After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
Running has been a massive part of my life for 30 years and has helped to define who I am. It’s something I’m passionate about, gives a focus to my life, enables me to meet people and make new friends, gives me fantastic opportunities to travel all over the world and means I can eat cake! What more motivation could I want?! I’m extremely proud of everything I’ve achieved so far, but I believe there is still more to come and I don’t want to end up later in life regretting not having tried harder now. I want to make the most of my talent, and the opportunities it gives me, while I still can.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
My training is such an integral part of my life, like eating, sleeping or going to work, that I just don’t give myself a choice. The hardest part is always getting out of the front door and I do struggle sometimes, especially when it’s freezing cold, raining and dark, but I know that in order to achieve my goals I have to put in the work. Success comes from hard work and dedication.
On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?
I usually run 6 days a week. My mileage varies according to what I’m training for and can be anything from 60 to 100 miles a week. My highest ever week was 140 miles, but that was a one-off!
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
When I was running for Great Britain in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon it was quite windy and the volunteers at one of the drinks stations decided it would be a good idea to tape my drink bottle to the table to stop it blowing away! As I ran past and tried to grab my bottle it stayed firmly stuck to the table! My coach had been given permission to cycle round the course and he saw what had happened, He quickly extricated my bottle to try and get it to me, but unfortunately a spectator stepped out in front of him and he went over the handlebars and ended up on the ground. The spectator was fine, but I’m sorry to say my coach suffered a broken arm. And I never did get my drink!
What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?
During long runs and races it’s High5 energy drinks and electrolyte drinks. I’ve been using High5 for years and it suits my stomach well. I’ve also just started using Tailwind drinks which I also like as they’re slightly less sweet. And I love GU energy gels. They have some fabulous flavours; I particularly like the Salted Caramel one! That means that I always look forward to them, even in the latter stages when I don’t always feel like taking anything on. I also enjoy Clif bars and my homemade flapjack, and Hula-Hoops for a savoury change from all the sweet stuff! The rest of the time I just eat a healthy, balanced diet with a mix of carbs, protein, fruit and vegetables.
What's your favorite cheat food & drink?
Cake and chocolate, and an occasional glass of wine. I’m not obsessive about diet and don’t count calories, but do try to be a bit disciplined and am good at resisting the temptation of the cakes and biscuits that seem to appear at work every day!
Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?
Depends what you mean by ‘like’?!! Yes, I do have ice baths after long runs. Regardless of whether or not the evidence says they have any benefit, they definitely seem to make my legs feel better afterwards. I don’t particularly enjoy them at the time though!!
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Patience and perseverance. Whatever your goals are they won’t happen overnight, but stick at it and believe in yourself and you will reap the rewards. Always listen to your body. Better to take a day or two off with a niggle or illness than to ignore it and end up having months off. Finally, always run with a smile!
What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?
I have so many highlights, for many different reasons, but I think my favourite is winning the bronze medal in the 2013 European 100KM Championships in Belves, France. I was running for Great Britain and it was such a proud and emotional moment to stand on the podium and watch the Union Flag being raised at the medal ceremony. It was especially satisfying as it was only my second attempt at the distance. I’d learnt a big lesson about pacing in my first attempt, and this time timed it perfectly, moving into the bronze medal position at 99KM!
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