RuthB2 - Member of the Month November 2008

Member of the Month November 2008


Fetch says: So much time, so little to do. Wait, scrub that, reverse it. Sorry for playing catch up folks, but here's the interview with RuthB2, winner of our November 2008 Member of the Month award, sponsored by the lovely (you know the drill - go visit their site, and buy *everything*). Ruth is a wonderfully supportive member of the Fetch community, and is getting faster too, as a rack of PB's for 2008 shows. Oh, and she smiles, pretty much all the time :-) Here's hoping that £100 of spends will make that smile even bigger - well done Ruth!

santababy asks: huzzah! i *heart* you Ruth, i've no questions cos i've asked you them all to your face, just wanted to say Congratualtions :):) oh actually, i do have one, are we *really* stupid enough to do the HF next yr?

RuthB2 says: I am keen to focus on the marathon as my main goal in 2009, but then ultras do appeal, so yes, all being well we will be signing up for the Highland Fling 2010! It's in black and white now, no going back! How hard can 53 miles of hills in Scotland be, anyway?

Maclennane asks: Wahey! Brilliant news. Ruth, If you could learn to say just one thing in Xhosa, what would it be? and How do you manage to finish a 1/2 mara PB in the RNR, and still have the energy to be smiling and dishing out hugs?

RuthB2 says: "Surely 'can I have a beer please?' is the first line to learn in any langauge. RNR was a team event, I couldn't have run my leg anywhere near as well without the support of the team, so hugs at the end were just an essential part of that. Also someone may have just offered to buy me a pint, the thought of which had kept me going for the final 3 miles, so that may have perked me up somewhat! "

LorraineS asks: well done Ruth were you scared being in a car with Siouxsie and Santa ? did you think that you would never see civilisation again ? are you going to navigate the next time ?

RuthB2 says: I did wonder at the choice of route from Glasgow to Fort William via Oban - but thought that was just the hospitable Scottish fetchies giving me an extra free guided tour! And I didn't see civilisation again - I was in Scotland ;)

Mrs BooBoo LaBoy asks: Ruth - What tactics will you employ in you quest to be faster than BooBoolaBon? Love you loads Ruth!! You are super (or so I have heard!) Boo xxx

RuthB2 says: I would try to just talk you into backing down, but I have found that goading actually spurs me on to race harder, so maybe it will backfire on me by making you even faster! I read a comment recently from a very speedy runner that stuck with me - when they race they never think they'll make the finish line. I don't think I've yet pushed myself when running a race to that extent, but I would like to try and see what I can achieve. I know you'll be speeding along right beside me though. We'll both smash those PBs in 2009.

MarkC Amid The Winters Snow asks: Well done Ruth, I can't think of a more deserving winner! My questin: What would you say is the best reason that a non-runner should take up running?

RuthB2 says: There may be lots of reasons for health or fitness or winning medals, but the best reason to take up running is that you might well love it - that's why I run. That feeling when running just 'clicks' and you laugh out loud with the joy of it - that's why I run.

OllyW asks: Well done Ruth. What, in your opinion, is the best half marathon in the country, what is it about that half marathon that makes it better than all the rest? ;)

RuthB2 says: Olly, it's interesting you should ask that... I have to admit that the St Neots half marathon is the that stands out to me in terms of organisation, and of course the pacers were amazing ;)

royalgreen asks: Ruth, Two questions - 1) Looking at your profile you have steadily built up to marathon distance since 2005, what is your preference in terms of race distance now? 2) Are you blonde, strawberry blonde or ginger? Cheers and Congrats!

RuthB2 says: 1) I still love the longer distances - half marathons and marathons. Shorter distances like 5k's hurt too much! But I am glad that I built up slowly through the race distances, although I always dreamt of running a marathon one day. 2) blonde

Homer asks: Sub 4 at Edinburgh 2009 then Ruth?

RuthB2 says: A sub 4 marathon has been my goal for the last 2 years, and it is my key goal for 2009. I'd trade in my other PBs just to ensure it to be honest! Edinburgh will be fun with so many fellow fetchies there too.

mlamden asks: Great stuff, thoroughly deserved :-) Can i have your mojo please?

