Zoom - Member of the Month March 2009

Member of the Month March 2009


Fetch says: Zoom saved my life one day. Fact. Had it not been for her prompt action in thrusting a tupperware full of delicious Welsh Cakes into my hand at the FOMAP Half Marathon, I may have simply wasted away. So here's to Zoom, our Member of the Month for March 2009 (and yes, so sorry it's late). She wins £100 of goodies from our sponsor, SimplyRun.co.uk.

plodding hippo asks: brilliant Zoomy, well done i have a serious question How do you motivate yourelf on long runs

Zoom says: Thats a tough one Hips, as I just go out and do them, and haven't really thought about it. I do enjoy the long runs, and most of the time they don't seem a chore. When I started running I found if I did an out and back route I was sometimes tempted to turn around before I was due too, so the majority of my lsr's are nice big loops, where I don't have much choice but to run all the way home! I also like to vary my runs, as I do get bored of doing the same old routes. As I'm doing the lsr's for training for a particular race, and not just for the sake of them, I always have that in the back of my mind. Also the mile total for the week, so I can get in my 29 weekly miles for 1500 target I've set myself for this year. If I'm feeling tired then I do think of a point up ahead, maybe a turning, or busy road I have to cross, or a certain mile point, and will say to myself to keeping running to that point, have a stop, breather and drink then carry on until another point. I always remind myself that I have run that distance many times before, so I can do it again and how good I will feel at the end when I know I was struggling, and still did it.:-) Oh, and I also imagine writing my blog, and what I will say about my thoughts and feelings, the scenery and weather, and any funny little incidents that I can write about! I do a check of how my body is feeling and if there is any part of me sore or aching I will rate it from 1 to 10, and usually it's never over 5, so I reassure myself that it's only x. I think that's it!

Stella asks: Well done zoomy, have you ever burned a welsh cake?

Zoom says: lol Yes Stella, many, as the griddle I use doesn't keep an even temperature, the ones in the middle, and on one side, cook quicker than on the other side. No1 son usually demolishes those though!

Miss Piggy Wiggy asks: Congratulations Zoom when do we get pig shaped Welsh cakes ;) On a serious note what is going to be your big challenge after u half mara challenge?

Zoom says: Lol Pig, buy me a pig shaped biscuit cutter and I will make pig shaped welsh cakes just for you hun. I'm doing 40 half marathons for my 40th so has to be 50 marathons for my 50th doesn't it?! This came about as New York Marathon started the year I was born, so the year I'm 50 it will be New York's 50th Marathon, so I thought it would be good to make it a treble and hopefully make it my 50th marathon. I want to do New York as I went there a few years ago and loved the city, which surprised me as being a bit of a Welsh country bumpkin I like to visit the big cities but usually am very happy to get back to my small town!

Tiggia asks: Zoom, you are one of my "fetchie idols" in a non-stalking way ;) I look at what you achieve and it makes me strive to improve and you've indirectly influenced me to enter a marathon. Have you ever done a race longer than marathon distance? If not, will you do? And if you do, please don't tell me about it in case I get any more stupid ideas...

Zoom says: Ah, thanks Tiggia (and I wouldn't mind you stalking me anyway!) I haven't run further than a marathon and had no interest at all in doing an Ultra until back in January I blogged this - "I was having a gander at the chat threads last night when one in particular caught my eye, the Wye Ultra. The Wye is a river running from Chepstow to mid Wales somewhere or other, and forms part of the border for England and Wales. As part of it isn't far from me I wondered if it this race was near me. Yes it was, about 50 mins away, and it was on 1st May, no races on that day so I could go along and be a mini fetchpoint. :) Posted on the thread saying this then when I looked at the details again I realised it was on 1st March, my 40th birthday. I quickly posted on the thread (before too many people started looking forward to welsh cakes and were then disappointed) that I was sorry I couldn't make it as I had family around for the day to celebrate my 40th. Now I have always thought that Ultra runners are nutters (and have told them that on a few threads;) and was even telling Trin on our run last week that I had no interest at all running one) and 26.2 miles was quite far enough for me, thank you very much. That I have lots of challenges, my 40 halves, sub 4 hour marathon and 50 marathons for my 50th, to keep me focused, and why would I want a ridiculous challenge like an Ultra?! But then a thought came into my head 'maybe I could do 30 miles....' I'm not being big headed but I'm sure I could do 30 miles by run/walking but this thought was sort of 'I'd like to have a go at doing an Ultra.' When I did say this on the thread I had a few Ultra nutter fetchies saying do it (it's like a religion where they try and convert you I think!) But I can't (*wipes brow* phew!) as it's my birthday and my family are expecting me to spend it with them. But maybe next year................." *Tiggia don't read on from here* And now I have decided to aim for the JW Ultra next year, as that sounds a popular one!!:-)

