Liz Adams, one of our volunteer coaches, will run the London Marathon at 28 April. Read about her unfinished business with London, how she plans to use her Mini Mermaid voice and silence Siren. Oh yes, and she's raising funds for US! MERMAIZING! The funds will allow us to bring Mini Mermaid programmes to areas of need in the UK. We adore any and all donations! Click Here!
1. How did you discover Mini Mermaids and what do you do with the organisation?
When my good friend and Valley Striders club teammate Hannah first brought Mini Mermaids to the UK, she asked if I’d be interested in getting involved. When I saw the curriculum, I thought how much I would have benefited from something like that as a kid - it’s fantastic (sorry - fintastic). I’ve coaches here in Leeds for the past three years, and I think I’ve got as much out of it as the girls have, if not more.
2. What inspired you to run London?
Me and London have unfinished business...I’ve been lucky enough to race it a few times before, and I absolutely love it (not necessarily from mile 20 onwards, mind...). The last time I toed the start line on Blackheath, I didn’t get to the finish. I’d had a cold to end all colds in the countdown to race day, and it found me out somewhere in the heart of Docklands. That was in 2012, and I’m so excited that, seven years on, I get the chance to experience it all again. Including the last bit!
3. How do you balance training with other aspects of your life?
The honest answer is that I don’t always. I LOVE my sleep anyway, but marathon training can tire me out (even more than it used to 10 years ago - I still expect myself to bounce back like I did then!). I have perfected the art of spotting cheeky nap opportunities throughout the week and taking full advantage of them.
It’s easy to become a slave to the training plans. Sometimes it’s a case of paying attention if your body and mind are getting a bit jaded. Maybe you need to allow yourself to stop and rest completely, swap a hard run for an easier one or maybe enjoy a walk or a swim. Or sleep.
4. Training always presents challenges - what are some of the ways you worked through those challenges?
I keep reminding myself what I’m doing it for. I love running but there will always be those runs that feel hard! Meeting up with friends and club mates is a great way to make sure I don’t wimp out. It’s always worth it afterwards when you’ve got your feet up and a cup of tea. And chocolate.
5. What will Siren say to you on Marathon Day? What will Mini Mermaid say?
Siren will be kicking up a fuss, I guarantee you that - or trying to, at least. When my legs start to feel heavy, everything is aching and there are still miles to go, she’ll start whining on about how I’m starting to struggle and that the wheels are falling off. If I pay attention to that thought, or start to believe it, my head will start to drop, my pace will slow and any faith in myself will quickly evaporate. So, I’ve got to shut that voice up straight away.
Someone once told me: ‘talk to yourself, don’t listen to yourself’. I’ve always found that really helpful. So, I’ll start to talk myself through it, and turn up the volume on the Mini Mermaid voice. Yes, it might be hurting, but of course it will! I can get though it. Just get to the next mile marker, the next water station. Just take the next step. I can only do my best. I’ll try to stay relaxed, and soak up the incredible atmosphere of one of the world’s greatest marathons.
6. What are you most excited about come Marathon Day? Most nervous?
I’m excited about getting on the train to London on the Friday, picking up my race number and meeting up with friends. There will be a lot of nervous faffing around with my race kit on the Saturday. On Sunday morning, I’ll just want to get to the start line and get going. I’m really hoping that my calf will feel ok (it’s been a bit tight over the past week) and that it’s not too hot. 12 degrees would be perfect, but unlikely...
7. What would you say to someone nervous about taking on a new challenge, of any kind?
I’d say it’s a good thing to feel nervous. It means you’re about to do something a bit out of your comfort zone. Start small, so that you’re breaking it down into challenging but achievable steps. How will you know what you’re capable of if you don’t give it a go?
It will be worth any discomfort for the immense pride and self-belief you get afterwards. That’s with you forever, and who knows what will happen when it starts to spill over into the rest of your life.