December 27, 2017
Wow, we have had some fab women featured in our Runner of the Month over the past year…but we just about have room to squeeze one more in for 2017, and boy do we have a cracker for you. Jo Roberts is one of our wonderful Clubhouse members from Llandudno in North Wales who is absolutely smashing her goals at the moment. Enjoy
When did you start running and why? Initially about 20 years ago as part of a get fit before I was 21 mission. Didn’t stick at it for more than about 5 months as did too much too soon. Dabbled fleetingly back in 2011/2012 then fell down 2 flights of stairs in work and twisted my ankle. Eventually started messing about with it again this summer.
Did you run a lot when you were younger? Nope. Hated it. I rode horses from the age of 3 so did a lot of running after horses round fields and when leading beginners out but aside from that, I ran as little as possible. In high school we were forced to do athletics wearing navy gym knickers and white polo shirts so that put me off for a good few years.
What do you love and hate about the sport of running? I love the freedom of running, and that awesome feeling when you go further or faster than you have before. My biggest hate is the stigma attached to plus size running, which is part of the reason I love being a member of the Clubhouse. (The Clubhouse is our online running club which you can join from as little as £5 per month)
How often do you run? I try to run 3-4 times a week, but on days I don’t run I like to walk a lot.
What kind of distances do you run in training? Am currently working on a 15k training plan, as I’m doing a 10k in Feb so as I had so much time I decided to train for a slightly longer distance. It’s just the weird way my brain works. I like to do 1 ‘long run’ each week, and am currently up to 6.2 miles(with 7 weeks to go)
Do you parkrun? I have been to Conwy park run twice so far-but it was about 2 years ago. Have recently decided to try and go back when I have Saturdays off.
Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running? I’ve been very fortunate out running and aside from the odd car beeping-which I just ignore-I’ve never had anything but praise from other runners and walkers etc
What are your biggest fears about being a plus sized runner? One of my biggest fears is being last. That’s part of what I love about park run-however slow I am I would never be last.
What is your ultimate running goal and what is stopping you from getting there? I always wanted to ‘run London’ I turn 40 next year and have put together a bucket list ’40 things before I’m 40’ This has been the biggest catalyst in my running. I knew that realistically I’d never get to run the London Marathon so set my sights on the Cancer research Winter 10k as that would ultimately tick my “running in London” box. I have also set myself the Big Fat Stupid Goal of all 3 Disney runs in Disney Land Paris next September-initially wanted to attempt the Dopey Challenge in Disney World but finances wouldn’t have allowed.
What’s more important to you and why? Frequency, running or distance of running? Frequency is more important to me as the more often I run, the more of a habit it becomes.
What could the government, local authorities, sports clubs etc do to encourage more people to take up running and sport, especially overweight and inactive women? More beginners groups at suitable times.
What are the biggest barriers for plus sized women? Limited kit availability-although that is gradually changing.
What would you say to other runners just starting out? Just get out there and do it. You might be slow but you’re still lapping everyone on the couch. If I can do It, anyone can (providing you have no physical reason as to why not) I take regular walk breaks and no longer feel like that is cheating
What have you learned about yourself through running? I’ve shocked myself as I have now started to believe that I am a runner. I can do anything I set my mind to. I’ve also been very surprised to read that I’ve inspired several others to get back out there-which makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I’ve also learnt that numbers on my fitness tracker are more important than numbers on the scales. I’ve switched my focus from losing weight to getting fitter and I know that eventually the weight loss will happen.
How has being a member of the Clubhouse helped you in any way, if so how? I’ve been inspired by a lot of the other members and met lots of like minded people. I’ve also made some really good friends online and it’s so refreshing to not feel alone. 6 months ago I ummed and ahhhed about signing up to 5 weeks to 5k (which we are doing again in January) and now I’ve just signed up to the Spring Half Marathon program. I’m honoured to have been chosen as Runner of the Month for December 2017 and it has spurred me on. If I can inspire one person to try and run then my job is done.
And that you have done I am sure Jo xxxx
Right gang, what you waiting for? 2018 is just around the corner and I am on a mission to double the membership of The Clubhouse, so much so I have brought the price right down, and am introducing a pay what you can afford system, with memberships starting from as little as £5 per month.
Come on see what its all about…you might like it.