C25K completed it mate.

As you can see from the date stamp on the ‘C25K COMPLETE’ run, it’s been nearly two weeks since I completed the C25K programme.

Since then I have completed another 5, 5k runs and am intent on going another today.

I set out the intention of achieving this goal in November 2019, following a meeting with my consultant about lower back and hip pain that was really affecting the quality of my life, often leading me to be reliant on my walking stick.

The reason I specifically wanted to be able to run 5k as a goal then, was because in April 2018 I rather ridiculously completed the London marathon and I was, (at the time) embarrassed that I hadn’t been able to run even half of the course. I also hadn’t been able to complete an effective training programme in the build up due to the pain I was experiencing.

Newly sober and no longer reliant on prescription (or other) pain relief, I felt encouraged by my consultant’s optimism that C25K could be achievable.

Almost a year later (September 2020) and I was fortunate enough to access a course of steroid injections in my back. The night I had the injections, I hardly slept. Not because of pain or discomfort, because of no pain, and excitement! The injections had worked, I might actually stand a chance of running!

Not wanting to set myself up for a fall I took my recovery very seriously and followed the stretches and core strengthening advice to a tee. This lead into starting yoga with Adrien, walking for up to an hour a day and working towards doing up to 3 types of cardio/aerobic exercise a week before committing to C25K the week before Christmas.

Now. If you have stuck around this far you may be wondering the relevance of all this background, it’s two fold. I want to share this detail with you because I want to share with others living with Fibromyalgia that, it might take you over a year to achieve a goal that is personal to you, (in certain cases it will take much longer) but with time, patience, compassion and comittment-it IS achievable.

I have also felt a need to share this detail on the off chance that someone reading this felt it undermined my condition, ability to work or the other symptoms that i experience through having Fibromyalgia.

I HOPE that, that last sentence will sound ridiculous to anyone and everyone reading this, because I do not want this to be the reason for me not sharing successes with others, or the reason for others not to share in the future.

The stigma surrounding invisible illnesses and other people’s views of what you should and shouldn’t be able to do based on the name of your condition should not stop you from setting goals, smashing them and going on to share the success of doing so with others!

Also you may have noted that I haven’t gone into detail here about the pain and symptoms I experienced during training. That was intentional. In short, I experienced them all, at varying levels, but running helped. Moving helps. The euphoric runners high, helps. Endorphins are the bodies natural pain killer, doing something to release them helps!

In addition to the pain relief there has been some improvement in my sleep pattern and a steady but definite improvement in my mental health. All things that contribute towards a better quality of life, and more satisfying management of my condition than drugs ever did.

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