RuthB2 says: You don't need mine, yours is hiding somewhere. When I lose mine I tend to find it again on a sunny off road run with good friends and much banter, or maybe in the pub afterwards catching up with running talk and planning new races. You'll find it and hit those HM targets this year, easily.

KatieB asks: Ruth...congratulations to the smiliest girl at RNR...can you please tell us about your bestestest ever running experience...thank you. x

RuthB2 says: Thanks Katie! That's a tough one, as there are so many memories that are amazing for different reasons. I think running wise it has to be St Neots half marathon in November. This was the first target race I'd really focussed in on and trained specifically for this year, and I was keen to see how my new training regime would impact my PB. I loved the race, the course, the company, and I felt like I 'raced' this one more than I ever have any other race, and was very chuffed with my PB. The other one that sticks in my mind is very different - it was just a training run not so long after I'd started running, and was just a plod along the canal by my house. Half way through the run the heavens opened and I was running through a torrential downpour, but I couldn't stop grinning. It was fantastic, and I think was one of the first times I started to love running.

RooA asks: Oh mistress Ruth, leader of us all, I have strayed from the path of loveliness! How do I return to the one true way? Can I ever?

RuthB2 says: Do not fear Roo, you are intrisically andd officially lovely, so any straying will be a momentary blip. Trust me.

SarahL asks: Hooray for Ruth! :) Well done! :) What is better to hand out when Fetchpointing? Jellybabies, jaffa cakes or oranges?

RuthB2 says: The old favourites are still the best - I'd have to say jelly babies. But next time we'll know to separate them by colour, as I didn't realise how many runners would stop their race just to select the red ones!

A bet MADE me asks: well done Ruth!!! So.. as foodie myself.. and interested in all things foodie.... what would be your favourite meal in your favourite place be.. no expense spared..

RuthB2 says: This is a tough one. My favourite type of food is Japanese, so I'd love to try that in Japan itself, but if I had to pick a named place it would have to be Los Caracoles in Barcelona. I'd have the house speciality - snails - to start, then lobster paella, accompanied by some expenive Rioja, and then finish up with crema Catalana and a glass of Carlos I brandy.

KR2 asks: Well Done Ruth, very much deserved. What's the best thing about living in the Royal county of Berkshire and where's the place to run??

RuthB2 says: The best thing is obviously all the other Berkshire fetchies ;) Runnng wise I've been exploring more of the countryside lately as I do like off road running, so the ridegway long distance path, the thames path and the Chilterns are all great, but my favourite is the avon and kennet canal which runs half a mile from my house, and is my 'default' run. I love running along the tow path in all seasons, dodging anglers and waving at dog walkers. I ran my first ever run here and I can run garmin free as I know where all the mile splits are from my house. Oh, and it's flat!

Merry Xmas and Happy New G(rrr) asks: Fabioso RB2, I like so like totally voted for you. Ray! Here's my Q - is running a solitary sport or a social sport? Congrats again. :-)G x

RuthB2 says: I think I like running so much because it is both. I love social runs, and the supportive environmenyt in running clubs and on here, and the cameraderie you get when you train alongside people and share their journeys with them. But I also love running alone, with just my music and the chance to think about everything and nothing.

Rapscallion asks: RB2D2... congrats congrats congrats... thoroughly deserved... now what were those questions that you told me to ask... oh yes, "Why are you so fabulous?" and "What things should I work at if I want to be as good a runner as you?" I do expect an answer to those, but as you prompted me to ask them, I do have two questions of my own (rule breaking, I know, but hey!!!): 1. What is your favourite Shakespeare play and why? 2. The saying goes "You can take the girl of out Newcastle, but you can't take Newcastle out of the girl", so what is it about the fact that you were born a Geordie that has influenced your running most? 3. Dark side? (yes I know that that is three, but what the hell!!)

RuthB2 says: The answer to the first two is linked Raps, you have to stop being such a grumpy git and smile a bit more - it works wonders ;) Now for your actual questions. 1. Probably twelfth night - I love all the mistaken identities, but I wish Shakesperae wouldn't wuss out so much with his endings. 2. I was born in Leeds, but brought up a Geordie. I think it has helped as it means I can happily run in the middle of nowhere without a coat, I can shout loudly which helps when supporting races (allegedly getting more geordie the louder I get) and I have visited some beautiful places in Northumberland where I can go back to run one day. 3. Sorry, I don't understand the question - is it some kind of Pink Floyd reference? I'm afraid I'm a bit young for that...

