monique – mara-mon


for this week’s installment of the sh*t-sorter files, we return again to queensland, australia. i seriously don’t know what’s going on over there, but sometimes I feel as though I’m on the wrong side of the country. there is so much running going on in brisbane and beyond, i really should pack my bags and get over there!

anyway, enough about me 🙂 this week’s sh*t-sorter is a fantastic member of the facebook running community, and i’m sure you will enjoy her enthusiasm, attitude and her story…

ok, so let’s get this show on the road in the usual manner – can you please tell everyone who are you, where you’re from and what you do?

I’m Monique.

People call me Mon, Nique, Monners.

My husband calls me Darl and my little people call me Mummy!

I was born on Queensland’s Gold Coast and lived there until I started high school. Then I moved to Brisbane. I met my husband in Townsville and we are currently residing in Toowoomba and loving it!

I’m a stay at home mum and work part time for the Federal Government investigating wage complaints. I love both jobs and feel lucky to be able to do both.

thanks for that Mon – if you don’t mind, could you tell us a little bit about your background?

I’m just a regular chick, a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I love food, coffee, reading, RUNNING, organising and matching my running outfits with my shoes like it’s a job (yes it’s true!).

I suffer from OCD. No joke. I like numbers.  I can remember every single phone number I have ever had. Credit card numbers, medicare card numbers, drivers license etc.

Needless to say I enjoy looking at my training plan filled with NUMBERS!

ha! I love numbers too, but I’m only just learning to not fear the word “plan”. having followed your page for a while now, i know that running is an important part of your life, what would you say is your motivation?

My real motivation comes from within. I love challenging myself and feeling like I have succeeded at something.

I think the best thing about running is that to be good at it (in my eyes anyway) all you have to do is get out there and do it!

I have never had a hobby or anything I am really passionate about and so discovering running for me was just like the whole world had opened up before me with these endless possibilities.

My second motivations are my children and my family. I love being a good role model for them in regards to health and fitness. I hope one day they want to run with me, but if not I just hope to make them proud.

i find that often people take to running and/or fitness after hitting some kind of “lightbulb” moment or low point – would that apply to your situation do you think?

I’ve always been generally fit and healthy since turning 21 (before that is locked away in the vault). Of course there have been a few lax months/seasons/years but generally I look after myself.

When I was pregnant with my son I gained 30+kgs and then 20+kgs with my daughter. I lost most of it in between but I remember seeing photos of myself and really disliking the way I looked with all the extra weight on. It wasn’t only about vanity but more about being the best mum I could be. Seeing as that was my new ‘job’ I took it seriously.

Since my early teens I had struggled with body image issues and eating disorders and after 14 years of suffering and after having kids I felt like I was ‘cured’ – my body was no longer just my own. I had created two amazing little people and needed to start respecting my body for what it was capable of.

I wanted to lose the extra weight and I started meeting with friends and working out in a local park. It was when my youngest was 5 months old that a friend asked me if I wanted to train for a half marathon with her which was 9 months away. I said yes not knowing that I could do it and not being able to run more than say 2km.

This is where it all started…..I told my husband I would start running and to come and get me after 30mins. We drove the car back along my route and to my amazement I had run 4.5km!!!

I couldn’t believe it. That was nearly 12 months ago and I haven’t looked back.

that’s fantastic! it’s funny isn’t how you take that one step and suddenly running becomes a huge thing that takes over! so do you have any specific running goals in mind?

My goal is to continue to enjoy running for the rest of my life.

I plan to run a marathon this year and I have a goal to run an ultra-marathon in the not too distant future.

I hope to run in events in countries all over the world and enjoy the fitness, fun and friendships that running has brought to my life.

awesome – i love the idea of running in different events around the world – it would certainly be a great way to travel and meet online running friends! digging into your running journey a little more deeply, how would you say it has gone to date?

Although my initial goal was to run the Gold Coast half marathon as my first in July 2013 I was ready earlier and ran the Noosa half marathon in April 2013, 2 days before my baby girl turned 1.

I then ran the Brisbane City to South 14k and the Gold Coast half marathon in July 2013 where I achieved a PB time of 1:45 which is what I was aiming for. The course ran through the suburbs where I grew up as a little girl and also along the park where I learned to ride my bike.

It was an amazing moment.

I then decided to run in the Brisbane half marathon in August 2013 and enjoyed running though my old stomping ground and meeting some wonderful friends I have made through the online running community.  I have a local half marathon on 8th September and then the BIG ONE my first marathon on 6th October 2013….right after my 12 months running anniversary!

Overall I have lost over 30kgs from my heaviest and I have never been fitter, happier or healthier in my life.

that’s an amazing record in such a short time, makes me think i should beef up my running schedule a little! with so much running, what would you say have been your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenges are managing my training with the sleep deprivation that 3+ years of pregnancy and breastfeeding has brought with it.

I am still up at least twice a night with the kids and I won’t lie, it is tough. Although, we are not having any more children and so I am trying to appreciate this time……

ah yes – sleep deprivation on top of a training schedule would be tough! on the positive side of thigs, what would you say has been your biggest achievement?

It would have to be my PB time of 1:45 in my second half marathon at the Gold Coast. Although ask me after I (hopefully) finish my marathon!!!

ha! yes, it will undoubtedly become your new favourite moment, crossing that finish line – and your life will never be the same again. talking of which, what have been the impacts you’ve seen in your life already?

Although I am blessed with beautiful friends and family, I really feel like a little hole that was there inside me has been filled with my love for running.

So let’s say happiness as one of the biggest impacts and health a close second.

what would be the greatest benefit you have gained from running?

Not feeling guilty if I scoff a bag of chips. Does that count?

hehe, yes i’ll pay that! on the flip side, what would be the drawbacks?

I’m in bed by 9pm every Saturday night and running really is expensive.

I fail miserably at keeping it simple. I LOVE GEAR, my bank balance – not so much.

sounds familiar – i’m often in bed at 8:30pm in the week these days, though it all seems worth it somehow! there are occasions though where you have to rely on the underlying motivation to help you keep going – how do YOU stay motivated?

I like to set goals over the month, year and into the future. It keeps me looking forward to new experiences and achievements. Then I just fill in the blanks and keep at it most days of the week.

We all have bad days though and sometimes I really do have to drag myself out of bed to run. I allow myself those feelings and then move on and get back to it!!

excellent – great attitude!

i’d like to thank you for sharing your story here, and as always with these stories, i’m convinced it will inspire and motivate others on their own journey – in particular it may help someone to make the decision to start. 

so i’ll end this with my favourite final question… if someone is considering starting down a similar path, and you were able to say one thing to encourage or support them, what would it be?

DO IT NOW! Even if you think you don’t have time, you’re not good enough or you have too far to go.

How will you ever make progress if you don’t start? We all start somewhere. I love this saying I have seen around the motivational pages on Facebook:

‘Never compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.’

I remember this when I am feeling like I have a long way to go to get where I want to be.

that’s brilliant Mon, and a great way to wrap things up – once again many thanks for sharing your story with us here.

for those of you who want to find out more about Monique’s journey, you can connect on her Facebook page Mara-Mon

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