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From couchpotato to marathon runner

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Everyday life on a chair at the home office can often make us lazy. Therefore, it is very important how we spend time outside of work. One who shared his experiences with us and how he has changed is Maid Klepo, our Workforce manager.

“I was a real couch potato. Eight hours a day in the office, beer, food and movies. My only activity was walking my dog. However, this lifestyle, on the other hand, led to health problems that indicated through stress that I needed to change something. I needed anti-stress therapy.”

Why was my choice to run? While I was still coaching football in Germany in the 90s, I loved running training the most. It was fun for me and I was good at it. That was the first reason.

The other was that a lot of my friends run every day. I was fascinated by how it became their lifestyle. I started running every day in 2017. It was about 2km a day with my dog. This went on for months. I lost pounds and felt much better. Later, I upgraded my training to a 3 km a day, but since winter arrived, I snuggled up at home again. It brought more pounds and more dissatisfaction. I was determined to change that and started training even harder.

I ran between 7 and 16 km a day and that was the first time I thought about a half marathon. I didn’t know if I was ready, so I didn’t register for the Sarajevo and Metković half marathons. 90% of my training was done by myself. I love silence – that Zen moment. At the beginning, my dog was my companion, but very often he sat demonstratively and that is why I was focused on myself.

Winter 2018 has arrived. I didn’t want to make the same mistake as 2017 and that’s why I signed up for the gym. I was planning a half marathon in Mostar. It was very cold, but I started running outdoors. I applied for the Mostar Half Marathon, although in that period I ran only twice 14 km, 7 km and once 10 km.

Three weeks before the half marathon I injured my knee and the pain lasted for almost two weeks. I managed to run 14 km in training, but due to the pain I could not go further. There was no more euphoria. I was afraid I would fail. I wanted to give up. I also took care of the 2:30 h time limit for the half marathon.

The nervousness grew. The night before the half marathon I slept only 3 hours. I got up at 6 in the morning, ate a little, and then went to Mostar. Nervousness grew in other runners as well. It was exactly 9am and the race started. It was really indescribable to run with so many people. Just a great feeling.

The pain started at the 16th kilometer, but I was determined to finish it – and so it was! My first medal. The entrance to the finish line was amazing and a feeling that everyone must experience! All participants had a lot of fun after the race and we shared our experiences. I advise everyone to never listen to others who believe you can’t do something. Be brave!

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