Hey everyone – Tis the season to be jolly. How is your pre Christmas training going?!?
Today’s post is a blog post with a difference. I have a guest blogger – so rather than read about my running you can read about someone elses. Karinna lives in Melbourne and says that running is her drug, so I thought you would find her story interesting reading. She’s a bit quicker than me that’s for sure!! Let’s give her some encouragement!
Karinna has been involved in athletics and distance running at state and national level for many years. She loves being fit and active and helping people to achieve their fitness goals. You can read more about her at: http://www.health.com.au/blog.
Karinna Fyfe – Guest blogger
My name is Karinna Fyfe. I am 23 years old and currently living in Melbourne and when i am not running, i work towards completing a PhD in combination with a bachelor of medicine/surgery at Monash University. This my story about how running has been my love since birth.
Growing up on a small farm in Glengarry, Tasmania meant my competitive streak had a place to be borne and prosper, as from the beginning I have been running for as long as I can remember and always wanting to win.
Being the youngest in my family, I spent several years participating in the ‘toddler race’ events at Little Athletics when I was too young to be included in the Under 7 age-group. These races involved a bunch of reluctant toddlers lining up with one parent at the start line and one parent at the finish line. When the gun went, most kids needed considerble encouragement and persuasion to leave the safety of their parent and make the big 40 meter dash to the finish line. Not me. I knew what a race was and I was going to win – even at the age of 4. Nineteen years later, not a lot has changed.
As a junior track athlete I competed at my first national level competition at the age of 12 and I developed a taste for the excitement of representing my state. Throughout my schooling years I regularly competed at the Australian All Schools Track and Field and Cross Country Championships picking up a few medals over distances ranging from 400m to 3000m. As a junior, my biggest achievement was winning the 3000m at the 2006 Pacific School Games in a time of 9:48.88 which placed me first on the Australian Ranking list at the time for the U18 age group. At the conclusion of high school, I decided that after several years of serious competition (and even more serious study) that I needed a break from competition. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best of ideas, but at the time I didn’t know just how hard it would be to return to that level of fitness. For a few years I just ran for fun and didn’t compete at all. But eventually I started to compete in a few fun runs, gradually increasing the distances up to 10km. After a few years of fun-running I decided to join a local athletics club to take it up a notch. Recently, I competed heavily during the winter cross country season and am planning to return to track running over the 2012-2013 season and regain my position in the elite section.
The distances which I run have changed considerably over the course of my life, with my current focus on 10km and half marathon distance events. My training has changed accordingly and I aim to run 70-80km per week. This is relatively little in comparison to many distances runners but I find that injuries tend to develop when this target is exceeded, which is why I now supplement my training with approximately 100km of bike work each week. If you add it all up I’d be running over 2,500km a year and riding over 5,000km a year!
This year has been my most successful year of running yet, winning The Great Train Race in May, the Run Melbourne half marathon in July and the Point to Pinnacle in November. I also placed 3rd in the Australian Half Marathon Championships held in Sydney in September and competed at the Australian University Games in the 10 000m and 5000m track events, winning both. In addition, I have turned my hat to triathlon and competed in my first Ironman 70.3 (1.9km swim, 90km cycle, 21.2km run) in Cairns in June, placing third in my age group and my second in Mandurah in October, placing first in my age group and qualifying for the 2013 World 70.3 Championships to be held in Henderson, Nevada.
I love to run and I generally prioritise running over anything else. This means I am often busy, late, designated driver and early to bed. However, there was a time when I had to prioritise life over running and this was when I was deciding what to do after finishing grade 12. I had been offered an all-expenses paid scholarship to study and compete in America. This is offered to many of Australia’s up and coming athletes and as you could imagine, is an incredibly tempting offer! However, in the end, good sense prevailed and I decided to pursue a career in Medicine, here in Australia, something which I would have been unlikely to be able to do in America.
Over the years, I have picked up a number of injuries. Some major, such as tearing my hamstring in a 4x100m relay, which required several months of physio and rehabilitation to recover from and many, many, niggly injuries including recurrent shin splints. As a runner, injury is inevitable and is more of a ‘when’ than an ‘if’. It is difficult, but you learn to manage injuries and to listen to your body so that something minor doesn’t turn into something major. I hate to miss a training session so sometimes it can be really tough to rest even when I know I should.
For me, running is what keeps me sane. After a long day in the office, I love nothing more than a good, hard, satisfying training session. I love working hard and earning my rest and the sense of achievement and satisfaction when you cross the line after a hard race is something I am willing to bust my guts to feel.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say ‘running is my drug’.