Hooooo-flippin-raaaay!!! Done it – Graduated!!!

So, from Feb 2nd to April 26th (almost 12 weeks) but I’ve done all the runs required from the programme … so bring on that badge!! :D

Decided to do something different for this special run today. Instead of trotting around my local streets, footpaths and park, I did a bit of online checking and discovered that a park just a few miles away is a regular venue for one of the famous ParkRuns. So, popped into car all togged up and ready for the run and drove to the aforementioned park. Sunny morning though a chilling breeze gathering up (will probably bring rain in the next hour). Found a huge map of the park venue and then located the usual start line and a long line of orange marker arrows. The course is 2.5 kms so I knew I’d need to do two plus a little bit to get back to carpark.

Set off for a five minute warm up walk and that took me around the edge of a couple of football fields. Then through a hedge onto the canal towpath – a mixture of compacted pebbles/shingle and mud. Loads of wild ducks keenly flapping on the water charming one another but completely oblivious to my presence. After a while a detour through some trees, over some earth banks into a little woodland area with a miniature railway track running through it. Followed the track a while, then into an area of children’s playground and adult fitness equipment. Eventually out into meadow/field area (lots of lucky doggies being walked) and after the next copse into an opening with the park coffee shop and the start sign in view again.

Round two! Still plodding happily away. Amazed at how different my limbs feel running on grass and muddy paths after pavements for the last 12 weeks. Ducks still ignoring me – only have eyes for other ducks at this time of year. ;) Narrow railway tracks looking fairly rusty and presumably waiting for summer weekends to take kiddies for rides. Blossom and catkins amazing in dappled light of that small woodland area. Out to the meadow field and was beginning to flag a bit. Checked watch - I’d run for 38 minutes. Couldn’t really do much more running – hips were beginning to complain about the changed running surface. Walked past the playground and last clump of trees, past the coffee shop and back to the car park.

All in all, 5+kms covered … 38 minutes running and about 15 minutes total walking (warm-up and cooldown/back to car)

Twelve weeks ago, I couldn’t manage one minute runs, was wheezy and asthmatic, feet and knees complained after each outing – I needed the day’s rest each time and sometimes needed 2 or more days. Thank you NHS and lovely Laura (even though I got bored with your music at week 6). But, an even bigger thank you to ALL - lovely C25Kers and bloggers who have escorted me through this programme. You are all beyond amazing. :D Between you, you helped me stick to it through the tough times and shared my joy in the good times. Love and best wishes to you all. This is an amazing plan and it really, truly works. Asthma has abandoned me. Large slacks/jeans now in danger of abandoning me too. Things are sooooo good! Next target – the 5k track in 30 mins – might consider a ParkRun run in a month or two. Cheers, Linda x


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35 Replies

  • Wow what a lovely area to run! And mostly a massive well done!!! You must be feeling very proud of yourself and quite right too! Hope to be there in a few weeks too probably more than 9 but that's ok! You encouraged me last week when I started week 1 r1 and completed that week this morn in the rain and around the streets and didn't give a hoot who saw me was quite in the zone! Thanks to yours and others encouragement I wouldn't have got out there so thank u and again We'll done!

    Jax1970 x

  • Ta muchly, so pleased you are still with us :) Stick with it jax and I'll soon see you name with the glorious badge too... you can do this! Take care, Linda x

  • Well done Linda, thats an amazing run 38 minutes WOW. :-) I only hope my run tomorrow will be just as successful as yours! Here to gaining more speed. :-)

  • Set your mind to it and it will be - I am so convinced that after about week 6 it was much more a mind than a body thing :D All the very best for tomorrow, hope the weather stays fine. I look forwards to your grad blog too, Cheers x

  • Definitely agree with it being more mental than physical at this point.

  • A lovely blog to celebrate your graduation Linda!! Well done and congratulations!

    Welcome to the Grad Club!! :)

    Sue x

  • Thank you thank you thank you ... enuf said ... still glowing :D

  • Very well done, you deserve a drink or 2 tonight, gives me hope that I can do it after having a week off awhile back the monkey wont get off my back so went back a week or 2 so on sunday I will do again w5 run2 and if I manage run3 may go straight onto the 25min run which I did ok before, so watch this space. well done again.

