February 28, 2017
Its my favourite time of the month again…time to reveal an awesome runner in our runner of the month feature. So I present 37 year old Teresa Whatt from Weston-Super-Mare, North Somerset. I think you will agree she is pretty special.
When did you start running and why? I started in 2003 after the death of my mum and in memory of her. A few months after she passed, I saw a poster saying that Race for Life 5k was coming to Weston-Super-Mare in 2004 so I decided to sign up and gie it a go in her memory. It wasn’t planned to run the whole way, but I did. I was so pleased.
Did you run a lot when you were younger? I couldn’t really run because I have very mild right sided hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy and was constantly tripping over my own foot or twisting my ankle.
What do you love and hate about the sport of running? I love the way it makes me feel. The confidence I have gained in myself. I use it as a means of distressing. I amaze myself at what I am achieving –those things I thought were never possible. I love the friendships I have made along the way and the huge support I have from family, friends and other runners I meet whilst out running or at a race.
I don’t like time limits or the idea of ‘sweeper buses’. I understand why organisers have to do it, but I feel it puts some runners off even entering for fear of being last or being ‘swept up’. I myself have not entered race because of it. I tend to pick and choose my races based on time limits and ‘open to all abilities’ advertising. I absolutely love the ones that say we never leave anyone behind and through that advertising I entered a race just because of that one sentence.
How often do you run?At the moment I am on a running streak, having started 1st Dec 2016, though I don’t know how long it will continue. Before that I ran about 3-4 times a week.
What kind of distances do you run in training? Anything from 4 -10 miles depending on the day and when my next race is.
Do you parkrun? (if so which one) No, not adult one, but I volunteer when I can at our Junior parkrun.
Could you tell us about your experiences with training, motivation for races etc. I haven’t done a marathon. I am up to half marathons and done quite a few. My most recent run was Two Bays Tough Ten Friendly 5. A 5 mile race advertised as an introduction to multi terrain, with no time limit. My motivation behind it was, if Ben and all the fantastic runners from the 401 could get me up Glastonbury Tor and along through Blaise Castle, I could do this.
Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running? Not that I have noticed. A few comments shouted out of a car window, but as I’m generally in my own little world whilst running, I’d not be able to tell you what was said.
What are your biggest fears about being a plus sized runner? It’s difficult finding running tops with the correct fit but long enough to cover what I need it to. I generally need to upsize to get the length. When running I require a base layer/second layer for comfort and sleeves to avoid chaffing. My charity vests then go on top these.
The cushioning in my running shoes doesn’t appear to be as hardwearing as my ‘non plus sized’ running friends with the same mileage. I seem to go through my shoes at twice the rate.
What is your ultimate running goal and whats stopping you from getting there? I don’t have an ultimate running goal. I just take each run as it comes. I run because I can and while I can. I go out to have fun and enjoy it. Back in 2003 I never thought I’d be able to run 5k, let alone a half marathon, but I never say never……
What’s more important to you and why? Frequency, running or distance of running? I run because I can, so would have to say just to be able to run is more important.
What would you say to other runners just starting out? I’d say, you can do it. Take each day or run as it comes. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have good and bad runs. Walk and run the distance if you need to. Don’t worry about how long it takes you to progress to the next stage. You are still getting out there and moving.
What have you learned about yourself through running? I’m tougher than I thought I was!
Isn’t she fab?
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For more regular inspiration why not join our tribe of plus size runners over in The Clubhouse, our unique online running club especially designed for women like you. If you sign up before the 3rd March we will send you a FREE Too Fat to Run headbuff. It is a great time to join as we have loads of things coming up and a fabulous new challenge starting tomorrow.