I’ve been reflecting on my last few sessions with RDC.

I while ago I received the race pack for Boutique Run, the race I’d ambled along, sometime last summer, to Run Dem to train for in the first place. I didn’t know anyone and that’s shit scary enough, but threw myself into talking, running-without-dying, all the rest of it. Charlie made me feel welcome, and I got chatting to fellow ‘after-hours athletes’. Gradually, though, I’ve gone from an occasional attendee to a full member – I’ve got an RDC tee to prove it!

A few weeks ago, I walked into the new-smelling, sexed-up 1948 store in Shoreditch and realised that RDC was quickly becoming my Cheers – a place where people knew me, knew my name, and I knew theirs.

I watched as a heartfelt tribute to Charlie was read out (it was the application for his nomination as Olympic torch-bearer). We applauded as the Virgin London Marathon runners of RDC were handed their seriously amazing Nike iD shoes, personalised with each runner’s finish time.

We were introduced to the Youngers, to some top-level Nike peeps and the designers behind the VLM trainers. We looked after each other on our run, and ate cake back at the shop. I chatted to a Thai boxing champ and a first-time runner (when was the last time you saw a funky paramedic?) I ran, sweated, bitched about work, gossiped, and left 1948 the same way I arrived: with a smile on my face. @iCandieCupcakes did a grand job leading the Tortoises.

I love the fact that I’ve met so many interesting and nice people – and in what must surely be the coolest running club in London, no less. And to think, when I started running, it was a purely solo activity (save the few times I went running with my ex-boyfriend).

Social running isn’t about speed (I was moaning about not being fast enough), it’s about getting to know people but you just happen to be running and getting fit at the same time. I can worry about speed on a solo run or a tempo/interval workout. RDC – well the people in it- are a big part of what’s made running such a positive experience for me.

I learned about the power of ‘you can do it‘ – more magical a phrase doesn’t exist in the English language (apart, maybe, from ‘calorie-free chocolate cheesecake eaten off a naked Bradley Cooper‘, but, again, as always, I digress.)

Jokes aside, I doubt very much I’d be training for my second half-marathon if I hadn’t joined them.

So I’m looking forward to tonight’s run, not least because I’m having a struggle with my training right now, but because the sheer energy we generate is irresistible, whether you’re feeling on top of the world or at rock bottom. That’s kept me going for over a year, and will keep me going.