Running success



The canvas at the beginning of my running story was blanker than blank.  Whiter than white.  It contained nothing.  Nada, zero, zip.  My running story started completely from scratch.  I’d never done any running not even at school; I avoided running in any circumstance – it was something I just didn’t do EVER!

But today that canvas is colourful and bold.  Bright with a colour palate as varied and mixed as my favourite out-there running clothes.  It’s a happy canvas filled with wonderful events and mile stones; with stories of great runs and goals achieved, lots and lots of average runs and quite a few terrible runs too.  Together these stories fill the canvas, making it burst and dazzle with life, light and brightness.


Today I consider myself to be a successful runner.  Yes, totally successful!  Is this because I am a faster runner who qualifies for big events on time?  No way.  I’m not and never will be able to achieve such wonderful heights.  I am in awe of the work that those who do must put in to reach this wonderful goal.  I’m not speedy.  I’m a 5:12:00 marathon finisher.  Actually in the scheme of things I’m just average to slow.  But I still think of myself as a successful runner.

What does running success look like to this Unsporty Woman?  I’m glad you asked!  It looks like this…

If at the end of a run I can say I did my best then that equals success to me.  If on the day I did my best despite the week at work, the perhaps not so good diet, the lack of sleep or perhaps the stress hanging over my head, then yes!  If on the day despite all the circumstances I did THE best run possible then that, in my book, is a successful run.

I was hopeless at school sport – any sport pretty much.  I was chosen last for teams, I couldn’t hit, catch, kick or throw any sort of ball in the right direction and as for catching?  What a total embarrassment.  Miss Uncoordinated!  I quickly learnt that to save my damaged self-esteem it was better not to try.


Enter running at the youthful age of 44 years.  It was all about trying to do better than the day before.  I will run to the hay barn (200m from the house).  I will get to the silo (400m from the house).  I will get to the dairy cattle stop/grid (600m from the house).  I will make it ALL THE WAY to the letter box (1.2kms from the house).  It was about conquering that which I thought I couldn’t do.

Successful runner.  Yes, that’s me!  I have transformed myself from non-runner to runner.

This is the 300th post of Unsporty Women Can Run.  And us unsporty types can indeed run.  So many of us can tell a similar story.  So many of us started with a blank canvas but now it’s filled with the beautiful colours of running successes.  If your canvas only has a few splashes of colour on it with many parts still to fill, please don’t give up.  If I can do this running thing then absolutely anyone can.  Truly if I was to enter a time machine and go back and take my finishers medals to show my PE teachers I know they would be wordless with disbelief.  Not because they thought I couldn’t do it, but because I’m sure they thought I’d never want to or have the guts to try.

What’s a 300th post without a dedication?

I can tell you how I started with running in the early days and how my husband Pauly was there every running step of the way.  He encouraged and believed even when I’d get to that dam silo for the umteeth time and have to walk because I was so out of breath.  Every time he would have the right things to say.  AND the next day I’d try again.

If you look closely at my canvas you will see the theme of friendship painted, daubed and brushed EVERYWHERE.  Where Pauly started, my running friends have more than added to.  They believe in me, encourage me and truly without them my running canvas would not be as beautiful as is.  Because yes, this running canvas is a priceless work of art – at least to me it is.

This post is dedicated to the beautiful sole sisters I have made in running.  I cannot believe that my speedy sole sisters are prepared to run so slowly with me.  Their kindness has meant that I have learnt to run a bit faster.  This has built my endurance and in so doing increased my confidence.  These sole sisters of mine celebrate every success, every good run, every finished run.  They genuinely get joy from another’s success.  They console when things don’t go so well and always manage to make me see a positive in a not so good run.


My lovely sole sisters this post is for you!  I wouldn’t be the happy, confident runner that I am today without you!

Happy running 🙂

PS Actually this is the 302nd post of Unsporty Women Can Run.  I wrote this last weekend but needed to sit on it for some reason.  Today there was a bit of role reversal and I helped one of my speedy sole sisters to go a little faster after coming back from injury.  Who would have thought that I would ever do that?  And perhaps I’m not as slow as I think I am.  25:36 and in the 65.37% for women aged 50 to 54 (still off my PB of 25:20 but getting closer).  And I’m coming 16th out of 99 women in my age group at my local parkrun.  Why am I all of a sudden running a bit faster?  Because my speedy sole sisters encourage me and pull me along and refuse to hear me say I can’t.  They only listen to I will try!  If I can do all this ANYONE can!!!!

