Maria Canicross

Member of the Month #5

Every month we get to meet one of our lovely Bookhounds.

Say hello to self-professed “mad dog-lady” and lockdown runner Maria.

Name: Maria Johnson (she/her)

Hometown: Newark-On-Trent

Current location: A small village outside Sleaford

Occupation: Supermarket worker

Running style: Slow and steady!

What’s your favourite book about running? 

So far, the only books about running I have read are those I have received from this club. I haven’t read them all yet but Marathon Mum by Rachel Brown with Warren Fitzgerald has been my favourite so far. I’m usually a big fiction fan. My favourite author is Stephen King and I now recall he wrote a short story about a runner. It’s called The Gingerbread Girl which can be found in his book Just After Sunset and is well worth a read.

What’s your most unusual mid-run snack?

Having only started running during lockdown, I haven’t run far enough yet to require a snack!

What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten post-run/race?

I always run first thing in the morning so my meal, when I get home, is always breakfast. I’m trying to lose weight for my wedding so I try to keep breakfast healthy, so porridge or muesli is usually on the menu. Saying that, just last week I rewarded myself after a run with leftover birthday cake for breakfast, so that was nice!

Tell us about a memorable run you’ve been on and why.

The most memorable run I have been on happened October last year. My car was due it’s MOT over in the next village. My fiance is good friends with the mechanic and said he’d take it for me. I had sudden inspiration and said to take me along and I would run home. He thought I was mental! We mapped it out and it came to just over 12k distance. At that point I was only running 5k max. I was told to keep my phone on me at all times and to ring if I’d had enough! Well, I never made that phone call. I ran the whole way and only stopped when crossing roads. It was my first real distance run. I was in an area I was unfamiliar with (I’d only seen it from above on Google Maps). There was a deceptive hill I hadn’t planned for (it’s so flat in Lincolnshire, hills are not my thing!). It took me nearly 2 hours but I did it. It’s probably the one thing I can say that I did all by myself. I didn’t have friends or family helping me, nor two dogs tied to my waist to pull me along. It was a thing I did that I can honestly say, I’m proud of myself for that.

Recommend a race for other Bookhounds to try.

Being a lockdown runner means that I have yet to partake in any races. I’m hoping that I might dip my toes in with a couple of 5ks once the restrictions ease.

What’s on the top of your running playlist?

I love anything that’s either motivational or upbeat. The top three on my current playlist that always gets me moving quicker are:

I’m Still Standing – Elton John

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

This is Me – The Greatest Showman soundtrack

Who is your ultimate running hero?

This will sound really cheesy but anybody who gets up out the door and just gives it a go. The first steps are the hardest. I’m still a relatively new runner and I know how hard it can be at first. So my heroes are each and every one who keeps showing up and trying their very best. 

Cat or dog?

I should say both as I have both. But, dogs, anyday! 

Shorts or leggings?

I’m still quite body conscious so it’s leggings for me. I recently dared to be bold and ordered some capris for summer running!

Tea or coffee?

I will drink the occasional coffee. And I will drink tea if it’s offered. But I’m not really a hot drink person. I normally stick to water or squash.

If you could go for a run anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?

Anywhere wild! Because I run with my dogs a lot, I’m more of a trail runner than a pavement pounder. I would love to run in the Scottish Highlands and maybe try to conquer a (small!) mountain.

Where can other Bookhounds connect with you? 

Anybody who wants to follow the tails (see what I did there?) of a mad dog lady, can find us on Instagram at @my_life_with_5_dogs.

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