sarah1 asks: Well done Zoom...... how do you manage to run, work , look after your family , cook welshcakes, fetch all at the same time ????

Zoom says: I'm a woman Sarah, so multi-tasking comes naturally.;-) I am an organised person who likes to be on the go, doing things and meeting people, and living life to the full so I suppose it just comes naturally! I do try and pace myself, and not plan too much, but sometimes I find it hard to say no and I get stressed, things get on top of me and I have that 'stop the world I want to get off feeling' and then need to try and take it easy for a bit and recharge my batteries!

John Bach asks: Da iawn Zoom :-) What has you favourite race been to date? Which race is at the top of your "to do" list? I like to put butter on my Welsh cakes (cacen gri) - what, if anything, do you put on yours?

Zoom says: Tough questions those John, as I couldn't possibly name just one race for either. Top of the list for races run to date would have to be London Marathon, for the atmosphere and being the Marathon that I started running to complete, and of course the awesome scenery of Snowdonia Marathon (as you know only too well.) But there have also been loads of other races that I have run in this stunning country of ours like Wyre Forest Half, Humphs Hilly Half, Pembrey Sospan 10, Race the Train,Dale Pembroke Half Marathon, amongst many others, which I have loved. I might be biased but I always enjoying running, or marshalling at my clubs, Chepstow Harriers, races. We have two extreme of races, the flat as a welsh cake 4m Rose Inn and Magor Marsh 10k races (where my present 10k pb was set) and hilly, scenic and challenging off road races of Tintern Trot and Offa's Orror. My present pb half at Chippenham last year is also a special race as I worked bliddy hard for that pb. Again so many races, especially marathons across the world, which I would love to do. As I have already mentioned New York, and I would love to do Las Vegas Marathon. Abingdon and Dublin I am hopefully doing in October this year and Windermere Sluggett and I are talking about doing in the next few years. I don't put anything on my Welsh Cakes, I think there is quiet enough calories in them without adding butter!

Maclennane asks: Congratulations, Zoom Did it take you long to rebuild your spreadsheet after I ruined it?

Zoom says: Mac you didn't even return it to me did you? I had to start another one 1500 mile round up sheet from scratch!

oceanspirit asks: I've thought of a question now: for your half marathon challenge are you doing 40 different half marathons? Or are you doing some of the same half's the next year? Are you only doing half's in the UK? What has been your favourite part of this challenge so far??

Zoom says: There aren't that many halves marathons about that are within a responsible drive from home, for a day, so there are a number I've done, or will have done by the end of the year, twice. Including Chippenham, Reading, Wyre Forest and Malvern. Forest of Dean is the only half marathon I've done more than twice, three times in total. My fifth half marathon, and only one aboard, was Benidorm, which was a Harriers Tour, a lovely half with great support from locals and tourists and one I would like to go back and do again. I would have loved to do more half marathons aboard but with the family, and cost, it hasn't been possible. I have loved the fact that I have run in so many different places that I would never normally see. That it's kept me motivated and that I can easily *just* go out and run 13 miles without batting an eyelid. Also that I've met so many lovely people, non-fetchies and fetchies.:) And had some great days out with my running buddies.

Tiggia asks: Oh man, I should have asked if you could confirm to Mr Tiggia that "Dim Parcio" means no parking in Welsh. He thinks I lie...

