The way I see this whole running thing is.... that we take our health too much for granted. When you are young you think your body will just do it's thing and other than temporary set backs like a broken leg or a cold, it will continue to be there for you, bouncing back from problems and basically working ok. But after 50 the rot sets in. Suddenly minor injuries take longer to heal, the weight piles on even though you are eating the same as before, and one day you look in the middle and one of your parents stares back out at you. Hey look, you are middle aged. How did that happen? You start to make odd noises when getting out of a chair, worst - you start to make them when sitting down! You are on the slippery slope. You can reverse this, but now there is a cost.
I have seen for myself that runnng is a near miracle cure for all this and I wouldn't have believed that before I started. I began the program not to be a 'runner', but because I had bought a second hand bike to get to the shops as the bus fare is expensive. But I had no muscles at all, ok on the flat but I had to get off and push at every little hill. Too much information I know, but I was beginning to look for toilets with hand rails to help lift myself up, and I was beginning to feel that baths were dangerous as I might get stuck in them, my legs were so weak. Now all that has changed. My husband must be getting fed up with my posturing in front of the mirror, watching my calf muscles flex! I feel 10 years younger. In the year that I will reach 60, that feels good.
But now I am out of the program, and I don't feel that I can start the bridge to 10k as I haven't reached 5 k yet, although I know it is getting closer. Some runs are just a slog, and they lack the interest of ticking off each 'Laura' run. The gremlims are back hovering behind me, and I need to find a different kind of mental discipline to keep me going. So I have a little speech I give myself, usually are around the 14 min mark, when I find my get and and go has got up and gone. 'This is payment', I tell myself, 'this is what you have to do to have those benefits, every stride is a coin to buy back your health, every minute buys you hours of feeling better'. 30 mins three times a week, with the walking that is 2 hours of a week, to keep you from falling back down that slippery slope. Right now I might not enjoy it, but this is not optional, not any more. I choose to be stronger, fitter, to have lungs and heart that works well, to have a body that helps me be who I am, not one that blocks me. I don't have the little voice (and terrible music) in my ear telling me what to do anymore, but I can set my own goals, once a week to improve something, distance or time, and to damn well get out there, three times a week, every week, and make that week's payment for my health's sake.