Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Each winner receives a £100 ADVANCE PERFORMANCE voucher

Interview with Autumnleaves

Fenland Flier asks: About flipping time, how many months is it I've been voting for you? Anyway CONGRATULATIONS oh running goddess. No question, just keep doing what you do.

Autumnleaves says: Thanks FF :) I will do my best
The Terminator asks: I'm with Fenland, way past time. Massive Congrats. I still often think about the kindness you and your family showed me during my challenge and look forward to our paths crossing again sooner rather than later. Question? err? If you could only offer one piece of advice to the runners you coach what would it be and why? Oh and my stock quetion, what is your drink of choice, pre race, during race and post race? Well done again.

Autumnleaves says: Thanks maTT - it was a pleasure at the time - I hope we can help in another mad challenge of yours some time. Only one piece of advice?? Errrm - I think for the beginners it would always be to slow down! (Unless it's their first race maybe ;)) - enjoying the running journey is part of it for me, it's a shame to rush :) In general, probably the old Positive Mental Attitude - it's corny but it works (although I am not always good at maintaining it myself....)
Drinks - I can't get up without my morning tea - on a race day I sometimes have a coffee as well for extra caffeine (which otherwise I rarely touch); mid-race - so far only ever water though I do take a gel or two on a longer race; post-race or run I like almond milk but in summer I've developed a taste for coconut water with a squirt of peach/mango cordial stuff (free in a goodie bag!). I don't mind a nice beer on occasion either!
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congratulations AL. Lovin your work! Here's a Q - what is you favourite thing about Fetch? Fetcheveryone.com the site, rather than Fetch the man. Though you could tell us if you like his knees or something too?! Congrats again. :-) G

Autumnleaves says: Thank you HappyG :) That is a tough question as there are many things I love about this site, not least the opportunity to pore over one's training stats - but if pushed I would say that the Forum would be top - it's there I've found friendship, mayhem and madness from the 700ers; wisdom and advice on the many training threads; things to make me laugh out loud; ideas to try out with the various runners I coach - and things I never knew about! As for Fetch the man, we have yet to meet in real life, but I am a bit of a sucker for a Welsh accent :)
pedroscalls asks: Congratulations AL, well deserved. My question is, if money/time was no object, is there a race or route that you would want to run no matter where?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks Pedros - this is a lovely question to think about! Given the current state of my nerves about tackling even 16 miles in October looking at marathons or ultras around the world might seem a bit daft - but I would love to be able to tackle something in some really awe-inspiring natural surroundings - the Great Wall of China, something in Arizona or Utah or the Australian Outback. I also quite fancy one of the big city marathons in Europe - Paris or Rome particularly.
Carpathius asks: Fantastic, so pleased you've won at last! :) Your running just took off and flew a couple of years ago, your PBs have had spots knocked off them time after time and you're still going! What do you think triggered the meteoric rise in form and function? And are you ever going to give me that recipe from Endure 2015?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks Carp - well it isn't drugs ;) I think to start with it was just a question of running more often and more intelligently; things clicked for me when I realised how much I just enjoyed running outside regardless of the weather! I left the gym & started doing all my training, even the core strengthening stuff, out of doors. Then joining the club was a real step forward - I learnt a lot more about pushing myself as a runner - and found more confidence as a result. So much about running success is mental training - learning to ignore the little voice that says you can't do something! Plus I am actually quite competitive...
Hmmm - I don't remember saying I would give you my much prized recipe for oatmeal cookies....was I awake at the time???
Pompey Paul asks: Big congratulations AL :-) My question is - what is your best ever race and why?

Autumnleaves says: You're too kind PP - I think I would probably still go for the Liverpool Half in 2013 - it was my first go at a Half and my time of 2.02something way exceeded my expectations. I paced it well and I had a complete runners' high from about 8 miles in when I felt so strong, and the euphoria as I crossed the line has yet to be repeated! (Sadly...) I did also really enjoy the Mad Dog 10k this year though - when I went sub-50 for the first time, and of the races I do annually it's probably my favourite.
.B. asks: Congratulations AL, I am so impressed with your running and your work with RRs, brilliant! Now, which is going to be your first marathon and why? :-)

Autumnleaves says: Thanks B :) I keep changing my mind on the marathon question. When a long run has gone well I feel really up for the challenge - but currently I am far less confident that I'm really cut out for it. However, there was a plan to do Chester in 2016. It's local, club supported (so I won't be alone) and in October - so close in date to our 25th Wedding Anniversary - we thought it would be a good way to celebrate. This pre-supposes that we don't fall out on the way round which is very possible....I like to picture us crossing the finish hand in hand - but there is every chance we won't be on speaking terms. Failing that, I now wonder about looking to Spring 2017 instead - I think I might find a spring marathon easier to train for... (as you can tell I'm still very undecided!!).
snogard asks: No question :) Congratulations well deserved

Autumnleaves says: Thanks snogard x
Meglet asks: Congrats! bunting (in true 700 style). How has running a beginners group changed your own running/training?

