Anybody who has ever been to a sanctioned race has been able to see all types of people. The skinny dudes in short shorts, moms with baby joggers, normal 9-5ers out bettering their health, and even people like me. Hi, my name is Kelsey and I am an overweight runner. Most races I tend to stick towards the back so that I don’t get in anybody’s way and so that I don’t get passed as much. I have been “running” off and on since my freshman year of college when I had to complete a health project that included completing a 5k. I stopped running after that but still participated in several half marathons and other various races, mostly walking the entire distance. After that I was selected for a marathon weight loss team which trained for a half while losing weight. During the program I lost almost 40 pounds and knocked 37 minutes off my half marathon time. But yet again, I stopped running. Last spring I tried out for my university’s division one rowing team and made it. The two-a-day workouts combined with early morning track sessions and afternoon long runs got me back in relatively good shape to help me complete a PR half marathon that spring. But guess what? You guessed it…I stopped running after the season was over. And I packed on the pounds I had formerly lost.
So here I am today starting from scratch. I’ve started, stopped, started, stopped, started, stopped. Learning to run again is at the top of my to-do list. I’m slow, can hardly run a mile without stopping, and I”m fat. Is that going to stop me? NO. One foot is going to go in front of the other and I’m going to train and get faster. Sure, I’ll still start at the back of the pack and still be just a mediocre runner. But I will be standing straight with my head held high knowing that I am doing something so many other overweight people in America wouldn’t dream of doing. It takes courage to show up at a race and pound 240 pounds of body weight on your size 11 feet. Showing up is the first part.
Over the next few months I will be chronicling the adventures of learning to run again, losing weight (and keeping it off), and being a pack of the pack overweight runner who totally rocks it! If you feel as though you can’t possibly run a race of any distance because you are overweight and/or scared, then I am here to tell you that YES YOU CAN. You can most definitely do it. If I can, then anyone can. Don’t let fear or weight stop you! Come join us June 16 at the SF Marathon! I’ll be waiting on you.