August 13, 2021

Nickname: LouLou

Location: South East London

I run because…I was trying to think of something ‘witty’ to put here but actually I run to escape, escape from reality for 30 minutes or 4 hours depending on the distance.  I run for me.

The 14th October 2016 is the day that I unwittingly signed up for something that would ultimately change my lifestyle, outlook on life and make me discover that after all these years you can actually love running.

That’s the day I signed up to run Brighton Marathon 2017 – and I haven’t looked back.

Becoming not only physically fitter but mentally fitter pushes me to continue and see what else I can achieve.

AM or PM runner: I am much happier running in the morning; I tend to do my long weekend runs first thing, as it means I have the rest of the day to eat all the food and brag about my run on social media!

I run solo, with partner, pet or club: It really does depend what run I am doing, shorter after work running tends to be with my husband, long weekend runs are on my own.  I do enjoy running with someone, being able to chat or try a different route and not worry about getting lost, but again running alone has the perks of being able to shut yourself off from any life distractions!

I run on trails, in my park, by the sea or in the city: I am very lucky in that where I live I have the best of both worlds, lots of great city routes, parks and trail runs available to me all within a short distance.  I love mixing it up so it doesn’t become repetitive.

When running I wear: You will never find me without my headband, sunglasses or TomTom Spark… (more recently my Run Angel has also become a standard piece of my running kit!)

Other than that it’s pretty much dictated by the weather, I don’t prefer one brand over another – just that it’s comfy and doesn’t chafe!

Shorter runs I will take out mySpibelt to hold the trusty phone ready to take the obligatory Instagram selfie…

Longer runs I’ll take myCamelbak marathoner full of treats and my oyster card (Just in case I need to get the bus home!)

Favourite tunes whilst running / training: I was recently listening to an episode of Marathon Talk Podcast where Lesley Paterson talks about getting herself into character before tackling a competition – for her she explains visualisation and music help get her into the right mind set before a race.

It made me realise myipod playlist was not helping me at all… I’m yet to iron out my running persona but the newipod has a heavy mix of Garage/Dance Anthems and some Hardcore Metal tunes to help thrash out the miles too! (Although the odd Gloria Estefan tune has remained!)

Favourite distance and why: I love running 18 miles – this time last year I was steadily running 10k and really hadn’t imagined I would be running a marathon let alone sitting here telling you I enjoy running 18 miles for fun!

I know it is not a standard answer as you can’t compete in an 18 mile race but for some reason I find it a nice mix between not too short and not too far!

(And as side note I really hate the first 3 miles of any run)

Favourite race event and why: As I’ve only really been ‘racing’ since the beginning of this year I would have to say Brighton Marathon 2017 will always hold a place in my heart – although the heat was ridiculous! (Training for an April Marathon in the snow and rain only to race in blistering sunshine was a tad difficult! )

The overwhelming feeling of realising I had just completed my first marathon is something that will stay with me forever.  The whole marathon weekend experience was fantastic, from the nervous excitement, to the actual run and then what all runners love… the bling race medal!

Favourite food: I absolutely love our local Kebab Ye! They do the nicest vegetable and halloumi kebab for this ole vegetarian!

Guilty pleasures: The thing is… I don’t even feel guilty about eating it but pretty much every evening I’ll mix peanut butter and Nutella with ice cream! It’s all about balance right?!

Favourite race fuel: When I started running, I really didn’t think much about what I was eating or how certain things would help… real rookie mistake! – don’t get me wrong I probably still make unwise choices but the things I have now seem to work for me and I suppose that’s all that matters!

Pre run I’ll always have oats, coffee, and a banana.  Then to fuel the longer runs I’ll take out Turkish delight cut up into small cubes, high5 energy drink and dried strawberries (I used to use gels, but I can no longer stomach them so tried lots of different alternatives!) By no means am I a nutritionists dream!

Post run I’m not much better, but I’ll always take on a protein shake (followed by a ginger beer and probably some salty crisps! Please don’t judge me!)

Running hero or athlete: Sam Briggs – this woman is incredible!

If you don’t know her, she was the winner of theCrossfit games in 2013...  She is an all-round athlete; last year at the first event of the 2016Crossfit games she dominated the 7k Ranch trail run not only surpassing all the female athletes but also beating 38 of the men overall.  If there is a running event you know this woman will not only excel but completely dominate the field.  I have never seen anyone quite like her compete!

Favourite running or motivational quote: I’m not big on motivational quotes but this always makes me smile! ‘If you fall, I’ll always be there.’ – The Floor

Tip for newbie runners: Don’t try to be like anyone else. Be you, do what you can do and be proud of what you accomplish – by just getting out and giving it a go is better than sitting at home thinking about it.

This time last year, I was running 5k/10k – now I am training for my second marathon in a few weeks’ time.  Running doesn’t have to be competitive or daunting, just lace up some trainers and jog round the block, stop and walk… and before you know it, you may accidentally sign up for a marathon and get hooked!  I am an average at best runner, I am not spectacular, I am not fast, but I am a runner.

My running goals are: So having only run my first Marathon in April (Brighton 2017) I have signed up for two more since! My goal is to complete a marathon in under 4hrs (Brighton was 4:17). I’ll happily accept 3:59!!

Why I wear my run angel: I remember seeing My Run Angel pop up as a suggested Instagram follow whilst they were at theWomans World Show in Dublin and thinking what a great idea it was.   It got me thinking, especially when I am running alone through trails and woodlands, through areas I'm not too familiar with. If something were to happen or the threat of something was to happen how would I react what would I do?  This is such a great gadget that not only makes me feel safe out running on my own but it also gives family and friends peace of mind.

Knowing that it’s as simple as pushing a button, it may be small but its powerful! That 120db high pitched alarm – WOW!

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