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Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Our way of acknowledging the contributions and achievements of the Fetch community. Thanks to our sponsor Fitbit, our October winner will receive a Fitbit Charge 3.

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Interview with LouLou

LorraineS asks: Well done on the sub 3 Lou. Are you thinking of having a go at the World record for lady doctors?

LouLou says: Having been overtaken by the world's fastest male doctor at Edinburgh Marathon it did set the seeds of entering the Guiness Book of Records. I would however rather have a go at fastest female superhero first.
STOOSH asks: Will you now be able to go into London without putting a huge amount of stress and pressure on yourself now you already have sub3 and just enjoy the experience?? (which i believe will allow you to go quicker)

LouLou says: You may want to print this Stoosh as it may be the only time I write this - You were right. I probably ran sub 3 at Abingdon as I didn't put a huge amount of stress and pressure on myself. I just aimed to do my best and if I didn't get it I'd get it next time. But if I'm honest... I will probably still put some pressure on myself to PB in London but will try and put the "right" amount of pressure on me!!
Ultracat asks: Congratulations well deserved member of the month. What is your favourite race and what would you like to achieve in the next year, next 5 years?

LouLou says: Thanks J! Favourite Race - distance wise it's anny marathon and I really like the London Marathon :) I'd love to achieve a 2.5x.xx marathon again next year and the next 5 years I'd love to run a sub 80 min half (not sure this is possible!) and a faster marathon.
Dave A asks: Well done Lou. A well deserved sub 3 and a long overdue MOTM.
Firstly, how long before you start hunting down STOOSHs times? Secondly, describe the feeling of joining the 2nd best club in the world :)


LouLou says: Stoosh is getting faster - as a rule I don't chase boys but I'm sure I'll be able to give him a run for his money... The feeling of running sub 3 is difficult to put into words. I wish I could have bottled how I felt when I entered the track and knew unless I collapsed in a heap I'd cross that line under 3 hours. sheer elation, mixed with relief and some excitement I think. And 2nd best club... not sure I'm willing to do a Bob Graham round to confirm its 2nd best..
paul the builder asks: That's bloody brilliant, well done you and the electorate too! First, thanks for everything you bring to 3:15 - you contribute a huge amount to that thread. Now - what are the best 3 books you've read?

LouLou says: Thanks Paul - and may I take this chance to thank the sub 3.15 thread for their years of tiresome support. I reckon I must be one of the most irrational contributors and you still put up with me!!

Books: Chris Hoy's biography - was interested to read how he worked hard for his olympic golds and also the inner workings of British Cycling. Think UK athletics should look at how British cycling was built up.

Charlie Speeding's biography - a tale of how hard graft gets you success and some really interesting points.

I've read it at least twice.

Kumar and Clark Clinical Medicine - it taught me all I know ;)
B Rubble asks: Fantastic, well done Lou. Really well deserved, we could see the sub 3 happening due to the sheer determination. How do you manage to do all of the quality training amongst the work pressures and of course (despite?) the exceptionally strict nutritional diet of an elite athlete.

LouLou says: Thanks BR - great to meet you at Abingdon. Training complements the pressures of work as I use running as an outlet - its often my thinking time and when my thoughts are clear. Time pressures exist for everyone and for me running is part of my daily routine so I try and get on with it. In terms of diet - I have been known to go through my phases of protein shakes, restricting treats and trying diets to lose weight. In the run up to abingdon I probably the least strict I have been foodwise in recent years and it probably helped. not touched a protein shake in months...however thinking of trying them again.
RFJ asks: Lou, Fantastic, chuffed for you that you have won this, well done. I know you listen to the marathon talk podcast on long runs... well what music / favorite artist do you listen to for the faster sessions if used or would use?

LouLou says: Thanks RFJ! This is embarassing - for my tempo runs on my own I usually listen to dance music - my 2 favourtie tracks are from my Glaswegian ned phase - Children of the night by QFX and Freedom by QFX. I also like listening to Biffy Clyro, the Foo Fighters and I listen to The Trap - London Marathon Theme on repeat in the weeks leading up to marathons... don't ask!!
Bru-Bru asks: Congratulations! You get through an awful lot of miles - how have you managed to avoid all those over-use injuries like stress fractures, Plantar fasciitis, Calf strains etc?