Autumnleaves says: *drapes self in bunting in 700 style* - There are a lot of positives - my total monthly miles have gone up, I benefit from nice recovery runs in good company & I am probably a bit more careful about stretching... I admit I have found it hard to accommodate the demands of specific training plans alongside them though - and sometimes getting myself up to speed again is a challenge. This is more of an issue with the improvers rather than the absolute beginners, it can get quite time-consuming! I quite like my Thursday evening run - which is often the only one I do by myself - it's a chance to refocus on what I want to do and run at my own pace without worrying.
ChrisHB asks: Are you a musician, and if so, which is your instrument?

Autumnleaves says: Only in the very dim & distant past - I played the flute at school but to no great standard. I sing - although not so much these days. There are a fair few ex-musicians in the Halle admin team but a few of us who arrived via other means!!
Flatlander asks: Well deserved for many things, including your RRs and your club coaching, as well as all the PBs you keep setting.
Given your interest and ability in encouraging others, how do you see your running developing, not just in terms of competing but also with your involvement in athletics?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks Flatlander - interesting question. I hope I will still be running in the years to come - so I am looking at trying to maintain my pace and endurance as much as possible. I know there may well come a point where the PBs cease to be attainable - but if I can hang on as much as possible then who knows, maybe a few senior club records might be possible ;) I would hope to continue coaching - I'm looking to to build on my skills there this autumn - but the beginners stuff is what I have found most rewarding, and hopefully I can carry that on for a good while yet! I'd love to be one those that continues to run with enjoyment into their seventies and beyond - that would be a gift.
Bintmcskint asks: Yay! Most excellent news and very, very well deserved.
You are stranded on a desert island. You can take one type of food, one book and one Fetchie. What and who do you take and why?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks so much Bint - what a good question too! Type of food - I'm hoping there might be bananas on the island...plus I might be able to catch some fish, in which case I think I would go for bread - as many varieties as possible please. One book - such a tough one, my stock answer tends to be Pride & Prejudice because I do really, genuinely love it - but I know bits of it so well I maybe don't need to physically have it with me? So I think instead I'll go for Middlemarch - a book I have read a couple of times and always feel sorry to reach the end of! Now the Fetchie - well loyalty would make me say Mr AL, obviously - but in some ways he is a reluctant Fetchie ;) - I think I'd pick Fleecy, because she's incredibly practical - she'd probably produce a tent and sundry other useful items for desert island camping! It would have to be a desert island with mud on it somewhere though...
Mr AL asks: What's it like being married to Mr AL?

Autumnleaves says: Awesome - obviously!
GeologyRocks asks: Finally! Well deserved AL. How do you juggle RR with your own training runs?

Autumnleaves says: Thank you :) It varies - when they are at the start of the C25k programme it's quite easy as I tend to do my own running afterwards. At the moment - where we have a couple of informal groups who are at different paces it's a bit more challenging, they are are doing 3-4 miles comfortably, but often very slowly. I treat one of the runs as a recovery run - and just enjoy it - with the other I will try to do something afterwards that is a bit faster. This can impact on the rest of the Leaves household as Wednesday tea-time can be rather late... Mr AL is getting very good at cooking though (and a slow-cooker comes in handy).
Rosehip asks: As they all said, about time too! Everyone else has asked all the questions! Oh I know, how will you decide whether or not to train for a marathon?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks RH - you're all very kind. It will depend how the next phase of the training for the Metric version goes - I am intending to so some longer runs of 16 plus miles, then of course I need to see how the Metric race itself goes. If I can get to the end of this year without suffering from the over-training that struck last winter - that would be a big plus. Emotionally I like the idea of doing a marathon in a special year (I suspect I may only do it once if at all) - even my Mum is telling me to go for it next year - and she think I'm mad most of the time.
FML asks: Well Deserved. After watching the sunrise come up together recently, where is your favourite place to watch the sunrise?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks FML :) I can't say I often watch the sunrise - being more of a night-owl - anywhere over the sea would have to be up there, but being in the Australian Outback many years ago and watching Ayers Rock change colour in the early morning was pretty perfect!
Diogenes asks: Well in AL, why Autumnleaves

Autumnleaves says: Thanks Dio - I think your Fetch name deserves an award actually - when I signed up for Fetch I quickly established that the few running related names I could think of were taken, and I ran out of inspiration - gazing out of the window on a blustery afternoon in November leaves from the plane trees outside my office were blowing about. I reckoned there was a good chance no-one had thought of that one, and so it proved.
jennywren asks: I haven't got a question either, more of a request that you do more of the races that I'm likely to be at so I can chat to you again!

