Love running!
But not always….
I’ve always been a big lover of food, and definitely not so much a lover of exercise! I guess you could say I was big boned, or at least that’s what I used to say, and quite frankly believe too. My turning point was in 2004 when my hubby, then partner, and I decided to move to the UK after having spent a few years living too much of the good life in New Zealand. Full cooked breakfasts, 3 course dinners & wine every night had not done either of us any favours that’s for sure. I was sick of not fitting into any nice clothes & struggling to find clothes in the normal shops, the big girls section beckoned. At 98kg (15.5 stone) for a 5″11 frame, it was time to do something about it.
Things started slowly; changing eating habits to a much healthier style and joining a gym & using the cross trainer to burn those calories. We started hitting the streets, walking everywhere, this then progressed to running the odd lamppost, to running a few more. Before long some of the weight had shifted and things were looking good. I managed to get down to about 83kg (13 stone) and hung around there for a while, going up and down a kilo here and there.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I started ‘running’. Not just a couple of miles here and there, but signing up for a 10km race. If I remember correctly it was the Warrington10km in 2008. Nervous! OMG! So nervous, but after that I was hooked. The feeling you get when you start a race to when you finish is absolutely amazing and it never leaves you, no matter how many you do. Well it hasn’t left me as yet anyway!
Then I started to think I could maybe do more, a competitive spirit had kicked in and next I knew I was running half marathons and the full marathons. Not only was I enjoying running (unheard of) but had found I had lost more weight, felt great, less sick days, and looked miles better for it too (figure, clear skin and eyes, healthy glow).
I’ve now progressed even further, turning my legs into endurance machines! I completed my first ultra in May 2013, 34 miles in 7hrs (yes, rather slow) and then completed my first multi stage Ultra, Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon in October 2013. 250km (160 miles) fully self sufficient race over 6 stages through the Kalahari desert in South Africa. I even went back for a 2nd year and came 6th overall and 2nd lady! It’s amazing what your body will do when pushed.
I’ve now gone completely off the rails and keep signing up for more crazy adventures. I am heading off to compete in Marathon Des Sables for my 2nd time in April 2016 and UTMB in August 2016.
I am now at my lowest weight since before becoming a teenager I think, 66kg (10.4 stone) and aiming to get this to 65kg (10.2 stone), not because I need to, but because the less weight you carry the less impact, less damage on these endurance events and hopefully the quicker I will then be, not that I’m competitive at all!
Running has been my saviour, and I am now just slightly addicted…..I am in no way suggesting that everyone needs to run crazy distances, but a little bit of running in everyone’s life would definitely be a good thing.
Hope to see you out on a run soon!

Contact me – runningdutchie@hotmail.com

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