Your Story Judy Street VIC
Thank you for sharing Your Story Judy and inspiring us to be the best we can be. You are fabulous. Erica
My intro to running
- Running was never something I enjoyed, who am I kidding exercise and I have not been friends since school days. Being forced to walk many km's to and from school and not being able to get a bus really sucked. But as we age the weight came on and exercise was not part of the program.
- In 2012 I went from being a working mum sitting on the couch eating all the food to a fit mum many kilos lighter and enjoying the walking caper with friends.
- The walking was soon not enough and so someone mentioned C25K.
- I had no idea what it was or what it was going to do for me but I enlisted a friend and we started doing the C25K around a 400m circuit near home at 5:30am in the morning.
- Soon the excuses came and she dropped off and I was doing C25K on my own so I went back to walking with a different friend.
Running still called me
- But as it does the running was a bug in the back of my mind that I still had thoughts about.
- I still remember running my first km, my first 5km and how ecstatic I was and how no one at home knew why I was so excited.
- During 2013 I started entering 5km events and I felt like an athlete.
- I felt like I was conquering something amazing that not many people do, and I was!
- Being at the events myself and a running friend were in awe of those doing the 10km and we often joked that one day we would like to be like them. They were the big league, they were dedicated and one day I wanted to be just like them.
- We didn't even contemplate doing a longer distance.
- Late 2013 Park Run came to a close suburb and this gave us a local 5km free timed event.
- Soon I met friends at parkrun and we walk/ran, walked and run the course.
- It was a regular Saturday morning must, and we were hooked.
- Not long after parkrun started it became a standing comment â€œwhy pay for a 5km event when parkrun was free so lets start doing longer eventsâ€.
- During 2013 I ran my first 10km event, I was like a pig in dirt, I was happy and feeling very proud of finishing my first 10km. It wasn't fast but I had the goal of eventually getting a sub 60min 10km, I didn't equate that to do sub 60 I needed a sub 30 5km.
- The speed was never my thing I was just happy to be out running.
- 2013 at Melbourne Marathon event my running friend and I made a plan that each year at MM we would increase our run to the next event so 2014 I would do the 10km event, 2015 the half, 2016 the marathon.
- After running a number of events in 2014 ranging from 10km to 15km the mind started formulating doing a half marathon 12 months earlier than planned.
- While at a local event, Devils bend, doing the 10km I was in awe of a runner we passed.
- He did not have the runners â€œbodyâ€ but man he had a runners heart. He looked unfit, he was slow, he was overweight and in my eyes he was awesome. He gave me the inspiration to run a half marathon just like he was doing that day. I never found out his name or spoke to him but I thank him from the bottom of my heart because this person with the runners heart and determination made me realise I was a runner. He made me want to upgrade and do a half sooner than my plan of MM in October 2015.
Half Marathon victory
- So on the morning of the Mornington Running festival 2014 my regular running partner and myself upgraded from the 10km to the half marathon.
- I didn't care if I came last, I didn't care about my time I just wanted to finish on my own feet and run the whole distance.
- With the nagging voice in my head (insert running buddy here) we did run the whole thing.
- We high fived people, we encouraged the back of the pack, the ones coming towards us essentially lapping us and the 10km who started 30 minutes after us. We smiled the whole time, we shared asphalt with some amazing people and we finished before the sweepers.
- This run was the perfect runners run.
- Whenever a doubt crept in my head I thought of the dude at Devils bend. Whenever I wanted to walk I was inspired by the guy at Devils bend, whenever my head said stop, its hurting, its too hard etc my thoughts went to Devils bend. We finished in a respectable time of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- And from here my love of the half marathon distance was born.
- Never following a training plan, never having a coach and always just wanting to do my best I just went out and ran occasionally but I knew that with the running bug finally biting me I would have to step it up a little and run longer distances so I could do the half marathons with â€œlittle effortâ€ i.e. being fit enough to run one when I wanted to.
- It was just before this half marathon that I found a local running group that had just started up near home â€œPakenham Road Runnersâ€.
- It consisted of about 30-50 members but it was the guy who started it and myself running 2 laps each 5km on a Thursday morning. a couple of weeks later parkrun came to Pakenham and from there the running group exploded and we had an influx of runners attending regular group runs which now consist of a run everyday except Saturdays which is parkrun day.
Huge run achievements and then crash
- From the Mornington running festival in September 2014 to the same event in 2015 I ran 10 half marathons or longer distances with the longest being 30km Sri Chimnoy event at Princes Park (6 laps of 5km).
- I was training to do the full at MM but doubts, illness, confidence got to me and running soon became a chore.
- I had burnt myself out. I had put so much pressure on myself that I no longer enjoyed running.
Finding my run mojo again
- In 2016 I continued trying to find my love of running again to no avail, I even entered 3 Disneyland runs the 5km, 10km and 21.1km (in consecutive days) the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend called the Dumbo Double Dare.
- This was my â€œcomebackâ€ event, this was the event I would train for and redeem myself in my eyes.
- But as the weeks drew closer I had not trained, I had not enjoyed running and I had let myself down. I ran the events, the 5km with my husband, the 10 and 21.1 on my own with thousands of other people.
- I walked some, I had photos with Disney characters, I ran through Angel Stadium which was a bigger deal emotionally than I thought it would be and I had fun, not running fun but I had a great time doing the events.
- I came home and basically stopped running. It was hard to watch others enjoying there running when I couldn't motivate myself to get out of my chair more than once a week.
Things had to change, I wanted to find that runners high again.
- January 2017 came along and I decided I wanted to find that love again so I challenged myself to walk or run a minimum of 5km a day. I managed to do all but one day because a wedding anniversary deserves a rest day right? In January I completed 300km for the month and that spark to love running was ignited again.
- February 2017 sees that ignition become a small spark. I am not quite back to loving the running but I am loving the feeling the running gives you once it is done. I have lost speed, but I am ok with that as running was never about speed for me.
- I have been very lucky to have participate in some amazing events in this country I have run in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. I have helped friends achieve their goals, I have walked with injured runners, supported others and myself through runs and I have had a charmed injury free running career.
- I do have some goals that I still want to tick off. I still want to run events in NT and ACT to complete the Australian Tour. I would love to run in New Zealand at some stage, I still want to tick off a marathon one day, I want to do the Dopey Challenge at Walt Disney World one year and I want to get my fitness level back and do those respectable half marathon times again.
- While I work towards this I will be smashing out many km's hopefully meeting new runners, experienced runners and fun runners at events, parkrun and out on the pavement.
- I hope to be inspired by those I meet and to maybe inspire one or two along the way.
- Running really is an amazing gift for me.
- I appreciate how hard it is, I dislike using the words â€œOnly and Justâ€ when talking about running because it is not â€œonly 5kmâ€ if you got out and ran 1km, 5km, 10km or 100km you did something amazing and you should be proud and you should sing it from the roof tops.
- Whether you are elite or a back of the pack like myself you put all the effort into it that you can so you deserve to reap the rewards and to brag about your achievements.
Your only competition is with yourself, never compare yourself to the person who started yesterday or the one who will start tomorrow, you don't know their story and they don't know yours, however I would love to hear yours so please share your story in the groups you belong in, in blogs or in conversation because a runner never hears enough running stories.