I am constantly setting goals. My personal goal for 2014 was to run my first half-marathon, having completed 10km and 14km runs last year raising funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
The idea of running 21.1km for the first time was daunting, but I knew that it was not impossible. I also knew that it required focus, commitment and enlisting the help of others.
First, I roped in a friend Kylie to train with because running on frosty mornings by yourself is not only difficult, it can be boring. A running-buddy provides motivation and accountability.
I also enlisted the professional advice of a trainer who outlined the program I needed to follow in order to reach my end-goal. Within weeks my normal 5km run had increased to 10km before work, and each week I added 10 minutes to my running time, which in turn added distance and increased my fitness level.
I was running three times per week, doing weight training and having a rest/massage day once a week. I increased my protein and decreased my chocolate intake, because diet is half the challenge in getting fit.
I remember the first time I ran for 60 minutes straight with Kylie in Centennial Park, we spent the rest of the day congratulating each other. In fact every time we met in the dark to run we acknowledged just starting was an achievement.
Crossing the line in the Sunshine Coast Marathon though was an achievement like no other. But I won’t stop there. I will run it next year and aim for a better time, and will continue that way for as long as the knees let me.