Alicia Loxley, 32, Melbourne, journalist and news presenter, Nine Network
I started running regularly three or four years ago when I was living in Sydney. A couple of my girlfriends decided to do the half-marathon in Melbourne and I thought that distance would be a great goal to achieve. So in 2011, I signed up for the Mudgee Running Festival half-marathon and really got into my training. It was such an amazing feeling to cross the finish line.
I was planning on doing the half-marathon in Melbourne in October, but then I found out I was pregnant. I’m due in December, so I’ll just be doing the 3km walk this year. I’m hoping to be able to do the half-marathon next year – we’ll see what life is like with a new bub.
When I’m not pregnant, I run three or four times a week. There’s a 7K run from my house that’s quite hilly and challenging, and I’ll occasionally do another course that’s about 10K. If I’m training for an event, I’ll mix it up by doing some intervals and hill sprints to try to get a bit quicker.
I’ve gotten to a point now where I really enjoy running – I never did when I only ran occasionally. Once I’m five minutes in, I feel fit and healthy and I’m enjoying the actual process. The feeling of exhilaration after a run is probably the best bit about it.
When I lived in Sydney and was working on The Today Show, I had a lot more time to run. I started work at 3am but I was finished by 9am – it gave me plenty of time to train for my first half-marathon. So when I moved back to Melbourne and started reading the news on weekends and reporting during the week, I found the change really hard. I’m not a morning runner – I tend to run straight after work and on my days off.
With my job, I deal with some difficult stories, so running is a really lovely way to clear my head, switch off and escape everyday stresses.
I could make a bunch of excuses not to run, but it’s all about getting my runners on and getting out of the house rather than thinking of all the reasons why I can’t. I always feel so good afterwards, so that’s what I focus on before I go out the door.
My favourite place to run is Studley Park near my home in Melbourne’s inner east. It’s about 3K from the city and there’s a children’s farm there, so you run between farm animals on the track. You feel like you’re in the country, but you’re right in the middle of Melbourne.
Music is essential when I’m running – I tend to have Beyonce blaring. I’ve been caught singing out loud a couple of times when I didn’t know someone was behind me. I felt like I should apologise to them for the noise pollution!