Welcome to Meet a Mover Monday! Everyone has a story, and each week we will introduce you to one of our OpMovers so you can learn a little bit about theirs. We are all at different stages of our journeys, but we all started in the same place. This week, say hi to Mandy.
Who are you?
Hi, I’m Mandy. I’m verging on 40 with a husband and three children by my side. They keep me pretty busy, but I throw a bit of part-time office work in the mix. Life is never dull.
I love to be creative and can often be found crocheting or trying my hand at something homemade. I’m a total contradiction considering myself a real home body yet on the flip side, gosh I love to travel.
When did you start running and why?
A little while ago now! In 2011 I decided I was starting to verge on middle age and didn’t want to feel old. I mentioned this to another mother at kinder who was super fit and liked to run. She suggested I do a fun run. The run for kids was coming up and she recommended it. However, she convinced me to really go for it and do the 14kms as opposed to the 5kms. I think I had a moment of craziness and before I knew it I was signed up.
I’ll probably always hold the Run for Kids close to my heart. Being my first real run and all it was very very overwhelming and emotional. I would run thinking “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this” and at the time I was a blogger and I just couldn’t wait to share with the world how good it made me feel.
Following on from this I tried to continue to run but it was very up and down. Since that first run in March 2011 I’ve run the Sydney City 2 Surf, many Mother’s Day Classics, along with the Color Run and other local events and most recently completed a half marathon in the Melbourne Marathon Festival.
The Color Run was a great experience because we got the whole family moving. Even my (3 year old at the time) made the 5km. Needless to say he feel asleep sitting up at lunch, but it was great to include the kids in the experience.
What is your favourite distance?
Having now completed a few events at different distances I think I can confidently say 10km is my favourite distance. I love to spend my spare time with my kids and often find I don’t want to prioritize hours out of my day for long distance training. 10kms is good, because whilst I haven’t yet cracked the 1 hour mark (not far off) I’m more likely to get out there and just do it if I’m giving up an hour vs giving up a few. And on the flip side it still requires a lot of effort, so I still get the rush of achieving something.
Top 3 must have gear?
I’m pretty basic when it comes to running. I need something to distract me so my phone in my arm band, churning out either music or podcasts is my savior. I doubt I’d even get out there without this. And good runners are a no brainer. This year when I bought myself a new pair of runners whilst they weren’t cheap they obviously weren’t suited to my feet. Boy did I know about it, fortunately the store where happy for me to exchange runners for something better tailored to my needs. It makes the world of difference.
Fave run post fuel?
I don’t really have a post run routine. If I arrive home at meal time, I’ll have that, whatever that might be, otherwise I might have a protein shake.
What do you listen to when you run?
Mostly I listen to music. On a long run though, I can get bored with that so I’ll turn to podcasts. It has to be a good one though. It’s good to have people holding a conversation, you feel like you’re a part of it and it’s a great distraction.
Tech lover or naked runner?
Obviously I’m a tech lover, if I haven’t got my iPhone I feel like it’s impossible to run. Crazy I know. However I did get caught up in the whole tech aspect of running and got myself a Garmin, was tracking everything and then I suddenly discovered I don’t really care about all that. Sure I like to know how long it takes me to complete a run, but I can do that via my phone. So after only several months I ended up selling my Garmin to another runner.
I think I’m more of an old school runner, I don’t tend to post to social media etc. I don’t know why exactly but I guess I don’t want to feel like I’m bragging to a bunch of people who don’t give a damn. That is why I especially love Operation Move. I’ve slowly learnt how nice it is to share your run with others, however in this instance it is with people who actually care. I like that, it feels more directed.
Words of wisdom to new runners?
Have a crack. You might surprise yourself.
I do a lot of interval running (run/walk/run) and started to beat myself up about it. I decided I wouldn’t consider anything above 5km until I was running 5km consistently without stopping. But then I realized I was just limiting myself. So what if I went for a 10km run and part of it was interval, I was still moving further, I was still improving my fitness and that to me is worth so much more.
I am most proud of?
Two things, firstly I’ll always be super proud of the day I went and ran the Run for Kids, the emotion behind doing something I’d never tried before and believing in myself.
Secondly my most recent run the half marathon. I so didn’t think I was going to get there. I had a number of injuries that slowed down my training and in the week before I really didn’t think I was going to make it to the start line. People would ask me if I was excited and I’d say “not yet” because I think deep down I really thought I’d bitten off more than I can chew. But you know what, I decided to just have a crack. What’s the worst that can happen, I tire out and I walk it, at least I’d not live with the regret of not giving it a go.
And you know what happened, I finished it, I ran over the finish line, totally exhausted but absolutely buzzing with my achievements.
If you’d like to share your moving story, please email your answers and a photo that you love to firstname.lastname@example.org
You never know who you might inspire to get moving!