Ruth Lucas - Marketing Manager at Swansea University
Meet Ruth Lucas, Marketing Manager at Swansea University. She signed up for the Swansea Half Marathon to encourage herself to start regular exercise again. Ruth shares her passion for sport and exercise, and how it has helped her mental health after becoming a mum.
Why did you want to run Swansea Half Marathon?
I discovered a real passion for sport and exercise in my 30s, taking part in all sorts of activities from Crossfit through to obstacle course racing. I loved the feeling of being fit and strong and really enjoyed the social element too. After having a baby in the summer of 2020, I tried really hard to make regular exercise part of my routine again. I managed it for a while, particularly during lockdown where I was able to take long walks with my baby girl or access online exercise classes, but once I had gone back to work full time, I struggled to fit it in. After several aborted attempts to get back into fitness, my New Year’s resolution this year was to sign up to the Swansea Half, to encourage me to start regular exercise again. I’m hoping to fit my training around a busy work and family life and running is a flexible way of exercising, that doesn’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership. You can just summon the motivation, put on a pair of trainers, step out of your front door, and go.
What does it mean to you personally?
I personally struggled with my mental health after becoming a mum, I was totally unprepared for those feelings, and was overwhelmed. I definitely didn’t prioritise my overall health for quite some time, putting time with my daughter over everything else. Things have got much easier for me, and I’ve started to get a bit of the “old Ruth” back again, and that includes having time for things that I enjoy, such as playing sport and being active.
“I want to set a good example to my daughter and show her that both physical and mental health should be a priority. By being physically and mentally fit, it will help me be the best mum to my little girl for many years to come.”
Have you run competitively before?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve run competitively but I’ve taken part in a wide variety of races just for fun. So far, I have done some really challenging but fun events including Tough Mudder, Invincible, Rat Race (which was a 20 mile obstacle course), Swansea Bay 10k and Darth Mannion. I’ve almost always done these events as part of a team, and it’ll be great to join Team Swansea for my first ever road half marathon. That was another reason why I wanted to sign up…to tick it off my bucket list!
Tell us about how you’ll be training in the run up to the race
I have already tried to get in some lunch time runs, but as the weather improves and the mornings and evenings get lighter I hope to be able to mix it up a little bit. I will follow a training plan and run with friends and colleagues from time to time. I know a lot of colleagues who are also taking part, and we’ve already talked about running together and supporting one another in our training. I think we’ll probably set up a (very informal) work based running club!
Tell us about anything special you’ll be doing to fundraise
A few team members have signed up to take part and we’ve talked about holding fundraising activities such as cake sales and themed days to help us meet our sponsorship targets. I’ve taken part in (and benefitted from) lots of cake sales during my time working at the University, but they very much died out since Covid happened. Bring back the cake sales and watch this space!