The Journey begins – with Serena Williams. And chocolate eclairs.

I turn fifty next year (wow I know, I’m old!) So I made a list of things I want to do in my fiftieth year of awesomeness. Number one on the list, is I want to do a marathon. And not die. In preparation for that, I have to do a half- marathon THIS year. And not die. I did my first half-marathon in 2021 and while yes I did finish it, I died a thousand deaths. I would like to run another one, preferably with much less death.

Why am I doing this to myself you may ask? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I’m just fia extra. Whatever the reason, I’m blogging the journey, because if I’m going to suffer, then you should all get to enjoy it – oops, I mean, you should all suffer along with me!

Prep Week.

Ok, everyone knows the first step to preparing to train for any running event, is getting the right gear. Because hello, it’s all about looking good. Or trying to look like a runner, even if you’re not one yet. Fake it till you make it?

The good news is we are in New Zealand and Rebel Sport is having a sale. The bad news is that it’s a sale for Father’s Day and Darren thinks we are going shopping for him. I resolve to be discreet and inconspicuous.

Thirty minutes later and my shopping cart is full of fab running t.shirts, shorts and super fab runner socks. A bit hard to be inconspicuous with this much gear. But thankfully my husband is a very nice man who supports all my wild fia-extra ventures. Even when its Fathers Day. He tells me I need new running shoes too. TWO PAIRS. And proceeds to have me try on the bestest shoes.

It’s rather exhausting trying on running gear. When we are all done, I have to eat a chocolate lamington to refuel. Darren asks if I’m going for a little run to test the new gear? But I’m too tired. I go lie down for a nap instead.

The next day I go shopping for that most vital of vitals – sports bras. Anyone with boobs (even small ones) knows this struggle. I hate sports bras. They’re always a struggle to put on, and a nightmare of contortions to take off. And seem to only work if they’re cutting off all your circulation. I am dreading it. But at Farmers I behold the most wondrous of all sports bras. THE SERENA WILLIAMS SPORTS BRA FROM BERLEI. I try it on. And I am transformed. It feels amazing. It fits perfectly. I run up and down in the changing rooms and the support is otherworldly. Not only that, but – I am fleetfooted and light as a gazelle! I’m sure that I now have arms like Serena. Abs like Serena. Legs like Serena. Strength and speed like Serena! Basically, I am the Samoan Serena Williams. This sports bra is magic. I’m ready to be a runner.

But wait. There’s more to starting a half-marathon training program than just buying new gear. Especially when you’re my age. #sigh

I go to the doctor for a full checkup. He weighs me and tells me that according to my BMI, I am overweight. This is not news to me. But what does surprise me is that a doctor in 2022 is still using BMI as a measure for good health?! He hasnt even asked me about my physical activity, what my eating and sleeping is like, blah blah. I proceed to (nicely) tell him all the reasons why BMI is rubbish. Because I am very fiapoto like that. Especially when I know I’m right. I mean, dude HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT THIS WEIGHT ISNT ALL ROCK SOLID MUSCLE HUH?! (I mean you and I know it isnt, but how does HE know?)

Anyway, the doctor concedes I may have a good point. He sends me for blood tests. Everything is good. I am cleared to train for my half-marathon. Climb mountains. Leap over rivers. Jump out of planes. Or play tennis like Serena.

Medical checkups are rather exhausting. Especially when I have to give fiapoto lectures about BMI. I stop at the bakery for chocolate eclairs on the way home.

The next day I put on all my new gear. With the shoes. I go for a little walk. (To the bakery for eclairs.) I look like a runner. Who likes to eat chocolate eclairs.

I am ready to start my training program.