A Quick Cuppa With…Valerie Bloomfield
Valerie is a 41 year old French tutor from Rayleigh in Essex. She is a mum of one, and to date, has completed an incredible 18 marathons as well as a 31 mile Ultra!
How long have you been running and why did you start?
I have been running since 2005. I joined a gym for the first time ever in 2002 after my daughter was born and enjoyed going to classes. One day in 2004 I tried a treadmill and really enjoyed the experience. By 2005 I decided to try running outside. I started with the dream of being able to run 5k but the first race I entered was a 10k in June 2005. In 2006 I ran my first marathon in Paris and that’s when I fell in love with running. I have now run 18 marathons including a 6 hours ultra where I ran 31 miles.
How often do you run?
I used to run every day until January 2013 when I became injured for the first time since starting running (outer knee/patella then Achilles as well). Dealing with injury has been really hard for me and I haven’t always been patient enough to allow proper recovery. Now I am happy when I manage to run 3 times a week with cross training on top (bike, weight training, yoga, gym).
What do you listen to when you are running?
I only listen to music on long runs, French music (since I am French) and pop music that makes me smile. I have also listened to audio books on long runs.
How do you stay focused and disciplined?
I think I am addicted to running! I do not feel well when I cannot or do not run. However on days when I fell lazy or tired I remind myself that I always feel so much better after a run. I even have a reminder on my phone telling me “running makes you feel better” in case I forget…
Other than running what else do you do to keep fit?
I go to the gym and do classes like spin, body pump, yoga, combat, attack, circuit. I am also going to the gym floor with my 12 years old daughter once a week (we do a mixture of cardio and strength). Due to my recurring injury I had to reduce dramatically the amount of classes I was going to and bought P90X2 home workout DVDs. They have been a life saver, teaching me how to include rest days in my routine as well as more core/balance, weight and stretching.
What is your favourite place to run?
I love running on trails, in woods or along the seaside. One of my favourite things to do is just go where I have never ran before and explore (the map on my phone has been very useful!). On short runs I go around my local park with my border collie Max who is a great running partner.
How long have you been a member of Running4Women?
Since 2007 I think. I wanted to join a running club but could not go out in the evenings due to family commitments so R4W was a brilliant choice for me! I also had the chance to run the VLM for R4W three times, including in 2013, which has really been a privilege (out of the 4 times I ran the London marathon).
What are your goals for the coming year?
My goal is to fully recover from injury so that I can run marathons again, and to run an ultra if possible. In the long term I just hope to be able to carry on running for as long as possible and run a marathon with my daughter one day.
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