Friday, 22 February 2013

What is so FUN about a RUN?

Why is it called a Fun Run?  For years I have heard this term, Fun Run,  thrown around and wondered why on earth people associate those two words together and actually believe it to be the case.  Running is not fun!!!  Why would you deliberately go out and sign up for something and pay hard earned cash that was not fun.  That was my firm opinion and there was no budging me from that at all.  Then came along the guru (aka Michelle Bridges) and her scary little voice in her weekly videos telling me running is good and an easy and great way to burn calories.
In my first round I weighed 146kgs at the start and even though I hated running (which morbidly obese person doesn’t), I decided that I wanted to learn to run in order to burn as many calories as quickly as possible.  If that meant getting my fat wobbly arse moving around the local streets (even if it meant in the dark to not scare any of the local kids) that is what needed to be done.

Fast forward another 9 months and I have been regularly running around my area, sometimes with a few running buddies, mostly on my own.  I enjoy the solitude and chance to change it up every now and then.  Strangest part about this is that I now enjoy running.  I still don’t think it is fun, but I enjoy it.  Maybe I enjoy it because I never had the drive or balls to get up and do it in the past.  Perhaps it was the fear of failure and embarrassment back then, of being a fat, sweaty mess after trying to jog a kilometre unsuccessfully.  I don’t know, but what I do know now is that I am running and enjoying the new challenges it has thrown up for me.  I might not be fast, it might not look pretty but it is me moving a lot faster and for a lot longer than ever before in the past, even when I was fit and playing football.

Monday morning Dayna and I ran 8km around the tan track. For both of us this was our longest distance ever. Never did I think this would be possible.  We also ran for almost an hour. WOW, 1 entire hour running. Are you serious???  YEP, I was so chuffed.  This was in preparation for Wednesday night when we were taking part in the Brooks Sunset Series Fun Run at the Melbourne Zoo.  Seriously a 7.2km run in the evening, in heat with hills is not fun, so don’t call it that.  When I arrived I could not believe how many people were there and I was 45 minutes early.  I had no idea what to expect as this was my first fun run. There is that dreaded word again.  After meeting up with Dayna and a couple of other 12WBTer’s from our area, we got ready and headed to the start area.  People started to move forward and the announcer let us go.  Off we went, in a sea of mayhem, with people of all different paces, levels of ability and size trying to manoeuvre their way along the path.  Slowly it started to stretch out enough for me to get a little bit of rhythm going.  My biggest mistake was following Janine (another member of the Western Suburbs Warriors and an avid runner) as she is a lot better than me and I was not aware of the pace she was going at.  My GPS on my phone told me at 2kms that I was averaging 5:24 per km.  This was ludicrous as I only just do quicker than that on my time trial and I am normally comfortable running at 6 min pace.  Slow down big man, you will burst a valve I was telling myself. So slow down I did.  Now this is where I had my light bulb moment and the fun started to kick in.

My favourite picture. My youngest 2 fron and centre with their arms up for dad & oldest with the sign

Here is the sign.  Might just get it framed

In all of my teenage and adult life, I have only had a family member come to watch me participate in a sporting activity once before.  My mum came to watch me play a football final when I was 22 and I had to ask her.  It hasn’t worried me at all because I play sport for me, no one else.  However, as I was running up the front path of the zoo I looked over and saw my 3 boys standing there cheering me on with a huge sign they had made for me, with my wife snapping photos.  This was amazing for me.  The look of joy on their faces when they saw their dad running past had me beaming on the inside (don’t think at that point I was capable of smiling outwardly) and certainly gave me a lift when I entered the zoo.  I manage to see them twice more on the run and made sure I went over and gave the little ones a high 5 on my second lap.  This was exactly what I needed to push up those hills inside the zoo.  What a great feeling!!!  Now that is why they must be called fun runs, because after that the pain in my legs, lungs and head was gone.  Yeah it wasn’t easy, but knowing that they were there cheering for me and proud of their dad spurred me on.  I managed to finish the run in 48:01 and finish 77th in the 40-49 age group.  Nothing flash but something to start with.  I consider myself a flat track bully, only running on flat ground near home, but this had hills and wasn’t easy, so I am proud of that.  I did enjoy it, but mentioned afterwards that I still prefer my bike.

Oh yeah, my wife decided to sign me up for the next one last night on march 6th at Princes Park and her and the boys will be doing the 4km walk.  Add to the fun running this week, I managed to drop another 2.1kgs so currently sitting on 6.5kgs for this round and a loss of 5.5% body weight.  I want a big round this time, so there might be a bit more not so fun running involved and a few trips up Anderson St hill to burn some calories.


  1. Well done! How hilly was the course? I was running downhill thinking "this is bad... as that means an uphill" :) 2 of my facebook group members made your first photo hehe. I need to get in some more training before the March Grand Prix run on the 10th. Should be fun though!!

  2. Terrific photos Leitchy. And great stuff. I'm with you though the whole fun and run thing. And to be honest I love the sense of achievement but at times on the run I'm not particularly having fun at all. But ..... That feeling you get after the run, now I would just love to bottle that. It's a wonderful feeling. I have worked out for sure that to have someone there in the crowd for you makes it so worthwhile. I know it's not going to happen every time but wow, to have someone you know and love yell out encouragement as you run past, and tell you how proud they are of you seeing the exertion you put in. There nothing quite like it. I can only imagine just how proud Jules and your children were seeing you complete the run. Terrific.


  3. Had to wipe tears from my eyes so I could see the screen clearly to type my congrats :) LOVE the fact your beautiful family came to cheer you on. And LOVE that you achieved this. Deadset legend - well done xxoo