LouLou says: In a few words - I've not avoided them. I have been lucky to (touches wood) not have experienced many injuries but did have a metatarsal stress fracture last year not long after Berlin Marathon having not taken much time off and changed my training. I cross trained like a woman possessed and maintained fitness during this. I've had slight plantar issues but luckily managed to train through it. I do try and do regular core work and have almost weekly sports massage when I am in high mileage weeks around the marathon. I've probably also had a fair bit of luck and gotten away with training through niggles..
Westley asks: Congratulations! Quality or quantity; what types of session do you think played the most prominent role in allowing you to break three at Abingdon?

LouLou says: I have no doubt quantity has a role and have identified my optimum mileage of 75miles/weel - I can achieve this whilst still having a balance between work/training/life and tiredness. I've discovered this year that every run should have a purpose and tried to get the balance with quality - I aim to do a long run, midweek long-ish run, intervals, marathon pace and some recovery runs during a week to ensure quality.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congratulations and very well deserved. You're one of the most determined runners I know, but to ask a non running Q, have you applied that determination in other spheres of life, like career (or partying?!) and where has it got you or might take you. Congrats again super star sub 3 icon star :-)G

LouLou says: Thanks Gav! Yes - I have always been a stubborn bint. When I decide I want to achieve something I work hard to achieve the best. At school I wanted 5 As to get into uni and got it. At uni I wanted distinctions and worked hard to get them and collect prizes along the way. I'm not the type of person who accepts scrpaing buy in an exam - I want to get high marks and in order to do that I would study from 9am to 10pm at the library. Once I started work I channelled that work ethic into my running - its worked for running but maybe need to start channelling some of it back into academic tasks and career progression.
Bazoaxe asks: Well done Lou and a well deserved winner following your progression to the sub 3 club. What 3 things helped you make the jump from consistent sub 3:15 to a sub 3 runner ?

LouLou says: 1. More long runs - 20-23 mile runs

2. Marathon pace runs - lots of them
3. Tempo runs and more races of 10k-half marathon distance to build on speed endurance
Speedie asks: Many congrats Lou on the sub 3 and MOTM such well deserved. Have always admired your commitment and dedication. Would you consider an Ultra in the future? Next time your in London let's race a Parkrun.

LouLou says: I want to run a 50k on the road as the next step-up in distance. There are a lot of good female ultra runners in Scotland and I'd secretly like to run with a Scotland vest on at a distance and think ultra would be my only shot... we'll see.. Yes - we really do need to race a parkrun next time I'm in London!
Jerboa asks: Congratulations! Describe yourself in three running related words

LouLou says: This has to be the most difficult question. Miles. Undulating. Race. Miles - as miles=smiles and I'm happy when I'm clocking lots of them. Undulating - if you read my blog you'll recognise that I can be up and down like a hilly half ;) Race - I'm competitive and love to race..
BS asks: Congrats Lou on the MOTM right on the back of a great sub3. What is the best race over each distance you have done?

LouLou says: That's a difficult question.....

My favourite marathon is London - I know its not everyone's favourite but for me I've always ran a PB on it and I've always had the privilege of starting from the Championship start which avoids the course congestion experienced by others. Its also usually the only weekend of the year when my parents, my sister and I go away together!

Half Marathon - this is a difficult one - I really enjoy races abroad and my first half marathon in Dunedin, New Zealand along the Otago Peninsula in 2005 was special. A close second would be the Three Countries Half Marathon at Lake Lindau which ran from Germany into Austria which my 2 best friends completed as their first half this Autumn.

10k - I detest most 10ks but City of Stirling 10k was my PB course and the first race I've ran without switching on my Garmin in recent years - a liberating, if terrifying experience.
Nywanda asks: Congratulations!! Having read Bounce and using your own journey to sub-3; what's your stance on whether talent is genetic / inherited or a function of teaching / practise? Good luck for all your future goals.

