This is my journey from couch to athlete.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

My Story

The best way to start out my blog is to write about how I got to where I am now.

December 2003 - we went to visit family in England. After coming home we were looking at the pictures and I was horrified to realize how big I'd gotten - I was now over 200lbs.
Here is a picture from the summer before:

In 2002 my husband had run for most of the year and really enjoyed it but quit because of time and money. After seeing those pictures, I decided it was time to stop making excuses (one of which was that I was a swimmer and lifeguard in my teens and once I stopped I started to gain weight, so it wasn't my fault) and do something about it. I had tried aerobics and fitness classes in the past but never stuck with it. I knew that dieting is not the answer - you need to change your lifestyle, so I decided to try running.

In the dead of winter in Edmonton, I bought my first pair of running shoes and started out running 1 minute, walking 1 minute for 20 minutes. I thought that 1 minute was never going to end and my lungs were going to burst. The Running Room learn to run program says that you should increase your running time by 1 minute each week and try to run 3 times a week. Each week I couldn't imagine how I was going to add that minute next week but each week I did it. It's amazing to feel your body transforming and adapting so you no longer feel like you're going to die when you run (and it happens faster then you think). Once I could run 5 mins/walk 1 min my husband and I started going to the Running Room run club. I met some great people and now had company for some of my runs.

Mother's Day 2004 I completed my first 5km race 42:55
Canada Day 2004 - 5km race I ran even though I had been having problems with my shins and finished in last place at 48:20

In July I sprained my ankle and couldn't run for 8 weeks. After 6 weeks I was allowed to bike (which was ironic since I hurt myself falling off my bike in the first place) so I started to do that because sitting around for 6 weeks was driving me crazy, which was a total change from 9 months prior when I was happy to sit around and watch tv. While biking I started to think about triathlon. I used to be a lifeguard and swimming instructor so I already knew how to swim. Once I was able, I started running again and doing a little swimming to get back in shape.

8 weeks off from running meant I lost a lot of the endurance I had built up so I started again at 5 minutes and worked my way back up. October 04, my five year old and I ran the CIBC Run for the Cure 5km together. He did amazing - managed to run almost the entire distance!

I'd been having months of problems with my shins and had been in physio for 4 months with no real improvement so I decided to get custom orthotics. What a difference!! I could finally run without being in pain.

I ran another 5km race on January 1, 2005 and managed to finish in under 40 mins - a personal best!

In April I bought a road bike and started riding with some friends from run club (a few of them training for Ironman). It was tough but I loved biking. Within a few weeks of starting, my running started to improve and my cardio felt much stronger. Later that month I ran another 5km race and achieved my best time of 38:30.

June 26/05 I completed my first triathlon in Red Deer. It was a try-a-tri (250m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run) and I was hooked! My finishing time was 59:07.

Canada Day 05 - I had to go back and run the 5km race again (not sure why but I needed to replace the memory of coming in last and having a terrible run with something better). This year I felt strong and had a great run. Finished 38:57 - not a personal best but a good time for me.

The Triathlon Season Continues

August 7/05 St. Albert Sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) finished in 1hr 59.

August 28/05 Summerside Triathlon - my first open water swim, was supposed to be a 750m swim but people said it was more like 850m, 29km bike, 5km run. 2hours 27mins.

Where am I now?

Today I have more energy and am happier than I have ever been! I had quit so many things before but this time was different. Now, I'm still slow but I can run (run 10 mins/walk 1 min) for almost 3 hours! I have gone down 4 clothing sizes and lost about 40lbs but I don't weigh myself very often. When people ask me what my goal weight is I tell them that I'll be happy with whatever size I am when I cross the line and here the words, "You are an Ironman!"

What's next for me?

My first half marathon October 9th, 2005 Okanagan International

Great White North Half Ironman Distance triathlon July 2, 2006 (2km swim, 80km bike, 21.1 km run)

Thanks for taking the time to read my story and feel free to follow me while I train and hopefully manage to complete the Great White North.


  • At 8:16 AM, Blogger Deb said…

    yours is a great story, thanks for sharing, very inspirational!


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