Spotlight on... Kim Hall
Tell us a bit about your running history
I first started running in 2008 when my first son was 1 year old. I was inspired by watching my husband, Simon, run in a few races and thought I'd love to gain that sense of achievement. I was very sporty as a child and as a teenager, enjoying being part of lots of teams including cricket and football for Southampton Girls and school.
However, after having my son, I had no level of fitness and so the prospect of running was quite daunting. The first time I went out, I thought I was going to die. I flew out the front door, sprinted for about a minute and came home like a puffing and panting beetroot! I thought how on earth am I going to run any distance.
After a similar episode the next time, I realised I was trying to run way too fast and so was tiring myself out immediately. From then on, I ran much slower and gradually increased the minutes.
I began running with my friend, Nichola which made it so much easier and it became a regular twice a week activity. I also started going out once a week with Simon who helped me improve my distance and confidence.
When and how did you come to join Totton Running Club?
Our friends had been part of the club and recommended it to me after I had a two year break from running when I had my second son. I was finding it hard to get back into it and need some motivation, but didn't think I would be good enough for a club. Krista eventually encouraged me to join her one evening - I definitely wouldn't have had the courage to go on my own and am very grateful she encouraged me to join her group.
The first session (in Febraury 2014) I did 200m reps in Rushington. I found it very hard but went home with a sense of achievement and everyone was so friendly. I'm so glad I joined up as I love being part of the club. The training is varied and helped me get back into running and improve my pace. The people are lovely and it's really nice to be part of a team. I miss training when I can't go, both for the physical and social aspects.
How often do you train and what kind of sessions do you do outside of the club?
I go out with the club on Monday and Wednesday evenings most weeks. I try and get out another time during the week if I can squeeze it in. I usually just run but sometimes try and emulate a club session I have missed.
Do you have any pre-race routines or rituals?
Not really, I usually just get very nervous!
What's the most valuable piece of running advice you've ever been given?
Mostly from Rene, her advice has popped into my head during races. About how to breathe, not rotating my body and most importantly, be bold and start cold.
Do you have any future running goals?
Just to keep going and improve my pace.
Do you have any other passionate interests?
My family, photography and baking.
Where do you like to run and have you run anywhere particularly memorable?
I love being so close to the Forest as it is such a scenic place to run, but I do find road running easier.
I went for some lovely runs during holidays in Cornwall this year with some beautiful views by the water.
What is your running highlight or best achievement so far?
I felt very proud after finishing my first 10K in 2009 with Nichola. It was hilly and we found it very hard but kept each other going and somehow completed it in 68 minutes.
I was also pleased when I completed the Great South Run with Nichola and Simon (who was dressed as an elephant!) and amazed I had run that far.
Since I joined the club I have achieved a goal of running a 10K in under an hour at Stubbington when I got a time 00:58:36 and a 5 mile in under 45 minutes at the Perform 5.
Do you have any running experiences you'd care to forget?
Whilst running the forest with Nichola years ago, we took a diversion to avoid a big hill and ended up getting stuck in a bog. Then we saw an adder and freaked out. We had to ring our men to rescue us and it was pretty embarrasing! Our punishment for avoiding hills perhaps?
In 2014 I woke up with vertigo on the day of the Lordshill 10 mile race. I was determine dto complete it but felt pretty dreadful. I could have cried at about 7 miles and was very close to it. I found the race so hard but did managed to complete it!
I would also happily forget the RR10 at Itchen Valley when I could see the lightning hitting the ground in the field we were running across. I hate thunder and lightning and was not impressed, it made me run faster though! Typically, there just so happened to be someone taking photos too...
Which other running club member do you most admire?
Everyone involved with volunteering to ensure the running of the club. The effort that goes into it is tremendous and the members are all very grateful.
So many members are inspiration and show a lot of dedication and mental strength. Damian's journey from being a non-runner to running the London Marathon in a year was particularly impressive.
The training nights when it's freezing and pouring with rain always make me think we're all pretty impressive for getting out!