LouLou says: Thanks Nywanda and well done on your MOTM! I've not managed to quite finish reading bounce! I believe that a proportion of athletic ability is genetic/ inherited but without practice, training and hardwork you won't progress. I was never athletic at school but my dad was a runner and my sister definetly was gifted with the athletic ability when we were young. I believe if you work hard enough at something and have enough knowledge on a subject you'll progress.
richmac asks: Congratulations Bourbon or custard cream?

LouLou says: Difficult...if I was dipping it in a cup of tea custard cream definetly. If I had to have it without tea then Bourbon. I have a major biscuit problem. Love them.
Rab Lee asks: so if Stoosh was doing the cooking what would it be, Cheese burger or sausage & egg doubler?

p.s when are you two going to do an ultra


LouLou says: Sausage & egg doubler - or if I'm honest he makes a good bacon and tattie scone roll. Ultra....hmm...we did say we'd do one...
run-forest-run asks: Well done for MOTM and congratulations on the sub 3 at Abingdon !! Do you attribute any particular area of training to having strength in the final miles of a marathon ?

LouLou says: I don't feel I have particular strength in the last few miles - I think it maybe turns to the psychological factors... I remember someone on the sub 3.15 thread detailing how they repeat "any (swear word of your choice) can run 5k" and I think that and copious amounts of swearing/ shouting at myself spurred me on from mile 23-26.

I did feel better in the latter stages of Abingdon - I can only assume more marathon pace miles and more long runs with greater time on feet helped me.
oldbiddynandi asks: well done. What element of your training is an absolute given ???

LouLou says: Hmm..tricky one. Probably quantity - I like to run lots of miles.
_andy asks: Woohoo! Well done on the awesome season of running LouLou, topped with MOTM awesomeness. Question: Running form. Discuss.
P.S. I still reckon you can go faster.


LouLou says: My running form is not perfect!! Yes I heelstrike with my right foot on a fairly frequent basis, yes I wear failry structured trainers. I have thought about looking at my form and trying to correct it but it seems fit for purpose at present. If someone came along and told me they could improve my form and subsequently make me run faster I probably would take them up on their offer. My only caution is that I changed things after Berlin 2010 and thought about Hadd training and using HR to guide my training. This meant running at a slower pace. This coincided with me developing a stress fracture. I've always attributed the slower running and possible changes to gait during this to causing my stress fracture - whether this is right or wrong. Part of me feels if it ain't broke don't fix but this is not really the progressive attitude I should have.
-caz- asks: Superb to read you got MOTM and the fact you've finally got sub 3. My question is What is your next goal since this sub 3 quest has been a big driver for you in recent months?

LouLou says: Thanks! I'm not 100% sure.. I know it will be to PB in my next marathon and I think 2.55- 2.56 could be possible.
Hyperboy asks: Well done on MOTM Lou!! If you could have one big massive pb what would it be and why?(getting Stoosh to stop eating crap does not count lol):)

LouLou says: A sub 2.45 mrathon please. That would get me an elite female start at London...in my dreams ..lol!!
puzzler asks: Congratulations Lou, well done on MOTM and sub 3. You have read quite a lot on the mental (sports psychology) aspects of running. What have you learned and applied, and what would your tips to others be on sports psychology?

LouLou says: Thanks Puzzler. I love reading sports biographies and some of the sports psychology books. One of the lessons I have learned is that you have to believe that you'll achieve your target. Having confidence is something I'm not good at but I know in my first attempt to crack 3 I didn' believe 100% I could do it. I also learnt my lesson from London/ Edinburgh that you have to be calm and in control. The 7Cs of mental toughness outlined in Gary Mack's book Mind Gym are important: Confidence, competitiveness, control, composure, consistency, commitment and courage. I reckon they are excellent principles for marathon training. I also think you have to use competitiveness and self imposed targets as positive drivers.
baggieboy asks: Congratulation Lou on your Sub 3 and MOTM very well deserved. You had some highs and lows reaching Sub 3 so what valuable lessons have you learnt for the experience and what the best advise you can give to anyone who wants to achieve a running goal?

