Member spotlight – Monique Tudman (Mara Mon)


Name: Monique

Location:  Queensland AUSTRALIA!

I haven’t always been a runner, but I know I always will be. I’m a part time

working mum of 2 toddlers who has lost 50kg and found running 18
months ago. Getting ready to tackle my second marathon and a 50km
ultramarathon in 2014!!! I love fitness, coffee, good food, friends, family
and of course RUNNING!


How has running changed your life?

Running has helped me find peace – in my heart, in my soul, with myself,

with my surroundings. I have found strength where before I felt I was weak.
I have found a commitment and the dedication to follow through – rather than
quit. I suffer from OCD/anxiety and although I will be medicated forever,
running allows me time to think, to be. I’ve overcome 14 years of an eating

disorder and unhealthy body image and running keeps me in check. I have gone

from a happy, generally healthy housewife and mother to a happy, fit,
healthy, motivated, inspired, unstoppable weekend warrior!!! Before I had
running there was a little hole in my soul, I didn’t know what belonged
there but knew it was something. Then along came running and it was a
perfect fit.

How did you start running?

When I was 29, I started running to lose weight after having 2 kids. I
gained a total of 50kg over the two pregnancies and was looking for a way to
get active and shed the excess weight. A friend mentioned to me in passing
about running a half marathon which was 9 months away at the time. I
couldn’t even run for 20mins in one go but I said ‘Why not!’ and that’s
where it all began. One morning when I decided to ‘start training’ I left
the front door and ran in one direction. I asked my husband to come and
collect me along that route after 30mins. We drove the car back along the
route and I discovered I had run 4.5klm! I couldn’t believe it. I had no
idea of any other way to track my run until I learned of the multitude of
apps and gadgets and what not.  I WAS HOOKED from that moment on.

I realised I loved to run almost instantly – it was love at first run.

In my first year of racing I ran a 5 half marathons, 1 full marathon 2 x
15km events and 3 x 10km events. I couldn’t be happier! It’s been a great

Why do you run?
I run for freedom, fitness, friendship and FUN! Running releases that happy
hormone, it’s the perfect way for me to start my day. I find a lot of my
personal struggles are better managed when I am have had a run that day.

Running has taught me how to focus, be determined, chase my dreams, aim big,
persist, push through, commit and succeed!
Oh the list goes on. Most importantly running has taught me that I CAN
finish what I start and that there is something that I am good at. For me,
being good at running means simply sticking with it. It has nothing to do
with pace or distance. Since I started running I feel like I finally have a
focus for ME. I have a hobby. I have an identify outside of being a wife, mom,
worker and friend. Running is me. I suffer from OCD/anxiety and although I
will be medicated forever, running allows me time to think, to be. It’s
given me something that I have never had before. I’ve overcome 14 years of
an eating disorder and unhealthy body image and running keeps me in check in
that regard. What I enjoy most about running is the commitment and preparation
beforehand, the freedom and challenge during and the accomplishment and
satisfaction afterwards. I am inspired to run because I just want to be the best version of me I can
be. For myself, my husband and my kids. If I can set a good example of how
to do something you enjoy that is good for you, then hopefully my family
will follow suit. I am much more settled when I have run or I know I am going for a run. It is
an addiction, I won’t lie – but much healthier than any other addiction I
have ever had. I feel like I can meet the challenges of my day ‘head on’
when I have conquered my run. I also know that I am stronger than I often
think and I thank running for that.

What type of run is your favourite?

My favourite type of run is beautiful rainforest trail with no time limit
but I also love a long Sunday run, no matter the location. Just the time to
be with myself or my running buddy is enjoyment enough.

What is your proudest running moment?

Running the Gold Coast half marathon through the streets of where I grew up
as a child. I loved seeing the old places I used
to play with my Dad and where I learned to ride my bike for the first time.
Some great memories during that race. A massive crowd and a time goal I placed on myself, plus going into the race
injured made me very nervous. But I came out with my 1:45 pr and a huge
sense of achievement and accomplishment. Still paying for running injured
though! I don’t advocate it!


What is the best running advice you’ve ever received?

The best running advice I have ever received is to find the right pair of
SHOES! I have been through so many shoes and although some I can still wear
for yard work, walking and gym work, the right pair of shoes are worth their
weight in GOLD! A qualified sports podiatrist is a great place to start.

What is your biggest running challenge and how do you deal with it?

My biggest running challenge would have to be injury and illness. Having two
kids under 4, I have only just come out of the sleepless fog. I get around 6
hours a night on a good day and this seems to be enough but for the first 12
months of my running I was ‘running’ on 4 hours. It didn’t make for a very
healthy me. I still get run down and a lot of illnesses – just common colds
and flus and the like but having a rest day when my body needs it and
increasing my consumption of fresh fruit and veges really helps. I’m lucky
that there aren’t too many barriers to me managing my running. I have a very
supportive family who want the best for me and they know that includes
running. I have been nursing a shin injury for many months. Too much too
soon is my verdict of the culprit. I need to learn to pace myself more, not
in terms of actually running pace but I’m either all or nothing and when it
comes to running, it’s definitely ALL!

What advice or tips would you offer someone who is just starting to run?

Just stick with it! It may not be love at first run like it was for me, but
that doesn’t mean that you and running aren’t a match made in heaven. Give
it time (I would say at least 6 weeks) of running 3 times a week and you
will get to a point where your week will not be complete without it. No
matter how fast, no matter how slow, just get out there and GO GO GO !

@Maramon2013 (Instagram and twitter)

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