Give It your best shot!

So this is my first update for a while. I stopped blogging on day two in Milan.  I hit a low, motivation wise. A struggle I cannot seem to shake. The daily challenges that come along with all I have chosen to do. I was debating whether to upload this. I did however say I would be open and honest about my journey warts and all.

I quite openly battle with depression. It is something that the running has helped me with. I admit it isn’t for everybody.  Each person is an individual, each person is different and therefore it isn’t a one fit solution for all.   The running gives me a focus.  After the loss of my nephew and battling with sleep deprivation due to sever tinnitus, it seemed my coping mechanism failed.  Depression/anxiety is something now and again that raises its ugly head. Running itself to some extent gave me my life back it is the best anti-depressant for me that I know. I admire the people that do the #runchat running groups, you are angels in disguise.

I know that life is filled with highs and lows, valleys and peaks that will test my resilience. Now and again the valleys are the deepest I have ever known. It is in these lulls that I remember why I set out on this journey. Among the other challenges I faced. I set out on the journey to live my life and do Oliver proud. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I sit between a rock and a hard place.  I have the battles and the doubts in my mind. I on the other had sit here booking ultras across the Amazon and contemplating Marathon De Sables.

I know that booking these challenges I will have the lows and highs. Testing the resilience and pushing me to overcome each of these barriers. I know the lessons learned along the way to the top will only make me stronger and better.

I suppose the question of whether I fail or succeed lies within my own determination. My determination is drawn to do Oliver Proud. Not just Oliver but all the charities I aim to raise funds for along the way. Running for those who cannot, creating a voice for those who don’t have one and raising awareness along the way.  This is what, in times of despair keeps me on the right track.

The Quote “if you only walk on sunny days you will never reach your destination” made me realise that that I am on a journey. One in which I will finish. To do so I must take the good times with the bad and keep on moving forward. Moving forward into the unknown and growing as a person. Or remaining where I am in safety.

I the lowest of lows I find my greatest inspiration. A week or so ago in tears I dint know who to speak to or what to do. I decided in this moment I would put myself forward for the Jungle Ultra. 230km across the amazon.  I don’t know what makes me think I can complete this challenge. But if I don not try I will never know.i will only know by putting myself on the start line. I will hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  In life, you are either moving forward or moving backwards even if I fall on my face, I will learn and use that knowledge later down the line. When you don’t attempt something for fear of falling on your face, you don’t move forward, and you end up shriveling into a version of yourself that is not as great as it could be.

I want to be the best version of myself that I can be. I will falter along the way.  It is however how I pick myself of and dust myself off that will determine how far I will go. Running is developing me as a person. I have not set out to change myself. I have as cliché as it may be, been finding out who I am and who I am to be.

In the past I have always been too quick to walk away or to quit. Quitting is the easy way out, but it doesn’t produce anything of value, I used to wait for conditions to be perfect. I learned that I would be waiting for ever. I decided after the loss of my nephew to have faith.  To hope that in the end everything will be OK and that I will land on my feet.

This came about as with the loss of my nephew and learning of the challenges that others face in day to day life. I learned that the future is not guaranteed. The only time you have control of is right now. This very moment. If you have had anything you wish/want to do. Do it! Find a way. Put wheels into motion and see what you can achieve.

Now I always did nothing. I lived for the weekend. I wore head to toe designer gear. I felt great for a short while. But what had I achieved what stories could I tell. No one was going to stand at my funeral and say what a fantastic shirt I had. Therefore, my promise to myself was one that I would live an adventure. I would walk my own path and create my own destination.

Remember Nothing leaves nothing. It’s better that you have an idea. That you act upon it and try your hand at greatness. I expect to fail or stumble. If I do I will learn. And if I do fail so what. I will have tried and given it my best shot at least I will have amazing stories to tell. Those that stand in the side lines and try to pull me down or those that attempt nothing (whatever it may be) will have nothing to show for it . How boring! At least if you try you can say you gave it a go. You may achieve something great. Leaving your mark upon the world or something for the history books.

So, from here on out. Through the good time and the bad I will update my story. If for nothing other to look back and think “ what a damn good Journey”  thank you for being on the road with me.


Day 2 In Milan, The Cathedral.

So, to start the day I got up early.  I had an okish sleep from all the traveling. So up bright and early. I got a wash and decided to inadvertently break the tap on the bathtub. Which made my morning evermore pleasant.  I set to to Sondrio station and headed to Duomo to the cathedral.

