Hayley’s Story

Hayley's Story

What a difference a year makes. Hayley’s story is inspiring for anyone moving to a new location, getting motivated and in particular running with asthma. Well done Hayley, it’s great to have you in the gang of running chicks : here’s to the year ahead.

“This time last year when planning my relocation to Dublin I started to ‘think’ about maybe starting to run. I had worked on the road for the previous 4 years and had piled on the pounds with hotel living. I was daunted by the fact that I couldn’t manage a walk to work or a flight of stairs without needing my inhaler and was constantly taking steroids and also the big move to a new city. I however didn’t let this stop me and my first ever run/walk mainly walk covered 8kms on the 10th January this year. It took me over 90 minutes and was definately too much for a first attempt. I stuck at it and improved.

I noticed ‘Forget the Gym’ in the Docklands on the way home from work probably in April time. I however only joined after my first ever 10k race in May. I wanted to be able to run before I joined which looking back now was a little bit silly as what I have learnt from the classes has changed my lifestyle especially when it comes to my asthma. The running chicks have also helped me to settle into a new city and given me a life outside of work – Saturday mornings in the Phoenix park are worth getting out of bed for – not just the scones.

Beginning of June Mary took a video of me running and played it back, she pointed out my shoulders and how they lived in my ears restricting my breathing so I decided to focus on them in all my training runs. I tipped of the girls to shout ‘shoulders’ to me if they noticed them rising. I then completed the Fingal 10k – Afterwards I remember receiving a text from Mary asking if I had taken a short cut. I had knocked 8 minutes from my PB. On reflection of what had made a difference it was defiantly the full term of strength and speed class and the shoulders. It was the first 10K I didn’t need to take my inhaler every 1-2kms infact I didn’t take it until 9kms and I also ran the whole race. For a couple of months I still had to think about the shoulders and I would often hear Mary shouting or pointing at the shoulders in training however i`m pleased to say the habit is finally there and my shoulders no longer live in my ears.

The difference this has made to my asthma is amazing. I have stopped taking steroids and haven’t taken my inhaler when running since Fingal.


Training for the half marathon then started and I was really nervous on how I could run a half marathon with my lungs, however I followed the plan, concentrated on breathing and attended the Chirunning workshop. Morning of the half I was petrified however great to be with other Running Chicks completing their first half, and seasoned runners for advice. The support was amazing. I remember Mary telling me to enjoy it she didn’t want me to get to the end and never want to run again. I did get to the end in 2:02.

I will never forget the emotion of completing my first half marathon first thing I said was ‘I didn’t take my inhaler, I`m cured of asthma’. It also didn’t put me off running the opposite in fact and I signed up for the Liverpool 2015 Marathon.

In the last 8 weeks not only have I kept the long run mileage at 10 miles I have also completed 3 half marathons and a number of other races an achievement I didn’t expect in my first year of running. I know my fitness level has improved because at the last half marathon in Clontarf I wanted to keep going when I got to the finish line, I crossed the line thinking oh that’s it. With the cold weather kicking in I was a little bit nervous on how the chest would hold up but so far so good, right clothing and a good warm up is keeping me right.

When you’re a runner with asthma it is always on your mind however it is amazing what your body can achieve with the right training, guidance and support. I for one when I started running to ‘get fit’ didn’t expect to accomplish so much in the first year. As I said this time last year I was only thinking about running and couldn’t walk the 1km to work or take a flight of stairs without needing my inhaler.

I have to thank Forget the Gym and all the running chicks for their support over this year, I survived my first year living and running in Dublin. I`m now resting the legs ready for 2015 marathon year. “

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Above is a little picture of how much Hayley has embraced the ForgetThe Gym world. As part of our ‘Plank a Day’ Challenge, Hayley didnt let a trip to India stop her from keeping on track…