The quick background is that I'm 27 years old and your average 9-5 worker who has a passion for running. I've tried my hand at varying sports over the years, from football to badminton, table tennis to boxing, but for some reason going out jogging is something that's always been there.
I started running as my main sport in the summer of 2002. Without going in to too many details a stupid drunken tumbling prevented me from being able to box for a few months. After some weeks I was told that I could keep fit by running but not much else. I started jogging most evenings, then and out of nowhere I decided to do the Dublin marathon that October. No idea what possessed me, I didn't know anyone who'd done one before, never thought of doing one before and had no idea where to start. But start I did. Looking back at the training I put in it was pretty piss poor. I never ran more than 16 miles in training, there was no structure behind what I was doing, I was just running more and more.
I did a race series in Dublin leading up to the marathon. I threw up when crossing the line of the 5 mile race, the same after the half marathon and eventually toed the line for the full one. Realising at 10 miles that I still had the equivalent of my longest training run still to do was not a nice feeling! The last few miles were hell, a hell that I've since encountered 3 more times and hopefully won't have to endure again but sure we never know. I finished it, I strained my groin, it hurt, it hurt a lot... but I was hooked. Next time out I was going to be better and the time after that better again. That's the same way I feel about today and next time out it will be better than the last.
The name Private isn't necessarily used because I'm trying to keep things private. Nope, it's a name I picked up on another drunken night in Tijuana of all places in 2001. Back when I was younger, for another reason I can't explain, I joined the Irish Reserve Army. It only took up a few hours on a Sunday and some weekends. You got to pretend you were a soldier, march around with guns and drink cheaply in the mess. It was win win really. Anyway, on this night in Tijuana my college friends decided that this drunken idiot stumbling around with them wasn't really a Corporal but nothing more than a Private, a stupid Private at that. No more was really said of the matter for a few days until someone called the flat and asked how 'Stupid Private' was feeling after the night out. And there we go, the name stuck. For my final year in college there were plenty of people that didn't know what my real name was, just Private or Stupid Private or worse, just Stupid! Thankfully for the most part the prefix Stupid has been dropped from the name now and I'm only known as Private. But from time to time if I do something uhm, stupid, it reappears.
On the Blog
This blog is out to track the progress I make, the training that will go in, races I take part in, advice I receive, the lifestyle of your non-stereotypical athlete and generally what goes through my head at various times. Sit back and be prepared, there's a long road ahead...