A determined lady who is always up for a chat and willing to lend a hand or listening ear, this champion loves nothing more than getting out on the trails among nature or powering up on the running track – with friends of course! Meet Layla…
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m mum to three gorgeous kiddos, Elijah 8, Simon and Daisy 6 and have been married to my gorgeous hubby Andrew for 15 years. I’m a high school teacher, slightly obsessive when it comes to running, walking and going to the gym. We have a couple of pets, chooks, bees and I love eating good food. I’m in luck there – I married a chef!
Tell us a bit about you and running – How? When? Why?
I started running about 10 years ago. I taught myself to run – I would run two telegraph poles, walk one, then progressed to running and walking across the roads etc. I run 3-4 times a week, walk, do strength training and lots of yoga and stretching. Why? I believe in setting a good example for my kids, in showing them what healthy is. Healthy is fit and strong. Healthy is about having the right mindset; running is about having the right mindset. I love setting goals and chasing them down (‘scuse the pun). Running is also ‘my’ time – it’s often quiet, no chatter from the kids and it gives me a great outlet to run the stress off that comes with my job and having 3 small people (one who has ADHD).
What’s the best thing about running for you?
The best thing? Do I have to chose just one? Well it would be what I refer to as my ‘running crew’, the friends I’ve made, the chats we have, the laughs we have – and boy there are lots of those! It’s also the encouragement we give each other – the high fives during parkrun, someone behind you telling you to keep going, someone telling you that you can get up that hill, friendly smiles and hugs mid-trails, a message to see how I’m going. There are no comparisons; we all celebrate each other’s victories. Rachel’s Runners has given me more than running that’s for sure. I’ve been so blessed to be part of an accepting group of friends. Running keeps me sane some days; it challenges me and encourages my family and friends.
What’s your favourite piece of running equipment?
A comfy pair of Runfaster tights – preferably with pockets.
What’s your biggest challenge with running?
Beating that nagging voice that talks to me, the one that tells me it’s too hard, too hot, I’m too slow, to quit, go home, to not go at all. I’ll often talk when running with others, but sometimes you’ll catch me talking out loud to myself. It might be a simple phrase of ‘keep going’ or ‘yes you can’ and I sometimes need to have these on repeat in my mind during some runs, but often they have to be said out loud to shut that negative voice up!
If you could invent a running or fitness tool or toy what would it be?
An automatic nose wiper – my nose runs faster that I do!
Any tips for fellow runners?
Set a goal – work your backside off – kill it. REPEAT!