Zoom says: I wish I could tiggia, but i cant speak welsh! My parents dont speak it and I wasnt taught it at school, living in the south and only five miles from England. I did try to learn it last year, with a course in work, as we have to do a bilingual greeting wh

Girlie asks: Well Done Zoom Could you share your welsh cake recipe? And for a proper question, what are the 3 items of kit you couldn't possibly do without?

Zoom says: I might be persuaded, for a donation to a charity of my choice Girlie!;) Definitely my Garmin, I'm a bit of a stats geek and like to see exactly how far I've run in what time and what my mile splits are. Being a lady I suppose sports bra! And third has to be trainers (and if I was allowed a fourth it would be my ipod, when running on my own I do like to have earphone in one ear, just as background music so I can still hear the birds singing and any screeching cars coming towards me!)

WildeRover asks: Questions, questions................ When is the next Welsh Social? No, hang on........... What's it like knowing that you will always be older than me? No, maybe not......... Are your Welsh Cakes suitable for vegetarians? Perhaps we'd better not go there.......... Did you ever get sent to Mr Jury's office - and if so, what for? Yep - that's the one!

Zoom says: Lol Wilderover. So the rest of you can be part of the private joke WR and I went to the same Junior School, and Mr Jury was the Headmaster, although we didn't know each other back then (and yes, I'm just a bit older than WR!) I was never sent to Mr Jury, I was always a good girl, although some of you might be surprised to hear that I was a bit chatty and would joke about. My brother did have the cane off Mr Jury but wouldn't tell my Mum and Dad, as they would have hit him too!

SteveParkes asks: Is a bakestone or a cast iron skillet best for welshcakes?

Zoom says: Someone correct me if I'm wrong but a bakestone, or griddle is cast iron like a skillet, a bakestone/griddle are flat while a skillet is shaped like a frying pan (I sound like Delia, but I have better taste in football teams;)) Steve I use a griddle I 'borrowed' off my Mum a year last April, when I first made Welsh Cakes for flm Fetchpoint 08. I think a flat griddle would be easier to use, to get a spatula under the welsh cakes to turn them, to cook the other side.

the vicious chicken asks: Congratulations Zoom! I know you told me that you're getting faster and faster at making batches of Welsh Cakes, so my question is: what's your current Welsh Cake PB? ;-)

Zoom says: Lol VC, yes I am getting faster at making welsh cakes. I had to time myself while making my last batch, for flm, and a batch of 45-50 took 38 mins. Any following batches don't take as long though as I can carry on mixing, rolling and cutting the next batch while the previous welsh cakes are cooking. I think when I started they used to take about an hour, so I'm doing well!

Velociraptor asks: Wow! I stop watching the pot for a couple of hours, and it boils! Congratulations, Zoom, on a long-overdue MOTM victory :) What's your next challenge after the "40 at 40"?

Zoom says: :) Thanks V'Rap, this is partly thanks to you as you seem to have been my campaign manager, with nominating me several times! My 50 marathons for my 50th and I would love to get a sub 4 marathon.

Magbag asks: Congratulations Zoom. Well deserved :) Just one question. Why do you run ?

Zoom says: Because I never in my wildest dreams thought I could, would, and would love it like I do. Because I get such a huge sense of achievement, whether it's just doing a training run, race, or pb. The wonderful people I've met. For the pure 'me' time it gives m

Ness asks: Congratulations ... :) What has been your favourite race so far? Also, as I've not completed a race in Wales so far, is there one that you'd recommend I travel across the border for? :)

Zoom says: See earlier question, although I nearly forgot the Swansea Races, I love the 5k and 10k along Swansea Bay, scenic, flat, great atmosphere and great pb potential. If you only ever to one race in Wales it's got to be Snowdonia Marathon (but I would like to think you'd come and do a few Chepstow Harrier ones too!)

Hamsterboy asks: Congrats Zoom :) Do you think you live up to your name?

