Running with ZOMBIES! GASP!


Today I thought I’d mix it up and try out the Zombies, Run! app.

I really like the idea of playing a game as you run, listening to a story build up around you as you puff away. Zombies, Run! is like an audio play, so you jog along and listen to the story unfolding. You don’t have to plan any directions or follow any instructions, apart from ‘Speed Up!’ when the zombies are nearby. The app tracks your pace for a bit and then it can tell when you’re speeding up, so if you don’t speed up at all at certain points, the zombies will get you!

My strategy was to run this at a slow, comfy pace so when the zombies started chasing me I would have a bit extra in the tank to escape. However, I was a bit confused as to when to speed up for the Zombie Chases throughout the workout… and although I felt I didn’t speed up that much in chase 1, I evaded the zombies, but on the second chase, where I did feel as though I sped up a fair bit, I was caught and I dropped a water bottle (in game, not real.) Maybe practice will improve my zombie-avoiding technique.

The app syncs with your music, which is great because there are periods where nothing in the story is happening as you journey from checkpoint to checkpoint. I feel that I may need to make a separate Zombie Jogging Playlist though, as having the theme from Rocky 2 blasting in your ears as a terrified scientist screams at you that a horde of zombies are coming are two worlds that should never come crashing together. The game worked a lot better when I was listening to more atmospheric, intense stuff, like this most excellent Synth Epic by Carpenter Brut.

Still, Zombies, Run! does add another fun element to running. I even ran an extra mile as I wasn’t sure when the mission would end. I think the first mission was a 5k, but the characters kept talking so I kept going. I almost feel as though I’ve been cheated into running 4 miles today. But I guess that is a good thing…

I’ll run a few more missions and see if any interesting developements happen. And maybe consider a darker, more intense music playlist!



New Paper Grumpy Jogger #11- Nick C!


It’s Nick C!!!


Nick is training for the imminent Maratona di Roma so lately his Nike+ miles have been just a little insane (read: a lot insane). I don’t know for sure if his wardrobe is 100% Nike but in the photo he sent he was sporting this rather fetching sweatband so I wanted to co-ordinate the rest of his outfit too. I believe he has run the Paris Marathon before this, so you can tell he’s a serious running dude. Good luck for April 10th!

Nick is raising money for Help For Heroes, you can sponsor him here! 


If you want to become a Mini Paper Grump and join the world’s coolest (and most 2 dimensional) running club, either friend me on Nike+ (Kat Dirk) or tweet/send me a photo of you grumping hard after your jog workout.


Wind rain and hail, thumbsup.


I watched the full documentary on Eddie Izzard’s 27 Marathons in 27 days and then felt guilty about putting off my weedly little 5k because of a little rain. So I went out and at about 0.5 miles in the little rain became big rain which then became big hail so I sheltered under a bridge for a bit and then decided ‘what the hell’ and carried on grumping.

I passed a guy out running in the downpour, gave him a thumbs up and he gave me a smile and nod back. RUNNER’S ACCEPTANCE. I’m totally in the club now. I’m sometimes a bit unsure about waving/smiling/acknowledging other runners when I’m out, don’t really want to break into their workout or be that weirdo that waves like a goon at someone minding their own business. Heaven knows I detest being yelled at by the general public when I run. Obviously cat calls are infuriating and stupid, but even the rare occasion I get encouragement from an ambling passer-by my automatic feeling is WHATEVER MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THIS FEELS IM BURNING TO DEATH HERE. But the rare occasion I do get a nod or a smile from another jogger I feel cool with it. We’re in the same club, you know. We know the pain. I can respect that.

So, yeah, it was hella rainy. I actually  prefer running in the rain a lot more than in the sun. The sun is the worst. Lots of rain makes for hilarious post run pics too:




Mini Paper Grump no. 10: Lisa D!!!


It’s Lisa D!!!


This is exciting because Lisa is the first person in the Mini Paper Grump Club who I haven’t met in person. We met through a mutual appreciation of the coffee shop KIN + ILK on Twitter. Follow her here. (Quick side note about KIN + ILK, it’s a very nice creative-friendly place, do check it out.)

Lisa is an awesomely committed runner who recently owned it at the Cardiff Half Marathon last Saturday despite, and I quote: “much sideways hail in the face.” (We all know how bad the weather got at some points on Saturday, it’s why I included a cloud in the grumpy drawing.)

