A picture tells 1000 words. Combined with the person’s own words, it says so much more! Read and see Rachel Edmunds’ running transformation below.
I know Rachel through the Trail Running magazine #Run1000Miles Facebook community. She was very surprised to be asked to do an interview. Hopefully you’ll instantly see why her story is such an important and positive one to share.
How and why did you get into running Rachel?
As I lost weight I knew so needed to add in exercise and running was something I always fancied doing, I downloaded the Couch to 5k app and bought some cheap shoes in May 2015 and then did nothing until January 2016. I laugh now that it took me a good 7 months to think about it and get my head round the idea of the woman who hated Cross Country at school actually running!
I was part of the 2017 challenge and found that not only did it open the doors to a wonderful, friendly, supportive online community, it also helped when my mojo decided to take a brief leave of absence and I was struggling to kick myself out of the door. I ended last year on 1345 miles and can’t wait to beat my total this year!
That’s amazing – well done!
You’ve said you took to the back roads of your village during dark hours so no-one could see you on your Couch to 5k. Where you doing this by yourself?
I started one wet, windy and dark night in early Jan 2016 with 2 friends both of whom were unfortunately plagued with injury early on, a week after I started my husband took the kids out too and they started the programme.
How long was it before you felt confident enough to run in daylight?
If I’m honest it took about 3 weeks until we were sick of running up and down the same back street until we ventured out onto the main road of the village and after the world didn’t stop turning and birds didn’t fall from the sky we decided to embrace daylight one Sunday afternoon and I never looked back!
Why? / What changed?
I think it was s combination of growing confidence, the ability to run for longer and boredom at running up and down the sand stretch of road!
What is your favourite running moment/memory to date?
I’ve run London, Edinburgh and New York Marathons that we’re all pretty special but my favourite moment has to be going on a guided trail run as a family where my 10 year old daughter whooped and giggled her way through 5 and a big miles of mud and hills. She was beaming all day and loved running through streams, across bogs and up-Dale, at that point I realised how amazing it feels to run!
Brilliant! How does parkrun add to your running experiences?
As a family we love parkrun and wouldn’t be without our weekly fix – in fact we even did the New Years double and have done a Christmas Day parkrun for the last 2 years (not sure the kids are that impressed with that one!). We love the atmosphere and social side to parkrun as well as the challenge of trying to improve. My daughter and I are determined to get our volunteer shirts this year and will be volunteering each month in order to do so and hopefully we’ll reach our 100 milestone in the summer.
What a moment that will be – to do 100th together 🙂
You now lead a weekly run group. What would you like to say to your participants?
I want them to know how proud so am of them all, I’ve watched our RunTogether group go from single figures to over 50 people running on a weekly basis, new friendships have been made and everyone comes together to get out and have fun. It’s one of my highlights of the week and so love my Weardale Flyers.
How has your approach to nutrition changed?
I’ve followed the Slimming World Plan since Jan 2015 and life is all about eating healthy, tasty meals that are cooked from scratch. Meals that give us good fuel, fill up a growing family (including a 14 year old boy) and taste fantastic.
And your attitude to sport?
It’s very odd that the woman who hated PE at school now runs 5 Times a week, goes to the gym, Tap dances, does yoga and core conditioning. I only recently joined the gym and can now be found regularly avoiding the treadmill (I much prefer to run outside) and working out in the weights area.
What 3 words best describe you?
Happy, determined, settled.
What do you think about when you’re out running?
Anything and nothing! I find running really helps keep my mind focused on life itself and has done so much for my mental health. I run to clear my mind, figure things out as well as laughing to myself about the day or marvel at the world around me! If I’ve got my aftershockz on it can be trying to remember the words to the song that’s playing. There are of course the “what the heck am I doing” moments but they’re all part of running and you just need to dig deep, play tricks on yourself and keep going!
How has running benefitted your wellbeing?
It’s benefitted me immensely, as well as being fitter physically I’m far more fitter and healthier mentally. Running helps me keep me grounded when the world is crazy and keeps me happy and sane when things get hard.
You’re now a running family. How are your husband and kids benefitting from running?
We all benefit, my husband has lost weight, the kids are much more lively and we’re all definitely much fitter as a family. We’re much happier and focussed than we were before and are so much more active than before which can only be a good thing!
What do you each enjoy most about running?
Ummm…probably the sense of freedom and excitement running gives us, we can escape and have fun by popping on a pair of trainers. We’ve made some amazing friends and are now part of a wonderfully supportive community of runners!
Where is your favourite local trail?
I’m lucky to live in the Durham Dales and there are trails literally on the doorstep. I love running on the Weardale Way and exploring local footpaths and trails.
What tips would you give anyone who is in a similar position to you back in January 2015?
Go out there and give it a go, you can do it!
How are you feeling about your 1st Ultra – The Ultra Tour of Edinburgh?
Scared but excited! I know I can do it, but I also know it’ll be a challenge unlike anything I’ve done before!
What else is on your bucket list?
I would love to do all the marathon majors (road I know!) but also desperately want to do the Race to the Stones and The Wall, depending on how Edinburgh goes!
I’m sure you’ll achieve it too! The trail challenges as well will be amazing. Thanks so much. Looking forward to seeing your progress again on #Run1000Miles Challenge 2018. 🙂