I moved to the UK from Australia with my husband and our two young children, Matilda 7 and William 4. I am a speech and language therapist and I currently work for the NHS.
2. Is running something you’ve always done or have you only recently gotten into it?
I was NEVER a runner, not even at school. I wanted to be a runner for a long time, but I always struggled to run beyond 2km. I tried C25K a number of times, but always got stuck around week four. When we moved to the UK in January, I saw an advertisement for a beginners running course with Miles with Michelle. So at 34, I started the 8 week running course in March. Michelle had each of us set our own goals, mine was to run a continuous 5km. I wanted to be able to run at our local Park Run and I didn't want to do that until I could run the entire distance. I managed to achieve my goal in 6 weeks! My body shape changed and I was losing weight; both of which motivated me to keep running.
3. You recently finished your first 10K – tell us a little bit about that! How did it feel to cross the finish line?
A week before the race, I came down with a common cold. It was something I would have used as an excuse in the past to not run. I reminded myself that I had trained for the race and that I could do it. However, about 2km into the race I felt tired. I hadn't settled into a comfortable pace and I had a lot of self doubt. I tried some positive self talk and before I knew it, I was 4km into the race and climbing under a fallen tree! At 5km, my husband and children were cheering from the sidelines. But again I started to doubt I could run the entire distance. I kept running. I set myself little targets. At the 9km mark I knew I could do it, although I was hurting. My hips were sore and my legs were tired. With 200m to go, I dug deep and sprinted the remainder of the way. I was so proud of myself. I didn't care what time I had run it In, I was just thrilled that I ran the distance.
4. Did you do any training for the race?
Michelle gave me a program to train for the 10k. Although I doubted that in a 6 week period I could build up from 5 to 10k. I had a lot of self doubt. At the time I had been encouraging my daughter to tackle a school activity that she was finding difficult. I kept reminding her that it was self doubt that was holding her back. My husband threw this back at me; it was a shock, but what I needed. I was the only one talking myself out of running the distance.
5. What is your next distance/ race goal?
My next goal is a to run a sub 30min 5k. I plan on running a few more 10km races before signing up for a 1/2 marathon.
6. Do you prefer to run alone or is a running buddy a must?
Running with a buddy is great. Group training motivated me to run further and faster each week. I also love Park Run as it challenges me to beat my previous time. I enjoy running on my own, it gives me time to myself, something I don't get a great deal of with two young children!
7. Do you wear a sports bra when you exercise? What is your favourite one and why?
I have a few sports bras, Lorna Jane, Lu Lu Lemon and Victoria Secret. I don't really love any of them. I am small busted but average build. I typically have to buy a small bra, but that then pulls on my shoulders leaving me with a post run headache. It might be time to try a Boobydoo bra!
Two important lessons I have learned while running. You don't have to be fast to be a runner, there is no minimum distance that makes you a runner (Thanks Michelle). No one is judging your running time except you. I have found runners to be so supportive, they are not comparing your times with theirs, if you are happy with your time, they are happy for you.