Posted by: stokiecat | January 6, 2014

In Da Club – Janathon 2014 – Day 6

said no runner ever

Let me tell you my running story…

Three years ago I was a heavy drinking, no exercising, tub of lard and had been getting that way slowly over about 10 years. I wasn’t unhappy but I was starting to get a bit down about things like not fitting in clothes, looking huge on photos etc. So I downloaded the couch to 5K NHS podcast. Now I’m sure it’s been very good for loads of people. I did it three times and stopped.

Two years ago I decided that I need to lose weight first. This is not my weight loss story but I joined on-line Weightwatchers and brought an indoor resistance treadmill. I lost 3 stone in 6 months on Weightwatchers, used the treadmill maybe twenty or thirty times then stopped.

A little over a year ago I had plateaued on the weight loss. Not put any on but not lost any more My thoughts once again turned to exercise and as luck would have it, I came across a leaflet for a beginners running course at work. BEST THING I EVER DID. (Closely followed by buying a footspa) This was a total beginners course that had some complete beginners (like me) and some returning to running. The first week we walk/jogged what seemed like the longest mile ever around Stafford.  The worst news I heard in the first few weeks that the only way to get the most out of running was to go more than once a week. Dan, our leader, even described it as homework, yuk! So I set off on a short 2m route round Longton which I ran twice a week. Each time usually taking half an hour. On my own. Duuuuuuuuull. My personal preference is I don’t even really like running with headphones, the music is often out of synch with my pace and I think it distracts you from your environment especially along pavements this can be particularly hazardous with other pedestrians and traffic.  The beginners course was affiliated to UK Athletics and Run England, designed to be a feeder course into any of the local running clubs. I decided to join the Trentham Running Club and have not looked back and this is why…

1. It’s so much easier for me slack off when you’re running on your own. I reckon I run at least a minute mile slower when I’m out on my own. The group keeps me focused and although I might be at the back I try harder to close that gap. You aren’t obliged to talk to  anyone (indeed I’m usually to busy concentrating on not dying) whilst you run but there are groups for chit-chat if that’s your thing. Which leads me onto…

2. The muster. Never leave a man behind should be the motto of many running clubs. When I first joined I always felt guilty for being at the back. It’s took me nearly six months to realise that those at the front are happy to run the extra pace, the pay off being the extra distance or extra rest time. For those who want to muster there is no wait time because mustering means they keep going and that’s the point. I try to muster myself if I can manage it  and when I aren’t too knackered or  grimacing to get up a hill, I try to say thank you. Then there are the times where I am so far behind that someone will run with me (thanks again Dan for that at the Rudyard run!). Plus it gives me a boost when people encourage me with a well done Catie as they run past (I’m incredibly narcissistic), another reason for me mustering back to encourage others, hopefully.

3. TRC is a particularly supportive club. There are some very experienced runners from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom have been willing to share their experience and knowledge, everything from diets to training plans. The team spirit is pretty darn good and it makes me more motivated to do well for the rest of the team as well as myself. I’m never going to win races but knowing I could do just that little bit better for the club spurs me on even more. As an example I ran the Congleton Half last year, not a great race for me but it was brilliant to see all the other members of the Trentham team (of which there were quite a few) at the finish line to see me over, despite some of them having finished at least 50 minutes ahead of me. One of my team mates even ran the last 500 yards with me to see me over the line. That made up for a pretty poor performance.

4. It gives me a chance to explore new routes on training runs, getting out and about in hills and fields where I wouldn’t usually run is brilliant.  Also the chance to try different things in running, I’ve done road, off-road, trails, cross country, I’ve marshaled three races, and I plan to take part in a headtorch and mud/obstacle runs in the near future. I was introduced to Parkrun through the  club and all sorts of different races. I’ve even joined a league! ( )

5. I’ve met some great people and I’ve come to the conclusion that runners are nutters.

If all running clubs are like Trentham Running Club I would highly recommend joining a club. I’ll see you all tomorrow for Tuesday night training 🙂

Oh yeah – Janathon, a slow 5km tonight around the mean streets of Fenton tonight.

Potters Arf Team Me with Team Trentham before the Potters ‘Arf Marathon June 2013.



  1. what an inspiring story! well done to you xx


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