Couch to marathon that’s Su Page! Runner interview
She only started running January 2017 and has just completed her first marathon! Read what drives the inspirational Su Page.
Su, for those that don’t know you, could you just tell us a little about yourself please?
Oooh, what do you want to know. Im just me. Im 50, Or forty ten as I like to refer to it. LOL. Live with my partner Jim, whose idea of exercise is putting the bin out. I live in Littleborough and work in Sales and customer service, so talk to people all day – something I find really difficult – NOT!!
Let’s jump straight into your most recent achievement. How was Hull, your first ever marathon?
HULL SNICKERS WAS A-MAY-ZING. Seriously, I loved it. I do doubt my sanity sometimes. I really did enjoy it. Such an amazing day. Awesome sense of achievement – very emotional as I crossed the line. Really had to hold it together going down the last bit of the track when I could see my niece and 2 great nephews at the finish.
Why did you decide to do a marathon?
To celebrate my forty ten birthday, LOL – as you do. Most people have a party or go on holiday. I did that too to be fair but I wanted to embrace my 50th, prove to myself that age is only a number.
What was the training process like?
MMMM, the training. You remember the heat wave, that’s when I started training – I’ll admit it was hard, pushing yourself to do a long run when your rather be watching TV in your jarmas, in fact doing the ironing would have been preferable some days, and if you know me and my love of ironing…I think I’ve ironed twice maybe 3 times this year. LOL creases are on trend yeah ?? I tried to push myself to train out of my comfort zone, one week I did 10k every day – 5k in a morning before work and 5K after work, finishing at Watergrove on the Saturday, I figured if I could run on tired legs and do Watergrove after 50k I would be OK (ish). I should have probably done a tiny bit more in August but it was a busy month. My 50th, friends 50th, wedding anniversary and a trip to Belgium for the F1 all scuppered things slightly.
How did you get into running?
Well I’ve always done something. Well as an adult, I mean. I was the fat kid no one picked at school. I used to go to the gym etc, I’m actually a qualified gym instructor – not a lot of people know that. I was ill – gall bladder issues so couldn’t train properly at the gym so cancelled my membership and started walking. I couldn’t run – hurt with too much jarring etc. Someone mentioned parkrun – as you could do it at whatever pace you liked, people even walk their dogs they said. I thought, mmmm sounds alright this. So I registered, printed off my barcode, and didn’t go. I was ill again. ‘Right Jan 2016’ I said to myself – then that didn’t happen, personal reasons. My dad was ill and 8 weeks later passed away and my niece had a cardiac arrest. My niece survived by the way. My life as I knew it was turned on its head. It was however the kick up the backside I needed as it makes you realise how precious life is, but it still took me until Jan 2017 to brave it. Brave it, gosh that’s sounds crazy now, you really don’t need to be brave to go to parkrun. So Watergrove – Saturday 7th January was my 1st run. I use the word run very very loosely. No couch to 5k for me. Bed to Watergrove (one of the toughest, but most amazing parkruns in the country)
What’s so special about parkrun?
parkrun is seriously amazing. The whole ethos of totally inclusive. The support, the encouragement. It seriously doesn’t matter whether you complete in 18 or 80 minutes. In fact the slower ones are probably cheered over the line more and supported more.
What’s next for you?
A Gin and Tonic and a Bar of Dairy Milk and parkrun on Saturday obviously. I seriously have no idea. I did Rochdale ½ 2 weeks after Hull, knocked 4 seconds off last years time. I know its hardly the biggest PB, but a PB is a PB is a PB. If I had a £1 for everyone that’s said Ultra to me I could retire. Who knows. Ultra maybe, but that is bonkers. I’ve really no idea. Wouldn’t mind endure 24.
What do you think about when you’re running?
Oh lord, really. Seriously, allsorts and I don’t mean the liquorice ones. I don’t like those.
Whats for tea?? How does he / she run so fast and not trip up?? Why won’t my legs go that fast?? Wish I’d brought more Jelly Babies.
I talk to myself a lot, I talk to my Dad a lot, I tell him I bet he thinks I’m crackers but I hope he is proud. I was singing “is this the way to Amerillo” as I ran over the Humber Bridge in Hull Snickers Marathon.
What’s your greatest achievement?
In running – my Snickers marathon obviously
In life in general I’ve no idea – how do you measure it? I live in nice house, I drive a nice car, I go on nice holidays, I’ve got amazing friends. I guess you could say I’ve achieved a nice life 🙂
Who inspires you and why?
Everybody really, I think we are supporting and inspiring each other in many different ways. We all run for different reasons, we all have different goals. I find it hard and humbling when people say I inspire them. So this is a toughie for me. I was called a legend on Sunday morning – really.
Tough question for me this. Anyone who gets out there doing something they love, being happy and trying their best inspires me. The juniors on a Sunday morning at parkrun inspire me. 4 years old, running 2k in the cold (and rain sometimes), smiling as they cross the line, running up to me saying “Su – I smashed it”.
What is your favourite pre-race and post-race nutrition?
Oh – nutrition. I should steal an exert from one of Danny Bennetts Strava posts now. That guy is Mr Nutrition. Before parkrun I’ll have a black coffee and a mini bag of Haribo. The night before my Snickers I had a Pizza. I did have porridge for breakfast though – well one of those pots you add water too. I do try and have porridge before “proper runs”. Post run – I need sugar – crave it. After Hull I had a Cider and a Curry and Eton Mess and Marshmallows and chocolate. After Rochdale half I had a large Gin and a Mars Bar (other chocolate bars are available).
I’m loving these questions!
What would you say to your younger self?
The only person who will look after you properly is you. So look after yourself, do what makes you happy, be independent. Be nice. Treat people how who want to be treated. Dance like no one is watching, Sing like no one is listening. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Never to go bed on an argument.
Su, I loved this whirlwind interview! There’s clearly a lot to come from you in your forty ten decade! Thanks so much for sharing your insights 🙂
Yours in sport