She finished in an amazing time of 02:08:06! Amazing work! She is raising money for the Cardiff and Vale Health Charity. If you can spare a few bob, it is a most worthwhile cause.

If you want to become a Mini Paper Grump and join the world’s coolest (and most 2 dimensional) running club, either friend me on Nike+ (Kat Dirk) or tweet/send me a photo of you grumping hard after your jog workout. I have a few more joggers to draw and then I’ve worked through my backlog, so get running folks! Peace!


Slow run but WE SAW A KITTY.


This last week has given me somewhat of a hammering but that’s no excuse to not go out grumpy jogging! I was hoping yesterday’s Cardiff World Half Marathon would provide me with some run-spiration, and I planned to run a 5k along the barrage the next day knowing that less  than 24 hours earlier all these folks had bravely run along it too:


Shout outs to Neill C and Lisa D who ran the Half: amazing run-work, folks! I tip my grumpy hat to you both.

Back to today’s much less impressive jog outing… I had a Run Bud Rob with me, and both of us found the wind to be a bitter, bitter enemy to fight with. He stayed with me for the first mile but managed to pick up the pace, I however started off fairly slow and only got slower. This run was nothing but a slow, stitchy, windy mess- but now it’s over and I never have to run it again.


Just walked right in front of us whilst we were jogging up the road and demanded attention. Like HEY HUMANS I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE EXERCISING I NEED TO BE PETTED RIGHT NOW. What a cutie.

When I got home my phone was all abuzz, I have now reached the ‘Green’ level of Nike+, which means I have covered 250k! Wahey- an achievement.


Post run selfie Grump level: High




Mini Paper Grump No. 9! Matt P!


MINI PAPER GRUMP NO. 9: Here’s Matt!


Matt has already run over 50 miles this month so you can tell he’s the kind of guy who’s not messing about. He also has the coolest running shoes ever- super colourful! It’s always a pleasure (and helpful nudge to go out and run) to log in to Nike+ and see Matt P piling up the miles!

If you want to become a Mini Paper Grump and join the world’s coolest (and most 2 dimensional) running club, either friend me on Nike+ (Kat Dirk) or send me a photo of you grumping hard after your jog workout.



Bad day at work, good day at run. PB!!!


You know when you have those days when you doubt your skills, do shit work despite your best efforts, can’t seem to make any progress, have a computer crash on you multiple times, cry whilst eating your lunch, wallow in self-pity, you know those kind of days? I had one of those days today. Oh my word. If every day was like that I would have given up on my day job about 10 years ago. Luckily not every day is like that, and tomorrow is a new one.

After being hammered by work, I went out for a therapy run. My goal was basically to go out to have a break from all the sitting in front of a computer and crying I had done today. It was wonderful. So wonderful in fact I got a new 5k PB! WHOO! Congratulatory selfie imminent:


Lovely evening, lots of runners around, in fact I had to run through a whole running group who were coming from the opposite direction. Like a graceful herd of gazelle they were. Me, more like a grumpy but determined rhino.

A bad thing is that my right calf is still niggly. I’ve been trying to stretch it a lot. When I’m lazing around or walking about it’s fine, but it seems when I go running it starts complaining again. Hmm…

Side note: Look at my new pretty SUPER PAAAAANK shoes. SO PINK. Not my choice of colour but apparently the best supportive ones for my one neutral foot and one pronate-y foot.



2nd Day of Spring. Hurty leg.


Think I need to rest my leg… think I may have picked up my first running injury of this year! GASP! I sprained my calf a little on the 6 mile run last week and each time I think it’s all healed I go for a run and afterwards it makes itself known. This time it was complaining whilst I was out running… definite rest day tomorrow. I did a mix of slow, a bit less slow and sprint-y bits today in the GLORIOUS spring morning. Joyful weather day. Not a joyful running day though. Mostly hard going and leg ache-y. Boo.



Sport Relief 5k!

PRE-BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT! I have set up a new Twitter account for all solely Grumpy Jogger related things. Please follow @grumpyjogger to keep updated with these blog posts, drawings of my fellow grumpy runners, and anything else I can possibly think of related to jogging.

20.03.2016 -SPORT RELIEF!

