In my last blog interview we met a wonderful lady that took 20 years off from running and when she got back into it she set her sights on the Boston Marathon. My next interview is with a wonderful women that leveraged the feeling of running to ward of stress until she had a few health set backs then it became a different passion.
Anna started off by telling me about her inspiration with running, ‘I started running in college as a stress buster. On Saturday mornings I would go for a run before studying for the whole weekend. I have been running ever since. After moving to the UK I did a few 10ks and 5ks and in 2006-2007 I started doing triathlons. So I had to share my running with swimming and cycling. In 2011 I fell pregnant but I kept running at a lighter pace and shorter distances,’ Anna replied.
‘In 2012 I could not run much because I was pregnant and it was not very comfortable although I kept walking right up to my delivery date. I resumed running in late 2012. Carried on in 2013 but then it was tough as I was due to have heart surgery as a result of a leaky pulmonary valve. I had surgery in November of 2013. I resumed running in late February 2014 with the aim to complete my first marathon to prove to myself and the world that a heart sufferer can be fit, healthy and run,’ Anna stated emphatically.
‘I also wanted to raise money for heart charity, so in April of this year I did my 1st marathon, London, with a time of 5:30, the most wonderful thing I have ever accomplished and I have not stopped since. This year I managed to do two more half marathons and now I am training for the Manchester marathon in 2016,’ Anna replied.
I went on to ask Anna about the frequency of her running and if she tracks it, Anna replied ‘I now try to run 4x a week, if not it is 3x a week, with a long run on Saturday at 27km. Tuesday is speed work with an 8k and on Wednesday I do a fast pace but not dead fast, Sunday is a recovery run for about 8-10km. I use garmin forerunner 220 to track my activity. It is a recent thing as it was given to me in august for my birthday. I use twitter as my support group as we all support each other in the running community!
I went on to ask her if she met someone new to running or walking what advice would she tell them, Anna responded ‘ The first few miles are the tough ones, go beyond mile 2 or 3 and you will fall in love!’
I asked her about her drive and inspiration and Anna stated, ‘I run to feel alive, to enjoy early morning nature. I run as I love the feel good factor at the end, I run to relieve stress, I run and I smile..I am a better person!’
I then asked Anna about her favorite event and she already hit on it, Anna replied ‘London marathon 2015, because It was a major achievement -16 month post heart surgery!’
People who have done it tell you that it is a day to remember, unique, unforgettable, but beforehand you just cannot imagine it and understand it. I am now sitting down in my kitchen, with achy legs, and the only thing I can feel is the sense of achievement, pride, joy, my heart full of joy. I cannot hide that it is hard, a very hard test, physically and psychologically, but honestly it is worth it! No money can buy it.
That was it, I ran a marathon, I am marathoner!
To stay inspired follow Anna on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/runanninarun