LouLou says: If at first you don't succeed, try again. Never give up, never stop believing. The power of the mind can't be underestimated. I feel gaining more experience in marathons and in racing them helped me enormously - I came close in London, made mistakes in Edinburgh, then pulled it altogether.
ian9657 asks: Well done Lou Lou x

LouLou says: Thanks Ian!
Sunbed Athlete asks: Well done Lou x....Do I need to but a hat sometime soon?.....Once the hat is bought and you swan off to enjoy will it involve a race?

LouLou says: too early to buy a hat sunbed.. but I'll give you plenty of warning...he he!! I would never rule out combining significant life events with a race.
Dan1006 asks: Congratulation Lou. I don't really have a question though.

LouLou says: Thanks Dan - that's ok.
katypie asks: Oh my goodness! Yay you. Fab end to a fab year. Much deserved MOTM and sub 3... ooh what to ask...... I have nothing sensible to ask... Will you use the voucher to buy more pink trainers? do you think they help you run faster? What % do you think is mental and what is training?

LouLou says: I suspect I will add to my pink trainer collection although worryingly the new model of my trainers seem to be bluey/purple ... I was overtaken by a girl at Abingdon wearing the same trainers and she ran well under 3 hours so I have no doubt that pink trainers have a role - we actually had a chat about them at about mile 16 before she fled.

What % is mental - I'd be vague and say a significant % maybe a 40/60 mental/physical split? I think you have to have the right mindset to go into a race determined to PB even if you know your borderline. You have to believe in yourself because you're running t and you have to develop mental strategies to fight when it inevitably gets tough. I'm stubborn and bad tempered so if I can use those traits in a positive way to make me run faster or just not slow down as much in the latter stages of a race I will. Doesn't always work - and when it doesn't I just beat myself about it after and overanalyse till someone tells me to pull myself together and man up (which is usally myself telling me it.). That answer may make me seem a tad mental...
baz p asks: Congrats Mrs Douglas, well deserved.

2011 has been good for you, whats can we expect from you in 2012?
Whats the main goals for next year, and how will you go about achieving these?
What keeps you motivated?
Does stoosh talk about when he is with you?
When does the care in the community program end?
Whats your favourite cheese?

until next time.....


LouLou says: Mrs Douglas?? Hmmm...thanks Baz. 2012 - a faster marathon. I would love to have close to 2.55 but we will have to see how training goes. Main goal will be a faster half - low 1.20s would be ace, a faster 10k but main target is marathon. I feel my strength lies in endurance and I firmly believe I have more to achieve and I think that motivates me. As long as there are faster people and targets to achieve I'll train. What does Stoosh talk about? - Couldn't possibly tell you. Care in the community project - doesn't have a time limit at present - although present project has lasted almost 6 months.... Favourtie cheese - cheddar.
Elayne asks: Well done Lou, very nice to see you get MOTM, and get your sub 3 (everyone knew you could do it :-)). So seriously how do you do sooooooo much training, cross training, work 12+hrs shifts, study and race, and party too for that matter? Please let us know what you are taking? :-)

LouLou says: I drink a lot of diet coke. I'm not sure whether that helps?

Running is part of my routine so I always fit it into my day. I train often before work then after. When I'm working 12 hour shifts it gets tricky so often train before only although have been known to run at 11pm after returning from a bad on-call. Night shifts are the most annoying as I find it hard to train through the tiredness.

Studying is going to be difficult - got an exam pre-London 2012 so going to have to be a bit more disciplined with training and studying..may have to reduce mileage for a few weeks. Partying is important.
FurryFeet asks: Congrats - well deserved.

LouLou says: Thank you FF.
Mrs Sunbed asks: well done. how do you celebrate after a race?

LouLou says: gin, wine, cocktails, good food.... After marathons I usually go to McDonalds or Burger King on way back to hotel :)
minutehunter asks: Massive congratulations Lou, super well deserved?

You have on of the hardest and most demanding professions around and also work so hard on your running. How many hours does your day have?


