Six months since the start of couch to 5k

It is six months to the day since I started couch to 5k.  So how has it been?  Is it worth doing?  Am I still running?  Have I lost two stone and become an elite athlete? Er, no to that last one.

I am still running and to my surprise I really enjoy it now.  When I was going through the programme I always loved how I felt afterwards but I often struggled with the runs themselves.  It was hard.  My legs sometimes worked when my lungs didn't want to.  I kept going through the nine weeks of C25k as much because I am stubborn as for any other reason.  I didn't want to do it sometimes but I didn't want to give up more.

Couch to 5k is a bit of a misnomer I think.  When I got to the end of the nine weeks I was astonished and delighted to find that I could run for 30 minutes but I was nowhere near being able to run 5km.  My first 5k was my first park run, six weeks later.  It took me 46 minutes and I was absolutely amazed that I could do it but oh it was hard!  But here I am, six months in, and I am still running.  I regularly run for 30 minutes and have run two more park runs, knocking a couple of minutes off my time.  I have had time off for being ill or for a sore knee but I keep coming back.  I think that, with a faintly apologetic sense of being too old and too slow to claim the title, I now regard myself as a runner.  If I don't go for a few days I start to feel a bit itchy.  And I know that I had to work so hard to get from the couch into my trainers that if I stop running now I might never have the willpower to start again from scratch.  So here I am.

I am half a stone lighter and have lost an inch from my waist and my hips without really changing the way I eat.    I am never going to be fast and I might never get to running much further than I currently do (although I have a barely whispered urge to run 10k) but every now and then while I am running I feel as if I am flying.  Clearly I am not, but it feels great.  So yes, Couch to 5k works and it is worth doing, even for the old and the slow and the overweight.   I felt pretty happy before I started  but when I run I feel lighter, sharper, younger, happier.  It's great.

Comments

  1. Well done, all things worth while take effort, but so satisfying, I can’t run anymore my knee won’t allow it, but after I had a Pacemaker fitted last September I set myself the task of being able to get up a very steep hill on our regular dog walk in one effort and then faster and then stopping a few feet farther and to my surprise this month in the very thin air of the mountains of Montana I found that although it was a great effort I was able to do a very steep 3 mile walk. Little steps but so satisfying. Keep it up well done.

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    1. Wow! You have done so well! So much of looking after yourself like this is just sheer determination and it sounds as if you have that in bucket loads. I'm so impressed!

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  2. Interesting reading about your progress. I too lost about half a stone from the start of my C25K to now. Glad you still enjoy your runs. Mine have been a little less frequent recently, not helped by travelling. Hopefully back to normal soon. B x

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    1. When I was starting I read lots of your blogs about running and it really inspired me to keep going. So good to see someone about my own age who had been there before me! Mind you, you are a lot faster than I am. But I have decided to take the view that every run is a run and not a race!

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  3. Have been wondering how your C25K journey was going, have kept checking your blog, and so glad to find that it's bringing you satisfaction. Did you run in Spain or was it too hot? I started the programme in April, got sore knees, stopped, did an introduction to trail running 7k which I absolutely loved with a passion but which gave me catastrophically sore knees afterwards, and am now on a long programme of glute strengthening because I have no glute muscles to speak of according to the physio. Running remains my goal at age 60 next month, and I'm inspired by your determination.

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    1. I did run in Spain, three runs on the coast and one in Salamanca. I really loved the sense of adventure. We were in the north where it wasn't that hot. Wasn't actually as hot as it is at home right now! So sorry to hear about your knees. I've had a couple of weeks off with a sore knee after running a longer distance but each time with a bit of rest and some strengthening exercises I've been lucky enough to get back to it. I love trail running too and in fact that's how I do most of my running. I haven't got as far as 7k yet though! I'm sure if you can take it slowly you will get back to it. I do hope so! Don't know if you have found the bridge to 10k forum on the health unlocked website but there's lots of really great support on there which has certainly helped me.

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