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SUPER FIT AT 60!

Bringing up two children single-handedly after the death of her husband left Sue Powney very little time to focus on fitness. But when her god-daughter passed away, she decided to fundraise in her memory – a decision that led Sue all the way to a marathon…

INSPIRATION

Sue at the start (below) and celebrating after (above) the Greater Manchester Marathon

My daughter Sarah was just eight and my son Michael six when my husband Roy died very unexpectedly from heart failure, in February 2000,” says Sue Powney, 60, from Petersfield. “Losing my husband when I was just 41 meant I had to bring up two young children on my own. My top priority was to ensure they had the best upbringing I could give them, so I didn’t have much opportunity to stay fit. I was working as a learning support assistant at a local primary school. I wanted to become a teacher though, so I continued with my university studies and achieved a first-class honours degree, a PGCE with ‘outstanding’ and a master’s degree with distinction. But the truth is, I hid behind my studies: when the children went to bed I missed my husband so much it hurt, so I channelled all my energy into studying. It was tough juggling studying with working and childcare, but I succeeded and now teach year one at Petersfield Infant School. My own children are now 24 and 26 – they’ve both been to university and are amazing young people of whom I’m very proud.

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About Women’s Running

It’s a strange thing, our relationship with food. We tuck into our favourite snacks and meals to reward ourselves, cheer ourselves up and celebrate special occasions. Mealtimes can be something to look forward to after a tough day or training session, an opportunity to share quality time with loved ones. For me, food is associated with homeliness and family, but also with health and wellbeing. Fuelling my body nutritiously gives me enormous satisfaction – it gives me a feeling of control, knowing I’m supporting my health and my running. But because of such emotional associations, our relationship with food can become very complex. And, in some cases, even detrimental to health. Over the coming pages, we look at a number of topics surrounding nutrition. From the highly emotive issue of eating disorders (page 30), to the growing trend of going meat-free (page 62), we give you the facts to help you make sense of how your diet impacts your training and heath – mental and physical. If you are moving to a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’ll find heaps of expert advice on everything from getting the right protein intake to vitamin and mineral deficiencies – and even a seven-day, meat-free meal planner (page 69). Of course, there’s lots of non-food content, too, including one feature guaranteed to get you out the door, even for just 15 minutes (page 44).