A blog by runners. For runners.

Runner of the Week: Gill D.

This week's runner of the week is Gill D. She started running later in her life after quitting smoking. She plans to continue to build strength and stay healthy and flexible into old age. These are great goals, Gill! Keep up the great work!

Favorite Candy: Chocolate is my downfall – currently Galaxy milk chocolate is my favorite.

Favorite Quote: Not sure about a favorite quote, but “just keep putting one foot in front of the other,” is what comes to mind when I'm struggling to run.

WalkJogRun: Tell us about yourself!

Gill D.: I live in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, UK, married with two children and 2 granddaughters (ages 14 and 11) and I am a happily retired credit controller.

WalkJogRun: How did you get started running? What's your running “story”?

Gill D.: I started running because I saw how fit my daughter had become after taking up running on a regular basis. Being able to indulge in a guilt free chocolate bar was another incentive! The feeling of euphoria when I've completed a 6 or 7K run is amazing. On bad days I hate the fact that as an ex smoker (I smoked for most of my adult life – I'm now 62) I struggle for breath.

Why running?

Gill D.: Keeping strong, healthy and flexible into old age is my aim. I see too many older people just sitting back in retirement. Use it or lose it – I believe being as active as possible can only be beneficial to my health. I aim for 2 runs a week, plus weights and cardio at the gym and a couple of classes for core strength and balance/flexibility.

WalkJogRun: What's the best thing about running? What's the worst thing?

Gill D.: My very first run outdoors was a real mixture of walking and running – jog for 3 lamp posts, walk for 3 over 3K. I was very out of [breath] when I finished, but pleased all the same. It took me about six weeks to complete the 3K at a very gentle run. The first run I really enjoyed was over 5K on a damp autumn morning – about half way round I suddenly felt so alive!

WalkJogRun: Do you have any advice for another running newbie?

Gill D.: To anyone just starting out running, give yourself a pat on the back for getting up and giving it a go. Some runs will be good, some terrible and some days it takes real effort to get out there. But when you do that first “good” run, it's all worthwhile.

Do you like the WalkJogRun shirt Gill is wearing in the photo? You can purchase one for yourself in our running store (sold out).

If you'd like to nominate yourself or another runner to be the “Runner of the Week,” please visit the details page here.