Living the simpElle life: Betty

Welcome Back. Fall / Autumn is well and truly upon us now. The change is seasons is one of the times in the year where we need some motivation more than ever. A reminder of why we do what we do, how we started on our journeys and how far we have come. 

This fortnightly mini series – Living the simpElle life – is where I talk to someone who has been empowered to change.

I heard a great phrase last year –

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”

 – so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and I hope that is what their story will do for the rest of us…

Meet: Betty Bohane 

I met Betty while teaching Nike Training Club classes. Since then, I’ve been following her running journey – I’m always excited to see everyones success, especially when I remember them from the “early days”. Betty is an inspiration when it comes to running which you will see…

…here’s Betty’s story…

– {THEN} – 

Elle: What made you decide to start training / running? …What were your plans / goals?

Betty: I moved to London in January 2011, and having just come back from over a year away travelling I felt fairly unfit. I was interning, so took up running as the cheapest form of exercise. My first ‘route’ must have been about 2 miles and I was delighted if I could manage this without stopping. Later that year I also took up cycling as a form of commuting as I dreaded the rush hour journey on public transport. Also-  still skint,  it was a great way to save on travel each month.

I did my first 10k in September that year and remember thinking people that ran further than that were clearly nutters. 

– {HOW} – 

Elle: What’s your typical weekly exercise schedule?

Betty: These days I am a bit over-enthusiastic on the exercise front. Each week I will run at least 5 days per week, cycle to work, spin, go to the gym and try and go to at least one high intensity class (NTC.)  I have to stop myself from running every day as through experience I have learnt it leads to injury!

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Betty: From cycling to work the ‘changing room girls’ have been and still are a massive inspiration – one introduced me to Nike (NTC) classes, another does triathlons most weekends… its a pleasure to chat with them first thing in the morning. NTC classes were a massive inspiration, I first started going in Feb 2013 . They really motivated me and taught me that fitness is so much more than being able to run around the block…it took me 5 months of these classes before I could do a proper press up.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Betty: There’s been quite a few proud moments (after the first press up) – mainly with running. After doing two halves, I entered a fairly small marathon in June 2013 -South Downs – mainly as a challenge to myself. I had never run more than 20 miles, and had not followed a plan. I didn’t even know it was a trail one until the week before. To the shock of my mother who was supporting, and myself,  I was the first female to finish it (3hrs 27). I think it was only then I realised I wasn’t half bad at running.

More recently I was chosen from 2000 applicants to be a team captain for a campaign called the Puma Faster Forever challenge run by The Running Bug.  Over eight weeks I had to motivate and encourage an online team to fun further and faster and ultimately smash personal bests. The team which ran and logged the most miles won. My team (Team Faas) lost considerably, however I enjoyed the challenge so much and received a lot of praise for my captainship and am still a very active member of The Running Bug. 

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Betty: Ive always naturally eaten fairly healthy foods; I feel lethargic if I don’t get enough fruit and veg. So my diet hasn’t changed dramatically. However I also rarely turn down chocolate, or a glass of wine…(which has always been a downfall of mine). If anything I just eat more these days. No day is complete without porridge for breakfast!

 – {NOW} – 

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Betty: My goals these days are to run more marathons and to motivate others to run…It was a lifelong dream to run the London marathon this year and I now have Frankfurt marathon at the end of October, in which I am delighted to be taking two friends with me who –  after celebrating with me after the London marathon pledged they would do their first one before the year is out… 

I would love to do the New York marathon, so hope to complete a sub 1.30 half marathon which is the qualifying time.

I’ve also just started being a leader in the Fitness First HomeRun scheme so am hoping to motivate more people to run…and get them to push themselves further. 

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Betty: My friends definitely keep me motivated, especially those into fitness/running. At work my friend and I started a lunch time run club, and I’m lucky that my boss loves running too so he is now a fully fledged member of this exclusive club! We spent the summer training together for a half marathon. Failing that music has always been essential to motivating me through intense NTC classes, or challenging runs.

My family is also pretty active, and we encourage each other to enter events – Mum just having done her first mud run, my sister just started playing football for the first time. My brother is a super speedy runner – I’ll always try to chase his times (but never get there!)

Before the London marathon I was in danger of pulling out from injury so I spent the fortnight before watching motivational youtube videos…once you’ve watched and memorised enough of those they stick in your head making it much easier to get up and go in the morning.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the “before” you…or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle…what would you say?!

Betty: As much as I love running I can understand why people hate it… so try other exercises until you find something you do enjoy. I put off spinning for years as I had heard the horror stories…now I’ve tried it I really look forward to that class each week. And get a friend involved…after a long day at work I wouldn’t have turned up to half the classes I did, or go for lunchtime runs if it wasn’t for my friends doing it too. 

…so what d’ya think?! 

If you’d like to leave Betty a comment below please do! 

If you would like to share your own story please get in touch with me: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life 😉 

Elle 🙂 



  1. lou lives well
    October 29, 2014 / 08:02

    Great post, very inspiring! It's stories like these that make me think I could do another half marathon one day! x

  2. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast
    October 27, 2014 / 14:04

    That is awesome- hope you get the sub 1:30 soon!! That's ultimately my goal too although I have a lot of work to do post baby. 🙂

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