LouLou says: I guess I just use my hours wisely - when I'm motivated I get up at 6.20ish and train from the gym at 6.30 and start work at either 8.30 or 9. I used to fit a recovery run and core work in pre-work then train after work. I neglect housework, have a running boyfriend so don't have to worry about running annoying the OH and don't watch TV. I usually go to bed about 11.30 but could go earlier if I didn't fanny about on the internet. At times when I have a lot on at work I have to sacrifice running and sometimes I just can't be bothered getting up in the morning to train. I also have the benefit of no major commute - the longest commute I have is about 30-35min in the car.
markl200 asks: Whooohooo!

LouLou says: Thanks Mark :)
Joe Hawk asks: Was three years of trying worth a couple of seconds ???

LouLou says: 3 years...hmmm... from my first properly raced marathon and first sub 3.15 in April 2008 to going sub-3 in Abingdon 2011 wasn't a constant sub 3 crusade but I would have settled for 2.59.59 on the day. And yes - to go 3.01.42 to 2.59.49 was most definetly worth the trying.
marble asks: Well done Lou - very well deserved. Whats the best running gift you have ever received?

LouLou says: hmmm..difficult! The first I year I got into London my mum and sister bought me official London Marathon 2009 kit for my Christmas before it. I then managed to break my arm in February and I remember wearing the kit at the gym thinking I'd never actually run the race. They then became my PB shorts :)
IanS asks: Well done Lou - well deserved MOTM. So, any plans to up the distance and go over to the dark side of the ultra world? :-)

LouLou says: Thanks Ian! I would consider a road 50k and have contemplated doing the Devil of the Highlands as a first step however I still have a fear of off-road and hills!!
Loca asks: Congratulations Lou :-) and congrats again on the sub 3 :-) So, up there in Scotland I understand that there is snow on the ground for around 6 months of the year!!! So how and where do you train when it's snowy, icy and bliddy freezin'? Anything under 5 degrees and I struggle to get out there! How do you do it?

LouLou says: Thanks Loca- was great to see you again at abingdon. Snow - yes it can get wild up here. I'm relatively lucky that I live near the city centre and they always grit the shopping streets - last year I did laps of the main shopping streets at night - think people outside pubs thought I was crazy! I also retreat to the treadmill when its really bad - although have no patience to do long runs on treadmill - think the longest I've done is 10miles. The tay bridge is also usually gritted on the footpath and is about a mile and a half long so can be used if neeeded!! Most of the time I wear warm, bright clothes and run on roads!!
26 miles asks: Hi Lou Lou, Do you listen to music when training and if so what are some of your favourites?

LouLou says: I sometimes train to music... Biffy Clyro, Foo Fighters, the Killers are my favourite for general running.... I have some cheesy dance tunes for my faster runs. I also sometimes listen to Marathon Talk podcast and I have also previously downloaded work related podcasts to facilitate studying on the run!!!
Ferdi asks: Hi Lou Lou - congratulations! Being a runner who works in Dundee but lives in Newport-on-Tay, I wondered what are your favourite routes for a long-run are around here?

LouLou says: Hi Ferdi. I love running round tentsmuir forest for long runs - I either run from dundee over - there are loops of the forest of about 6-8 miles. I also love running up the coast through broughty ferry out to carnoustie and straight back down. I've run from here over to Newport and round towards gauldry. I also sometimes run a loop round auchterhouse and back into dundee. I can fmail you more details.
CaniRuna asks: Congratulations LouLou and so pleased your efforts and support on FETCH have been recognised :-) What's STOOSH's most annoying habit? What is your favourite training session and why?

LouLou says: Thanks Runa! I appreciated your shouts of encouragement at various points during Abingdon. Stoosh's most annoying habit - always saying he'll do whatever I want to do or that he's not fussed. Make a decision boy!!! Favourite training session - intervals with the club. Love the feeling of running fast(ish), trying to chase down the guys and feeling that you're working hard. Always feel satisfied when they're done and feel I benefit from them. I do occassionally hate them when I'm not running well but these sessions tell you where your at and give me an indication of whether my training is working!
Kenyan John asks: Well done LouLou on MOTM, a clean sweep of pbs in 2011 (apart from 5 miles!) to a runtastic 2:59:49 marathon and winner of Liz McColgan Trophy. All down to hard work but how do you find the time to do all you do? All the best for 2012.

