Helen’s Story

A little while ago Phil asked me if I would consider writing a blog about my journey since I have been training with him.

Obviously I said yes.  But have been struggling ever since for something to write about.  Then it occurred to me that it doesn’t really have to be about anything in particular it can just be about me. So here goes;

I have always enjoyed running.  When I moved to Warwick 10 years ago, after 12 months I needed to make friends.  By then I had started running myself, so when buying trainers one day I found a card for the Women’s Running Network.

I took a trip down to meet the first Tuesday I could, and, the first person I spoke to that evening has become a lifelong friend.

Fast forward a few years and I had joined forces with a few other friends and we set up Regency Runners; and running group for Ladies that mainly focused on beginners.

Fast forward another few years and I had not run (and barely exercised) at all for over 2 years due family commitments.  Which involved me eating lots of cake and using that as an excuse to expand – a lot.

Having a small baby doesn’t really work with running.  I had intentions of buying a running buggy but found time to do something for myself very difficult.  I underestimated how much being a new Mum would take out of me and totally didn’t realise how I would always end up at the bottom of the pile; after Mum, Wife, Employee, Student, Daughter, Friend ……

This, however was the making of me and I am not complaining for a second.  After 18 months it was possible for me to start running again and didn’t I grab this opportunity by both hands! For something that I mainly took for granted a few years previously now became one of the most precious moments of the week.  Although this remained something that I enjoy with friends now it was also my moment.  This was my stress reliever, my head space, my time and quite frankly my saviour.

WHY DO I RUN

A few years ago the answer would be to try and balance out a relatively unhealthy life style.  I gave up smoking in 2007, but worked hard, partied hard and had lots of nights away from home with Clients – which nearly always involved going to the pub.  I don’t regret it, I had a lot of fun!

Now the answer would be totally different.  I find a joy in running.  I like pushing myself.  I am amazed at how my body can keep going when I challenge it too.  I have changed my whole lifestyle to support this wonderful hobby.  But most of all I just love the fact that while I am running I think of nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  The only thing I think about is putting one foot in front of the other.

HOWEVER NONE OF THIS COMES WITHOUT A PRICE

Looking after a small daughter and husband, running a home, finding time for family and friends, working (and at the same time working for my husband’s business) is hard for all of us, we all have immensely busy pressurised lives now.  Throw training for an Ultra marathon into the mix and something has to give.  By sacrificing my sleep (yes sleep!! Agh!), I have found a satisfaction on getting up at the crack of dawn in all weathers and heading out for a run and being back before the family even wake up.  I have also learned to plan.  Plan sessions, plan meals, plan shopping which I can build into family life without constant disruption because “Mummy’s going running”. Being an early bird and list person had its advantages!

HELP ALONG THE WAY

None of this would have happened without Phil’s expertise and commitment to each of his Client’s individual goals.  Phil, by his own admission is not a runner.  But, as my trainer he took the time to design a plan for me and my goals.  I must admit a lot of what we started seemed pointless at first.  I mean if I want to get better I need to run right? NO.  I need to understand what my body needs to support my hobby in terms of strength, technique and diet.  Very recently this was proven to me after running Snowdonia Marathon.  With very little running training, and a LOT of strength training I bloody nailed it.  Head swells.  But hey why not? Considered to be one of the toughest marathons in the country my precious legs just kept on going.  And now my Ultra Marathon goal for my 40th birthday actually seems achievable ……

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Now I am 40 and I want to make it a big year.  When I first started training with Phil we talked about a goal; to run an Ultra Marathon. This year, my first Ultra Marathon will happen! Then I thought hell, why not just celebrate the whole year away!

January – The Holly Challenge Half Marathon

February – The Brighton Vitality Half Marathon

March – The Longhorn 10k Trail Run

April – Manchester Marathon where I will attempt a GFA time!

May – Liverpool Rock and Roll Marathon and Running Festival

June – 24 hour race – Endure 24 – Running this 24 hour event as a Pair with The Lozzatron (sister) – look out for #thetrons

July – Black Country Half Marathon

August – Bad Cow Weekender – double marathon

September – Thames Path 100km Ultra

October –Snowdonia Marathan

 

All this said, none of this is possible without the support of my husband, family and lovely friends – all of which give up their own time to sit my daughter while I am out on my jolly adventures.  NONE of this would be possible without Phil’s enthusiasm and the community he has built up of his Clients.

Thanks Phil for helping me change my attitude to my lifestyle.  With a few simple changes I am now fitter, healthier and more motivated than ever.  Yes I get tired, but I fill every single minute of every single day with the good stuff.  And still enjoy a glass of red wine or two.  Cheers.