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Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

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Interview with Vixx

SleighbellsDippily asks: Congrats Vixx. When did you start to think of yourself as a runner?

Vixx says: Thank you! Am really chuffed that people thought enough to vote for me! (Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it).

I'm not sure I do! I was on a bit of a roll up until I had chest surgery at the end of 2013, then spent 2014 practically out (check out my training log for that year!) because I couldn't bend my leg properly. After deciding I wanted to propose to Her Ladyship (after playing a very long end-game) at the Berlin Marathon in 2015, I got it looked at, but I've not managed to overcome my fear of injury and so I occasionally do a race I know I can finish, but at the moment The Streak is all I have. I do hope I can get back to events as I would like to eventually get to the 100 Marathon Club.
pedroscalls asks: Congratulations Vixx, if money and time were no object what race or route would you really want to do?

Vixx says: Thank you! :)

I've really had to think on this one as there are so many events or routes that I would like to have a good go at - many are Scotland based, or Irish based, such as the Connemarathon, or the West Highland Way for example.

I think there are two that it comes down to: I would love to have a crack at a Bob Graham Round, but think I am possibly too injury prone at this point.

The other would be doing Lands End to John O'Groats - but via the Public Footpath route as opposed to the traditional route. I did read a blog on it about 12 years ago and was fascinated by it. I'd do that as a run-walk and take a bit longer to enjoy the scenery and get photos.
WA asks: Congratulations Vixx. If you had 24 hours and unlimited funds, what would you do and where would you go?

Vixx says: Thanks WA!

I'm not sure as I've never had much money, so something like that would open up all sorts of possibilities.

I'd like to do the Antarctica Marathon, so if my 24hrs could start and end there, then I'd do that as that's pretty pricey!

If it didn't have to be running related, then I would want to spend 24hrs feeding and helping to clothe or provide items for people in need, or providing a way to help them make some extra money to help themselves.
DingDocMerrily asks: Congratulations, well deserved. My best social runs are one to one.If you are going out for a social run, how many people would be ideal in the group, how far, and where.

Vixx says: Thank you very much - I appreciate it :)

My last 'social' run was the one my wife organised last year to celebrate my 1000th Runstreak Day. There were 4 of us, and some people who couldn't make it used a hashtag to link their running photos (I put mine mainly on Instagram under #whatiseewhenrun and whatever year it is if people want to have a look).

If I run outdoors I tend to run alone. (I use the treadmill a lot). I would like to run more socially, but have found running clubs to be a little 'elite' in terms of the times they want you to run (I went to Manchester Frontrunners and for their 'social' run you need to be able to run 10km in an hour) and I can't manage those times in many cases.

I used to do a little 'Learn to Run' group in 2008 when I helped a group of people train for the Birmingham Half Marathon in 2009, and I stayed with the slowest runner, and that was nice to be able to have a chat and catch up with someone's week.

Maybe being more social when I run will help me get back to running marathons.....

:)
Winter purpleland asks: Congratulations Vixx, well deserved. What/where is your calming place? For me it's running water, sitting by a river or stream and watching it flow by has a wonderful effect on me. Do you have something similar?

Vixx says: Hey purps, thank you :)

I don't know if I have a calming place per se. I love to run along the Trans Pennine Trail as water is quite peaceful (I often do a loop from Sale Water Park up to Chorlton Water Park and do a loop around each of those areas, which is quite nice regardless of weather).

I like being anywhere in nature - hills, trees, wind, mud are all good. The less people the better too!

These days I am a lot calmer than I used to be, and am not averse to a bit of introspection to find out why something has set me off, but running has often helped there too. I do get stressed (particularly with family issues), but running is my 'me' time, and I do feel better for it.

I hope that answers the question!
LindsD asks: Well deserved. When and why did you start running?

Vixx says: Thank you LindsD :D

I started running during a depressive bout when I was about 22-23. I'd always been active at school, right through until I finished University. Then work came along, and although it was an "on your feet" job, the doctor still felt I needed to be MORE active (because walking 7-10 miles per day wasn't enough apparently), so my dad hauled my ass off down to the gym. I enjoyed doing most of the cardio stuff but found that I could burn more calories off (I also had some eating issues at the time) by running so I started doing bits on the treadmill until I could regularly do 20-30 minutes at a time.

