A Quick Cuppa With…Barbara
Barbara left England in 1994 to live in Lebanon with her Lebanese husband and three children. She is a school administrator who took up running ten years ago. She turns 60 later this year.
How long have you been running and why did you start?
Ten years ago I was a workaholic, glued to a computer screen day and night, taking no exercise at all, and starting to feel overweight and unhealthy. I started by walking, and then in 2006, inspired by friends and after participating in a 10K Fun Run, I progressed to running. In fact, after two long recovery periods for stress fractures (one each foot) and a lot more commitment than I had bargained for, I was 59 when I ran my first marathon! I now feel fitter and happier than ever.
How often do you run?
I run 3-5 times a week, including one faster short run and one long run. I’m not a great fan of complicated training programmes, as I often do best in a race without any structured training.
What do you listen to when you are running?
While I’m running I listen to house and trance, because the fast beat keeps me going.
How do you stay focused and disciplined?
I’m not sure that I am particularly focused or disciplined, but several things keep me motivated:
I love using the Running4Women diary, watching the kilometres add up and the weight drop off and I always complete the monthly challenges, although this month’s is very hard!
The feeling of happiness and elation I get after running.
The encouragement and companionship of other runners who become confidantes and steadfast friends.
In Lebanon there are seldom more than three women in my age group running in a race, so a podium place is not hard to get. I feel successful, even when it is undeserved!
Other than running what else do you do to keep fit?
I do muscle toning pump classes twice a week and a self-defence class once a week. I also consider myself very lucky to live close enough to work to be able to walk there and back (1.6 miles daily).
What is your favourite place to run?
I live in the mountain town of Brummana in Lebanon, overlooking Beirut and surrounded by beautiful groves of pine trees and terraces of vines, olive, and fruit trees. My favourite place to run is a hilly tree-lined road, with a good pavement (rare in Lebanon), which starts just outside my front door.
How long have you been a member of Running4Women?
Around two years.
What are your goals for the coming year?
My goals for the coming year are to keep healthy, fit, and happy …. and maybe run another marathon in November.