 Billion, inclusive of about 15% of the value of all listed shares on the Italian market. The wealth of the Vatican which in the US alone, is greater than that of the five wealthiest corporations.

To me they are all sound bites. Easy to swallow sound bites. Tony, Joe and the Pope have a lot in common. They talk a good talk and have a lot of listeners. Whether they walk the talk I leave up to you.

I believe I know why it is harder to listen to people who are authentic. Their message isn't aimed at pleasing you. They just share their opinion based on critical thinking. Based on the fact that they question absolutely everything. Now that's individual! And we can individually decide what we take on board. That too is individual.

And we can decide to live intentionally doing what we love most with the sole purpose of helping others. That's individuality making the group a better unit to be in.

And we can define our personal purpose and direction through that individuality. This will make us live differently. Individually. Chasing only our personal happiness and subsequently be more effective sharing our gift with the world making it a better place for others to live in.

Not for money, glory, sold out seminars or Liam McCarthy Cups. Just because it is authentically us. Now that's individuality that serves an evolving society.

But that's just my opinion. Feel free to question it ;)

Miles with Smiles, Patte xxx

P.S.: On the running front my intentional living is paying off big time. Through better food intake, better rest patterns, more and more only doing what I love I have just had my first ever 100 kilometre training week and feel great after. 63.73 miles in 7 training sessions or 102.5 km's. Woohoo!
And I'm helping 1 and hopefully soon more people get ready for the Great Limerick Run. It's going to be a great day!

Friday, 15 January 2016

It's flippin' amazing!!!

This intentional living stuff is flippin' amazing.

Find out what you love doing most and start doing it. Find the most enjoyable way to do it and start doing more. Then more again.

That leads you to an intention, in this example: 'I run as much as I can for as long as I can as far as I can as long as I keep enjoying it'. From that intention came a direction: #50at50. This is not set in stone, it is a direction. I overshot all my directions in 2015 :)

When that is done you can go back to the daily enjoyment of doing what you love most in the most enjoyable way to the best of your ability. And you can incorporate other loves if you want.

I love travel so run most of my races away from where I live. I love food so am learning about tasty food that is good for my endurance sport. I love meeting like minded people so I joined Marathon Club Ireland.

That folks is intentional living in a nutshell. And it's flippin' amazing. And you can implement it in every aspect of life.

Yesterday evening was cold and icy yet my love for running got me out with an extra layer, high viz vest, head torch and slower pace. I still managed 8.24 miles. That's 13 runs in 14 days and over 100 miles.

I'm running Seminars on intentional living and the first one is on January 30th in the Absolute in Limerick. Tickets and information here:

Schedule for the weekend is 7.2 miles tonight, 10 miles tomorrow and 16.75 mile loop on Sunday.

Miles with Smiles, Patte xxx

Monday, 11 January 2016

Letting go to move forward (and keep running).

I got a call from a friend last week who asked to meet up as he had a wonderful idea he wanted to run by me. Something he was really excited about. It was a new project and he wanted my advice on it's feasibility and implementation.

I took my diary out to see when I was free to meet. Every suggestion I made got a similar answer. 'Can't I'm already attending a....', 'Not that morning, I have a meeting organised', etc... We couldn't agree a time for last week. I asked to him to check how time intensive the new project was and how he was going to fit it in his busy schedule.

We'll meet this week I'm sure. Just to check on his priorities and what is more important to him. You see sometimes you can only fit so much in. When there is no more room, there is no more room.

OK, you can work smarter yet even then there is a limit.

The same goes with everything in life. Take me and my love for running. As you read on last week's blog my intention is to run as much as I can for as long as I can. I do this because running is one of the things I love doing most. In order for me to do this to the best of my ability I need to train more and smarter.

That means more time gets taken up by running. So I need to prioritise that. That means letting go. In my case I let go of watching sports on TV in order to practice sports myself.

Other things need to go or be curbed drastically. Refined sugar for instance. Processed foods. Alcohol. Late nights. To name but a few.

What I get in return is the ability to do what I love most to the best of my ability. That makes me a very happy person.

And everyone benefits from that. Me first and foremost because a happy me will always be better serving others.

And others. Regards running for instance I know a couple of people who have agreed to enter their first Half Marathon in Limerick on the May Bank Holiday. I am able to help them along with a balanced training program, tips on gear and support on great and not so great days.

So here's your 2 questions for today.

What burning desire to do something you really love do you have?
What do you need to let go to make it happen?

Have a wonderful week and talk Friday.

P.S.: My running week was Monday 7.2 miles, Tuesday 7.2, Wednesday 7.2, Thursday 8.24, Friday 7.2, Saturday 9.97 and Sunday I was working. That's 47 miles, a nice base to start building from.

Miles with smiles xxxx Patte

Friday, 8 January 2016

Running your life with intention!

'Living intentionally with direction and purpose overshadows any goal or target driven life!'

There, I said it! That's a personal opinion based on evidence of what I do every day and of what my clients do. Find what you Love, set an intention, give it direction, deliver it with purpose on a daily basis!

