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Meet the runner - Amy Dutton

Amy is the head veterinary neurology nurse where I work. She's smart and funny and generally a joy to be around in addition to her incredible nursing skills. Recently Amy and some of her friends at work have started running regularly - sometimes after work, sometimes they meet for a Parkrun, sometimes just on their own. I've loved listening to all the running chat while we're working hard!

I have been a veterinary nurse for 14 years. I currently work at a multidisciplinary referral centre just outside of Winchester, working as the head neurology nurse. In my spare time I love walking the dogs, cooking and painting. 

I was never really into sports at school; the dreaded PE kit, body niggles and not being popular enough to be part of the netball team made it hard for me to push myself physically. As I got older, I just decided I didn’t have time to exercise and work a full time job, but this changed when my mum had a heart attack, out of the blue, around 4 years ago. This moment was life changing for me and made me realise that I needed to start working on my fitness.

I started going to the gym mostly for classes but started to use the treadmill as part of my workouts. This was my first true experience of running as an adult and I loved the way it made me feel. I also thrived on the challenge of setting myself little goals incorporating various times and distances, and quickly got a bit addicted.

At the moment I’m trying to run around 3-4 times a week and really hope to continue this frequency after lockdown.

I haven’t run in many different locations, but I am lucky enough to live in the Cotswolds, so running around my town is still pretty special. I’m really looking forward to running in new places when lockdown is over.

With regards to running, lockdown has had a positive effect on me. It was what motivated me to run outside for the first time and now I absolutely love it. I’m also working different shift patterns to normal with more days off in the week making it much easier for me to find time to run. 

It can be challenging finding new routes when you are limited to running around home, but this has also encouraged me to integrate with local runners in my community, making me feel part of something at this difficult time.

My favourite running memory is finishing my first 10km and not feeling awful at the end! Prior to this the furthest I had run was 7km and on this particular morning I had set off with the intention of running around the same distance again. I felt so good that I just continued and was so excited that I managed to run 10km, I also felt better at the end than I had after most of my shorter runs.

The best bits about running have to be the way I feel after exercising, it gives me a real boost even on days when I’m not feeling very upbeat. I also feel generally fitter in myself and happier with my body. 

The worst bit has been battling recurrent stitches but other than that nothing negative.

I just try to eat healthy and keep as hydrated as possible. I’m sure this will change if I start upping the distance though. I really enjoy cooking and try and make everything from scratch. Lockdown had enabled me to do more of this. Boring I know, but scrambled eggs on toast is one of my favourite things to eat after a run.

If you’re thinking of starting to run just go for it! It doesn’t matter how far or how fast just do the best you can. 

Being able to listen to music and podcasts was a game changer for me, keeping me entertained and motivated so a pair of wireless headphones are a must. I also got a Garmin watch for my birthday which has been great as it allows me to record my runs and other exercises easily, track my fitness data, and syncs with my headphones for music. The GPS is much more accurate than when I used to use my phone and so tracking my running progression has become much easier too. 


You can find Amy on Instagram @amy_louise_dutton

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