My mum always used to dress me. Ah, simpler times.

I remember one particular occasion when the Nesbitt family climbed into our big red Cortina to make our way to ‘World of Sport’ in Armagh (Mum had bargaining power here) for the annual ‘dressing of the Paul’. I was force-dressed in a delightful puke-green Adidas T-shirt. To my dismay, It was also half price…I knew then that my pleas to get the other one with the big tick on it were going to go unheard.

I was a condemned boy. I was getting the T-shirt. As we left the shop with my Mothers new spoils of discounted war, I also noticed something else was irritating me. It was around my chest, and it felt tickly but also kind of scratchy & not at all pleasant.

It transpires not only had Adidas created the ugly duckling of T-shirts but they had created one with stitching perfectly in line with my nipples. I hadn’t really noticed them before (I was an 11 year old boy remember) Nevertheless, I thought – I’m facing this head on, I will endure. And endure I did. For no reason.

Long story, short. I ended up with really sore nipples.

That story reminds me of Crowded house playing on the radio for some reason. In fact, is it just me or were Crowded house always on the radio in the early 90’s? And Shakespeare Sister…

I digress – Little did I realise that this sorry tale would come back to haunt me 21 years later. After th’on big race last August, I took ‘er handy and eased back into my running gently but to be honest I wasn’t really enjoying it. I never felt comfortable & my mojo was gone. I’d lost my mojo baby.

I should have took a break. But no I kept going. For no reason at all.

So to try and drag some relevance from the T-shirt story – again I persevered even when I didn’t really want to, only instead of getting really sore nipples I picked up ‘le injury’. Two actually.

I dropped from my first race because of it in October & although I had wee flashes of getting back to my running and feeling like I might be coming out the other side, Sesamoiditis hit in January. Dirty Brute. Then I was plagued on and off with the ankle injury again.

So that leaves me where I am now. I’m running. I’m able to run long distance again. And sometimes I like to almost think that I’m moving like a gazelle (ed: Wounded gazelle) in the West African plains (ed: Portadown Towpath). This is all good. It really is and I know I shouldn’t whinge as in January, I actually thought I’d never run again but something pretty rubbish has happened.

My ankle isn’t all that fussed on running off road.

I can run 20 miles on a towpath & feel as good as I would expect, no aches or pains but as soon as I step onto a forest trail my ankle decides to play dead. I haven’t even contemplated trying to run the Brandy pad yet.

So what does this mean? It means I am running. I have to whisper this bit…but I can only run on road.

Road running for me has never been that enjoyable, it has never been too sore either mind (Contrary to popular opinion.) The best comparison I can draw is that for me running is like sausages. Sausages are amazing! I love Spanish sausage, German sausage, Frankfurters even!

Road running is like eating those wee sausages you get in a can.

I’ll eat them if I have to but there’s so many other great sausages out there, why would I eat the ones in the can!?


Anyway. The gist of the post. I ran Belfast ‘sausage in a can’ marathon at the start of the month & got round. So now I’ve entered the Newry ‘sausage in a can’ marathon on Sunday. I hope to get round it quicker & still in one piece. And perhaps I’ll also just be grateful I can run 🙂

After that? The Mourne Spicy Chorizo Sausage Marathon. If my ankle will allow such Sausagey debauchery.


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