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From hip operation, to running for Wales

Written by A.R.Fairbank@swansea.ac.uk / Friday 1st July 2022

This Sunday, our Finance Manager Clare Phillips will compete for Wales in the FV50 team at Tenby Long Course Weekend. Quite an achievement, especially when you take into consideration she had a hip operation in 2018. 

In our latest blog, Clare shares with us her love of running, how it helped her during lockdown, and how she got to compete for Wales. 

Clare.jpgIn 2016, at the age of 47,  I was told I needed a new hip, so I hung up my trainers, thinking I would never race again. I had taken up running at the age of 30 and enjoyed the events and the camaraderie. For two years I swam and went to the gym. But no running. 

My hip operation took place in April 2018. I could hardly walk after the operation and progress was slow. After 6 months the consultant said I could resume training. I didn’t need encouragement. My training started off slowly – run and walk, until I started running parkrun in December 2018. The gym work had paid off - next stop 10k races!

During lockdown I started to run more as it helped get me through the difficult time. I went from being in a busy, thriving office every day, to working from home. We all found our own way of coping during the unprecedented times. Running was mine.

I entered more races and changed my training schedules to get fitter. Last year, I ran the Swansea Half-marathon in 1hour 31 minutes, and was the first Over 50 lady to finish.  That’s me on the right. Two half marathons later and I am delighted to have been selected to represent Wales in the FV50 team at Tenby Long Course Weekend this Sunday.

I run 5 days a week. The other two I do a gym session and either swim or bike. I work full-time so it takes a lot of positive mental attitude to keep going. Cake helps as well. 

Sometimes temporary blips (having a hip operation is hardly a temportary blip!) can help us all think laterally and try new things. I have learn't that I am more resilient than I thought. Running is something I love to do. It makes me happy. And I am not letting something such as a hip operation stop me from achieiving my goals.

And one of those goals will be achieved on Sunday when I put on the Welsh vest. I can't wait.   

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