anita fit mother hubbardHi I’m Neets, a Melbourne mum of 2 who loves all things fitness. I gave up corporate life in 2012 to pursue my passion for family, fitness and fun. I love to inspire and motivate busy parents to live active, healthy lives. A short workout is better than no workout – doing it with the kids, even better. I blog over at Fit Mother Hubbard. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Pop over and say hi! 

In November 2013, I ran the City2Sea in Melbourne. It was a memorable event for me, one that I will share with my unborn child that came along for the ride, in years to come.

This particular run meant more to me than any of the runs that I have done before. This time the purpose went beyond trying to get a PB or receiving another medal.

Back in September last year, I did my usual farmer’s market visit. As my kids were busy playing in the toy library that had been set up, I happened to meet the gorgeous Kerr family who migrated to Australia from England a couple of years earlier.

Shortly after they arrived, they learnt that their then 3 year old daughter, Celia, had leukaemia. I was so moved by the determination of this little girl and her family that I decided to offer a little bit of support.

I registered for the event knowing that I had recently become pregnant. Little did I know that I would be struck down with nausea for the whole first trimester.

My training was going to be limited, very limited. I ran 6 times leading up to the race and began to feel a little apprehensive about running at all. I had popped out a lot sooner than I expected and during my training I was experiencing shortness of breath.

My running strategy needed to change but I was not going to give up. I thought that if I ran 1km on, 1km off, that would surely get me to the finish line.

I reached out to friends, family and social media followers to help me raise $1,000 for Celia and I was so grateful to all those that donated and helped me achieve this goal. Running with a purpose makes all the hard work so much more worthwhile.

Race day came around and I was feeling pretty apprehensive!

Thankfully my nausea had passed a week earlier and I began to feel human again. I do believe that everything happens for a reason and amongst the 13,000 participants on the day; I bumped into an old colleague and friend, Kristianna, at the start line.

Kristianna is one of those people that knows how turn negative thoughts into positive ones when you lose a little bit of faith in yourself.

It was a stunning morning in Melbourne; we were blessed with a clear blue sky, mild temperatures and no wind, every runner’s dream.

As I made my way to the start line with thousands of other eager runners, my hands were firmly placed around my bump as only a protective mum to be would do.

My strategy hadn’t changed and I planned to walk and lightly run the entire way.

I set off down St Kilda Road knowing that my heart rate had to remain at around the 140-150 mark.

Taking in the iconic sights that Melbourne has to offer and enjoying the atmosphere of such a well-co-ordinated event, I lost track of time. I was so busy checking my heart rate and reminding myself why I was running, that I missed the first 3 check points.

As we turned right onto Fitzroy Street at the 4km mark, I was feeling pretty good. Albert Park Lake was the next leg, a beautiful 5km stretch of lake and once again, taking in the sights and admiring the hype of so many running enthusiasts, I lost track of time but not my heart rate. My heart rate sat on around 150-155 for most of the way, with a couple of spikes along the way. I’m not very good when it comes to surging.

At the 7.5km mark and two water stations later, I was still feeling good. I was mindful of listening to my body and if at any point I felt that I was putting myself or my baby at risk, I would have slowed to a walk.

Keeping rehydrated along the way and constantly monitoring my heart rate was key to getting me to the finish line.

I completed the run in 1 hour 31 minutes.

The sense of achievement I felt when I crossed that finish line, knowing that I had made a difference to a brave little girl was a feeling that I will cherish forever.

To all the kind hearted people that supported me – THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Your generous donations were overwhelming.

Running with a purpose can make such a difference to others. I highly recommend it.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Learn to Run starts on the 17th April

Claim your spot today and join the team that is going to support your goals in 2017

Are you ready to take your running to the next level?

Check out Run Club, our Custom Plans or Far and Fast Running Coaching.

Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

You may also like these posts

Leave A Reply:

(optional field)

  1. Zoey Dowling

    That's such a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. And well done on your run, great time esp while running for two!!! I did that run as well, it was such a gorgeous day for running wasn't it.

    • Thanks Meisha. It was an absolutely fabulous day. x

  2. Zoey Dowling

    Wow! I loved reading about your race Neets. So exciting to have a little person alongside you for it.