Why I run: Week 7 run 3 completed last night... - Couch to 5K

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Why I run

Zany99
Zany99

Week 7 run 3 completed last night, and I couldn’t be more grateful I started on this programme. I started at the end of June, after a two-week holiday in Cornwall (during which I covered a surprising 143 miles exploring the coastal paths). What was even more surprising was the dramatic improvement in the severe tinnitus I have suffered with for many years, and the corresponding lift in my mood, so, wanting to see if the benefits could be retained once back at my fairly stressful job, I decided to see if I could actually jog.

The pace of the programme is perfect for beginners, and even though I have had to repeat a few runs I have steadily progressed through the weeks, I am totally amazed that I can actually run for 25 minutes without stopping, when a few weeks ago 90 seconds of running felt impossible!

But what I am really grateful for are the mood boosting benefits of running, I have struggled on and off with depression/anxiety since I reached the menopause and my kids started moving out (I have 4 so the process has been gradual, with a few returning with their partners while building savings) I always wanted a big family, and am never happier than when we all get together and the house is filled with the noise and chaos of my family, so learning to live alone has been a massive struggle. Pair that with a fairly stressful job and a relationship breakdown, I guess it was a recipe for disaster!

It all came to a head a couple of years ago, when I also had to cope with my daughter becoming seriously ill with post puerperal psychosis, the worst time of my life, which is now pretty much a blur of dark days and even darker nights. This has left me with a deep-seated fear of ever facing a crisis like that again. But over the last few weeks I have had several ‘knocks’ that resulted in me experiencing the worst ever panic attack yesterday. I struggled through the day feeling worse and worse, dreading the evening, because the evenings are when depression/loneliness really hits. I knew I was due to complete week 7 run 3, but thought there was no way I could do it, but in the end, I was feeling so bad I thought why not try, it certainly couldn’t make anything worse! I chose the quietest paths I could find, so that hopefully no one could see me running through my tears, the start was tough, I could barely see where I was going, but as the minutes passed the despair lifted just a little and the overthinking lessened just a little. I am not saying I finished the run on a high, but I did finish it, and am sure I felt a smidgeon of pleasure at the achievement. The total despair I had felt all day had definitely lifted slightly, and more importantly I was relaxed enough to actually get some sleep. I’m not out of the woods yet by any means, but for anyone else out there who may be struggling with mental health, running helps! If you haven’t started yet, give it a go, and if you are struggling with motivation, keep going.

I can’t change my present situation, but I can run, and last night proved running can help you cope through the darkest of days. Sorry my first post has been so long, but just wanted to share for anyone else who may be having a tough time.

12 Replies
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JacquiAM
JacquiAMGraduate

That’s really inspiring - bless you... I agree that running helps to lift my mood, in fact I think that is the main reason I carry on with it. Keep running and visiting this forum for the amazing support too x

Hidden
HiddenGraduate

That was a brave first post. You have so clearly had the hardest of times being SuperMum to your brood and holding down a job too. No easy feat. Sounds like running is the easiest part. Well done for taking on the C25k challenge, I am glad you are feeling the benefits. As Mums to big families we cope mostly with all its challenges quite unselfishly, for most it's our instinct.

This running thing, it's just for Me, although the dog loves it too, but it makes me feel good and so thankful 🙏🏼 for so much. Keep at it Zany99 You deserve to feel good. 👍🏼

Gingernutter
GingernutterGraduate

Zany99 i commented yesterday about the mental health benefits of running that I have found. Your post as have others, gives support to my ponderings.

I think once you are aware of the benefits then as you did, you can start to become stronger and start to heal. This is a very supportive community and though we cannot read everyone's posts there are enough people to hear your story and give you some virtual support.

You're no longer struggling up that hill..you're running up it and you will get there!!

Hi Zany, thank you so much for sharing your story. I also started running to help with menopause and am an empty-nester....It does get better I promise you. Working in mental health I encourage patients to exercise as I've studied the benefits and more importantly, seen how it can help. After a long, tiring and sometimes stressful day, a run helps me switch off and feel energised and the hot flushes and headaches have almost disappeared. I hope your story will inspire others, and that you'll continue to post about your journey. Every time time you run, imagine all of us here cheering you on. Much love to you xx

Aww Zany, you’ve had a tough time. I love how pro active you’ve been and I love how much running has helped you. This is a brave post to put up and I feel is really inspirational.

Big hugs and keep running! 💕🏃🏻‍♀️

sunshinefish
sunshinefishGraduate

Well done you! Very inspirational first post. I hope things improve for you and that running continues to help you x

Oh Zany99 my heart aches reading your post. I am so glad running is helping you and I hope it continues to do so. I have found the support on the forum very powerful, and I know there are runners and runners-to-be all over the country reading your words and sending you supportive thoughts. My 2 are at Uni now; daughter gone back already, son going back next weekend 💔 and I do find it very difficult when they go.

All the best xxx

Nia

Zany99
Zany99
in reply to Languid_Lil

Thank you xx

Thank you so much. I have a similar footprint and stopped (after a leakage!) probably in June. My daughter very ill as well, 72hr section.

You have really inspired me. Thank you.

And thank you for sharing, it means so much to me, and hopefully to you to write down how much running has helped.

Xxxxx

Zany99
Zany99
in reply to kathyred333

Thank you for taking the time to let me know how my post has helped you. I hope your daughter recovers soon. My daughter was sectioned for almost a week, the worst time of all our lives, and recovery has been very slow over many many months. There were some relapses, but thankfully she has got steadily better, so if you are still going through this, I can assure you it will pass, and your daughter will be well again, something we found hard to believe in the early months.

Take care of yourself, it is so easy to concentrate on everyone else, having to be the strong one, that you forget you need to look after yourself as well xx

LiisaM
LiisaMGraduate

Such a super post! I, too, struggle with frustration and anxiety in my life.

Zany99
Zany99
in reply to LiisaM

Thank you, so many of us have a daily struggle, I have been amazed at the response my post has had, keep running, it is helping me through some very difficult days, and I am sure it will help you too xx

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