This is Michelle’s story. An inspirational runner who went from not being able to walk a few miles to running a marathon. In part one I wrote about her reason for running and information about Cystic Fibrosis. Part two talks about Michelle’s building up of miles and the 10K races she entered to help get to her half marathon.
Worcester 10K September 2017
Michelle signed up for Worcester 10K her first running event. It seemed impossible and the furthest she had run at that point was 6K. Michelle knew she would be near the back and have to walk so of it. All that mattered was finishing. She completed it in 1 hour and 28 minutes. She also met Kim from my running group.
Michelle’s feet were sore and blistered. Her legs were tired and screaming to stop. Her body was covered in sweat. Tired arms from propelling her forward. Fighting against her mind telling her she couldn’t do it but her eyes full of determination. Feeling proud of what she had achieved and knowing that the sponsorship raised was one step closer to a cure for CF. The last K she had to dig deeper than she thought was possible but just kept saying for George over and over.
Michelle says she knows she will never win a race but will always do her best to finish.
The Tiger Onesie – Hereford 10K October 2017
You remember how hot and sweaty Michelle was after that 10K? Well she decided that it would be a good idea to run in her Tiger Onesie! She made sure she could do stretches and star jumps in it, then checked her CF vest would fit over it. Then her running belt and visor.
She thought how George would be doubled over laughing watching her run the Hereford 10K in it. She thought she may get a bit of press coverage for it- which meant raising more awareness for CF. She completed it in 1 hour and 28 minutes. She came last place but didn’t care because she had finished.
Malvern View 10K November 2017
This is the race where I met Michelle. It is actually still to date my fastest ever 10K and the only time I have been in a race with Natalie.
As I say Michelle had already met Kim from my running group and we have a leave no runner behind policy. So once I had finished I went back with one of the other runners to make sure no-one was still on the course.
Michelle ran in her Tiger onesie every race since that first 10K and was struggling with a knee niggle. She completed in 1 hour and 26 minutes – gaining a minute PB. It isn’t the flattest of courses either! Plus she had a cold and nearly didn’t go.
It is the closest she got to a dnf (did not finish). During the run she had sat down on the grass verge and cried. She was about to phone her partner when she saw our red t-shirts coming towards her.
Croome Canter 10K
Michelle discovered she does not like off road running during the Croome Canter in November 2017. She has done the course a few times but never felt that she has conquered it. She has always finished it but felt that she has walked more than she has run. She intends to keep going back until she has made peace with it.
When she returned in January 2018 she had an abscess under her tooth. This made it hard to eat properly so was unable to fuel her runs properly. Plus she was suffering from shin splints and was pretty much held together with tape. But she kept going. She still had what she considered to be the challenge of her life to do. As that’s how she saw running a half marathon.
More in Part 3