Getting to know…Rachael Barnett
When did you start running and why?
I started running in March this year when I was feeling desperately in need of a new challenge. I had been a keen show jumper pretty much all my life, having started riding when I was just 9 years old but numerous family circumstances over recent years forced me to give the horses up. I realised how much I missed the horses and the competing which is when it became clear to me – I needed a challenge.
Just like many other working mums, I often struggle to find the right balance between working full time, looking after my daughter and finding that all important time to exercise. However, when my job changed this year I started working from home a few days a week so I decided, no more excuses, I will use this opportunity to start going to the gym during lunch times, mainly to run on the treadmill. I had it in my mind that I was just going to see if I could a little bit more each day and that was it, I started running every day and soon I set myself small targets of going just a little bit further and just that little bit faster each time. I was only running around 3k-4k but each time doing just a little bit more and, well, I got the bug. It’s as simple as that.
Towards the end of March, just a few weeks into running on a regular basis, I had this crazy idea to enter some races, just one per month but for the whole year and for Cancer Research. So that was that! That same day I blindly entered; UK Triathlon 5k, Sutton Park (Apr’19), Race for Life 5k, Cannon Hill Park (May’19), Race for Life 10k, Sutton Park (Jun’19), Shenstone Fun Run 10k (Jul’19), Chase the Sun Leicestershire 10k (Aug’19), Lichfield 10k (Sept’19), Windsor 10k (considering HM upgrade!) (Oct’19)…. I also did the Sunset Walk 10k for Johns Taylor Hospice (Jul’19)… and I have a nice collection of medals accumulating : )
After my first race in April, I was definitely hooked! I was straight on my laptop Googling for clubs and events… I came across SE Fitness and made contact. I was so impressed with the warm welcome, helpful information and positive encouragement I received (thank you Helyn!! ;)) so I decided I would go along to the 5-10k group and see what all the fuss was about. I’m so glad I did. Since then I have attended SE morning runs 2-3 times per week, most weeks, moved up to Run Fit group and I absolutely love it. I have also joined some SE events and keep closely in contact with the team. Everyone is so friendly and chatty, its a great social circle and with the pleasure of running in the beautiful Sutton Park – why would I ever run on a treadmill again?!
> What’s the best thing about going for a run?
Freedom! Me time! Knowing how good I’ll feel when I return to base and catching up with all the SE team 🙂
> What’s your plan for the future, is there a goal in mind?
I am a very competitive person so I always like to set goals however, when I started running I had no intention of going beyond a few 5k races, but after just two 5k races I was straight on to 10k and after just two 10k races I am already looking for a suitable Half Marathon! I have also been asking various fellow runners, “how long does it take before a ’new runner’ would be marathon ready”?! So I guess the answer to the question is….. I am hoping to do my first Half Marathon this year (or early next year at the latest) and after that, who knows. I find that setting achievable goals helps with motivation during training and provides great satisfaction.
> Do you have a tip for anyone who wants to get started?
Don’t hesitate. Throw yourself into it – you won’t regret it! But set yourself realistic goals that will fit in with the rest of your life to keep it positive and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t make it! And once you’re up and running ……. KEEP-ON-RUNNING : )
> I couldn’t get through a run without………..
My iWatch! And of course my SE team pals for motivation and banter ; )