Park Run 16th August 14

One of the nice things about being part of a running club is getting to know people, and in the past 3 years I have got to know a few of the other members of my club The East London Runners, but actually most of the time you only know peoples names and their faces, and rarely nothing else about them or their running goals, especially if like me you are quite an infrequent member. So here at the Clubhouse I am making it my mission for you ladies to get to know one another, and every month we will be featuring at least one member.

So to kick us off, I would like to introduce you to Samantha (or Sam as she prefers to be called) Herring. She is a 36 year old mum from Desborough in Northamptonshire and is currently a dress size 18. She has been an active member on our Fat Girl Guide to Running forums for a while and is currently helping me to set up an exciting Virtual Race (with medals) for later this year, but don’t tell anyone!!! So lets find out a little bit more about Sam…

When did you start running and why? I started running 10 years ago on a whim – I wanted to do something that would develop my fitness, improve my body shape and make me feel better. I decided that I would run round Pitsford Reservoir not knowing how far it was or how I was going to handle it. Turns out it was 7 miles and I ached for weeks afterwards. Don’t remind me about trying to get up or down stairs!

What motivated you to join The Clubhouse? I had been following the Facebook page and blog for some time then got involved with BishBashBosh. I had a fantastic first month, lost weight and saw a noticeable change in body shape (I developed a waist, an actual waist!!) and had so much motivation. The following couple of months were more tricky but that was more due to personal issues getting in the way!

I really want to improve technique and pace though. I have been running for a long time, but it has been sporadic and during the nicer weather. This is the first year EVER that I have run during winter and I have to say that I am loving it. I have made no improvement though in all this time in pace and I really want to start achieving some new PB’s! I have taken a big step and secured a place in the London Marathon this year and although I am going to take it as it comes having never run further than a half before, I do still have a time that I want to aim for. I am also considering other running targets now so any improvement in performance is going to be a bonus!

Where are you at the moment on our coloured ability scale? I guess I am a Slogger?? I can certainly start to set more challenging goals although I regularly run longer distances, but I wouldn’t say that I have necessarily mastered the method! It is funny I wouldn’t have put myself at the top of the scale if I was to describe myself without the use of these descriptors. Lack of self confidence – certainly worth a look at!

What do you hope to get from being part of this running club? Inspiration, confidence, support and a bit of a kick up the backside when needed!! Ideas from others in relation of things to try out, running and otherwise to improve running would also be useful.

How often do you run and what kind of distances?
I try to get out at least 3 or 4 times a week, but balancing work, being a parent and being a wife is tricky! At the moment anything from 5k up to 11 miles. This is now increasing weekly in preparation for the marathon.

Do you parkrun?  Yes I take part in the Corby parkrun in, Northamptonshire

Park Run 16th August 14Have you taken part in any races? I have taken part in many races over the years. I always do one or two Race for Life races each year and would tend to go for 10ks. For me a 10k is my preferred short distance race. It is more of a challenge to me (not that 5K isn’t hard!) so I personally get more out of it. I have also completed in the Great North Run 3 times with this year being my last…..for a while!! I LOVE this race. It is pretty hard going but the atmosphere is amazing. It is very busy and I know that a lot of people don’t rate it because of that, but I do think that if you are aiming for PBs and don’t like getting stuck behind people then do something different! I saw a lot of very negative comments from people last year in particular after the race complaining about all the people doing it for charity and are therefore not runners and holding people up. Every single person in that race is a runner, just because they were slower doesn’t mean they are not entitled to be there, grrr!!

I took part in a race this year which I was very scared about – the Edge Hill Half Marathon. This was a smaller race, only 150 people in it and a no earphone policy. I was worried about it but was going to support someone else so I wasn’t about to back out! Well at the 2 mile marker I was passed by the last person but I had a great race, albeit by myself. At 10 miles I caught the woman that I had gone to support as she was having some difficulties, and so we ran that last three miles together. It was fab! Doing something like that gave me loads of confidence to do other races that I wouldn’t have considered before.

Last year I completed 9 half marathons (4 of which were races) and a number of 10ks. I have 4 half marathons and the London currently planned for this year but will probably add a few more. I fancy adding another marathon in too!

I am incredibly excited to have Sam on board, and I can’t wait to meet her in person in April (how I am going to find her amongst the thousands of marathon runners I don’t know…but I am sure I will manage it). Please say hello to Sam on the Facebook Page and if you are a fellow slogger then please keep a special eye on her for me!!

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