9th May 2023
By Gary Fee
Living and aging well, will mean different things to everyone. For me, approaching my 50th birthday, having been addicted to tobacco for 15 years: up to being 30, and approaching 14 stone, it was climbing the stairs and being out of breath, that made me look at myself, and decide to do something about my health.
My decision in July 2011, was to get fit for 50, and I had 6 months to do it in. The goal in my mind was to start running and eventually, be able to run something called a Park Run, which is a timed event of 5k (3 miles), that you can walk or run every Saturday morning at 9am. After months of running a mile once a week, then 2 miles, on 03.09.2011, I took the plunge, signed up and ran my first Park Run in 26 minutes and 3 seconds. For the next 4 weeks I continued to improve my time up to the 19.11.2011, when I peaked at 24:25. The next week, I volunteered to marshall, and started talking to other runners, explained how difficult it was for me to breath. One person I was talking to explained, the importance of breathing, which is something I pass on to everyone, don’t laugh when I say it is difficult to master, it is and has taken me years to become efficient.
In 2012, my wife started running, and it became evident quickly, she enjoyed running more than me, and was better than me. For the record, I still do not enjoy running but, the benefits outweighs anything I think about it. After encouraging her to join a local running run group, I also joined the East Hull Harriers. Whilst I continued to be average, Carole became one of the clubs’ top runners.
In 2017, Carole managed to obtain a place in the Paris Marathon, and I thought, since I am going, I might as well run it also. That was my first marathon, I did not train enough, when the more accomplished runners said I need to run 7 days a week, I did 3 days. However, broken at the end, walking for the majority of the last 4 miles, I managed a respectable time under 4 hours. I was not going to do another but, people kept asking, “Have you done London” and so, a few years later, eventually running every day for 17 weeks, before the London marathon, I can now say “Yes” to that question.
The training has been a struggle but, at 61 the time I achieved is something I am proud of. Running is not for everyone, but we have to do something to assist ourselves in leading the best and healthiest life possible.
Ask yourself – When you are ill, what is your desire? and, If you could talk to yourself in the future, would you be thanking yourself for a healthier body? It is never too late to start 😊