Zoom says: Hello Hamsterboy, thanks for the arm movements at MicknPhil, you did make me smile when I was struggling loads.:-) Oh no, I don't think I live up to my name, the likes of RachE and Dr Deb do, but for me its' a joke really, as I'm far from Zoomy (apart from getting to the pub after the race for my pint of Bitter Shandy!)

she runs for cake asks: Congratulations Zoom! Cake question from me - welsh cakes only - or is there another cake that's your fave..? :)

Zoom says: Good question she runs for cakes! Actually my favourite cake is carrot cake (and if any fetchies are very good at making them and are doing the same race as me I will gladly swap some welsh cakes for some carrot cake! I am a real chocoholic but aren't really one for chocolate cake, except for lumpy bumpy cake, which we had at the last Harriers Dinner and Dance, which is strange as I was the one organising it, and who picked the menu;))

royalgreen asks: Well done Zoom, if you go to the zoo what is your most favourite animal?

Zoom says: I think it would have to be a penguin royalgreen. I don't know what it is about them, but they look quiet contented waddling about (actually I think I'm probably a bit of a waddler when I run too!) I'm never happier than by water, and of course they are in and out of the sea, and swim so gracefully. I also loved the film 'Happy Feet' which was about penguins, such a great feelgood movie.;)

Jock Itch asks: Jellied Eeels mate. sweet. John Noakes allways used to tell his dog Shep to 'get downnn!' If you had a dog, what would you tell him to do ?

Zoom says: Funny you should say that Jock but I don't know if you know that my last name is Shepherd! I would probably tell him to do some housework for me!

Trin asks: YAYYYYYYYYYYY About time!!!! :) :) :) Well done zooooooooom :) Topical question... you've got £1, £10, £50, £100,000 and £250,000 left on the board. The bankers offer is £35,000. Deal or No Deal, and why? ;)

Zoom says: For those of you that don't know Trin and I went to watch a recording of Deal or No Deal in May, which will be shown in October. Thanks Trin.:) At least the 1p is gone! Well the next round I could lose the £50, £100,000 and £250,000, and as we know from watching the programme it can feel like that's not real money and you can be so eaily tempted to no deal but I think I would deal. With my boys getting older, due to leave school, and hopefully go onto further education or uni I would like to have a bit of money to help them out, and have a few holidays to do some foreign races! When I asked my boys what they would like no1 son would like an extension on the house for a snooker room and mini zoom would like a holiday to Egypt, as he has a real interest in the Ancient Egyptians.

BS asks: Congrats Zoom :-) If you could ever take 1 minute out just to watch the world go by, where would it be, why? (that is jsut one question)

Zoom says: I am very much a person who is aware of the here and now BS, and takes time to savour the moment. I think I would like to be in Tintern. It's where my Mums family is from, and I spent many happy hours there growing up as a child.

The_Saint asks: Zoom who ?

Zoom says: :P

haddi 31 asks: why a swan ? :) not a decent football team ;-)

Zoom says: We had a caravan 3 miles from Swansea City's new Stadium opened, went to the first match of the session and I was hooked, much to my own surprise as I've never really been that interested in football, apart from when the men in the family where watching it! Well I wouldn't have supported Cardiff City, as they aren't a decent team either!;)

Fenland Runner asks: Most deserved :-) Why run?

Zoom says: See earlier question, but running also gives me something I can talk endlessly about, and bore non-runners senseless! I also love being out and seeing the changing sessions, and seeing wildlife in it's natural habitat.:)

Woodley asks: Nice one Zoom :) Don't forget to make some raisin free Cakes for me ;) Anyway, done to business. Where would you say is the most beautiful place in Wales to run?

Zoom says: Will do Woodley.:) There are so many beautiful places Woodley, but I do love the Snowdonia Marathon route, so that would be my first choice.

HappyG(rrr) asks: Congrats zoom, well deserved. Injuries are horrid. How do you try and avoid them and what do you do when niggles do come? :-)G

Zoom says: *looks sheepish* To be honest G I don't ever stretch, and when I have picked up a couple of injuries I have had a right telling off from sports masseur! I do have regular sports massages, and try to listen to my body, and if it starts to feel tired or I get any niggles I will step back on the training, or do a bit of cross training like swimming, to help and will be straight to the sports masseur.