My first mission today was visit this amazing piece of architecture. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. This was one I was not going to miss. I headed to the ticket booth and made my purchase. I headed through security, passing though the armed guards after being searched.  I entered the main hall. I was awe struck. The sheer scale of the building was immense. The light shining through the stained-glass windows. Was a sight a picture could not replicate.

The journey then began up the stairs to the roof.  The narrow passages eerily worked into the building. The thought that so many had passed before me.  A small glimpse of light at the top, opened into one spectacular view. I spent a while taking it all in and chatting to a tourist from Hong-Kong. Funnily enough we had quite a bit to talk about recently departing from there last month.

After leaving the cathedral I wandered through the Milan streets. Caution to the wind no knowing where I would end up. The walk was like walking through the pages of a high-end catalogue. Everyone had sass. It’s a good job I had sunglasses, as the police men were quite distracting : ).

Heading to Sforza Castle built in the 15th century. This was a anti-climax compared to the cathedral but nonetheless an amazing piece of work and a must see. This lead to parco Sempione a beautiful park and landscaped gardens. This I took at a much slower pace enjoying the sunshine. Reflecting on the events that led me to get to this point. The loss of my Nephew and all the events that followed.  I sat by the Arco della Pace requested to be built by napoleon. I enjoyed my lunch, I sat and I pondered for a while before moving on.

After overhearing someone’s conversation I decided to head to  Santa Maria al Paradiso a quaint little church  in the center of Milan.  This site seeing was making me hungry. I headed to the McDonald’s  to grab a quick bite to eat. (healthy I know, things not to eat in Milan, again I know ! )   I rang my friend Bev to update her on the Travels and see how things where back home.

Much of the evening I meandered through the shopping streets, through buskers and beggars.  I sat in the shadow of the cathedral and soaked up the rays. I followed my google maps to many local landmarks, enjoying a fruit salad on the way. Upon returning I headed to an Italian and appreciated some Italian cuisine. Which was delicious to say the least.

Before the evening was out I met up with a local Italian Andrea, who shared a extremely interesting conversation and enlightened me in regards to Italian life.

Anyway time for bed as I am up tomorrow bright and early to meet up with Marco at the airport and head to Tel -Aviv.

The Future Is Promised to No One.

After a few days in which I lacked motivation, I believe today I have my mojo back.  I had a pretty good day in terms of the bike rides and the gym on Sunday. I am beginning to quite like the biking. I am try to strengthen this glass knee of mine.

I’m sat here after an enjoyable run with Radcliffe AC, I think I reignited my passion for running (a bit late now I know) I really enjoyed plodding along with the drizzle of the rain. Thinking what else would I be doing? Some really interesting folk talking about plans or previous experiences. Truly inspirational and motivational.

After a positive day at work and a fantastic article in the Liverpool Echo it gave me the boost needed. The first article below.  

This coverage reminded me why I set out on this journey in the first place, Oliver Nuttall!oliver

I always went out every weekend and waste life and funds. I now have been to a few the 7 wonders and have got an amazing year lined up. The little mite put up a very courageous fight. One in which he sadly lost. It did make me however decide to get the most from life and urge others to do so. This doesn’t mean running a marathon as per say. It just means don’t put of that thing you have been waiting to do. You never know what’s around the corner.

The reason I set out on this journey and to challenge my own boundaries was due to him. I owe him a lot, and hopefully will do him justice. Keeping his legacy alive. No matter what continent/ mountain or canyon I may be standing on/ in. It just goes to show what impact you may have on someone without realising it.  I hope I do him proud I know he’s with me every step of the way.

I am doing this for him! I’m doing this for the people who cannot run or have never had the chance! That’s the reason I choose to run.  Everything I have set out to achieve always seems impossible until it is done and I always remember it is always too early to quit.


So whatever your plans is : Do it, the future is promised to no one!

The only time you have complete control of is right now, so that’s the best time to do all of the things you’ve been wanting to do but have been putting off until some vague future date. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing now, so don’t wait. Put some things into motion and see where it leads. You may be surprised to find that this brings your goals and dreams faster than you ever thought possible.








The Day was here

The day of the run. After getting to bed around 12:30 in the evening I was up bright and early at 03:30 I was so so tired. Tempted to stay locked away in my hotel. Out here all alone the furthest I have been outside my comfort zone. This was not an organised tour, just a trip on a whim in which the circumstances changed at the last minute.20170212_062230

I got on the foam roller to loosen my dreaded IT Bands. I then got my kit together. Much of which had been laid out the night before. So after a strong coffee I ran downstairs to the reception desk to ask if they knew how far away the start was. They didn’t know. I asked for a banana in which she happily obliged.  I stepped outside in the pitch black, and freezing Hong Kong air.  I saw a stream of wind breakers – following these like a lost sheep I located at least the start of the marathon route.  I didn’t have any extra baggage to pick up at the end of the marathon I just had my trusted camelback.  My bits and bobs and just in case of the runners trots a loo roll.

