So, after asking how to banish my gremlins I was a bit bit knocked sideways with the responses - in a good way. I was totally overwhelmed that all you amazing people took the time to write such long and thought out responses - I got quite emotional.
So, this evening, to turn your advice from words into action! I went out feeling positive and reinforcing the belief that you all seem to have in me - trying my hardest to turn it into MY belief in ME!!! The run starts with a nasty hill but that's ok because my legs are fresh and tough as it is, it is achievable. I wouldn't say I whizzed up it but I never doubted that I would get up it. A nice bit of downhill and then another nasty bit of uphill - I live in a very hilly village. Unfortunately I had to stop close to the top of the uphill because it's a single track road and a car was coming. A nice bit of flat but I was running into the wind and rain - past the farm stall with sweetcorn, sunflowers and homegrown garlic, past another little stall "run" by the kids of friends of mine - a couple of superb examples of marrows there! It was hard running into the wind and rain but I knew I had a lovely bit of downhill coming! I passed another runner coming in the opposite direction but he didn't look like a proper runner - his kit was really expensive and his hair all bouffant without a drop of sweat despite the fact that he had supposedly just run up the most horrific hill (which I was about to go down!). Lovely bit of downhill, sheep baa-ing, another bit of uphill where I also had to stop to let a car past and then run the last 1k or so home through the village, past the three village pubs!
It was my fastest ever 5k (which was unintentional) and one of my most resolute runs. I stopped when I needed to - rather than when my gremlins told me to - and only to walk a few metres up the last bit of the two steep hills which are well known by local runners as being heinous.
ju-ju- I hope you don't mind - I nicked your mantra this evening - I was a panther!
And for all your amazing responses on how to banish my gremlins (which, as the ever insightful IannodaTruffe reminds me, don't really exist) I have to thank Ju-Ju, IannodaTruffe, Oldfloss, helenwheels, Jancanrun, K311y33 and all you other wonderful people who commented. I started tonight's run with more belief in myself and my ability to run than I've probably ever had - and look what I achieved.