April 6, 2014
As you read this post I am somewhere along the route of a 26.2 mile race on the south coast of England, I am running a marathon. The Brighton Marathon.
However, I am not a marathon runner in the normal sense of the word. I do not have a running coach, or a sponsor or a team of physios. I do not have the body of a marathon runner either, my limbs are not long and my stomach is not flat…in fact most of the running kit out there designed for marathon runners does not fit me…even my feet are wide!!
Because I am FAT
I am a UK dress size 18, I weight more than 200lbs and have the kind of spare tyre around my middle that doctors worry about. I get out of breath if I run too fast, my cheeks burn red and my body wobbles as I plod along with aches and pains and problems with chaiffing increasing as the miles build up.
So why am I running a marathon you ask?
Because I can…and I already ran one in 2012 just to see if I could.
I may be overweight, obese if you believe in the BMI scale but you see I have the mind of a marathon runner. I am bloody minded, determined and self motivated. I don’t mind running by myself, in terrible weather or with aches and pains left over from my last training session.
And that is what makes me a marathon runner.
As I stand side by side with thousands of other runners at the start of this race of course I am nervous but I truly believe that I can run this marathon. I set myself the goal of running it months ago and have trained for it as best I can. Yes, I could have done more, could have dieted and lost some more weight in preparation…but it is what it is. I have no time for regrets or what ifs.
You could run a marathon too…yes YOU.
All you have to do is think BIG when setting your goals. Yes, by all means download a couch to 5k plan, and commit to running a 10K next year…but how about setting your sights on the ultimate test of body and mind, the marathon? What about setting yourself a Big Fat Goal of running a marathon this time next year?
Running a marathon teaches you everything you need to know about what it is to be big in a world where it is frowned upon. Yes it’s hard, but anything worth having in life is. Fat runners finish marathons all the time, so you have as much chance as anyone else to go the distance, you just need to believe that you will do it and take a sensibe approach to training.
Getting to the start line is the hardest bit, but even that is reasonably straightforward you just need to
- Decide you want to run a marathon
- Sign up for one
- Follow a training plan
- Not give up
- Turn up on the day
And if you are anything like me, telling the world you are going to do it is another important step. Nobody likes to look silly by committing to things and not following them through, so tell everyone you know about your plans and embrace the support and admiration that comes with it.
The Shame Factor is a powerful motivator for me, the thing that prevents me from walking if I have an audience, the thing that makes me hold in my belly when a photo is being taken.
So as I huff and puff my way around the Brighton Marathon today I challenge you to really question whether you too could do what I do. I am nobody special. I don’t have any super powers or talents when it comes to running. I just set a goal, form a plan and turn up on the day.
If you are motivated by what I am doing today please take 5 minutes to show your support by donating what you can to Mama Academy a small but amazing charity that supports new mums and midwifes, even the smallest amount can make a huge difference.
Once you have done that sign up to your own marathon…I dare you!!