There wouldn’t be any lakes without the rain.


I love the Lake District, and I probably love it more off season. This love developed when I was at school in the ‘geog soc’, and there were Sunday trips to go walking in the fells on a Sunday. Of course it was in term time, September to June, so generally off peak and I learned to like walking in the rain, in the hope of brighter moments at some point. Yesterday I overheard my husband explaining to my son that ‘we are a family and sometimes we have to do something because someone else likes it’. Oh dear! Even so we haven’t been an any big walks, just 3 or 4 miles max. This is a view a Rydal water from a hillock too small for a name. If you zoom in on the right hand border you will see this;


It amused me so much. It looked for all the world like these 2sheep were sitting and enjoying the view!

Those of you who know me well will appreciate that I spend more time reading about running than actually running! Also I’m probably easily influenced by what I read. This week I have been reading this;


To be frank it ticks a lot of boxes with me at the moment. It covers topics such as carbohydrate intolerance, aerobic training, fat burning, barefoot running and posture/ gait and stress.

I’m about to go back to work after a month off with stress. I’d always believed that I was a very resilient,  coping person, but one day I went into work and a very small problem just tipped me over the edge. I had a complete and absolute loss of belief in myself and my abilities, a sobbing fit and went home. Incredulous but sadly true.

For about a month before this I had lost the will to go running. January was great, I kept to my training plan through rain, snow and darkness, but in February, even when I had the time to run  I had just got into a negative mindset and refused, to my self, to go.

Interesting (to me) dr Phil thinks that stress impairs your running performance, aerobic capacity and metabolism. Also that if you overtrain and depend on your anaerobic metabolism  that you will fuel this with sugar and refined carbohydrates and that this in turn causes physical inflammation and stress.

Could my training have contributed to my stress?

Once I was off work I turned into a complete sugar fiend. Baking cakes and deserts ‘for the family’ , ‘sharing’ my sons sweets and Easter eggs.  The more I had the more I wanted.

I don’t remember how I found this book but once I did I read it and it made sense. I have started the 2 week test ( a very low carb/paleo type diet) and After a couple of bad days found that my constant hunger went away and I lost a couple of pounds in body weight and a percent off my body fat. Now I’m planning to stick with this low carb approach for a few weeks. Unfortunately I can’t weigh myself when I’m away from home, so I just have to trust the process.

Using his 180 formula my aerobic threshold is at a heart rate of about 125. I have discovered that I can exceed this jogging or walking uphill. Much to my sons annoyance I decided to stop every time my HR hit 130 today until it came back down! I’ve toyed with aerobic training before but never stuck with it – it has been too frustrating when you can just run a bit harder and see better immediate results. However now, I have nothing to lose. I’ve hardly run at all  for over 10 weeks so I won’t be ready for the Edinburgh marathon. So back to the beginning. If it means a lot of walking, so be it.

i know that fitness seems to come quite easily to others. Is it simply a matter of making the right life choices?  I don’t know, but I’m not giving up. I want to look forwards to a healthy, happy,  old age, not being in a home or an early sudden death. Oh and a fit body wouldn’t go amiss, even at my age!!🙄😆😆



About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in balance, change, fear, fitness, fun, habits, heartrate, hills, holidays, low intensity, middle aged women, Motivation, positive mental attitude, reading, running, slow run, Stress, training plan, walking, weight loss, work life balence, working mum. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to There wouldn’t be any lakes without the rain.

  1. pwhent says:

    Hi Julie I am really sorry to hear about your stress. Sometimes the hardest thing is to admit it. Lots of people bottle it up, but it comes out eventually often in a more damaging way than if confronted early. It sounds like you did the right thing.
    I had a really stressful 3-4 months at work (still quite stressful) and I find running is my saviour. That hour I spend on my own running allows me to mentally detox. Like you if I am feeling really stressed I often have no will to exercise. Sometime I skip it but I try not to. If I force myself out of the door I never ever regret it.
    Take your time and build up at you own pace. Perhaps the pressure of the marathon was having a negative effect and you will feel better about it now you have put that to one side.
    Good luck. Please let us know how you progress.

  2. pwhent says:

    …..and as a follow on comment – I used the Maffetone method to build my endurance a few years ago. It works!! Sometime you have to go so slowly to keep your HR below the magic number that it seems impossible that it can be doing any good. But slowly but surely you get faster for the same HR.

