During the early part of 2006 I was invited on to the ‘The New Paul O’Grady show’ as part of a mother-in-law challenge strand. After successfully completing several bizarre challenges, including going on a zero gravity flight to the edge of space, I thought my time on the show had come to a end.
However Paul O’Grady had other ideas! In September 2006 he challenged me to run the Chevron Texas Half Marathon. To say I was surprised would be an understatement; to say I was absolutely petrified would be closer to the truth! A half marathon, 21.1 kilometers or 13 miles 193 yards to us imperial folk, or as I initially thought – 13 miles 193 yards further than I have ever run! Oh my god!
So with the challenge being the only thing on my mind I needed to get fit, and get fit fast as I only had 16 weeks to the big day. I knew what I needed; I needed a personal trainer with the experience and patience to get me from overweight non runner to lean mean running machine! But obviously I knew that was impossible, until I met Gavin that was…
Over the next 16 weeks Gavin introduced me to stretching, high protein foods, and most importantly how to become fitter and healthier. He devised a tough training schedule and from now on I’d be an athlete. We met each Monday for our one-to-one training session and discussed my previous weeks training. From there Gavin fine tuned my training, set me targets and most importantly kept my morale up.
At the start of the 16 weeks I could only manage to run for 2 lampposts, I guess about 193 yards, so I was just short of the 13 miles I’d need to complete the half marathon! With Gavin’s help and a lot of hard work my distance slowly increased, 2,3,4,5 and 6 plus miles. I was virtually half way, but with fewer than 4 weeks to go I was still a little worried to say the least, Gavin guaranteed me that even thought I’d never run the full distance in training I’d breeze it on the day. To my surprise the day came and went without hiccup, even the 30 degree Texas heat didn’t stop me for completing the challenge – the half marathon.
So to sum up: 16 weeks, countless miles in wet, cold windy conditions, a weight loss of 23 pounds, and one completed half marathon. Oh and of course a personal trainer I can honestly say made finishing not only possible but enjoyable.
In the aftermath of my celebrations Paul O’Grady threw me another curve ball with my next challenge – the full marathon! GAVIN!!