To give you a bit of background, I’m ashamed to say I’d never been a one for sport or fitness. I was always the one at school who would make every excuse under the sun to get out’ve PE and I’d rather miss the bus than run for it...
In 2009 I had significant health problems when pregnant with my little girl and had to go through extensive surgery and treatment. Due to my continuing pregnancy, ongoing complications after surgery resulting in limited mobility and being reliant on medication and comfort eating my way through the whole thing... I managed to gain 77lbs and found myself very uncomfortable in my own skin but lacked the confidence to do anything about it. I knew how difficult it was going to be. 5.5 stone seemed like an impossible amount of weight to lose and due to my lack of confidence I struggled to find the motivation to even try.
In 2011 I was offered a place in the Great North Run. Not fully thinking it through, I committed to it thinking that so long as I made it to the finish line and raised some cash for charity, what’s the worst that could happen...? I’m also ashamed to say, I didn’t really train for the run. I knew nothing about running and foolishly assumed that as I did a bit of running within my Boot camp that I would be fine. Like I say, I had no expectation at all other than to finish. I thought I could aim to finish in about 4 hours, thinking that even if I just did a fast walk, I’d managed that.
Anyway, it was the sense of achievement from the Great North Run that made me focus. I didn’t just want to lose weight anymore, I wanted to get fit, and I wanted to achieve things!
I was struggling to attend anymore sessions of Boot camp due to child care so needed something that could fit around my life. Something I could do anytime, anywhere. I started working with a Personal Trainer, Gav Baxter, to increase my strength and overall fitness then during any other spare time or when my daughter was in bed, I just ran. Sometimes it wasn’t for very long and I wasn’t very fast but I was out there and doing it and improved up to a ten minute mile over the next few months. I’m the type of person that needs the challenge and the push though. I enjoy the build up to an organised event and felt that a focus would keep motivating me to push myself. In April 2012 I signed up for the North Tyne 10k. I trained for it and wanted to complete it in 1 hour. I completed it in 1hr 4 minutes. I was still pleased at the time (I’m still at the stage where I’m just pleased to cross finish lines) but I was disappointed that I didn’t achieve my time so I enlisted the help of Gav to work on my technique. Gav worked with me to better my technique and my breathing, showing me how to conserve energy by actually thinking about my performance rather than just simply running. I completed a 10k the next week in 52 minutes! And am now in constant competition with myself to do better. As well as Boot camp and my personal training sessions, I try to do at least two long runs a week now but still think I do better when I’m in an actual race or event. I’ve signed up for at least one race a month taking me up to this year’s Great North Run on the 16th of September 2012 which I’d very much like to do in less than 2 hours. I’m currently running at approximately 8 minutes 30 seconds a mile so would like to think that’s achievable. I’m starting to feel the pressure now though. Before last year’s Great North Run, no one had any expectations of me. I don’t think some people even expected me to finish it. Now though, people expect me to do well!