Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Finally Got Rid of Fatty Liver Disease and Journey to my first Marathon

Me finishing the Sun Run 2013
In December of 2012, I was overweight, and I didn't take care of my body. I was also struggling with Fatty Liver Disease. One night when I got home after school at 2 AM,I turned very sick, and couldn't move. I was sent to the Emergency Department when I found out that I was suffering from an infection. At that moment, I decided that I needed to make a change.
  Along with the infection, I was struggling with Fatty Liver Disease since I was very young. It was discovered one day when I was starting high school by accident when my mom was doing a check up via ultrasound when the doctor suggested for me to check up too. At the time, I was borderline obese and the doctors wanted to make sure I was healthy. Since then, a heavy burden of weight kept me down. I had some insecurity issues and not to mention, year after year, the depressing thought of having the Fatty Liver Disease inside of me.
Starting with running a 10km (Sun Run) non-stop as a goal. I practiced for that tirelessly and starting with running 2km non-stop, it quickly became 10km.
Finishing the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon
  I thought I should challenge myself some more, and I signed myself up for the 2013 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. For that, I trained tirelessly, and even though I was unable to run a full 21km non-stop, I was able to finish it with some walking. After the half-marathon finished, I learned about the BC Children's Hospital and Grouse Mountain's campaign to help fund-raise for the hospital, I decided to challenge myself to do 50 Grouse Grinds and fund-raise and raise awareness for the Hospital at the same time.  
Completing 50 Grouse Grinds
Starting with having trouble to do one Grouse Grind non-stop, I was able, over the span of two months and tire-less training to complete all 50, with the last 12 Grinds completed within 6 days back to back (so 2 grinds/day). After the Grouse Grinds finished, I lost about 25lbs of weight, and I wanted to become faster and a better runner.
   I decided to challenge myself by running the half-marathon faster, and I trained for the 2013 New Balance Fall Classic. I would go out training in the rain, snow and during class to train. After 3 months of hard training, I was able to beat my own time for the half-marathon and complete the Fall Classic 25 minutes faster than my first Half-Marathon.
Fall Classic Half Marathon
  After the Half-Marathon is finished, I wanted to do a fundraiser for Burnaby Hospital Foundation (for the way they inspired me when I was sick to make a change and also so that they can help out more people). I decided to take on the grand daddy of all races, which was the full marathon.
   It was very difficult because being at 42.2km, the full marathon was not an easy beast and I had a lot of doubt (like, what if I can't finish? what if I can't train for it?). I decided to not think about what I can't do and decided to focus on what I can do, and I told myself as long as I try my best, I am happy.
Finishing within the top 5% of all Sun Run Finishers in 2014.
  Starting with running 10km everyday to running 21 to 30km on weekends, I gradually increased my mileage. I would sometimes run from Metrotown to UBC, or do a loop around Burnaby's town centers (such as Metrotown-Brentwood-Lougheed-New West and back to Metrotown). Eventually, the miles racked up, and I accumulated about 800km of running in 2014. It was very difficult to balance life and school with the marathoning. I often find myself running at weird hours and in weather that was pretty extreme.

Finishing at the Vancouver Full Marathon

 I am proud to say that with a finish time for 3hrs and 42 minutes, under pouring rain, I was able to finish my first full marathon. After my full marathon, I took about two weeks off before I challenged myself to go even faster on the half-marathon.
  Recently, I completed the 2014 Vancouver Scotiabank Half-Marathon in June with a finish time of 1hr and 32 minutes, which was about 11 minutes faster than my last half-marathon. Also, for the first time ever, my test result for the Fatty Liver Disease was negative.
Finishing the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon in 2014.
  Currently, I am trying to finish a couple more grinds to 100 total lifetime Grouse Grinds to help raise awareness for the Canadian Liver Foundation so that they can help out Canadians that are struggling with Liver Disease. Please visit www.liver.ca for more info on how you can help them!
   I would like to say thank you to everyone who have supported me so far. You do not know how difficult it is to go out in crazy weather or when you suffer injuries (such as tendinitis, stress fractures not to mention a continuous supply of blisters). Your words of encouragement is what keeps me going and ultimately you are my inspiration. This journey is much more than a simple blog post can do it justice, however, it does summarize it.
Currently, as of July 8th, I am 31 grinds away from 100. I will be updating my progress on my blog with the heading "Journey to a Marathon". Stay tuned :D

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