Kimberley Angell – My Running Story - #Runandtalk


Kimberley Angell is 34 years old, she started running in 2014 to increase her confidence, help with depression and to lose some weight after having a baby. This is her story of how running helped her with her mental health problems and how she now helps others to get into running. This article is one of a series that we are publishing as part of this week's #Runandtalk activities

‘’My running experience only started in January 2014 when I decided I had to do something to increase my confidence, to help with my depression and to lose my baby weight!!!

"All through my twenty’s I was always super fit and, after gaining qualifications at Loughborough College and University in Sports Science and Personal Training, I went onto work in a gym as a gym instructor. I worked my way up to Duty Manager then Front of House Manager at the gym where I remained for several years…….then one night disaster struck, at the end of my shift I went to the plant room to dose the pool and spa as normal but little did I know there was a chlorine gas leak, I knew as soon as I walked into the Plant room something was wrong and managed to press the fire alarm before passing out….the next thing I knew I was waking up in resuscitation with my best friend crying on a heap on the floor and my parents running round the corner in their pyjamas! That’s when I knew something serious had happened. I spent the next few days and weeks in hospital and recovering at home, I found out I had stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated, the body’s automatic response to chemicals is to send water to the lungs so it’s like dry drowning.

"I felt very lucky to have been saved and I recovered physically very well, I returned back to work after 6 weeks and tried to carry on, but my confidence had been lost, I was anxious all the time, having nightmares and panic attacks and felt like my bosses were most unsupportive, one day it all got too much and I grabbed my coat and just walked out of work into town and found a job for a temping admin assistant in an office. I stayed there hating my job for years, it was just my safety net though, I could sit in a nice safe office and I just data inputted all day long so I did not have to face strangers/public either. I had lost all my self-worth, I felt like a frailer and a weak person. I had to undergo cognitive therapy and I was eventually put on anti-depressants.

"Then came a day where I downloaded ‘couch to 5k’ and went from there....2 years later I am now 3 stone lighter and run an average of 25miles a week, I well and truly have the running bug and am 100% motivated. I decided to challenge myself and in February 2014 I signed up for the Leicester Half Marathon and predicted I would run it in 02:30....well after a lot of training I crossed it in a time of 01:42 and I have never felt prouder! I have since gone on to run a marathon and take part in events like Equinox24 and Tough Mudder. I am now no longer on any medication, I have loads more confidence and feel proud of myself once again!

"I have met some amazing people through running in the last couple of years and have made some great new friends, especially through Team Anstey Amblers and Running Club, which I am now so proud to be vice-captain and coach. I take my children to marshal at the parkruns on a regular basis and my family have been at all my races, my oldest daughter who is 7yrs old loves taking part in our local Junior parkrun on Sundays, so who knows she may be following in my footsteps!!!

"I am now proud to be part of the RunTogether team, running really has changed my life as in September 2015 I had a total career change and got the job as 'Running Activator' for Leicestershire and Rutland. It is my aim to get as many beginners running as possible and to help them continue for life! My role involves helping to get Run Leaders qualified and then helping them to promote and set up their beginner running groups, also to work closely with affiliated Running Clubs to set up pathways for beginners to continue.

"I know how much running has improved my confidence, health and happiness and it is now great I have the opportunity to encourage people to take up running and get to see their journeys along the way!!

"As for top tips... Never stop believing in yourself!"

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