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Women & Sports: Christine Wilson, Runner

Christine Wilson is almost 50 years young and while she has been a netballer and an 80’s aerobics queen in her earlier life, she’s only been running for 2 years!
Like most Australian girls, Christine grew up around a netball court, although she dreamt of greatness in representative honours or better, these kinds of achievements escaped her. Instead she concentrated on I B grade umpiring and almost made it as far as A grade or national umpire. Since then, she has remained active mostly through aerobics classes which were big in the 80s and 90s.

Until recently when Christine completed in her first marathon at the Gold Coast on the 2 July 2017.
 
 “I got into running, really by coincidence, less than 2 years ago. In March last year, I ran my first half marathon (21.1km) distance in Brisbane and then completed several more before the end of the year.” Notes Christine.

In January this year, she committed to undertaking the Gold Coast Airport Marathon (42.2km) with the help and support of an amazing running community who inspire and encourage me every single day and especially on race day. Although she found it to be a slow hard run but she finished and was overjoyed, excited and exhausted. (We bet Christine! –ed).

Christine is almost 50 years young and never thought she could become a runner.
“I thought I was too slow, too old, too fat, etc etc etc. But I gave it a go and it was one of the best experiences of my life.”
One of the most encouraging aspects was when she helped to fundraise through running for Parkinson's Queensland, raising almost $2,000.00
 
We asked Christine for some advise for  those of you who have never run before, but have always wanted to.

How should a new runner start? –
 
Just put one foot in front of the other.  There are many apps, websites and Facebook groups which help with inspiration and support.  The running community is so very encouraging and supportive.
 
By far and away, the best is Parkrun. Parkrun is a 5 km timed run, always on Saturday morning, same time and place, free, worldwide.  Seriously, parkrun will change your life.  It’s a big call but it’s true.  You can run, jog or walk, with your family, kids, prams and dogs too! It’s the best community I’ve come across.  Run by volunteers, non-competitive, fun. I walked my first PR and met my best friends there. 
 
One of the best known and helpful apps is C25K (Couch to 5km), which you tells you when to walk, jog, walk etc. It decreases the walking time and distance, while increasing the jogging time and distance over several weeks. 
 
My favourite FB groups are Brissie Running Women (BRW) and Running Mums Australia (RMA). 
 
There are heaps of geographically based groups around also, so you can meet local runners to train with.
 
What advice would you give to new runners? - Set small, achievable goals. Don’t go out expecting to run a marathon next month, as that is not realistic.  If you have never run before, set a goal to run to the next block, or run 2 days this week, or similar.  There will be days when you don’t want to get up, when your muscles hurt and you don’t succeed with your goals - I had that just 2 days ago.  But get up, show up and never, ever give up.  It may be sound corny but remember why you started; the runner’s high will come and you will get there.
 
Also, have decent shoes. Not necessarily expensive, but good quality.  You will be grateful ;)
 
Do you have a mantra that you practise while running. – Interestingly, I forgot my mantra on Sunday and that may have had an effect on my result! During the marathon at Gold Coast (and the training) I would tell myself this - “My Mum can’t run, so I will”.  My mum has Parkinson’s Disease, hence the fundraising for Parkinson’s Queensland.  Some days Mum struggles to walk just around the house, so that was all the encouragement I needed.
 
How do you train?  I’m not the best technical runner. I don’t do interval, pace or strength training. I probably should. At the moment my time is limited, so all I do is increase my time and distance gradually.  I wish I had more time to devote to better training, but I do all I can at the moment.  I am working on goals to change this in the next 6-12 months.
 
Do you prefer to run indoors or outdoors?  I train outdoors. All of my running has been in South East Queensland but have seen more of the country in that time, than my whole life before. From Gold Coast, Warwick, Blackbutt, Mt Glorious.  I have tried indoors on a treadmill at the gym but I find it more difficult. It is sometimes  known as the “dreadmill” lol, but for some runners that is their best option.
 
Anything else you would like to add? Get out there and give it a go. We were all beginners at some point, we were all a bit scared or felt uncomfortable.  Even the elites started somewhere.  But, you don’t know until you try.  You have nothing to lose and it might (will) change your life!

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