In this episode of the Tough Girl Podcast, we dive into the incredible journey of Fadeelah Kenny, an endurance runner, cyclist, and hiker. Fadeelah, a hijabi woman, shares her inspiring story of becoming a mother and the challenges she faced along the way.
Fadeelah opens up about her experience as a late starter, having her baby at the age of 38. She candidly discusses the struggles she encountered in adjusting to motherhood and her battle with severe postpartum depression. Despite these obstacles, Fadeelah's determination shines through as she shares her story of recovery and resilience.
As an endurance runner, Fadeelah has completed several ultra marathons, including the renowned Comrades Marathon three times. She reflects on her running journey, from discovering her endurance capabilities to pushing herself in longer distances. Fadeelah recounts the mental challenges of running, emphasising the importance of a positive mindset and self-belief.
The conversation delves into Fadeelah's experience of running the Comrades Marathon, an 89-kilometre race that changes direction every year. She shares the mental and physical obstacles she faced during the race, including the last few kilometres where she needed to dig deep to finish with only minutes to spare.
Fadeelah also discusses her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety, highlighting the importance of seeking support and opening up about one's struggles. She shares her desire to help others by sharing her own journey and offering advice to women facing similar challenges.
Don't miss this empowering episode filled with insights on endurance running, motherhood, and the strength of the human spirit.
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Listen to Fadeelah Now!
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Who is Fadeelah
Working as an electrical engineer while having a love for endurance running
Having a new baby 14 months ago age 38
Her early years growing up in South Africa
Her older sister Rogeema Kenny (who has also shared her story on the Tough Girl Podcast - 4th August 2023)
Not enjoying athletics when she was younger as she wasn’t good at it
Learning she had a little bit of endurance while running 1,500m at school
Only been competitive with herself
Starting running 13 years ago and why she prefers the longer distances
How her running journey progressed and what that looked like
Being asked to run a 5k race on National Women's Day in South Africa (9th August)
Getting the bug for running and starting to enter more races
Needing a running licence - through the Athletics Association South Africa
Deciding to join a running club and meeting so many like minded people
Signing up for longer and longer races
Running Comrades Marathon 3x (89 km)
Why it’s a mental challenge running longer distances
Keep on running - don’t stop, even if you think you aren’t going to make the cut off
How the Comrades Marathon changes direction every year
Needing to convince herself that she could finish the race
The importance of having a positive mindset and having belief in herself
Needing to understand WHY she was running and WHY she was doing this race
Dealing with the physical pain during the race
Running with a pacer and not being able to keep up for the final few kms
Being encouraged to keep on running by supporters
Completing the race with 2mins to spare!
Sharing more about motherhood and running
Suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety
Not knowing where to turn
Talking about her struggles and wanting to help others
Starting to feel more like herself
How to connect with Fadeelah
Final words of advice for women listening
Facebook: Fadeelah Kenny
LinkedIn: Fadeelah Kenny
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