In our latest blog we caught up with running enthusiast Ann Currie. She's started her own running club and simply loves ZAAZEE! Take it away Ann!
My fitness journey
I wasn’t very sporty at school but I was encouraged to take up fencing which I continued at university. I did all sorts of exercise classes in my twenties and enjoyed swimming. When I had back pain in my late twenties, I went back to walking and swimming and from there built up to running and did a few pool triathlons. I then had my twins after a C – section in 2006, so running took a back seat to Tae Kwon Do. I then got back to running and triathlon in 2014.
"They are really comfy, very flattering and I don’t wear anything else now" Ann on ZAAZEE. Thank you so much!
My new running club
I took the England Athletics Leader in Run Fitness qualification last autumn. It took me a while to screw up the courage to “put myself out there” and start a running group as I was afraid that no-one would show up! I started Meols Milers on a damp drizzly evening in April this year and, much to my relief, 6 lovely ladies showed up. Since then, 21 people have come to my sessions and I now have regular attendees, usually between 6 and 10 people each session. We meet at 7pm on a Tuesday on the prom in Meols where it meets Roman Road.
Passion for running
Like a lot of people, I turned to running for fitness and for weight control. It was a means to an end. In recent years, I have come to love running for its own sake. When I train, I enjoy the me-time it gives me, time to mull things over in my mind and I like exploring my local area. I love going to races, the build-up, the excitement of lining up at the start, the camaraderie with other runners and the relief and euphoria of finishing a race. I wanted to share that enjoyment and enthusiasm with other people. I also want to help them reach their fitness goals. Come to running for fitness and stay for the endorphins!
My running evolution
The runs that I take are much the same as when we started. I devise a mixed ability run, usually around interval training. We have been on some continuous runs and the group was very enthusiastic about those so I will probably schedule more of those. I plan to add in another session on a Thursday night after the school holidays as some people have expressed an interest in coming along but can’t make a Tuesday night. That will give me the opportunity to mix it up a bit between interval and endurance training.
The special factor
The support from the others in the group is what makes it special. The group really gets behind everyone and encourages them along. The social side of the group cannot be underestimated either. Just the simple act of getting out and meeting people can help you put a bad day in perspective.
I’m from Scotland originally but I have lived on the Wirral for 23 years. Until Boxing Day 2017, I had never visited a little island off the coast of West Wirral called Hilbre Island. Since then, it’s become my favourite little “adventure” run. You have to time it carefully because it gets cut off by the tide. On my last visit a few weeks ago, I took the wrong turning and almost got stuck in the mud!
There are so many running events to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favourite. The ones that come to mind have all taken place on lovely sunny days, which makes a big difference to your enjoyment of an event. I really enjoyed the Conwy half marathon last November which takes you up the Great Orme. The views were stunning and I loved the finisher’s medal in the shape of Conwy castle. I also enjoyed my first ultra, Canalathon, in March this year, also a clear sunny day. I ran with some friends and this made it very enjoyable (honest!).
Deborah, ZAAZEE’s enthusiastic founder, contacted me on Twitter, to make sure that I visited her stall when I attended the Tri show in Manchester in 2015. When I went to see her, I fell in love with the capris. So now I own 3 pairs of the Zara capri, the Zana and Zoey leggings, and I have a new pair of capris which are not out yet (Adele)! They are really comfy, very flattering and I don’t wear anything else now.
I love the Amy hoodie which I wear at yoga. I also have an Erin top in Purple which I tend to use for spin classes. I recently acquired one of the new Alana fitness vests in Aqua Blue which has been a godsend in this hot weather.
Favourite ZZ product?
Without a doubt, the Zara capri although I love my new Adele capris too. I didn’t know I owned so much ZAAZEE until I added it all up for this post!
What's to come in '18
I’m focusing on the marathon distance again. I did Liverpool Rock’n’Roll marathon in 2017 and finished in 4 hours 37 minutes. I’d love to get under 4 hours 30 minutes so my aim is to do that at Chester Marathon on 7th October. I’m also doing the Whistle Stop Tour which will be a different type of challenge as it involves running 26 miles over the weekend (5 miles on Friday night, 8 miles on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday).
I’m also looking forward to developing my running group further. I have had a logo drawn up and I have ordered some buffs with the logo on. I’m planning to do the Coach in Run Fitness qualification in November. I’ll then be able to help runners with their events and so much more. I’ll be busy!
Thank you for reading, Ann x