Couch to 5k: week six

It felt like a bit of a come down this week to go out for my first run of the week and find it was meant to be two runs of eight minutes each with a walk in between.  I was on such a high after I managed to do my twenty minutes last week that I was expecting to do more.  I am sure there is method in the madness of whoever put the couch to 5k programme together.  Certainly run number one felt easy enough.  I ran down by the river again and contemplated the fact that it would become very boring if I never ran anywhere else!

Run 2 was on Saturday after a busy Friday where we had a lunch out in Manchester and a meal with friends in the evening.  I had been the designated driver so I hadn't had anything to drink but we had taken in a lot of food over the course of the day.  Perhaps that was why I felt so sluggish and slow.  This one was two runs of ten minutes each with a walk in between.  I suppose I had been due a bad run.  I hadn't really had a session where I felt I was really struggling but this one seemed to take forever.  I couldn't seem to get into my stride and spent most of the first ten minutes mentally counting off the steps until I could stop.  It wasn't until the last five minutes of the session that I started to feel reasonably ok.  As always I was glad to have done the run and felt good afterwards.  That will have to do!

And today was intended to be a run of twenty five minutes.  Just like last week with the twenty minute challenge, I felt daunted and unsure of whether I could go on running for that long.  Ian had a long run to do too so we decided to drive to a track/footpath which runs by the river in the Vale of Clwyd which we had walked with our daughter and her husband when Maddy was heavily pregnant with her first child, more than three years ago now.  It was a good idea to go somewhere different.  I like having something new to look at which allows me to concentrate on something other than the running.  The river was full and fast and much bigger than our own little river Wheeler.  It was a bright clear morning.  The sky was a pale spring blue with scudding clouds piling up above the hills.  The grass was greener than it has been.  Although it is still only February there was a faint warmth in the sun.  We passed a house with a garden full of snowdrops and here and there snowdrops trembled by the river in the slight breeze.  I was taken aback to find the track beginning to rise as we moved away from the houses.  I have been running on the flat, intentionally, trying to give myself the best chance of being able to carry on going.  Upside: it worked and I have been able to keep going.  Downside: the gentle slope in front of me felt like a mountain.  After no more than twenty yards I turned around and went back to the flat.

I decided that I would do most of the running back and forth along the flat track by the river but that each time I would try to go further up the slope as the track rose and became rougher.  That did work and I did find myself going a little higher on each of the three sweeps back and forth.  It felt quite hard to do twenty five minutes and my legs were tired by the last five minutes but I didn't have any point when I thought I might have to stop.   And as usual, afterwards I felt fantastic!

And I think that is what I am learning.  First of all I am discovering that I can in fact run, pacing myself and taking my time.  And secondly I am learning that it feels amazing.  I can begin to see why people get hooked on running.  I am not saying I am hooked yet, just that I can, in a misty way, sort of begin to see...


  1. Well done on added an element of climb to your run. I’m still working on hills and try and include one in my run to push me a little further.
    I remember that sense of anticlimax going back to the shorter runs. Don’t worry that’s the only week it happens. Onwards and upwards from now on :) B x

    1. Thanks Barbara! I am going to go back to your blog to read some more of the posts about the earlier days of your running now that I have got this far. Previously I only read the first few weeks! Yes, trying to keep it going and keep interested. That seems to be key now that I have got the stage where you don't mix it up so much.

  2. Brilliant! You've come so far. I still have plenty of days when it's a grind but often find it's the first and second km that feel the worst and it gets easier afterwards.

    I'm enjoying reading about your progress - thank you for sharing.

    1. I do recognise that sensation that it is the early bit which is sluggish and slow. I have found that running straight after yoga or pilates gets rid of that but I can't always manage it. I am glad you are enjoying reading about it. I do worry that it is of no interest to anyone except me!

  3. Well done for keeping at it and it sounds like you might be starting to enjoy it!

    1. Thanks Sue. I could not say I enjoy all of it all the time but there are little bits of every session which are quite enjoyable and a pretty reliable buzz at the end!!

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