By Audrey Macdonald
It has been just over 3 years since I started this hobby, and since I started I have never looked back
It doesn’t need a lot of equipment, and you can do it indoors or out.
E te iwi, I am a runner.
Not like a Usain Bolt, 100m sprints type of runner. Just 3 times a week, around the Wellington waterfront, no matter the weather type of runner.
, I never had any interest in running and couldn’t understand what the appeal was. In fact, I thought of it as some sort of punishment. This was understandable, seeing as;
I was the kid that often came last at school races.
In high school, I took so long at Cross Country, my punishment was to run ANOTHER race under a certain time limit.
How does one
who has never had any prior interest take up running, some may ask?
Well, I started walking in preparation for a trip to Hawaii. A consolidation of some of my favourite pa
stimes. Travelling and hanging out with mates. And the Hawaiian marathon was the bi-product.
To make myself accountable, we had to log our activity and post pictures on Facebook when we were out walking. Thanks to my regular updates, and, I am guessing Facebook’s advertising algorithm, I was introduced to the Extra Mile Runners advertisement for the Get up to 5k 8 week programme.
This programme promised that you would be able to run 5k in 8 weeks, or your money back!! (That last part was enough to keep my interest.)
So I signed up! And in eight weeks, I went from running 30 seconds without stopping to running a whole 5k!! I was the slowest on the day, but that didn’t matter!! My goal was plain and simple. Run 5k without stopping. And I did!
The programme prepared me to complete the 10k event at the Honolulu Marathon, and I also completed that, albeit very slowly.
In the beginning, I l
iked the feeling of accomplishing a new challenge in a supportive environment. Now the progress isn’t as noticeable but I still enjoy getting out regularly, and challenging myself. Apart from the obvious health benefits, I have experienced positives in other ways:.
Running in a group provides an opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds. I run alongside all walks of life. They all started off with the same 30 second run.
There are a lot of different running activities that also raise awareness and funds for c
harity. So I have entered in a couple of charitable events since I started running.
It can also be a gateway to other activities that you may not have considered. It is now a regular activity to take to the hills around the Wellington area and try some of the walking tracks.
Running is not without its difficulties.
Getting injured can serve as a suitable reminder to look after your body. Stretching and resting and a good night’s sleep all play their part in my daily routine now.
My pet peeve is when I am trying so hard and people walk past me. That definitely dents my ego.
And some days, the Wellington weather will make
things challenging. But once I have finished my run, if I don’t do anything else all day, I have at least achieved that.
So 3 years on, a number of 10k events, and medals to show for my achievements, and you can still find me, on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday morning, pounding the pavement around Wellington. Still not the fastest runner but definitely the biggest fan of running.