Ben Brewer's Blog (38)

Week 130 - Ben on Foot release!

Ok, so if you'll forgive me, this is the pretty much obligatory post to let you all know that my book, Ben on Foot, is out now! For you guys who pre-ordered the limited edition first print, they're on their way :)

It's about how I went from a complete non-runner, to running ultra distances in about a year, culminating in my showdown with a self-planned 130-mile jaunt across south-west England. It's not a training guide, more of a personal account with a few lessons sprinkled…


Added by Ben Brewer on September 29, 2014 at 6:02am — 3 Comments

Week 124

How do you help someone who doesn't want any help?

Possibly an unusual question to ask in a blog about running, but bear with me - I've been thinking some about a run last weekend and I reckon it's a question I'd like to open up to you guys.

Sunday morning, around 4am, was the start of my latest run to a nearby(ish) local beach, at Saunton. This is the same route that I wrote about here,…


Added by Ben Brewer on August 19, 2014 at 1:46pm — 3 Comments

Week 123

I'm feeling a lot better.

Not that I've been feeling ill, or anything like that necessarily - just that now I'm feeling better.

I mentioned in my last blog post that once worrying about the b-word is all done and out of the way, I'll be able to relax and actually think about just running again and you know what? I think it's starting to happen. As far as the whole literary thing goes, I've set all of those wheels in motion and aside from occasionally lubing them over…


Added by Ben Brewer on August 11, 2014 at 1:04pm — 2 Comments

Week 121

Now, before I start this post at all, I really want it to be more 'telling about', rather than 'advertising' - I hope that it ends up coming across as such. On the one hand, I hate (in other forums and sites, thankfully) spammy, adverty posts... on the other hand, a lot of you guys here have asked me about the progress on my book, about my journey from non-runner to fledgling ultra-runner.

I'm hoping that this will be interesting to at least the guys who've…


Added by Ben Brewer on July 28, 2014 at 5:28am — 7 Comments

Week 115

Pursuit. If I had to sum up what made this last weekend's race so amazing in one word, pursuit would be it. I suppose it means different things to different people, at different times too - sometimes the metaphorical pursuit of an ideal or goal is a great thing, sometimes the pursuit of the runner in front of you can drive you on.

Sometimes, being chased by a horse is exactly what you need on a blazing Saturday afternoon.

Last weekend, I went with Clare (my…


Added by Ben Brewer on June 17, 2014 at 2:51pm — 4 Comments

Week 107.5

In a bit of a break from the norm, sort of, I want to post up what is technically, I guess, an old running story. I thought I'd share as it's a chapter from the book I've written about how I went from not-running to running pretty far - I'm virtually ready to publish now, so I guess if anyone is interested in reading the whole thing, then it'll be around soon enough :)

I hope it's ok posting it here as a kind of toe-in-the-water to see if you guys like it. Anyway, here…


Added by Ben Brewer on April 23, 2014 at 8:21am — 7 Comments

Week 104.5

Two years. Two years.

104 weeks since I decided I'd make a bit more of an effort with what used to be a very alien pursuit for me. I've gone from being a panting mess that struggled to make it a couple of times around the local park to running literally thousands of kilometres over the last twenty-four months. I've run through the night, I've run for hours to see the sun rise, I've headed out to find peace and time to think. Sometimes, I've done it with hundreds of…


Added by Ben Brewer on April 4, 2014 at 6:26am — 6 Comments

Week 101

I'm not sure whether this is entirely running related, but more sort of me-related, I guess.

One of the reasons why I've been quieter on the blogging front is that I've been spending the last few months writing a book about running - specifically, how I spent a year going from a complete non-runner to someone able to comfortably run marathons and even run ultra distances.

I figure there might be people out there who want to read about an ordinary guy's experiences and…


Added by Ben Brewer on March 5, 2014 at 7:56am — 4 Comments

Week 96

So, yesterday was the day of my return to a nice little 10-mile race around the local area, the Braunton 10. I ran the race last year, just as I was starting to get my eye in on racing in general and it was great to come back a year later, knowing a bit more of what to expect and how to go about tackling it.

