Monday, 11 June 2012

Strider in the Spotlight - Sheryl Norman

Welcome to the first 'Strider in the Spotlight' – a chance to learn more about your fellow Striders.

Sheryl in Paris, 2010
First in the hot seat - our Chair, Sheryl ...... 
 
How long have you been running and when did you join Striders?
For about 10 years. I started running to get back in shape after the birth of my son Oliver. I remember those first few weeks so well...walk 3 minutes, run 1 minute...and how hard it felt at the time. I've been a Strider for about 4 years. I'd had a disastrous half-marathon and thought, ‘Right, I need to join a running club to help me learn how to train better.’

What’s been your best moment as a Strider?
Doing my first (and only so far!) marathon in Paris in 2010. I don't think I could have done it without all the support from the club and especially from my training partner (and Strider) Linda Powell. She was training for London, which I think was a week after Paris. I'll never forget our last 22 mile training run and how we were both near meltdown but we carried each other through. Colin Braybrook also ran the Paris marathon and although he had pretty much showered and shaved by the time I finished (in 4:35) it was fantastic to have another Strider there to cheer me on as I took those last few, very hard steps across the finish. 

Linda and Sheryl in training, 2010

What’s your pre-race ritual?
This has been trial and error over the years (!) but... coffee & wholewheat toast with honey and a banana. 

What’s the most useful piece of running advice you’ve been given?
Give yourself plenty of time to recover after a marathon. This is advice I actually didn't follow after Paris and paid the price. I won't ignore that advice next time. Incidentally, that ‘next time’ is potentially to have another go at Paris next year. We'll see.... 

Who is your sporting hero?
Without a doubt Paula Radcliffe. She's been a big inspiration to me. She is (still) an amazing runner. Oh and James Cracknell is nice, too. I mean, he's an incredibly talented athlete, isn't he? 

Where do you keep your race medals?
Hanging on the back of the door in my spare room. Except of course my Paris marathon medal, which hangs on my closet door so I see it every day. 

What’s your favourite local running route?
That would most certainly be my run through the Wheathampstead fields into Kimpton to visit the alpacas. I do that one as often as I can; they're just so darned cute. 

What’s your next target?
Well I'm trying to build up the courage to do either London or Paris marathon next spring. It's likely I won't get into London so we'll see what happens. I just need to get my head around all that training again. It's fun... isn't it?! 

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