Example I here you ask! Here goes. I love running. My intention is to run as long and as much as I enjoy. The direction I am taking this in next is #50at50 (completing 50 Marathons before I'm 51 (in Feb '17) and running my first Ultra's in 2016. To deliver it with purpose every day I do what I love most to help me enjoy it more.

That means running every day I can and that's most days. That means satisfying my love for good food with food that is also good for me. That means satisfying my love for travel with running all over Ireland and this year also Marathons in Brussels and Amsterdam and a 2 week training camp in Lanzarote. This means satisfying my love for meeting people by being a member of a running club. And so on.

The entire running thing becomes an amalgamation of moments of joy and fun.

Last year that resulted in over delivering on the direction I was taking it in instead of 12 completing 16 Marathons. However that was not the important bit. The important bit is not the result. Because what if it was and I 'ONLY' did 11? I would feel a failure. Imagine feeling like you failed because you ran 11 marathons in 1 year????

The Most Important bit was the daily joy I got from running. It made me deliver more than I thought myself capable of and it had positive side effects on my health both mentally and physically. The sheer power of delivering an intention with purpose and love was what made this really great!

My running since January 1st reflects that. Jan 1 7.2 miles, Jan 2 9.97, Jan 3 9.97, Jan 4 7.2, Jan 5 7.2, Jan 6 7.2, Jan 7 8.24. So to kick start my running again slowly after the festive season has seen the completion of 56.98 miles in 7 days, about 8 miles a day. With Love and Joy!

I now do this for every aspect of life. Find what you love doing and do more by setting intentions, giving it direction and then delivering it daily with purpose. I'm giving a workshop on this on January 30th in the Absolute Hotel in Limerick from 10am to 4.30pm. You can get tickets here:

The next race coming up is a Marathon Club Ireland Marathon on January 23rd in Lilliput Adventure Centre by Lough Ennell in County Westmeath.

Greetings all, have a great weekend.

Miles with smiles!! Patte xxx

Monday, 4 January 2016

Running your life!

A good few years ago I had to give up football as I was getting too old, or rather my opponents to young. :) I tried a few other sports unsuccessfully until I decided to pick up running (again). You see I ran Cross Country when I was a tad younger and scored a few medals back then.

To say that I immediately fell in love with running the second time round would be a lie. My first run back was 3/4 mile and I had to walk home (in tears). I was disgusted to have gotten that unfit. So I decided at the time to do Dublin Marathon 8 months later (for charity, big WHY). That decision meant I had to get back running. That was February 2008!

Dublin Marathon
Mercie, Patrick (M)4:11:5345733825 / 660M40-444:13:36Bel
 Dublin Marathon 2008 Result
Almost 8 years later I have completed 33 Marathons and am loving almost every single run I start and even the few I don't love starting I love a couple of miles in.

I also know WHY I run. It clears my head at the end or start of a day and makes me more productive. It gives me peace of mind. It means meeting with like minded people. Which brings joy. It means increased mental and physical health. Which means I contribute more effectively to others. And I absolutely LOVE it. All good reasons to do more. And then more again. And after that; well maybe a little bit more.

It all started with a decision at the end of a very bad experience.

And that's how it works. Find what you love doing, attach a Why to it, then set an intention. Add a direction. Then find a way to live your intention the way you enjoy it most every day! Yes you read that right. Every day. Why would you need a break from something you love doing most?? To do what? Something you love less? Really?

Personally my love for it has led to the intention of running as many days in the year as possible because of all the reasons mentioned above. The direction I have set is #50at50. To go past 50 Marathons before I turn 51 in February 2017. That means 17 races of Marathon distance or longer before then.

The implementation has many facets. I love the morning so I'm tiring myself out every day doing what I love to get to bed at 10.30pm. And get up at 6am. Sleeping rhythms are important.

I love food and I love running so I need to eat food I love to function better as a runner. I asked a Nutrition Coach for advice and am going to go to cookery classes.

I love running so I run a minimum of 6 days a week. It keeps a smile on my face, gives me even more peace of mind and brings joy.

I love travel and my running sees me taking on races all over Ireland and I'm doing both Brussels and Amsterdam Marathons this year and I booked a holiday in Lanzarote in September as it has been great training there in the heat when I was there before.

Summer training camp in Lanzarote :)
I share my running stories because the reasoning behind it can be implemented in most aspects of life and business. And because people have told me that they were inspired by my writing and running and picked up new habits as a result.

It's a win/win for everyone. And that's what life is about. Personal Growth combined with Contribution to others. That's what I am about. In life and in business.

Last weekend that daily routine meant 7.2 miles on Friday, 9.97 miles on Saturday and on Sunday. 27 miles in total. Great start to 2016!

So what do you love doing? Ready to give it a big WHY, set an intention, give it direction and implement daily??

Best of luck and talk soon,

Miles with Smiles, Patte xxx

Friday, 1 January 2016

2015 Review - From Lilliput to Portumna in 2,039 miles!

All of a sudden it was January 2015 and the 12 Marathons in 12 Months Challenge was there. Now it was time to deliver. I had managed 7 Marathons (1 more than planned) in 2014 and clocked 1,188 miles (near 100 miles a month). I was unsure what to expect of this year. The races were planned. In fact I had planned 16 of them just in case I got injured.

