Running – So every part of me wants to explain this experience in a seriously sarcastic manner, but its just not possible.

We were sat around the dinner table at mom and dads in August 2016, just before my first 10 km run, and the topic of my fitness and running was brought up. Cringe! A joke was made. A joke about me doing a half marathon. I didn’t find it funny as I was still focusing on my first 10 km race.

The joke went something like this;

Family member: “Hey Mandy, why don’t you just do a  21 km

Mandy (me): “Awesome, why don’t you do it”

Family member: “They say if you can do a 10 km then you can do a 21 km”

Mandy (me): “Who makes up these absurd (wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate) sayings”

Everyone starts laughing. Mandy starts thinking.

It was that very day that I decided that I will do a half marathon and the one I will do will be the one in Wellington, as that was where I was having lunch at that present moment and it is my hometown. I made a very bold statement that day that I didn’t think anything of and also didn’t know that it would change my life. I told everyone that on the 1st of May 2017 I will do my first half marathon in sub 2:30 and to do this I will stop smoking.

Dear Lord, what have I just said. I have made a statement in front of everyone and me that is stubborn will not back down from it. I asked myself the following questions on multiple occasions:

  • I would need to train, right?
  • Would I really need to stop smoking?
  • Would I really need to attend gym more than 3 times a week?
  • What foods can I eat to make me faster?
  • What foods should I stop eating?
  • Thank God I have already lost 30 kg – Wouldn’t want to carry any extra weight with me.

Say no to smoking

04 January 2017 marks the day that I stopped smoking. It was tough. Fuck, it was the toughest thing ever. It was the best thing ever. Training was going good. As I do before major races I run the distance to see if I can do it and also see what time I finish it in – I did my training run in 2:30:18. I was stoked.

As I ran up to the front door of my house at the end of my run I just burst into tears. I am not sure if it was tears of joy or tears of pain, but I did it. I was now ready for my first official half marathon.

The training made me realize just how much patience one needs, I had to work on this. It made me realize that not every day will be a good day and that is OK. It made me realize that I am stronger than I think I am. The training and quitting of smoking made me realize that I am fucken strong, mentally!

1st of May 2017 marks the day that I completed the Safari Half Marathon in a time of 2:19.

This race I ran for me. I ran it to prove to myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to. I ran it to show people that anything is possible.