From Determination to Passion

I have always liked running, but up until 2006 I have never really put myself to the test.

After having two children I felt completely out of shape but most of all very unfit and demoralised.

I wanted to do something about it, and my first idea was running, to be precise jogging a little bit every now and then might help me to relax and lose weight, that was my goal.

The Beginnings

I started running on my own wearing baggy T-shirts enjoying my husband’s full support (someone had to baby sit!).  We both quickly realised the good effects of this hobby on absolutely every aspect of our lives. And then my neighbour joined me because she wanted to lose weight as well.

I enjoyed her company immensely, because we could chat about children, school (having similar aged children in the same primary school), but than she quickly realised I was much more serious about it than she thought. After about a month a nursery teacher where my little girl goes mentioned that there will be a 10K race here at Martlesham Heath where we live, and also a 2.5K fun run.

Catching Fire

At first I didn’t even contemplate to try the 10K run, but the thought didn’t leave me for a moment. I just had to try it. From that moment my brain went into a different functioning mode, I’ve suddenly started thinking differently, this was a key moment in my life thinking back now. It wasn’t about the result, it was all about the mentality, the time and effort put into it, having a go at something completely different, pushing the boundaries.

I had to challenge myself and I’ve never looked back since then. And I didn’t even think about the effect it was going to have on my children, which was a real bonus for me. Watching their little faces light up with pride looking at the medal around my neck, they suddenly realising that mummy can do something else apart from cooking, cleaning, generally looking after them. A lot of things have changed since then, I went back to work for example, more about that later.

Gearing Up

After successfully completing my first 10K I already wasn’t wearing baggy old T-shirts, but quality fitted sportswear, and then it came the ipod, and then the special Nike running shoe with the built-in pocket under the insole for that little sensor and a receiver attached to the ipod. My training became very hi-tech, chasing the all-important personal bests, storing and analysing each workout., selecting specific music for running using itunes, etc.

All this because I’ve decided to go for my first half-marathon, almost unthinkable 3 months before…

This is when I realised that my determination grew into a passion. I was reading books about marathon-training, I was following chat forums on the Runners World website, it became a real hobby.

The First Half Marathon

And than the big day arrived: 18th of March 2007 at Silverstone.

The conditions were absolutely awful : 2 °C, hail storms, around 65m/h wind, but 6000 people nevertheless. My husband thought the race will be cancelled due to severe weather warnings, but no, all of the 6000 runners were ready to go anxiously at the start-line. My family (husband+2 small children) were waiting for me in a nearby cafe 2 hours 20 minutes for me to complete. I was exhausted but very happy and proud of myself. I thought this is clearly the limit and I will never do it again.

The Never Ending Story

After the race I continued with the running 3-4 times per week, I’ve lost more weight and secretly longed for more challenges.

I met Rika again after several years at a party and was stunned how well she looked and gave me huge inspiration for many aspects of my life.

Coming from different directions, aspiring for different goals we both found similarities in the way how we took control of our lives and in the way of our thinking. It is very refreshing and reassuring knowing her.

.I went for another 10K race in Martlesham Heath in October, where cheered on by Rika and my family I managed to improve my previous 10K result with 7 minutes.

I struggled a bit but it was worth it.

 Encouraged by this during one of our Incredible Ladies meetings I blurted out that I might try another half-marathon in December (!) in Norwich knowing that saying it out loudly will encourage me more to do it.

I was running regularly between 20-30 km per week, even more towards the end.

I was constantly pushing myself, chasing PB-s, enjoying the benefits of physical fitness.

This is how I went to Norwich in December 2007, again terrible conditions, which almost felt familiar by now, quietly optimistic, although just recovering from a longish bout of cold and improving almost 20 (!) minutes on my previous time.

Elated and very happy I drove home on my own, feeling sore but on top of the world.

I am still running and I will continue to do so.

My latest challenge is how to juggle work and family life with 2 small children, but I am now empowered with the knowledge that running provided me, that boundaries are there to be demolished and “incredible” things can happen to you if you are willing to embark on this beautiful journey from determination to passion in whatever inspires you.



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Copyright 2007
Author: Imola