Coast Running Club!
After a few failed attempts and many proclamations of "we just can't run!" when lockdown struck for the 2nd or 3rd time (who can remember that blur of a time? or in-fact wants to?!) We decided to give it one more try! There was nothing much else to do! So we dusted off our trainers and took to our local footpaths and seawalls to see if we could complete the Couch to 5k challenge. With Emily using her favourite coffee van at the end of her 5k route as motivation, and Amie promising herself never to run again if she could just complete this, they did it and could officially run 5k!
Next came the Park Runs. Somewhere to go and run with a whole group of other people every Saturday morning, come rain or shine. Suitable for everyone no matter what their ability, it was another challenge for them both. Each week they aimed to beat their previous time, and most weeks they could do it!
Many completed Park Runs later, Amie decided they should both take on a New Year challenge of training for and completing the Lydd Half Marathon! Going from a 5k run on a Saturday, to an almost 22k run in nine weeks? Easy (we hoped!).
Here's Emily's experience (in the form of a poem of course!)
It was finally upon us,
Race day was here,
Filled with anticipation,
Adrenalin & fear!
And the wind did blow,
Our first Half Marathon,
Thinking do we have to go?!
Waiting at the start line,
Runners looking serious,
Why did we sign up?
We must have been delirious!
Hug each other good luck,
And we’re on our way,
Supporters cheering us,
Feeling like a momentous day!
We’re 5k runners,
So 22k was quite a lot,
Our legs were aching,
Believe it or not!
Jelly babies in our pockets,
To give a much-needed boost,
A rocket would have been better -
We later deduced.
Nearing the finish line,
Never thought we’d make it here,
What an achievement,
Time for a beer!
Amie is a little less poetic, but her experience went something like this:
"I spent 25 (ahem, 35) years of my life avoiding running. I hated it. I just could not do it. It never occurred to me that it would get a bit easier the more I did it! The first run of Couch to 5k was horrendous. I couldn't breathe and the next day I couldn't walk, despite only running for a total of about 5 minutes during that first session. I tend to give up most things I start, so I promised myself that if I could just complete Couch to 5k, I would hang up my running shoes and never have to do it again. As my body adjusted to this new thing I was doing, it turned out I actually quite enjoyed it. Getting out the door was difficult, but the sense of achievement of having done a 5k run before work three times a week was starting to become addictive. After doing a few Park Runs, I gained the confidence to suggest we do a Half Marathon. Approximately 4.5 seconds after signing up, I regretted it. My confidence had disappeared, and I decided that there was no way I could run that distance. I was doing it for charity, so I couldn't back out - I just had to get on with the training. Nine weeks. Three runs per week. Sunday morning lay ins were replaced with long runs, and Strava became my new best friend. We'd both said this was our one and only Half Marathon, so once it was done, we never had to do it again.
Nine weeks went past in the blink of an eye, and all of a sudden we were there at the start line waiting for the gun to go. The first 11k (6ish miles) didn't feel too bad. Then came the jelly legs and tiredness. Thankfully, the local Scouts and Girl Guides were at the water stations with Jaffa cakes and jelly babies - they gave me that extra boost I needed. It wasn't long before I could see the finish line, and the confidence came back. I could actually complete this! The encouragement from the other runners was incredible, actual athletes believed I could do it. I turned the last corner and heard one of my supporters shout "HERE SHE COMES", and I knew it was almost over. Emily had already run through the finish line, so was there cheering me on - she'd done it and I was so proud of her. Crossing that finish line was one of the proudest moments of my life. I'd raised over £600 for an amazing charity, and completed something I genuinely never thought I could. Someone who couldn't breathe after one minute of running less than a year before had just completed a Half Marathon. If I can do it, anyone can!"
They did it! What an achievement!
They're both a bit sore, even the slightest movement seems a challenge. They've been comparing blisters (a bit too much for our liking) and asking each other why on earth their shoulders hurt but, they're both buzzing that they did it.
A few weeks ago, both Emily & Amie said they would likely never do a Half Marathon again. We asked again today, the answer this time (in perfect unison).... "Yeahhhhhh!"
And that, Ladies & Gentlemen, is how the Coast Running Club was founded!