Thriving: Healthy & Whole

The month of May sees me starting a new journey in my health and wholeness. A new commitment to thriving – and manifesting my energetic self into running a half marathon!

Back in March, in the Facebook group that I run – NOURISH – we ran a challenge “moving through March”. Now, in May, we are running a challenge on body mindfulness. And now, in connection with my body and getting back in touch with what it can do, I am starting to play with my limits and fitness goals.

Two weeks ago, I made a commitment that I would start training so that by the end of 2019 I would be strong enough and fit enough to run my first half marathon. This came about through our Nourish2Flourish panel – a live panel that I am a member of on Facebook. You can see this at about minute 16:24-18:20 of the video.

Of course, although I admitted that day I had moved and cleaned/dusted the machine, I didn’t get so far as using it for about a week. And even that day, was only about 25 minutes before I called it quits – ENOUGH! Admittedly, the rainy season has only just started in Panama.

Until about four weeks ago, it was full summer here, with burnt grass and dry, hard dirt. But now, we are stuck inside most afternoons or evenings with the tropical rain storms. So, I had dusted off the elliptical machine, acknowleding that from now on it would be more inside activities and less outdoors.

When will you start?

But it has been weighing on me… when will you really start? In a previous panel discussion, I had been one to say:

This is the lifestyle I am choosing to be – fit and healthy.

Because these are the words that I use on my board to describe my life: Fit & Healthy – Vitality – energetic.

thriving, healthy, whole, great sleep patterns, boundless energy, wellbeing, vitality, exercise routine, consistent healthy eating

When I wrote my TOP 10 ways of being for 2019, the FIRST one was “Excellent Health” and I described excellent health as:

  • great sleep patterns
  • boundless energy
  • wellbeing & vitality
  • exercise routine
  • consistent healthy eating – meals that little miss 5 finds attractive

I admit, in 2019 I have finally reached a place where I don’t see extra storage when I look in the mirror.

Yes – there is a need for more muscle tone. But my love handles have gradually dissolved.

My thighs are still thick – but they’ve been thick for 25 years, and even when I was 118 pounds, I would still look at them and say they were thick!

So, on May 7, I promised my peers on the Ditch the Diet & Face the Feelings panel that I would start training to get fit enough to run a half marathon by the end of the year.

I have no doubt that they will be holding me to that. That’s the kind of friends that they are!

Bucket List items

Running a half marathon has been on my “bucket list” for years. I have never had the inclination to say I want to run a marathon, but I could certainly see myself signing up and running a half marathon. Just to say “done that”. And yes, as one of the “markers” of my level of fitness.
“How fit are you?”
“Fit enough that I was able to run a half marathon in 2019…”

That sounds pretty good to me!

So, this evening, as promised, I got on my elliptical and ran for 35+ minutes. According to the machine – the distance was about 11 km – half of the distance I will need for a half marathon. Personally, I am inclined to think that on the terrain, that would have been less – because I remember what a 10 km run feels like and this certainly felt easier!

But – it was a the machine, so no hills, no other runners or obstacles, and the myriad of other things that come up when you are out running.

Painfree running

Best of all – an hour later – NO KNEE PAIN.

And that is why I’ve started this training on the machine, rather than going out for a run!

I’m quite clear that before I actually get out running, I need to get my fitness levels up – tighten up the tendons and muscle tone. Strengthen all of the ligaments. Get my feet and my ankles strengthened. That will require more walking, squats and exercises.

I don’t actually plan on going out for a run (because all of the places to run in Panama City are cement!) until I am up to 90 minutes on the elliptical machine, and regularly back up to 100 squats a day.

I have, previously, made the mistake of thinking “I’ve got this” and gone straight into running without getting my fitness up, and ended up with pain in my hips and knees from the jolting on the cement! So, I will acknowledge that I’m already 46 years old and that it will probably be more now than it was 6 years ago… so let’s not start on that wrong footing!

I’ve also been thinking about time – I remember when 10 km took me an hour and 6 minutes, so I am guessing I will be able to do 21 km in 2 hours and 20 minutes when I get started or something like that.

Choosing to stay indoors

Another reason to stay indoors with the elliptical is very practical – I am a single mother with a 5-year-old daughter. So, heading off for a 45-minute run at 7.00 pm is not an option for me.

It’s also nice, because while I run I can actually watch training videos, listen to podcasts or whatever my latest head-full of knowledge is! Today, that was continuing with a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) refresher course that I am doing.

Waterfront runs

I will be able to do Saturday morning runs with little miss 5 along the Causeway – she can ride her bike! – but on school nights, I need an alternative. For me, this alternative is staying at home and doing the exercise on the machine.

I have no doubt that my dogs will also love the Saturday morning runs, even if my old dog then spends all day sleeping because his hips and joints hurt. I’ve thought about leaving him behind and just taking the younger dog, but I can’t bear the thought of leaving him out. So, I will take him on the 35-minute runs, but not the 10km runs.

A commitment to “Thriving”

I started off this post, saying this was about my commitment to Thriving. The reason that I mention this is because for 2019 my primary value – word of the year, if you wish – is THRIVING.

What does it mean to be thriving in my health and wellbeing?

For me, one of the ways that I can tell I am thriving is that I am pushing myself to a new level of fitness!

How do you define your wellbeing and health for 2019?

What are you pursuing?


  1. How are you getting on with your goals? Have the saturday morning runs been going well?

    I’m pursuing getting back to the strength I had before a shoulder injury in September 2018, and I’m pretty much there now 🙂

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