Meet Karien wife, mom of two, runner (stroller runner), blogger and so much more. She has to be the sweetest person I ever met after stalking her on Twitter before our official meeting at Adidas boosts bloggers day, she didn’t look at me like I was crazy.
Tell us a little about your blog (what is the inspiration behind it)
I have a passion for writing, running and travelling, and combining those three on my blog is pretty much my idea of bliss. And although the overall theme of my blog is running, I try to share stories and adventures that highlight the joy and fun that can be found in the small things in life, even in the mundane. The “race” I’m referring to in the title of my blog refers to the race of life (Heb. 12:1 – “Let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us”), so my blog basically celebrates the joys of life, running and family.
How did you get into fitness?
I’ve been running for pretty much most of my life. I did my first 5 Km fun run at the age of nine, and crossed the finish line in second place, winning myself a pretty cool Barbie doll. And the rest is history! Since then running has been different things to me in different phases of my life, and, yes, there were times when I hated getting out there. But over the years running has become a part of who I am. I need to run. It’s in my blood and it gives me joy. All the other benefits of running are just wonderful extras.
What your day to day routines like?
Pretty ordinary! In the mornings, while the kids are in school, I write, do housework (two toddlers and a runner in one household means laundry galore!) and run. And then afternoons are spent with the kids. My husband works long hours during the week, so we see very little of him then, but weekends are for family adventures. We love our weekends together and I’m very protective of our family time.
What fitness apps do you use to track your progress?
I’m not big on fitness apps – I find that, to me at least, they tend to complicate the simplicity of running. I do, however, record all of my mileage on Dailymile post-run. I like keeping tabs on my total mileage for each year and seeing how that differs through the different chapters of my life.
I’ve also recently started using the Charity Miles app, since I’d really like to find ways in which my running can help others. I don’t track all of my runs through Charity Miles, but when I do, it’s nice to know that I’m making a difference while doing what I love.
How did you first get involved with parkrun and how has it changed your life?
Although I’ve always been aware of parkrun, I wasn’t really keen to get into it at first since there were no finisher’s medals, ha! But then, with encouragement from the lovely Philippa from Run Cape Town, I completed my first one at Greenpoint parkrun in Cape Town in 2014 and you know by now that the bug has bitten me big time.
The global running community, in general, is a very positive, supportive one, but somehow parkrun just manages to take that to a whole new level. It’s friendly, laid-back, supportive atmosphere is unlike any other, no matter if you’re an Olympian or a shuffling grandma. It welcomes and embraces absolutely everyone. I’ve also witnessed first-hand parkrun’s incredible ability to change people’s lives for the good. It’s an extremely powerful and effective tool in helping people to take charge of their own health and just be fitter, healthier and happier as a result. I’m a parkrunner for life!
What challenges have you faced in your efforts at becoming healthier?
I’ve pretty much been a health-nut (read: nerd) for most of my life, so making healthy choices has always been important to me. I did find, however, that staying fit and active after becoming a mom was quite a challenge! Limited time for exercise, combined with the effects of minimal sleep (I love sleeping!) made sticking to a regular running routine tricky. But my husband, Will, is wonderfully supportive and he “gets” that running is a big part of who I am, so we found ways to make it work. In fact, running with my two kids in the stroller while they were a bit younger turned out to be one of the best running chapters of my life – we all loved it!
What tips would you give to someone wanting to get healthier?
Just do it. Stop waiting for your friends to join you, for the weather to get better, or for motivation to somehow magically propel you out the door. With your doctor’s approval, get up, lace up and head out the door. Now. And then keep at it. Running sucks in the beginning – there’s no denying that. It sucks for everyone. But the secret is to keep at it. There will come a day, perhaps sooner than you think, when running actually becomes fun. A day when you’ll look forward to getting out there. Promise. So ease into it and then just keep going!
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