Okay, so some history is always helpful to set the scene -
I'm 21 and live in Perth, WA.
I've never been particularly athletic, school would see me exercise, when I had to. The 1500m dash was torture, and cross country was hell.
Year 11 and 12 came and I stopped exercising full stop to focus on my studies. I wasn't sleeping, only eating (one massive meal) once a day, and using chocolate as a bribery device to get through textbook after textbook.
Gap year before university - this is where the weight came on. I went from 65-68 kilos (top end of healthy for my height) to 78 kilos in a year. Countless coffees and pastries where I worked 12 hour shifts. I was flat out busy and just didn't need to care about my health yet. I was shy but wasn't really specifically self-conscious about my weight, because no one had told me I was overweight yet!
Gap year finished, I moved to Perth from my little country town to live with my boyfriend of three years. Freedom! Not much money, but freedom. Our diet wasn't great, cheap noodles, sausages, mince, pasta, frozen veg. Shopping at Coles we could barely keep our weekly food bill down to less than $100.
Around August, my mum told me she was on WeightWatchers. I snootily said, "I don't believe it diets - only lifestyle changes".
Turns out, it was a lifestyle change. And, it changed my life.
For one whole year, nearly to the date, I counted points diligently. I slowly, painfully began exercising. Most of the time, I was mortified to even walk in public.
Around a year ago, I reaches my goal weight of 58 kilos! A loss of 20 kilos had seen me grow so much more confident and happy in my skin. I couldn't believe I hadn't known how amazing life can be when you're at your full potential.
I started running 5kms, walking for a couple of hundred metres after running the same. Slowly and slowly I managed to run a whole 5km without stopping! That feeling was unbeatable. I also learned during this time that running needed as much brain power as it did leg power! Those little voices in my head would constantly doubt me, telling me I was too slow, making me doubt the distance.
Eventually I gave up running as I felt like I was too slow, and putting too much pressure on myself. I kept up with gym classes and kept fairly fit.
In february this year I had to have my gallbladder removed. A month or two and I was back fighting fit, with a couple of kilos hanging around due to all the amazing food I was able to enjoy again.
4 weeks before the 2013 Perth City2Surf, my mum coherced me into joining. The 12km. Oh crap, I thought. I haven't run in ages! How am I going to do this?
I didn't follow a plan. There aren't any out there that show you how to go from 0 to 12kms in 4 weeks!
So, I did 2 shorter runs of 5-6kms per week, 1 4km speed session, and one 'long' run, a lap from the causeway bridge heading into the city, along riverside drive to kwinana freeway, and then back along the south perth foreshore to the causeway (thanks to my Garmin I know this was now only 9.3 km!). I did this for four weeks, going as slow as I needed to to complete the runs. I didn't have a watch, I had no idea how slow or fast I was going.
The main thing was I was going to do it, and I was going to finish it - while having fun!
And so we did!
Race day we headed into the city by train, along with nearly 50,000 other people.
I stuck with my mum and her friends, at a gentle pace, none of us needed to walk once.
Our finishing time was around 1:30:00 and I was so happy.
As I looked up at the clock, not even feeling tired, I thought to myself, I reckon I could have done the half!
Now, as I'm training for a half marathon distance (unfortunately there aren't many actual races on this time of the season) I secretly hoping that next year I will be finishing the full marathon!
So, in short, this is a blog about running. It wont be like some, with their watches showing a 50km run completed in 4 hours, blonde hair neat and make up on their face. That's great for them, but that just aint me.
I'm pretty slow - 10kms takes me just over an hour. Let's blame it on my short legs, shall we?
But, I'm determined. I keep going when it's tough and when it's not pretty or worthy of a blog post. I sweat, I swear, I grit my teeth, I want to scream when my garmin only shows 6 kms - and I'm not immune to the runners trots either.
This blog is about keeping it real, and keeping it awesome.
Please read along!