As with many great ideas decided over a few wines with friends—or seemingly great at the time—former farm girl Anne-Marie Case-Miller decided to push herself to run, not one, but 12 half marathons in 12 months.
“I’m a big believer of investing in ‘you’. I think so many of us fail to do this these days as we’re busy with other things and busy putting everyone else first,” says Anne-Marie, who grew up on a Dairy Farm in Morrinsville.
“That’s partly why I adopted a small mantra for myself. There are 24 hours in the day, one of those hours needs to be for me to do the things I love and enjoy.
“Now I find an hour every day for myself. It may be gardening, reading, going for a run or walk, or just having a quiet cup of tea—the point being, that I’m taking time to invest in myself.
“So many people, women in particular I think, see this as selfish, but I look at it differently and think it’s selfless and an important step in looking after wellbeing,” says Anne-Marie.
Rural wellbeing programme Farmstrong is supporting Anne-Marie’s 12 in 12 challenge.
Anne-Marie’s comments back-up findings from recent research by Farmstrong, which looked at the wellbeing of women in farming.
With more than 800 respondents, the survey identified three areas women feel were most likely to help increase their wellbeing. This included: more time off the farm, getting more or better quality sleep and getting more exercise.
While off the farm now, Anne-Marie still considers herself a farm girl at heart and is involved with the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards.
“Many of my friends are still farming and I know how challenging it can be to get time to yourself—but it can be done. Even while training for this challenge, one of my friends couldn’t get off the farm, so as a solution she invested in a treadmill so she could still train.
“The 12 in 12 is all a bit of fun with good friends really. It’s about connecting with others, physical activity and getting off the farm. Our aim is to just finish. It’s not about personal best times, but more about investment in ourselves—that’s the important thing.
“These are all the things Farmstrong promotes around farmers seeing themselves as the most important asset on the farm. Once I heard about Farmstrong I really hoped there was a way I could team up with them and help promote their messages, so it’s great to have their support for the next 12 months,” says Anne-Marie.
October 14 – Pukekohe Runners and Joggers
November 10 – Tairua Peak to Peak
December 2 – Omaha Half Marathon
January 20 – Skechers Half Marathon, Villa Maria Estate (wine!)
February 23 – Ruapehu Express
March 16 – Martinborough Round the Vines
April – not confirmed, but probably Xterra Rotorua
May 25 – Whitianga Half Marathon
June, July, August – TBC
September 21 – Round Rarotonga Road Race (this one is actually 31km, however, there is a beach, sun and cocktails, and a week with friends!)
We chatted to Caitlin about how they make their relationship work around their heavy training loads and transient race schedules.