Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How it all started.

I have a little story to share, which will allow some of you to get to know me better, and allow myself to reflect on how far I've come. Bear with me...


In November 2006 I weighed almost 200 lbs. I was exercising at the gym regularly and slowly starting to lose some of my post-wedding weight gain. My husband had started taken up a running regimen the year before, just after we were married in September 2005. I always thought he was crazy...

Fast forward a couple months. Near the end of '06 I was getting bored at the gym, results were slowing and I wanted to try something new. Maybe I'll try this running thing.

It all started with a 10-minute (painful, breathless) jog on the treadmill around Christmas of 2006. I kinda liked it.

Without following any kind of program, I was able to run for 30 minutes at a time within a month or so, and started to think maybe I could be a runner.

It was in March '07 that my hubby took me on my first outdoor run, and 5K nearly killed me! Those little hills in our neighbourhood seemed like mountains...but I quickly became addicted to running outdoors.

It was on March 27, 2007 that I decided to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 1/2 Marathon, which was six months away on September 30th. Hubby was on board and we began training together. At this time, my distance was only up to about 7.5K, so I had a long way to go.

In the coming months we loosely followed a training schedule, but mostly ran whatever we felt like. Believe it or not, the greatest distance we ever ran before the HM was only about 13K. Not the smartest idea...

Somehow, we finished the race (holding hands) last September with a time of 2:12:46. That picture you see in the banner above is us as we approached the finish line - kudos to my sister for the awesome shot!

Going into the race, I was planning to take a LONG hiatus afterwards. But lo and behold, that very evening, I was already thinking about which race to run next.

I trained with the local Running Room through a miserable winter and often questioned my sanity, but stuck with it. My next event was the Burlington Chilly Half in March 2008, where I finished in 2:01:00 and developed a bad case of ITBS.

Lots of physio and a few weeks off, I was on the road again before long. Phew! It was during this time that I realized just how important running had become in my life. This is also the time that I decided on the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront for my first marathon. I was excited at the prospect because this had been my first race the year before, and truly is an amazing event.

And so the training ensued! Throughout the spring and summer I followed a program that my hubby created from various sources and ran solo for the most part, with a few races thrown into the mix (see sidebar).

It's been a long summer of looooong runs and it all comes down to this Sunday. Never in a million years would I have expected or even hoped to find myself where I am now. It's been almost two years since I thought I might try running and I find myself 40 lbs lighter, healthier than I've ever been in my life, grateful beyond words for all the love and support from my friends and family along the way and ready to become a marathoner two weeks before my 26th Birthday.

Thanks for being a part of my journey.

13 comments:

Marcy said...

My gosh I didn't realize you had lost all that weight!! CONGRATS! What a fabulous job, it's NOT easy.

I can't believe only 4 more days ;D You'll do fantastic! I am.so.excited for you!! WHOOOO HOOO!! ;D ;D

Road Warrior said...

What a wonderful story, Marlene. You should be so proud of your accomplishments.

You've got one huge accomplishment to go and when it's over, you'll be a changed person. It was quite an emotional experience for me, as I'm sure it will be for you.

Jess said...

That's a great story!

ShoreTurtle said...

That's awesome! Great story. In a couple of days, you'll get to add on to the story.

You've put in the miles. It's going to be great.

Melanie said...

congrats on coming so far... not only in your running, but your weight loss too. You look amazing, and you'll have a lifetime more stories to share. Funny that we can become addicted to running when it feels so impossible in the beginning. :)

*aron* said...

wow what a GREAT story!!! congrats on all your accomplishments so far!!! FOUR more days!!! WOOOO SO excited for you!

Christy said...

It is pretty amazing to look back and reflect like that sometimes isn't it?


Can't wait for the race report!

Marci said...

Great post and great story. What a great accomplishment. Enjoy this Sunday!

Lily on the Road said...

Sweet, thank you so much for sharing this. Now it will make meeting you even more exciting being a part of this fantastic journey you are on....I feel privileged !!

See you soon!

Nitmos said...

Awesome. Now go become a marathoner. Stick out those tough miles towards the end. You've put in the training and deserve this. Can't wait to read your report.

Lor said...

Marlene, good luck on Sunday, you're going to do a great job!!

-Lorilee

AddictedToEndorphins said...

:) Look how far you've come! Isn't it fun to look back and reflect! When the miles in the end get tough, thats what I'm going to think about--how far I've come!

You can totally have the "pain is temporary, pride is permanent. You should write it on your arm.

I cant believe we're almost there!!!! I Can't believe it!!!! See you Saturday:)

Vava said...

Wow! That's a great story! I'm sure you will have a blast this weekend, and the weather looks like it might be just perfect for your first marathon.
All the best! Look forward to your race report!