Finding my running groove again

Yesterday I ran in my first big fun run in Australia. The annual City to Bay sees about 35,000 people run from Adelaide to Glenelg. There are options to run or walk the full 12km, 6km or 3km.

I didn’t think I was up to 12km so with some advice from friends, I decided to run the 6km route and to enjoy it. Unfortunately even once I had the goal, distractions of setting up house and study meant my training was still a bit hit and miss and one run with the fitness centre Friday running group had me really doubting myself.

And then last Thursday my Women’s Running magazine arrived and I started reading about people’s running experiences, great races and tips for revamping my running. I was reminded why I enjoyed running and the great sense of achievement on finishing a race. It made me think about the fact that until August 2011, I had been one of those people who said she couldn’t run and had even been teased for her bad running style. But signing up to Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) to lose the weight I had put on after two babies convinced me to give running a try.

My sister was also running and inspired by her, I moved on to the Couch to 5km app and soon I could run 5km. The chance meeting of some girls in Brunei via the 12WBT forums led me to completing a 10km race in Kota Kinabalu in May 2012. The following year, I was training for my first half marathon which was unfortunately canceled due to elections in Malaysia, but I pressed on and entered the amazing Angkor Wat Half marathon in November 2013, the first time I’d had the opportunity to run with my sister. I managed to run the first 12km, then run and walk the next 9km finishing in around 2.40 – and by no means last.

My sister and I after the Angkor Wat half marathon - an amazing experience running through there temple complex at dawn being cheered on my the locals and having kids grab your hand and run with you, November 2013
My sister and I after the Angkor Wat half marathon – an amazing experience running through there temple complex at dawn being cheered on my the locals and having kids grab your hand and run with you, November 2013
Starting a half marathon as the sun comes up over Angkor Wat is a memory I'll treasure forever
Starting a half marathon as the sun comes up over Angkor Wat is a memory I’ll treasure forever
Part of the race route - Angkor Wat
Part of the race route – Angkor Wat

From the time I arrived at the City to Bay 6km start, I was impressed by the organisation and atmosphere. There were lots of groups in matching gear as race is a great opportunity to race money, or promote a group or issue. There were also lots of people in fancy dress. I was at the start in time to see the fastest 12km runners and wheelchair racers come through which was amazing.

Start line of the 6km section of the City to Bay run
Start line of the 6km section of the City to Bay run

Despite a slightly slow start due to the number of people, we were eventually out on the road and it was the perfect sunny blue sky running day. There were people all along the route – from spectators and locals cheering on runners to businesses and organisations using it as an opportunity to promote themselves. The drink stops were regular which was good because it was slightly warmer than I’d expected. It was a real carnival atmosphere and I could help but enjoy myself, even though physically I knew I wasn’t in the best shape. Seeing young kids and people running in memory of a loved one or to support a charity provided that extra hit of inspiration.

I ended up making it to the finish line in under 40 minutes which was my goal. Not fast by any means, but I’d kept running and most importantly, I finished feeling inspired to start running again. Suddenly saying I was going to run the Barossa Half Marathon in May 2015, felt like a real goal and not empty talk.

So when I feel like skipping the training, I’m just going to remind myself what I love about running:

  • the friends I have made all around the world because of running
  • the fact that I’m keeping my body and my mind fit (read this great article on why women should run)
  • the amazing experiences of running in different, beautiful places
  • that awesome feeling coming through the finish line yesterday, knowing I had achieved something I had set out to do.
    Feeling happy after finishing to City to Bay, Glenelg, September 2014
    Feeling happy after finishing to City to Bay, Glenelg, September 2014

    Jetty at Glenelg - great spot to stretch out after a run
    Jetty at Glenelg – great spot to stretch out after a run

Published by

angepickett

I started this blog almost 3 years ago when we first arrived in the Barossa Valley. I've always wanted to write and I wanted to share my experience of my career change, our move to this beautiful wine region and discovering my next adventure. After 15 years as a public servant working in Canberra, Beijing, China and Hanoi, Vietnam, I decided it was time for a career change and more importantly, a lifestyle change. In 2014, we left Hanoi and headed to the Barossa Valley in South Australia with a dream of a more fulfilling lifestyle in one of Australia's premier food and wine regions. My husband and I both work in the wine industry - where my job could be described as anything but making the wine. In 2017, I decided to wind-up the consulting business I established in 2015 and focus on learning as much as I could about the wine industry and writing - both on this blog and a memoir of our time in Vietnam. This blog is an opportunity for me to share my writing - about everything from motherhood, to career change, fitness, travel and our vine-change/career change experience.

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