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Face of the Race: Karla Freeze

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) -- The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon may be filled with runners who've been training for months and ones who come back year to year.  But each year, there are new runners who want to start small.

This is a story any non-runner, or beginning runner can relate to.  Karla freeze says she's not sure if she'll be able to run her first 5k all the way through.  But for her, it's what got her to the starting line, that's most important.

For any race in life, you gotta walk, before you can run.
"I've mapped my route around my house, and i'm starting to get ready because i want to do the 5k for the Illinois Marathon."
Karla freeze is making small strides. "I've been doing a little on the treadmill." "I'm gonna do this."

She says she's still got some training to do, but it's nothing, compared to the hurdles she cleared before.

"About 10 years ago, i was in a very very bad place. "I knew I was pretty low to rock bottom."

She had to get out.

"I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and I didn't want to be sick anymore."

She set out on a journey to improve her health, making a drastic lifestyle change.  She got rid of all but plant-based foods, and welcomed in exercise.

"I was getting ready to start going to a gym for the first time. So I had my mom take my before picture."

Now, she says she can't even recognize who she was.  She shed more than 200 pounds and regained her health.

"I have more energy than I've had in 40 years."

She attributes it to three things:  Positivity, a plant-based diet, and yoga.  The recipe for the healthy lifestyle freeze always wanted.

"I have so much positivity in my life. It's just...I'm so grateful that i found it. I just can't even tell you. I get teary thinking about it."

Freeze says she wants to become a runner because she has more energy at age 60 than she's ever had before.

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