Snapstinget asks: Congratulations RuthB :-) Well deserved :-) How come you suddenly got so much faster than me?

RuthB2 says: I'm still working it out myself! I think that I started believeing that I could be faster, and I keep trying to build on that with the work I do with the running coach I go to, and my club. But I still look at some of recent PBs and I think they belong to someone else, someone who is actually fast!

she runs for cake asks: Wow RuthB2!!! Fantastic - soooo pleased for you!!! Lovely lovely Fetchie *heart*

RuthB2 says:

she runs for cake asks: Question: Lovely RuthB2 how can we persuade you to move back up north ;)

RuthB2 says: I must admit that part of my heart will always be up north, and I do really hope to move up there one day, to run along the beaches and obviously to spend more time with all you lovely NE fetchies! But for now I'm stuck down south with the shandy drinkers ;)

Bennifer asks: Yay!!! Congratulations! I *heart* you. Have you learned to run through water stations yet? Are you aiming for sub 4 in Edinburgh? (just so I know!)

RuthB2 says: I never thought I'd be able to, but I can now jog through water stations while throwing some water somewhere near my mouth! And a sub 4 marathon is my main goal for 2009, so whether it happens at FLM or Edinburgh I want to go for it. (As could you!)

SparkyMark asks: Well done Ruth, very well deserved - quite possibly the most lovely person anyone could meet :-) Do you smile in your sleep? Which is the most memorable race you have taken part in, and why?

RuthB2 says: I don't know, but I do sometimes run in my sleep, then trip up and wake myself, and MrB, up! The most memorable race I've ever run has to be Loch Ness marathon 2007. The scenery was beautiful, I felt strong and steady for the entire race, ran it in the best company, and felt an amazing elation when I crossed the finish line. The memory of that race has made me want to run marathons again in 2009.

Nightjar asks: Ruth - do you still wear your RNR team three T shirt or did you use it to clean your bike?

RuthB2 says: That T shirt is my favourite ever race memento - more so than any medal! It reminds me of one of my favourite ever weekends.

Five chromey rings asks: If you don't want to give mlamden your mojo, can I have it or at least borrow it for a little while?

RuthB2 says: I'll happily lend it out - I take payment in cake and cups of tea.

mic asks: Top draw result Ruth, really well done :-) my question is - if you could run with anyone who would you choose?, and where would you run together ??

RuthB2 says: While there are lots of famous people it would be fascinating to run with, I'd be happy sticking with my running buddy - Icklechick. We run well together and have helped each other in our training. I think we'd enjoy running something long distance and scenic - I've thought a lot about running Hadrains wall from end to end, enjoying the journey and the achievement, and it would give us hours to chat and gossip so I'd love to run that. Looking further afield though I've always wanted to visit New Zealand and run in the mountains there. It would be amazing to run with a mauri who knew the area and could guide me through the local nature and beauty, telling me of the history of the landscape at the same time.

Too Much Water asks: congratulations. What are the best things about living in Reading?

RuthB2 says: Erm, it's not Slough? ;-)

Diogenes asks: Congratulations Ruth. Tell me, have you ever read "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan?

RuthB2 says: LOL, yes Dio, as it was highly recommended I did eventually get hold of a copy! And I loved it so much I bought one for my mum for Christmas too.

Buzzard Sis asks: If a Christmas Fairy could grant you one wish, what would it be?

RuthB2 says: If I'm being selfish, I would wish for deep, dreamless sleep. I've not been sleeping well for months now, and it has been gradually grinding me down.

Maclennane asks: What is your good deed from FECK 5?

RuthB2 says: As you well know, Mac, unfortunately I didn't manage to complete the FECK 5. But it did give me time to reflect on other acts of kindness from fellow fetchies that I have been on the receieving end of, like the unlimited loan of a camelbak, lifts to races, a bed for the night, and the many supportive comments and fmails on my training and all aspects of my running. Fetch rocks.

