RUNNER OF THE MONTH - July 2020

In our running community group on Facebook we see inspirational stories and journeys nearly everyday. The running journeys that our members go on are important to us and we love talking and interacting with our members everyday. We have decided to make this our special page to show a runner each month from our community who not only have inspired us but also impressed us with there effort, progress and general love for running.

july Runner Of the month

smicky finn

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Smicky has kindly wrote a fantastic story about his running journey!

Hi everybody


I would like to thank Mark, Wendy & Alan for picking me this month.

So in March 2014 I was sent to a specialist due to having a little lump on my tongue. Yes the specialist couldn’t emphasis how important it was to stop smoking (I’m asthmatic as well). I won’t lie I Sh*t myself! 2 days later I gave up smoking with the help of patches. That’s when I started to run... I had a biopsy a month later which came back benign. I still go the specialist once a year.
(I have had the odd fag in 6 yrs).

So my running journey began in April 2014. I always run on my own and with music.
I started with doing a lap round the river by me. I never had a watch or timed myself (its 2.5miles). The only aim was not to pile on the weight after knocking the fags on the head. I did this 3/4 times a week then gradually started going further.

Then a temp started in work who is a club runner and he asked me how far I run, I said “god knows I just run”. I knew it was roughly 5 miles in around 40-50 minutes. I downloaded Strava and my running took off. In July 2017 I ran my normal route with my phone in hand (we’ve all done it ) it was 5.1 miles in 41 mins. I showed my mate in work the next morning and he said “meep meep” that’s quick. I was addicted even more then to running I had never thought about races until this time. It was all for my health and not piling on the pounds.
(Are you still awake reading this!)

Disaster struck then whilst doing burpees (sept 2017) I landed awkwardly and my knee gave way. I damaged my cartilage and couldn’t walk for 2 weeks. I was devastated but able to do light running until I had my arthroscopy in (October 2018). I didn't do any exercise then for 11 weeks until I came back off holiday in January 2019.

I entered my first half marathon in February 2019 for August 2019 to give myself something to aim for. My training went really well. 

My first race day had arrived Severn Bridge half marathon (Undulating). It was absolutely boiling (August bank holiday Sunday) my aim was to get under 2 hours which I had done in training. I came home in 1 hour 52 minutes and I was well chuffed. Since then I have done several half marathons.

I don’t run in a club, and I haven’t done a parkrun due to working every Saturday morning.

My aim then for 2020 was to do my first marathon race. As we all know Covid has put pay to all races but I kept training for the distance and finally completed my first marathon in March in 3hours 43 minutes but with a couple of stops. I was absolutely chuffed and at the peak of my running journey. But all that week I couldn’t stop thinking off doing it again without any stops. So, the following Sunday I did the same run but without stopping in 3hours 45 minutes. It wasn’t just the physical side of it but the mental side as well which I hadn’t really experienced before. For me in my longer runs if I didn’t have music (any rave music) I would struggle.

After being furloughed in April the same as most people I had too much time on my hands. So after my 2 marathons I decided to do the 12 day NHS active challenge which for me was a massive challenge because i had not done more than 3 consecutive days of any exercise(old age dodgy knee).


I ended up doing 5 half marathons in a row (78.5miles) but disaster struck again my Achilles had decided to say no more please. I completed the challenge with walks/bike..
I couldn’t run for 2 weeks absolute nightmare and being off work
‘Rest is your friend’ I learnt quickly.

After recovering and now only running every other day I had 50k in my mind.
I gradually build the miles back up with strict rest as well for 2 months and finally did my 50k run in June without any stops in 4 hours 53 mins. That extra 5 miles from marathon distance was brutal and I will say again if I didn’t have my banging tunes I wouldn’t of completed it. It was a major learning curve for me in my running journey.

With still too much time on my hands and hopefully doing my first Ultra race (40 miles) in September I did my longest run carrying the mandatory safety kit for an Ultra race.
I ran up the canal and back and covered 36.2 miles in 6 hours 2minutes with several walking stops and pee stops. It was physically and mentally the most testing run I have done to date but loved it.

My running has come on so much since my knee op and learning all the time. It took me over 2 months to adjust to running slower to go further and it’s not all rush rush.

I’m currently on my best month for distance at 344k. I will be cutting back a little on my long runs hopefully to run my first 10k race August bank holiday.

My pbs are :
5k-21:55 (not race)
10k-45:12 (half marathon race)
Half marathon- 1hr:38
Marathon- 3hrs:45 (not race)


It doesn’t matter how fast, how far or what size, shape or colour you are we are all the same (runners). (Never lose the ‘fun’ in running)
 
I have to finish and say a massive thank you to you all in this amazing group Mark has formed. The support not just for myself but everybody supporting each other is absolutely amazing.

#meepmeep #supersmickysmiling

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