Gremlim defeators and general health

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.


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15 Replies

  • "this is not optional, not any more" - great line

  • Great post... And could you sign up for a 10k race as something to aim for as it sounds to me like you might need a focus?? Huge well done on your achievements...

  • bulgarianlily what a fabulous post !! Love love love the honesty and totally relate to so much of what you are saying - thanks for putting it so eloquently! You are an inspiration - very best of luck as you keep on this new path in your life ❤️❤️❤️

  • Wow! Your timing is perfect! I graduated on Friday and needed some inspiration to get my butt out of the door without Laura. Thankyou! You just gave it to me.

  • I really like this post and there is much in there that I'm sure many of us can relate to. I'm not exactly sure why I did the programme or what I wanted to achieve but now that I've done it, like you I feel that stopping isn't an option and that is because how much better I feel and because I can also see that it has halted the decline I was beginning to feel in my 50th year. If it helps at all I actually found the immediate post graduation period the hardest part of the whole programme. It may have helped if I had started with a goal like a 10k or a half marathon like some people did. It was hard not regularly achieving goals and the feeling of satisfaction that gave throughout the programme. I used the forum a lot for support at that time. I found I was tending to stop at the 15 minute stage because it just felt hard, so for a couple of runs I took someone with me until those gremlins went. Then I took the advice of the forum and stopped really looking for progress and satisfied myself with just doing 3x30 regularly, then that got to 3x 5k and then to 2x 5k and a longer run adding a bit more distance each week and that's where I'm at right now 2 months after graduating. I've had some great boosts, doing a park run was fabulous and one night when feeling particularly good I did a 10k just to see if I could having read that a couple of people on here who graduated around the same time managed it. So there has been considerable progress but not so many 'goals' I guess. Now running just feels easier and I know my body more. Stick with it, find whatever works for you to keep you motivated. Acknowledging the benefits so explicitly is certainly a great way of working on any gremlins. Good luck and it's been lovely to hear of your experience,its a great motivator to us all.

  • What an insightful, truthful post, can relate to so much of it and as Indizulu says, put so eloquently. All the best 👏🏼

  • Great post - it is worth putting in that hard work isn't it?

  • Thank you for this post and sharing your journey---I found it inspiring. I am a lot like you---I have graduated and feel better than ever---I'm not quite sure what to do next.

    It is hard work but well worth it.

  • So true! I can totally relate. Your idea of seeing these steps as payment is brilliant - I will use it myself. I apply the "no option" principle myself, but I know at some point there will come a time, probably after an illness, when I will have to re-commit to getting out of bed at 05:30 instead of 06:15 and that's when my willpower and all the help from this forum will be necessary. Or I will slowly drift from 3 runs a week to 2 which will then be correspondingly difficult, to just 1, which will be a chore. I am worried about this stage (it has happened in the past).

  • I am totally in accord with you there Lil! Now you've left C25k and Laura behind you could hang with the coolest dudette in town. No, not me! Sami Murphy is the gal to whom I refer. She'll kick your ass from 5 to 10 k in 5 weeks. Give or take. Free podcasts from this very forum. Brilliant music (for the most part, just a couple of duds). I posted the play list up which will give you a greater idea of what to expect

    It's the music that gets you there. Lyrics and music chosen specifically to pick you up, slow you down, inspire you, get you shifting

    I never leave home without her

  • Got to get to 5 k first though!

  • Great post bulgarianlily can relate to an awful lot of that. Here's to many more good years ahead 😊

  • Brilliant post, you'll get to 5 k soon enough (if you want to, its not essential) but you are running for 30 mins which is great and I can relate to the mirror thing..i used to avoid mirrors at all costs but I do keep checking the new muscle definition!

  • Thanks for a wonderful post! I so enjoyed reading it.

  • So much insight in this post! You obviously have "True Grit" is all I can say. It is posts like this that Have made me feel that I, too, can be a runner. Bless you and keep going!

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