Limbering up I realised I was really here this was really happening. The thought of going back to the hotel was a more appetising option. The porridge gurgling in my stomach. The nostrils filtering the carbon out of the air Blocked. Why do I do this?  I Then think of everyone who ever doubted me. The people in school that told me I would never do anything in life.  Well this is where the fire ignites and the fun begins.

Whilst warming up a local resident shows up in skinny jeans. Maybe she was just a spectator?  No, she was limbering up and had the knee straps on over her jeans. What was she thinking?   I was counting down it was like waiting to be sentenced (not that I would know). I started taking a few videos the realised the people goin20170212_110611g past where in my wave.

I met a runner from the UK who resides in Hong-Kong. She was exited even after a year of living here advising of the excitement to see all that she would see today. She asked how long I was here for. 4 days I replied. She gave me an odd look. A long weekend to Hong-Kong who does that? As I reiterated this earlier, I just said I know right! The briefing started the atmosphere was electric. Off we went.

The sun was rising as we meandered through the sky scrapers. This was why I was here all the apprehension, fear and doubt. This was now.  Seeing the ships in the harbour and running on the highway. This run had claimed its first few casualties.  Gashed knees and face. The ruby red glint off their bodies fresh blood. Nicceeee.

We hit the first bridge an immense structure, made me realise what a massive challenge this was. It was just one foot in front of the other, taking in the sites. Through the haze of the smog. The journey in 20170212_075732which took me 1 hour on the MTR the day before was the first leg of the journey.  The first 10k done and dusted. We hit the underground tunnel. They reminded me of Tokyo drift, and all the PlayStation games from young.

It wasn’t until 33 km until I started to feel it. I stopped to walk a little, the pain was unbearable. I didn’t chkm-2017-marathon-course-map ome all this way for nothing.  I felt the blisters build in my trainers, the fluid erupted through my toes. Why do I do this again? This question never fails me and is one I can never answer.

The tunnel into Hong Kong approached. The cheers filled the city – the atmosphere and the adrenaline detracted from the pain.  35 km hit. I just wanted it to be over it was excruciating.  all he runners from all the runs, fun run ,10 k , half and marathon the amount of time I nearly tripped up went uncounted. It was like dodging bullets.  The 40k sign was like the gate way to heaven. however, the last 2 km seemed to last longer than the previous 40k.  I saw the split for marathon runners to split – the adrenaline kicked in all the pain was temporary. I managed a sprint to the finish.  I was elated – this was the only run that towards the end I nearly cried. although the others where tougher. This one I had done alone on the other side of the world. I could not believe I had done it. The funny looks from not being able to walk commence and now the long journey back begun. 20170212_112836

Hong-Kong The Rush.

I started the Journey from Manchester – Dubai in which being true to myself I lost my wallet in Dubai airport. Getting in some last-minute training trying to locate this lost wallet, running from one side of the airport to the other.  I am Dreading getting my phone bill due to the amount of time spent on the phone from Dubai to China trying to resolve the fact I had no cards to check in.

With 15 minutes until my connection, my wallet was luckily handed in. Maybe my luck was in?   After my friend, Debbie unfortunately had to cancel.  I was even more apprehensive about this trip than I should have been.  I landed around 3 in the afternoon.

The efficiency in which they process you at Hong-Kong airport is amazing.  Like cattle to slaughter  I tried to figure out how to get to my hotel. I jumped on the airport express to Kowloon northern Hong Kong.  I was again amazed at the simplicity of the service.  After jumping on a free shuttle bus K3* I headed to the hotel the Grand Hyatt. When driving through the city on thing that looked familiar (reminiscing to Beijing) was the haze of smog.

Whilst on the move to the hotel, I thought I would double check my pick-up time for my race Kit on my correspondence. Amongst the info, I spotted a time of 16:00 – 17:00. Surely this was for Saturday? My heart skipped a beat. It was in fact today, WHHHHHAAAATTT??  I had 45 minutes to check into the Hotel, then navigate Hong-Kong like it was my home town. Impossible!

