Name – Helen
Age – 31
Run England Run Leader, ultra runner, rubbish blogger, gluten free cake nibbler and cheese addict? #BibRavePro Ambassador
Goals for 2016…
Marathon – GFA – Sub 3.45,
Half Marathon – Sub 1.44,
10km – Sub 44 minutes,
5km sub 22 minutes
I have been running for over 7 years, I have run 6 marathons, 1 ultra marathon (70 miles) and more half marathons and 10km races than I can count! I am a qualified England Athletics (UKA) Leader in Running Fitness.
I started running 2008, inspired by watching my flat mate, Ellie, run the Manchester 10km. There was a brilliant atmosphere and excitement at the race, I wanted to be a part of it too. I decided I would sign up and run the race next year to rise money for charity in memory of Jeff, my Mums partner who had recently died of cancer. Jeff was a runner too and I carried has photo with my at every race – until it disintegrated!
Back in the beginning I would run between lampposts on a route that went from my front door round the block twice and back home, wearing completely unsuitable gym shoes and a pair of reincarnated jogging pants – back in action after previous having been retired to pj’s . I didn’t have a stop watch, I would check the time on the TV as I left the house and would rush back in after the run to look at the time on the TV again to see how long it had taken me. I would purposely run after work or early, weekend mornings to avoid being spotted by anyone. I hated going out on my own but didn’t want any of my friends or family to see me. I would avoid pushing myself too hard for fear of looking like I was struggling. The hardest step was getting out of the front door, having to overcoming the battle in my head to even get started. I eventually purchased some proper running kit and a stopwatch and ran my first 10km in May 2009 – finishing in 62 minutes.
My first race day was brilliant; I had never experienced anything like it, the nervous-excited feeling waiting at the start line, the physical and emotional fight to make it to the end along with the overwhelming sense of achievement as I crossed the finish line. I was hooked! I finally found something I could work at and become better at. I was never a great fan of P.E at school and a with just a few failed attempts to get into going to the gym as a student meant I wasn’t in the greatest shape, however here was something I could do, something I, most of the time, enjoyed doing.
Running brought other benefits to my life other than the obvious advantages such as improved fitness and weight loss. Running taught me discipline, mental strength, determination and confidence. I learnt how to be disciplined and developed the mental strength to get me out of bed in a morning to run, and to keep running when it gets tough. I learnt determination to improve and not to fear failure. These new skills have also helped me to improve other areas of my life, both at work and in my personal life.
Fast forward seven years to now, I am once again training for another marathon, this year I am running the London Marathon on 24th April. I was hoping to finally get a good for age time but after being diagnosed with blood clots/DVT in my left calf a few weeks ago my new mission is to make it to the end in one piece!
I’ve run more 10 km races than I can count, lots of half marathons and lots 5kms. My love of running has taken me abroad, I ran the Amsterdam Half in 2011 and The Budapest Half in 2012. It’s not been an easy 7 years I’ve suffered setbacks and injuries, I’ve had to learn the hard way about the importance of correct running shoes and running form; I’ve been told on several occasions by different doctors that I will not be able to run again, luckily I didn’t pay too much attention to them! 4 years ago I damaged my knees to the point I had to learn how to run again from scratch, it was a hard, slow process but if you want to succeed at something enough, you make it happen.
Looking forward my aims for the future are; a Good For Age Marathon qualifying time and a sub 44 minutes 10km. I’d also like to run Paris and New York marathons.
People often ask if I get bored whilst out running and what do I think about for so long; the answer is no, I don’t get bored. I do enjoy the opportunity to spend some time in my own company and running is usually the only chance I get to do so, however I don’t run to escape I run to peruse my goals. I think about how I’m going to make it through the next mile and what I am going to do in order to push myself harder to achieve my goals
Not being able to run for the bus is not an excuse not to try but the perfect reason to lace up your trainers a start with a gentle run/walk around the block