  • Bloody monkeys, swat 'em and run away from the little blighters. You WILL do this, the scheme works and you are only going through a temporary glitch, You've already proven to yourself that you can do the time .. now forget about the time targets and enjoy the runs, the surroundings and the feeling of beating all those little niggles. Really looking forward to totally positive, upbeat and successful blogs from you very soon. Lots of luck x ;)

  • Cheers Bagpuss BA just raising a glass to you now. Happy running.watch this space.

  • I'm so pleased you've managed to graduate 'on time', Linda. ;-) and with such aplomb too! 38 minutes is no mean feat. Congratulations. Have a smashing weekend with, no doubt, a Cheshire Cat grin on your face. :D

  • Thank you ... So funny you should mention the Cheshire Cat ... Last week I had some hair highlights added to my blond base - felt like being frivolous ;) (always said I'd grow old disgracefully!) Anyway, young colleague approached me yesterday at work and complimented me on the PINK stripes!!!! OMG ... Bagpuss lookalike LOL x

  • Brilliant! I went in the exact opposite direction a few years ago and got my neighbour to shave all my hair off so that my natural grey/white could come through. Stayed that way for about 5 years, then last Summer took the plunge and dyed it again. The upkeep is a real pain, but the compliments make one feel good. :D

    Don't disappear now... so many newbies rely on your advice already!

  • Congratulations, Linda! What a lovely way to graduate, with a new route and plenty to look at! 38 minutes is a really long time to run - well done you!

    I shall look out for that green badge next to your name! :)

  • Thank you dear Greenlegs ... I certainly wouldn't have completed without your insistence in the early days that going slowly and steadily was the way ahead! You have been an amazing influence, been such a nice journey - thanks for your kindness. All the best to you too x

  • Great run Linda - and an excellent result. Enjoy the new you and all the feel-good benefits that come with it. :)

    Good luck with the ParkRun.

  • Thank you very much, am looking forward to being a new member of the very special group of people - C25K graduates! Will try that circuit a few more times before entering an official run ... bit of a nuisance that I have to work for the next two weekends... awww well, June/July might be possible. Take care x

  • Well ring the bells and sound the horns. WE GOT ANOTHER ONE!

    38 minutes, huh? That really is stupendous at this stage. Go to the Parkrun after those two weeks and I just KNOW you'll run the whole way. There are a lot of Parkrunners who would die for a 38 minute time.

    Good things come to good people and you come over as a good person. I'm sitting here at the end of a working week (with the prospect of another weekend of unpaid overtime ahead) ... and your enthusiasm and excitement has just lifted me.

    Right then Bagpuss! Take the night off, rest on your laurels ... and hit the road again soon!

    Very well done, and keep on runnin'

  • Awwww thanks and cheers to you too! Bagpuss is about to shop for the weekend so that her Malcy can have something to eat while she's working. Really not looking forward to doing two long days when the rest of the world is out playing. Will down half a bottle of something nice tonight, though ... what to get with a take-away???? No worries, running has me hooked, I'll keep going now I know I can :) ;)

  • Huge Congratulations, well done :)

  • Thanks so much ... so very happy to join all you lovely people in the 'grad gang' x

  • YOU DID IT! Congratulations, Linda, not just on graduating, but on doing it in style! Well done :) Mind, I'm gonna call you Bagpuss from now on, but you'll still be a graduated Bagpuss :D Huge congrats - make sure you celebrate this evening x

  • Can I change my profile name to Bagpuss? ... must be the sun has changed those burgundy stripes to pink LOL. Yes, there will be vino tonight with whatever the local takeaways can provide ... unless I decide to be creative with whatever Sainsbury's has left on their shelves. Better fly, the rush hour traffic will have cleared now to make a clear route to the supermarket. Have a great weekend x luv Bagpuss BA :) (BA = blooming awesome!)

  • CONGRATS Linda!!! Well done YOU!!! ..what a lovely way to finish the C25K!! Keep up the good work and all the very best for your future runs!!

  • Just wanted to ask Linda and forgot, how different is it to run on grass..is it easier than concrete or difficult? Like you, I have been running on the pavement but when I do the Race for Life in July, it will be in a park , I am sure some places are with grass there. Always wondered how it feels. I do have a park locally but since I do my runs after work and late, I don't feel very comfortable in going to the park late..should try over a weekend after my surgery though..

  • Thanks for the good wishes.

    Ahhh yes, the grass and mud as opposed to the bog-standard: uneven, winter damaged pavements ... mmmmm

    Actually, I do think the going was softer (now I sound like a race horse ... (I wish!). I hadn't liked the treadmill (I did 2 runs of the entire series on one of those god-forsaken instruments of torture) the rubbery feel of the 'floor' was soft too but the monotony of the surroundings too tedious for anyone with a memory span greater than a goldfish - was bored out of my mind!