    • mawil1 says:

      Hi Peter, I remember you saying about the maffetone method ages ago, at the time I thought it was just about the aerobic heartrate and that I knew all about it. However when you read his book he has such a holistic view of endurance training you can see where it’s coming from and how it all fits.
      I’ve known for some time that I’ve been pushing myself to the limit. I was trying to make changes, trying to reduce commuting by moving house, wanting to make changes to my working pattern but sometimes things don’t happen as you want them to and you get stuck! However we’ve had an offer on our house now so hopefully we can move on now- literally and figuritively! I hope that things improve for you too and that running continues to bring benefits! I think the thing I have learned from this is if you know what you need/want ask for it!! Being subtle and hoping that someone will politely offer is a non starter, so be brave and ask. If people say no, at least you know where you stand and you can work with that!!

  3. CeeJayKay says:

    J x You know, before my dad passed away, he died with Vascular Dementia, i ‘lost’ him years before his actual passing. We used to talk on the phone a lot, he lived back in SA. I always think back about the little things he used to say before, what he said became a mystery. The one that i always think of and have made into a little print that i keep on my dressing table is this…

    “You can’t always be Super Woman you know, you have to let someone else have a chance sometimes!”

    Whenever i am feeling overwhelmed and on ‘that brink’ i remind myself of that…

    So weird, i think you and i are so different and yet so similar and to have connected here, via our blogs is amazing. Are living in a parallel universe? 🙂

    So Super Woman, time to step down, breathe deep and lets let someone else have a go.

    That books sounds like something i should be reading… i too read more about running than i actually run *lol* hubby pointed that out when another running magazine appeared on the bed…
    I followed Dukan for a while last year… and i felt like a MILLION DOLLARS! I don’t agree with cutting food groups, but defo the gluten/sugar thing, when cut, makes me feel oh so much better!

    Best of luck hunny… your walks looks AMAZING!!!! enjoy!

    PS, i will launder the sparkly SW capes and keep them safe for us *winks*

    • mawil1 says:

      Hi Cee Jay, I’m sure your dad was right! Time to play nicely and let someone else have a go, but in the meantime thank you for keeping my sparkly cape safe!
      When I saw your post about Nordic walking, I thought hmm – maffetone! I suspect (because I’m not entirely sure what it involves) that it will be very good for aerobic fitness! I’m going to give the MM a try myself anyway.
      This is my third go at a reply (on the phone and it’s playing up!) so it’s a bit truncated now! But like you say, we seem to be in a parallel universe! Life’s a funny journey and it’s nice to have some company on the road, even if it is just a bit of text at odd times of day and night😊 Sending you a big hug and a thank you! Xx julie

      • CeeJayKay says:

        I’ve never heard of maffetone… I’m off to ProfGoogle now xxx have a fab weekend! Xxx

      • mawil1 says:

        What would we do without google! So many times I do a quick search just to make sure that I’m giving my son the right info!!

      • CeeJayKay says:

        Lol! I google EVERYTHING!
        I follow slowgirlrunning here on WP it’s how she trains! VERY interesting! Was telling hubby about it… He know the technique but not as Maffetone…. I’m going to read more… Makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing xxx

  4. oscardiamond says:

    I’m dismayed to learn you’re feeling stressed and demotivated at the moment. I haven’t got any clever advice to give or droll comments to make but I really hope that your motivation and sense of well being return quickly. Apologies if I sound too formal : Firstly I’m a man and secondly stress is no joke.
    Had a quick look at your Maffetone man on Amazon. Sounds like a reasonable geezer. I now what you mean be by a susceptibility to being easily influenced. We’re looking at the second part of How to Stay Young and they’re extolling the virtues of purple vegetables and fruit. I’m off to Tesco (open to midnight).

    • mawil1 says:

      I’m feeling a lot better now. I’ve probably been trying to do too much for too long and a break has restored some of my natural energy and enthusiasm. One of the strangest things was hating my job, in the past I’ve alwAys loved it, even when it’s been really difficult. I haven’t managed to catch any of the staying young programmes – no doubt they will be repeated at some point – does this mean you will be swapping the Brussels for beetroot?

  5. Big hugs Julie, I hope the leave did the trick. I read most of that Ben Greenfield book you reviewed, it says similar things about the body not knowing the difference between physical and mental stress. More hugs xxx

    • mawil1 says:

      That Ben greenfield book is quite heavy isn’t it? But it’s interesting that a few people have come to the same conclusion. Thanks for your support xx

  6. Maffetone and Prazak sound suspiciously like a prescription. I hope you soon feel better, I’d recommend drawing!

    • mawil1 says:

      Mmm yes, or a pair of Sisciloan lawyers! I’m not sure that drawing would help me- partly because of my complete and utter lack of talent!!😃😃 but I have thought that maybe I should do something more creative. I don’t think there’s a suppressed artist inside though!

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