October Ocsober

The latest issue of Women’s Running Magazine Australia arrived in my letter box last week.  I read this magazine cover to cover.  No kidding.  I love it.  At the end of the magazine is the Footnote, I read this just now and it brought a tear to my eye.

What is it about running?  What is it about women taking up running in their mid-40s?  We all seem to get the same thing from running.  The writer said this

Running has helped me to like myself a whole lot more

Is this lady in my head?  That’s exactly the entire crux of running.  For the first time ever I can say that I truly like myself.  Running has helped me to leave behind those bad decisions, those wrong decisions, the stupid words that sometimes inappropriately tumble out of my mouth, the bad stuff – running has enabled me to leave it behind and to stop punishing myself for well… being human.  Running is my new filter that I look through at my life, at me, at situations, problems, joys…

My running filter is clean, healthy, hopeful.  It’s grounded and true.  Above all it is kind.

As we reach November, the month of the Point to Pinnacle, my Holy Running Grail, I am overcome with huge waves of emotion.  I can’t believe I have come this far in my running journey.  From total non-runner to running devotee.  From struggling to run 200m from our house to the hay barn to completing my first half marathon.  What a journey.

Running has enabled me to feel proud of myself without any buts or ifs.  I am a runner and I can run.  No one else has put on my running shoes and made this happen only me.

I totally agree with the writer of the article… I like myself a whole lot more because of running.

It is my strongest wish and hope that running is doing the same thing for you.


This month I’ve participated in a fund raising event for Life Education. This organisation is all about empowering children and young people to make healthy and safe choices about life through drug and health education programs.  Every October they invite the community to participate in Ocsober – that’s giving up alcohol for a whole month!

When I mentioned this to my daughters last year they were shocked.  Their wine loving mother putting away the booze for a whole month??? Not possible.  I got the speed wobbles and didn’t do it last year.  This year before I could over think it I announced on facebook in mid-September – as a way to keep myself honest and accountable to my family and friends – that I would participate in Ocsober.  I quickly registered and set my fund raising target.  The objective was for me to sponsor myself.  I would donate the money I would spend on wine to Life Education.

It’s now the first of November and I can say I did it!

I gave up my beloved wine for a whole month.  I can also say that I have decided to continue with Ocsober until 17 November.  I hope that my first glass of delicious Janz sparkling will be in celebration of finishing the Point to Pinnacle complete with finishers medal proudly (and unbelievably) around my neck.

Janz sparkling, one of my favourite Tasmanian wines

Janz sparkling, one of my favourite Tasmanian wines

Yes… running has helped me to like myself.  And to face a challenge like Ocsober without too many qualms.  I would never have been able to do this without my beloved friend running.

October running kms

This has been my biggest month EVER!  200kms.  I proudly showed Husband my running calendar on Wednesday night (yesterday was a rest day).  He asked me why I don’t include bootcamp into my diary.  Wearing the watch and heart-rate monitor would get in the way of all the burpees!  We frequently flatten to the floor.  Also in suicide runs our lovely little PT has us dropping to the floor and running up and back repeatedly.  So that’s why I don’t use my watch.  It would just be in the way.  But just for Husband I manually entered in my bootcamp sessions (no calorie or sport zone data is included though).  I’m very proud of my October running calendar.  I feel like a little girl in primary school holding it up in assembly for all to see!

Oct 2013

October has also been a month of celebrating strength:

Physical strength
Going for more runs, longer runs and ramping up the altitude.

Mental strength
Conquering Ocsober!  Keeping up my happy running attitude throughout the increased training.  Staying focused on my goal – getting up that mountain.

As I head into November I feel hopeful.  Training has been consistent, mostly concentrating on hill work and distance.  Bootcamp has provided that extra power to fuel endurance, core strength and most importantly mental toughness to work through the burn.

I’m no one special.  I’m just a woman in her late 40s who has discovered the joy of running.  If I can do this anyone can.  One of my adult literacy students wrote an acrostic poem for 26TEN week this week.  He got stuck on the letters so we brain stormed together about what getting the hang of reading and writing means to him.  The first thing he said was time… it takes time to learn to read.  The next thing he said was effort… oh goodness for many adults it takes mega effort to improve their literacy.  This is how it is with running.  (There are just so many parallels between learning to read and write as an adult and learning to run it’s amazing!)  It takes time and effort but the joy and gifts that are given back are worth every struggle, every moment spent in those running shoes.

Don’t give up, keep running!  Pursue your dreams, little bit by little bit you will get there!

Happy running 🙂


10 thoughts on “October Ocsober

  1. You`re experience of running matches my own, albeit with lesser mileage on my part. I share exactly the same feelings about discovering the parallels between running and so much of life`s challenges, and also the experience of running toughening me up to face every darn thing.

    All that aside, I have to say your prep for the Point to Pinnacle has been really impressive. I had to translate your KM for my imperial brain and note that you`re running more than 30 miles a week! And very much quality stuff too.

    I suspect you pretty much rocked pre your running days. But, by golly, you sure rock now!

    • It really is amazing how runners identify so many of the same reasons why we run and the same benefits from running. It sure does toughen us up 🙂 Thanks so much for the encouragement for P2P. The preparation has been thorough but I’m suspecting that 21.4kms ALL up is going to test the body and mind more than ever before… still, others have done it so me and my other 1999 P2P friends will do it too!!! Having your encouragement means a great deal Red Hen, thank you!

    • That is lovely to hear! It is a shame that I don’t have any photos of me trying to conquer my first 200m. Honestly I looked like I was going to die and felt so totally hopeless. I had no idea how far I would be able to go, I just hoped that one day I could run a 5km fun run with Husband. But I never really believed I would. If I can become a runner anyone can 🙂 Thanks again for the lovely comment!!!

  2. What a great post Annie, congrats on your mileage for October and congrats also on your Ocsober accomplishment, that is awesome! Like you I too feel better about myself for slipping on those running shoes and in my case bathers and bike shoes as well. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of women who later on in life finally discover who they are and what they are capable of. We truly are late bloomers, with killer running outfits and awesome coloured sneakers! 🙂 xo

  3. 200km is an amazing total for the month! Wow, you are amazing. And I can’t wait to get my first Women’s Running mag in the mail. squeeee!

  4. 200km a month that’s amazing well done you! I am sitting here wishing I could run 1k at the moment as my ankle and achilles is still bad grrrr!!
    Can’t believe the point to pinnacle has come around this fast that is scary! Great work on giving up the wine for a whole month although I’m not much of a drinker these days giving up something you enjoy is really hard that would be like me giving up tea!

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