My first race was the London Marathon - purely because I didn't know there were other races available.....
Night-owl asks: Congratulations where's the best place you've ever run, be it a race or a training run?

Vixx says: Oooooh - thanks! Great question!

My favourite two races (equal #1) are The New York Marathon, and the Luxembourg Night Marathon. Both awesome for different reasons. New York because I was ticking off a bucket list item (and in a very convoluted manner ended up meeting my wife), and Luxembourg because the whole principality comes out to party (with a party for the runners at the end). It's quite surreal to be running up a road at midnight and having a brass band jogging alongside you playing a tune as you run. It's also really invigorating to be one of the last runners who run past a bar at 00:30am and people realise you are still in the race and the whole bar goes mental cheering you on as you go past. Add a DJ, cheerleaders and party at the indoor finish line and it's a mental experience that all runners should go and try (relay and half marathon also available I think).
mascott514 asks: Congratulations Vixx, what got you into streaking, and what do you think are the

benefits?


Vixx says: Thanks Mascott! :)

I'll start with the benefits - it's brought some of my shorter distance times down, and it removes the "Shall I go for a run?" and it becomes "When Shall I go for a run?"

I try to keep finding new places to run and I also look to take photographs when I find something interesting.

Now....

The streaking started Dec 1st, 2015. I'd been challenged to do Marcothon and run every day in December, and to be fair I wasn't completely fussed - I thought I'd manage a fortnight and that'd be it.

However, on Dec 2nd (which unfortunately is The Wife's birthday), my mom's partner very suddenly died. He was an alcoholic and he wasn't in the best of health, but it was sudden and very unexpected. He was also disabled, but kept walking every day (mainly to get booze) but because he was frightened that if he didn't walk he'd end up stuck in a wheelchair. He'd fractured both legs in his late 30s in a motorcycle accident and they'd used part of his calf muscle to go onto the front of his lower leg to help him to walk.

At that point I decided that I'd keep going regardless to see out the month. That first fortnight absolutely killed the legs, and then subsided. At the end of the year, I decided that I would carry on, for him. The only way I will stop now is injury or serious illness. Otherwise I will carry on as best as I can.

I'll be at 4 years this time round.
Trin asks: Congratulations Vixx 😊 my question is what would be the best case scenario for your life in 10 years from now, where you live, your running achievements, work and general life?

Vixx says: Thanks Trin! Great question!

Best case scenario is that I would have done all the things I had planned to do initially and maybe have the million pounds I wanted to have before a businessman I trusted talked me out of it saying it wasn't possible, and then I actually watched other people achieve it doing exactly what I was going to do :(

So, the next best case scenario is that the C.I.C. (Community Interest Company) that I have set up actually gets off the ground to allow me to fundraise and apply for grants so that I can help trans people find fitness activities to help them get fitter physically and mentally stronger and become the best versions of themselves that they can be. I'm working on ways to do seminars and workshops around the country to assist in this too. I really want to try and help people in the best ways that I can. That, and my other work hopefully will be more successful - so that will be work.

Running - hopefully I will get my confidence back to go to more long distance stuff, as I really would like to join the 100 Marathon Club at some point.

I quite like where I live, but I would like to see more of the world than I currently have. Finances up to now have not allowed for that, and at the moment I can't quite afford race entries, so things like that will hopefully come along later on.

Also, I do hope that my wife is still happy to be with me and that we are both healthy and enjoying life.
RRR-CAZmas asks: Congratulations given a golden ticket to any sporting event what would you choose to watch ?

Vixx says: Thanks RRR-CAZ! :)

This is a really tricky one for me, as I love to watch sport in general, and there are so many different events that I would like to see: Wimbledon finals (all of them), Ryder Cup, World Cup finals (both rugby and football), Paralympics, Olympics (didn't get to go to London 2012), Basketball NBA Finals, Baseball World Series and American Football's Superbowl are all on the list. However, I am quite anti-social and sometimes being in crowds is a bit too much to bear as my hearing is really sensitive. I have been known to wear earplugs without a care!

