At the Finish Line With…Julie Lloyd

Tell us a bit about your running history

Initially I thought I’d try it as a way of continuing with exercise throughout the winter months (cycling is only for summer!) I had attempted it before when I was a lot bigger and found it most uncomfortable and frankly impossible thing to do. Why run!??
However, try I did. I wasn’t confident enough to join the desk to 5k session but it did inspire me and I asked Tara Anglim to coach me. I always remember the first time, Tara was basically walking but I managed 7 minute before having to walk – that only just got me over ½ mile!

The perpetually smiling Julie at Romsey Relay Marathon

Soon I was running 1-2 times a week at lunch, plodding around the beginner’s route. Found a couple of likeminded runners who had taken part in the desk to 5k to keep me going and then started running with Egbe. We progressed to 5k quickly, running up the drove and through Rownhams estate and the handicap route. When Egbe first mentioned doing the Lordshill 10k I thought she was mad, but we gradually increased our distance and finally completed our first 10k distance 5 days before the race itself. When I crossed the finish line on the day, I was exhausted but thrilled to have completed it and running it 7 minutes faster than my practise run. One question I had though….Why did they have to put a vertical incline (that’s what it felt like) into the race at 7km! Since then I have only run 10k once more, but continue to run 5-8k.

My running partners have changed over the year, mainly due to new runners asking me to help them start. Shane Poole, Alan Parvin and Alan French are now regular running partners. The Als are now so much faster than me and push me to run as hard as I can which is difficult when they make me laugh so much!
Have always favoured road running, but I have recently started running around the New Forest and along coastal paths. Upgraded my trainers to cope with the different terrain and thoroughly enjoying it (most days).
Running is now part of my normal routine, and lets me get away with eating and drinking more of the good stuff on a Saturday!

When and how did you start running for OS Runners?

I joined OS Runners last year and started to take part in Mixed Abilities. Unfortunately, I injured my hip and took a month off, then it was winter so decided just to run until the new FUNdamentals started recently. Love it!

How often do you train and what sessions do you do outside of the club?

On average I run 5-6 times during the week, 2-3 during lunchtimes (with either the Als or Shane), 2 – 3 evening runs and a longer Sunday morning run. I also take part in FUNdamentals.

Which is more satisfying… going for a training run or running a race?

Although I have some races booked in for this year (the women’s 10k and the Lordshill 10k in June plus the Romsey relay marathon in a May) I haven’t taken part in many races. It’s not something I have a need or passion for so I would say a run is more satisfying. I particularly like helping other less experienced runners achieve new distances and paces. It’s great seeing them start believing that they can run a 5k plus.

What is your running highlight so far?

I’ve been thinking about this, I was going to say completing the Lordshill 10k last year but I think it might’ve been running non-stop and completing the Southampton Parkrun. It was the first 5k I had completed and Tara Anglim got me round. I haven’t run a parkrun since but plan to do more this year!

What are your future running goals?

I don’t have any great need to run a marathon or even a half marathon but to be more comfortable running 10ks and beating last years’ time would be brilliant. I would like to be able to continue running different distances, different paces and continue using it to help me get fitter and leaner.

What’s the most valuable piece of running advice you’ve ever been given?

Pump your arms and shorten your stride. This has definitely helped me running uphill and quickening my pace and so far, prevented me from further injury to my hip!

Where do you like to run and have you anywhere particularly memorable?

Until a few months ago I would’ve said running the streets. However, now I also like running in the New Forest and along coastal paths. My favourite most enjoyable run was an 8k run following a nature coastal path from Keyhaven towards Lymington.

Do you have any running experiences you’d care to forget?

Not really, but I try to forget how difficult I found running at the beginning, only managing 7 minutes before I needed to walk again. Sorry Tara!

Do you have any other passionate interests?

I really enjoy music, both singing and playing. I am an Alto in ‘Off the Scale’, the OS work place choir and have been from its creation. I can also strum on the guitar and play the slide trombone – never at the same time and not whilst running! Although maybe that would be something to consider during a charity run…hmmmm maybe NOT!

I’m also a summer cyclist, 4 miles each way to and from work. It’s a great route, passing through Testwood lakes and often catching sight of deer.

Finally, which other OS Runner do you most admire?

This is difficult because there are more than one. Tara Anglim, for coaching me and tricking me into running faster without realising. Egbe Manners for her determination to keep going and for achieving RED January, through all sorts of weather – amazing. I also admire the FUNdamental leaders (Eddie, Viv, Baz and Mark) for their willingness to take us less able runners out, helping with our technique, encouraging and pushing us to become better more aware runners whilst having FUN!