It’s been a while since I blogged about running and moving and exercising… and yet that is a big part of my life right now… and if you are reading this as a homeschool mom with a handful of kids… just keep in mind that my youngest child is nine and until my youngest child was se7en, I literally spent my days sitting on the couch reading stories or going for long ambling walks in the wilds to entertain my kids. So basically sedentary.

Two and a half years ago I started working out at Sport Science, and from not being able to walk around the track I managed to get to where I could run a parkrun, run several parkrun… and run the Two Oceans Half Marathon. My kids have joined me on this journey, and slowly but surely we are all getting to our 100 Parkruns… and eventually we will have a “100 team.” The first question everybody asks me is how do I get my kids to run… I have no idea, I just say I am off and they join me. I asked them if they wanted to run a parkrun with me… they did, and then we ran another and another and another.

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I didn’t ever want to begin at the beginning again, and so once I got to the stage where I could run a half marathon, I immediately started training for the next one… and now the next one… and then the next one. At the start of winter, I wasn’t sure how I would run through the winter at all, because it gets dark so much earlier in the evening and so much later in the mornings… but invested in a head torch for my husband and we just got up and got out there…
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A year ago, I couldn’t have run 10K, and now he and I routinely run between 15 and 18km on a Sunday morning, sometimes our older kids join us, sometimes they don’t… the younger ones always beg, and we say “no little legs going quite so far.” It is really slow running, because slow is my only speed… and we are doing it, which means we are always ready to run a race, anytime in fact.
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This photo was taken by a friend as I crossed the finish line at a recent Parkrun, not my most flattering photograph ever, but I love it. I love it not for the millions of chins (!), but because it shows that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like, all athletes are running their own race and their times really do count… I am not running to beat anyone else, though trust me, at the back of the pack competition can be surprisingly fierce… I am just running to do my best every time. It doesn’t get easier, there is no such thing as an easy 5K… but I can say that if you keep on trying you do get better at it… Running is indeed a game of slow improvements and loads of patience…
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Meanwhile, I have recently rediscovered Open Water Swimming, how could I have forgotten how much I loved this. I last did an open water swim two days before Hood 1 was born… that’s almost twenty two years to the day, that I will be swimming my next race. I have been swimming with the team from Elemint once or twice a week for the last few weeks… Yes, it is winter; yes, it is freezing and yes, I have totally loved it. They have such a professional set up, full of tips and support, programs and group swims… but most of all, encouragement. There is a very much “You can totally do this” attitude, even when I have decided that it is just too cold to get in, I do every time and it has just been fabulous. Really looking forward to racing again on Heritage Day, in my year to enter a race every month, this one will be a completely different race to my usual running races.
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Otherwise, at the core of my running and swimming programmes I still love to workout at Sport Science, I go to gym classes twice a week as part of their Healthy Weight Maintenance Plan and two other workouts, which include swimming and the Super Circuit. These workouts give me the strength training I need to do all the other workouts that I want to do. I really want to be in a position where if someone says I am going on an adventure and would I like to join them… then my answer can be yes. I don’t want to think, well if I was a bit fitter, or if I train for a couple of weeks first… I really want to be a get up and go girl… Just this week the team from Sport Science asked me for my favourite exercises in a workout and they put together this fun programme… I am sharing it here… so that you can try it out too, if you like!!! I have to say, that I never mentioned side planks… never!!!

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If you are reading this and thinking… this sounds amazing, it could never be me. Remember where I began… I could not run around the track, hard to believe now but true. I staggered around my first parkrun, it was not pretty… in fact it still isn’t. I started this fitness journey with zero fitness and yet, slowly and steadily I have gotten fitter… I could not be further from a super athlete, but I am an athlete… working out is what I love to do… I enter races, I am at the back of the pack, with thousands of other athletes. It’s a good place to be, plodding along and enjoying it. If you are wondering if you could ever get off the couch… you can, with small steps at a time, you really can make changes to your fitness levels.

This is not a sponsored post, and all the opinions expressed are my own. I am the brand ambassador for Sport Science and the Healthy Weight program, which means I have access to the gym and classes in exchange for honest reviews. I have been gifted by Elemint to join their swimming programme this season and I have loved every second of it.

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