Twelve months ago, Sam Pollock couldn’t run for a minute. Not one. Now, she’s got a goal to complete 12 half marathons in 12 months! Crazy? We say awesome!
Sam, who lives in Christchurch, began running about this time last year, after making the decision with her husband Simon to run a half marathon in Queenstown in November.
Two weeks before her run, she decided she wanted to complete a half marathon every month during 2017, after surprising herself with how quickly her fitness improved.
“I am by no stretch of the imagination an athlete … we did [the race] and I loved training, I really enjoyed seeing how quickly you could improve,” Sam says.
“Everyone thought I was crazy [aiming to do 12 in 12 months] and the day after [my first race] I also thought I was crazy … [but] it was so rewarding both physically and mentally.”
So instead of investing in a gym membership for 2017, Sam has her running shoes ready and is investing in seeing more of her country while she ticks off each race one by one.
“It’s a great way to keep fit but also to get around and see different parts of the country as well.”
Sam had some non-negotiable races she wanted to complete, and the rest was a matter of finding events which fit around each other.
“There was definitely some [events] that I wanted to do … I had a friend who did the Saint Clair [Vineyard Half] last year and she absolutely loved it … I’m really looking forward to it,” she says.
After two half marathons, Sam is already feeling proud of her achievements, and despite hoping to hit the two-hour mark before the end of the year, her main goal is just to complete all 12.
Completing that first half marathon was more challenging than she had expected, but it was also more rewarding, especially after driving the course and realising how far she’d run.
“Taking the time out to reflect about how much you have achieved is pretty special,” Sam says.
She has started a Facebook page to keep her accountable, but also in the hope that her journey will inspire others. Her advice to anyone starting out?
“Just start running. Back yourself to achieve great things. I couldn’t run at all this time last year, and using the Couch to 5k App, then the 5k to 10, and 10 to 21k apps I built up my stamina. If I can do it, anyone can!”