As a keen runner I like to start each New Year with a plan of the races I hope to enter in the next twelve months. I very much wanted to try and run two marathons this year. This is something I have never done before, not really being a marathon runner – I have always preferred the shorter and faster half marathons or my very favourite distance of ten miles! The Snowdonia Marathon in October is my main focus of the year, but I wanted a spring (ish) marathon to keep my training on track. When my daughter pointed out the article on the Shrewsbury Marathonin the Shropshire Star I thought this was the perfect choice.
The decision to run for the ShropshireDisability Network was a very simple one. I have often given thought to raising money for a charity through my running, but was never really sure who to run for. I had thought of running for the British Heart Foundation – my sister had her first heart attack when she was 38, and it finally ended he life at the age of 60, three years ago. I also thought very hard about supporting the Parkinson’s Society – my close cousin died from Parkinson’s last year, three days after turning 50! As a visually impaired runner I also thought about Sightsavers, etc. SDN fits the bill for me in that it encompasses all people with disabilities, whether physical, sensory, learning or mental health. I have found the Newsletter and the information available on the website absolutely invaluable. I would very much like to see SDN reaching out to other individuals who would welcome their support and guidance.
Running and Me
Running has been an integral part of my life for many years. I run to keep fit. I enter about three or four races a year just to help keep my focus. On an average week I will log about 25 miles. I am not good at sticking to training plans and tend to run when I feel like it. If I don’t run at least every other day then I do suffer from withdrawal symptoms and become very grumpy! Living inSouth ShropshireI am absolutely spoiled for choice for runs. I tend to stick to the roads, mainly because I can no longer read maps and off road I struggle to see where to put my feet. I know that my body is an amazing thing and will adapt to the surface I am running on. However, I feel the extreme concentration I have to use when running off road takes all the pleasure out of my running.
My favourite runs are around Church Stretton and Wistanstow. I have a lovely run of about eight miles which takes me to Little Stretton, up to Minton, down to Marshbrook and then up to Acton Scott and round the back of Ragleth and Hazler Hills down into to Stretton. I love this run as I very rarely see any cars, apart from crossing the A49. I have run into flocks of sheep, nearly taken out groups of walkers and met a tank on one occasion. Although a fairly hilly run, it really suits my style of running. I love hills, going up and coming down. The latter being the hardest!
My training this year has gone pretty well. I am up to running about 22 miles fairly comfortably, again mainly on hills. So far I have entered two races: Church Stretton’s Morning After Run on 1st January, and the Ellesmere Half Marathon. I enjoyed both, but did find the terrain quite difficult on the Morning After – missed my footing on a number of occasions. The Ellesmere Half was run on Mothering Sunday and it was brutally cold, with snow showers throughout the race and a biting wind. The course really suited me and I managed to claim first V50. In fact I was first Vet in any category. My next race will be the Hereford Half Marathon on 12th May. A favourite race, with just enough hills. After that I will run the Powis Castle Half two weeks before theShrewsburyMarathon.
SDN would like to thank Vic for giving us a little more insight into his preparations. Meanwhile, we will be announcing very shortly how you can sponsor & support Vic on his two runs for us. It would also be great if a group of us are there each day to support and cheer him on..
WATCH THIS SPACE!