This month's Running With Sisters interview is with Rebekah Stevens.

Running With Sisters – Rebekah Stevens

Rebekah Stevens is 29 and lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She is married, with one child and one fur baby (dog). She works as a medical secretary and loves being a mum. Rebekah only started running a couple of years ago, but in that short time, has been able to tick off some fabulous running goals. Rebekah is a huge fan of  the paleo and vegan approach to food.

1. At what age did you start running?

I was 27ish when I started running.

2. Why did you start running?

It was free! I was having issues with my weight as I had started working more and my inactivity had increased.

3. How did you approach running when you first started?

I just decided to take the dog for a walk and jog a bit, then walk when I was pooped. In the beginning, a 2km walk/jog was a milestone achieved and celebrated.  Soon we were running a slow 5km and so it increased and I got faster.

4. What was hard about running when you first started?

The thing I found the most difficult about running in the beginning was getting off the couch! I have never been a naturally active person. Getting my mind to push past the initial fatigue was a massive mental battle. I have learnt that a lot of the (running) battle is mental.

5. Why did you continue running in the beginning?

I decided to continue running as it gave me a sense of achievement and success. It was something that I really had to work hard to achieve. I also realised that it was a really great way to have a little mental health time. Time to think, listen to podcasts about healthy eating, mindful living,  motivational speakers and faith/Christian living.

6. When do you usually run? Why at this time/times?

During the week I like to run in the evening: after lunches are made for the next day, basic afternoon jobs are done, my son is in bed and I am ready for the next day. After all is done, the fun can be had.

On the weekend I like to run after a small sleep in. I strongly hate waking up to an alarm to exercise as I am sure that my brain does not wake for an hour after.

7. What’s your weekly running schedule?

I try to do 2x runs of about 5-7km during the week and one long run of about 10-14km on the weekend. I also include 1x weight session, a game of netball and at least one stretching session (yoga or pilates).

8. Do you run with a friend, in a group or solo? Why?

During the week I usually run on my own, and on the weekend I like to join a social group for a longer run.

I love the social element of running. On the trails you have a lot of time to chat and get to know the regular chicks who are a similar pace to you. There is always time for a chat, a selfie, koala photo opportunity and a coffee after.

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9. Are you a member of any online running groups or forums? If so, what are the benefits of being involved?

I am a member of the Chicks Who Run Facebook Group, Running Mums Australia, and YUM Social Runs.

The Running Mums group has a large amount of members and so there is always advice re recommendations of great products like bras, running watches and even socks etc.

Chicks Who Run is more of a local group. Most people have a South Australian connection. Chicks is great for running support. Through the this group, I have met so many wonderful chicks and ran with many.

10. Where do you run? What’s your preference and why?

This month's Running With Sisters interview is with trail runner Rebekah Stevens.
Rebekah Stevens out on the trails.

I like running at different venues for different reasons.

Trails are a great social run. I do not do trails with a time goal but for an amazing view, fresh air and knowing that even if you walk up the hill, you will still be challenged.

The road is great for a race goal and time target.

Treadmill is there if needed. When it is too dark, or raining.

11. What obstacles or challenges have you had to overcome with your running?

I have had a few niggling injuries that come from working my body too hard and not listening to it when it tells me to STOP.

I think that it is always hard to find a good work/life/family balance. Everyone needs to find an exercise to suit their life. I do not go to the gym as mummy guilt and 8pm home times on a weekday is too taxing. I also think that you need to be realistic with yourself and only take on what is reasonable.

Motivation is something that comes and goes. I think it is important to have variety so that if one thing starts to bore you or lacks in luster then you have something else in the background to keep you interested.

12. What are your running goals over the next year or so?

My running goal are just to continue to enjoy what I am doing. I would like to achieve a sub 60 min 10km time if possible. Maybe run the Green Belt half marathon or the Adelaide Marathon Festival half next year.

13. Is there anyone in particular who inspires you to keep running, or inspires you as a runner?

Not really, but I hope to inspire my son to continue to be active and love sport.

14. What are your favourite two running items, or running items that you can’t do without? Why?

I really like my Garmin 620. All the info that I could ever want right on my wrist.

I really like my Under Armour cap. It is light and breathes. It protects my fair complexion from the sun without overheating my head. SUPER comfortable.

15. What do you love about running?

Mental balance. Need I say more? Let’s just say I am easier to live with when I run and exercise!

16. What advice would you give to anyone new to running, or thinking about taking it up?

Just keep going. You are more capable than you think. Don’t let that mind of yours tell you that you can’t do it. Find out what works for you: we are all unique. Sweat and dirt don’t hurt!

Running with Sisters is a guest post series that provides running advice, inspiration and motivation to women of all running abilities, ages and weight. If you’d like to tell your story, just fill out the interview questions on this form and I’ll schedule you in.

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