Carolyn Radcliffe’s road to the 10-kilometre race as part of the 2015 Emera Marathon by the Sea started on a bike. She wanted to lose weight and did, dropping 30 pounds through Weight Watchers programming and time on the bicycle. But that was only the beginning in her inspiring tale of dedication. Thanks to a work-sponsored running clinic, she took up running; slowly at first but now with great enthusiasm and appreciation. Check out her Running Whys story and find out how much progress she has made, how much weight she lost and what the sport has provided in other areas of her life. Enjoy.
by Carolyn Radcliffe
I began running last year in May 2014 after losing 30 pounds on Weight Watchers.
I had always been overweight. In fact, my younger school years were full of body shaming and bullying. I had never really given any sport or diet a proper chance because I just didn’t believe I could do it.
When I was about 15 I was told by Herbal Magic I had about 100 pounds to lose for me to be considered a ‘healthy’ body weight.
It was like getting hit by a bus. I knew I was overweight but I didn’t realize I was that overweight. I saw this task as completely impossible and quit before I started.
In the lead up to this year’s race, we also have profiled Andrew Estey, Corinne Fournier, Kevin McEachern, Sherri Colwell-McCavour, Jesse Davidson, Jason Kaulbach, Jacqueline Boucher, Jen Payne, Mark Clinton, Patty MacMillan, Haley Adams-Green, Dean Mercer, Caitlin Stevens-Kelly, Carla Harris, Dave Horgan, and Krista Sutton.
In February 2014, at 26 years old, I decided to give Weight Watchers a proper chance. There was no way I was not going to don a bikini that summer – all bodies are bikini bodies – but I wanted to be comfortable and confident in my skin. I got back into fitness with what I had adored as a girl – biking.
After I had gone from about 250 pounds to 220 pounds with biking and dieting, I decided to really challenge myself by taking up running.
My work was holding a learn-to-run clinic put on by Brenda Guitard from the Running Room. I was absolutely terrified to go to the first run because I knew a lot of people at work were really athletic and I was a complete beginner.
I went anyways, telling myself, “If I can’t keep up and just need to stop, then I will.” To my surprise, I was able to manage the 2-to-1 intervals at a slow pace and, boy, was I proud of myself. Ever since then I’ve kept running about 2-4 times a week.
The reason I run, aside from being able to eat more while dieting, is because I literally never believed I could do it and with every run I finished, I felt so damn good about myself! In my previous attempts to lose weight, I would look at the gym-goers on treadmills with envy and wish I could do the same.
I kept training and ran my first 5km race at Marathon by the Sea in August 2014. I ran another at Legs for Literacy in October 2014 and was joined by my boyfriend Brad Trecartin, who had caught the running fever after I had gotten hooked. We both decided we could do more so we ran our first 10km at the Port City Beer Run in May this year.
We did our second 10km race on July 12 at the Belfast Titanic Half Marathon. It’s such a fun (and free!) date to get outside together and challenge one another. One thing I love about running is that I only compete with myself. Can I go further than yesterday? Can I shave a few minutes off my time?
Time and time again with running, I have proven to myself I can do so much more than I ever thought I was capable of. That realization has affected every facet of my life.
Since I’ve started to run, I’ve lost another 55 pounds – for a total of 85 pounds! Brad has lost about 50 pounds since he started. It’s hard to say if the running or the weight loss has given me more self-confidence but one wouldn’t have come without the other.
I’m so glad I’ve made running and activity in general part of my life. I’m so much happier and have much more energy and zest for life. Getting outside and doing fun things are exciting to me now and much less scary! I’ve also made some wonderful friends through running. I love it!
I never want to stop. Brad and I are already registered for the Legs for Literacy half marathon in October and maybe just one day I’ll run a marathon.
Scratch that. I am absolutely going to run a marathon one day!