Overweight beginner - Marathon Madness

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29/06/2012 at 13:51

Ok, so here's me. I am starting this thread as an online diary and hoping to get a little support along the way. I am still working out why I find myself with a place to run the Marathon 2013, yes - I said it, 2013. April 21st. Ten months. I figure I've got about a thousand miles of training to cover between now and then.

So, after hanging around on the boards for while I worked out that some runners consider it highly insulting that a beginner would attempt something like this and to be honest I saw such derision and venom that I almost quit before I had even started. I know that this isn't a great idea, that I shouldn't have allowed myself to get so out of shape, that it is going to be hell on Earth but do you know what - I am going to give it a go, transform my life and become a runner who aims to finish the marathon.

Ok - so here are the stats.

31 year old female

15.10 stone


I ride my horse 4-5 times a week but no structured exercise.

I do have a few things going in my favour - my husband trains triathletes so I have good advice on my side (should I choose to take it - I have been ignoring him for a few years now). I am also stubborn as hell.

So, tonight I begin couch 210k and I am going to take it from there. I will be having one personal training session, 2 yoga sessions and the running programme for now and we will see how we go.

The one thing I don't need on this thread is negativity. No thanks, no way. I don't mind you saying I am foolish (I know this already) but support and encouragement is very, very welcome.

I will be back to update x

29/06/2012 at 13:58

I already feel stupid having written it down

29/06/2012 at 14:04

Don't feel stupid BB, you've written it down and now it's given you something to stick with and work towards?  Is it London you're aiming for?

29/06/2012 at 14:46

Sounds great!  I'm a similar age, was a similar weight, trained for Edinburgh marathon over 8 months, lost 4 stone and loved every second of it!  Good luck  I wish I'd blogged my journey, though I do have my training diary to look back on.  

29/06/2012 at 15:09

Mitiog, so great to hear from someone else who has done it! What was your finish time?

Cinders, yes I have a place in TLM to run for WellChild.

Thank you for responding positively. I really want to look back on this thread in six months and see how far I've come. I have a great feeling that this is going to change my life, the size of my ar*e and my sanity.

29/06/2012 at 15:16

I love your positivity, hold onto that and don't let anyone make you doubt yourself. In a few months time you won't believe how far you have come! Good luck!

29/06/2012 at 15:17
BillieB: go for it. I got from 15 stone 6 down to 11 and a bit under a year. In that year I also went from totally unfit to running a marathon. Best year of my life, honestly. Funny thing is, weight is now going up and trousers still getting too big... Even better. It's good you've got it written down, you'll look back and remember how hard it was to get to running for 30 minutes while your knocking out 6mile + in the week and big 2/3 hour runs at the weekend. Enjoy!!!
29/06/2012 at 15:38

Don't despair....

I was 15st 8 on 21st March started dieting WW online, just pointing on my iphone.

On 1st of May i ran for the first time since school (i'm 41) now 12st 13, and did my first 10k last weekend, and have a marathon lined up in October.  Will I be slow, yes, will I be proud, yes Go for it, you will have great fun running.  It's awesome.  You will not believe you are the same person. I looked at a photo of me at X mas and cannot believe it's the same person, dieting fantastic, running, fantastic, if you can marry the pair together it's really great.

EDIT: For the pedants i agree it's not a diet, it's more a change of lifestyle, controlling the size of portions and just trying to not nibble to much, and if you do nibble at sensible things.

Edited: 29/06/2012 at 15:40
29/06/2012 at 16:23

Go for it BillieB!

Only thing I'd say is VLM 2013 is a long way away, so why not look for a local 5k race or parkrun in a couple of months time and then try a 10k or maybe even a half-marathon in the autumn?  

29/06/2012 at 16:28


It's sounds like you have everything in place. Try not to get to bogged down in training otherwise you might not enjoy it as much. Keep it fun!

Maybe find running clubs with people in a similar situation, and book a couple of events a long the way as something to look forward to. It'll be good practice to get used to how events work and meet some new people

29/06/2012 at 17:41

Thank you all so much. I really appreciate the good vibes. I have run before but didn't keep it up, went from running for 30 seconds to being able to run for an hour in 7 weeks. But the summer hols came to an end and life got in the way (teacher). I am really hoping to make good progress and hopefully that should spur me on. Thanks to the first positive message I felt inspired enough to go ahead and pay my £100 registration fee for TLM so that is another 'nail in the coffin'.

I am heading out tonight (in my lovely new purple and black Asics trainers) for the first slot on my C210K programme and my husband is letting me (!) use his Garmin watch so can track right from the beginning.