LouLou says: Thanks Kenyan John! Its not easy - fitting running in is ust like fitting in the shopping and work. Its a way of life. Its ahrd sometimes but I enjoy it so much. I've found morning training has fallen by the wayside this winter because I'm physically and mentally wrecked but hoping I'll get back into it. I've also sacrificed core work in the run up to Abingdon focusing more on clocking the marathon pace runs etc. It helps having a running boyfriend - if we didn't train together we probably wouldn't see much of each other given that we live apart and work anti-social hours!!
DuncanG asks: Hi Lou, well done on everything including MOTM. What do you think has been the hardest lesson learned as you have progressed to where you are now?

LouLou says: Thanks Duncan! My hardest lesson - probably that I'm my own worst enemy. I fail to listen to myself when I'm injured and usually train through. This led to me eventually realising I had a stress fracture. The other important lesson is that you have to gain experiene to improve in this field. I've learnt something from every marathon I've ran. I've PB'd in all bar 2 marathons out of the 9 I've ran. I think its difficult if you focus on marathons as you can't pick yourself up and truely race another a few weeks after if you don't achieve your target, I learnt this at Edinburgh this year. I ran 3.01.42 at London and thought I could come back 5 weeks later and bag a sub 3. Instead I ran just under 3.10 and had one of the toughest races of my life. Never underestimate the time taken to recover or the physical and psychological toll racing a marathon has.
UltraDunc asks: How many pb's do you expect next year? Well done on everything:-)

LouLou says: I never expect to PB unless I put the work in - if my training goes well I exoect to PB at all distances ;) With focus on marathon and half - you get out what you put in.
Fast&Furious asks: What a great year for you, and topping it off with MotM. Are you still on a high from Abo, if not then why not.

LouLou says: Thanks F&F! Great to meet you in Berlin! I still smile when I think of abo and when I have a bad day or someone winds me up I just think I've ran sub 3.... I'm sure the novelty will wear off!!
Yorkshire Lass asks: congratulations! what running kit is on your christmas wish list?

LouLou says: This is a bit of a confession. My big sister - who is actually much smaller than me in stature - also runs and I ordered a The North Face running hoodie in purple in my size. It looks to big for her so its now my gift to myself. Guilty? Yes. I've bought her a loveky digitial radio instead. I'm also expecting a set of asics DS racer - my first ever racers.
Night-owl asks: Congrats LouLou on MOTM. Whats next on the agenda then where do you go from here?

LouLou says: Thanks! Next is another marathon PB at London - may be limited in my spring racing due to having a career make or break exam costing £850. So lets prioritise. Would like a 2.56 maathon.
Doctor K asks: Which runner most inspires you (apart from yourself of course !) ?

LouLou says: Hmmm.. difficult question. I find ordinary runners inspiring - the guys I've run with at the clubs I've ran with who have run fast marathons and still run years on. I found Charlie Spedding inspiring reading his book.
Smout asks: Marathon Talk stylee - Magic Mile time? An what would you like if you hit a Fetch Mile on a good day? And of course what's next - 2:45 / IRONMAN / West Highland Way (type thing) / all 3 :-o ?

LouLou says: Hmm.. magic mile... I'm really not sure! I'd like to think I could get around 5.30min/mile but never done a mile race! Next target - probably to progress at marathon. I have a huge respect for people who complete Iroman triathlons but my lack of swimming ability would probably stop that!! i'm not keen on off-road running so WHW would be awesome challenge but not a plan in the foreseeable future!
Anna Bomb asks: If you could run any marathon, anywhere in the world, which one would it be and why?

LouLou says: Hmmm...I've always wanted to visit New York and my aim is to run it for my 30th in 2013. Out of the marathons I've run I do love London. I've also always fancied Sydney.

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