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Pursuing my curiosity-Running: Women Behind The Network Female Leaders At 50 Series introducing Katie Holmes

When I started my blog at the age of 50, I was setting off on a journey with curiosity and excitement. Curious to find out more about the experiences of older female runners and their participation in running. Excited about learning new skills and developing my writing, adapting it to a different format.

 

Why write about older women? Women over fifty are not often in the public eye, in fact it can feel that we are invisible. We don’t know much about older women’s experience of participating in sport or their attitudes to exercise. 

 

I started by interviewing female runners over fifty because I wanted to share and give value to their storiesand to celebrate their achievements.

 

The six women I’ve interviewed, aged from 50 to over 70 have diverse running biographies. Two of them have been runners for most of their adult lives, four started running after the age of 40. Their motivations for running vary but they have all found a community of friends through running. By continuing to run into their fifties, sixties and seventies, all six women could be said to be exceptional. Society’s expectations are that older women, and, to a lesser extent, men, will become less active and enfeebled by ageing. Instead these women have become more active and stronger. They are also making themselves visible by running at parkrun, at races, on the track and on the streets.

 

Another way in which I give prominence to older women’s stories is through my curated list of blogs by female runners over 50 from the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. I’m always on the lookout for more blogs to add to the list.

 

Quite early on I branched off into a new area of interest. After hearing interviews with pioneering female marathon runners on the Marathon Talk podcast, I became interested in the history of women’s endurance running and have published several articles about this on my blog. For decades women were excluded from endurance sports on the grounds that they did not have the strength, that their gynaecological health would suffer and that getting hot and sweaty was unfeminine and unbecoming for women. Women were prohibited from running more than 200m at the Olympics from 1928 to 1960, and the women’s marathon was not added to the programme until 1984. 

 

My aim is to find out about and record the stories of the trailblazing female runners who challenged the status quo and showed what women could achieve in the face of limited opportunities and prejudice. They built the foundations for women’s running today and their history deserves to be better known. 

 

Along the way, I’ve developed a network through social media, connecting with people I would otherwise never have reached. Their areas of expertise or interest overlap with mine in one or more ways. I’ve connected with academics in the fields of sports history, sociology and sports science; with campaigners raising awareness of the perimenopause and menopause; with physiotherapists, nutritionists, athletes and coaches; with lots of runners including world record holders and Olympians; and, of course, with many active women over 50. These connections have enriched my writing, especially in the area of running history, and encouraged me to continue.

 

Five years on, where will my blog journey take me now? Turning 50 did not feel like a big milestone for me but turning 55 has. I feel more keenly aware of the limited time that I have left to achieve what I want to through my blog. I feel that I have something important to say and that what I am doing is worthwhile. I am not sure whatmy destination will be, but I do know that I’m going to pursue it.

 

Katie Holmes, www.RunYoung50.co.uk

 

 

 

Health & Wellbeing

Healthy Active Women

ITS ALL IN THE HEAD

During Covid – 19 we all put on the ‘Covid spread’. Roll on conversations with friends assuring me I was fine and haven’t we all put on a little weight. I had been working away and arriving home each week meant I could have a bottle of wine and a large bag of crisps….to myself. I worked hard, I deserved it didn’t I?

I thought I looked ok until at the latter end of 2020 I spotted myself in a lift mirror at a sideways angle and saw my protruding tummy. The last time I had a stomach so large was when I carried my children during pregnancy and I was never a petite carrier. In 2020 I jogged a 50k but was not lean! I was fit but fat. Friends said I was looking good, and it was all ‘in my head’ but I did not feel right as I watched my waist expand. I was watching everyone’s waist expand too and saying the same things to them! ‘Its menopause and its natural’ we said ‘We are all experiencing it.’ But I felt this was not right. I felt exhausted and tired, frumpy and old before my time.

I finally pulled myself together, entered a fitness programme and really changed my mindset and my approach to food and exercise. The programme helped me refocus and made me want to understand more about food and my health. It was not rocket science. It was what we all know ;

Good food = Good health.

Once I signed up to changing my outlook (in my head) planned my food, reduced my alcohol intake and stopped my long runs replacing with shorter bursts of activity. I even started to use weights and battleropes. It really did not take long to notice the changes in my shape. I was definitely also more productive at work, less stressed and my low energy was gone. I took a keen interest in learning more about how food and weight bearing exercise is important even more so in my 50s. Particularly bone health as it is essential in women as we age, choosing the right foods, combined with weight bearing exercise prevents osteoporosis.

SO WHATS NEXT?

I have always been passionate about supporting female leaders. II founded a female leaders network. I know as a female leader I had been spending hours glued to my desk. I had been eating little or no food some days then binging others. That’s another thing I started to eat a lot MORE food (the right food) and still lost weight. I started to consider if I had been like that not caring for myself I bet many other working age women are too. I thought about how I can help them.

I wanted something more than a diet, we know diets don’t work but what was the toolkit I could give to women to help them too? Even if I could help one woman that would be enough for me.

I trained in a lifestyle medicine programme in October 2021 and this year after building up my confidence (who would listen to me I thought?) I ran my first group of five working age women through a complete health improvement twelve week programme.

The results have been rewarding.

The women have reported many changes such as

reduced weight,

improved mood,

reduced menopause symptoms

reduced cholesterol levels

Had my first appointment at the docs. lost 13% of my previous weights. Amazing! Lost 10.5kg! Thank you so much!

TOOLKIT FOR EVER

We all know and I will say it again diets do not work, this is about a mindset change with the right tools . We cannot be perfect all the time and we all need a treat now and then but having the toolkit helps get you back on track again quickly. Food is our medicine.

‘I have been off the programme for a couple of weeks now but back on it again and feeling so much better. My mood has lifted and the fog has gone again. My daughter begged me to go back on it as I was in such a foul mood….it shows it works’

So if you have the right mindset and you want to gain the lifestyle medicine tools to support you become a Healthy Active Woman with a supportive community behind you please contact me to discuss. Our next wave of Healthy Active Women (Complete Health Improvement 12 week Programme) starts on the 3rd August 2022.

You may like join our Healthy Active Women Community of Interest Group on the 13th July 2022.

To enrol in the programme or join the Healthy Active Women Group please contact me via email: CiaraMBMoore@outlook.com