Yesterday Emily completed her 3rd 20 mile training run for her first marathon in October
"When I was about 8 years old I gave up dancing classes and stopped being so active. I became overweight and unfit and typically others recognised me as such. I was the stereotypical child who was picked last for everything. A truly humiliating ritual of peers choosing teams from their classmates, one by one, until the 'rubbish' children were left, dejected and humiliated before the lesson had even started. I truly believed that sport was just not for me. School PE lessons were something to 'get through' and if I could get out of sports days I would. Lessons were not geared up to different abilities. We were all expected to perform at the same level as everyone else. Surrounded by the 'naturally' sporty types, doing well and enjoying activity only made me more certain that i wasn't cut out for it! Cross country lessons were the worst. In the last 2 years of Primary School we were put together with older children and told to run as fast as we could around a very hilly off road course. I tried, but my breathing would hurt and I had to stop a lot. One day one of the more talented older boys couldn't get past me and so he kicked me out of the way so he could win. Something I've never forgotten, even after 30 years!
What I love about our RV sessions is that we run at our own personal, individual capability. We celebrate that! No one is left behind. Verity's coaching means we all get individual workouts to suit our stage of running. We don't feel dejected because we're trying to keep up with the fast ones but can't. One year ago, coming back from having a baby, I joined the Monday evening session. I was terrified that I would be last again. That those bullying, talented, faster runners would be trying to get me out of the way. It obviously wasn't like that at all! I felt so comfortable and supported by everyone and that hasn't changed. Because I enjoyed coming I came to a second group and gradually my speed, strength and confidence improved. I'm running my second half marathon next month and in October I will be running a marathon. I am regularly running, 20 miles a week these days and love it! My 10 year old self would be amazed!