Why did you start running?
I had run a bit in the past but life had become very hectic at work and home so it was always the thing I let slip. My weight ballooned and three years ago I decided enough was enough. I had seen The Pink Ladies around town and inquired about joining but I put off the day until January 2013. When I weighed myself, I wasn’t surprised but I was horrified. I knew I had to commit to exercising regularly and simply get on with it.
How did you start running?
I joined HRT on 6th January 2013 in the 3 mile Saturday morning group. I felt petrified but well supported.
Valerie “ran” the three mile route with me and I struggled with every step. I was at the back of the group and had a light-bulb moment. I simply decided I didn’t want to be at the back anymore in any aspect of my life. I wanted to find my own space and achieve something. My eldest son wrote me some rules which included running every week and running on my own to improve my self motivation
How does running make you feel?
Running makes me feel so many things, it’s hard to sum up. Initially, it gave me space to work a lot of things out in my mind (and it still does). It makes me feel completely liberated and happy. I love the rhythm of running, the conversations I have with the friends I’ve made and the supportive network I’m part of. But, I also enjoy running on my own and exploring the wonderful area we live in. Seeing the season’s change is magical. I also run wherever I travel and my HRT vest has been to Australia, France, Italy, Majorca, Scotland and numerous places in England!
You’ve lost a lot of weight since you started running more, how did you do this?
I combined running regularly with halving what I used to eat. I cut out nearly all sweet things and replaced meat with fish whenever possible. As the weight started to come off, I could run faster and further and this helped bring my weight down more – a virtual circle! I accepted plateaus and didn’t panic if my weight stayed the same for a month or so. I lost 3 stone in that year and have lost another stone since. My weight fluctuates about half a stone now but it’s under control which feels great.
What difference has the weight loss made to your running and how you feel generally?
The weight loss gave me confidence to enter races and take on challenges I never dreamed would be possible!
In terms of how I feel generally, I feel like the person I used to be. I’m about the same weight as when I got married – a bit heavier. People who haven’t seen me since then don’t think I’ve changed. People I haven’t seen for a few years don’t recognise me!
What do you feel is your greatest running achievement?
Running The British London 10k for a charity close to my heart. I was part of The Compassionate Friends’ team and set myself a goal to run under one hour. I think I did 58 minutes and raised £1300 for a very worthy cause.
Why did you decide to enter the London Marathon?
I ran the Reading Half in March and was thrilled with my time but vowed I would never run a marathon. Then I thought, why not? A work colleague ran it last year and said it was the best day of her life. She bought me the book “Running Like a Girl” and messaged me when entries were open. I didn’t get a ballot place but applied to a few charities I support. I’m now part of #teamprincestrust and training is underway. I’m excited and terrified in equal measure! Any support is welcome but I’m not actively seeking sponsorship until I’ve run 18 miles…
Anything else you think might motivate others to give running a go?
I wish I had discovered my love of running earlier. It has changed my life and if I can do it, believe me, anyone can!
Thank you so much Sarah for this fabulously motivating interview and good luck in the London Marathon.
Do you fancy joining us? http://www.runwithharri.co.uk