Hello Chums and Chumesses!
I had to write a little bit about my run today. I didn't realise that today was "Time to Talk" day - a day to talk about mental health. I don't suffer from depression thankfully, but I've had (like EVERYONE) some major downers about life, career, personal life, money etc etc in the past. I listened to a phone in on the radio and saw a couple of interviews about this subject and one common thread which raised it's head on how to keep on top of depression was EXERCISE. Now I'm sure that's the last thing someone suffering with clinical depression fancies - getting the blood pumping and getting breathless, but I find that my running does some amazing things to my mood......
Finding C25K for me was such an incredible gift - and I know that so many others on HU feel the same. It's come along like some sort of magic potion and always (for me) delivers the goods. My main gripe with regard to my mood taking a bit of a nosedive, comes from my increasingly frustrating career. One minute you're ahead of the game, the next forgotten about, then you're well off, then you're broke. It drives me CRAZY! Especially as I get older and more "life experienced" - but I know that doing anything about it is purely down to me and I WILL take the bull by the horns one of these days and change things. In the meantime, what gives me an ENORMOUS boost is running. Running soothes. Running cures. Running elates (is that a word?). And so this morning came around....
I got up late - at 9.30am -blissful slob'o'clock and did some stretches for my hips and core. My legs until this morning have been really painful and despite last Tuesdays snowy run, they still felt achey. That was until this morning when they were at around 75%. Much better than the previous two days so I'd planned to run my fave 7K route. I needed this run today - my mind and body felt so. It didn't look very nice out, but I knew that once I was warm I'd be pleased to be oustdie breathing fresh air.
Donned my lycra tights, two tops, beanie and gloves and after swallowing a glass of cranberry juice and chomping on half a dozen almonds, three dried apricots - I WAS OFF!
The difference my body felt this morning to tuesday was amazing. I felt lithe, sporty, slim and fast - and I covered the first two k in a pretty fast time. The third I sped up even more and it felt good to push myself. Breathing was steady, no pains in my legs, - I was feeling good. The air was chilly but I warmed up at three K and started to slow very slightly for K4. People got out of my way (thankfully) and my path was clear to push on towards my turn around point which wasn't that far ahead.
A thousand thoughts about my recent job raced through my head and I suddenly put it all in to perspective by asking myself this one question - "Would I rather be sitting in a windowless basement room working with a prize prat who I wanted to slap round the face with a sea bass, or.......be out running by the Thames in the cold fresh air, where the birds sang, the water hens squawked and the blood was pumping through my veins?"
ANSWER - The latter - (obvs).
My chest puffed out and my stride lengthened with macho manliness!! I was sweating and puffing a bit but still going strong. I had reached Richmond Bridge and waited 15 seconds (I counted) for the lights to change so I could zip across the road and head down the path home. I was going strongly but by now a pain had developed in my right quad. I gave it an almighty thump with my fist which instead of making the pain go away, made it hurt ten times worse!!! "Owwww!! F*** f*** f***" I swore, remembering that if you swear loudly at pain, it releases endorphins to quash it. What a load of rollocks that is! It hurt.
Ahead of me a middle aged lady was walking along carrying her opened umbrella along. I wondered why on Earth someone would walk along with an umbrella opened when it wasn't even raining??? But there was another hazard to negotiate which was far more annoying....
The thames path has these bike barriers every few hundred yards and I was approaching one set of these at exactly the same time as UMBRELLA WOMAN. "Surely she'll stand to one side and let me pass?" I thought - remembering the frightful woman in Richmond Park the other day who decided to step right in front of me as I passed her. Umbrella Woman wasn't going anywhere. No sir. She calculated (the witch) exactly the time I would reach the barrier and walked REEEEEEALLY SLOWWWWWWLY around them, holding her open umbrella to ensure I had no passing area. I was almost touching her as I slowed to snail pace, loudly hopping from foot to foot behind her as though to say "Please would you kindly allow me to pass please?" (my version was far ruder than that I can assure you!!). She almost stopped she was going that slow, and as soon as I got the chance I raced past her mumbling and grumbling in a far from polite manner. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Apart from that little incident, the run was a giant success. I got a PB for 7K which worked out at 38'13 so I was thrilled with that. STRAVA, which is my new app I use to measure time and distance told me I had a whole host of "bests" - some of which are ridiculous - like "fastest" 0.5K??? Who cares about that???
But I end this post with the main point of what I started talking about - mental health. I felt FANTASTIC at the end of the run today - endorphins flooded my brain with "feelgood" thingys and my legs made it despite the right hook I gave my right quad.
So anybody who knows someone suffering with depression, make sure you tell them about C25K. As hard as it may seem to them, the rewards are enormous and it might just be what they need. And it's not all about endorphins either - it's about achievement and routine. Get those lemons all in a row and the world will be a better place to live in.
Thanks for reading.