After I finished the check in I ran back down to reception and asked where the pickup point for my kit, that was noted on my letter. I said “how far away is this? “The reply “about 15 -20 minutes”. I was being tested.   Dashing outside, fitting in some last-minute training.  I began navigating the streets of Hong Kong. At every turn being asked if I wanted a Rolex, a suit or something Special.  Somewhere on my map looked familiar Nathan Rd. Hang on! this was the opposite end of where I needed to be. I ran and ran. A fellow runner too k pity on me and directed me to the sports center.  Arriving at 16.57 I had just made it. Flashing my passport and official letter, as if I was at immigration.

The official said you look Hot, at first I was like. THANKS! Then realized he meant hot and sweaty.  Advising I had just landed, he responded by advising I could have just collected my goodies tomorrow.  I pointed to my letter and he advised it was to avoid a rush.

Heading back to the hotel with my bright pink bag, peeling my sweaty T-shirt from my back. It sunk in I was her20170210_093447e alone and doing it. Little old me.  No going back.

As it was getting late I donned on some shorts and t-shirt and meandered down to the harbor. I had heard about the miraculous Light show. On the way down the residents dressed in scarfs and duffel coats, all took side glances.  I was roasting them however, the opposite.   After waiting for the count down for about an hour. I can only say I was disappointed to say the least.

I headed back to the hotel once again, I needed to sleep. There streets where blocked and sirens raging. I thought it must always be this busy. The streets had traffic cops stood directing traffic, Like in the films!

Avoiding the suit and Rolex sellers. I had made it back, totally oblivious what had what was going on , To be Cont  ……………………… The Harbor

The Final Count Down

Ok so I am sat here sh***ing myself before I fly out to Hong-Kong lately.  My motivation hit rock bottom.  I have been getting out as much as I can.  Trying to overcome my runners Knee and Shin splints.  Then working every hour god sends to help fund the next year’s adventure.

It is taking every ounce of what I have got. I knew it would be tough emotionally, financially and Physically. But by god is it becoming real. I think back to last year when I thought what I was planning was impossible. I proved myself wrong and learned everything is impossible until it is done. I have picked up my travel monies and been liaising with a friend Debbie from San- Diego, who I met out in Petra.  I will be joining her in Hong-Kong and conquering the Marathon.

All be it not in the time I want, however this year I shall be grabbing every opportunity to learn and reach PBs. As shortly after I get back from China, I will be jumping on a plane to meet Marco from Milan (who I also met out in Petra) to complete the Jerusalem Marathon. Another opportunity to learn from the best. 🙂

To say I am scared is an understatement, filled with doubt maybe!  Knowing what I achieved last year and how familiar these feelings feel. Makes me think it is only natural. I do not ever think I will feel ready. Do any of you? I am excited to see what this year brings.  From the lifelong friends I will meet and the experiences I will share with them. Hopefully you will to. Only if my travel insurance gets me back in one piece ha-ha.

I will be putting myself out of my comfort zone in many ways. In the hope, I can raise all I can for the fantastic Charity Claire’s House Children’s Hospice.  Furthermore, keeping Oliver’s memory alive.  Running from one corner of the globe to the next. going from month to month, Challenge to challenge.  Experiencing every emotion life is going to throw at me.   I welcome any advice, as again I am relatively new to all this.   Following your blogs for advice also. There is so much inspiration in each and every one of you.

The Year Ahead

As I started Writing this post a few days ago, I was thinking about the years ahead. Thinking have a bitten off more than I can accomplish? I had an upcomingrivington2 run up Rivington Pike, Night runner. I hadn’t slept and had a long day ahead in work. I was hardly feeling it. I was worried Id lost my passion for running.

I was thinking about the amount of overtime, time and monies that has been invested in the year ahead a deposit on a house gone. I thought what have I done. I turned up to the start line and bumped into a few of my old British Military Fitness buddies. There was a little warmth and spark that ignited within me. The briefing took place, we were off!  Nearly all uphill, my calves burned I wanted to give up.

Then something changed the adrenaline kicked in. The splashing through the steam of water working its way down the mountain. The mud working its way into the back of my trainers. This was why I ran. The feeling of being a child again. No fears, all the real world didn’t matter and I was on a mission. On the way to the top I stopped to take the opportunity to look around, it was stunning to views were immense. The runners passing by an orange moon over a rivingtonfrost concealed mountain.

On the way down, after my ankle had been bent this way and that. My head torch beginning to do my head in. I thought about the year ahead and the sights I am due to behold. I remembered how lucky I was. Testing my body to the limits, living life to the fullest.

So in some ways it has been as good and bad week – running has been ok. My nutrition is so so. However, although everything from flights to deposits and future ideas being juggled around my mind. I am looking forward to this year.  Looking back on the last and seeing I achieved more than I ever thought was possible. I am looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

Love Macca.