As I wrote in my initial Instagram comment and FB post, HuntingThirty is an ethos for striving for and surpassing goals you may not have thought possible - physical and psychological.
I DO NOT currently have a goal set to run 10k in 30 minutes (see 'current goals' section). Such a goal for someone of my age, with family, work, other time pressures and a diet restricted by colitis, seems close to impossible. And yet, as I have found, once you hit one goal, the next becomes more realistic. It would be interesting to see if a 30 minute 10k could, way down the line, become a target. Even if doesn't, I will still relish the self-discovery, travel and running with friends, whilst experiencing a wide array of events across the globe, hitting goals along the way. I suppose the destination creates the journey, and the journey is often what matters the most.
Until the age of 36, I was a lifelong journeyman when it came to fitness and exercise. I'd always put at least some time aside during the week for some form of physical activity, be it jogging, tennis, weights, skiing or 5-aside. Enough to stay moderately healthy, if a little chubby at times (mainly diet related).
Then in 2016, my friend Matthew suggested we sign up for the 'Fan Dance' - a rather gruelling load-bearing run in the Brecon Beacons. This is one of the SAS tests in their selection week, which was opened to the public a few years ago, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to properly test their physical limitations. Having both considered a career in the military at an early age, we considered this event to be an ideal tonic to what was probably some kind of mid-life crisis for us both; Training was tough and the race was tougher (the hardest physical test I had ever experienced). But finishing under the selection time (I was happy just to finish) and experiencing the real camaraderie along the way, made all the pain worthwhile. I acquired a race merchandise mug afterwards, which bears a quote that summed up the whole experience : "at the finish, all the pain and suffering turns to feelings of pleasure, and the greater the suffering, the greater the pleasure."
I credit that day for triggering HuntingThirty, which is an ethos capturing the aspiration to strive for limitations and then break them, no matter the obstacles. 2017 brought plenty of obstacles including bereavements, troublesome young children and a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis which will affect my training and diet for the rest of my life. But we all face hurdles from time to time, and I hope 'HuntingThirty' goes some way to inspiring others to believe they can transcend, tread new ground and set new personal achievements.
I would like to provide inspiration, and also raise awareness of Ulcerative Colitis (as well as the similar Crohns Disease) which are invisible chronic conditions that affect far more people than you might imagine - not all sufferers are comfortable discussing their related medical experiences. Many sufferers are far worse off than me, and I count myself lucky that I can (with hard work) control it well enough to still enjoy a great quality of life.
I aim to document my running journey with daily Instagram / FB / Twitter posts, which will generally contain a variety of updates; goals; training tips; nutrition (linked to UC - eg Low FODMAP) and running/fitness progression. My Blog will cover a broad range of topics from coffee shops and psychology to races and nutrition. In the future, I plan to move into coaching and am planning to gather a broad range of running experiences in order that I can offer more useful advice in the future.
HuntingThirty is not just a handle, it is a verb, an ethos of aspiring to be the best you can be and explore what your body is capable of delivering when working with an inspired mind. Reaching and breaching your limits, and then expanding your belief in yourself, which will benefit you in all aspects of life.
Whether you are a novice, a Mr or Mrs Average like I was in 2015, someone with medical or other challenges and/or a keen fitness fanatic, please Join the HuntingThrirty journey, be inspired; take part; join me on races; suggest races; ask advice or give me advice (always learning); Start your own journey, however big or small, explore your own limits, beat them. Be healthy, live longer, live well. Thank you, James
10k - 00:37.01 - Placed 70th - Wilmslow (Nov 2017)
Half Marathon - 01:22.58 - Placed 28th - Great NorthWest Half, Blackpool (Feb 2018)
5k - 00:17.53 - Placed 3rd - Platt Fields Parkrun, Manchester (April 2018)
5k - 00:17.46 - Placed 51st - Summer Sizzler, Wythenshawe Park (August 2018)
1st finisher at a Parkrun - Wilmslow Parkrun x 3 (2017/18)
18 min 5k - Dulwich Parkrun (March 2017) 18m0s
Sub 38min 10k - Manchester (UK) 10k (2017) : 37m06s
90min Half Marathon - Wilmslow (2015)
Sub 4hr Marathon - Windermere (2015)
Fan Dance selection time (load bearing) - (Brecon Beacons 2016)
Sub 5 min mile
Sub 17min Parkrun
Sub 36 min 10k
Sub 80 min Half Marathon
Qualify for Boston Marathon
Sub 3hr Marathon
Complete an Ultra
Please see my 2019 race calendar below.
My attention for 2019 moves away from 5 and 10k, to more endurance, including Marathon, Fell Races and Ultra. This is to widen my experience, but hopefully will provide the side effect of enlarging my aerobic engine, to benefit my switch back to middle distance in 2020.
3rd March 2019 - Anglesey half marathon
7th April 2019 - Manchester Marathon
20th April 2019 - Teenager with Altitude fell race (cat AL)
12th May 2019 - Pendle Cloughs fell race (cat AL)
19th May 2019 - Manchester 10k and Manchester half marathon (back to back)
13th July 2019 - Lakes classic - Wasdale fell race (cat AL)
12th Oct 2019 - Lakes in a Day 50 mile Ultra fell race
April 2020 - Boston Marathon?
Low FODMAP dietary research - https://www.monashfodmap.com/i-have-ibs/starting-the-low-fodmap-diet/
Really interesting article about the importance of the microbiome and food intake - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43674270?ocid=wsnews.chat-apps.in-app-msg.whatsapp.trial.link1_.auin
Crohns In Childhood Research Association - http://www.cicra.org/
Crohns and Colitis UK - https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk
This is a really interesting read about the link between emotion and the gut:- https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection
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