We have so much love for our happystride community ❤️ You guys are so inspiring and we want to get to know you guys a little better... and we know others would like to as well.
SO we bring you to....the second post our brand new blog series ... "Inspiring striding"!!!
We are so chuffed that Natalie and Tash agreed to join us - you may have seen us reshare their many running pics together as between them they have over 30 pieces of happystride kit! They are super duper parkrun fans and as you'll see from the below- running for them is all about friends and being happy!
We first heard Tash's name when her name was picked out the hat as the proud winner of our first ever Instagram competition! And then from this Q&A we realised that she met her running-bestie Natalie over Twitter too.. social media is amazing thing eh?!
But without giving anything else away... thank you for joining us Natalie and Tash... and over to you to answer this weeks questions and inspire us!
How did you two meet each other and become besties?
Through our love of running (and Swansea City FC) we met on Twitter where we first started chatting. A short while later, Swansea Parkrun was set up and we arranged to meet up at Parkrun and so the friendship began… fast forward 7 years and we run together regularly. 😊
How long have you been running for and how did you originally get into it?
Nat – I started running at a local running club which met at the leisure centre, from there I progressed to Race for Life, and a short while later, my niece Emily convinced me to take part in the first-ever JCP Swansea Half Marathon in 2014. Since then, I’ve done over 35 half marathons.
Tash – I toyed with running years ago, starting at Race for Life and then at the Swansea Bay 10K, but I was naive and didn’t ever train for these events very well. At the end of 2013, the first-ever JCP Swansea Half Marathon for 2014 was announced and for some reason, I needed to do it, so I signed up and began my running journey. I used to run alone (with my music) and all of my friends thought I was a bit bonkers, however, through running I met some amazing people in the running community (including Natalie), which allowed me not only to now be lucky enough to work in running events, but also to have my own little social running group, Tash’s Trotters. Through the support and friendships of my friends, I’ve completed races from 5K through to Marathon distance.
Why do you run?
Nat – Running is my happy place; I can run and forget about everything. I just enjoy putting one foot in front of the other and it helps me to maintain my weight after losing over 56IBs 20 years ago.
Tash – Running for me is my escape, whether I’m running alone or with others. Being amongst nature or listening to my music or a podcast and putting one foot in front of the other makes me realise how lucky I am to be able to run.
What’s your greatest running achievement?
Nat – Running the virtual London Marathon in 2020 because I didn’t ever think I’d be able to complete a marathon distance. Tash knew I had it in my little legs, but I wasn’t so sure. We ran the virtual marathon together and it was amazing.
Tash – For me, it’s not about any of my running performances as such but bringing together a group of friends who all have a love of running into our social running group. We all continue to support and motivate each other, running together when we can.
What are your top 3 running tips?
Nat – 1) Don’t compare yourself to others. 2) Put your trainers on and get out the door. 3) Run with friends when you can.
Tash – 1) Enjoy yourself! Remember you run because you love to run. 2) Make your training plan work for you – life happens, let your plan be flexible when you need it to be. 3) When it gets hard, take a moment, remember why you run, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
What does your running schedule typically look like and how do you fit it into your life?
Nat – I try to get out the door for 6 am run club if I can. I prefer to run early morning when I can, apart from on the weekends, when I run later – I love Saturday, better known as Parkrunday!!
Tash – I run three times a week, each session a different type, e.g., fartlek, hill session, and a long low HR run, alongside some strength training. I have a flexible approach to my training plan, making sure I complete all the sessions as and when it’s convenient for me, I do prefer to run in the morning, but sometimes I will run at lunchtime during workdays if I haven’t been able to get out first thing.
What’s your dream race?
Nat – I’d love to run the London Marathon one day if I’m lucky enough to get a place in the ballot.
Tash – It would have to be the Boston Marathon, although I’m not quick enough to qualify.
Who are your running inspirations and why?
Tash – Paula Radcliffe, I remember watching the London Marathon in 2003 her performance was so inspiring, and I was a non-runner at the time. I said to myself, that I wanted to run the London Marathon before I was 30 and I managed it in the April before my birthday in 2016. Everything she had done and continued to do over her whole career is amazing. Eilish McColgan is also a massive inspiration to me, she’s been breaking some records and putting in some amazing performances which are so fantastic to see.
Nat- Tash is my inspiration, she loves to run as do I, neither of us are competitive and run for own reasons and goals. Tash was the one person who inspired me to run my 1st marathon, without her I wouldn’t have done it!
What’s your favourite happystride pattern and why?
We both obviously love alllllllll of the happystride’s and we both have many pairs of shorts, leggings, jumpers, wrapits, and socks but,
Nat – If I have to choose it would have to be “Totally Pawsome” and “Rumble in the Jungle.”
Tash – I’d have to pick “Tie Dye and Fly” and my “Who’s-a-pretty-boy-then.”
If you could design the next pair of happystride shorts, what pattern would you choose and why?
We’d both love a pair that features a sloth, pizza, beer, and wine – all our favourite things. 😊
Thank you both for joining us!