Back in January 2013 I was getting scarily overweight without really realising it! I mean, I knew I was no slim jim, but I didn’t realise quite how overweight I was! I weighed at 252lbs, not a healthy weight for by 5ft 7 frame!
My partner Kathleen is a keen runner and inspired me to get my act together! The local Parkrun in Carlisle had just started, so I decided to use that as my first achievement. 3.1 miles seemed a long way for me to run at that point in time! However after a bit of training on our treadmill I gave it a go! My first parkrun was hard going, but I really enjoyed it. Not just the sense of achievement, but I actually enjoyed running! Something else I had not banked on was the incredible support from other runners, I got a real sense that I was part of a really positive and supportive community!
From then on I was hooked on running! By the end of 2013 I had already run several 10k races plus a few 10 milers and half marathons!
I was enjoying road running, but was also venturing out onto the trails and fells, this was definitely where I was happier!
2014 saw me taking on some ridiculous challenges! I finished the year having run over 1200 miles including 14 marathons. The biggest challenge was running the full 84 miles of the Hadrian’s Wall path over three days with my good friend Sam! It had been an epic year! I raised money and awareness for Operation Turtle Dove throughout 2014.
I had even bigger plans for 2015! The plan was to run 2015 miles that would include 20 marathons (including a few ultras and the full lengh of Wainwright’s C2C)! Five marathons in to my challenge and things fell apart! I sustained a fairly bad stress fracture to my tibia which has forced me to cancel my remaining events for the year!
The forced rest has been very frustrating, but heal I must! It has given me time to think about what I have done and where I want to go!
Although I have achieved a fair amount in the few years I have been running, I still feel like I have just been playing at it! The marathons I have completed have always been a great personal achievements, but I don’t want to simply ‘survive’ every marathon I participate in! I have no ambitions to be truly competitive, but finishing an event mid-table rather than in the last ten or so has to be achievable sometime!
Distance running is the aspect of running that I most enjoy, especially on the trails and fells. However the two aspects that I think are impeding my progress are my weight and my running form. These are two aspects that I really need to work on!
I have battled with my weight for the past few years. Even though I have lost a few stone since I started running this seems to have plateaued. Something has to change!
I plan to run the 267 miles of the Pennine Way in 2018 to raise funds and awareness of Bipolar UK and the RSPB’s Hen Harrier Life project. You can find out more about my plans and donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runningthepennineway
Alternatively you can donate just to the Hen Harrier LIFE project here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HenHarriers