Whether you’re going from that couch to 5k or progressing from your comfort zone up to a longer distance it can seem like a huge task, which is why having someone there to support and encourage you, and remind you that YOU CAN, is priceless.
Whether you’re already running, or want to start, to lose weight, maintain a healthy lifestyle, get outdoors and closer to nature, or to clear your head; running can very quickly and easily become part of your life.
It’s an exceptionally cost effective sport – you can wear any clothes you’re comfortable in, the only expense is a good pair of running shoes and there’s plenty of experts out there who can help you with that – or if you’re just starting out and want to make sure running is for you, then it’s okay to run in sensible trainers that are tied twice, but please don’t wear Converse, Vans or anything similar – that’ll smart.
Briefly; My Running Journey
Around ten years ago I signed up to a local club’s beginners running course; after unsuccessfully trying to teach myself to run. After those initial few weeks I loved it and was determined to make it my ‘thing’. I liked that I could go out on my own if I wanted, which meant I didn’t have to talk to people or make polite conversation if I didn’t feel like it. On my 5k graduation I became a member of the club and stayed for around 5 years, only leaving shortly after neurosurgery as I was getting too tired to commit to evening runs. But, that was fine because for me; nothing beats hitting the tarmac on your own to clear your head (excuse the pun).
“Nothing beats hitting the tarmac on your own to clear your head”
In 2013 I was working for a national charity and it coincided with their campaign to encourage the public to get outdoors. But, while we were all working to implement this campaign and get our members outside, we’re inside? I wanted to get ‘us’ outdoors too, so decided to look into starting my own ‘running groups’. I got in touch with England Athletics and invited them along to talk me through what I needed to do. I qualified as a run leader in 2013 and away we went.
The groups were a success and I thoroughly enjoyed every run, much more than my desk job. I felt the excitement at each stage of each runner’s journey, watching them progress every week and go from wanting to kill me to smiling from ear to ear was just brilliant. I loved it!
In 2014 I had radiotherapy and didn’t return to the charity as it held too many memories of being poorly, but oh boy did I miss my running groups.
Three months after the radiotherapy I did a half marathon in Wales, but from there it was pretty much downhill – panic attacks, breathing problems on slight inclines, getting angry with myself for going slow, getting even angrier for not even managing 3 miles, and so on. It wasn’t until around February 2017, when my medication was finally sorted out, that I could go out and enjoy running like I used to – I am so glad I persevered and had the encouragement of my partner, who I’ve also taught to run (and now he’s bloody better than me). Now I am back I want to be around a community again; supporting, encouraging and just being part of that atmosphere.
Why a Virtual Running Community?
I now run my own business as a Virtual Assistant and still get very very tired because of the effects of the radiotherapy, so for both of those reasons I can’t commit to running clubs on set days at set times. For me a virtual running group is the way forward and I know there are plenty of other people who have pushes and pulls on their time, or who don’t want to be around other people face to face, who welcome this too, so here we are, the ‘Virtual Running Community‘ has been born.
We (as in me and the members of the group) would love you to join us and to become part of the ‘we’ – TeamVRC.
‘I have been converted in to a running addict, all through a work running group. One person who gave up their time to lead this group was Catherine Gladwyn. Her enthusiasm (and mick taking) during the sessions was great. Everyone wanted to bounce around as easily as she did and listen to her blow her whistle as much as she possibly could!’ Nick
‘Catherine, thank you so so much. With a new diet (courtesy of the Hairy Bikers cook book) and your encouragement to return to running I’m now comfortably doing 10k twice a week and have a new waistline to match.’ Martin