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This months runner of the month has simply been blowing my socks off for the last few months. She is a woman on a mission and I can’t wait to see how she gets on next month. Vicky Allison from Devizes in Wiltshire has been a member of The Clubhouse for a good few years now, and she is always full of enthusiasm and support for the other women.

When did you start running and why?  I started running in June 2009, 8 weeks after my daughter was born via C-Section.  A good friend and godmother to my daughter (20 years older than me who lives with arthritis and fibromyalgia) wanted to train for the Cancer research 10k at Longleat, I agreed to join her … as what could possibly go wrong!  We found a couch to 10k plan which said anyone can run for 60 seconds, so we agreed a date and met up the two of us. 4 dogs and my infant daughter in her all terrain pram to have a go at the first planned session, I think they were the longest 60 seconds in our lives as we stared at our watches willing the seconds to pass so we could walk again.  We did it though 5 months later we completed our first 10k and continued running together for a while longer until she was advised to stop by her GP and I carried. 

Did you run a lot when you were younger? No I hated sport at school, the gym was ok, but anything else was awful, many memories of cold, wet muddy cross country runs and freezing on the hockey pitch.    I have ridden since I was 10 so the only form of exercise I would willingly do involved riding or caring for horses. 

What do you love and hate about the sport of running? I love the runners high,  when a run or race goes well that’s the best feeling in the world, I know I can run anywhere any time if I need to and that at times it has helped me get through hard days at work and when things that have got me down or just when I need some head space.  I run with my two border collies as much as I can as they are the best company, nonjudgmental, and always ready to go. 

The things I hate about running is that even now I still struggle to find kit that fits my amble bust and is also long enough …. Without it looking like a tent!  I am a size 14 ish currently well maybe more towards a 12 thanks to the marathon training. I find that some races are not as inclusive as they really should be through setting ridiculously short cut off times, and I really hate the goodie bags after races, and wish that these companies would consider the planet a little more, we don’t need samples and plastic, an event I ran recently gave us a beautiful medal and a voucher for a hot meal so that you could eat before traveling home!  Brilliant idea

How often do you run? Usually 4 times per week and throw in a session at Pilates as well to help me stretch. 

What kind of distances do you run in training? I’m currently training for London Marathon, so I run two short runs of 4-5 miles, one medium run of 7-8 miles then a long run of 13 – 20 miles depending on the schedule on the specific week. 

Do you parkrun? Yes love parkrun can be found volunteering or running as often as I possibly can, working towards achieving my 50 parkrun’s plus 25 volunteering on the same Saturday, (I will tail walk that week to complete both) it’s taking some careful juggling.  My local parkrun is Chippenham in WiltshireC

What is your ultimate running goal and what is stopping you from getting there?

I’m not sure what my ultimate running goal is, I just want to become a consistent runner, being a single mum for a number of years it has at times been a struggle to get my shoes on and out the door, especially once my daughter was too big for the pushchair.  Megan however is now almost 10 and will join me at parkrun or my shortest training runs so things are easier now most of the time.  What’s more important to you and why? Frequency, running or distance of running?

I am a planner and like to have a goal in mind which usually means I have a training plan on my fridge at home with ticks, crosses or circles to indicate how each run has gone …. Or not when I’m working towards a target race.  Its having the goal that is really important to me.   

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?

Make it easier around child care especially after school.   For years I had to ask friends and family to have my daughter so that I could go to the gym for 20 mins or a short run, our local leisure center doesn’t offer child care outside of school hours and that doesn’t help working mums who cannot access these during their working day.  I wish leisure centers would plan programs that kids can access for an hour at the same time as planning classes to encourage parents to exercise allowing fitness to be accessible to all. 

What would you say to other runners just starting out?  Make time for yourself in your hectic life, plan decide when your heading out the door and tell as many people as you need to, to ensure that you follow through!  My team of 25 at work can see all my races on my calendar and I am always talking about running (I’m sure I bore them to tears) … so that I am always accountable.  You will have set backs and injuries, I have had my fair share, but seek advice and you’ll soon be back to it. 

What have you learned about yourself through running? I’m stubborn and can achieve what I set my mind on with a bit of hard work.  

How has being a member of the Clubhouse helped you in any way, if so how?

The clubhouse has given me a huge group of friends, we cheer each other on, offer support and advice or just a virtual hug when things aren’t going quite right. 

If you would like to nominate someone for our runner of the month feature let us know, and if you would like to become part of our awesome online running club The Clubhouse…then sign up here

We have a bunch of awesome women from The Clubhouse running the London Marathon this year, including me if I can shift this cold, and we have our just before mile 10 cheer station that we would love you to come and get involved at. 

Drop us a line to let us know if you are involved in the London Marathon this year at help@toofattorun.co.uk

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