My daughter’s first race

After last year’s City to Bay run, my 6 year old daughter asked if she could do it with me next time. So this year we entered the 3km together. There was a small part of me that wished that I was running the longer distance, but I really wanted to foster her desire to give it a shot.

We did a 2km run together each weekend for 4 weeks in the lead up, most of which involved leaping, hurdling or doing something other than running. But that was fine, she was enjoying being out there and running (well, sort of).

At the start line

Waiting at the start line…

She was very excited at the start line. We talked a lot about making sure we drank enough water beforehand, and not going out too fast. I was a bit worried she would sprint the first few hundred metres and then not make it to the finish line. I also told her that she could walk whenever she felt the need.

Before the race, we watched the 12km runners coming past and she loved pointing out all the people that had dressed up. Eventually we lined up for the 3km start, and we were off!

She started at a good steady pace, and kept saying ‘Mummy, this is SO much fun’. We walked through the water station, but she was keen to keep running.

At the 2km mark, I told her that she could pick up the pace a little if she wanted. And she stepped it up a notch. I wasn’t sure if she could hold that pace, but she held on strong to the final straight, which was about 400m from the end. At that point I said, ‘if you want, you can run as fast as you want to the finish’. She sprinted and I really had to push to keep up with her. She sprinted all the way to the finish line, and ended up running the 3km in 24 mins.

It’s hard to see in the picture below, but she finished with a very large grin on her face…as did I! I couldn’t have been prouder. She gave it her all with determination, good humour and she’s keen for more. She’s asked to do the 6km next year, and her brother (4 years old) has asked to do the 3km, so we’ll see how we go.

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line in perfect sync

I was never into sport of any kind as a child, and I love that I can share my new-found love of running with them. Hopefully it is something they will take with them throughout their lives.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again!

So in a terrifying, death defying dance floor accident, I’ve broken my toe. On the day before I was planning to run a half marathon.

Well that might be a slight exaggeration. I was on the dance floor, when somebody trod on my foot in a very high heel. And I think I have a broken toe. Actually, I would put money on it.

Today was supposed to be the culmination of 16 weeks training to run a half marathon distance. Due to my work schedule, I haven’t been able to participate in any organised half marathons this year, so I had planned to go it alone. My planning had been meticulous. I planned a course (hilly because I can’t get enough hills), made my favourite energy bars, and packed my favourite running gear. As we were at a wedding the night before, and staying over, I had planned it to the letter. I didn’t drink (well maybe a little), had a LOT of water, and ate really well.

What I didn’t foresee was the hazards of the dance floor.

Although being trod on hurt like hell at the time, I thought, ‘I’ll be okay in the morning, no worries.’ So this morning I laced up my shoes to discover that standing was fine, walking was not. In fact it was very, very painful. No running for me then.

I got cross, I got frustrated, I got annoyed at myself for not being more careful. What did that achieve? Nothing. Then I got upset that I might not be able to run at all until it heals. What did that achieve? Nothing.

After wallowing in my own self-pity for a few hours, I realised that i just needed to get on with things. I started to think about other ways to keep my fitness up while off running, and research how to get back into it.

My first decision was to dust off my bike. I don’t think I’ve ridden it for a few years, so I’ll need to check the tyres and give it a service. That will keep my general fitness up hopefully.

In terms of running, I headed home and immediately chose two events to do , one 5km in December to get back into the swing of things slowly, and a half marathon in April. I’m hoping having some concrete goals will allow me to give it the time it needs to recover, while still staying focused.

I’m terrified of losing the will to run. Running has gotten me through some tough times and until now I’ve been injury free. It has taught me so much about myself. I can’t imagine life without it. But like those gruelling long runs have taught me, all you can do is push through, do what needs to be done and get back into it when I can.

Just like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire sang, ‘dust yourself off, pick yourself up and start all over again‘.

Heysen Trail Run – Woodhouse

My latest Heysen Trail run was 6.4km return from the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens through Woodhouse to the Mount Lofty Golf Course.

The map looked like this:

Woodhouse Run

 

For those who don’t know, Woodhouse is an activity centre with plenty of outdoor activities, including Challenge Hill which is a large-scale obstacle course. There are various facilities and groups can either camp, use dorm-style accommodation or come just for the day. Woodhouse is used by organisations, schools and individuals as a fun outdoor activity.

Running on the Heysen Trail through Woodhouse, I was followed by a group of Rosellas and Willie Wagtails who darted in and out of the trees in front of me. I came across a group of young school children who were delighting in being outdoors, regardless of the wind, rain and cold weather. It was great to hear them laughing and running around, being active in the middle of winter. It is exactly what kids need.

It reminded me that I need to bring my kids to Woodhouse sometime in the near future, a great place to get kids active and enjoying the outdoors, no matter the weather. And I’d really like to test myself on Challenge Hill!

It was a muddy run, and my shoes were testament to the fun I had.

Shoes that have fun