This was a very last minute, spur-of-the-moment run. I was suddenly free on Sunday so booked a place for myself and Rob on Friday for the 3 mile Sport Relief run. We set up a charity team page and through the wonderful generosity of our friends and family managed to raise just over £100! Which is truly awesome- thank you very very much, you wonderful folk.

WE INTERRUPT FOR SOME GRUMPY JOGGER NOSTALGIA: The Sport Relief Mile was the THE VERY FIRST running event I ever took part in, way back in 2002. My buddy Gaz joined me for a nice casual mile around Victoria Park in Bristol, and I will never forget five minutes before we started he ate a massive pasty from Greggs. What a guy. 


Rob pre-run. He doesn’t look that inspired.

Back to the present. The day was grey, chilly- perfect running conditions for someone who heats up like an overclocked kiln and can’t keep their temperature in control such as myself. Rob and I had decided that baggage was for fools so we went to the run without any bags or coats. It was worth it during the run, I wasn’t dying from overheating, but afterwards when I cooled down I was veeerrrrry cold. I demanded a Chai latte to keep me alive as we headed home.

The event was organised well, this was clearly not Sport Relief’s first rodeo. I liked how they split the runners into ‘waves’. I did a Race for Life a few years ago in Bute Park that was so over-crowded you were forced to walk the first half mile. This was a much better way of doing things. Though I was a little confused that the 1, 5 and 6 mile runners all set off at the same time, and no instructions were given as to how many laps we had to do. Maybe they did announce it beforehand but I didn’t hear it. I know it’s easy to tell the difference between 1 mile and 3 miles but what if some poor person who hadn’t run a mile before saw that people weren’t finishing on the first lap and ended up doing 2 or 3 laps? It would be a very British joggy thing to do, keep running to not make waves, and I bet someone did it!

I lost sight of my run bud Rob after the first half mile, so just concentrated on keeping a good pace for me. I have to mention the HERO lady I noticed was running alongside me from about 1.5 miles to the end. She really kept me going. She had awesome pigtails and a few tattoos, and a cool jogging outfit. Halfway through I was starting to struggle, so I made a deal with myself to keep up with her. I wonder if she made the same deal about me. We jogged next to each other for nearly quarter of an hour. In this time I believe we shared a special bond rooted in jog-pain, although we didn’t say a word or even look at each other.

I nudged in front of her right at the end, and when I hit the finish line I looked out for her to thank her for being my 5k coach, but you know what? SHE HAD DISAPPEARED. It turns out she was a ghost, a wandering spirit who had lost her way the previous Sport Relief and has been haunting Bute Park ever since. No, not really. This champion lady was actually doing the 6 mile race, so despite me battling tooth and nail to keep pace with her to finish my 5k, she was only halfway through her challenge when I was getting my sweet Sport Relief medal. Godspeed, that lady. You were my inspiration.

Apart from being really really really cold at the finish, there wasn’t that much to grump about this run. It was tough, I wheezed, I thought a lady was a ghost, I got cut up a bit by a dog. But overall it was pretty cool. I got a time of 29’40” (pretty cool) and Rob managed a 27’20” (whizz-city.)






Wow, TWO Mini Paper Grumps in one day?!?! It must be Christmas! I actually have a back log of joggers to get through, which is very exciting! Keep sending me your post run photos, they fill me with so much glee!

I had a day off today so… time to catch up on drawing.



Kirsty just ran the Bath Half Marathon like an absolute badass. I’m not sure if you can still sponsor her but anyway, here’s her fundraising page. She sent me a few amazing post work out selfies looking quite confused and blown about by some horrendous weather. Also she ran the Bath Half dressed as SHE-RA. YES.



Hannah has the most awesome running leggings ever. I didn’t do them justice in this pic. I want a pair. She also sent me one of the most grumpiest post jog selfies, it was truly epic. She often runs whilst listening to classical music but since we have been talking about running I have managed to convince her to add a bit of The Prodigy in there too. 😉

Actually, if any of you are interested, I am currently working on a Grumpy Jogger Playlist. Feel free to follow it and listen at will, and suggest songs too!

If you want to become a Mini Paper Grump and join the world’s coolest (and most 2 dimensional) running club, either friend me on Nike+ (Kat Dirk) or send me a photo of you grumping hard after your jog workout.