Kew asks: Super duper Ruth - Your race times across all distances (apart from marathon - I know that is to come very soon) have improved dramtically over the last 6 months or so. What do you think is the main reason for this - I want to know so I can copy obviously.

RuthB2 says: I think it's hard to pick one reason, but I know one big step was the realisation that I needed to stop viewing 9 min miles as 'fast' which I did for a long time, and start viewing 8 or even 7 minute miles as my new racing speed rather than an occasional fluke. I feel like I've just started on a new stage in my running, and it's quite scary, but very exciting.

Hoaxster asks: Congratulations! How do you retrieve a very small slice of malt loaf from your toaster?

RuthB2 says: Of course malt loaf should always be toasted, and then smothered in butter, and as I would never do anything as daft as stick a fork in a toaster… I think wooden tongs are the only way to go. I should really invest in some!

5hep asks: Congratulations - my only question.....can you slow down now so I can beat you again!!! Is that a mince pie calling me......??

RuthB2 says: 5hep, we'll be chasing those PBs together! And stay away from the mince pies. Now those flapjacks on the other hand! ;)

oceanspirit asks: YAYAYAYAY for Ruth!!! Really pleased for you!!!! :) :) :) What has been a running challenge that you have always said you would do but have as yet to get around to doing? Why haven't you done it already either? What, for you has been the biggest benefit from running? I could keep going.....but i'm afreaid I'd get a telling off :( Congratulations again. :) :)

RuthB2 says: There are so many, but the one I have wanted to do for longest is the Cape Wrath challenge - a week of running including a marathon on the north coast of Scotland. It goes past my parents in law's house, along roads I've run before so I know how beautiful it is up there. Unfortunately the dates clash with a project at work every year, but i know that one year I'll make it up there. Very simply the bigest benefit I have from running is that I love it, it really makes me smile.

Disneyland Law asks: Which vest would you wear, club or Fetch, in a race where there were a similar number of Fetch and your local club runners competing? I know, I ask awkward questions ;)

RuthB2 says: I'm very proud to wear both shirts. Reading Joggers has really helped my running, and the move up to B group has really helped my confidence. I think in a local race I would wear my RJ shirt, but for any big race I'm afraid it would have to be my fetch one.

Fanny (Fernackerpan) asks: Congratulations Ruth well deserved, brilliant support at Abingdon :) You are a star :) So a FFP question ;) Stockings or tights ?

RuthB2 says: Tights for comfort, stockings just because…

Siouxsie asks: Well Done Ruthie :-) What got you into running ? The fitness aspect, the 'escape' from everything or the knowledge you could drink more and get away with it, or something else? What scares you more, the thought of doing a 20 mile hilly trial race or camping with me ? ;-) What is top of your Santa list this year ?

RuthB2 says: Starting running was actually my husband's idea - a year or so after we got married the weight was piling back on, and he suggested running as a way of getting fitter again. Our first run lasted about a third of a mile and hurt more than any run or race ever has since. Maybe camping with you after you've run a 20 mile hill race scares me the most, and top of my santa list this year was the new killers album - which I must have mentioned to a few people as I receieved it twice!

Ted asks: Well done Ruth :):) What wise words do you have for the December MOTM for when they take over from you next month?

RuthB2 says: It's a hard question to answer as I don't feel like I've done anything out of the ordinary to deserve this. I just run, not very fast, and enjoy it really. I'm a bit freaked out by the idea of seeing my face on the homepage! So I guess I'd say try and enjoy it, and hurry up with your interview so people don't have to look at my ugly mug for too long!

Pesto merrily on high asks: it

RuthB2 says: Hi sis! I think 6 months ago I would have said fartleks without a doubt, but somehow I'm actually growing to like hills recently, and I know that increased hill work has helped my running no end lately. And I can't wait to cheer you across the finish line at Edinburgh - I'll be so proud!

Jock Itch asks: Love ya give great hugs mate :) ...anyway..What's your ultimate running goal ? I see that you have lots of determination...where can it take you ?

