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Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Most Improved Runner

MiNDFOOD associate editor Carolyn Enting's efforts are rewarded with the GetRunning award for Most Improved Runner in 2014.

Carolyn’s Workout Diary: Most Improved Runner

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud or chuffed when my running buddy Michelle Olds texted me with the news that I’d been awarded Most Improved runner for 2014 at the annual end of year GetRunning clinic gathering.

In fact, it was hard to wipe the ecstatic grin off my face. Quite awkward because at the time I’d just finished a ski lesson in the name of work in Val Thorens, France and was about to pose for photo with my instructor Philippe. “OMG, I’ve been awarded Most Improved Runner!” I exclaimed. Philippe is completely bemused. But then he returns my grin because a smile is one thing that can never be lost in translation.

In that moment I was thankful for so many things. To my trainer Gaz Brown of GetRunning for putting his faith in me and giving me the opportunity to strive towards becoming a better runner. To the guys at SportsLab who helped patch me up along the way. My yoga instructor Vincent Bolletta for keeping me “bendy”. And to all the runners and members of GetRunning who have encouraged me every time I’ve showed up.

I remember one morning distinctly when I was feeling less than flash and one of my GetRunning fellows Paul Flynn (Flynny) yelled out the words “keep smiling and be fabulous” to everyone as the group dispersed for the day. He has no idea what a powerful effect those words had on me in helping me turn my attitude around.

GetRunning is full of great role models. One of those is Niva Retimanu. “You’re doing so well. You’re looking great,” Niva would say without fail every time I saw her. Niva was the last person to cross the finish line at the recent Queenstown Marathon just weeks after doing the New York Marathon where she was one of the Archilles Group runner guides. An incredible effort and an incredible person. So it’s no surprise she was awarded GetRunning Runner of the Year, and well deservedly so.

So you see, it’s a pretty special and amazing environment where friendships are made and people support one another. And where we have a lot of laughs too as we share, between runs and workouts, what has happened in each of our lives.

This morning as I hit the pavements with the group again and realised I had a funny story, as well as another “grat” for my gratitude list.

You see, on my way home from France a few days ago I nearly missed my connecting flight from Sydney to New Zealand. “Could I run?” asked the guy at the check in counter.

“Yes, I can,” I said.

“Well, you’re going to have to run if you’re going to make it,” he said handing me an express pass.

Off I bolted inelegantly, rucksack bouncing madly off my back. I arrived at customs only to be told I had to return to the check-in counter because they’d forgotten to give me a boarding pass. So off I went again! Running! I must have looked a sight but I didn’t care. By the time I reached the gate sweat pouring from every pore in my body and I estimate doing a 4km circuit.

Thank goodness for Queenstown, thank goodness for Gaz and everyone at GetRunning, because you know what, when they told me I had to run I knew I could do it.

In addition to all of this I’m also extremely grateful that I actually managed to run the Queenstown Marathon at all because exactly one week out from the event I had a rather spectacular fall trying to reach the Xmas tree stored in the garage roof.

Stretching as high as I could I tried in vain to pull the tree from the rafters only to suddenly realise that I had lost my balance and was toppling head first off the step ladder. Thankfully we have a well placed couch in the garage, so arms flailing I aimed for that. And for the most part I was successful, but not my left knee which hit the side of a coffee table with a hard whack. Shaking with shock as well as laughter I headed straight to the freezer and did what the guys at SportsLab and GetRunning have drilled into me – I iced it. I iced my knee for 20 minutes each hour over four hours and guess what, it hardly even bruised.

On that note, Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone, and see you next year.

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