Member spotlight – Liz Camilleri

liz

It was in May last year that my hubby advised me that he’d gotten a job in Kuwait for a year. My first questions were ‘Can I drink wine, and can I run?’. Well, there was no wine, but I sure could run!!

My hubby had returned from deployment in Afghanistan only 5 months earlier, so my running had really suffered while he was away. (I tried to maintain it as best I could but it was tough working full time and running a household on my own with no family support) so there was no way I was going to Kuwait if I couldn’t take my running with me.

We arrived in Kuwait in August to 45+ degree heat and 90% humidity!! It was oppressive. Depite this, I would get up at 4am a few mornings a week and crank out a few kms. I couldn’t run far or fast but I was detremined to keep moving. I bought a hydration pack so I could always have water with me. I found that I felt safe running in Kuwait, but did get cat called a lot (mostly by the Indian street cleaners or the young Kuwaiti lads with far too much money and time on their hands).

A western woman running up an down the Corniche on her own was a novel sight but I refused to stop running. It was my constant while in Kuwait.  I could pretty much wear what I wanted, as long as I had my shoulders and knees covered, so I ran in a tee and 3/4 leggings. Yes, it was hot, but it was their custom so I wasnt going to flaunt my body (though I must admit I was mightly jealous of the men who were allowed to run in just a pair of shorts!).

One of the benefits of living in the Middle East was the acessibility to the rest of the world. During our year in Kuwait, I got to run in Zurich, Interlaken (in the snow), Dubai, Muscat (Oman), Florence, Venice, Istanbul, Boston, New York and Disney world. I raced in Kuwait, Dubai and New York as well 🙂

 WHEN DID YOU START RUNNING AND WHY?

I’ve run all my life. I started Little Athletics when I was 9 and quickly realised I was a pretty good runner (and that I loved it!). I made my first QLD team when I was 10. I ran (100m, 200m and 400m) and jumped (long and triple) for QLD until I left high school. I ran for QLD again at uni for a bit then had a break. I trialled for the Olympic Games 400m in 2000 (knowing I wouldn’t even come close to making the team) but had fun training all the same. I run cause I don’t know anything else. It is who I am. I call myself a runner – and I always will.

WHAT ARE YOU TRAINING FOR NOW?

I am currently training for my 4th Half Mararathon. I’ve never really trained properly for a half before so I’m in new territory. My running hasn’t been fantastic of late so I am a bit nervous about the upcoming race (I know I can do the distance but am a little anxious about my time).  I wish I could just relax and enjoy it but I’m not that kind of runner. I like to chase times and continually push myself to better times.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL RUNNING WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

My hubby is a crossfitter and a cyclist so we have to coordinate our schedules well.  We both work full-time (we’re both in the Air Force) and have two daughters – 4 and 7.  I run with a club twice a week in the mornings ( Wed and Fri) -always followed by coffee – before work. I do my long run on a Sat morning. On the other days, I lift weights (which I LOVE). So, I really only run 3 times a week – I find that works for me and  mostly keeps the injuries away.

TRAIL, TRACK OR ROAD?

No to trails. Road, yup. Track – on my list (going back to my first love) after this half mara!!

LONG OR SHORT DISTANCE?

Definitely short!! Give me a hard and fast 5km any day!!

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST PERSONAL RUNNING ACHIEVEMENT?

It’s so cliched – but it wasn’t a race I ran (as such) but it was a 3km event I ran with my 7yo daughter. She’s not built for speed but loves to run cause I do 🙂 We were living in Kuwait and we decided to do a 3km run together. She ran the WHOLE way and  managed a time of 21 mins. I was  blown   away (and yes, I cried).

My personal proudest moment was C2S a few years ago (2011). I was happily plodding away, feeling great. The guy next to me said “You’re heading for a sub 65”. I said to him “No way, I’m not going that fast” But low-and-behold, I looked at my watch and I was. I finished in 64 mins and felt on top of the world!!!!  I’d love to break 60 mins for the C2S.

WHAT DOES RUNNING MEAN TO YOU?  I LOVE TO RUN BECAUSE….

Cause it’s who I am. It makes me feel strong and free and in control. I am a runner – that’s a phrase I often use when I describe myself.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT RMA?

I love how it’s supportive of all running mums – no matter how fast or far you run. I joined RMA when there was only a couple of hundred of us and I’m  amazed  that even with 13,000+ members, it’s kept it’s original feel.

WHO DO YOU NOMINATE FOR THE NEXT MEMBER SPOTLIGHT?

I nominate Frankie Englestad. Frankie loves her running as much as me and being an Aussie living in Norway, she has a very varied experience to the rest of us here in Oz. Plus, she”s a super cool chick 🙂

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