“I did not take drugs before I wrote this, I promise.”
Liz Goodchild (shortly before talking about perpetual kittens and how running is like cheese)
“Running will open up a whole different world for you, and you’ll become a better person”
Jay on Liz
I’ve never really rubbed shoulders with celebrities before*, and I’d been following Liz for a while** before I realised that she was one. Liz has recently been featured in Women’s Running magazine as part of their Operation Ultra series. This saw her being put through her paces for several months before completing her first ever ultra marathon (the Royal Parks Ultra; a toe-grating 31.25 miles), and raising money and awareness for the charity Mind along the way. Her blog, www.runnerstood.com is a top read, and I have a particular fondness for her VLM 2012 race report which genuinely had me feeling like I was there every epic step of the way. But it’s not all purely running-related stuff; have a look at this post and just try not to have the pants charmed off of you. Liz can be found giving twitter a piece of her mind as @4race4cities
Liz on Liz
I’m Liz! I run, I write, and I have wild hair. I recently forayed into the world of ultra-marathons and have the black toenails to prove it. If I’m not busy unleashing my inner badass, I can usually be found eating tofu laced with chili and ginger or googling Jillian Michaels and wishing I had her abs.
The Big 12…
1. Which actor would portray you in a movie of your running life? (If someone’s already made a movie of your running life, you can skip this question).
Drew Barrymore. I really like her.
2. What’s the one song that never fails to give you a mid-run boost?
Heartlines by Florence and the Machine. The very first time I heard it, I had one of those ‘running song moments’ – you know the type, right? Where everything just comes together and makes sense in the world, and you could literally fall to your knees and weep, thanking the universe for giving you the gift of running. Or something to that effect…
3. In 12 words or less, explain why people should read your blog. You can double up to 24 words, as long as one of them is “octopus”.
I write about running and how it’s changed my life in so many ways. If you don’t want to read my blog, that’s ok.
4. Why did you start running?
I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for many years; I tried different forms of therapy and medication, but to no avail. One day, I went for a run, and found that, somehow, my anxiety levels seemed to lower – I felt like my head was clear for the first time in years. From that day, I officially became a runner. I run for my health, both physical and mental. I’ve never looked back.
5. Why do you keep running?
Over the years, as my running has improved and I’ve tackled longer distances, I’ve developed a real affinity with running. I’m not religious, and yet often when I run, I experience an almost spiritual awakening – a deep, connected feeling – to the world and most importantly, with myself. I did not take drugs before I wrote this, I promise.
6. Running’s nice, isn’t it?
Yes, running is nice. I don’t really like the word ‘nice’, though. I find it’s a bit of a pathetic, dreary word. It’s the mild cheddar cheese of words. Bland and uninspiring. Running is MINDBLOWINGLY AWESOME! It’s like the strongest cheddar cheese ever! Kapow!
7. What’s the best goodie bag you ever received?
The first race I ever ran, the Adidas Women’s 5K, back in 2008, had an awesome goodie bag. I can’t even remember what was in it, but let me tell you, it was a good one.
8. Still on the subject of goodie bags, imagine you’re a race director with an unlimited budget; what five items would you put in the ultimate goodie bag.
A lifetime of training with Chrissie Wellington.
A grey kitten that never grows into a cat.
Free entry into every single race in the world.
The autobiography of Steve Jobs.
A helicopter ride home with an hours massage on board.
9. Favourite place to run?
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
10. A law is passed that states all runners must have a nickname, like Caballo Blanco or Alan “the Turtle” Winthorpe. What’s yours?
Elikapeka Fiorentinai (Elikapeka is my Hawaiian name, and Fiorentina is my favourite type of pizza)
11. If you had a time machine and could go back to when you first started running, what advice would you give your younger self? It’s a special running-themed time machine, so you can only offer words of wisdom that are directly related to running. That means no lottery numbers or warnings of “whatever you do, don’t trust that cheese monger”.
My advice would be: Keep going, run though the initial discomfort, it gets easier. Running will open up a whole different world for you, and you’ll become a better person because of it. Don’t stop. Also, those tight Nike lycra shorts you keep wearing to run in? Don’t. You haven’t quite got the legs for them yet.
12. How are you today?
My toenails hurt, but I’m smiling.
;* Other than that time I queued for two hours to get the autograph of Ruth Madoc out of Hi De Hi. In my defence, I was about nine years old and just as I got to the front of the queue I decided to leave the actual autograph-getting to my mum, while I wandered off to play hook-a-duck. ** Following on Twitter I mean, not in a creepy way. Not like that whole Ruth Madoc business.
PS: if you’re not already following me on the twitter, feel free to look me up and say hi @borntoplodblog