TMR Yearbook: Class of 2016 -Anna Parlour

My name is Anna and I have just completed the C25K Absolute Beginners course on The Downs.

Anna Parlour, TMR Mum
I’m just like most Mums I think, knackered most of the time, suffocated with constant guilt about what I should and should not be doing at home, at work and everywhere, I crave wine and wish I could eat limitless amounts of chocolate.

I live in Henleaze in Bristol, I have two small children, Oliver and Eva (4 and 2 years old).  I work in HR by profession 4 days a week, for a Communications company in Gloucester. I have learned to like the commute as it gives me thinking time, but I’m stuck in my car a lot which is not so good. Prior to starting the C25k, my exercise regime was minimal to non-existent.

Before TMR I could run for erm, one minute or so. I’m embarrassed to admit. Prior to having children I ran a couple of half marathons but as soon as I fell pregnant it was one thing after another which just made me switch off to running. Ill health during both my pregnancies, the normal fatigue that goes with children that I just didn’t seem to cope well with and randomly a broken ankle after my daughter was born. The irony there was that it happened during my first Buggy Fit class – Eva was 11 weeks old. The subsequent long recovery and thereafter aches and pains added to the sedentary lifestyle.

I heard about This Mum Runs as I had seen a couple of mums wearing TMR t-shirts at my children’s nursery and thought that it sounded like a great idea.  I had also seen some friends “Like” the Facebook page and the name stuck in my mind.

I entered the Bristol 10k at the beginning of the year to give myself a target to get fit for and was struggling to get started with training on my own – there was always an excuse. I needed a group to join with people in a similar situation so it forced my hand and that’s when I signed up for the course.

Honestly, I was excited to start the course and relieved and that I had finally taken action. I was hopeful I would meet some great people and learn to enjoy running as a social thing as well as a route to fitness.

After the first session I was surprised. I found it much more manageable and fun than I was expecting. I was eager for the next class to come along.

The changes I have noticed since starting the course, physically speaking it’s interesting, I have lost very little weight in the last 10 weeks despite running and exercising a lot more. However, I have changed shape and am starting to get back into some of my old clothes again which is a real confidence booster. In terms of mental changes, I have noticed great improvements there. Running has been a great stress reliever – greatly accelerated by meeting hilarious and wonderful people in my group and being in the fresh air, doing something for me and me only. My mum passed away in November and I credit running and the inevitable endorphin rush to helping me through a dark time in my life.

I’m not very involved in the Facebook group, I want to do more running courses for definite but currently that’s it – except for Facebook notifications of course. I am very keen to carry on running so I expect I will become increasingly involved. I am hugely impressed with TMR and those who run it.

Aside from the desire to feel healthy physically and mentally and get/keep my weight down – I’m hugely motivated to be a positive role model for my children. I want them to see me not only exercising and enjoying it, but that it’s a normal, and essential part of life. I feel particularly strongly about my daughter seeing me as a role model in this way and that it’s cool for girls to be strong, healthy and happy.

My advice to those who are not a part of the This Mum runs community would be to just take the plunge, fight those inner demons and just get out there or sign up to something to give you a goal. You will feel better for it, maybe not during your run at first but for definite afterwards.


Our next term of courses begin September the 12th. If you have been inspired by Anna’s story and would like to join our community, all course information and booking can be found on our website at


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