Meet Rae, she's in her mid 30’s (or though she can't quite believe it!) and she wants to run an ultra!
Rae had a false start with running in 2015 when she wanted to try and lose some weight.
Unfortunately she suffered two separate Grade 2 tears in her lower leg which put her on crutches, in physio and then out of the game for several months.
The injuries were due to a combination of too much speed and hill work at the same time, poor technique and never stretching after a run – lessons she's now learnt. Due to her injuries she lost confidence in running and kept putting it off.
In the late summer of 2016 after a fairly sustained period of life being crappy she was looking for something to help her with her own mental health.
She started to consider running again, but there were a whole host of reason to not start; she lives in a bad area and it’s not safe, she commutes for 4 hours a day so doesn't have time, she's not a runner, she has tight leg muscles, it’s too cold, it’s raining, it’s too hot....
Her husband suggested they try running together and so at 5.30 in the morning, they started running and it slowly became a habit which they've been maintaining over the past few weeks.
Rae saw an article on ultra running which stated, unlike other sports at ultra distances, men and women compete as equals, and women have been winning as equals.
For perspective, Rae's been working in a male dominated sports based industry for many years which is full of misogynists and she's spent the best part of 6 years of her life being patronised, offered less training, less opportunities, being ignored and treated as an object for simply owning boobs!
The article stirred something in her and she kept going back to it.
Rae mentioned the idea of doing an ultra as a goal in 2017 to a work colleague. He told her, she couldn’t go from 5k to an ultra in a year. She also had a very similar conversation with a male friend a few weeks later and it became an itch she wanted to scratch.
After revisited the conversations and them making it clear it wasn’t the technical skill of being able to train that they thought was impossible, they thought as a female she wouldn’t be able to cope with the training and physical endurance needed for an ultra.
Well, that was it. She was doing an ultra!
Running for Rae gives her good time in her own head and as someone who suffers with anxiety she's found it a huge benefit to have this as an outlet.
As well as working part time, Rae is also a carer for her husband who has severe depression, she's started a part time degree and they're also in the process of selling up and moving house! Life is busy!
Ever since she started running a few months ago Rae has really noticed the positive effects running has had on her and her husbands mental health. Having this ultra as a goal in 2017 is a way of keeping motivated and also a way to prove that she can run an ultra and being female is not going to stop her.
Challenge - Rae is running the Dig Deep Ultra (30 miles) which is the 19th/20th August 2017.
About the race: The Dig Deep ‘Intro Ultra’ 30 covers some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK. At around 30 miles the route takes in some of the finest trails in the Peak District. The route has roughly 1388 metres of ascent and whilst there are no monster climbs the continued hilly nature of the course earmarks this race as a tough one to complete.
We will be keeping up to date with Rae as she undertakes this journey from novice runner to ultra runner!