By Samantha Hill
I first joined Shrewton Running Club (SRC) in 2017, when I joined in with the very first C25K sessions.
I used to run as a child at school and competed in inter-school competitions for long distance running. I picked up running again in 2007 after the birth of the second child and would run a bit with a friend. However, when I started at the running club I hadn’t really ran for quite a few years.
I was worried to join a club beforehand. Would I hold people back? Would I be able to keep up with them?
However, the Couch to 5k (C25K) was perfect as everyone was starting from scratch. We soon realised those within the group who ran slightly faster than others, but it was all ok and you ran at a pace that was comfortable for you.
I graduated at the customary Park Run course in Salisbury and then continued running for the next year or so. I entered a few competitions and enjoyed seeing that I was earning points for the club.
I decided to set myself a challenge in October 2018 and run the Half Marathon in Salisbury. It was in the Wiltshire Road Race League and so, along with the accomplishment of completing the course, I would be gaining points for the club.
I set off at a steady pace with Catherine, a friend I had made at SRC who ran at a similar pace to me, we were doing really well for the first half of the race. However, the second half was the second lap and that meant we knew everything that was coming and mentally it was hard to get over.
We would say to each other, when we get out of the city we’ll walk for a bit, we got out of the city and then I said actually, remember there is a lot of people along Churchfields, Lower Bemerton and Quidhampton so we carried on plodding ahead.
A little while later my legs and knees were aching and Catherine said her stomach was hurting, we joked that between us with my top half and her bottom half, we would make the ideal runner.
When we got to a part of the course where there were no people cheering, I said ‘Do you want to walk a little bit? “The answer was no as she was feeling better, so not wanting to hold her back I carried on walking.
Catherine asked me the same question a little while later and by that stage my legs were feeling ok so I said ‘Come on we’ve got this far without stopping let’s get to the end’.
I got to a road crossing at one point towards the end just before Catherine, unfortunately she got stopped for a car turning just after I had crossed. We were so close to the end Catherine said run on I’ll catch up, we ended up finishing within a few minutes of each other and I felt fantastic!
The next day though was a different story, I realised I had pushed my body too far and I should have listened and walked a bit or may be just not set myself such a huge goal?
I stopped running after the Half Marathon for quite some time into 2019.
I started running short distances maybe 5k and was also signed up to go to Endure 24 with some other members of the team.
The Endure course is 5 miles and the aim of the event is to do the most laps of the course individually or as a team. I only managed to do two laps and on the second lap did have to walk a lot of it.
This again put me back and I then didn’t run again really until the 2020 C25K course which was a great way to have a structured return to running.
I always try to push myself too much too soon and the course really helps to reign me in.
We had to stop due to Covid a few weeks before graduation and the whole group were disappointed by this. I did try to keep up running during lockdown which helped a lot when we did start the training again at I think maybe week 3 or 4.
I also introduced a friend of mine to the club when the C25K session recommenced and she had not ran since school, but that is her story to tell.
I was pleased that I was able to run the course and cross the finish line with her and am now running on the Plain up to 4 miles. My goal is to now increase my speed and to maybe get up to comfortably running 10K, but I think my days of running Half Marathons are over.