First ever 10k - Running for The Pink Place
On Sunday 26th October I completed my first official 10K event, I was so pleased to finish,it was for me a major achievement and personal goal, which I would not have contemplated before joining Sherfield Park Runners.
I only started running in January 2014. I had persuaded my husband Ian that we should get fit and start running. He wasn’t particularly keen, but agreed to run with me, I think he thought it would be a fad and in a few weeks time I wouldn’t want to go anymore. So, we literally went from couch to 5K, we went along to Basingstoke Parkrun (www.parkrun.org.uk/basingstoke/) which is a free timed 5K run that takes place every Saturday at 9.00am in the War Memorial Park (and other locations around the country). We both found it tough the first week, and to my annoyance Ian was much faster than I was which really bugged me as he was not fit at all, I had at least been going to exercise classes so I thought I would be OK. Well, we made it round with a mixture of running and walking, although the next day we could barely walk, if only we had known then about C25K courses – a much more gradual and sensible introduction to running! However, we had a time and a goal to beat, so we returned the following week, it is a great community event, with runners of all abilities and ages, including young children, who normally beat me as well as people running with buggies and dogs. We carried on going most Saturday mornings, gradually improving our times, and running more than walking until we were eventually able to run all the way.
A friend suggested that we joined a running club to help improve our running. I wasn’t sure at first but was eventually persuaded, and in June of this year we joined Sherfield Park Runners, and I am so pleased that we did. I did not really know what to expect, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming, there is structured training together with ad hoc runs and runners of all abilities. I started going twice a week and really enjoyed the training and the socialising, It can be hard sometimes to motivate yourself to make the effort to find the time to go out and run, but knowing you are running with other people is great, there is always someone to run with so you never have to run on your own and everyone is very encouraging.
I set myself the goal of running 10K, and signed up for Fleet 10K. I decided I would raise money for a local cancer charity The Pink Place (www.thepinkplace.org.uk/) which aims to improve the well being of people undergoing cancer treatment. They offer free services, such as counselling, beauty treatments, complimentary therapies and hair and wig services and have recently moved to new premises in Wote Street, Basingstoke. I am a huge supporter of this charity, as I myself was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2008 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, so I appreciate how important it is to feel good about yourself and be pampered a little whilst treatment and recovery is taking place.
I would not have been able to complete Fleet 10K without the encouragement, support and training I received from Sherfield Park Runners. On the day I was quite nervous, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it round the course, but Wendy and Val who I had been training with ran with me all the way, encouraging me to keep going and I completed it in an official time of 1.16:37 and raised over £600 for The Pink Place.
Ian is also still running and since joining Sherfield Park Runners has completed two half marathons and is taking part in a Cross Country event with more half marathons planned.
So, what’s next for me? At the time I did say never again, but now I am contemplating my next 10K event, I don’t think I could ever run a half marathon, but who knows, before joining Sherfield Park Runners I never imagined I could run a 10K event, so watch this space!