Today’s Mother’s Day Classic marked four years since I took up running for fun. I pinch myself now about the chance way that it all began, because it has become such a good friend to me.
Running was the first thing I turned to when I got out of bed on Good Friday, the morning after I found out my role had been made redundant. I’d had a really sleepless night, brain doing overtime with worry. When I got up I felt like I just had to run.
So I went down to the Tan track at Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens and I ran and ran, and ran.
There was a time not long ago when I couldn’t have thought of anything more painful, but there I was, running to make myself feel good.
As well as that endorphin rush, there’s something about the rhythm and repetition that seems to lend itself to problem solving and thinking creatively.
On Good Friday, before I knew it, I had pounded out about 16km (well beyond my training distances) and it definitely made me feel better. That night, I slept like a log.
Faced with adversity, doing things that make you feel good and getting some exercise have been suggested as tools to help build resilience. For me, running ticks both boxes.
Today was my fifth Mother’s Day Classic and despite all the other running I’ve done in between, this event is pretty special to me. As well as introducing me to the joy of running, it was the start of a wonderful friendship with my weekend running buddy.
We don’t break any records, but we make a point of celebrating every milestone – and that’s the fantastic thing about running, it just keeps giving them. A little bit faster, a little bit further, a little bit easier recovery.
It also feels good to contribute to events which raise money for great causes. Today, it was breast cancer research and 40,000 people of all ages turned up to run or walk to support the cause in Melbourne alone.
As we do each year now, my friend and I did the 8km run today and we couldn’t be more proud. We’ve come a long way since that first fun run, which I only joined as a last-minute substitute. It’s motivating to look back each year and remember that first 4km run, when I couldn’t make it through without stopping to catch my breath.
Regardless of your ability, you get to soak up the feel-good atmosphere at the start line of these events, the buzz of people cheering you to keep going, and the rush of crossing the finish line. It feels incredible.
It only took one go, and my friend and I were hooked.
Congratulations to everyone who took part across Australia today and happy anniversary running buddy!