I have booked in for a 10k October 7th so that will be a real first milestone. I am supposed to be walking it with some friends for work as it is a charity event and I joked today that I was going to run it and then catch them up. Boy did they laugh. I haven't told them my Marathon plans you see. I'm not telling anyone until I have 10 miles under my belt! The local running club have said that they will take me as soon as I can run 40 mins without a break so that is something to look forward to!

Thanks all, don't forget to pop by. I need you!

29/06/2012 at 17:55

Good luck - let us know how you get on

29/06/2012 at 18:41

Good luck. I think stutyr's suggestion of doing some shorter races before the marathon is good - will help to keep you motivated.

29/06/2012 at 19:50

Go for it!

Good luck on your journey, hope you keep us posted on how well you're doing!

29/06/2012 at 19:55

Teaching is tough - running helps so much to help u chill out and sort the old brain out.... If u ever doubt that it's doin u good put up 2 pieces of paper on a wall.  On one put a tick every time u get back and feel better for going out.  On the other put a tick if you don't.... Funny how one stays blank!!! (unless u r unwell, injured or overdoing it!!).  Good luck!! - what a story to tell your students (no excuses for them now eh??) - a great inspiration!! Go for it!!

29/06/2012 at 20:01

Every time you go out running over the summer, imagine the looks on your students faces in September when they see you after the long break - you will be transformed and will be their number one hero!

Don't worry about running with extra weight. It comes off, and I think if you have been heavy, you are a stronger person both mentally and physically - could a skinny runner do the distance you are doing carrying a sack of potatoes? No way!

I was 16 stone 9 pounds at my heaviest and it has been a long road back to fitness. But I don't think I would change a thing, it has been a real learning process. Still a stone to go to get to my goal weight but the running has become the focus now rather than the weight.

Best of luck, you can do it!

29/06/2012 at 20:37
Just wanted to comment on the negativity point - there are often threads here from people who say things like 'it's always been my dream to run a marathon but I've never run a step and I've signed up for one in three months - do you think I'll be OK?'. The kindest response to that sort of question is 'no, you'll almost certainly get injured or at best will have a very grim time on the day - aim for a shorter race first'.

You, on the other hand, have plenty of time to get some mileage under your belt and seem to have a good idea of what's required. You'll be fine. Work towards running four times a week, don't be afraid to walk/run on your longer runs to build up time on your feet, and find a suitable training plan to stick to for the last 16 weeks before the race. Good luck!
29/06/2012 at 20:49

Wow. I can not thank you guys enough. Will definitley get those bits of paper stuck up Tigger! And yes, going back to school in Sept at least a stone lighter (well that's the plan) will be an absolute bonus. Heading out with the dog shortly. I have been nervous to start this first run/walk as that means there is no going back!

The support has been immense so far and i haven't even started yet!

29/06/2012 at 23:08

Ok, so that is session number one of c210k done. I broke my Husband's Golden Rule - I didn't stick to the plan. I skipped week one of the plan and went straight to week 2 and I hope my body doesn't decide to punish me for it! Week one is 'run for 30 secs walk for 4.30 x 8'. I felt like I could run for longer fairly easily so I decided after my first running stretch to skip to week 2 which is 'run for 1 min walk for 4 x 8'.

I was out for 40 mins, covered 2.51 miles and didn't feel like dying at all. The fourth minute of running actually felt quite euphoric. In short - I loved it.

There were a few dodgy moments, the first being faced with a couple out walking coming head on at me along the little public footpath, I don't think they realised that I genuinely didn't have enough energy to propel myself up the verge as I ran so either they had to move or something drastic was going to happen. I stayed on course and they moved in the end as I heavily breathed a thank you in their direction.

The second was when I cut through the park about half way round, I don't want to say too much but there was the distinct whiff of dog poo following me around for the second half

Thirdly a group of 'yoofs' were up ahead at one point and I started to panic as my next minute run was coming up, I almost gave in as I didn't want to run past them. Instead I crossed the road and got on with it - I wasn't even that bothered when one of the gits decided to show that they could walk at the same speed as my run and attempted to race me on the opposite side

Other than that it was brilliant, I can't wait to do it again, At one point I was saying to myself 'I am an elite athlete, I am a runner, I go running, just going for a run darling' - it helped!

Oh and I definitely did the right thing going out in my massive Bridget Jones control pants, it really helped with the predicted tummy jiggling!

Onwards and upwards.....

30/06/2012 at 08:36
Well done BillieB . I know what you mean about negativity...but it's not like you are doing a marathon next week!! I too have booked into a 2013 spring marathon. Doing Brighton on the 14.04.13!! First marathon and am really excited and really scared. I have started running before and got myself up to 10k but then stopped! So figured if I book into some races it will give me the incentive to get out and run because I love it when I do. love the post it note idea....will be stealing that.
Good Luck and I look forward to offering eachother words of encouragement.
Definately worth booking in some races beforehand.
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