Prepared: Yes. Confident: Yes. Scared: Yes. Certain of Success: No.

I had promised the Charity that I would do the training, the races and write a blog twice a week. I would try and get some local press interested with their help. Plus I would appear at any event they wanted me to. The rest was up to them. They agreed. I delivered. I will leave it at that. (Please note all money collected has gone to a very worthy cause there is no doubt about that we just could have done a lot more if they had delivered on their side).

What I have learned from this is to aim for more self reliance and taking control of situations as much as you can. Great lesson, applied to my 2016 plans for life, business and running.

I took on another communal challenge set by the wonderful running legend that is Collette O'Hagan. I have to apologise to Collette here as I have lost count of her Marathons totals, all I know is that it is well over 300!! Collette set a challenge to a large number of us to try and run 2,015 miles or kilometres (our choice) in 2015.

When I look over my mileage log I keep on Excel (spot the maths geek in me yet?) and spot the running gaps I come across 3 minor niggles and 1 injury that kept me of the roads for 2 weeks! Not bad and proof that a body at the age of 49 when properly trained and using the proper gear can withstand 5 to 6 runs a week, covering 40 odd miles.

I'm sure regular readers of the Blog will have heard the following numerous times but the members and committee of Marathon Club Ireland were THE major outside factor in my success this year. Their support, willingness to share tips, advice, hugs, Aaron's headlocks, camaraderie and positivity were there for the whole trip and I've had quite a few emotional moments this year thanks to them.

Achieved thanks in no small part to the members of this amazing Club.

My other big moments this year were running with Team Kerr, Team Hoyt and my MCI buddies in Courtmacsherry in July, a Marathon PB in Dublin in October and getting to know Team Kerr. Aaron, Sandra and David have reaffirmed my desire to give more than I take. My deep routed value of contributing to make others lives better and a desire to grow and be more.

With Team Kerr and Team Hoyt in Courtmacsherry in July.

I don't say this lightly, this family are pioneers in Ireland when it comes to assisted running. I am committed to see how I can help them in their future endeavours. Please take some time to check out there website.

As you read above I didn't get any major layoffs due to injury and kept running the marathons I had planned. That meant I had done the 12 by mid September! That's when I decided to do all 16! It started with a -1 degree race over icy roads in Lilliput in Westmeath in January and finished last Sunday the 27th of December on a wet day doing a 43.2 km trail marathon in Portumna, Co. Galway. I did enjoy running a marathon in the home country in Brussels in October as well.

24Jan15 MCI Lilliput IRE Westmeath MAR 4:37:15
28Feb15 MCI Lough Derg IRE Limerick MAR 4:52:24
15Mar15 Tralee International Marathon IRE Kerry MAR 4:09:51
12Apr15 Connemarathon IRE Galway MAR 4:15:54
03May15 Great Limerick Run Marathon IRE Limerick MAR 4:09:22
01Jun15 Cork Marathon IRE Cork MAR 4:06:20
13Jun15 Portumna Forest Marathon IRE Galway MAR 4:42:19
27Jun15 Waterford Viking Marathon IRE Waterford MAR 4:20:32
11Jul15 Marathon des Escargots IRE Laois MAR 4:36:13
25Jul15 Keith Whyte Marathon Courtmacsherry IRE Cork MAR 5:53:27
29Aug15 Craughwell AC/MCI Marathon IRE Galway MAR 4:45:30
19Sep15 Tullaroan AC/MCI Marathon  IRE Kilkenny MAR 4:14:11
04Oct15 Brussels Marathon BEL Brussels MAR 4:03:53
26Oct15 Dublin Marathon IRE Dublin MAR 4:02:13
15Nov15 Eddie Murphy Memorial Run Marathon IRE Clare MAR 4:23:00
27Dec15 MCI Portumna IRE Galway 43.2K 4:33:57

As for the 2,015 mile challenge mentioned earlier, Collette needs to be thanked for setting this. I managed 2,039 miles. 850 more than in 2014 and this definitely helped with the 16 Marathons.

The 16 pieces of bling collected along the way. Recognise any??

So that's 2015 done and dusted. Now for 2016. My intention is to run more, in fact as much as I love doing it and am able to. And I know that is more than I did in 2015. So the direction I'm going in is 20 Races. 16 Full Marathons and 4 Ultra's. I have never done an Ultra so that's new, exciting, scary and means growth. I have also set a direction 2,500 miles to support that.

This blog will keep you in the loop on how I get on and also how the lessons I learned from long distance running can be applied in personal life and business as I set out on a journey to assist as many people that want to from a money driven life to a value driven life; from a profit driven business to a purpose driven business.

Hope you enjoy it! I'm always looking for feedback to help me get better. Feel free to contact me directly to do so on

Today January 1st I started with a 7.2 mile run through Limerick City. The journey continues, lots of miles with smiles, daring greatly!!!

Big Hug and Happy New Year, Patte xxx