Twelve months ago on 29th June 2011, I put on a pair of barely used cross trainers and attempted to jog around the block for the first formal exercise I had done in years.
For three years, I had suffered terribly from a very deep depression, which took, over my life. As I was beginning to recover, I put on weight and having seen myself in that fateful changing room mirror (see my first blog!) something had to give. Those closest to me (namely hubby) thought ‘Oh, yeah this will be a one minute wonder’, as previous exercise or get fit regimes had fallen by the wayside almost before they had begun.
However, there was something about running from the very start that got me hooked. Maybe it was the fact that at 47, tall and blonde I viewed myself as a bit of babe, and was shocked to see the reality that I was more blob than babe! Having put nothing but processed and junk food, alcohol and caffeine into my body for years I was still convinced I was reasonably fit and able to do anything I put my mind to.
How wrong can you be! 200 metres into my first run I was ready to quit! I was bent double, trying not to throw up and gasping for breath. I knew that the ‘block’ was a mile and being a goal oriented person I dug in and over the course of 2 weeks; jogging, walking, running every day I finally made it round the mile without stopping! Little did I know I had just embarked on interval training.
Now 12 months on – what do I know that I did not know then?
I know that it helps to have some good running shoes, I got my gait analysed and I know I over pronate slightly on my left foot. I know about breathing ratios, tempo running, speed work, injury management,/b>, RICE, I know what a 5K looks like and a 10K and the kind of times that are good or not. I know about age grading times and splits, I know how it feels when you get racing and the adrenalin kicks in. I know what it is like to smash your PB (personal best!). I know that I like running in the autumn, winter, spring and summer! I know about the running bug website and all the great advice I have from it…training plans, groups, forums and a sense of camaraderie. I know I love getting out there, I know I love to run alone or with hubby, I love running early in the morning when there is no one else around or running during rush hour when everyone else is stuck in cars.
Most of all I know I feel good! OK I look good too, some two and a half stone lighter than when I started and three dress sizes smaller, but better than that - I feel happy!
I feel I have run the remnants of my depression away and I am keeping it away too. OK now I am not saying that if you are seriously depressed just go running and all your troubles will be over. It is not as simple as that - depression is an illness and there are various stages and levels. If someone had told me to go running at the depths of my despair, that would not have worked as when I was in that place nothing could motivate me,/b> and I needed professional help.
As I came out of this pit, running regularly, a much better diet (for running!) and a goal (my next PB, my next distance) kept me on track.
My self-esteem has re-built and knowing I belong to this running community gives me such a great buzz.
So with a wardrobe full of pink running gear, and a grin on my face I look forward to many more years of running for life!
Have a great week!
Pam, you are an inspiration! Great to read about your journey x
Thank you Suzanne, that means so much to me. I can hardly believe it myself, if I could time travel back to where I was and tell myself it will be better than OK, I would not believe it! One step at a time and I'm still running!
very inspirational , im just starting out hoping running is going to help me with sleeping problems ie I dont !
Really love this Pam. I totally relate to your tales of 2 months ago. I'm two months into running and reading your blog has been like looking into the future and I liked it. Thank you :-)
Today I also had a smile on my face as I read `my proudest achievement` was completing a 5k with out stopping in 32 mins! and that was this time last year as it was race 4 life 5k. A year on I can now do it in 26.51 mins and today did the 10k race 4 life and was not happy with the 57.27 my Garmin watch had logged!!! GARMIN watch...proper expensive trainers...running gear...looking for 10k events!!! WOW the difference a year makes. It is amazing how without realizing it we grow into our running, for me it also was a form of grief counselling which I strongly feel it kept me away from the door of depression. I also have lost weight, toned up and dropped dress size, people say I must be mad to love going for a run but I think they are the mad ones for not trying it!!
Its good to read your story and those of others, Keep it up everyone.
what a great post to read! well done, I started jogging about a year and half ago, i love it, did the Fraserburgh 10k yesterday in 59 mins 33secs, also completed Baker Hughes in Aberdeen in May. I do struggle to motivate myself when the weather is awful but I love the way I feel after jogging, like Ive really achieved something!
Thanks for the great comments, we all inspire each other, like I said it's a real community whether you run alone or with a partner or club.
What an inspiration :) Well done to you Pam :) My partner and my mum suffer with anxiety and depression so i've seen what it can do to a person and how difficult it can be to start lifting away from the bottom point. I'm starting running for the same reason of wanting to fit into all of my clothes which i used to wear before a chain of negative events and losses.
It's so nice to read about someone who has reached their goal and beyond it and was able to fight against the difficult battle of depression.
Well done again :) Keep it up :)
Wow you are an inspiration. I started couple of months ago and got the bug but after hurting my ribs I stopped for a few weeks and my confidence to get back out there has dropped. But after reading that Im going to try and start from stratch again. Well done!!
Go for it! I know I had the same feeling when I could not run with a bad hamstring. I mixed it up with some cross training in my case swimming and then slowly got back to running. Good luck xx Pam x
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