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. Idowu, a project officer, 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 was itching for a new challenge. Lockdown meant that a lot of things seemed very mundane. I started my running journey in March 2020 after two friends suggested I do the couch to 5K. I managed to run a 5K earlier than the plan but yet i still wanted to push myself further. In May 2021, a friend who is part of Fly Girl told me that a new season was about to start and asked if I was interested in joining. Skeptical and hesitant at first but like I said I was hungry for a new challenge and so I accepted!
What was the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge for me was the return of my knee injury weeks before the race. I wasn’t sure if I could run the half but thankfully with trusted advice from a physio (@patiencePT__ ) and taking it easy on the run I was able to complete my first ever half marathon! ( still can’t believe I actually ran a whole half marathon!). The long runs on Sundays were tough but thankfully I ran with Benjamina a fellow fly girl. So we kept each other accountable and motivated one another on the runs.
Was there a song that helped you get through it?
Rew Be Me by Star feminine Band. I also made a collaborative playlist on Spotify
so people could share songs to help me on the way.
What’s a lesson running a half marathon has taught you?
For me, weirdly, I really learned that breaking down goals to attainable actions/ tasks over a period of time, means you are more likely to achieve any said goal. Committing to 13 weeks of training proved this for me. It also taught me that one’s body can do a lot more than we think. We just have to train and look after our bodies well so it can perform its best.
What have you enjoyed about being in the Collective?
Just meeting woman from all walks of life who are all committed to working towards a healthier lifestyle. I really enjoyed our members runs and the many words of wisdom from Matilda, the founder.I will never forget the conversation we had after one members run about seriously committing to a more healthier lifestyle. It stuck with me.
And finally, what would you say to other women considering long distance running?
It seems impossible but you can actually do it! Find a good plan, find scenic running routes, join a good running community (cough Fly girl!) and just enjoy the process.
Running can be challenging but it can equally be very fun especially when done in community.