My Journey Through Strength and Fitness

Hi, and welcome to my journey through fitness.

I am a 54-year old female, living in Auckland, New Zealand. The photo is of Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano in Auckland. We have several "dormant" volcanoes in Auckland. 

New Zealand is a pretty sporty type of place with rugby, sailing, swimming, cycling, and triathlon being some of the more popular sports here. I've never been part of any sports team, but over the years I have been pretty active in various types of exercise. So, how did this all start?

About ten years ago, I was 75 kg (165 pounds) and I'm only 5 foot 4 inches (163 cm). I was bordering on high cholesterol, not to mention being very unfit. I was told by a doctor that I should lose a bit of weight to help bring my cholesterol back within the healthy range, so I started walking. I started to lose a bit of weight, but I was very stressed at the time because I was working long hours as I progressed through my PhD, and was told I should start running. This is where my fitness journey begins. 

Follow my journey from being unable to run for one minute, to completing five half marathons, multiple triathlons, ocean swims, and hitting elite level of fitness tests, and a maximum leg press of 337 kg (741 pounds) for three repetitions. If I can, anyone can! At the moment I weigh about 57 kg (125 pounds). 

 

Progression to Completing Half Marathons

As I mentioned, I was told that I needed to start running. Yeah right, I thought, and initially, it was just that. Off I went to the local park (see images) and after a 10-minute walk to get there, I attempted to run. With no exaggeration, I could not run for 1-minute. So I ran, walked, ran, walked, and went home.

 

I repeated this about a week later and saw no difference. Well, these things don't happen over night, but I realized something. I was unfit and trying to run faster than I was capable of. For the next attempt, i went much slower - a slow jog by many people's standards, and finally I made it through 5-minutes without stopping.

To cut a long story short, I repeated this process, gradually increase the run/jog duration. Eventually, I got myself up to 21 km and entered five half marathons. Now I was never going to be competitive, no! My goal is, and probably always will be: 1) Cross the finish line; 2) Complete the event without any walking.

I have only completed half marathons in Auckland - The Auckland Half Marathon twice, a charity event along Auckland's water front, and an Orakei Half Marathon twice. The Orakei course had lots of hills, yet this one is where I got my personal best (PB). My PB is 2 hours 9 minutes, and as I said, I was never going to be competitive, but I reached my two goals of crossing the finish line and running the entire 21.2 km.

Auckland Harbour Bridge - Part of the Auckland Half Marathon Course.

 

 Auckland Water Front

 

So I went from being completely unfit, to completing five half marathons. So if I can, anyone can - provided it is safe for you to do so! This mean that you have no medical condition preventing you from engaging in intensive physical activity.

Next, I will talk about my ocean swims. To be continued ....

 


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