Tag Archives: journey

At the Start line


Alarm beeps its familiar tune before the sun has any ideas of shining. Even a little earlier than the usual morning training starts that have become routine, there’s no hesitation in rising today. Even my kids have agreed to come along to cheer me on and to run a shorter race themselves.

Race day is here!

IMG_3282Clothes prepared and laid out ready for a quick change. A check of the weather conditions. Comfortable, 11C and slight breeze. As I rise there’s still the residual effects of a cold, but the medication I started taking has improved the symptoms greatly.

Athletes and supporters swarm the event area, with staggered start times for the various distances. Greetings and well wishes are exchanged, both to familiar faces and new ones. Seeing so many of the people I have trained with, the spirit buoys me in anticipation. Especially Mr J and Ms T, who began the journey with me months ago. Marathoners are the first to gather at the Start line, as the sun works its way past a bank of clouds. Nearby, many other lines form leading to the ‘Port-a-loos’ as other runners prepare for their races.

A quick warm up and suddenly it’s time to find the Start line and the right section. I weave my way to a place just before the 2:00 time section, with the intention to finish in under 2 hours. Without a moment to pause and reflect, the announcer advises 30 seconds to go, and it’s now or never. Months of training and the moment has arrived.


IMG_3280And the race begins. Strava timer activated. Fitbit timer activated. It takes nearly 20 seconds to actually get past the start line, as the pool of about 2000 runners edges forward. Eventually reaching pace, the crowd moves as one along the road and towards the hill – one that I struggled with early on, but have done countless times and now I can handle it. Running along familiar terrain almost seems like just another day training. Only with hundreds of runners surrounding me, and hundreds of supporters cheering on the sidelines.

Finding a steady pace, I put one foot after another and feel comfortable and managing it. The drink station approaches and I always struggle to run and drink without choking, but I know the importance of hydration, especially fighting off a cold.

Round and back, past the 10km mark – nearly half way. I still feel comfortable, and notice my time (about 54 mins) and mentally note that already I have done a faster 10km than last year when I was running the 10km event. It also means that I’m on track towards my target finish time. Trying to pace myself with a few runners just ahead of me, I gradually realise they are getting a little further ahead, and also a number of other runners begin to pass me.

IMG_3301A group of supporters has a basket with lollies/ candy of some sort, so I grab one in hopes that a sugar fix will spur me on. I’m not particularly out of breath, or sore in the legs or knees, just a bit fatigued overall. Keep moving the feet, one after the other. It’s tough going for a little while, and soon I realise that it’s only about 3km to go and it hits home that I’m nearly there, and I know I can make it. My pace picks up a little and I pass familiar landmarks as the finish draws nearer.

Approaching the home stretch, the crowd of supporters thickens and the cheering and atmosphere carry me through the last few hundred meters. Suddenly the Finish line is in sight and I just keep moving towards it,  sights and sounds blurred into the background. I don’t even register the time on the giant clock, though I know I’ve beat 2 hours.IMG_3311

Elation and exhaustion as I cross the line and stop to walk it off and catch my breath. Emotion takes over me for a moment. My running buddies Ms T and Mr J help me with water and congratulatory hugs. We made it!

Time to relax and celebrate after a long journey.

It Runs in the family

It runs in the family


Team ‘JATs’ – we all did it!

Grateful for two legs to carry me


A father wearing pink leggings and matching tutu lifts his daughter with a similar outfit to his shoulders.


Mother’s Day morning and there’s a sea of pink invading the school sports field. Socks, shirts, shorts, caps in shades of pink. Pink hair spray and bright pink lipstick. A pink bra worn over the outside of a shirt.

Women, men and children gather in support of those who have been through the experience of cancer, breast cancer in particular. To commemorate and celebrate those who have come through to the other side, and those who have not.

Among the stalls of sponsors and vendors, pink plastic capes are available for those who feel they require that extra bit of pink to complete their attire for the event. One such customer is a 12-year-old boy. IMG_2541Handing over his $2 he happily wraps the cape around his shoulders, and it hangs down to his ankles. I ask him if running with this somewhat unwieldy accessory might prove difficult or hamper his progress. After a moment’s contemplation, his response is simple and and direct:

‘Maybe a little, but how hard would it be if you were having to go through breast cancer?’

He is my son and knows a couple of women who have been down that road. My daughter runs faster and further than she is usually comfortable with, taking inspiration from the atmosphere of the day and contemplating those who have to endure much worse.

What is the point in running?

Why do I get up when it’s dark and cold and hit the pavement?

Because I can.

