LONELINESS, RUNNING AND ME

Out of our basic need to love and to be loved, we all will meet loneliness in our lives from time to time but how can we overcome it?
As it is loneliness awareness week, I thought I share how running has helped me to understand it in my own life just that little better.

At one point in my life, I lived in a community of 25+ people. One would think, in a place where it is nearly impossible to have any privacy, it would be impossible to be lonely, right? It was one of the places I remember feeling the most lonely. It was also the place where I was first diagnosed with anxiety and depression. How was this possible, what had gone wrong? The truth to be told, I was far from a whole person at the time. Still living with rejection issues of been taken into care as a child.

In contrast to this, as a lone-runner, I do not encounter any hint of loneliness. Again, how can this be? This is where the penny dropped for me. When running, I am in my ‘zone’, a space of happiness. When we are at peace with ourselves, we find ourselves in a space that is unconditional, without expectations. A place of strength, where our happiness is not dependent on others.

Love Unconditionally

Running for charity; Although my Ego may disagree, It is not about me. Nor is it about how much money I can raise. When I came into recovery, I struggled to run 500 meters! Look at the distance I am running now, I am already a winner! No, for me it is about an act of unconditional kindness, empowering those to be victorious over the obstacles they may face in their own lives.

Whether it is a child in care or a person struggling with alcohol dependency, I think of the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories and it’s most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about or can only dimly guess at. No doubt much greater than running a marathon for sure! It encourages me, not only in my own challenges, to do what I do and to be who I am today. I hope it encourages you too.

Let us together help vulnerable children/families future to be just that little bit brighter.

#Running #ForCharity #MentalHealth #LonelinessAwarenessWeek

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicoVlaeminck

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oO○ That Felt Good!

Running my long run of 1:10min for the third time before I increase it with another 10min. So it’s down the hill via Cwmdonkin and Brynmill. two times around Singleton Park before all the way back up the hill and home. Feeling good at my second time around the park, I was wondering what one more would feel like. Well. it added another 20min to my run (which is good to know) 8.65mi in 1:28min at a pace of 10’09″/mi. Whether it was because I managed, 1st time ever a ‘proper’ easy run this week followed by a good steady run, I don’t know but it felt good indeed. 18 miles this week. Not quite a marathon in 1 week like the Grimsby & Cleethorpes (not so) Biggest Loser team managed to do. (see Emma’s London Marathon Adventure) Awesome!

Running Gear and The Environment

Another thing I am excited about this week is environmentally friendly running gear. As a rebel for life and wanting to do my bit for the environment, I started looking for running gear that is as much as it is possible, environmentally friendly. And I must say, it is pretty exciting stuff! I found some gear made from bamboo, even coffee. Yes, coffee mixed with recycled plastic. The best thing about it is that all product I came across is designed as sports gear with all the properties such as breathable and durable materials one may expect. Did you know that it takes between 11 and 18 recycled bottles to make a pare of running shoes? (just thought I throw that one in there)

The one I am most excited about is that of all the plastic recycled out of our oceans or collected from the beach, fishing nets and all! One can actually make garments out of it. How amazing is that?

I am looking forward to the day when I can show some of them of to you but this will require the goodwill of some of those brands that can provide me with some of those goodies for free in return for a review of their product. Unfortunately, as I am raising money for charity, funding this project myself, my budget does not stretch that far but would be more than happy to do my bit towards raising awareness that such products do exist.

Why I Run

When I think of the reason I run whether it is a child in care or a person struggling with alcohol dependency, I think of the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories and it’s most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about or can only dimly guess at. No doubt much greater than running a marathon for sure! It encourages me, not only in my own challenges, to do what I do and to be who I am today. I hope it encourages you too.

Let us together help vulnerable children/families future to be just that little bit brighter.

Running For Charity

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicoVlaeminck

A STILL SMALL VOICE

1st Gate achieved 31 May 2019.

Have you ever had this nagging feeling, a still small voice, telling you to go and do something? It was an evening on a rest day. So totally not the plan for the evening. By the time that still small voice was finished with me and I finally gave in, I was as ready as a stallion in the starting blocks with the keenness of a dog that just heard the “W” word. So glad I did. The result speaks for itself.

2 months ahead of schedule. 7mi in 1:10min at a marathon pace 9′ 59″/mi. Very happy with that!

The Gates

As part of my training, I have set myself some checkpoints/ability checks over the coming year:

28 July 2019 – 7mi / 11km run.
27 Oct 2019 -13mi / 20km run.
26 Jan 2020 – 20mi / 32km run.

26 April 2020 – London Marathon 26mi /42km

It may give the illusion that this challenge is rather on the easy side for me. make no mistake, it is the furthest I have ever run, and at the upper limit of my current ability. Still a long long way of from running a marathon. At least I can draw confidence being ahead of schedule, giving me some room the manoeuvre, safe in the knowledge that my training schedule is working.

When I think of the reason I run whether it is the families or a child in care, people struggling with alcohol dependency, I think of the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories and it’s most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about or can only dimly guess at.

No doubt much greater than running a marathon for sure! It encourages me, not only in my own challenges, to do what I do and to be who I am today. I hope it encourages you too. So why not join us in this challenge: helping a vulnerable child/families’ future to be just that little bit brighter.

To donate/sponsor me at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicoVlaeminck

#LondonMarathon2020 #Running

Well Happy With That!

RUNNING, MENTAL HEALTH & ME

One Penny Short of a fruitcake.., right in the devil’s eye!

At One With Nature

Whether it was to expel excess energy or escapism, running has been a big part of my coping mechanism in my somewhat traumatic childhood.

Later life, when the past finally caught up with me – after a mental breakdown, I still live with anxiety and depression.

Once again, running has been and still is my best medicine, and is definitely a lot more effective than any “happy pill” I ever have taken. Although, it is not a cure. Put together with a healthy diet and good sleep, it does go a long way to a better quality of life.

It is then perhaps of no surprise, when looking a bit deeper into the subject, that there are a lot more inspirational “pennies” to be found in the world of running.

If there’s any that I have learned from it all:
One might live with a health condition but does not have to suffer it – One might be knocked down by it like a tennis ball from time to time, but can also bounce back up again.., right in the devil’s eye!

FACE YOUR FEARS AND DO IT ANYWAY!

The Good news is;  you are going to get your feelings back.   YES, YOU ARE GOING TO GET YOUR FEELINGS BACK!  It took me 2.5 year to get “My marbles” back and another 2.5 to learn to play with them. 

For some  of us, there is indeed a huge bridge to be crossed between Anxiety Dis-Order and experiencing Nervous Excitement.  

Slow coach that I am; another 2.5 years later,  I am just about learning to trust and nurture the marbles that I have left 🤪

Running the London Marathon will be no different; another pushing back the barriers of disordered Fear. Replacing it with a bucket-lister of a challenge.., right in the devil’s eye!

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicoVlaeminck

#MentalhealthAwarenessWeek #LondonMarathon #Running