Thursday, March 12, 2015
42-Year-Old Mom of Four Shares Inspiring Story of Weight Loss & Running Marathons
Tuedon Morgan is a marathon runner with medals and accolades to show for it. Better known as Tee Morgan, Tuedon has 40 marathons scheduled for this year alone, and this is in addition to her family and a full-time job. Tee is almost 42 years old, and has a high level job as an education administrator. She has been married for 21 years, and has 4 sons - 20, 18, 16 and 8.
Tee's passion for running started when she joined a gym and began walking on a treadmill in her desire to lose the weight she had gained during and after her fourth and final pregnancy. Tee and her family have lived in Qatar since 2005, but she has over the past four years travelled the world in pursuit of her dream, and hopes to be the first Nigerian to run the North Pole. Read excerpts from her inspiring interview with BN below...
On what inspired her to start running?
I gained a lot of weight after having my 4th son and my health started to deteriorate. I was always breathless and started to really experience lots of pain on my ankles and knee. I was always complaining of how big I was but never did anything about it. My boss at the time Tracy Pryce called me into her office one day and said I had to do something about my weight. I would complain frantically about how big I was but she would see me eat everything on the face of the earth. Tracy ran on the treadmill and at that time it seems impossible. So I finally joined the gym in January 2008, but my goal wasn’t to run. All I wanted was to lose weight. I started walking, then progressed to jogging and when I could run a 5km on the treadmill.
On how long she has been running for;
I started running October 2011, and did a half marathon December 2011 but a full marathon in January 2012. It was interesting how I built up my endurance very quickly. I joined the Doha Bay Running Club and entered the world of long distance running. In three short years, I have ran 32 full marathons to date. I have just started my 4th year of running.
On planning and running a marathon;
Some say you that you can go from no exercise to completing a marathon in 6 months or less, we know that to be successful it takes longer. You need 3-6 months of steady mileage to get that muscle and connective tissue fitness needed to be ready for all the miles of marathon training. For most marathon training programs, some months of running are a prerequisite. Make your goal to run comfortably for a long distance. The biggest mistake beginning runners make is to run too fast limiting the distance they can go. Running should be comfortable and fun, not a gut busting, air sucking process. To be honest I have never used a training plan. Maybe that’s why I don’t run so fast. I tried but couldn’t stick with it. I run 6 days and rest one day. I also try to put in a long run once a week that way my legs are race ready. So far I am just counting quantity as supposed to quality. My goal is to run 100 marathons by God’s grace.
My diet is pretty good. I have learnt to research what is good and not so good for me. I love food a lot so I have substituted more healthy foods for not so healthy food. I co-founded a weight loss group with another friend in 2011 and this year it will be 4 years old called Women Encouraging Women to Live Healthy. We have a WEWCookBook on Facebook and it’s free for all to access. The week is running a marathon, I usually eat protein 4 days and switch to carbs till race day and after my race I switch back to protein. People say I have very good recovery, I thank God for that, but I think it’s because I use a lot of compression gear to sleep and walk around before and after race day. I have a massage once a week and I take vitamins. You must take vitamins when you get to my age.
On balancing home life and having a husband and children;
I try to balance my passion with family life. Sometimes I get on the plane as soon as I finish a marathon. Like when I did the Marine Corp Marathon in October 2014, I finished the race; rushed back to my hotel had a quick shower and got a taxi pick me up. I was on the plane like 4 hours after my race. I try not to stay away too long because I feel like I am using my family time. I am very blessed with my husband as he gives me so much support with the kids.
I wake up at 3.30am and by 4am I am on the streets of Doha running. I get home at 5.30am and wake my kids up. At the weekend I do a long run and come back before my kids get up. I try to run in my own time and not steal family time. And when the day starts it’s a full day.
On the most challenging part of being a marathon runner;
I love running a lot but sometimes it can be hard work. I have a slight disability on one of my legs and it requires me wearing special running shoes and I don’t really like pushing my body that much as it can take a lot out of me. So I run a comfortable pace and just keep to my zone that way it doesn’t hurt so bad. I love the bragging rights running has given me. But I am very humble about it. When I say to people I have run the 7 continents and done all 6 world marathon majors they go crazy and want to hear all about it. My next race is Two Oceans in Cape Town April and I am heading to the North Pole. I will definitely be the first Nigerian to run the North Pole. I think that will be a very challenging race.
On surviving the Boston Marathon explosions;
I was very close to the finish line when the explosions went off, if I had ran any faster that day am sure maybe it would have been a different story. I am grateful to God that I can live to tell the story today. It didn’t stop me at all, a few weeks after that I was at the starting line for a race in South America. Life is all about getting up and making it happen.
On her biggest support system in living healthy and running;
I am a founder of a weight loss group called WEW (Women Encouraging Women to live a healthy life we have over 4000 women and I call them my sisters. I get a lot of support from there.
I am also a part of the National Black Marathoner Association. I have a whole family there.
I have my running page. Tee’s Triple Seven Challenge and I get lots of support and encouragement there too.
My husband is my greatest supporter and kids. My family and friends.
On how she relaxes;
I don’t have much of a social life right now. I work, I go home to my family and I train. Most of my friends are either from my running club or cycling club. Hanging out with friends might be going for a swim. I don’t really watch TV at home but I go to the movies once a week with my family and we eat out in a nice restaurant once a week. I haven’t been to a club in like 6 years.
Read the whole interview - Bella Naija
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