Back in October 2011, I was approaching a milestone birthday. I wasn’t happy with how I looked at all, I was 5’4 and weighed just over 13 stone, the heaviest I had ever been.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that if you are this height and weight that you should lose weight but me personally I was not happy with how I looked at all. My skin felt awful, I did little exercise (walking) and was eating far too much! I lived in leggings and jegging's so was unable to tell if I had put on weight due to them having an elasticated waist, or maybe it was ignorance is bliss, either way I had got to the point where I needed to change things. I had tried pretty much every faddy diet out there and was getting nowhere at all, in fact I had put on more weight than I had lost!
At first I started run/walking, just a little bit at a time, twice a week. My lack of exercise and doing nothing since I had left school meant that my chest felt like it wanted to explode. It was four years ago was when I first heard of Parkrun and entered it for the first time, the fact that it was free, local and open to all abilities helped push me into going. After doing this a few times and realising that actually I wasn’t as bad as I thought I entered more races.
In the January of 2016 I entered my first 10k this followed by another four 10k races, a 10 mile and two half marathons. In 2017 I completed a marathon (I hated the training I am not going to lie), four half marathons, a 10 mile, and two 10k's. Fast forward to the present and I have now completed around 12 half marathons, numerous 10k races and still love a good Parkrun on a Saturday morning (work permitting)
I still have days when the training runs seem harder than they should be, when my head is arguing that I can’t do it but I try not to let the doubts creep in. I find that running with someone, as part of a club or varying your route can help massively.Runners come in all shapes and sizes, there is no one size that fits all, it simply doesn’t exist. People run for all different reasons, me personally I run not just to help keep the weight off as my diet could be better (I have a love of dark chocolate) but to keep my sanity as well. I have lost 3.5 stone, mainly down to running and the fact that I now eat far better than I did, yes I watch what I eat but I do not deny myself anything. I am 4 dress sizes smaller but I still have wobbly bits and still have issues with how I look. Sometimes in my head I still see the old me looking back and not the person standing in the mirror now.
Last year hubby decided that if he couldn't beat me then he may as well join me, so he started to come out with me and gradually we increased his distance. Last year he ran his first half marathon alongside me, it was a great moment and I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I loved being able to help him start his running journey and now he pushes me (must be his long legs).
Seeing someone who has started from absolutely nothing and build up to be able to run a set distance whether it be long or short is a great achievement, it isn’t all about speed and how fast you can go but ultimately whether you enjoy it or not.
Putting on your running shoes and getting outside is the first step, don’t expect too much too soon, take it slowly and build up, we all have to start somewhere so whether it’s a mile or a marathon keep going, just take it one stride at a time!
Huge thanks to Michelle for sharing her story and inspiring others. You can follow Michelle on her blog site - https://icanrunthis.wixsite.com/website
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