Autumnleaves says: :) - we will have to compare portfolios!! Our club is a bit betwixt and between - sometimes looking towards Manchester & Cheshire and then others more out to Liverpool and the Wirral
Lalli asks: Congrats, AL! :-)
So what got you running in the first place and what keeps you doing it?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks Lalli :) I started originally when a few of us at work decided to create Team Halle for the Manchester Run in 2005. For a few years I trained for that race each year - starting in January and usually finishing in May! In 2009 I had a bit of an epiphany in so far as it struck me that I actually quite enjoyed running, so I sort of kept going. Then I found a personal trainer, and he took both me and my ambitions seriously - and then added to them by throwing down the Half Marathon gauntlet. Now I am a self-confessed addict - I get grumpy when I can't run, I like how it makes me feel - happy, strong, healthy - and I like that it has brought new friends, new challenges and new achievements. It is even reconciling me to an approaching milestone Birthday :)
Corrah asks: Very well deserved, so many congratulations. Where is your favourite place to run and why? :) xx

Autumnleaves says: Thank you Corrah, that's very kind. Luckily for me I like my local routes very much - you would think we would be in entirely built up areas but we aren't, my favourite loop has a lovely tree-lined stretch where there are bluebells in spring, you can often hear a woodpecker and then you emerge to cornfields in summer. One of the things I like about running is that you notice the changing seasons more - I like noticing the changes to the trees and hedgerows. Another run has one of my favourite views across to Leigh with some of the last remaining mills in the area. I rather like the industrial landscape of the northwest, always have.
Canute asks: Congratulations. Well deserved. What running experience has given you the greatest statisfaction

Autumnleaves says: Thank you Canute. This such a good question too! It is quite hard to choose in fact, it would be easy to pick a PB race - because those do bring a great sense of achievement, but I think I might choose the first time I ran 15 miles - which was last year some time. It was with Mr AL and we did two loops of 7.5 miles, with Sophie joining us for the second one. I was daunted by the distance when we set out, but got rather euphoric as we hit the final two miles - it was that great feeling you get when you *know* you will not just finish a distance but feel strong. On that run, a marathon seemed possible - but I haven't replicated the feeling since!!
northernslowcoach asks: hurrah bunting what's your favorite cake?

Autumnleaves says: Thanks NSC :) Oooh - so many to choose from, if pushed, Lemon Drizzle (Twiglet makes a very good one) but really good ginger cake is nice too, and chocolate *of course* and coffee & walnut...
Doctor K asks: Which runner has inspired you the most?

Autumnleaves says: That is such a tough one to answer - I find many runners on this site inspirational - for the challenges many of them take on, especially amongst those of us in the *cough* more senior ranks. I do find our homegrown distance runners pretty inspiring though - Paula Radcliffe and Jo Pavey, and then Steve 'Who' Way, our own Marigold - that was pretty amazing.
Sombrero asks: If you had to have a mullet or a spiral perm for a whole month, which would you choose and why?

Autumnleaves says: Well given I'd look pretty dreadful with either, the mullet - easier to hide under the hat I'd be forced to wear :)
CogNoscensme AHA asks: Best at loading the dishwasher. You or Mr AL? Great running and thanks for all the blogs.

Autumnleaves says: Well he would say he is but he doesn't know how often I rearrange it ;) Thanks - and I'm glad the daily blogs aren't boring you too much!
Sharkie asks: PHEW! And also MWHAH! xxx
All these questions about marathons and the like... now come on Ms. Athletic, does not an 800m or a 400m sound like a decent challenge? (Hint... I think they'd suit you.)

Autumnleaves says: :) xxx back! Yes, I do quite fancy a proper go at a 400m - I used to run 800s at school (not that well). Not sure how I would accomplish training for it properly though as the clubs here are all very much road running.
McGoohan asks: I'm going to ask my question by predictive text, OK?

What time is the most important part in this way of number number number and the feeling of chicken or something similar with your name to see more jam?

Autumnleaves says: To answer in like style. .. jam and warning signs of spring and summer months ago by the time they have been pledged to the start date of birth and I am very pleased with the waves
DrPhleecingD asks: Huzzah! bunting Now what is the recipe for those rock cake biscuity things please?

Autumnleaves says: Watch the blog..... ;)
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