Hello again from Vienna!!! I have learnt a lot lately about discipline and the importance of specific knowledge if you are planning to take any sport seriously and making a change. In my opinion, a big part of sports culture is the desire to want to learn more, improve every day and of course share knowledge, experiences and motivation when you can. This is the point of the Tday anyway.
With that in mind and the marathon season approaching (my Vienna Marathon run in April 23rd) I have recently contacted a woman that I didn’t know too well, but whom I wanted to meet and know much more about. As I have also said in my older articles, I do admire and respect people who cross lines, break out of their comfort zone, have will power, love life, and are active and passionate.
It’s the perfect timing during preparation for this year’s run to get as motivated as possible and not forget why I am doing this; so I decided to get tips and learn more from a more experienced runner than me. I love to learn and exchange tips too!
My inspiration this time is Evelina Georgiades, she is from Limassol and she is a Marathon Runner who has a lot to share…. It takes a lot of dedication and self-discipline in order to finish a full (42km) marathon so I want to hear all about it.
Meet… a talented, passionate and very motivated sports woman.
First of all let me tell you that like most of us, she has a day job, works as Director of HR in one of Cyprus’ biggest law firms and the reason I mention this is to point out that- No she doesn’t have plenty of time, her days are full and stressful as most of us and yet when your spirit is on fire and you want to achieve something, there are no excuses and no lack of time.
Her love and passion for running began at a very young age. During her high-school years, she became a member of the national team, running for Cyprus in the 400m and 400m-hurdles, and breaking national junior records (both in Cyprus and Greece). However during university years she couldn’t combine studying with training and as she told me ‘It left a huge gap in my life and I believe I went through a period of depression at the time’. I entirely understand the feeling…. Once a runner always a runner! Especially for the sake of your soul.
‘I was never a distance runner, as I had been sprinting all my life (and science also suggested that I was born a sprinter) but while I was still in Glasgow during my PhD, a group of colleagues who ran recreationally urged me to join them. I liked the idea of being outdoors and getting fit again, plus the social aspect and in 1999-2000, I started running again. Small distances to begin with, max 5km, and building up gradually. I was slow and out of breath quickly, but I persisted. I ran my first official 'race' in Glasgow in 2000 - the Women's 10km. My aim was under an hour - I managed it by about 10 seconds.’
That was back in 2000. After her return to Cyprus although she was involved with sports due to her role as a Director of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, running took a back seat again.
‘I took up running again a few years later, having re-established contact with an old friend and ex-champion distance runner George Loucaides, who is, in my opinion, the leading distance running coach in Cyprus. I was running purely for fun, participating in 5km and 10km races and enjoying the social aspect of the sport very much. I joined the Dromea running club and met many others who shared my love for running'. Dromeas Racing Club Cyprus
The turning point came in 2015, when after a series of events in my personal life, I decided to register for 2016 London marathon. It was the greatest challenge I had ever set myself up for, but I had come to a point in my life where I needed a significant goal to work towards. Having never run more than 10km, the task of completing 42+km was huge and daunting. The decision, however, turned out to be the best I ever made in my life...’
Respect!!! Not only because she succesfully did it but also because she was never a serious long distance runner and yet she did it (Hint, Hint)
It is undoubtedly not easy to dedicate an important amount of time and energy from your life for training, feel every muscle of your body aching, ‘compete’ among thousands of people who have the same target as you, run for hours and surpass your inner abilities to ultimately cross the London Marathon Finish line…. I say it is all WORTH it!!!
Why? It is a sign of a personal success and a feeling of a true accomplishment.
‘Throughout the duration all I could think about was how I would feel crossing the finish line. The happiest girl in the world is the only way I can describe how I felt when I crossed the line! Absolute euphoria’
So true a very strong emotional moment indeed I must admit too... and as they say.... There will be days that you don’t know if you can run a Marathon – There will be a lifetime knowing you did.
Picture Above: With the LegendHaile Gebrselassie, (retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete. He won two Olympic gold medals over 10,000 metres and four World Championship)
What was your motivation?
‘My motivation was and is always the same: running makes me feel good. Simple. It takes away the stress, it keeps me fit, it has introduced me to some of the most amazing people, it provides me with a sense of achievement. It's part of my life. ‘
Training for a marathon requires DISCIPLINE. I cannot stress this enough. You need to be disciplined with your training, your nutrition, your social life - everything. Weekends are focused on long runs, so no late nights. Training during the week needs to be accommodated around work. Completing each week's training provides you with a great sense of achievement. Seeing the mileage creep up gradually - the same. Completing my first half-marathon as part of my training was amazing. I could then run half’s easily. My longest run before the marathon was 32km. I knew once I had completed it, that I could do the full marathon. Once you have run 32km, the final 10km seems like a very small distance indeed.
Do you follow a special nutrition plan?
I did not follow a specific diet. I believe I have always been a healthy eater and firmly believe in a varied, balanced diet. I made sure I was hydrated for my long runs and refuelled appropriately afterwards. I tried the energy gels during the longer runs but my system just could not get used to them. In the end, I ate 'jelly-babies' during the actual London marathon, as I could tolerate them better!
What is your advice on Running shoes in your experience?
I have worn Asics running shoes for as long as I can remember. I visited the London store many years back and did a running test to establish which shoe is the best for my running style and gait. I have special custom-made insoles to minimise jarring to my knees even further.
The Tday note: Do not underestimate the value of a good pair of running shoes. Not all runners have the same running type and shape of foot. Long distance surely requires the appropriate shoe for your type. There are two kinds of runners the ones who has too much pronation (whose foot rotates too much while running) and one who has insufficient pronation (whose foot barely rotates inward when running). I am an big Asics fan too.... www.asics.com
What is your advice to new runners?
New runners: take it step by step and set realistic goals so you don't get disappointed. Start by walking/jogging, and then gradually increase the time you jog/run as opposed to walking. Find yourself a running buddy - it's always better if you have someone to motivate you. Join a club. Dromea is now my running family and provides the best support network I could ask for. Dromeas Racing Club Cyprus
Thank you Evelina for inspiring us even more and for taking the time to basically tell us to go out and get it.If you really want something you surely can achieve it, whatever that is, and it’s the best feeling in the world! As long as you start. This is how it all started for me too.
The TDAY Note2: P.S. other than all the above benefits of challenging oneself, running helps you reach that fitness level we are all working hard for.
*Here is a personal favourite tune on my playlist Queen - Don't Stop me Now!!!!! Love them!!!!!
HAVE a greeeeeat and well spent TDAY!! xxx