Sunday, 12 April 2015

This Girl Can

Just over two years ago I was overweight, desperately unfit and worryingly unhappy with my life. I had zero confidence and often struggled finding ways to get by from day to day. 
Then I discovered running. 
What started out as a way to essentially lose a little bit of weight, completely turned my entire life around. 
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Today I ran the Plusnet Sheffield Half Marathon - a race I had my heart set on running for a very long time.

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Here is my heartfelt and honest account of today:
I was so anxious and nervous yesterday as nerves began to set in, waking up this morning I felt excitement and eagerness to arrive in Sheffield city centre. The fact I was running completely alone daunted me, especially as groups of people began to gather at the starting zone. I felt a little bit like a little fish in a big sea. But I knew, my passion for running would get me through. 

The pursuit out of the city centre upto Ecclesall Road was truly brilliant; I felt a thrill running past some of my favourite haunts. It was when approaching Ringinglow Road (dubbed the King of the hill) - I began to feel the pain set in. I have little experience of hills and the quite ironic gusty wind did not help. But, I pushed through and I spotted a work colleague in the crowd who eagerly spurred me on.

Once up the hill, the course really took me on a whole new experience - trail running, in the tip of the Peak District. I was absolutely in my element running through the amazing scenery, Sheephill Road was a breath of fresh air. It was after this point, I really struggled - coinciding with needing the toilet (really badly); I did have a moment in my mind wondering how I was ever going to get to the finish line.

The downhill pursuit back into Sheffield centre, was a little more relaxed, but on approaching the final 3mile mark - I ached, I pained, I felt absolutely drained and exhausted. I kept thinking I wouldn't be able to make it, and felt so disappointed in myself. I reminded myself how far I’d come and giving up was not an option.

I don't know how - but I found that final spur of energy in my gut, and that last 10 minutes seems a complete blurry image for me. Seeing the final finish line, I gave it my all. Ran passed the cheering crowds and passed the line literally into the arms of a paramedic! I was shaking, and could barely walk - this was definitely the most I have ever pushed my body. 
I did manage to walk after this and then eventually find my husband and family, after a little cry on the side of the street. Gosh, the emotion I cannot even describe.

It was every inch physically and mentally draining today. But, up until the age of 23 I had never done any sort of exercise, I dodged PE like the plague and never took part in after school activities – something I deeply regret. Running like I did today demonstrated that being physically fit is not a gift nor something you are born with – it takes time, dedication and focus to train and transform your body.

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Finishing the race was my ultimate goal, and as the pain had overtaken all my thoughts on a decent finish time. As you can imagine, I was completely astounded and shocked, when I realised I had finished in less than 2 hours - my absolute ultimate dream for the race originally when I applied back in January. 

This is a tale of hard work, determination and having your heart set on changing something. All I ever wanted was to find confidence in myself and happiness and fulfilment in life – running has undoubtedly provided me with that and I couldn’t ever be more thankful.

Literally, believe me when I say: anything is possible.

 
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7 comments

  1. This is such an amazing achievement, well done you!

    Maria xxx

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  2. Alice, you are utterly inspiring! Your race time is brilliant and your gutsy determination has made you who you are today xx

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  3. Well sone Alice, really proud of you xx

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  4. You've done very well Alice! I admire anyone who can run!x

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  5. Inspirational indeed, congrats Alice!

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