I joined a local running club in 2012, mainly to take up an outdoor sport and for the social aspect! I was quite sporty and loved going to gym classes (especially Body Combat Classes) but I hadn’t done much running and thought it would be a new challenge. Little did I know how addictive it would become!
After completing my first Park Run I wanted to increase my endurence and enter more races and soon I discovered a competitive side to myself that I never knew existed! I trained hard and started improving my speed at different distances (mainly 5ks, 10ks and half marathons) and then to my amazement I started getting a few trophies. But I was never quite satisfied, always wanting to squeeze “just one more second” off my PB, and my dream was to run a marathon one day…..but I didn’t know how things were about to change.
In May’15 I had an illness and folllowing this I started to feel exhausted, not just tired but really fatigued. I couldn’t go to work, some days I could hardly get up for longer than to have a shower before heading back to bed again and I barely left the house for several weeks. I became really depressed and without my family and friends I don’t know how I would have got through it. Eventually months later I was diagnosed with post-viral Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and was told there was no cure or treatment, I might or might not recover and I would just have to ‘manage’ it. To cut a long story short, with time I gradually got stronger and started to walk more and then jog a little way, although some days I would still ‘crash’ and have to stop.
In April’16 I decided to join a ‘Learn to Run’ Course, and it was here that I met a brilliant group of Run Leaders (yes you know who you are Darren, Shell, Bill, Carolyn and Simone!) and some great people on the course (Sems!). After 10 weeks we ‘graduated’ by running Tilgate 5k Park Run and wow did it feel good to be able to run 5k without walking or stopping! I’ve had lots of ups and downs since with many tears along the way and still have to be careful not to do too much, but writing this I realise just how far I’ve come from being so tired and low and thinking I would never run again.
I like to think that something positive can come out of something negative and for me, it’s not only taught me not to take my health for granted, it’s also led to meeting some wonderful people, great friendships and joining CRC! I was honoured when I was asked if I’d like to become a Run Leader and I really hope I can help and encourage as many people as possible, and give back in the same way the Run Leaders helped me when I needed it.
Most memorable and proudest running moments
Completing my ‘Graduation’ Learn to Run 5k Tilgate Park Run. Vegas Half Marathon at night. Bacchus Half Marathon dressed as an electric guitar! The Red Arrows flying overhead at the Great North Run. 1st female at Horsham Park Run. 2nd female at the Bluebell 10k Trail Run. 3rd Female at Henfield 9 mile Run.
Fun facts about me
I’m always late! I’m terrible at technology! My sense of direction is awful…especially in Crawley (great quality in a Run Leader I hear you cry!) I like singing and being outdoors (but don’t usually do both at the same time, not at run club anyway!).