The route is all on-road (that is, mud-slicked, flooded road at this time of year) and is more than a little undulating - in particular, there are two significant category 4-5…


Added by Ben Brewer on January 27, 2014 at 4:54am — 1 Comment

Week 95

I was wondering what the small pang in my heart has been over the last couple of weeks and I've eventually realised what it is: It has been an absolute age since I've posted here. This is a situation I intend to rectify, so for now, a very brief bloggy update:

  • I'm wondering whether to drop the 'how many weeks I've been trying to be a runner for' titling of my blogs, since after my twenty weeks in the 'wilderness' of not-blogging, I have returned actually considering…

Added by Ben Brewer on January 17, 2014 at 9:02am — 4 Comments

Week 74

So, last week I set out on my Cool Impossible and kind of, sort of achieved... something. I don't mean to spoil the end of this post, but I set out to run 130 miles and ended up running 75 and I'm happy with that :)

I know I've waffled on about what the plan was on here before, but just to recap, I set out to run the 130 miles between my place in Barnstaple and my brother's apartment in Bristol. It wasn't part of a race or anything too organised, just something I kind of…


Added by Ben Brewer on August 27, 2013 at 4:53am — 9 Comments

Week 73

Today's the day to run and I've decided I'm not going to say a lot about it; instead, here's something that George Mallory said about the eternal 'why?' of adventure:

“People ask me, 'What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?' and my answer must at once be, 'It is of no use.' There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever.

Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our…


Added by Ben Brewer on August 17, 2013 at 2:41am — No Comments

Week 71

This is going to probably be my last blog post before I take off to run 130 miles on the 17th; my head's full of a lot of running and preparation at the moment and although I'd love to be writing about all of it, I need to concentrate on living it first!

I'm as prepared as I'm going to be and I think I've just about found the right frame of mind for it. Physically, I've run 26, 30 and 44 milers at the same sort of pace that I need to run to come close to finishing…


Added by Ben Brewer on August 5, 2013 at 9:01am — 4 Comments

Week 68.5

Things are getting pretty busy and focused at the minute, since I'm within the final five week countdown to my Cool Impossible; my 130-miler from my home in Barnstaple to Bristol. I wanted to post something up to keep anyone who's reading my posts updated, especially since from here on in, I'll probably not be posting too much until after the big day.

Since I ran the 44 miles of my last post back in May, I've been managing to keep up a pretty consistent amount of running and…


Added by Ben Brewer on July 16, 2013 at 4:48am — No Comments

Week 58.5

I can't really properly describe how I feel about myself now, because I'm not entirely sure I know. On Sunday I ran 44 miles, finding some very good things within myself along the way, but I still don't think it's properly sunk in.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I ran around 27 miles to the start line of a new local race, a 17-mile cross country called the Hartland Hartbreaker. I was feeling not so much nervous as…


Added by Ben Brewer on May 7, 2013 at 5:02am — 2 Comments

Week 57

I'm now within a week of my first unofficial 'training' ultra and in the meantime I've become 'oh, you're him' to the other runners that I'm coming across. I think at this point, 'him' is a bit of a figure of gentle mickey-taking and disbelief rather than anything too esteemed just yet, but it's still a bit unnerving to go to a race and be greeted with 'are you the guy who's running to Bristol?' every five minutes.

While the …


Added by Ben Brewer on April 29, 2013 at 7:09am — 2 Comments

Week 56

Yeah, yeah, yeah, runner-for-more-than-a-year... What's next? :)

After my last post, I've run two half-marathon races and learned a few things (as always), but I still feel like I want to keep this post brief. Whereas last time's was a sort of retrospective where I didn't mind talking about what I'd been up to, this time around I feel like I'm definitely in more of a 'just want to be doing it' frame of mind. I think I know a reason for this, but I'll get to that in a…


Added by Ben Brewer on April 23, 2013 at 3:28pm — 1 Comment

Week 53.5

Holy cow, I've been a runner for more than a year.

Way back, I'd imagined that my 52-week blog post would have been a big event; a romantic retrospective of a year's progression from a complete novice to actually calling myself a capital-R 'Runner'. In my mind's eye, I'd write about all the lessons I've learned - all the recovery methods tried, all the nipples chafed, all the sunsets seen and distances covered... in reality, I've spent the ten weeks since my last…


Added by Ben Brewer on April 4, 2013 at 3:18am — 4 Comments

Week 44

My legs ache. However, it's nice that for the first time in a while, they ache in the right way. Yesterday involved a ten-mile 'undulating' race around the countryside that was the culmination of a January where I've been paying a lot of attention to my running (cf: 'I'm not a real runner', circa July 2012) and I think it's paying off.

The first couple of weeks of the new year involved me being very careful with my running anyway, after a nagging sort of injury to the side of…


Added by Ben Brewer on January 28, 2013 at 7:39am — No Comments

Week 41

It is a happy new year so far :) I think the last time I wrote a blog, I'd just run my first solo marathon-length run through 'undulating' territory; since then I've been enjoying running shorter distances like a new man (for want of a less clichéd expression). Well, almost entirely since then - the last week or so I've had a bit of a nigging tendon (it feels like) pain just outside and below my left knee so I'm planning to rest up for about another week before getting back…


Added by Ben Brewer on January 5, 2013 at 3:14am — No Comments

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The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton

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