Following an ‘misadventure’ on holiday, Karen found herself with a snapped Achilles and her running days in doubt.

Karen’s story…

My running journey began in 2017…

“After the breakdown of my marriage, I wanted to do something for myself, and not just be a working mum. I joined a local running club and did a six-week programme, I surprised myself and actually grew to love it. Before I knew it I was soon entering local races and virtual medal challenges. I gradually built up my mileage and decided to run Cardiff Half Marathon 2018 with my awesome run buddy to raise funds for In Charley’s Memory. Training went well and we smashed it on the day and absolutely loved it, so much so that we signed up to do it again in 2019.

Sadly for me in May 2019 I suffered a snapped Achilles tendon whilst Irish dancing in Kos. I spent two weeks in a cast, followed by six weeks in a boot unable to weight bear. I was completely useless. After the removal of my boot and lack of physio, my left leg had suffered complete muscle wastage and walking was difficult. (Earning the name skinny left leg!). At this point, I thought I would never run again! For months after (and actually still to this day), I walked with a limp and the muscles in my leg have not rebuilt.

Achilles tear to Half Marathon

In October 2019, I ventured out for a run/walk with a fellow Sole Sister and gradually built up my miles. I did not ever think I would run more than 5k again but with sheer determination and my training plan from my run coach Emmie from The Inside Track, (SRSR’s membership programme) and I managed to build up my mileage to a 9-mile training run.

Since joining Start Running Stay Running my legs have felt so much stronger. Before, I only ever ran and just added distance with each run but have since learnt that incorporating strength and mobility and different style runs is necessary and it has got me back stronger than ever.  My motivation is the best it’s ever been which is down to this amazing community and of course, the Seasonal Runner Medals.

On 23rd May 2021, all the hard work on my training plan came to fruition when I completed my Half Marathon on the day that I should’ve been doing the London Landmarks Half Marathon.  To my delight, I took a whole nine minutes off my time giving me a PB!

I am so grateful to Start Running Stay Running and my fellow runners from the Burnham Sole Sisters for all their amazing support and encouragement.  My running journey continues with a new running plan ready for more races in the future.”

Karen, member of The Inside Track and Seasoned Runner Virtual Run Challenges