Thus, I guess my Golden Ticket would have to be a Sky Sports/BT Sports full channel subscription!
westmoors asks: Congratulations. If you could meet anybody, past or present, who would it be and why?

Vixx says: Thank you Westmoors :)

I'm a bit nervy about meeting people generally as I am quite shy initially and I'm on the autistic spectrum so I often worry about how I am coming across as some people can see me as rude. There are lots of Fetchies I would like to meet and hopefully will in time.

I did meet the person I really wanted to earlier in the year, and then was quite disappointed to find that they had added their voice to the people believing that trans people shouldn't compete in elite sports (although they have since gone quiet on this matter). As the Transgender Athletes thread has shown, it's a very complex issue, and until further research can be done then this will continue to be a hot topic. I made my points on the thread at the time so won't bore people here (as I think this is a great question).

I think if I could meet anyone (and there are a lot of famous people I would love to meet and talk to), I would actually want to see my Grandma again and have a chat. She passed away when I was 18 and I have a few questions that only she could answer, as she encouraged and supported a lot of my "boyish" behaviour. She bought me my first football (and other sporting equipment), she cut my hair when I wanted it really short, and she made me feel that anything was possible. I wonder what she would make of where I am now.
RFJ asks: Many congrats, well deserved, short, medium or long favourite distances and why?

Vixx says: Thank you very much!

I don't mind actually. Whilst I prefer longer distance due to my being incredibly slow, I will do the odd 5km or 10km to have a go at some speed. I quite like the longer distances because it's less time to be nagged or pestered by people.
I also do the odd streak saving 1 miler, and I try to do those at speed if I can to see how fast I can run 1 mile. However, the day after a marathon, it is often a very slooooooooooow streak saver.

In the future if I get the chance, I would love to go really long and test myself.
fetcheveryone asks: You've run thirty miles in one event. Did you at any point pretend that you were a hobbit?

Vixx says: Thanks Fetch :)

I've actually done it twice (just to make sure the first time wasn't a fluke). At the end of the one I probably did look like a Hobbit as I'd fallen over and hurt my ankle earlier in the day and after having a mahoosive mental meltdown, decided that I was going to go and do the 30 miles I wanted anyway.

The last lap required poles and I was a little bit weary by the end. I'll find a photo for the gallery.....
Mrs Sunbed asks: Char gratulations. What do you think eat to fuel you up for a long run?

Vixx says: Thank you very much :) I actually don't eat a great deal before a long run in training - I usually have a flapjack and a coffee and take a bottle of squash with me. I eat before races though and hate that, as I know I need to eat (and drink), but it doesn't sit well, so I often feel sick.

I tend to eat a bigger meal the night before, pasta/rice/potatoes and the like, and eat less on the morning because I always feel nerves as the race approaches, and this seems to work better. During races I have gels and jelly babies.
minardi asks: Many congratulations Vixx. Do you have a mantra for when things get tough (running and/or otherwise)?

Vixx says: Thank you Minardi!
I think the one that keeps coming back (more for life than running) is one I heard first from Tony Robbins (but not certain it was he who coined it): "Winter never lasts forever, and Spring always arrives."

I know that it means that the tough times feel like forever, especially in the middle of them, but at some point you will wake up and realise that change is on the way, if not already arriving.

For running, I count numbers, but I try not to do that too much as I miss out on scenery :(
1step2far asks: Congratulations Vixx! What is the oddest place you've run to maintain your streak?

Vixx says: Thank you 1step2far - I really appreciate it.

Oddest place - Sandbach services M6 Northbound approximately 2 years ago. I'd stopped there because there were problems further up the motorway and I figured I'd get something to eat and drink and rest before getting stuck in the tailback. The only problem was that by the time I had done that the traffic was tailing back way past the services to j16 and beyond that even. I was getting fidgety because I hadn't managed to do my mile, and the next day we were to be heading up to Newcastle for my final GNR, so I ended up running a mile around the services area and around the cars. People probably thought I was a little bit nuts!
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