Health & Wellbeing

From Fat Ash to Ironman

February 19, 2014
from ice cream comps to my race face

From Eating comps in 99 to my race face in 2013

I was never one of the sporty girls in High School. I was known for ice cream eating, not sports participation. So much so, that I was given a voucher to the school canteen for my birthday one year.

I played Hockey in the B team and was the twelfth man the Cricket Team.

Envious of all those tall slim netball girls throughout high school I never thought I would become one of ‘those’ fit people later in life.

I would have laughed in disbelief if  the future me, had appeared in a dream and told me what I was going to achieve ten years on.

I thought that fit people had to look a certain way. I was sure I didn’t look like that. 

A few friends and I had lots of fat jokes between us. None of us had actual weight problems but the name and self belief in what I thought I could and could not do stuck with me for a few years on.

I never took exercise seriously apart from the odd game of hockey until I was told pretty much that I was fatty and to go to the gym by one of my first boyfriends. However degrading his comments were to get me going at the time, I do thank him for this day to bringing fitness into my life.

After a few years of being a gym and aerobics junkie, at twenty seven, I ran my first half marathon in south London. Inspired by my flatmate to get rid of the ‘heathrow injection’ I joined weight watchers and started to run to help me get rid of my extra kilos.

It was a VERY slow process to start with.

I plodded, walked and sweated the streets of London for twelve weeks.

I was by no means fast, running at seven minutes per km.

The weight dropped off, my speed increased and my confidence grew.

Inside my head I found a peace and solace in running that I had never found before.

Since then, training has been my rock. Running has helped me survive hideous break ups, anger, anxiety and work frustrations.

I had my half marathon training plan. I rugged up, stuck to it, put my ear muffs on and spent my weekends running through Regents Park, Hyde Park, Hampstead Health and along the Thames.

I fell in love with London in a way that I had never had before.

I finished my first half marathon in 2 hours and 24 minutes, smiling all the way despite the pouring rain. 

A few years on and three more half marathons later, I convinced myself to take on full marathon, which I survived in 34 degree heat. Along this journey I met another inspiring lady. She convinced me to give triathlon a go. I was highly intimidated by the bikes and the fancy lycra. But I decided to give it a bash.

After crying for most of the first six months and being petrified at the start of my cycling career, I have completed three Sprint Triathlons and an Olympic Distance Triathlon and I am well on the way to becoming a half ironman in September.

I am not the fastest person in the land. But I am proud as punch

I am so chuffed to be doing things that I never thought were possible.

And I have made some amazing lifelong friendships on the journey.

I am challenged each day.

I love the way my body changes each week.

I love that my body is fitter, stronger and healthier each week that passes, as is my mind.

 

The finish line

The finish line

*I completed the Sunshine Coast half ironman! A 1.9km swim, 90km bike and a half marathon (21.1km run) on September 15th 2013 in 6 hours 43 minutes.  As my friend just exclaimed I exercised for ALMOST A WHOLE WORKING DAY.

During the race, I lost a contact lens and cycled like a one eyed bandit for a while, peed on the bike and vomited behind a tree. But I have realised it is how we face these challenges and move forward that matters. Despite being in the last 100 people to finish. I felt like I was the winner. 

It goes down in history as one of the greatest days of my life. 

 

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