This artice is the first of a number of member profiles so that hopefully everyone in the club gets the chance to know each other a little better.
First up Becky Horsefal and Lyndsey Stephenson
1. How long have you been running?
Lyndsey: I started running on my own just over 10 years ago and I could barely make it 100 yards without being out of breath. But I stuck at it and kept going out every couple of days until I built it up to a mile, then 3 mile, then 5 and then eventually my first race – the Great North Run in 2005. Since then I have always continued to run regularly.
Becky: I started running in 2008 when I was training for my first Great North Run. I was studying hard at the time and wanted something to help me ‘switch off’ and also keep fit. Before this I hadn’t really run before and I agree with Lyndsey – it’s hard at first but with every time you go out it gets that little bit easier. I’ve been running regularly ever since to varying degrees.
2. Why did you start running?
Lyndsey: initially is started running as I wanted to lose weight, but then I actually wanted to be able to say that I could run. Running is never as easy as people think it and you have to work very hard to keep it up.
Becky: As mentioned it was to get fit and as a form of stress relief. I find running a great tension buster and I almost always feel better even if I’ve been out for a short run. Having a goal, like the Great North Run, helps to keep motivated in the early days. As Lyndsey mentioned it is hard at first when you feel your legs won’t carry you and you can’t get your breath. However, it does get easier and it bring a great sense of achievement.
3. Why did you join the club?
Lyndsey: My husband ran with the club already and his running had improved massively so I wanted to give it a try. Another thing for me was to have some company whilst running and to feel safe on dark nights as you are always with a crowd of people. The biggest bonus for me joining the club is not that I have improved my running (which I have) but that I have made some brilliant friends.
Becky: My husband was also part of the club and it was really making a real difference to his running. I joined in October, when I find it particularly hard to get motivated to run on dark nights. I thought joining the club would be an incentive to get myself out in the winter months and it did the trick! The sessions go so much quicker when you run with a group. As well as focusing on your running you get to catch up with friends and all of a sudden running in the dark doesn’t seem such a chore anymore!
4. What is your greatest running achievement?
Lyndsey: I never thought it possible that I would be able to run a marathon, but people at the club believed that I could so I set myself the challenge of running the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2014. It was a lot of hard work and very time consuming, but I completed it in sub 4 hours so I was over the moon. A real achievement for me.
Becky: I did my first Great North Run in 1 hour 50 and it felt so amazing! I couldn’t believe what I had achieved. I also did my first Harrier League Cross Country season last year which I was proud of as I hated cross country at school. Turning up at the start line was a big achievement in itself and I found it to be strangely enjoyable!
5. An interesting non running fact about yourself?
Lyndsey: I’m a very keen baker so running has always helped me be able to have that extra slice of cake!
Becky: That’s really hard! I’m obsessed with budgies and totally freaked out by baked beans?
6. You are both pregnant, how has your running been affected?
Lyndsey: The first trimester was very hard as I felt sickly and tired and my running suffered. It was also extra hard as I couldn’t tell people why! But once the first trimester was out of the way, I felt much better and my running continued – I am not as fast as I was and I cannot always do all the efforts, hills or sprints but I am still managing to run a couple of times per week.
Becky:The first twelve weeks were difficult for me and it was a struggle. I found that I was tired, nauseous and dizzy. However, I kept coming to the club as I knew I would be well looked after even if people didn’t know in the early days. At 18 weeks pregnant I’ve moved on from that stage and find it easier to run although I am slowing down with the extra weight. However, everyone is really supportive at the club so it isn’t an issue.
7. Is it safe to run whilst pregnant and how long can you run for?
Lyndsey: One of the first things I checked when I found out I was pregnant was whether it was still safe and yes it is. As I was a runner already it was fine to continue. The medical advice is to just be sensible and not work to the point where you feel light headed or faint. In fact, the doctors say that running whilst pregnant is better for Mum and for baby!
Becky: My midwife advised that if I’ve run previously I am fine to carry on as long as I take it easy and listen t my body. The general advice for exercise in pregnancy is not to start a sport for the first time and no contact sport for obvious reasons. I’ve read that as long as you can still hold a conversation when running then this is the right intensity. If I’m too out of breath to talk I need to slow down!
8. How long will you continue to run before the baby is born?
Lyndsey: I’m nearly 28 weeks now and managing OK at the moment, I can feel that I get a little slower each week, but I plan to run for as long as I can. The midwife has said that I am fine to run for as long as I can and that is what I plan to do. And the best thing is that there are two doctors who run at the club and a crowd of people who look out for you each night. I feel completely safe.
Becky: Lyndsey is an inspiration and I hope to follow her example. I hope to run as long as I can. Running during pregnancy is meant to be good for the birth and my post-birth recovery so will keep at it. Everyone is supportive at the club and looks after me so that’s really reassuring.
9. Any plans for running after the baby?
Lyndsey: I’m looking at running prams so fingers crossed I will get back to it as soon as I can. But I’m under no illusion that things will change a lot in my life so I plan to just try and go with the flow.
Becky: I was training hard for this years Harrier League cross country season before I found out I was pregnant. The start of the league coincided with my worst pregnancy symptoms so decided to give it a miss all together. I hope to build up the running slowly after the birth and with an aim to do at least one cross country next season. That’s the plan anyway – we’ll see how it goes!