My name is Carlee Portolesi. I am 37 years old and am an Accounting Officer with Scotiabank. When BNS sent out an email asking for people to volunteer to represent the bank on Team Myles for the 2016 Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon, I jumped at the chance. I am way overweight and way out of shape and haven’t had much motivation to get moving lately. Plus, once in awhile, it’s good to do something completely out of your comfort zone. This is WAY out of the comfort zone. I know in my heart this is the perfect way to get out and get the support I need and am so excited and terrified to be part of this. My hope from this blog is that there will be people out there in the same situation as me that realize they too can get out and get active. I promise to be completely honest about my experiences, both good and bad. This is definitely not going to be easy but they tell me that by the end of this, I am going to be a runner! Bring it on!
Our first run (and my first run EVER) was last Saturday morning at Point Pleasant Park. Coach Devin Sherrington told us we were running 2 minutes then walking 1. My heart starting racing because there’s no way I can do that. The group started running and very quickly they were way ahead of me. I was huffing and puffing and barely able to run for 30 seconds. My Team Myles mentor was so awesome and stayed with me at the back even though she could have easily kept going with the rest of the group. She encouraged me to just keep moving. We ended up running from one phone pole to the next and walking for two or three. My legs and lungs were burning, but I didn’t stop moving. Out of the 25 minutes we were out, I might have ran 4 or 5 minutes of it, but for me that was a HUGE accomplishment. I can only get better from here!
On Tuesday, we have hill nights where we run up the road leading into Citadel Hill. What? I have to run up hills now? I can barely run on flat surfaces. For the first night, our assistant coach Cindy MacNeill, told us we were running 30 seconds up the hill and then walk back twelve times in a row. Again, I ended up in the back by myself, but that was just fine with me. The first couple runs up weren’t so bad. I found the spot I could get to in 30 seconds and aimed for that. By the fifth run, my side hurt and the huffing and puffing started again. But then something strange happened, I told myself to just keep going and I did. I can be stubborn and hard-headed sometimes and that turned itself into determination that night. I may not have made it very far up the hill in each 30 second run, but I didn’t stop to walk once. That was HUGE to me! How I did it, I don’t know. I tell you though, my legs were still hurting two days later. Good pain, right?
If I am going to learn to run, I couldn’t have chosen a better group to do this with. In the past couple of weeks, I have met some amazing people and heard some amazing stories. I am completely inspired by every single person on Team Myles 2016. I cannot wait to see where this experience takes us and am so excited to get to share my part of the journey.