Robbo62 asks: Well done Zoom, lomg long long overdue :) If you didnt support Swansea who would you support?

Zoom says: Well it wouldn't be Caridff City (or Newport County for that point!) Out of the prem teams I've always liked Liverpool, although no1 son is a great fan of Man U, so I suppose I do try and follow how they are doing too.

barking asks: Congratulations Zooommmyyy :) :) :) So many possible questions.... Do you think you will ever stop running, and what might you do instead (other than bake, obviously)

Zoom says: I never want to stop running! If I'm forced to I would have to do some other sport, if I can. I am really enjoying the Zumba dance class I go to with SouthWales22, so maybe do more fitness classes, or I even fancy becoming an Zumba Instructor, but just haven't got time, at the moment. I still want to learn to speak Welsh, and would love to do a photography course, as I will see an image, like recently when there was a Rainbow landing right by the towers of the Severn Bridge, and thought what a lovely photo it would make, and would love to be able to take a good quality photo.

Gramps asks: Congratulations Zoom! Have you decided what half is gonna be your 40th yet, and which half would you like to be able to do as your 40th? Oh, and what do you think your half pb will be by the time you've done the 40? Oh, and.... Erm... Oh sorry it's gone now... Well done again

Zoom says: Thanks Gramps.:) By default it's looking like it's going to be Burnham on Sea Half in October. I would love to have done Chepstow Harriers half marathon, which was stopped a few years back after problems with Sunday market, shops and tourist traffic. Chepstow is very hilly and it was known as the toughest road half in Britain. I think my half pb is going to be the same as it is now, as I can't see me beating my present pb with how my training has been going this year.:(

eL Bee! asks: Llongyfarchiadau Zoom :) Have you read "Talk Tidy" or heard any of the live talks by John Edwards in Wenglish..?? For years I have managed to convince my kids that a "Perygl" is a particularly dangerous small rodent that can only be found in Wales. There are signs everywhere that say Perygl Danger So it HAS to be true, right..??!! Did you ever get caught out as a kid by any such silliness..?? :)

Zoom says: lol eL Bee. No I haven't read it, but must now. My Dad is a great joker (I like to think that's where I get my great sense of humour from!) So growing up he would always be joking about, and probably caught me out lots as a kid, and still does now!

a.k.a Billy asks: Well Done Zoom.:) Your great at supporting fetchies in general and also in the 1500mile target group but what do you get back by being a fetchie?

Zoom says: Thanks Billy. I would say I get far more back from being a fetchie than I give. For my running, and personally, Fetch has been such a great means of support and encouragement. And I'm sure I've made friendships for life.:)

SarahL asks: Love *heart* you Zoom! Congrats! :) Thanks for your many Welsh cakes that I've consumed! It's probably already been asked, but how many Welsh Cakes do you think us Fetchies have eaten, collectively? Any plans for ultras?

Zoom says: Ahhh, cheers Sarah. I was asked this at the end of last year, and as I hadn't kept a record I decided at the start of this year to make a note, and added a welsh cakes bespoke coloumn on my training log! Omg, between January and May this year I've made 970 Welsh Cakes for the Fetchies! Yes, see earlier on, I would love to do JW Ultra next year.

Shin-Twigs asks: Congratulations Zoomie!! Well deserved. Who is your running hero/heroine and why?

Zoom says: It's got to be Paula Radcliffe ST, she is just so driven and focused. It does annoy me that she doesn't get the credit she deserves, as most people remember her for her disasters at the Olympics, and not for winning all of her other 8 marathons, and being the marathon world record holder.

Maclennane asks: Hi Zoom, Would you use an iron or a lofted wood from the semi-rough off the 7th fairway? It's 180 yards to the green, you're on the right hand side of the fairway and there's a large kidney-shaped bunker to the front left of the green and 15 yards behind the green is an out of bounds stream. The day is hot and humid, with a breeze blowing left to right. You have a hole in your left sock, have forgotten your glove and are slightly concerned that you may not have brought enough tees. If you could only ever look at one tree, which would you choose?

