If there was ever an advocate for picking up and starting again, then Bianca is it! Having completed our Learn to Run program twice, she has gone on this year to face other setbacks, but always bounces back with a smile and determination to reach her goals, never letting self-doubt win. Meet Bianca…
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 40 years old and live in Panania (Sydney, Australia) with my fiancée Steven. We have no children yet but are hoping a child is not that far away for us. I work as a Medical Secretary at the RPAH Medical Centre.
Tell us a bit about you and running – How? When? Why?
I was told 2 years ago that I had mild anxiety and the best thing for me to treat this was with exercise. My partner Steven suggested to me that I get a hobby and suggested I take up running, so in January 2017 as my new year’s resolution, I came home and said “I am going to learn to run 5km”. I was very unfit at the time, and was hopeful that it might get me back on track and most of all help with my anxiety.
So in February 2017 at 39 years of age, I got in contact with Rachel and began her Learn to Run sessions. After I graduated I stopped running, but a friend I had met through the Learn to Run program (yes that’s you Renee), kept in contact with me and would still meet up with me for a run/walk on occasion, and to her I am forever grateful that she did this. She kept on encouraging me, telling me that I could do it and helped me to continue my running journey. So one day I asked her if it would be silly for me to do Learn to Run again, which led me to get in contact with Rachel for the second time go on to complete the Learn to Run program – take 2. This time there was no stopping me!
I graduated for the second time in September 2017 and Renee ran the 5km with me. I remember prior to graduating a lot of people were getting ready to run City 2 Surf and Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival, and I was just in awe of everybody that could run that far. I remember coming home and saying to Steven “I am going to run City 2 Surf and Blackmore’s one day”, and I can happily say I ran both this year! I was very emotional after City 2 Surf as I could not believe what I had accomplished!
To date I have run in a total of 7 events and I am ready to tackle a Half Marathon next year. I can now run 16km and I know I have still got a little way to go, but the hobby Steven suggested was the best thing I have ever done – I only wish I had started earlier.
What’s the best thing about running for you?
I still have to pinch myself when I think about how far I have come. When I am out there running all my fear goes away – I feel strong, more confident (and often get hungry and think about what I can eat when I finish). I love the endorphins I get when I am running but most of all I love the friends I have met who have encouraged me to keep going and have given me great advice along the way.
What’s your favourite piece of running equipment?
My Brooks Ghost 10 running shoes. I have 2 pairs, which I alternate but I am eyeing off a third pair – I just have to work on a way to bring them home without Steven finding them!
What’s your biggest challenge with running?
I get very nervous before an event, to the point where the day before the event my head tells me I cannot do this and I doubt myself and question why am I doing it, when clearly I can as I have done the training. Then I get out there on the day and I go “okay I can do this” and wonder to myself why did I stress myself out.
If you could invent a running or fitness tool or toy what would it be?
A chip you wear on your race bib at a running event that warns you when a photographer is nearby so you can be ready and smile for the camera so that you do not get a shock when they send you your race photos.
Any tips for fellow runners?
You will have your good days and your bad days but do not stop – keep going. Set a goal, get a plan, participate in an event, join a running group but most of all just enjoy yourself and know that – Yes You Can!