How I went from a Double G non runner to a half marathoner!
I mentioned that some friends and I had made a crazy dream to run a marathon? Well, Greg, Ruth and I have a Facebook page so that people can follow our journey. We're writing short ;) bios about ourselves and today was my turn, so I thought I'd share what I wrote on my blog. If you read my blog you probably know my story anyway, but here it is. This is my running bio, in brief. :)
Kate's running bio
How did I come about making this crazy dream? The girl who in June
last year could only run for 200 metres? Who now talks about completed
half marathons in plural?
In June last year I found myself at
141kg. To explain how I got to that weight would need a whole other
long post - but we all have a history and mine saw me getting to that
weight. Morbidly obese and essentially hiding from life. I decided to
lose weight (for the 461st time) and joined Michelle Bridges 12WBT.
That’s all I planned on doing – just losing weight. I didn’t realise
how much of my life would change in the process.
I did my first
fitness test where we had to do a 1km time trial. I waited till about
10pm when the streets were dark
How I went from a Double G non runner to a half marathoner!
and quiet so that no-one would see me,
and I headed out. I managed to run 200m before feeling like my throat
was going to seize up and I’d collapse.
A few days later, I sat
in my car, in the rain, staring at the boot camp across the park – the
boot camp I was trying to get the courage to join. I was petrified. I
was not one who exercised. At all. I was in the ‘Under 13’s and Under
14’s Butterflies’ netball teams when I was a kid. Umm, and that was it.
I had never really exercised before. I was the girl who would eat
M&M’s while walking defiantly at the back of my schools cross
country only because I was forced to participate. I didn’t do anything.
wouldn’t (and couldn’t!) even run for a train.
made it out of the car that day and did my first boot camp. I cried a
bit but I did it. And the next week, I went back, and I did it again.
And again. I slowly started to introduce more exercise. I kept up my
1km time trials and within a couple of months, after losing some weight
and increasing my fitness a little bit, I discovered I could run the
whole 1km without stopping!
I signed up for my first official
fun run, the 5km Bridge to Brisbane. My goal was to finish it, and if I
felt ok, to try and run a little bit. If I could do this, it would be
the first time I would be running in public. The day before, a friend,
Wendy, said to me “if you can run 1km, you can run 2km”. I thought it
was a sweet sentiment and that was it. But I remembered it.
the Start line, I thought I’d just give it a go and try and run. I
started, and I discovered I was ok. No-one was staring at me...I
blended in as much as the other thousands of runners. As I approached
the 1km mark, I remembered what Wendy had said. I started to think
about testing her theory, and about how cool it would be, if I could
tell her later that I did in fact run 2km without stopping? I was
feeling ok...so I kept going. Already I had ‘beat’ my best distance, so
I was on Cloud 9. But then the funniest thing happened. I was already
approaching the 2km mark, and I was still feeling ok. I started
dreaming bigger. What if...no...surely not...no...come on, what if...if
I can run 2km, maybe I could run 3km? I kept going.... You get the
picture. That continued and I ended up running the entire 5km that day.
I realised what incredible things your body can do, if you just start
Soon after that, continuing to lose weight and
increase my fitness, I imagined really big. I imagined running a half
marathon. How amazing would that be? I settled on a goal of the Gold
Coast Half Marathon 2013 and set out to make it a reality.
literally about 2 weeks later, I had an accident on the infamous
princess bushwalk, and badly sprained my ankle. For the following two
months, I was on crutches and in a moon boot. Not the best timing but I
refused to let it stop my running goals. I couldn’t run, but I could
do other stuff. I’d turn up to boot camp with crutches and just do
upper body exercises. In those 2 months I increased my fitness so much,
that a week after recovering, I went and ran 11km non stop, just like
that. After not running in 2 months.
That was January – since
then I just kept going. I increased my boot camps, I did a few
triathlons, I tried pole dancing, climbed mountains, did Spartan, all
different stuff – I did as much as I could. The other stuff helped my
fitness but nothing gave me ‘that feeling’ like running did. Running
made me feel alive. I entered every running event that I could – always
with the half marathon goal in mind. In June I completed the 14km City
2 South. Around this point I delayed my half goal – I changed it to
the Brisbane Marathon Festival in August. I felt I needed a bit more
time, and the Gold Coast had a strict 3 hour cut off time that I was
worrying about meeting. One thing I have learnt, is to be flexible with
your goals. So I had 4 more weeks up my sleeve. I did the 10km Jetty 2
Jetty in July, got to the finish line and kept running through it for
another 6km. Just because I wanted to let myself do a 16km run before
tackling the half. I made it, and it gave me the confidence to know I
would really be ok with the 21.1km.
Along came the 4th August,
and, 14 months after I started running, and 40kg down, I went and I did
it. I ran 21.1km without stopping. It is the biggest thing I have
ever done in my life. I realised why I was doing it. Yeah, I loved
running, the feeling it gave me and the fitness it allowed me to have.
But the reason I did the half? It’s because I never imagined I could.
When you’re 141kg you don’t imagine things like this. Not seriously,
anyway. But this is a dream – a huge, scary, seemingly out of reach
crazy goal I made myself. And I did it. I worked so hard for over a
year and broke down my goal into achievable chunks. I allowed myself to
keep going after stuffing up along the way. It wasn’t all smooth
sailing. The sprained ankle was the very least of my worries at some
points. Paralleled with this journey were many personal hurdles – some
very dark. But you’ve just gotta keep going.
Since my first
half marathon, I have completed 2 more. 3 halfs in 7 weeks – it’s
craziness at its most rewarding. The marathon dream is something I
dabbled with in my mind but wouldn’t allow myself to seriously consider
until after my first half. Of course, as soon as I did it, running a
full marathon became the new dream.
I am so lucky I met Ruth and Greg along the way and that they have
crazy dreams just like me. Both of them have been by my side through so
much – I call them my sister and brother and I can’t imagine sharing
the marathon dream with anyone else. And to top it off, to have so many
of our friends pledging to run at the Gold Coast next year in all
different distances too? This makes me even more excited about it. The
Gold Coast is not going to know what hit it come July!
This is a video I made a couple of weeks ago that shows you my running story. It’s basically this bio, in pictures http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=r3goH10oXMk
I encourage each of you to aim – whether it be the Gold Coast, or your
own personal running, walking, climbing etc. goal – whatever it is, aim
big. You never know what you might be capable of, if you only let
yourself imagine it. You can currently be at any point and still get to
any point. That 141kg, out of breath girl from June last year, she
never thought she’d be able to run a half...until she imagined it.