My First Running Achievement

If one year ago you told me I would be a runner, I would have rolled my eyes at you.

How things can change.

“Wow, I wish I could run”, is what I use to say to myself whenever I saw I runner. Yet every time I tried it I hated it.

Every time I laced up those shoes and go for my run, my lungs felt like they were going to burst. My shins were screaming “what are you doing!”, so it’s safe to say I didn’t like it at all.

Yet part of me always saw running as the epitome of being fit.

Running really tests your fitness and your endurance.

It was a year ago that I decided I wanted to try to start running again.

The first run goal was simply 3km.

Let me tell you, 3km is no small feet.

One of the other things I decided to do was invest in the NIKE+ device. It attaches to the top of your shoe and collects data. It’s a great device when it’s calibrated. While not a GPS, it gave me the motivation to push on.

When I mastered the 3km distance, I then increased that to 5km.

2022 note: I look back at the start of my running journey, and I just laugh.

Did I follow a plan? Plan? Girl, what are you talking about?

Plan sman. I’ll just make it up as I go along.

Could I have benefited from a coach or an actual structured training plan, yes! Did I know that they existed? No.

As I got fitter, running did get easier, however, my passion for running only changed this year.

It was at the end of the SAAC 2011 season that my interest in running peaked. I put my name down to be contacted for the 2012 season.

After completing the Run for the Kids 5.2km event, I can safely say I caught the running bug.

My first run with SAAC was a 5km handicap. Which I completed in a respectable time of 28:55. With a handicap time of 6 minutes, my race time was 34:55.

SAAC uses a handicap system. The goal of this is that everyone finishes at the same time. Slow runners start first and fast runners start last.

Due to family commitments, I haven’t been able to attend all the SAAC events. It is a real family-friendly environment. The kids love coming along and running the sub-junior races.

The Gary Rice Handicap was held at his vineyard, just outside of town, in Conconjella. I was given a handicap of approximately 7 minutes.

The course was 2 laps, which whined through the vineyards and then out into the bush.

There were two other runners ahead of me. It wasn’t until I got onto my second lap, that I caught up to Lofty. It would be another 500m until I passed the other runner in front of me, Gary.

Now in the lead, I pushed as hard as I could. The thought of someone overtaking me motivated me to go push up the hill to get to the finish line.

Crossing the line in a time of 35:26 I’ll be honest, I didn’t know I actually won.

It wasn’t until Selena said to me “I forgot about you”, that made me realise that I won my first SAAC event.

On a runner’s high, I realise that all the hard work that I’m putting into my running and fitness is paying off.

While I don’t expect to win again any time soon, it’s nice to be acknowledged for my achievements. Also, the bottle of wine and gift voucher was an added bonus!

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