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I’m A Runner: Michelle Bridges

I wasn’t a big runner until my mid-30s. Now I run three to four times a week, averaging around 50Km per week. I mix up long runs (15–30Km), short tempo runs (6–10Km) and sprints. I’ve run 10K races, half-marathons and a marathon two years ago.

After the marathon my girlfriend and I bum-slid down the hotel room stairs because we couldn’t walk them.

My perfect run is first thing on a crisp autumn morning, with not a breath of wind on the glassy harbour. My dog Paddy and I set out for my “Old Bag Run”. (Don’t ask me why I call it that!) It takes me through my neighbourhood’s back streets, over two bridges and around a bay. It has some nasty hills, but also some spectacular views.

To fit my run in before I have to be on set, sometimes I set the alarm for 4.30am. You’d think I’d be more tired, but it actually perks me up for the day.

With my crazy schedule I often have to seize the moment, so I don’t have time to rope in friends. Having said that, one of my girlfriends and I have started running with the Sydney Striders on Sundays (30km runs). Finding a running club and buddy did wonders for my marathon.

I love running with my dog Paddy – most of the time. One morning at the oval, I was determined to beat my 1K PB but halfway around Paddy decided to interject, tripping me so badly I must have done two somersaults. I limped home with two bleeding knees and a bruised ego.

My motto for running, training and for life is J.F.D.I (Just Frickin’ Do it!).

I’m inspired by the members of my 12-Week Body Transformation program (www.12wbt.com). It’s one thing to be a super-fit athlete and run, it’s another thing to be 30 kilos overweight, nervous, muscle-sore, unfit and self-conscious. They’re proof that just about anyone can learn to run and, more importantly, learn to enjoy it.

Running for me is like meditation. It washes away my daily stresses and puts me in a positive, creative headspace. When I run I feel alive and strong. I feel connected with my surroundings; I feel connected with myself.

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