Mairi was advised by a doctor to lose weight and found a true passion for running in the process. She talks to Sundried about some of her racing highlights.
Have you always been into sport?
I've always loved sport but had never really found somewhere I felt comfortable until a few years back. I was always envious of runners but never had the confidence to try and just thought I wouldn't be any good. I blundered my way through a few races including the London marathon but didn't train or fuel properly for it and lost interest for a few years.
When I hit 38, I was diagnosed with early menopause and told by the GP I really needed to lose some weight. I think I had gone from around 9 stone to 12 and a half stone in just a couple of years. This was the shock I needed to get me back in my trainers and start again. I soon realised that running was a good mood booster as well as helping with weight loss. it was also beneficial for my mental health.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
If I'm being truly honest I have no idea! I think I've always wanted to push myself a little more each time and I LOVE the challenge of longer distances or something new. I had recently started open water swimming in November last year and immediately found a great love for it. It was always something I was scared of so wouldn't have normally thought about triathlon. This now changed my thinking!
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
It's hard to say as I have had so many amazing races and met so many lovely runners but If I'm pushed I would say Loch Ness Marathon. The event is so well organised with some of the most encouraging volunteers I've ever met. The views are spectacular and the medal, merchandise and support is superb.
And your proudest achievement?
I would have to say every finish line is my proudest achievement as the work that goes into training for it is immense each time. I have also reached the summit of Kilimanjaro which was pretty special.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
Racing disaster would have to be London marathon 2011! I developed shin splints during training for it so I was VERY unprepared and hadn't managed any long runs prior to getting there. I think I ran the first 6 miles then basically walked from there. I ended up with 7 huge blisters on my feet which took almost two months to heal! I took a long break from running after that as it basically destroyed me. It didn't stop me entering the ballot every year since then though (with no luck) as I feel I still have unfinished business there.
My toughest race yet would definitely be the Hebrides marathon from last year. The elevation is crazy but it's worth it for the views.
How do you overcome setbacks?
Setbacks usually happen for a reason, with me anyway, they are usually a time to shift focus. I find, if it's an injury, I need to look at why it happened and what do I need to do differently to stop it happening again. I think it's usually something that you learn with time to deal with. If I can't run for any reason then I need to shift my focus to do something else like cycling, swimming or yoga. It's learning to realise you can't change things and accepting that.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
- Training and the right fuelling DO matter
- Speed work is essential in training
- Don't compare yourself to others as we are all at different stages
What are your goals?
My goals are really to keep moving. Many races this year have been cancelled so I've found it essential to try and keep focussed. I am looking forward to taking part in triathlons next year when things start to open up again. I am also looking forward to taking part in the Loch Ness 360 which is made up of 3 marathons in 3 days on the trails round Loch Ness. My goals are really to not be scared to try.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I am inspired daily by people I see who are juggling work, families and getting themselves out there for a run even if it's just one mile. I just love seeing people getting out there .
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I love that Sundried are helping us to become more eco friendly with our kit and that the kit that's produced is of a high quality and looks great.
I think my favourite bit of kit is my full zip cycling top as it's so comfortable and looks great on. Mind you the sports bra's are pretty cool too.