    The grass was very pleasant, and the almost solidified mud also - both had a kind of 'give' in them which I guess reduces the impact stress on feet and knees.

    However, I did give up the running after 38 minutes because my hips were complaining. Now, I haven't experienced this before ... neither have I run on grass and mud before, so I cant be certain if it was just an end-of-my-limit-for-today thing, or whether it was the changed surfaces which made my hips more tired and ache-y than ever before.

    I would suggest that if you think the 'Race for Life' is going to be on a mixture of surfaces, then practice runs on a similar mixture will best prepare you and might help alleviate any strange aches and pains on the day of the race. ps I noticed on my ParkRun route that it was also a Race for Life route. :)

    Will be thinking of you in the coming week as you prepare for your operation. Lots of luck and I hope you will be spoiled during your convalescence. Look forward to hearing from you again when you are back on the road/grass again. Luv Linda x

  • Thank you very much Linda as always, you explained what I wanted to know so well! Your students must have loved you!

    I will start running different routes now that I have my Garmin to go with me..after the surgery and when I am a bit better I shall go on our local Park Run before doing Race for Life, that would help I suppose. Our Park Run runners run so fast and it is a bit scary to run with them, so I got to be better to do it!

    Good luck to you for your runs too!!!

  • Well done young Linda I always check to see where you are in the programme and what you have done. I am sooooo chuffed for you huge big cheer and hug you have done it. I have just one run to go then I too will join the party. Enjoy and revel in your success and keep on blogging I love reading how well you are doing. Xx

  • Thanks too ... what an amazing response to yet another graduate. It is surely an indication of people having been there, done that, felt the pain, felt the strain... etc etc. I shall really look forwards to a ginormous success blog from you soon! You know you can do it; I know you can do it: your forum fanclub knows you can do it ... so just go and DO IT. Lots of luck, Luv Linda x :)

  • Congratulations! I'm sure you've caught the running bug by now and will follow on to the 5x50.

    It is posts like yours that keep me motivated and believing that I will be able to do the 5k in a few weeks.

  • Awwww such kind words, thank you :) I'm certainly going to step out a lot more to try to achieve the 5kms in 30 mins, and as you may have seen elsewhere, I've found a ParkRun route to practice on. If that goes well, I'll do a proper entry ..... eeeeek (maybe June or July) And yes, I have given the 5x50 some thought and I'll try to incorporate walking, swimming and (if I can find my bike hidden under piles of stuff in the garage!) some cycling too. All the best... you WILL be here soon, so prepare to join in too :D Cheers x

  • Congratulations Linda what a way to go!!! Such style....I have followed this course most of the way with you with just one run left and you have kept me motivated and lifted even at my dark times so thank you. I am sure there will be many newbies to come who will also read both your blogs and those you have blogged on to help keep them motivated through to graduation.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy your running!!! You have been absolutely brilliant!!!

  • You are beyond kindness, (embarrassed blush!!)(ooops, doesn't go with pink striped hair!) :D but truly, all I've done is follow on from the folk who were sooo lovely to me when I started out in the bleak mid winter! Lots and lots of luck with your final C25K run, then I hope to see you in the 'after C25K' gang who remain around and spur ourselves and others on too. No more dark times, sun and giggles all the way, eh? xx

  • Sorry it's a bit belated but just wanted to congratulate you on your graduation Linda. We were away for the weekend on one of these Sun newspaper cheap breaks at Haven holiday park in Hopton so WiFi access was a bit hit & miss & I didn't get to see your wonderful blog at the time. You are always so kind & supportive to everyone else on here so just wanted add my 'round of applause.' I too should become a graduate tomorrow & am looking forward to getting my shiny green badge. Claire. xxx

  • Thank you so much - i thought you were quite close behind me :) Hope you had a great weekend and good weather, I dont know that part of Norfolk very well, but did visit the north coast several times some years ago and loved it :)

    Here's wishing you a brilliantly successful run tomorrow, so that you too can join this fabby group of people who've 'been there, done that!' May pop out for a little jog tomorrow as no work ... Feels sooo weird that there's no scheme to follow. Having a short break in Italy next week - cant wait - when I return, I'm going to make sure I can do 5 kms in 30 minutes... Then might planning some ParkRuns. Take care x

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