Shinty player Alison is off and running
LOCHABER Ladies shinty team member Alison MacVicar is recovering from an illness that has blighted her life for six years but says running has helped put her on the right path.
The 20-year- old from Oban has battled anorexia since the age of 14.
At 17, when her anorexia was at its worst, she weighed just 36kg (5.6 stone) and suffered from severe bradycardia, a slow heart rate. Alison reported a resting heart rate of 35 beats per minute whereas most people have a heart rate of between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Alison has always been a runner and does it to stay fit to compete with Lochaber Ladies.
Now she has signed up to run in the Simplyhealth Great Women’s Run, a 10k which takes place in Glasgow on Sunday June 4.
Alison will be running to raise money and awareness for the charity Beat (beating eating disorders).
She said: ‘Running comple- mented the demands of shinty, and swimming in triathlons helped my physical strength. Shinty has always been my main passion. The girls in the team have really encouraged my recovery as they are all so strong and athletic. They are a huge inspiration for me.’
Running gives Alison a sense of freedom but it wasn’t always like that, as she explained: ‘Running simultaneously aggravated my eating disorder and helped towards my recovery. In the depths of anorexia, running became an addiction, a chore and an obsession with no enjoyment.’
While Alison says she’s not fully recovered from anorexia, she’s about 80 per cent there.
She runs twice a week and loves taking part in the Oban park run. And as her recovery progresses, Alison’s times improve. She has a personal best of 20.50 for a 5k and 42.40 for a 10k.
She said: ‘Anorexia has haunted three family members and myself for too long and unfortunately snatched too many opportunities.
‘Although I am not fully recovered, I am the healthiest and happiest I have been and that is through the support of Beat, family, friends, exercise, challenging old habits and embarking on a sports degree to take me out of my comfort zone.’