WMM diary: ‘Don’t come up with excuses to not go, come up with excuses to go – it spurs me on’

As we countdown the weeks to the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon on June 4, Sharon Felton fills us in on how she find time to train for the big day

Sharon Felton from Greystones looks for the benefits of training, not the barriers. Photo: Frank McGrath

Liadán Hynes

Mother of two and SNA Sharon Felton reports that her training is “going really well,” despite her having had a busy couple of weeks — she organised the Darkness into Light walk in her local area, and had her son’s Confirmation the same day.

“I’m still getting out, getting the steps in. I’ve been getting stuff done for those events and then I’ve been getting walks in between. It’s been quite busy,” she laughs, “but I’m still getting out and getting my walks in.”

​Sharon explains that her policy is to think of a reason to get out, rather than reasons not to. “On Wednesday nights, my daughter does dancing. While she’s gone for the hour, I clock up the steps. When I drop her off at 6pm, I stay out then until at least 6.55pm. Even though I’ve got my 12,000 steps in already that day, I’m probably getting another six or seven.”

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“I live beside where she dances. It’s a five-minute walk to where her dancing is from where my house is. I could easily come home, but I always tell myself, ‘No point in going home to come back out later. I might as well use this time.’ I always think of an excuse to get out. Do I need to go to the shops, do I need milk?”

Constantly focusing on opportunities to get a walk in helps Sharon to keep up her training, even when things get busy. ​“On Sunday, I was shattered after my son’s Confirmation and the Darkness into Light. I was out all day Saturday, and on the Sunday we went out and did a few bits with the family.” She almost decided she was too tired for a walk but instead, pushed herself to get out, in the end walking for over an hour.

“Now, I was wrecked when I came home after my walk but I went out, it was a beautiful evening and I ended up meeting people.”

Push yourself, Sharon advises, and remind yourself of the benefits of getting out, whether to walk or run. “Don’t come up with excuses to not go, come up with excuses to go. I always try to come up with excuses to make myself go. I’m kind of going, ‘What am I going to get out of going on this walk? I’m going to feel better, I’m going to get fresh air.’ That’s kind of what spurs me on to go.”

​The 2023 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon takes place in Dublin on Bank Holiday Sunday, June 4 at 12.30pm. Enter today at vhiwomensminimarathon.ie