Every Fly Girl member season is built around an event– and for many of the members, it’ll be their first time training for the longest distance they’ve ever run. Gabrielle, a project coordinator, joined the Collective in 2021 (Season 5) to run her very first half-marathon, The Big Half. Here, she shares her lessons learned.
Why did you want to run a half-marathon?
I wanted to run the half marathon to build my stamina and improve my health and distance; I wanted to know I could do the distance; and I wanted to be part of a regular fitness community (FGC Season 5).
What was the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge for me was sticking to the training programme around other life commitments and injuries as well as being able to go the distance.
Was there a song that helped you get through it?
The entire Fly Girl Run #32 playlist (my first ever Fly Girl run) got me through training – so uplifting and empowering!
What’s a lesson running a half marathon has taught you?
Running the half marathon has taught me that my body is capable of so much and it really is mind over matter. It has also taught me the value of a training communiy like Fly Girl to help encourage and support you and keep you pushing on through any challenges!
What have you enjoyed about being in the Collective?
Being a member of the Collective has been amazing; the community of black women encouraging and supporting each other for a common goal and to then run the half marathon together was so special. I’ve also made great friendships and had other great experiences like travelling to Wales to climb mount Snowdon with some Fly Girls!
And finally, what would you say to other women considering long distance running?
To any other woman considering doing long distance running, I would say black girls do run (sorry to reference another club haha) and beautifully empower one another. You are capable of so much if you put your mind to it and commit your time to it. Also, don’t let a tough day/week/month stop you from pushing through because coming out on the other side knowing you have overcome the hurdles along the way is the biggest and best rewarding feeling!