So it’s 2014 and I’m looking at photos taken during a recent holiday. Holy-moly, when did I get that fat??!! Nearing the big five-zero I decided it was obviously time to get my fitness and eating back on track. So I joined a gym; I’d enjoyed working out in the gym in the past (back in the UK) and knew it was something I’d stick with, and I did.
Fast forward two years and, whilst there had been some improvements in my fitness and weight loss it was nothing dramatic – I was plodding along happy enough. Then my daughter entered her first running event – 10km at Queenstown Marathon. It looked like she had a lot of fun and I was proud of her, and told her so. “Run with me next year” she said. Yeah right! At 52 with early stage osteoarthritis in both knees and an ankle, and not having run since leaving high school that wasn’t something high on my list of ‘want to dos’. Long story short, after taking advice from my Doctor and Physiotherapist, I signed up with a Personal Trainer and found myself learning to run.
In November 2017 I successfully completed the 10km run at Queenstown Marathon. Okay, so I walked some of the way but I ran a lot more than I expected. But more than meeting a one-off challenge I had discovered, if not a love of, then certainly the benefits of running for both my physical and mental health – in short, I was hooked on running!
Since that first run I have completed a fun mini-duathlon (2km run-7km bike-2km run), the 10km run at Dunedin Marathon (over 7 minutes faster than my Queenstown run) and, most recently, the 12km run at Auckland Marathon (more to come on that later).
So, where to next? How does a middle-aged, non-sporty woman become a runner? What can she achieve? And how does it affect her life?