michelle-halfmarathonPB-borThe day that this photo was taken, was one of the happiest days of my life.  I had just set my half marathon personal best.  It was my 38th birthday and I was celebrating that I was a middle-of-the-pack runner.  Some may not think that’s a reason to celebrate, but as someone who used to weigh almost 300 pounds – it was the healthiest and most active I’ve been in my life. Running a half-marathon on my birthday, was a gift to myself.

It’s amazing how much your life can change in two years. This year I’m turning 40, I’m not running due to injury and my greatest hope is to build my running back up to comfortable a 5K by my birthday in October.

When I lost 120 pounds a few years ago, I promised myself that I would never stop running. Like so many other runners, I didn’t realize that an injury could and would stop me for so long. I injured my achilles, a tendon that can take a lot of abuse, but when it is finally done putting up with my ignorance, it took me out of action for eight long months. Of course, all I wanted to do was run again, but that process has been much more complicated than I’d expected.

Before my injury, I had hit my running career high – setting three PB’s within a 12 month period – 5K in 25:00, 10K in 52:00, and I managed to knock 36:00 off from my previous half-marathon time, by finishing in 2:21. I was slightly obsessed with running as fast as I could, I would even run hill-repeats for fun. It felt amazing to be healthy, but ever since the above photo, my running and health have been in a rapid downward spiral.

This blog will explore both my struggles and small victories as I start to run again after my painful hiatus.  Hopefully, it will give other injured runners comfort to know that they aren’t alone and for those who aren’t injured, an opportunity to learn from my mistakes.

My road to recovery starts now.


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  • Pedorthist_NS says:


    I would love to help you with your injury and hope to help get you back to running as soon as possible. I am a Certified Pedorthist in Halifax and I would like to have the opportunity to assess you and discuss the possibilities of orthotics. Please contact me if you wish to discuss further. You can reach me on Twitter @Pedorthist_NS.


    • canadianrunningmagazine says:


    • Michelle the Adrenaline Junkie says:

      Thanks for the offer, but I’ve already been assessed by two professionals and told that I don’t need orthotics (not yet, anyway)! I hope you keep following the blog, who knows one day I might be your client.

  • Jeanne says:

    I just completed the half at Bluenose in May and had great plans to run my first full marathon in Philly in November. That was until I was sidelined with a stress fracture in my left foot. I completely relate to your WANT and NEED to run again. I drive by people out for a run and am envious. Running gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I can’t wait to get back at it again.

    • Michelle the Adrenaline Junkie says:

      Though we have different injuries, we both suffer the same when we drive by runners… you’ll love my upcoming blog entry titled “Runners Envy” – stay tuned!

  • jannybean says:

    I think this is amazing Michelle. Of course we all think once we reach a goal that it is like reaching the finish line and that is it. But it isn’t. The goal is to just keep going and not give up. Proud of you! 🙂

  • Vicki_131 says:

    Hi Michelle! Congrats on beginning to run again, I wish you all the health and success in the world. I find myself currently in the position you used to be in – overweight but looking to get healthier. I ran my first half in April and finished with a time of 2:58. I’m wondering if you can share tips about how you lost the weight and increased your speed? Was it diet? How often did you run? What other info can you share that you wished you had when you started this journey? Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Michelle the Adrenaline Junkie says:

      My first half was 2:57 and in 4 months brought it down to 2:21 – so your goal of increasing speed is totally doable. I followed a training plan that involved a variety of techniques: slow steady, hill-repeats, intense track workouts, tempo and easy runs. I found it hard to lose weight when training for a half marathon, I was always hungry but my shape changed and I looked thinner. Food, has always been a struggle for me (I skip meals) but fueling like an athlete and making sure you still get carbs is important for running. Check out my website: http://www.michellekempton.com it references loads of articles I’ve written for Canadian Running over the last couple of years geared around being a larger runner, losing weight and running.

  • sparks4 says:

    I can’t wait to follow your journey as it sounds so much like my own!

  • Jon says:

    If I could share an encouragement, end of 2012 I was sidelined with plantar fasciitis and just now getting back to full fitness. As runners, we celebrate our strength by hitting distance & pace goals… crossing finish lines. When coming back from injury and couldn’t run more than 2 or 3km at a time, I found a way to still celebrate that I had the discipline to stop when I should, for the greater good.

    Now I’m pretty well fully recovered, it also adds an extra element of enjoyment to my running. Even on a rainy, windy day, where maybe I didn’t do my planned distance or missed my pace, I can still encourage myself with my fall-back of “at least I didn’t break anything!”.

    So, rough at the time but it’s all about growing!

    • Michelle the Adrenaline Junkie says:

      I completely agree, it takes more discipline to stop running and give your body time to heal than to run through the pain. This set-back has changed the way I’ll approach running going forward!

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