Zoom says: I've only got a clothes iron Mac! After visiting Westonbirt arboretum last Autumn with my Mum and Mini Zoom it has to be the red maple, with it's stunning hues and shades of yellow and orange to crimson red.

Dai Bank asks: Hey Zoom well done. So the question-why does the wind always blow in your face when running?

Zoom says: I suppose for the same reason that your buttered toast always lands on the floor on the buttered side and where odd socks go Dai!

Don Bubbles asks: Well done on MOTM Zoom! :) Whats gonna be your hardest pb to beat this year? Did you ever consider trying to do ten 10k's before your 10th birthday? ;)

Zoom says: Thanks Don, it's the 10k and half marathon times I'm going to struggle most to beat. Lol if I had been into running, and racing, back then then I probably would have!

Oatcake asks: Well done Zoom - you're a one woman fetch support crew and an inspiration to us all!! :) I believe that you went through a low patch with running after your first marathon (or was that just me?). What was the turning point for you? What gave you the drive to become the fabulous achiever that you are today? And I think that we need to get the fabulous Syd from Chepstow Harriers on here to relate his wonderful story about your running progress - it says so much about your positive outlook to life, determination and perserverance.

Zoom says: Cheers Oatcake (your payment is in the post;)) Yes I did go through a very low patch after my first marathon in 2006, bad cba and being very unfocused. It was only when I got a nasty chest infection the following February and couldn't run for three weeks that I realised how much I did want to run! Now I wouldn't say I was a fabulous achiever but my Mum is a strong, determined lady so I suppose I get if from her. Ahh, Syd is my other running hero, the man is a legend.:) I do always try and look on the positive side of things, every cloud has a silver lining after all!

Velociraptor asks: Zoom, I just *have* to ask. Can I have your excellent Welsh Cake recipe please?

Zoom says: Invite me up to the Cavern V'Rap and we'll see what we can do!

Broeinon asks: Zoom - are there going to be Welsh Cakes at any time in Swansea this year???

Zoom says: Of course Broe, at August's and September's Swansea Bay races, hope to see you there.:)

Maclennane asks: And I just *have* to ask whether the decline in sun surface activity is going to be sufficient to reverse the global temperature trends and leave much of the scientific comunity looking rather silly or whether human effects have indeed led to a consiuderable change in the world's climate, potentially leading to wholesale changes in the planet's biodynamics.

Zoom says: As long as I can have the odd day to dry my washing on the line (there's nothing like the smell of washing dried outside:)) I don't care what happens Mac!

sioux asks: Yay, about time Zoom. :) Great to meet you and looking forward to next time. Lots of poss questions.... Do I talk too much? Which one of us talks more? Is it odd to tip coffe over your breakfast? Would we still be talking if the waitress hadn't pointed out that there was 1.5 hr time limit on parking? But I think I'll go for....... Do you think we'd still be running now if you hadn't asked me where we should turn round?

Zoom says: lol sioux, great to meet up with you too. Definite answer would be no, as I would soon have a rumbling tummy, and have had to go and get something to eat!

John66 asks: Well done What's the furthest you've ever run / ever want to run? Should ultra runners stop running silly distances and come back and improve their marathon, half, 10k, 5k times?

Zoom says: The farthest I've run so far was 26.66 at this year's flm John (great support at fetchpoint, thanks again:)) The plan is to do 30 miles next year, but I'm hoping to be able to do both Ultra's and pb on the shorter distances too!

mic asks: most excellant Zoomy-babes' :-) :-) good on ya :-) My question will be.... who and where... who would you most love to do a run with, and where would that run or race be please? f'anks' :-)

Zoom says: After thinking long and hard about this question mic I've asked my marathon hero and fellow Chepstow Harrier, Syd, to do next year's JW Ultra with me.:)

Spally asks: Excellent news Zoom :-) Whats the secret behind your famous welshcakes?

Zoom says: Now if I told you Spally it would no longer be a secret!

mic asks: ... ok ok.. how about .. What is the hardest question you have had to answer Zoomy-babes' ? :-)

Zoom says: This one!

Fetch says: There you go - all done, thanks all round - and I notice that the secret welsh cake recipe remains just that :-)

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