After running the Chantry Canter with Michele back in May I was inspired to start this new section on my blog. I love hearing other peoples running stories, it is so inspiring and motivating to hear other peoples reasons to run so I thought that I would use my blog to share some of those stories. I aim to share new stories once or twice a month.
As Michele helped inspired this section she had to be the first so here it is:
What made you get into running?
I’d had a challenging few years where I was working full time as a therapeutic radiographer and bringing up my 3 children as a single parent. I had some time off work for stress and it seemed I was no longer in control of anything. I decided to sign up to a mud run as it was different and the obstacles would break up the running as I felt I could never run 10k by itself. I convinced a few colleagues to join me and I haven’t looked back.
What has been your proudest/best running moment?
It is hard to quantify what my proudest moment has been as there have been so many. Every time I sign up to a race I have a sense of pride as a couple of years ago I would never have imagined ever doing it. Every race brings with it a new experience, whether it’s a longer distance or a steeper hill or hailstones and cross winds at the top of Beachy Head.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
My biggest challenge and maybe one I won’t achieve was signing up to Race to the Kings ultra marathon non stop after only one year of running. I may end up with my first DNF but I’m also rather stubborn, so watch this space. My first marathon was 6 months into my new found love of running and obviously it made perfect sense to pick a coastal trail in Autumn, which was actually further than 26.2miles ! I completed it, all be it slowly and with some comical stories involving cyclists with go pros and my naked bottom! On that occasion my biggest challenge was trying to exit my friends lotus sports car. It wasn’t pretty and resulted in me rolling out until the kerb stopped me.
Who is your inspiration, and why?
Everytime I read an amazing blog or Twitter feed about the distances or terrain people have run I am inspired. Equally my 3 children inspire me as the challenges and achievements I do show my daughters how they are also able to achieve anything they work hard at. My love for shiny medals comes from a lack of encouragement as a child to try new things. I want my daughters to have the drive and confidence to do anything they desire; when I’m exhausted and wet running through knee high mud that is what makes me complete and finish.
What are your future goals?
As I approach my first ultra marathon I want to look at fine tuning my race strategy and work at reducing the amount of races I run and concentrate on the quality of my results. I’m never going to be the fastest 42 year old but I want to knock off a few minutes here and there. Running has given me a reason to explore our wonderful country and rather embarrassingly I have been to places for races that I’d never visited before and probably wouldn’t have considered. Liverpool for example was amazing and I will definitely return. I would also like to race abroad for a couple of reasons.
What would be your advice to somebody looking to start running?
My one piece would be to just give it a go, don’t worry about how you look, where you’ll finish, can you do it? Ask yourself “do you want to?” You know the answer is yes. It’s your race, not anybody else’s, you own it so enjoy. My first solo half marathon was scary, nobody to chat to at the start, or so I thought. People who run are friendly.
What’s your favourite thing about running?
My favourite thing about running is knowing it makes me feel stronger than I could ever imagine. I remember completing my first ever half marathon and thinking “I can run ! I am a runner!” That transfers into your normal daily lives, the sense of confidence and strength. Running is far better than any anti depressant.
You can follow Michele on Twitter HERE