This month we are very excited to welcome Australian athlete Eloise Wellings on board as a guest blogger for Rachel’s Runners.
Eloise represented Australia in the London Olympics 2012, Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 and then 4 weeks after that represented the Asia Pacific in the Continental Cup in Marrakech. Prior to the Commonwealth Games she spent a few weeks training in St Moritz (see the magnificent photos!).
Eloise is also a mum and is based in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney. She is now looking forward to representing Australia in the next Olympics in Rio and then the Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast in 2018.
Eloise is also the founder of her charity Love Mercy and is heading over to Uganda in November to continue her charities work.
Please enjoy her post!
Eloise Wellings – Olympian, Mum and Runlab Ambassador
This time last year I was just starting back running again after the birth of my little girl India. After we welcomed Indi by emergency caesarean on May 18 I waited four months to get running again. Physically I probably could’ve got going earlier, but I was just really enjoying doing normal things like going to mothers group and eating cake. I was also just really enjoying getting to know my little girl and trying to navigate this whole motherhood deal (which I think is a total trip by the way) without adding the extra dynamic of trying to fit in training every day. I basically knew that once I started running again, I’d want to set some goals and get serious about it. And also there was cake.
Motherhood is a trip. I keep saying that to my friends but it’s so true! It’s so beautifully challenging and chaotic that “a trip” is my only way to describe it without explaining the practicalities of the actual “trip”. Don’t even get me started on the actual process of birthing the baby. Being in labour was harder than any race I have EVER run and will EVER run. So, to all mothers who have gone through labour – you’ve achieved something harder than running in the Olympics!
During my first run back after having Indi, I remember feeling a bit like a newborn myself… A newborn giraffe… trying to run… Except not as skinny, I was feeling every jiggle of the 19kg’s I had put on during pregnancy. I recall thinking to myself “it will take years to get back to my best”. But I was ok with that notion. Funny about how motherhood changes your priorities in an instant, I actually don’t care as much anymore. I mean, I still love it and I have no doubt I’m as driven and competitive and disciplined but only when I need to be and at a different intensity than before. I think that’s a huge reason why it only took me around 6 months to get back to my best. I’m not as intense about it mentally because I have another, more important focus in Indi and being her mum and the responsibilities that come with that.
One of the main things I have had to navigate as a mum and an athlete was how to switch hats, be the best mum I can be when I’m at home with Indi and then when I’m at training, try and separate home life and gather a focus on what I’m doing and aim for personal excellence whilst I’m out training. This definitely helped in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
The season of running I just had was one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable I’ve had in my career so far. No doubt having my husband Jony and little girl on camp with me in the lead up to Glasgow was the main reason for this joy. We had two weeks of altitude training in St Moritz, a 5k race in Belgium where I placed 3rd in 15.14, a team camp in North England and then finally two weeks in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. I was happy with a 5th in the 5k in Glasgow, I knew that I had done the training and was in good shape and thought to myself that if I run a brave race and I give it everything with no fear then I could walk off the track happy – no matter what the result. But… If I did all of the above then the result should be good!
So right now I get to sit back and reflect on the track season just gone. Having just returned from Europe I’m thoroughly enjoying a more relaxed approach to running. I still run most days, because a) I love it and b) I have new running shoes and c) every night since my final race of the season I’ve eaten my weight in Nutella crepes.