Let me start by saying I have NEVER been a runner. I was a walker. The only running I did was when I played sport. Then at the start of 2013 I started a lifestyle change to lose weight and I decided that I wanted to get fit for hockey. So I started the C25K running programme.
I live on a farm 2.5hrs from Perth, so there are no nice smooth running paths to run on or organised running events. I run either on the road side, along gravel roads or along firebreaks at the edge of the paddocks. All while dodging sheep poo, kangaroo poo & the odd kangaroo will jump along near me. Sometimes there is a gate to open or climb over but I try to avoid those routes.
There are some times of the year when hubby is out of the house well before sunrise and home long after sunset. These days it is really hard to fit a run in as I have a 3yr old at home all the day,then 2 home from school after 3pm. This year I decided not to let that stop me from running. So I ran around our sheds and up to the bus stop. All up it is about an 800m loop. The longest I have done this for is 6km. It’s boring but it is a run and I am out of the house. I am never more then 200m from the house which means I can leave bugalugs playing outside while I run and she can always see me. It doesn’t always work so well as some days she wants to join me. So it means a few slow laps until she has had enough.
I also use the sheds for my markers to do sprint work. It’s 100m from our carport to the tank and then about 200m from the carport around the sheds. I use one of the trees as my 50m mark and the edge of one of the sheds as my 75m mark. The kids think I am completely crazy when I am doing this type of running and it is nowhere near as stress free as ‘going’ for a run is as I usually have at least one little follower (normally on her bike). But it’s nice to have the kids join me occasionally.
One of my favourite things about running around the farm is the changes you see in the seasons. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with summer and winter. I hate how dry everything is in summer but I love that there are no puddles, I can run in the mornings or evenings as there is more daylight. I love that winter is cooler so I can run any time of day but there aren’t enough daylight hours in the day and I have to avoid the slushy tracks. I LOVE spring as everything is green!!! I love that running along the paddocks means I get to watch the crops grow. Oh lordy now I sound like a farmer!!!
Running has meant that I have done things I never even considered doing. In April last year when I couldn’t even run 4km I came up with an idea to run from my house into town. 21km!! I thought I would do it as a way to raise money for something and if people wanted to join me they could. I put it on Facebook and then was promptly informed that it was a Half Marathon. All of a sudden it seemed like a lot longer!!!!
Our local Tennis & Golf club were trying to raise money to purchase a defibrillator. What better cause to run for. So in September we held the Miling Half Marathon. We had runners & bike riders doing 21.1km, 11km, 5km & 2.5km. We are a very small community but we had at least one member from every family participate and we raised well over $3000.
It was an amazing day and the hardest run of my life!!!
At about the 14km mark I thought I was done and wouldn’t be able to finish. Then I caught up to friends who were doing the 10k & 5k run/walks/rides. They were all super supportive. Coming up to the finish line I was running with a girlfriend and I realised that none of my family were at the finish line. Hubby was driving a support vehicle and my kids were running the 2.5km. I turned to my friend and said “none of my family are here”. She turned to me and said “we are your family” as if your not emotional enough after running a half. Then as I crossed the finished line I saw my friends some of whom had run the half as well and they had tears in their eyes. It was great to see everyone standing on the oval cheering everyone else over the finish line. It was crazy to think that a little idea I had while running one day had brought together a community with people of all ages out there running, walking or riding.
Running has become my ‘me’ time. As every mum knows you can’t even pee without someone wanting to tell you something. It’s my time to do all those things like menu plan, budget, think & sometimes overthink or not think at all!!! It is my tension release!! Hubby now kicks me out for a run when I am grumpy or stressed. One day he even stood there with my running shoes in his hand and told me to go for a run.
Some days like when a tractor has been on my running track and made huge corrigations or we have had so much rain that my running tracks have turned into slippery slide. I wish I lived somewhere that had nice smooth footpaths and beautiful beaches, parks or rivers to look at. In summer I dream of having an air-conditioned gym to work out in or pray to live somewhere with a seabreeze. In winter I wish I could run on smooth footpaths without worrying about sliding in the mud or worse getting my new running shoes dirty!!
But when I am away from home and run in these places I find myself wishing I was back home in the open spaces & fresh air. I can wear the daggiest of clothes, take my top off if it gets too hot, stop anywhere for a ‘bush wee’, run without headphones and music blearing & best of all are the days when the kids join me on their bikes.