Melissa joined Rachel’s Runners in 2014. She is known for her quiet manner, ever smiling face and the ability to just get out there, put her head down and pull out a PB on many occasions. Always striving to better her best, please say hello to the lovely Mel…
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a mum of two boys aged 7 and 8 years old and I am an Occupational Therapist. My partner Scott encourages me to run whenever I want to, which is wonderful. He has two children too aged 14 and 11, so it’s a lovely big household when we’re all together 🙂
Long distance running is new to me. I’ve always tried to remain ʺsportyʺ but I wouldn’t call myself a ‘runner’. I’ve been playing netball since I was 8 years old, and I’ve only missed 2 seasons – when I had my 2 boys. I also play Touch Football twice per week and I’m getting my boys involved in the sport now by coaching them in a little rep team for a tournament in February 2015. All 6 of us in our household play touch, and I love that! Now I just need to get them all enthused about running too.
Tell us a bit about you and running – how, when, why.
When I was a kid, and until my early 20’s, I was a sprinter. I was into 100m/200m sprints, long jump and triple jump. I ran with St George Little Athletics Club and later with St George District Women’s Athletics Club at Hurstville Oval. The thought of running more than about 400 metres was so foreign to me!! And it was only in 2011, and after having children, that I discovered that I could run for a whole kilometre! LOL!
In 2011, I entered into the Sutherland 2 Surf (11km), hoping to walk it and not be the last person finished on the day. But when I was out there, I noticed people of all ages, shapes and sizes jogging past me…and I thought…I want to try this! I ended up jogging about 1/3 of the race and was on THE biggest high for two days afterwards! So that was the start my desire to run.
Unfortunately, even to this day, I still hate the thought of training, so most of my running involves participating in an organised event or program, for example Rachel’s Runners Learn to Run Group, Menai parkrun, or other 5 and 10km fun runs throughout the year.
What’s the best thing about running for you?
The best thing about running for me, is the feeling I get when I’m finished! I just love that runner’s high!! I can’t say that I actually enjoy the process of running, but I do love the sense of achievement when I’ve given something my best shot.
What’s your favourite running equipment?
Wow, there’s too may things to mention…because I like to over-accessorise – ha ha ha!
But if I mentioned my top 3, it would include:
1. My Multi-Sport TomTom GPS watch with HR monitor – it’s my latest toy and I’m learning lots about my running through using it.
2. My Asics Gel Noosa Tri-9’s. I love the simplicity of these shoes and how lightweight they are. I almost don’t know I’m wearing them and they are so comfy!
3. My Rachel’s Runners singlet. It makes me feel happy when I wear it, because I know I’m a part of something special and I’m surrounded by like-minded friends who love to run.
What’s your biggest challenge with running?
My biggest challenge with running is turning my brain off and allowing my body to just keep going. All too often I have negative messages taking over, telling me things like, ʺI’m hotʺ or ʺI’m tiredʺ or ʺI need to walk for a bitʺ. If I could just turn those messages off, I reckon I’d be unstoppable! Ha ha ha!
Oh…and if I added some training to my weekly fitness regime, instead of just entering fun-runs, I might do a bit better too. LOL!
If you could invent a running or fitness tool or toy what would it be?
I would invent a gel that tastes nice, ha ha! Let’s be serious though, we all know that gels are NEVER going to taste good!
So maybe I’d just invent a fitness accessory that allowed us to burn 3 times as many calories as usual, without any extra effort. Imagine how hot we could all look 😉
Any tips for fellow runners?
Just get out there and have a go. Even if you’re alternating between jogging and walking, you’re getting somewhere, I promise you! And before you know it, a 5km, 10km or even half marathon distance fun run might be one of your favourite things to do! It is for me!