Intro for February 14, 2012

Lainey Posted by Lainey at February 14, 2012 15:31:13 February 14, 2012 15:31:13

Three months ago I presented the challenge of running the Seattle full marathon to one of my clients and the Seattle half marathon to two others and on Sunday all three of these amazing women completed their journey.  Here are their stories.

Anya Georgijevic – 30 something fashionista/blogger/fashion journalist

I started training Anya about three years ago and when I first met her she believed it went against all fashion rules to walk her dog around the seawall in running shoes and she would not be caught dead in workout gear outside of the gym.  However, she was one of the first girls to accept this challenge and started seriously training right from the get go. Anya quickly became aware that her body did not agree with running long distances and after working towards her first two races (a 10km and a 14km run) she began to spend more time in physiotherapy rehabilitating her hip and less time out training.  Most people who find themselves in a similar situation as Anya give up but she was determined to do it and with clearance from her physiotherapist she arrived at the start line at 7:45am to complete the half marathon.  Even though it took her nearly 3 hours and 15 minutes I am so impressed with Anya and the fact that she left her ego at home and she did not care what her time was as all she wanted to do was complete what she set out to do – cross the finish line of her very first half marathon.  A lot of people congratulate me on my races and are impressed with my time but running a half marathon is easy if it only takes 90 minutes.  She is the one who did something amazing on Sunday; she did not give up as she battled the freezing cold weather for over 3 lonely hours along interstates, through tunnels and up the steepest hills I have ever encountered in a race.  She is proof that you can do anything you put your mind to and that nothing can stand in your way. 

Annabel Hawksworth – 40 something mother and business owner

I have been training Annabel for over four years and she has always loved to work hard.  She loves to sweat and loves to be pushed but whenever I challenged her a bit more she was hesitant to commit.  I always knew that she had the ability to run a half marathon but that distance can be daunting. This fall she committed to the challenge and throughout three months of training she found herself rejoicing in her accomplishments while at the same time battling with the guilt of taking time away from her 5 year old son.  The night before she was supposed to head down to Seattle she texted me saying she may not be able to make it and not to worry, if she couldn’t she would still run the distance on Sunday.  I said no way and somehow she made it happen and we headed down together.  We arrived at the start line together and I was there to hug her as she crossed the finish line, in just over two hours with a HUGE smile on her face.  A year ago if you were to ask her if she would ever run a half marathon she would probably have said absolutely not but it was only a few hours later after crossing the Seattle half marathon finish line that she began to talk about how she would love to do the London marathon one day.  Annabel is proof that if you trust yourself and believe in your abilities you can achieve all of your dreams, even those you did not know you were dreaming.

Julie Blanchard – 30 something mother of two

Julie has been a client of mine for over 7 years and a very good friend for just as long.  Julie was always very athletic but after her second son was born she began to put everyone else’s needs before her own and the Julie I knew had now turned into someone who did not care how she ate, how much she weighed or how unhealthy she had become.  One day Julie realised that she did not want to live like this anymore and she wanted to set a better example for her family so she decided to take control of her life and begin to make changes (a moment which she said she remembered during her marathon and wondered where she would be now if she had not had made that decision).  Julie started small: improving the consistency of her workouts and making better choices for her and her family.  She attended spin classes regularly, scheduled time to run and eventually found herself buying her first road bike.  With the support of her husband it was not long before she completed her first sprint triathlon.  She was hooked and 50 pounds lighter she completed her first half marathon.

Last year Julie conquered her first olympic distance triathlon and a few weeks later, plagued with a horrible flu, she finished the Oliver Half Ironman.  While training for this race she, like Annabel, battled with the guilt of taking time away from her boys to focus on herself and every week she had to fight to not give up. With perseverance and a lot of hard work she completed something that the Julie two years ago would not have even dreamt of. 

This year she upped the anti and decided she wanted to run the Boston Marathon, a feat that many runners never achieve.  She began to train for a marathon that was to be run in May but the night before the race she found herself in the hospital with an eardrum that had burst and her dreams of a Boston qualifying time had vanished.  She took the summer off from training and come September she was ready to try again.   I have never seen someone so ready to attempt their first marathon and I was supposed to run the race with her but because of my torn ligaments in my ankle I had to switch to the half distance and she was left to run 42 km on her own.  I knew if anyone could do it she could, and when I saw her coming up the last hill just meters from the finish line, about to get her Boston qualifying time, I burst into tears.  3 hours and 33 minutes she fought both mentally and physically and finished the Seattle marathon with hugs from her friends, her boys and her husband.  After some well deserved chocolate milk we hobbled back to the car and her husband said to me “I hope my boys are as inspired by their mother as much as I am right now”.  Julie has inspired her boys, her husband and all of those who surround her to be the best that they can be and to believe that anything is possible.

On Sunday, I was so fortunate to witness these three amazing women with three different journeys complete something that a year ago they would have never thought possible. 

Do not ever tell yourself that you cannot do something; with a little hard work and some sacrifice you can do anything you set your mind to.

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