Dressing up for Easter Saturday parkrun?  Cadbury Marathon tops of course :)
Dressing up for Easter Saturday parkrun? Cadbury Marathon tops of course 🙂

28 thoughts on “Running success

    1. Oh Miss Melee you are too lovely xxx And I can say this right back to you. Your running story is just as beautiful, colourful and priceless and it is wonderful to read about it and have a little part to play in it xxx

  1. What a fantastic read! You encourage me to continue trying even though I’m slower than slow, as in my time in our recent 5km fun run! I’m giving it a red hot try though and that makes me feel good about myself. And I enjoy it 😊 thanks for being so supportive and sharing your story.

    1. A red hot try is all we can ever do, that is awesome! If anyone had told me back when I first started running that I’d get in the 25s I’d have totally lost it in a fit of giggles. We just have to keep chipping away and keep on trying. Honestly when I got to the letter box for the firs time I was so elated! It’s up there as a special moment along with running Point to Pinnacle and a marathon. Because running 1.2kms back then was as big as a marathon to me. Keep going Debbie, if I can do this you can too xxx

  2. Oh my, this post has just come in at the right time for me, yes you are so blessed to have those beautiful women with you and In return they are to have you. Your canvas is so brightly covered with friendships and milestones. Congrats on the 300 posts or to be exact 302, it has been a pleasure to read and look forward to many more posts. This is my first comment in a little while even though I have read them all. Life takes us on many journeys and I will continue to remain as positive as I can even when it sucks at times. Once again thanks. X

    1. Big hugs Leanne, thank you 🙂 I’ve just been outside getting a heap of wood in and thought of you. We must plan that run! I hope you are ok. And when it comes to beautiful Sole Sisters who I feel so lucky to have YOU are a shining star xxxxx

    1. Thanks Sue 🙂 I’m chipping off a few seconds from my 5km each week. No one is more surprised than me! I would so love to run Melbourne Marathon all the way. The time is irrelevant, just to run all the way would make me very happy. That’s why I’m training hard, not to get faster, it just seems to be happening.

  3. Well written Annie. Running friends are the best, Madam said her running buddies, are her running family and they just get her! So true.

    1. Thanks Shaz 🙂 you are one of my sole sisters. I’ve thought about your encouragement so often through tough runs. Thank you. So good that Madam has a running family and see how precious this is even as a young woman, she is one switched on girl xxx

    1. You and Shaz beautiful women I count as sole sisters. I do think that one day if those running stars line up and get to run together…it will be like we’ve been doing it forever! You inspire me with every post and every comment xxx

  4. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, how lovely !!!! I have more than one tear in my eye. Thank you. What a beautiful post. As has been said by others – you give so, so much with inspiration and encouragement to everyone. To those of you who only know “Unsporty” through this blog, she is all that you read and even more in person – a very special, lovely, wonderful person who always seems to know the right thing to say to help pick you up!!! GO YOU !!!!!!!!!! xxxxxxx

    1. Now you are just being way too nice! It’s easy to be nice to someone as lovely as you. Who honestly would have thought that I’d get to encourage you around a parkrun??? It’s a lovely feeling to help out someone who has helped me countless times!!! Thanks for the lovely comment xxxxx

  5. Congratulations!! I know what you mean about sports with balls – I’m hopeless at any sport involving a ball! 🙂 This is fabulous and I’m so glad you feel inspired by your own story! ❤

  6. What a beautiful post just what I needed after a weekend of feeling yuk and not running since our Thursday run. I’m privilege that you think of me as a sole sister you are so lovely and kind😄
    I love our long Friday runs and you are getting faster every week, I think if you didn’t talk as much we could go even faster😂 but that would be no fun. I look forward to the many runs we have plan this year and the medals of course 😄. Thankyou for brightening up my Easter. By the way today is the first day over Easter I’ve had chocolate ( can you believe that ). Xo

    1. Not a nice way to spend Easter and no one could doubt you are feeling bad if there was no chocolate eating!!! I hope you are feeling better today. I’m so glad the post brightened up your Easter. It’s wonderful having a sole sister so close to run with each week and especially one who helps me to get faster and stronger. No talking? mmm you are right. But I don’t think that’s possible hehe 🙂

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