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This Woman Will Make You Want to Start Running No Matter Your Pace

Starting at 435 pounds, Jessica Hay knew that getting back into shape would be no easy feat. But at the beginning of the year, she really wanted to make a change, which is why, without telling anyone, she signed up for her first Parkrun—a weekly 5K, free for anyone to join.

 

Yesterday was my 15th Parkrun since I began this journey in January. It's quite amazing how quickly my Parkrun addiction developed. I haven't been this hooked on something since I started to read 'Sweet Valley twins' books as a kid! On my first attempt at Parkrun I cried in the second lap (3 lap course).. Shattered that people were lapping me and gutted to be so far back from the pack. On my 15th attempt I don't cry. Now when I start to hear the 'lapping' cavalry breathing down my neck, I take note of where I am. Every week I'm just a tiny bit further along when they start passing me. The lapping begins while I'm still on my first lap and continues until I'm near the end of my second lap. It's like I'm a snail on a Grand Prix race track, vroom, vroom, vroom and then silence... As I enter my third lap I'm usually so far back by now that I almost feel like the only person out there. I've become so comfortable with this alone time on my third lap. This is when I can fart (unless the tail runner is right there)... Wait, I mean this is when I can keep to the 'right' because in my head that's going help me make up so much time hahaha. This is when I can crank the music up and not worry that I may accidentally ignore someone's kind words of encouragement as they pass me. This is when I have a little chat to myself, "yes, it's hurting, but it will get easier, you will crack that sub 1 hour one day (every runners dream right? Hahaha) and you're still breathing." Then before you know it, I see the finish line. The volunteers quickly scramble to pack up the poker game they've been playing while they wait for me to finish (that totally doesn't happen but I think it could totally be pulled off ) and I start to hear the clapping and cheering. For now I'm last. One day I'll be sub 1 hour. One day I'll catch up to the pack. One day I might even lap somebody. One day is always going to be gained as long as I don't give up. @highlandsparkrun #marathondreams

A post shared by Jess-Marathon Dreams/Parkrun (@thelongweighdownwithjess) on

"On my first attempt at Parkrun, I cried in the second lap (3 lap course)...shattered that people were lapping me and gutted to be so far back from the pack," Jessica recently wrote on Instagram.

Today, Jessica has 15 Parkruns under her belt, and a lot has changed since her first try. "On my 15th attempt I don't cry," she says. "Now when I start to hear the 'lapping' cavalry breathing down my neck, I take note of where I am. Every week I'm just a tiny bit further along when they start passing me." (Related: Why Running Isn't Always About Speed)

The mom-of-two continues by sharing what it's really like for her to run the 5K from start to finish. She notes that people start to pass her while she's still on her first lap. By the time she's finishing the second, nearly everyone is ahead of her. "It's like I'm a snail on a Grand Prix race track," she jokes, "vroom, vroom, vroom and then silence"

While entering her third lap, Jessica admits to being so far behind that she feels like the "only person out there."

"I've become so comfortable with this alone time on my third lap," she says. "This is when I have a little chat to myself, "yes, it's hurting, but it will get easier, you will crack that sub 1 hour one day (every runner's dream right? Hahaha) and you're still breathing."

At this point, she can see the finish line and people who've waited for her, start clapping and cheering. "For now I'm last," she says, concluding her post. "One day I'll be sub 1 hour. One day I'll catch up to the pack. One day I might even lap somebody. One day is always going to be gained as long as I don't give up."

Keep on going, Jessica! We're all rooting for you.

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