Meet this week’s Teacher Feature…
Name: Laura Stallard
Job Role: Preschool Early Years Practitioner
Years teaching: 14 Years
How long have you been running: 16 Months
What’s your favourite distance to run: 7 miles
“I ran my first half marathon distance February 2021 which at that time was overwhelming and my greatest sporting achievement for quite some time…”
Sport has always been a big part of my life, football mainly. I’ve always enjoyed the competitive side of it however the fitness side has always been a bit of a struggle. Motivation for being the fittest version of myself has always been lacking.
Football come to an abrupt stop during lockdown 2020 as did work. Already bordering on being overweight I continued to over indulge on food and moved very little. Quickly I became overweight and the most unfit I’ve ever been. Realising this I put on a pair of trainers and ran.
The beginning of my running journey began with less than a mile run around the block struggling to breathe and making every excuse up for why it was so difficult.
I started eating healthier and trying to run every day throughout the rest of my time on furlough in a bid to lose weight and try to gather a little bit of fitness back before the eventual return of the football season. Each day trying to run a little bit more meanwhile secretly enjoying the physical and mental benefits that come with running.
“I’d just ran 21.5 miles and I felt strong enough that I could have continued if needed. ”
Seeing progression in my weight loss and running journey it became a new competition, this time with myself. Could I run further and faster? Like most people I have suffered with periods of poor mental health and running soon becoming a new coping mechanism.
I failed to return to football for various reasons and running became my new weekend hobby. I signed up to the London Marathon in October with a view of breaking the run down into several runs to complete the 26.2 miles though out the 24hour allotted window. I ran my first half marathon distance February 2021 which at that time was overwhelming and my greatest sporting achievement for quite some time.
At the back end of June I started to take running a little more seriously to see if I could actually take on the marathon distance with some dignity albeit virtually. Each week I gradually increased my weekly miles as well as my longer runs. 5 weeks before the marathon I believed! I could actually run the marathon distance, all of it without stopping. I’d just ran 21.5 miles and I felt strong enough that I could have continued if needed. I was hopeful of finishing around 4hrs 15 minutes.
Disaster struck two weeks before the marathon. Knee pain made it impossible for me to run. I’d been struck down with an injury at the worst possible time, I was absolutely gutted. All that hard work had gone to waste.
The day of the marathon arrived and I planned to walk most of it due to the injury and try to possibly run about 9 miles in total. I walked the first part of the plan, 11.5 miles before a quick pit stop change and then the running part was up. I eventually ran through the pain barrier for the remaining 14.7 miles. I completed the marathon in a respectable time of 5:14 including my break to change with a moving time of 5.04. This isn’t my last marathon, I will be back fitter, stronger and faster next year. My journey has only just began!
Click the link bellow to follow Laura’s running journey on Twitter!!!
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