Being a running grandmother by Lorraine Covington

I am a Grandmother of 7 Grandchildren and another who has adopted me. I am approaching my 63rd Birthday and have been a fringe dweller in relation to running. Having been involved  in Little Athletics for a period of time, I was successful in starting a Tiny Tots Group in our local club teaching high knees and “choo choo arms” with one little special needs boy who just adored the group.

Like many I have tried various sports in my life; tennis, swimming and fencing but always admired runners. Sprinters that glide around the track and marathon runners dedicating hours to training, never believing that I could be part of a special group.

After the passing of my Mother I sunk into a dark area that I never want to visit again and never will. A group started in Bathurst inviting people on Facebook  who would like to start running. I thought, well this is it and responded with “I cannot run BUT I can walk fast” so on a fateful Monday morning in November 2013 I got up and dressed for a6.00am start, driving to the meeting place, I did two U Turns arguing with myself “you are a silly old lady and this is only for people who can run, you will look ridiculous”

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The organiser Jodi Pollard, was amazing and just told me to go at my own pace and she would monitor me. It was 5 kms and I ran 20 metres and then thought you cannot do this but I hugged a tree and then another then the light post still arguing with myself, some of the words were harsh. BUT I was going to do this, the others started to come back and I stood up straight so I looked the part, grimaced and waved “yes I am fine” still on my way to the turnaround point. My legs were itching I was  bent over and I thought where is that zone you are supposed to get into. THEN it started to pour rain, crap I was soaked on the way back I looked through the rain and saw Jodi with an umbrella saying come on get in the car I will drive you back, NO I am finishing this. I turned up again on theWednesday and tried again well I completed 40metres then extended it out to 60 metres without stopping. After two weeks I was shuffling 600 metres. I thought if I can do that  MAYBE I could run around the block which I did estimating it should be 1km, then my partner said what if it is only 900 metres. DAMN I got in my car and measured the distance thinking if it is not I will get out in my heels and run the extra but it was 1.1kms.

The first time I completed 5kms without stopping I wanted to tell everyone and did; I am Now a Running Warrior Princess. Then my endorphins kicked in and thought I am going to do 10kms, it was hard it was one foot in front of the other still yelling at myself in the last 2kms. Then backed up the next day taking 2 minutes off my 5kms pace. Some of my  Grandchildren wanted to watch me run around the oval saying that  “we will count the laps Nan”  they lost count had me run more I am sure so they could tire me out little Devils.

I ran my first 5km race and did it in 38 mins WOO HOO, then I entered a 10km race and the week before ended up in ICU so that was such a disappointment. I thought this is not going to beat me so I entered the City2Surf and the Sunshine Coast Marathon to run a half marathon.  Then the next day  OMG what have I done well get up and just run GIRL. Although I have had another setback starring at 5.30am one morning and 5kms into the run, I stumped my foot on an uneven pavement and face planted the footpath landing on my face first, then shoulder.  I saw stars thinking someone will stop to help but no, gee I run in Neon Colours so sitting up I thought stop the Garmin. Then I stood up swayed a bit then continued my run completing 15kms, although people were looking at me funny so I just waved, not realising that the blood had frozen on my face; it was minus 4 degrees.  Knowing the Aldi sale was on for sporting attire I fought the masses and purchased my goods then a person asked if I was alright and I thought why, looked in the rear vision mirror and thought better get to hospital, fractured face in two areas and bruised shoulder. BUT I can still run and I have achieved a standing in my life that I am a RUNNER.

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