I cant believe we have now entered July! So much for my June update that was to come.
It has been a madhouse in Team MUDblood. We are approaching the last Charity Bootcamp at SMA (it’s this Saturday so come down and join in the fun!). Then there are only 4 parkruns left before we fly out!
Training is going along well. We are still tweaking things and switching things up to find the best ‘groove’ for myself. I have started to make the long trek up to Burns Beach once a week for an interval session with my fantastic coach and some of the Northern Suburbs Running Group. As tough as it is, and as much as I usually curse them whilst I am doing them, the intervals have really helped with my fitness level and increasing my speed.
I have had a fantastic group of Mum Runners come on board with a ridiculously fun monthly challenge that is kicking in an amazing $700 to my training fund. It is Harry Potter themed, sticking with the MUDBlood reference, so expect to see a lot of Potteresque pictures over on my FB and Insta pages!
My goal for this month is twofold. One, to learn how to better control my breathing. Whether it is the increased pace, or the cold air when running, I have noticed that I am feeling a lot of that lung damage. I get out of breath more easily than I should, so really trying to focus and maintain control throughout my run. I tried it last night for a 3km run/walk and it worked really well. I held control and forced myself to run really slowly to start with. I am sure that people out for a casual stroll could have walked quicker than the pace I started “jogging” at. But towards the end, instead of huffing and puffing and feeling like I am about to start hyperventilating, I was feeling relaxed, and able to push harder. Without meaning to I quickened my pace and did the last 5 or so run segments at a good ‘happy’ pace.
The second of my goals this month, is to practice track running. I have never run on an athletics track. I have run outdoors, on treadmills, on roads, on trails, on grass … but never a track. The shorter events that I am competing in (400m, 800m and 1500m) are all run on a track. So I had best get used to it! I am hoping to head out to the WA Athletics Stadium to start that training. How exciting!
From the fundraising side of things, we are nearing the end of the journey. I am overwhelmed at the love and support that I have felt, particularly from strangers! We still have quite a way to go to reach my goal of $20,000. So, please feel free to click the ‘Donate’ button on the top menu and throw in some dollars if you can!
In other news, all the details for the trip are starting to fall in place. My Australian uniform has been ordered and it is on its way! I am meeting the rest of the WA team at the end of July where we will be presented with our blazers for the opening ceremony. And then, just a few weeks later, I will wear it with pride as I walk out, representing Australia at the Games. To officially be a representative of my country is such an honour! Exciting, thrilling, and nerve-wracking!
I just need to remind myself, keep the negative self-talk down (also one of the MUDBlood Runner challenges), keep the spirits high (that one is pretty easy) and enjoy the whole experience. From training to competition. Comparison is the thief of joy, I have been told countless times. And whilst it is a competition, the only person I will be running against is myself. I will run my own race. I may not be the fastest, I may not get a medal. But at the end of the day, I will give it my absolute best and know that I have put everything into this past year.
Whilst I am reflecting on this past year, I can see how far I have come. Other than the obvious physical improvements, I am now understanding the benefits of exercise (running in particular) for your mental health. I know the days where I am feeling anxious, feeling a bit down, struggling with PTSD. These are the days I try and make sure I run. I clear my head. I get out there and I change my day. I think of all the positives, all the things I can do. I push myself til I feel I cannot go any further. And then I realise that I am already further than I have been before.
I will really try to update this more regularly, especially with the countdown approaching. But you can always head over to the FB or Insta pages for more, or check out the feed from the homepage.