Things didn’t go as planned. I did get up to the 10k distance of the run but, the week before, I badly sprained my ankle and had to pull out. It took a good couple of months before I could run again but I wasn’t put off and I continued running as soon as I could. Encouraged by my progress, I entered the Warwick Half Marathon 2014 and started building up the miles gradually in December. Unfortunately I came down with a flu virus in January and didn’t run for 5 weeks. I knew I needed a bit of extra support and guidance and so, on the recommendation of other runners in my group, I signed up for a series of sessions with Phil to build up my core strength.
Yet again things didn’t go as planned. As I had missed so many weeks of running, I built up the miles too quickly and I bought new trainers. The result? A stress fracture in my tibia a week before Warwick. I was devastated. I had also entered the Two Castles (again) and the Regency Run. Needless to say, I couldn’t run any of these events and was off running for four months, plus a further two as I had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and my doctor wanted me to have a couple of months taking medication before I started running again. My family were very against me continuing to run but, fortunately for me, my doctor was extremely keen as he said it would be good for the osteoporosis.
In September 2014, I was able to get going and, as things had gone well in the autumn, was keen to have another go at the Warwick Half – in fact, I’d set myself a goal of achieving a half marathon before my 60th birthday in September 2015.
Obviously I needed that extra support again so I signed up with Phil Sims Personal Training to really focus on legs and running technique. And so we got to work. Oh the joys of lunges, squats, step ups and more! With Phil as your Personal Trainer, you get a whole lot more that the sessions that you pay for. You get homework – drills to do at home, nutrition advice and an invitation to join his private group on Facebook for extra support, encouragement and ideas. Phil had developed a kickstart plan, to get you focussed on what you eat, what your goals are, etc, and so I did that during the first week of January – zero alcohol and much higher protein intake (I’m a vegetarian and had always struggled a bit with this) meant I felt energised and leaner.
Over the next few weeks, I worked hard in the gym with Phil and learned exercises and stretches to do at home. I now have specific drills to do before my runs and I swear they help. Frustratingly my training plan (and my sessions with Phil) were interrupted by a minor injury and the usual winter virus, but I knew I was in a very different place physically this year. As the big day drew closer, I began to feel more and more confident. Of course the nerves kicked in a couple of days beforehand but I was able to stick to the strategies I had learned with Phil, eat well, drink loads of water, do my drills.
The big day arrived on 22 March 2015 – and here are the photos to prove that I achieved my goal. I completed the 13.1 miles in 2:23:58 and I was absolutely delighted (not to mention a bit emotional at the end)! So, bring on the Wolf Run in April and the Two Castles in June. I’m sure there will be more after that.
The point of this story? You’re never too old to set yourself tough goals. You CAN achieve them with the right support and guidance. Phil was absolutely the right Personal Trainer for me and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him. If you’re wondering how to achieve your fitness goals, give Phil a call and have a chat. You won’t look back.