RuthB2 says: Thanks Jock - if I can get half of your drive and determination I'll be happy! My ultimate running goal? I feel like I'm just starting out on this running journey, so who knows what I might dream of after I've taken the next few steps. At the moment a sub 3.45 marathon would be the dream. And on a good day I feel like there are no limits to what I can do, and I know I need to *believe* more (as you keep telling me!) but on my doubting days, which are all too common, I don't think I can equal my year old PBs let alone beat them.

topcorner asks: Great job Ruth, it honestly couldn't have happened to a nicer Fetchie! Other than family, who has been your biggest inspiration in life?

RuthB2 says: Running wise, so many people - where do I start? Gobi and Rach E who I admire for their dedication, focus and racing mentality that I can only hope to try and echo in some small way, Jen J for her stubborness which translates into amazing ultra running, and the many people like my sister, Pestomum, or Siouxsie, who combine bringing up a family with their love of running. If I had to pick one person though it is definitely Buzzard Sis, for her fast running, and a storming marathon at Loch Ness last year, for her positive, selfless attitude and her love of life.

More of a Tortoise asks: well done Ruth, definitely well deserved :) what's harder: running a marathon or organising Fetchpoint at one?

RuthB2 says: Definitely running a marathon - but I was still jealous of every runner that passed us at Abingdon fetchpoint!

danny wilde asks: Yay Roofie :-) Being as you are easily one of the smiliest and most enthusiastic people I've ever met and are now quite useful at this running lark, would you ever consider taking up coaching in the future ? I think your positive outlook and determination to see everyone do their best would make you an ideal candidate. Toodle pip :-)

RuthB2 says: It is something I'd like to think about in the future - I feel that I'm not a good enough runner yet to help myself out let alone other people at the moment though, but I do love the idea of supporting people to help them fulfill their potential, and to meet their goals. But obviously I'd need to find some willing coachees - any takers?

Lisrun asks: Well done Ruth !!! I always look forward to doing races with you :-):-):-):-)

RuthB2 says: Me too Lisrun, especially some of those up north!

Lisrun asks: Okay, here is my question. In 2018, what times would you like to do for a 5K, 10K, Half and marathon and how do they compare with your current times ?

RuthB2 says: I really haven't thought anywhere near that far ahead - but I'd like to think I could keep pushing at my PBs and also trying out new distances and new types of races. I don't think another 10 years is long enough to run all the races I would like to, even if I run as many a year as you do!

John66 asks: What's you running ambition and how do you get rid of the CBAs? Congrats by the way - excellent :-)

RuthB2 says: I have tried to be a bit bolder with my runnning goals for 2009, and so have some pretty daunting times to attack! But the current big goal is a sub 4 hour marathon, or even a sub 3.45 one. I don't think I've completely worked out how to tackle the CBAs, I still have days when the sofa wins out, but I try to remember the fact that no matter how bad I feel, I always feel better for having been for a run.

2 Flat Feet asks: Congrats Ruth! Would you really have chased me if I'd thrown my water over you at Abingdon and, if so, how far?

RuthB2 says: Of course I would have - at least for 20 miles or so. Anything to help that PB! (Not that you needed chasing!)

RFJ asks: Very much deserved well done..... Now that you have organised the Fetch mile at Reading 3 times as of the 20th Dec, is there any other challanges that you would like to orgainise or events that youhave not yet done that you would want to challange yourself against running wise......? Hope you are enjoying listeneing to the CD!!

RuthB2 says: I've got lots of races to run planned for Spring 2009, so I think that will be my main focus, fingers crossed and all being well. I have loved to see people come together to run the mile challenges though, and can see the attraction of helping to organise something more regular or larger scale. But also having had a small taste of organisation, I have increased respect for people like Nightjar who ran our team at the Round Norfolk Relay, or the park run volunteers.

Girlie asks: Well Done on MOTM Ruth:-) My question is What 3 things would you pack in your essentials running kit bag?

RuthB2 says: Fetch top, handkerchief (I always seem to get a runny nose on longer runs) and sports beans.

Hendo asks: Two and a half years ago a strange man approached you down a back street in the New Forest, after your eyes met and you felt drawn to him. Could you possibly have envisaged that the intense love affair which began back then could grip you so tightly, take you places you never thought you'd go, and feel emotions that you never thought you'd feel?

