The running journey of a non-runner
Preparing for Run Melbourne 21km half marathon
To say that running is outside my comfort zone barely does justice to the complete meltdown I generally experience at the thought of anything over a hundred meters and faster than a brisk powerwalk. Although you could say I love exercise and keeping active, I’m more of a yoga, pilates, weights, boxing or F45 type of girl… Basically, anything except running!! And yet, I’m a total sucker for a challenge and am strangely addicted to breaking out of the beautiful, cushy comfort zone as delightful as my time there may be. So, once a year for the past few years, I’ve made myself do a fun run of some kind just to keep myself in check and push myself to new limits. This year, I’m excited (and outrageously nervous) to be at it again but BIGGER and BETTER than before… I am so delighted to be joining the Nike team for their Go More Get More Challenge in the lead up to Run Melbourne… I might even have a crack at the half marathon, as outrageous as that sounds to to me right now!
If that any of that sounds anything like you, I promise you even us non-runners can do it and you too can join us in the challenge! When the amazing Nike team reached out inviting Nic and I to join, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try out a proper, structured training program and see what my body can do when it’s actually prepared (rather than my former “wing-it-then-be-unable-to-walk-for-a-few-days-afterwards” model – I can say from experience, it’s not particularly effective). While my previous efforts have been around 5km (which is still quite a long distance for me), the others in our challenge team are doing the half marathon so I figured I might as well give that a red-hot crack. And so begins the craziest, least Sarah-esque few months running up a storm in preparation for the big day on July 28th. Having never run that far or trained properly before, I have no idea what to expect but I think that’s the beauty of new things – let your body surprise you! I’m learning from my own example that half of it is mental anyway – I’ve never figured out how far I can run because my mind tells me to stop well before I get that far. I’m also not the best at taking things slowly, but I know it will take time to build up to longer distances – smaller baby steps will often get you further!
It’s super easy to download the NRC App and join the challenge from there, which sets out the distances you should aim for over the whole month and that increases each month. You can track your run route, pace, distance and even listen to guided runs too. There are options for both the total noobs like me but it also caters to the speedy Gonzales kinds like Nic who is a former athlete and a good few laps ahead of me, always. We’ll even be giving away some AWESOME Nike prizes along the way for fellow challenge go-ers, so it’s worth your while in more ways than one! We’ve had our first training session and met our coach Dave Ridley who has also set out our next runs for first few weeks. I won’t lie, the first session was pretty tough BUT I still ran further without stopping than I have in such a long time just purely because the team mentality stopped me from bailing like I otherwise would! I’ve since been doing 20 minute runs twice a week for over 3kms without stopping to walk and, much to my surprise, have been finding it slightly easier each time! Consistency is key and I can’t wait to see how the next few weeks unfold…
If anything comes from this, I hope to be an example (including for myself) that even lifelong non-runners like me can still achieve long distances with the right preparation and mindset. For a helpless A-type over-achiever, I’m also learning that you don’t have to be the best at something for it to be worth doing and even quite enjoyable (shock horror). Nor am I signing up to be a marathon runner for life or trying to go pro – one of the biggest parts of my Seize the Yay philosophy is that we have to “play to yay” and do things purely for the sake in order to live a happy life. There’s basically no excuse not to join me too, so sign up here and let’s DO IT!