Welcome to ‘Getting to know…’ number 10. This week you can find out all about Lana. Lana is one of the super positive runners that I follow on Instagram. She works hard to achieve speedy times and manages to still look glamorous in race photos!
If you have missed any of the previous interviews, you can find them here.
How long have you been running?
7 years with a three-year gap in the middle to have babies.
What made you start running?
I entered VLM 2014 on a whim – I wanted to raise money for Cure Parkinsons Trust (my uncle has Parkinson’s Disease), and as a non-runner knew lots of people would donate if I said I was going to attempt a marathon. Never in a million years did I think I would get in with my first attempt.
Why do you run now?
I fell in love with running whilst training for the marathon. I really didn’t enjoy the first few months, but over time something changed and now it is my release. My alone time and my true passion. I am no good at ‘stopping’ or having time out for me, running has allowed me that. I love the freedom of it, and I love exploring new places. The buzz after a great run is addictive.
What was your last event?
Cambridge half marathon on March 3rd. I got a PB of 1hr 42.04 and was over the moon – I was training for a Marathon and genuinely never believed I could do that kind of time. It’s definitely boosted my confidence to try and push beyond my comfort zone (I have always had the fear of running faster!)
What is your next event?
It was meant to be VLM2020 – yes I managed to get in on the ballot again haha!
Favourite thing about running?
I can do it practically anywhere, anytime, as long as I have my trainers.
Worst thing about running?
Getting injured. I have only been injured once before, but currently nursing a poorly knee and although I am meant to run on it to help it heal, it’s not fun at the moment!
What one piece of advice would you give to a beginner?
Don’t worry about your pace. Focus on slowing down because I guarantee, however “slow” you think you are going, you would be able to run for a bit longer if you slowed down more.
Best piece of advice given to you?
Focus on the mile you’re in (I used this in Cambridge half when I questioned finishing at all at mile 7!)
Favourite race distance?
Marathon or ultra. I am definitely mentally more suited to running longer (and slower). I have recently done better across the shorter distances but definitely find the mental battle and the pushing hard from the start difficult.
Funniest thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
I have seen more than I wished for when passing a man running in just a mankini and flipflops
Most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
I was running 45 miles on the North Chiltern Trail with some friends as one of my first Ultra distances, in preparation for London to Brighton (furthest I had covered before then was 30 miles). Halfway we stopped at the car to grab some food and water – and I munched on a whole bag of Hula hoops. As soon as we started again I felt so ill, a lump in my throat, I couldn’t run a step without feeling awful. I felt so bad I made my friends go ahead and told them I’d catch them up. I proceeded to vomit into the bush, then made my way off again! Thankfully, I was fine after that but it certainly taught me a lesson on fuelling for long runs.
I also got caught giving an 8(ish) year old lad the dirtiest look mid-way through my second marathon. He had the audacity to shout “keep going your lost there” (I was not). Little did I know there was a photographer snapping away!
On average, how many miles do you run per month?
Before my injury I was averaging about 150 a month – it was increasing with the build and dropped to about 120/130 in lockdown!
Do you belong to a running club?
I am a member of Running Colchester, though I have never actually met with them for a run! I love being on their Facebook page and they are currently doing lots of challenges to keep everyone focused. I am a bit of a lone runner really and like to train by myself most of the time.
Do you do any other forms of exercise in addition to running?
I do one or two strength and conditioning sessions a week (and had a regular PT prior to lockdown). I have also just started using the turbo trainer and am using these bike sessions to compliment my training whilst my knee starts to improve.
Favourite pre-race/pre-long run meal?
Pre long runs, I don’t tend to think about it really, but pre-race I have started to eat Pizza. I am not a massive Pizza fan but I did it once, it worked, and I have kind of stuck with it!
Favourite post-run meal?
Curry and a large glass of red!
Do you have any superstition?
I guess the pizza-eating could be classed as one?!!. Honestly, I don’t really have superstitions, but I am very much someone who likes to have everything prepared the day before the race. It’s all in the preparation
What is your biggest achievement sport wise?
Winning an out and back 6 hr timed event last year. I had aimed to just do about 20 miles and run for a few hours as part of my training – I ended up doing almost 33 miles in 5hr 21 and was the person to run the furthest. I think its the first and only times I will win anything running and it took me a while to really appreciate that I should be proud of myself.
If you were granted one wish related to running, what would it be?
To never be injured again!
This or That
Early Morning Run or Evening Run
Tea or Coffee
Winter Running or Summer Running
Solo running or Running with Friends
Road Running or Trail Running
Dog or Cat
Miles or Kilometres
Run with someone chatty or run with someone silent
Run with no sock or run with no underwear
Run a hilly 5k or flat 10k
Run a hilly 10K or flat half marathon
Run a hilly Half Marathon or Flat Marathon
Run a hilly Marathon or Flat Ultra Marathon
Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only run once a week outside.