What made you get into running?
I decided last year that I wanted to lose some weight and get fitter and I had always wanted to be ‘good’ at running. So in a moment of madness, I decided to challenge myself and entered the Silverstone Half Marathon (March 2016) raising money for The Matt Hampson Foundation. I knew that I would need a challenge to keep me motivated and didn’t ever think I would end up falling in love with running.

What has been your proudest/best running moment?
Finishing my first 10k race (which was also my first ever race) in November 2015. I had only managed that distance once before in my training and I was incredibly nervous. The very lovely Andy Read said that he would run the race with me. He kept me going the whole race and (incredibly) he helped me get a new PB (even after I told him I hated him and didn’t want to run anymore!)

It’s also wonderful to hear that other people have started running because of you; my friend Rachel asked if she could come running with me, my sister has started running again and a few colleagues from work have started running too.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
I would have to say the mental battle; realising that I can do it. Especially when I started to up my distances to beyond 10k. I think that’s one of the hardest parts for me because although I try to be positive, when things get tough, the negative thoughts creep in.

I now try and remember all of the amazing comments and all of the support I get from the lovely people of Twitter, UKRunChat and those who read and comment on my blog, when the negative thoughts creep in.

Who is your inspiration, and why?
Everyone on Twitter who I follow, whether they are an experienced runner, a beginner, run 1 mile or 20 miles. It’s incredible to hear how everyone is doing and makes me want to do better, makes me want to go out and run and makes me so proud to be part of the running community.

What are your future goals?
To keep running and enjoying it.

I also keep thinking about whether I could run a marathon (which is on my bucket list) and I am now considering training for and entering a marathon in 2017.

In the short term in 2016 I would like to try to get sub-30 mins for 5k (currently at 37:29) and sub 1hr 10 mins for 10k (currently at 1:20:29). It will certainly be a challenge but I’m looking forward to giving it my all.

What would be your one piece of essential advice to someone looking to start up running?
I would definitely say if you are thinking about starting to run, just do it. Set yourself a challenge and believe in yourself. You are capable of amazing things as long as you believe. I started running in June/July 2015 and I couldn’t even run half a mile (I would do run/walk intervals of run 30 seconds/1 minute and walk 1 minute/1 minute 30 seconds) – it’s now the start of February and I can run 8/9 miles and I am six weeks away from my first Half Marathon.

Running can change your life, I know it has definitely changed mine. It has made me happier than I have ever been and I have made some amazing friends.

And don’t be scared to ask questions – I still feel like I don’t know much about running, but I ask lots of questions (no matter how silly I think they are). The UKrunchat community is an amazing source of information and full of incredible, inspiring, helpful people.

What is your favourite piece of running kit?
This is so hard! If you follow me on Twitter or read my blog, you probably know that I love my Garmin Forerunner 15, my compression tights and my running shoes.

If I had to choose just one of them, I would have to choose my running shoes (my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15). If I didn’t have my compression tights or my Garmin I would still be able to run, but I am an overpronator and before I had my gait analysed found that it didn’t feel very comfortable to run and I would end up with huge blisters.

And finally, what’s your favourite thing about running?
Running has changed my life; it has made me happy and has given me my ‘real’ smile back, I am more confident and believe in myself so much more than I ever did. It has made me realise that I can achieve anything I set my mind to and I think that is pretty special and I feel incredibly lucky to have found something that I enjoy doing which is also making me fitter and healthier in both body and mind.

I have also made some amazing friends who I cannot wait to meet this year!

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