As some of you may know, I have always wanted to run. Well, I say always, maybe that’s an overstatement. When I was at school we had to do cross-country running in the wet and mud and that I hated. My exercise then was my bike. I rode miles on that thing.
In later years, having been so overweight, I did do exercise, but it was mainly on machines like cross-trainers etc., Running always seemed to elude me. For some reason I was unable to “get” running and found it so hard to do for more than a few seconds. Managing my breathing and my weight on my joints were all challenges. About a year ago, I did start working on running with my trainer, and built up to doing about 12 minutes of staggering around the local park.
Recently, I found Couch to 5k, or Couch25K It is a great resource from the NHS and teaches you to run, starting at the most basic level, (good for me). How does it do it? Well it is all thanks to Laura. Laura is a lady who runs with you – sounds stupid – but she does – She is on a each downloadable podcast. She acts as a coach and instructs and encourages you. You can also download the app, the only difference is that the podcast has it’s own music – which I like and the app allows you to use your own.
It is a 9 week plan and for the first few weeks you run 3 times a week doing intervals of walking and running with an initial warm up walk and a final cool down walk.
I really did not think that I would be able to do it, but with Laura’s support and help. the hardest thing was getting out of bed and pulling on my “running gear”. The first 3 weeks went fine, then I had a very busy and tiring business trip to Scandinavia. I did my week 4, run 1 run on the Monday morning, but that was it. So a week later, I was panicked, would I be able to do it? Should I start-over? Should I give up? (That little nagging voice at the back of my head said – “see, I told you, you would never do it”). I felt lost and very confused.
I found that there is a community on the site where you can share your concerns and your victories. For me, it was my fears. Almost immediately on putting my note online, I got some messages of support and encouragement back. These were from people who I did not know, but who were willing to support me. Why did that matter? Because they had been exactly where I was. They had faced the same issues and fears. I had a similar panic when moving to week 5, where I have to run for 3 x 5 mins for run1; then 2 x 8 minutes for run 2 and for 20 minutes (yes – non stop – not even for a soy latte at the Park Cafe) for run 3. YIKES!!! I posted my fears online and again, they came up trumps – “go do it Baz”. “Take it easy Barry – you will do it” etc., I was so lucky and also got support from friends on Facebook too.
This got me thinking about support in general. What do people need? How do we provide support to one another? A number of people who use this site have asked for advice, support, recipes etc., My site is specifically designed to provide support, through the shop with suggested books, ingredients, resources etc., the articles, the twitter feed and last but by no means least, the community. The Community was something that I was really keen to establish where people can sign up and share experiences and be honest about where they are and what they need. I recently saw some posts on Facebook where someone had shared some very personal pain – being a relatively public forum and un-moderated some folks had been supportive but others had been so nasty that this person had decided to close their page. A big shame as many others had benefited from her experience, knowledge and expertise.
So – Please sign up for the community. Please share recipes, your experience and your challenges. Please comment and share and help one-another as I know only too well how difficult it can be to change your health and diet.
You can join other Plantalicious People – here
Please let me know what I and other members of the community can do for you to help you take control of your health and well-being.