Sole Stories: Bangs And A Bun

Everyone has a story. For some it’s a story of wanting something more, for others it’s a story full of tears, heart and determination. Our series “Sole Stories” will give you a glimpse into what drives women to change their lives and their “soles.” I came across Muireann "Bangs And A Bun" on Twitter and I was immediately hooked. Her "telling it like it is" attitude reminded us a lot of ourselves so we had to find out more about her. She describes herself as "a writer and professional gypsy who has lived in some of the world’s most expensive cities, surviving on only raw meat and shoes. She now lives in the north of England and survives on hot chocolates and well, still shoes. Described by some as a ‘prissy bitch’, she is very particular about her fashion tastes and is on a one-woman mission to eradicate Uggs and leggings from the face of the earth."  You already love her don't you? Well, after this Q&A you will love her even more!
BGR!: What's the inside scoop on Bangs And a Bun?
Bangs: Bangs & a Bun - I'm a blogger who tells it like it is. Pretty fearless when it comes to getting my opinions out there. It's essentially a humorous lifestyle blog with a mix of everything from fashion to rapping and of course, running!
BGR!: How and why did you start running?
Bangs: I'd been living in Canada for 3 years and came back to England carrying a bit of extra weight (and I ain't talkin' baggage allowance!). I wanted to get back into fitness and lose about 20lbs. I started tweeting about what I called #OperationDrop20 and it kind of caught on. Then a PR agency approached me and asked if I'd like to run a half marathon and blog about it. I was feeling a little cocky 'cause I'd been boxing for a few months and had dropped a bit of weight, so I agreed - and boy, did I not realise what I was letting myself in for! I had never run before and the first time I tried once I agreed to the assignment, I couldn't run for 30 seconds - so yeah, big learning curve!
BGR!: Tell us about Team Bangs and A Bun. How did it start? What cause do you support?
Bangs: After training for that first half marathon alone and crossing the finishing line, I felt the greatest sense of achievement I've ever felt. I loved this new found discipline and drive I now had and I wanted everyone to have this feeling. I signed up for the Paris Half Marathon and asked on Twitter if anyone would like to do it with me. I honestly thought I'd get maybe three replies, but in 24 hours, I had 20 girls signed up - and Team Bangs on the Run was born! It was a group of badass chicks from all over the country. We 'trained' together virtually, using social media to keep us on track and encourage and motivate each other. We decided to run for a charity called Refuge, who help women and children escape domestic violence. We wanted to channel the strength and courage of these amazing women and give back to them through running.
BGR!: You recently had the chance to interview Paula Radcliffe. Is she as fierce in person as we'd imagine?
Bangs: Oh my God, yes! It was a dream come true really. She really gave some great advice and I was just in awe of her. She's so down to earth, yet incredibly hardcore! She had a baby six months ago and apparently, she ran the whole way through her pregnancy and was back out running again three weeks after giving birth. It doesn't get much more badass than that!
BGR!: You also recently turned 30. What's been the biggest change since you hit the big 3-0?
Bangs: I think I just kind of feel like a lot of things are slotting into place in my life. I'm not as panicked about things as I once was - I'm much more 'go with the flow'. I'm confident and happy with who I am - I think in your twenties you're just trying to figure all that stuff out. I guess I just feel much more at ease with who I am.
BGR!: You passionately "tell it like it is". When it comes to health and/or running, what's the one thing you want to scream to the world?
Bangs: I hate to hear people say 'I can't do it' when they've never even tried. I'm basically not big on excuses! We've all made them at some point or another, but we can't allow laziness to jeapardise our health. We have a duty to our bodies to keep them fit and well. We have a duty to stay active. So I think when people say 'I can't do it' what they really mean is 'I can't be bothered to try'. To that I say, everyone's gotta start somewhere - you've gotta get off the couch to see what you're capable of.
BGR!: What's on your running playlist?
Bangs: I listen to a lot of hip hop and electro - anything up beat and hard hitting that will keep me in the zone. I also have the Rocky theme tune on there and I make sure that I put it at the right point in my playlist so that if I'm running a race, that's playing as I cross the finish line! You've gotta have some things on there that bring a smile to your face when you're flagging. I've recently started running with no music though so I can focus on my breathing a bit more.
BGR!: What some similarities/differences been US and UK runners? If any.
Bangs: Hmm, I'm not sure I can think of any. From the runners from the States that I follow on Twitter I will say how I love that they're always so high energy and hardcore! I was over in NY recently and went running with a crew out there called Bridge Runners - they were different from crews I've run with over here in that they run in the street! I think we tend to be a bit more cautious over here!
BGR!: What's next for Bangs and a Bun and Team Bangs and a Bun?
Bangs: Bangs and a Bun wise, I'm just continuing to grow my blog and am starting to do talks/workshops about how to get started in running and how it can change your outlook on life. I'm putting together a group of 13 girls to do Team Bangs on the Run 2 and we'll be running the Nike Run to the Beat half marathon in London on September 25th, which I'm pretty excited about. I'll also be running another half marathon in October and hopefully my first full marathon if all goes to plan, so basically, my whole year is tied up with running!
You can find Bangs And a Bun at www.bangsandabun.com and on Twitter at @bangsandabun


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