RuthB2 says: It is no exaggeration to say that since that day my life has not been the same. The attraction that days like that sparked in me has blossomed into a deep, true love that will be with me forever. And to think my first thoughts when I saw you were 'who's this dodgy looking guy in the neon shirt and why is he stalking me?' Actually, maybe some things don't change ;)

Forest Faerie asks: Very well deserved indeed :-) Tell me...are you my long lost running twin?

RuthB2 says: I actually think I might be - if that means I have half your love of running, dedication and focus then I'd be happy - but my hair refuses to stay in bunches, so maybe I need to work on that more?

mxhornet asks: One lump or two ?

RuthB2 says: None, thanks, just milk please, I'll never turn down a cuppa though. I crave tea after long runs, and only have sugar if I've hit some kind of wall on the way around!

Enthusiastic! asks: Congratulations :-) What has been your best race experience to date and what would be your fantasy ideal race experience for the future?

RuthB2 says: Socially my best race experience to date was definitely RNR, to be part of a team of people running non stop around Norfolk over 24 hourss was quite special. Race wise though it still has to be my last PB at the St Neots HM. My fantasty race experience? I'm not that great at visualisation, but I do try and picture the finish line of Edinburgh with 3.44.00 on the clock, surrounded by my friends all PBing together. That would be pretty special.

Tpod asks: Hello. Well done! That's all I really wanted to say, but now I'm here I may as well ask a question. What's your favourite biscuit and why?

RuthB2 says: Hello yourself! This may be controversial but it's not a sweet biscuit. It's Tuc cheese sandwich biscuit. I could easily eat a whole packet in one sitting.

HarryB asks: Do you think that a young fit woman with several years experience of running, challenging a frail, borderline alcoholic, middle-aged, ex-heavy smoker, relative running n00b with only 1 2/3 lungs, is entirely fair, or do you think it could be considered tantamount to bullying?

RuthB2 says: Is it really bullying if said 'frail' man actually enjoys the experience? One thing that has surprised me lately is the emergence of a rather keen competitive edge. I know that the challenge with you at the last mile really helped me to get such a good PB, so while it still works I'm afraid the goading will continue. Now stop moaning like a girl and get running.

Zoom asks: Very well done Ruth :) You always seem really happy, what helps pick you up when you've feeling low, apart from running of course?!

RuthB2 says: My friends are what help me through any down patches, specifically with hugs or by saying something vastly innapropriate. I can be renowned for putting my foot in my mouth, so when other people do it I get cheered up no end!

Roobarb asks: Well done Ruth and congratulations on organising an excellent fetchpoint at Abingdon. And my question is.......... what's your favourite cake? xxxx

RuthB2 says: So many to choose from…. Maybe lemon drizzle cake? If I'm allowed to widen this to puddings then pavlova wins hands down every time, but actually any nice home made cake is great. I just wish that I could actually bake one that tasted good - my last attempt at 'easy' flapjacks ended in disaster!

icklechick asks: A belated well done :) Yay you. Well deserved and congratulations .... so many awkward questions to ask but I will stick with .... cake or chocolate? and what do you think is the biggest factor in you becoming super speedy this year? technique / training schedule / types of training / cross training / magic ????? (i'm not going to ask about sub 4 next year - it's a given ;) )

RuthB2 says: I'm not actually a huge chocoholic - so it has to be cake. With lots of cups of tea, obviously. I think the biggest factor has been the work I've been able to do with our running coach. I still feel strange saying that I do go to a coach, but he has really helped my technique and confidence while enhancing my love of running.

Peacey asks: Christmas Pudding or Christmas Cake?! . . Custard or Brandy sauce? Dam thats 2 questions?!

RuthB2 says: It would have to be Christmas cake, and am I allowed to say neither but instead wensledale cheese with it? Sounds odd, tastes amazing.

Hills of Death (HOD) asks: Ruth what does it take to beat Harry in a mile (you've done it before !)

RuthB2 says: I hate to admit it, but as yet I haven't beaten harryB in a mile race - he has proved elusive in that respect so far. But I intend to hunt him down one day soon, and revenge will be sweet.

aka billy asks: Well Done Ruth huge congrats......Tell us all the last joke you heard please?

RuthB2 says: What's orange and travels at 250 miles an hour? Answer a carrot in a Bugatti Veyron.

GregP asks: Well done. If you were given, without any warning, the words "RUNNERS WORLD", would you be minded to insert an apostrophe, and if so, where?

