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#whywerun - Trina Dawkins

Trina Dawkins | whywerun

The reason I started using Instagram to document my runs is to inspire and motivate new runners and anyone who wants to improve their health and wellbeing through fitness. I document the good and the bad as running is not always a one size fits all and things do not always go as planned.
Sports has always been a big part of my life. I played basketball and competed in athletics in my teens. I also competed in weightlifting until the age of 17. I now play a range of sports in my spare time including badminton and basketball. I started back running a few years ago and started racing from 2017. I completed my first 2 marathons in 2019 (Brighton and Chelmsford) and hoped to run Manchester Marathon in October this year but that has now been postponed to 2021. I love running from 5k to marathon distance. I have to say that half marathon is my favourite distance. I ran my very first 20 mile race in March of this year a week before lockdown. It was the Milton Keynes Festival of Fitness race. I completed the race in 3 hours 28 minutes. I was hoping for at least 3 hours 45! Thoroughly enjoyed it and that was suppose to be my final long run before Manchester Marathon this April.

One of my favourite races to date is Chelmsford Marathon in October 2019 as I knew what to expect and how to work on my mindset when things started to feel hard. My first marathon in Brighton was such a learning curve and as you do; when I crossed the finished line, I said never again and a few weeks later booked Chelmsford as after reflecting on the event, I was determined to run a better marathon.

I have had many lessons in terms of running in the last 2 years. One of them was the toughest race where I cried was a 20k race in San Sebastian in 2018. The course was extremely hilly and I had tremendous knee pain but I was determined to finish and I did. I cried many tears as I crossed the line. I felt so embarrassed for crying but one of my teammates said that it was OK and nothing to be ashamed about.

Part of the running journey is about overcoming setbacks and as runners we face these on a day to day basis; it could be a battle to just go through the door for a run, or just not feeling motivated to continue your run because you have had a busy week. Mindset and reflection is very important and being accountable to yourself. Whenever I feel like this (as long as it is not due to an injury or feeling overwhelmed) I try to remember why I started the journey in the first place or HOW I will feel at the end of the run. You never regret a run but you may regret not running.  Every task/run/event, whatever it may be, has a purpose. It is important to think of this even more when the going gets tough.

Since all races have been cancelled or should we say postponed since the Global Pandemic, I have tried to keep my running mojo and working out regularly. To help with this as we could not run with friends, I have been entering many virtual races. I also joined Live audio run sessions and live video Strength and conditioning sessions with One Track Club. That was an absolute game changer especially on those long runs e.g. 13 milers. At that time I was not used to running long runs on my own as I would have usually done this with my running club. Since then I have completed many long runs now using Podcasts too.

My latest virtual challenge was 6th -12th July – Race to the Stones 100km Virtual. This race was cancelled and they offered the virtual instead. I could never have imagined running 100km in a week. Even during marathon training, I did not run anywhere near this on a weekly basis. I saw the event on Instagram, and I said why not. I honestly do love a challenge and these challenges have kept me running solo and now and again with one or two friends. I started reading up about a plan and the idea of double run days came up and this was perfect. Prior to this, about 4 weeks, I was offered free coaching sessions by a GB triathlete Jake Keast who is also a medical student. He was writing me session plans to incorporate circuit work, intervals, tempo and long runs. This has been great and I believe it contributed to my success in completing this challenge. The strength work definitely helped as this was something I was not doing much of prior to lockdown.

A lot has happened for me this year and I am trying to focus and push myself to do things that I would not normally consider due to fear.

I also finally started my running blog after months of thinking about it. It was the perfect time I guess as I documented the Race to the Stones challenge. I plan to update it weekly with my running and fitness stuff. The link is in my IG bio @trina_runs.

My advice to others is: Your journey is yours. Do not compare it to others.
Prior to lockdown, my goals for 2020 were:

  1. Run sub 4 hours 30 for Manchester Marathon
  2. Complete 12 half marathons (4 so far)
  3. Complete an ultra (50km) – completed 100km( still planning to run 50km straight this year)
  4. Start trail running – already purchased my trail running shoes
  5. Complete 2 marathons
  6. Incorporate S&C into my weekly sessions – YES, doing this
  7. Complete Run leaders course – booked for September 2020
  8. Complete 2 international races
  9. Drink more water – in progress
  10. Start a running blog – YES, started!

As you can see, I have started working on these prior to lockdown and actually achieved some during lockdown.

I take my running inspiration from challenging myself because I know that we can achieve anything we want. If I set myself a goal and don't attempt it I will live with that regret and I don't really want that. Also I was a sports fanatic at school and upon reflection I should have followed this path and go on to study sports science/coaching when I was 16. I think that is still with me and I am really enjoying combining running and fitness with my current lifestyle. I would love to become a run coach and a Personal Trainer to help others. I hope to achieve this in the very near future – December 2020???

Watch this space..

You can follow Trina on her Instagram page HERE and her online blog HERE

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