From zero, to my own hero

‘Runner’ is not a word I ever thought I’d use to describe myself. I’ve got a dodgy back and I figured I was meant for other things: Zumba, yoga and swimming; lower impact exercise.
It started with a non-New Year’s resolution. ‘Non’ because it was the 30 December and because I don’t do resolutions. But it was time for me to start eating fewer calories.  Taking my  exercise routine up a notch seemed like a good idea too.

The Lovely Deputy proposed running. I was more than a little dubious. I hesitantly agreed.

I did my first run on New Year’s Day; a one minute run followed by a one and half minute walk for a total of 20 minutes. I now run three times a week and I’ve completed a 4 and 5 kilometre fun run. I’m taking my fitness to a new level but most importantly, there is a tremendous sense of achievement from doing something you never thought you would or could do.Hobart is an excellent place to run in. There’s a bike track, plenty of hills and I really like Seven Mile Beach where I can think about the environment more than the run.

But as a newbie to this lifestyle choice, I’ve learnt there’s a thing or two that can help you start pounding the pavement.

God damn I’m hot.

Here are five things that have helped me get running:

Support and encouragement
The Lovely Deputy is a former marathon runner. He hasn’t run for a while but it’s obvious his body remembers how. Instead of running longer and faster, he’s right by my side, and each time he tells me how well I’ve done. He tells me he’s proud of me and calls me a ‘runner.’

My gym has been encouraging too. They give me training tips, tell me I’m doing great and call me a ‘runner’ too. Hobart’s Genesis is like that though. Rob in particular, always takes an interest in my running achievements for the week and says ‘Well done!’

Having support and encouragement is definitely a buzz. It’s positive reinforcement to keep going.

A good app or training program
Friends learnt to run with Michelle Bridges. I used the Couch to 5 K app. Initially it’s interval work, interspersing short runs with walks, then starting to add in longer runs until you’re running for 30 minutes. This approach is perfect if you don’t do much exercise and if you haven’t run, it’s not intimidating.

We set a goal to do the B&E Run the Bridge and to get to a 5 km run beforehand we had to skip a few training sessions but it really does teach you how to run. I’m testament to it. I completed my first 5 km fun run in 6 weeks using it.

The right gear

Running is high impact so you have to invest in top quality shoes. It means dishing out the dough. Athletes Foot or the Running Edge do gait assessments and will find the right shoe for your feet.

I go faster in groovy tights and blue joggers!

They don’t last forever though. Replace your shoes frequently. Get some advice but listen to your body, if you’re noticing more soreness in your feet, hamstrings and knees, it could be your shoes.Now I’m a runner, I’m going to replace mine every 6 months or so.

You might want to get into the running clothing too. I’m told that looking good can help boost your confidence. Life imitates art. I look like a runner therefore I am a runner.

Don’t I look great?!

I didn’t believe it but I ran my fastest time ever in my new Running Bare last week!

A final word on bras. Like your shoes, invest in a good one. There’s heaps on the market now. I like Intimo.

A goal
Set yourself a goal. It will motivate you to keep going. Particularly if you pay an entrance fee!
Within about three weeks, the Lovely Deputy had proposed the B&E Bridge Run. After freaking out solidly for a week, I agreed. We fine-tuned the goal which was to just run 5kms without stopping; speed didn’t matter. I felt a little better.
So we started running to achieve 5 kms. I ran on Springfield Avenue and ran my first 5kms the weekend before. When I got to the day I realised a few things. Heaps of people do fun runs, it’s a very community spirited thing to participate in. The idea is to have a go and enjoy yourself.
I could do that.

I didn’t stop and the bonus was friends and acquaintances called out to cheer me on in the last 500 metres. I felt like a celebrity.

Your first event based ‘personal best’ will be an inspiration in future runs.

I can imagine some people would find running boring. A running buddy or good music is a great help.
The Lovely Deputy is the Ever-Ready Bunny, he can just keep going. And he can talk while he does. I on the other hand, need to concentrate to stay alive.
At our last Seven Mile Beach run, I could have pushed him into the water to stop his character analysis of the House of Cards but then I realised I didn’t have to answer him and I could just listen.
I take my iPhone when I’m on my own. I might start taking it when I run with him soon.
have you succeeded at against the odds?
Runs in Hobart
January           Cadbury Marathon 1, 5, 10 kms and half and full marathons
February         B&E Run theBridge, 2, 5 (been there!) and 10 kms
Mid March       MONA GASP fun run, 2, 4 (done that!) and 8 kms
End March      Run the River, 10, 5 and 2 kms
May               Mother’s DayClassic, 4 and 8 kms
More runs here.

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