Welcome to ‘Getting to know…’ number 20. Mary shares below her running journey. She is also instrumental in the set up of my local Parkrun, so I will be forever grateful to her for that.
I am pretty impressed that I have managed to put 20 of these interviews together. I love reading all about other runners and their journeys, I hope you do too.
I can’t make them without runners, so if you fancy taking part, please do get in contact. Sharing these posts on your own social media could also help us attract more people to get involved. Also, if you have missed any of the previous interviews, you can find them here.The piece of advice I always end up giving is to cut your toenails before a long run! It’s not pretty if you forget!!! @ahealthiermoo Click To Tweet
Originally a teacher, but since my son turned one at the end of 2017 I’ve been working a mix of nightshifts in a supermarket and completing freelance web work for a few companies around life as Mum.
How long have you been running?
I first began running in Spring 2011, so nearly 10 years now. I can’t remember not being a runner anymore!
What made you start running?
I moved two hours away from all my family and friends for my first teaching position. My then-boyfriend (now-husband) was unable to find a job down here immediately so I was on my own and spent a lot of time travelling at weekends as well as sitting at a desk in the evenings, getting on top of my new career. I ended up putting on three stone in a very short space of time.
One weekend I saw a beginner running group advertised in the next town and decided to give it a go…
Why do you run now?
I run to remain fit and healthy and to ensure that I am a good role model for a young son.
What was your last event?
I ran the Stour Valley Path 50k on the 15th August. It was only my second event this year – the first being Stafford Half Marathon two weeks before the country went into lockdown.
What is your next event?
My next event should be the Autumn 100 on the 10th October all being well. It will be my second 100-mile event and although I’m looking forward to it I’m rather nervous about the lack of long training races I’ve been able to use as part of my training in the build-up to race day.
Favourite thing about running?
I love that everybody can have different goals. It’s not all about being the fastest runner in the group – everybody can set a new PB or run a different distance, or try out different terrain. There are so many different ways to challenge yourself as a runner.
Worst thing about running?
Struggling to fit as many miles as I would like around family life.
What one piece of advice would you give to a beginner?
The piece of advice I always end up giving is to cut your toenails before a long run! It’s not pretty if you forget!!!
Best piece of advice given to you?
Just keep moving forward. Don’t stop at the aid stations – grab and go!.
Favourite race distance?
Anything between 35-50 miles. I like being able to think tactically during an event. I’m not the fastest runner by a long way, but I know my body and I enjoy the challenge of working out when to eat/drink/which hills to walk/etc. Get it wrong and it can destroy your race!.
Funniest thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
I was once out running at night across a footpath with a few friends. I had turned around to have a chat as I was running and the next thing I knew, I was waist-deep in water. It was a very deceptive puddle – very much Vicar of Dibley style! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JqkLc1Xf8Q
Most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you whilst running?
I don’t really embarrass too easily…
Not really embarrassing, but it made me feel a little cringy when a friend kept announcing to everyone that I was ‘milking myself’ all the way around South Downs Way 50!
On average, how many miles do you run per month?
Usually 100-120. It varies as I’ve recently started incorporating more cross-training.
Do you belong to a running club?
Yes, Wellingborough & District Athletic Club.
Do you do any other forms of exercise in addition to running?
I usually walk for about 2-3 hours daily and I also complete HIIT workouts 5 days a week..
Favourite pre-race/pre-long run meal?
The night before I always have a pizza. Vegetarian, with ALL the toppings. The more, the better!.
Favourite post-run meal?
I really struggle to eat after a hard run, but if it’s a hot day I’m all about a KFC Malteser Krushem!.
Do you have any superstition?
I always retie my trainer laces when standing on the start line. It’s a habit now, I don’t even realise I’m doing it!.
What is your biggest achievement sport wise?
Running my first 50-mile race six months after having my son. I needed to stop to pump milk on the way around!.
If you were granted one wish related to running, what would it be?
To have more time to be able to fit it all in!.
This or That
Early Morning Run or Evening Run – done & dusted!
Tea or Coffee – neither can I chose hot chocolate instead?
Winter Running or Summer Running – more daylight options with more route options
Solo running or Running with Friends – I have really missed running with friends during this pandemic 🙁
Road Running or Trail Running – All day long!
Dog or Cat – Mine is hilarious
Miles or Kilometres – When people tell me their KM splits it confuses me!
Run with someone chatty or run with someone silent – otherwise, I would be worrying that they were expecting me to fill the silence!
Run with no sock or run with no underwear– I couldn’t be dealing with blisters on my feet and there’s always Body Glide for everywhere else! 😉
Run a hilly 5k or flat 10k – Flat courses do not suit me.
Run a hilly 10K or flat half marathon – although that distance…ugh!
Run a hilly Half Marathon or Flat Marathon – Hilly half, although the marathon would count towards my 100 total, so it’s a close call…
Run a hilly Marathon or Flat Ultra Marathon – A flat ultra would be painful!
Run as much as you want on the treadmill or only run once a week outside – Running is so much better outside!