It was May 2016 when my son Mitchell said to me that he wanted us to enter Run Ballarat later that year. I promptly told him that there was no way I could run 1km let alone 6km or in an event!
I had never run before in my life and always thought it would be too hard and only for athletes!
Mitch eventually persuaded me and soon we signed up for our local Park Run, where he was going to train me to 'run'. I was a bundle of nerves at that first Park Run and thought 'what am I doing here?' Heading into the first bend I felt exhausted and had to start walking. I thought to myself 'this is too hard'. From there Mitch encouraged me to keep going by suggesting a walk/run approach.
From there I promised Mitch 3 things for that year:
- Learn how to run
- Run 6km at Run Ballarat
- Run around Lake Wendouree
I finished that first 'run' in 39 minutes and week after week that time improved until eventually we ran the whole way together!
Not long after that The Athlete's Foot advertised a free 'Run Club' for all ranges of runners and said that a running coach would be there to support us to I thought 'if I'm going to complete Run Ballarat that a second run a week and some coaching advice would have to help me'.
That is where I met Louelle (aka Coach Louie)
I went every Tuesday night and Coach Louie helped me with all the many running questions I had. She always took the time to make sure I understood the tips she was giving me and nothing was too much trouble. There was never any pressure to run further or faster, just to do what was comfortable and enjoy the run! The variety of courses made it exciting and I looked forward to it every week. Goal 1 - learn to run complete!
I was so excited to be running my very first event at Run Ballarat with my son
I had set myself the goal to complete the 6km event in around 40 minutes and surprised myself by finishing in 35:50! I was so proud of both of us and even prouder because I ran the whole way and shared that experience with Mitch. He had been my inspiration the whole time! Goal 2 - Run 6km at Run Ballarat complete!!
The opportunity to run Lake Wendouree and complete that final goal for the year came at The Athlete's Foot Run Club, during our summer series. Coach Louie had heard about my goals from one of my fellow runclubbers and chose Lake Wendouree to be the location of our last run for the year. I was so excited!
I found myself surrounded by 'my coach' and so many wonderful running friends
There were no PB's set but there was a lot of chatter as we ran around the lake. Coach Louie ran the whole way with me and as we crossed that finish line I found myself in tears. I had done it! I had completed all the goals I had set for myself, that my son had inspired me to do and that my new found friends and mentor had helped me to achieve! Goal 3 - run around Lake Wendouree completed!
Running is now a part of my life. I have set some new goals and can't wait to get started!