50 in 50, a challenge for old dogs who do need new tricks

So after a palpable absence of almost a year, I’m back and I’m 50, how did that happen? It was never my intention to leave you but my charmed life that got me happily through to 49 all went ‘tits up’ in 2017 despite starting off well with a new job in January that somehow I’ve managed to hold down quite successfully despite the world imploding around me. I’ve just about managed to do enough to keep my place on my running club committee and the running itself has taken a definite back seat allowing a spot of middle aged spread to creep in and my times to plummet. I’ve been mentally pushed to my limits and I’m still sane, I’m still married and my children still love me so I know I might actually be mentally more tough than I am physically, who’d have thought it?  It’s been a roller coaster but it’s on the up again and I’m ready for some ‘me time’.

This new chapter of my blog is going to take you through the challenge of being a woman in her 50’s and I can’t take that lying down or just accept it easily, so I’ve set myself a 50 in 50 challenge …… do 50 things I’ve never done before by my 51st birthday ! I thought it was a brilliant idea so was gutted when a pal sent me a newspaper article about 50 being the new 30 and talking about a 50 in 50 challenge, apparently its a ‘thing’ !! Whatever, I’m still doing it and blogging about it and I don’t personally know anyone else who’s done it.

Now if only time and money weren’t an object it might be easy, but with limited budget and 25 days holiday, it’s more tricky. It also works out to around one per week so I may need to think of multi tasking new experiences. Of course on the positive side, they don’t all have to be either running related or major feats of daring do (I’ve never had a jager bomb !!), but as I’ve always been rather adventurous, I’ve done a lot already’ way more in fact than most of my friends (wing walking, scuba diving, tank driving, race car driving…to name but a few)

If I listen to the media, we women become invisible over 50, we are no longer glam, no longer on prime time TV, no longer desirable, no longer have a voice……maybe I should just buy massive beige knickers, take up knitting and retire then? I’m not buying that though, Teresa May and Angela Merkel remain political heavyweights that battle it out over Europe and Debbie McGee and Brigitte Macron are certainly considered hot stuff well past 50.

I may need your help coming up with 50 things though, I’m currently at 28 things on the list and I’ve done 6 which I’ll share as the blog unfolds ! I have sought the counsel of my wise friends and colleagues and most alarming is that the list of things that are definitely not going on the list is growing equally well despite the fact I did stipulate the 50 in 50 has to be legal. So spending a night in a police cell, streaking, committing armed robbery and doing a runner from a restaurant as well as the other highly inappropriate and unmentionable activities are NOT going on my list!

Am I up to the challenge? Well my recent ‘health check’ might cast doubt on that. Reassured that the NHS hasn’t forsaken us all yet and with the offer of the chance to ‘ace’ a 50+ health check I went along to show other 50 year old’s how it’s done. My running has taken a back seat all year and I have put a bit on, but I know I’m fitter than most and looked forward to the recognition………….WRONG……….curse tables, statistics and averages. The practice nurse, also of a certain age, asked me the endless questions that determined my fate. Smoking…never, well a cheeky one in a nightclub as a teenager just to see what all the fuss was about, but after that, never. Score = excellent. Activity…well I had run 5 miles that very morning. Score = excellent. Diet…not a fan of fast food and ready meals really. Score = excellent. Alcohol…OK, tricky one, I opted for a normal week of two nights at the weekend sharing a bottle of red with my beloved, so 4 large glasses a week. Score = too high, must try harder (dear god we never talked about the weeks where anyone came over for dinner or we went somewhere for dinner, or the ladies were up for early doors 2 for 1 cocktails….the woman would have sent me to rehab). On reflection, there was a definite theme in this year’s Christmas presents, particularly this personalised gem of a gift for my lady cave from the hubster.

A personalised drinks clock for my Lady Cave from the hubster. I am an overweight alcoholic !

A personalised drinks clock for my Lady Cave from the hubster. I am an overweight alcoholic !

Blood pressure…fabulous, Heart Rate… so low that if I wasn’t a runner, they’d do further checks to ensure I wasn’t in a coma! Finally weight…sadly its all on BMI, not just looking with your eyes. I’d skipped into the surgery with a pair of size 8 New Look jeans that I’d retrieved from my teenage daughters ‘chucking out’ pile and a size 10 top ( which would have been an 8, had I not ….. gone up a bit over the course of my aforementioned ‘annus horribilis’ ) BMI 26 = overweight!! The killer question from the practice nurse who might as well have been a robot with a ‘computer says no’ approach was ‘Could I think of anything I could do to lose weight?’ obviously with excellent activity levels and a 5 mile run on the day…..er ‘no’ I can’t think of  a thing ???

So I start both the year and my 50 in 50 challenge as a middle aged, overweight alcoholic, stay with me for the journey, but I’m not sure I’ll make my 51st birthday!


Categories: Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA), Running over 50, The 50 in 50 Challenge

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Hi Justine! a few ideas for you challenge that i think would suit you! – eat at a 1, 2 and 3* Michelin Restaurant, (so thats 3!) do a days volunteering, become a mentor, plant a tree, get back in touch with someone you lost touch with maybe from school and finally create a family tree as far back as possible, you never know what you might uncover! enjoy. x


    • Thanks for the suggestions, there’s a few things there I can add. I like the sound of the eating options, might need to extend the mortgage though!! Lovely to hear from you. I will try to keep everyone amused as the challenges progress.


  2. Well you are certainly fitter than any other 50 year old that I know!
    (All connotations respectfully observed! 😉 )
    I know what you mean about the robotic nurse, I had a check up earlier this year and mine converted my weight and managed to add a stone!
    Despite pointing this out and having weighed myself that morning, she glossed over it and pointed to the BMI charts!
    Good luck with 50 in 50, sounds like a fun challenge.
    All the best to you and yours in 2018, see you at the longhorn!


  3. Hi Justine. We were at NGHS together (not too long ago…). I am so glad you are blogging again – as a sometimes reluctant runner I have been inspired by your writing in the past and hope to be again. Rather than the 50 challenges in my 50th year I’m planning on doing 50 nice (non-work related) things (I hadn’t realised that 50 in 50 was a ‘thing’ either). Some of these things may be more challenging than others and some might be a bit expensive (Michelin star restaurant for birthday, obvs) but I am going to make damn sure I do them rather than putting them off. Wishing you lots of luck with yours!


    • Hi there, lovely to hear from you and a surprise that someone had missed my blog. That helps give me incentive to keep going with it. How did we get from NGHS to 50 !! I like your blog, I just had a look. Healthy cakes ….need to add more of those to the list. Enjoy your 50……I’ll keep blogging how I’m getting on. Need to crack on with them I only have until November 8th 2018 !!!

      Liked by 1 person

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