Member Profile: Sarah Wheeler

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Introduce yourself

Hello I’m Sarah. I’m a mum, wife, teacher and runner. I live in Stratford Upon Avon.

Why and when did you start running?

I started running on the 22nd September 2010 when I went down to my local running club. I had never run before (apart from school sports days), no one in my family has ever run, but I had seen a 10k race go past my parents house and thought I’d like it give it a go.

I started just running with them once a week and then built up from there. My first solo run was 1st January 2011, it was 3 miles and I was very proud of myself.

I did my first race (a half marathon) May 2012 in 1 hr 53 mins, I felt really out of my depth doing it. I did not even have pins for my number. I didn’t know what the word taper meant and I had no idea of pace. But I finished and did a good time for my first ever race. The following month I did a 10k in 50 mins and was told that I had potential to be a really good runner. This filled me with a lot of confidence and it has been striving to reach my potential that has made me into the runner I am today (1hr24 half, 38.30 10k).

 

What does running do for you?

I cannot put into words what running means to me. Running changed my life and the way I look at myself. I had no idea when I started that I would be any good. It has been a real shock to me and my family that I turned out to be as good as I am.

 

What is your greatest running achievement?

The London Marathon 2015.

The experience from start to finish was amazing: the race itself; the support from the other club members during training and on the day; the kind messages from friends, DYRT members & pretty much anyone who knew I was running it; how much it meant to my family (I am sure everyone at my Nan’s care home is sick of hearing about me!); finally, my little boy seeing me running down The Mall to the finish.

I do not think anything else will ever beat it.

 

Do you have any running goals?

Oh yes. I have goals. You name it I have a goal connected to it!

But I am learning that you cannot do everything all at once. I ran 3.07 in the marathon and so sub 3 hrs would be really nice. But not just yet. Everything came together perfectly for that race. The training running up to it went to plan and the race itself went like clockwork. I want to enjoy that before starting that kind of training again.

 

What are your biggest challenges?

  • Finding the time to run. Balancing work, family and a 40+ mile a week running habit is not easy!
  • Keeping things in perspective, trying not to let a bad training run or a disappointing race time cause too many sleepless nights.
  • Hills… I have a love/hate relationship with hills

 

What has been most helpful to you?

I think it is really important that you develop and progress as a runner at your own pace and listen to and look after your body.

I now run 5 days a week and when I was training for the marathon I was doing around 60 miles a week. My body could not have coped with that when I first started, you have to build up.

I first started running once a week with the club, and then twice a week when I started doing the Monday night track session. I began running on my own at the weekend to make it 3. It was probably not until I had been running for 2 years that it increased much more. It is tempting to try and do too much too soon.

I have been lucky to have amazing guidance and support over the last 5 years. I could not have become the runner I am now without it.

 

Would you like to contribute your own DYRT member profile or other running related article? Please email ewan@dyrt.io! It would be great to hear from you.