As a young person I was very active, involved in numerous competitive sports and easily maintaining my fitness. Unfortunately, not long before I got married and moved to the UK I broke my leg quite badly in a judo class. Although it did heal and I eventually learned to run again without too much pain, I was never as active after that. Continuing my studies, working and then adding in a family meant that there was not much time to devote to sport and fitness. The weight crept on.
Then about 10 years ago we joined Chesterton Sports Centre gym and for a long time I came regularly. I was not able to lose the weight but I did develop a good level of overall fitness. Sadly, as frequently happens, life overtook again and I became an infrequent attender at the gym and much more sedentary. I began to develop pains in my knees and found that many of the activities I had enjoyed in the past even when I was not so fit, I was no longer able to take part in. I thought it was simply a matter of age and weight catching up with me and I would have to be resigned to it.
Following an ankle injury I visited a physio and found to my surprise that I had lost a great deal of muscle strength in the leg I had broken so many years before. There was nothing significantly wrong with my knees except lack of strength. And running would be a good way to build it up. To my delight, Chesterton Sports Centre started a beginners running course about that time and my daughter Rosie agreed to come along with me for support.
In May we began to meet once a week and although we were supposed to do work on our own in between, there was not too much pressure from Ana our coach. We were allowed to build up at our own pace gradually adding in midweekly exercise as we felt able or had time. Of course she worked us hard on the evening we met so we couldn’t help but improve. At the beginning of the course I thought I would be pleased to be able to run 3k by the end. Early on Dani from Living Sport came along to a session and invited us all to run in the inaugural Greater Cambridge 10k in Sept. I agreed thinking I was likely to walk most of it. But by week 9 of the first course Ana challenged us to run in then Milton 5k Park Run. It was amazing and we all made it! I began to think maybe I could make the 10k course.
Our running course started again over the summer and I managed to keep running even in the mountains while our family was away on holiday. By now I no longer even needed to use my asthma inhalers. But it was nerve racking thinking about completing a whole 10k run and the closer it got the more nervous I got. Ana and Dani were wonderfully supportive with advice about pacing and diet on the days before the race. And then the big day rolled around. And I did it. 10k. In 18 weeks I went from an overweight unfit couch potato to a still overweight but more fit 10k successful competitor. Yay!