Do you need encouragement?

I have found the stories on this board very helpful and supportive. Thank you all for your support, here is my story which will hopefully help members

I was very fit in my 20s and 30s. I had my daughter in my mid 30's and also developed SLE Lupus- basically a nasty chronic illness which leaves you fatigued and in pain, it is managed by steroids and other lotions and potions. The upshot of this was 6 years of no exercise coupled with side effects of the medication; I had had enough and did not recognise the lady in the mirror. Two years ago and started walking every other day. I developed a "route" which initially took me 50 mins to walk which I eventually got it down to 40 mins. Oct 2011 one of the guys at work suggested couch to 5KM, he had got to the end and was praising its simplicity, I downloaded it and off I went.

I remember week 1 run 1 as you had to run for 1 minute and I thought to myself Christ on a bike I am so unfit and I will never get to the end of these podcasts or they will kill me! Anyhow after repeating week 4, 5, 6 about 4 times each (LOL) and getting through a couple of minor Lupus flares I graduated in April 2012. I kept doing the last run until some generous poster point me in the direction of Samantha Murphy's bridge to 10km.

The route that I used to walk in 40 minutes (I was proud of myself back then) I can now run round it TWICE in 40 minutes. For me this is time well spent it is an investment , I am proud of myself for this achievement and although long-term the prognosis of my illness is uncertain, at least I know I have done my very best to get as fit as possible to tackle what life throws at me!!!

I think in my head I have mixed together the running achievement with the fight to survive my illness so when running and times get hard, the hills seem to have got steeper I think to myself I will do this I will get to the end, I will see my daughter start secondary school, I will be at her wedding, I will be fit enough to look after my grandchildren. Not sure if this is a good thing but it seems to be working and overall my outlook is the most positive it has been for years.

When I told my consultant I was running three times a week, she nearly had a heart attack and eventually said “ have you thought about swimming instead” , a very funny moment. I do enjoy swimming and although I can do 20 lengths in the pool, I do not get the same “Rocky” moment at the end.

14 Replies

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  • What a lovely blog and a fantastic achievement. Well done you! Keep it up

  • Thank you for you lovely blog. These podcasts seem to bring out gutsy determination that we all have but often don't really use in our everyday lives. I know what you mean about the swimming; it just isn't the same for me either. Well done on all you've achieved so far and good luck with the 10k plan.

  • Wow, a great achievement! Well done :)

  • Well done how fantastic you must be very proud of your self and I am sure your message will inspire others to get off the couch. Good luck for the future in running and your life.

  • wow, inspiring blog. good luck with 10k!

  • How strong you are, this board has loads of heros. Amazing.

  • Your story is so inspiring and really shows how running is so much more than running! I too have my running to remind me of what the spirit can do whilst overcoming the "label" of having a chronic illness (though mine is now in remission) and has given me the confidence to define myself as other than an illness-label, so thank you for sharing your story and making me smile with your Rocky moments!! :)

  • What an inspiration you are. I thankfully don't have to battle any illness and have struggled at times to get through this which really highlights to me what you have achieved. Thank you for sharing.

  • Go Rocky! :D Thanks for this, you really are an inspiration.

  • What an inspiration! I'll remember your blog whenever I feel like cutting short a run.

  • Wow, what an achievement! Congratulations & all the best for the future.

  • Wow ! You have done wonderfully well and I think you can always be proud that you've done the very best you can for yourself and your family in spite of (or perhaps because of?) your illness. Your determination is inspirational. Thank you for sharing your story :-)

  • Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing - humbling to hear.

  • Olympics - schlimpics! I'd give you a gold medal any day! Wonderful blog! I am filled with admiration at your determination and courage. I'm sure your daughter knows how lucky she is to have such a special mum. :-)

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