So there I was, Christmas 2012 at 18st 8lbs.
The usual hideous feeling set in about being overweight with a negative body image. I decided that I needed to do something drastic. I knew that I could run a bit. I knew I needed something to focus on and give me some motivation. So i signed up for the local Yeovil Half Marathon. My family were hugely impressed, but I remain convinced that none of them thought I’d actually do it.
Being quite naive, I went abut putting together some sort of training plan. I figured during the week I’d run shorter distances, 3 times a week. Starting out at 3 miles, then each week increase the weekly mileage by about a mile. Then at the weekend I knew I’d need to do a longer run, and increase it a mile at a time until I got to 12 miles.
It wasn’t such a bad plan in the end for a beginner. The training was tough, but as the winter went on and spring came around the corner the training got more comfortable as the distances got longer. Credit to my frind Jamie who ran with me for most of the training – without here, It would have been so much more difficult! But come race day, I felt ready. I hadn’t lost much weight, only a few pounds, but I hoped for the best.
The morning of the race I felt very nervous. And cold. it was the bitterest day, only a few degrees above freezing. I remember being on the start, shivering, looking around me at all these runners thinking “I shouldn’t be here”. I felt completely out of place. I had a target in my mind of running it in 2h 15 minutes. Headphones were banned, So I didn’t have my app telling me my pace, and it was my pre-garmin days so i had to rely on a trusty stopwatch and the mile markers.
The adrenaline kicked in as the race started and I hit the first mile quicker than I should have done. Then I started seeing some of my supporters. My mum and Step Dad were at about mile 1 and just what I needed. The miles came and went and I was ahead of pace. I was worried I couldn’t keep it up. But I kept pushing through. I had a tactic – pick someone in front of me and try and catch them. And it worked! I overtook more people than overtook me. In the last mile I overtook someone I went to school with, which felt pretty special. And with about 400 yards to go, Huish Park, the finishing line was in sight. I picked up the pace a bit, but didn’t have much left. The crowd were fantastic, and I saw my Dad and Step Mum cheering me on. I crossed the line in 2h07m27s.
The satisfaction and pride rushed through my body. I saw my family and friends who had supported me so much through the journey, and my at the time girlfriend hugged me. And I cried. It felt brilliant and I wanted more.
Here are some photos from the event.
I decided these would be my last fat photos. I honestly did not think i looked that bad. In my head I was floating like a butterfly for all 13.1 miles!
2013 became a big year. After completing that half marathon, I entered some more races. Like the Bridgwater 10k. My first 10k, 60m48s.
You can’t tell much from the photos, but I’d shifted a bit of weight. I decided if I was going to run, I needed to really knuckle down. This was about 4 weeks after the Yeovil Half. A month later again, I ran the Bristol 10k. I was on my own so don’t have a photo, but I had lost about a stone for it and ran it in 56.07 – 4 minutes off in a month.
In the summer we went to Cuba. I shifted some more weight through running and eating healthily. Tracking calories through myfitnesspal another stone went and pre-Cuba I was just over 16st. But again, Holiday’s are my downfall. it was all inclusive and I got my money’s worth! Heres a photo from early in the holiday and later in the holiday. You can see the visible paunch.
So the plan was working. Run, eat healthily. Run more, eat healthily. But my lack of self control always seems to win, and after Cuba I was back to about 17st 5lbs. But there was another Half Marathon coming up, and another big turning point for me.