Everyday life is hectic! And I had never experienced “hectic” life until I became a mum. From sunrise to sunset, life is non-stop – work, cooking dinner, being a mum, being a wife, changing nappies, the list goes on but what about being me! Now I’m not out to make this post, poor me, poor mum, there are worst things in life than being busy but I quickly learnt from being a mum that you gain new identities. Mums wear a lot of hats and it is tough trying to juggle all of those hats. It is easy to let personal hobbies and passion fall to the wayside because who has time. But its about making time, any time of the day or night. Doing what ever it takes.
My mum raised 3 children, with my dad too, but she didn’t have a hobby, or a passion or go out and do something for herself. This makes me think that perhaps wanting to aspire to be more than a mum, is selfish. My mum is anything but selfish and I hope that I can be half the mother she is, but personal achievements is what challenges me and makes me a better mum. This is where my passion for running fits perfectly into my life and it enables me to be the old Nat I was prior to being a mum. I also want to show my daughter that she can do anything and be anything. She is without a shadow of a doubt my inspiration and motivation for greatness.
I only started running nearly 10 years ago, prior to that I had attended a few gym classes, but I was never the sporty type. I was the academic one in the family, the one who got more interest in watching my brother play football or my sister do gymnastics. The nerd some may call me, but no matter what I still gave everything I had to be the best nerd I could be. Then as I reached my 20s it was time to take charge of my active life and get moving.
My first run attempt was a 4km running track in Melbourne, spurred on by my boyfriend (now my husband). I couldn’t run the whole thing I had to stop a few times, I couldn’t get my breathing right, nor could I find the rhythm of my feet and arms…I was somewhat unco-ordinated! Persistence got me though, I ran further and further each time until I finally ran the whole track…non-stop! Holy shit! I thought I was going to die, I bent over a tree wanting to be sick, heaving like nobody’s business, sweaty, red-faced…people enjoy this?!
I really believe there is a fire in everyones belly and deep down a competitor in us all. I soon learnt that the only competitor in running is really yourself. I took the next step in my running and completed various “fun” runs…5km, 10km and half marathons. Run after run, I sought more. I wanted to push my body to the limits. A marathon was never on my radar and after my first full 4km run I would’ve laughed in the face of anyone who would’ve said in 2013 you will run your first marathon and you will do it again in 2015, a year after having a baby. Both a marathon and having a baby was something that was so foreign to me, but here I am writing about both right now.
Training for a marathon is no small feat and the training alone, should be appaulded. I did not know what I was in for, nor did my body. Shin splints, lost toe nails (6 in total), constant fatigue, sore muscles everywhere. But all of this is over-shadowed by the pure elation of crossing that finish line and knowing that you had a achieved a great thing. I can still picture the elation, the tears, the pain of the lactic acid build up over my whole body. My first marathon was in Melbourne and we are lucky enough to finish in the mighty MCG, that alone is worth the hard work to finish. It was a 4:03 hour finish – those 3 minutes over 4hrs still haunt me, as I so wanted to do a sub 4.
Fast forward to 2015, where I am now a new mum. New challenges of a different kind. But this is where my passion for running is re-igniting. The fire in my belly never left but it was now even harder to just leave the house for a run whether it be 30 minutes or 3 hours. But the passion to want to achieve my second marathon was enough to keep me focused. And running now had a new meaning…it was a way for me to relax and clear my mind. It was my time. Some may say I could find better ways to relax for 3 hours instead of running, but the notion that your own legs can take you as far as you want them to go is so great.
I ran 4-5 times a week and it was liberating, particularly on the long runs. Even after a hard nights sleep with my bubs, I was focused and determined to meet my training obligations. I even spurred my good friend into completing her first marathon. Having a training partner is such a great thing and how good that I could catch up with my girlfriend, talking and laughing while we run for 3 hours. I was better informed for my second marathon and although I had used nutrition gels for my first, I definitely felt more relaxed about trying different ones and experimenting with my nutrition both for during and after my training.
I guess you could say this is where my passion for Running Fit Box has come. There are so many products on the market and some will suit some people and others different people, but all of them good in their own right.
Anyway my second marathon was another great run. My consistency each 5km lot was unbelievable, I’d never had that consistency in my training runs, and I pushed as hard as I could to break my first time. And I did! 3:51 hours…great I was so happy. And the elation even greater because I got to share this run with my daughter, who of course won’t ever remember, but how motivating it is knowing that your child is waiting for you and you can show her the final result is finishing a marathon proudly. It brings tears to my eyes now thinking about it.
It’s fair to say that my passion to run another marathon is as strong as ever and I have my eyes firmly set on another one in 2016…Sydney. So here’s to another year of great running. Another year of juggling my training with my hectic life and another year of enjoyable “me time” long runs. I’m excited and look forward to my next running challenge.
And if I can leave you with one last impression from this post, it is that anything is possible. Dream BIG!