How It All Began.
My name is Louise and I am not the world’s most likely runner. Not only am I not the archetypical tall leggy build but I have a few medical conditions that also make life a little bit more difficult.
Hypermobility (very bendy) in ankles and shoulders
A bright red face everytime I did the slightest amount of exercise
Yes this is a valid medical condition, I checked Google. It’s called being excessivelesslyunfit-itus
I’m also pretty sure the hypermobility came from an ability to reach the remote from an array of places without moving from the sofa. You get the picture.
To be fair, the weight wasn’t ALL my fault. Depression, recovering from an eating disorder and a failing long term relationship all contributed to the scales. Contrary to popular belief not all eating disorders make you lose weight, some of the nasty buggers make you gain weight hideously, especially in recovery. I think if they showed more of that side in the media there would be less teenage girls willing to go down that road.
ANYWAY less of the wah wah wahs. This isn’t a ‘poor me’ blog.
When I thankfully found myself single I looked in the mirror, decided I wanted to look less like a Ricky Gervais in a dress and joined a gym.
Within a two months I had gone from being able to jog for 5 mins at a shuffle to being able to do 5k on the treadmill in my Adidas tennis shoes. (I didn’t know what running trainers looked like at this point)
The increase in distance however gave me a big boost of confidence and I was persuaded by a friend to enter Race For Life………….and the rest they say is history
Race for Life, Chester
I thought I had the 5k distance down. But I decided to buy some proper trainers for the occasion just in case. I shelled out a full £20 in Sports Direct for some New Balance trainers, which I have to say were a great buy for a beginner.
I took my new trainers out on to the streets for some practice and I discovered something shocking! Running on the road is harder than on a treadmill in a gym. Turns out I was back to my 5 minute shuffle.
I’ve never trained on a treadmill again. To be honest I find it pointless and barring impossible weather conditions I can’t see why anyone would want to.
I improved quicker on the more difficult terrain and without the added distraction of staring at my wobbly bits in a mirror.
By the time the race had come around I had been exercising for a year and lost two stone.
At this point I don’t think I had grasped the difference in preparation needed for a marathon and a 5k. I had been reading some things on the internet about hydration and what to eat on the day so I prepared to the EXTREME.
I probably ate about 800kcal the morning of the race, and had packed ‘extra’ for the race in the form of a bag of cashews. If there are any newbies reading this, you do not need any food on the way round for a 5k and even if you did, it most certainly wouldn’t be nuts.
I bought the BIGGEST bottle of water I could find which was so heavy I got cramp in my arm and had to ditch it a quarter of the way round.
Okay Okay, bear in mind I didn’t do sport………..
Crossing the Metaphorical Finish Line
I crossed the line in around 49 mins. Not a lightening quick time, however my friend and I jogged the whole way round and managed a sprint finish. We collapsed on the grass, but as soon as I was handed that very first medal all I could think was I want to do this again.
I started running for a number of reasons. When I began the weight loss thing was all about revenge. It was about beating my ex boyfriend by losing weight and achieving something greater than I could when I was with him. When I crossed the line I smashed through all that and from that moment on it wasn’t about him anymore. I was running for me, for the sense of achievement and confidence it had given me. I was running because I wanted to. Gradually it seeped into my life.
Now my medal collection is substantially larger and includes a number of half marathons and ‘gulp’ the London Marathon. I moved house, jobs and now work in the physical activity industry after completing a two year Sports qualification because it has a habit of doing that to you.
Sorry this first entry is so long.