Everyday runner Lisa McEvoy tells us what she has gained from becoming a runner

Lisa McEvoy

Five years ago, Lisa McEvoy weighed 116 kilos and couldn’t even run to a lamppost. Today, 50 kilos lighter, she’s completed two marathons plus numerous fun runs.

Lisa’s fitness journey began when she joined an outdoor training group. Her instructor suggested adding extra exercise to her group sessions so she began alternating walking and running round the block.

Her son often came with her and was the perfect training partner, encouraging her to run a little further when she felt like giving up or cheering her on up the hills.

After six months Lisa felt fit enough to enter her first 5 km run and was so encouraged by her success, she started entering 10 km races. The kilos fell off her.

However, as Lisa celebrated her own improving health, a close friend was hit by the horrible news that her health was declining. She had cancer.

Lisa’s reaction was to enter a half marathon to raise funds for the Myeloma Foundation, an organisation that provides support and information for those with bone marrow cancer.

“It was very emotional taking part in that half marathon for all sorts of reasons” Lisa recalls. “But I knew by then I was hooked on running.”

Lisa has now not only developed a love for running but also an ability to set and achieve goals. Her latest was to take part in her second marathon in Paris. It’s not only her health that has improved as a result, she says. “Taking up running has touched my life in so many fantastic ways.”

Enriched family life

“Our kids don’t just learn from what we say, they learn from what we do. I’ve provided the knowledge and example to help my kids live a healthy lifestyle. My eldest son, now 19, was with me when I first started running, offering motivation and this year he ran the Paris marathon with me. He says I’m his researcher, helping him find other runs to participate in. It’s lovely to share that with him.”

Deeper friendships

“The friendship I share with running friends is different to the one I share with other friends. We have this deep connection because of what we experience together. We are proud of and happy to see each other’s achievements and we share one another’s joys and challenges, understanding what had to be endured to train for each event. It’s like a secret club.”

Accumulated wisdom

“I really love learning about the science and psychology behind running and understanding why and how the body responds to training, resting, food and hydration. It’s great when I figure out how to do things better and learn what works and what doesn’t.”

Planning and prioritising

“I have gained the ability to plan and prioritise running in my life. I work shifts in a hospital emergency department so every Sunday I make a running plan for the week. One time a friend and I wanted to see the Sydney Vivid Festival and needed to get a long run in so we ran from Pymble to Sydney city, walked around Vivid then caught the train home. I try to think creatively when it comes to fitting in runs.”

Kid’s sport

“I coach my teenage daughter’s netball team and at the end of training I also run half-hour fitness sessions for the girls. They are all looking for a bit of extra training and I can share what I’ve learned. One of the girls said to my daughter: “It’s fantastic your mum knows this stuff.” My daughter replied: “It’s just want she does.” The feeling that my kids know this is intrinsically part of my life is great.”

All-round fitness

“My own netball fitness has improved and I’m able to get all over the court. You should see me chasing down those teenagers!”

Join Lisa by taking part in the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k and 5k.

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