RuthB2 says: I think I would place one thusly; Runner's world, but even though I'm officially an English graduate my spelling and grammar is notoriously awful, so I would obviously ask the advice of the grammar pedants thread…

Kev Scone asks: well done Coffee, Tea, Alcohol or a soft drink?

RuthB2 says: A well made cup of tea is one of lifes true pleasures.

Siouxsie asks: You've now ran races from 1 mile to marathon distance. What's your favourite race distance and why ?

RuthB2 says: I used to think that all races were a build up to the marathon - I viewed that as the ultimate race, and challenge. In the last year having had my confidence at the marathon knocked slightly by Lochaber, I decided to not run another marathon until Spring 2009, and instead focused on shorter distances. I've found that I do enjoy them too, they are a very different discipline, but just as addictive. My least favourite will always be the mile though - any race where you have to hurt with every step can't be good. And despite everything the marathon remains my favourite and my main focus.

Hamsterboy (Santa Paws) asks: Well done Ruth! Do you think you will have broken the 23 minute barrier by the end of 09'? And Will you beat borocavelier?

RuthB2 says: I've tried to encourage challenges, as I've found that the competition does help push me on to achieve faster times - I race better against another person - even one who I've only ever met virtually - than against my watch alone. I'm hoping to beat 23 mins this year, and my 5k goal for the year is actually sub 22 mins. I even find myself reading the sub 20 dread thread, and wondering maybe... one day...

Jen J asks: Meh. All the good questions have been taken. What's the name of that pub we went to on the Solent Way run?

RuthB2 says: Erm, I honestly can't remember, and I could only find it again by running the 5 miles to get there! But it was just near the pink ferry hut - that I won't forget! And I think that all runs should involve a pub at some stage on them, maybe more races will pick up on this trend as well?

Ultracat asks: When/where are you going to run your first ultra?

RuthB2 says: I think that my goal for 2009 is all about my marathon time. But I do see the attraction of the mental, crazy and friendly world of ultras, and have immense respect for people like your good self who run them. All being well after my Spring races I'd like to start to look into an ultra, somewhere scenic probably, and I do love running in the North East and in Scotland, so perhaps you could suggest one we could run together? I think I've said that 2010 will be the year of the ultra...

McGoohan asks: Oooh, mustn't forget to ask a question. OK. Here goes. It's a really serious one, too. Which super power (e.g. the power of flight) would you most like and why?

RuthB2 says: Definitely flight - I imagine that it would be like the feeling you get on a perfect run when everything comes together and you feel completely free. Oh and I could avoid my daily commute round the M25 too.

Pesto merrily on high asks: What are you going to get me with your winnings ;-) ??

RuthB2 says: I was thinking about a whistle to blow at you when I lose my breath from shouting at you on the training runs we do together ;-)

connelld asks: Is that a question Sunbed? ;-) Probably been asked before, What's your new year resolution?

RuthB2 says: I'm rubbish at thinking up new years resolutions, much less keeping them, but I'd like to try and not lose so many things in 2009 - I'm notoriously bad at this, my garmin is currently MIA, and I rarely leave the house without wandering around looking for my keys for ages.

oldbiddy asks: Well done George. Will you still love me now you are a star ??? Srsly what's the next biggie ???

RuthB2 says: Harold, if you keep me supplied with those white chocolate muffins I will always love you. And the next biggie is FLM - I'm hoping for a sub 4 time, and really pushing for that magic 3.45. Watch this space.

jude asks: Have I said well done yet? :) Will 2009 be the best year ever? xxx

RuthB2 says: Thanks Jude. I've got so many hopes, dreams and plans for 2009, both running and otherwise, that I really hope it is. I am starting the year feeling very happy with life and very excited by my running. I feel like I'm just starting out to find what I could possibly achieve, it's taken a while, and I know I'm not even a few steps along that road, but I can't wait to see what the new year does bring. I really hope it's the best year ever for all fecthies too, and that those dreams that you maybe don't even dare to voice will come true. Is that too cheesy an ending?

Fetch says: Awww, see, lovely :-) Well done Ruth - enjoy the spends - and thanks to all you question-posing-types :-) TTFN!

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