At a Glance
Favourite Event: parkrun
Road or Trail: Both
Favourite Mum Runner Challenge: Game of Zones
I’m Hayley and I am so honoured to have been invited to be a Canberran Mum Runner Ambassador!
My running journey started about 3 years ago when I decided it was time to lose the baby weight. I had two girls 14.5 months apart, and the youngest was 1.5 years old. I lived in Sydney then, on the Pacific Highway, so I ran at nights to avoid traffic, and if I’m honest, probably because I was embarrassed and didn’t want people to see me running. The Couch 2 5K app was great to get me started, but I never finished it. Instead I made little goals along my usual route, trying to make it to a certain landmark without stopping, and then going further the next time. I bought myself a Fitbit and got hooked on winning the weekly/weekend step challenges, even if it meant walking around the lounge room in the minutes before midnight to make sure I won. I have a bit of a determined, competitive streak to me! My sister asked me to join her for the Blackmores Half Marathon in September 2017. My running came to halt when we moved to Canberra in July 2017. It was cold, new, and took a while to find our feet, so not a lot of training for the half. The story has a happy ending though, as I completed my first half marathon and got hooked on running. I’ve since discovered Canberra is absolutely perfect for running, with so many bike paths, trails on our doorstep and beautiful surroundings.
My favourite event would have to be parkrun! I did my first parkrun in Sydney, in April 2017. I got up early, turned up without knowing a single soul, not really sure what to do. I felt out of place, with all the runners and their fancy running watches. Unfortunately I didn’t go back. Not until we moved to Canberra did I give parkrun another go, because my local was a 6 minute bike ride away, and around the pond. Since then I’ve run 110 parkruns, including running every week up until 39 weeks of my 3rd pregnancy to reach my 50 milestone before giving birth, one of my proudest running achievements! An emergency c-section meant a few weeks off until I was back walking parkrun. I’ve met so many great friends through the parkrun community. I love that it’s for anyone of any age or ability, fast or slow, we all do the same distance. And of course, who doesn’t love getting a PB!
While my hubby isn’t a runner, he is still so supportive of my running ventures. If I ask him whether I should do an event, he asks “Do you get a medal?” and if there’s a medal he says I should do it! We’re all about the bling! If money were no object, my dream event would be running the World Major marathons: Boston, London, New York City, Tokyo, Berlin and Chicago. One can dream!
I love both trail and road running! We are so blessed to have great trails literally on our doorstep! 500m away is a great nature reserve or 2km up the road we have the Centenary Trail. I do love running by myself through nature, but I also love running around the local pond, saying hi to everyone I see.
Mum Runner’s “Game of Zones” June challenge changed my running life! A friend invited me to join, and I loved the look of the medal. The theme was great, and any motivation to get me moving in the frosty Canberran winter was going to be needed. If I can run through winter, I can run through any season! Now I run every day.
At first running was something I had to do because I wanted to lose weight. Running has since become something I want to do, because I love it. It’s my ‘me’ time. I’m a full time stay at home mum to three precious kiddos, aged 5, 4 and 1. The hour or two I get in the morning before hubby goes to work, is the time I’ve carved out for myself. The fresh air, beautiful surroundings, the way it makes me feel, the time to think, cry, sing, time away from the daily grind, is just what I need to kick-start my day. Well, that and coffee.
If you could say one thing to a new runner, it would be you CAN do it. While it’s tempting to compare yourself to other people, remember we are all on our own running journey. Getting out there and giving it a go, no matter the pace or distance, is your first step to success.
My favourite colours are purple and teal! But when it comes to clothing or shoes, I also really love bright colours!
My favourite animal would have to be dogs! They just love you unconditionally.