IMG_2509I run because I have two legs and two feet that can carry me forward.

I run for those who have endured disease or injury and face obstacles to get up and out there.

I run because of the guy with an awkward gait I see out walking, pushing past his limitation and stilted movements, greeting all passers with a smile and ‘Morning.

I run because of my friend with rheumatoid arthritis who can barely walk from the car to the house without a reasonable amount of discomfort.

I run for my kids, who put their best effort into everything they do and I want to do the same.

For everyone experiencing a physical or mental condition that restricts their activity, I run because I can.

In danger of becoming a Serious Runner


There area casual runners and then there are serious runners, and a whole spectrum in between. Without realising or intending to, lately I’ve been feeling a shift further along the spectrum.

IMG_2449It seems to have crept up slowly, but I find myself becoming aware of and more involved in running related activities. Encountering people at work who are runners. Facebook ‘Recommended posts’ appear with running gear and race promos. More of my Facebook posts have some aspect of running in them. Having post-run debrief conversations ‘I started out strong but faded half-way through…’ 

I’m spending more time, and money, participating in runs. My wardrobe is expanding with t-shirts from running events. I have a collection of caps that I wear running – to keep the sweat out of my eyes and cover my less-than-tidy hair. The laundry basket seems to get fuller – and smeller – with running gear.

I have even signed up for the Mother’s Day Classic run, a charity fundraiser for breast cancer. Ever since I became a mother, somewhere around 14 years ago, all I can ever recall wanting was ‘a quiet morning and sleeping in’. Which of course never happens anyway, as any mother would know!

But now I am going out of my way to get out of bed and out of the door and running 8km. What am I thinking?!?IMG_2444 (1)

However, I’m also subtly influencing my kids’ activity levels and including them in participating in the 4km fun run. Then we can all go out for breakfast and pig out with the sense of satisfaction that we have really earned it.

It seems all the rage these days is Running Blogs – I had no idea how popular they have become. Aside from doing running and talking about it, now we can read and write about it. So add this one to the mix.

PBs all around!


How long has it been, I wonder, since this trio began informal training sessions. Looking back at previous posts, the timeline appears to be about a month. Four weeks of running 9-10kms once a week together, plus weekend 5km ParkRuns, and whatever individual runs we do.

Apparently that’s enough for this trio to all achieve PBs on the same day.

Though we each have a separate pace and individual timing, by working together it seems that our abilities have all improved. After coming across the line in our own time, we discovered that we had all improved on our previous times and achieved Personal Bests (PBs). After all, we are all running our own race for our own reasons, right?

Parkrun2-300416I’m not overly interested in times and stats, but I hope my team won’t mind me sharing our PBs for this week’s 5 km run here:

Mr J 20:27 / Ms T 22:51 /Myself 25:28

Previously we might have described ourselves as solo runners, enjoying the meditative solitude of letting thoughts run along with the feet running, listening to favorite tunes. The advantage of solo running is the freedom to go wherever, whenever, and however far you wish. Group running locks those variables in. Just a few short weeks though has shown the advantages all around, and there’s no argument against the benefits of team training.


Run, Run, as fast as you can…


Run, Forest, Run! Ready to run

Run for your life!

In it for the long run.

Running out of time.

Let’s run away together.

Okay, you get the idea. there’s lots of cultural references to the concept of running. Running towards something, away from something, to achieve something… maybe even for exercise.

And let’s face it, people either love it or hate it. A handful can somehow learn to love it, after much, much pain and suffering (okay, I’m exaggerating! It’s fun, right?!?).

Which category do I belong to? Well, if you think I have the energy to write a blog about hating running, I don’t. I am a runner. There. I said it. Don’t worry, I won’t attempt to convert anyone.

I don’t always love it. Not at the time. When it’s raining, too hot, too cold, too early, I’m too tired. But afterwards it’s always a great sense of satisfaction. I’m always glad I made the effort to get out there and put one foot after the other. Some days it’s magical – running on the beach as the sky begins to light up with sunrise. Going further and faster than before. Running into a friend along the way.

Mostly I run around 5-8kms several times a week, and most Saturday mornings you’ll find me at Park Run.

Now comes time to commit myself to a larger goal: running a half-marathon.

Wait. Did I say that out loud?IMG_5007

My running buddies, Ms T and Mr J, have made a pact to run 21km. Training begins with 20 weeks to prove our ability and endurance.

Come along for the adventure through blood, sweat and tears as we embark on the journey of a thousand miles… I mean, 21 kilometres.

Maybe I’ll run into you along the way!