News headlines - 46 year old unfit mother of two completes W9 R3 of C25K today!

Hi everyone,

Feeling ever so slightly chuffed right now. I have completed the programme! Yippee!! To help and encourage those of you just starting out I thought I would share the ups and downs of my journey.

Picture the scene.....start of January 2013. Get on the bathroom scales and find my weight has crept up to 11st 5lb. How did that happen it's never started with an 11 before? Move the scales to a different part of the floor they must be faulty....but sadly no! OK I know I'm not overweight yet as I am 5 feet 10 inches tall but starting to look a bit wobbly especially around the middle (my jelly belly!) Time for action before things get out of hand. So as a family we discover the NHS Change 4 Life recipe finder online and download the iPad app. For a couple of months the pounds start to drop off slowly and steadily...yep this healthier eating is paying off. Sister in law mentions this running programme she is doing called Couch25K.....sounds interesting and I've always been envious of the ladies I meet dog walking who are runners and slim. I might just be able to do this.

So the first Monday after the boys went back to school after half term at the end of February I was out of the front door disguised in woolly hat and off I went. Oh my goodness what a shock, that first run nearly killed me. For a start I was far too hot in all my layers of clothing but it was the intervals between runs.... they just weren't long enough to catch my breath. I was not happy with Laura when she kept saying it was time to run again. I admit to cussing at her under my breath more than once that day! It was so hard that day, probably the hardest run but also a happy day as I managed to complete all eight runs. Lesson learned - don't wear too many layers and find earphones that stay in.

In Week 2 I decided to take my dog along with me for company. Only limited success with that idea. Running seemed to be getting easier for me but lesson learned - make sure doggy has a number two before Laura says 3 2 1 run and it's not easy trying to juggle a poo bag and retractable dog lead. End of runs with dog!

Weeks 3 and 4 pass without too many problems. Friend joins me for a W3 run but not really successful as I kept having to wait for her. Lesson learned - don't listen to friends or family who think they can pop along for a run with you thinking it's a doddle. If they haven't followed the programme at all then they probably can't manage it!

Week 5. Wasn't looking forward to this one bit. How on earth would I keep running for 20 minutes by R3. I was struggling with 8 minutes so there was no way I could manage....but guess what, I did it. Not saying it was easy because it wasn't but once I got that run done and dusted I knew I might just be able to make it to a full 30.

Week 6. A bit of a shock to the system to have walking breaks again and not as easy as imagined, but up to 25 minutes by R3. Managed to huff and puff my way through OK.

Week 7. It's all longer runs from now on. Treat myself to some Lycra 3/4 capri leggings as weather started getting warmer but oh dear they keep falling down and my knickers go with them! (Read my earlier blog for more details on that story.) Lesson learned - jumping up and down in the house to find out if leggings are secure is not the same as running outside!

Weeks 8 and 9. I think once I got to the 25 minutes, the increase to 28 then 30 wasn't that noticeable, I was still knackered doing all of them. The first 5 minutes are the worst for me and that's when I could easily grind to a halt. It takes me time to get the pace right and I still struggle with breathing.

Graduation run 1/5/13. It's a lovely day, sun is shining and very slight breeze. Lycra leggings on (these DON'T fall down), short sleeved running top on, bum bag on, Sennheiser over earphones on, water bottle in hand and off we go. Stuck with Laura all the way so play her hopefully for the last time. Set Mapmyrun at start of 30 minutes but today I intend to run 5k. First 5 minutes as hard as usual then start to settle into the run. It's so hot but thankfully I have my water. Laura says 30 minutes is up and Mapmyrun says I've run 4.64km. I keep going and manage 5k in 32.59 minutes. Not bad eh? Get home and check route on app and find that GPS didn't start tracking me for the first 0.5km. Even better! Shame I couldn't get a really accurate time but I was quite close to 5k in 30 minutes! Lesson learned - treat myself to a Garmin!!

So it's goodbye and thank you Laura. Looking forward to decent music now! As for me, I weighed myself this morning and now 10st 8lb. All down to healthier eating and running. Weight actually went up when I first started but once I got onto longer runs it has gradually started to drop and I'm down at least one dress size.

Thanks everyone on this forum for their support, you've been great. Must stop waffling on now. I think you get the message.

Bye for now,

Claire xx

51 Replies

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  • Well done, loved reading your story. What a fantastic feeling to have done it a real achievement. Good luck with all those 5ks now!

  • Thanks for the kind comments. Look forward to hearing your progress too. You're getting fairly close to the end yourself now. Good luck with the longer runs. X

  • Congratulations! Lovely blog - that took me back, all so familiar!

    Enjoy your running life! :)

  • Thanks Greenlegs. I have been inspired along the way by your comments. I always think of you when I start every run but especially the dreaded 20 minutes in W5. Kept telling myself slow and steady because that's what Greenlegs advises...and it worked!! X

  • Glad to be of service! Yesterday I actually went faster - woo hoo! Only for ten minutes (but we know what 'only ten minutes' can mean!), but it did feel good to be able to go faster, and not feel as if I was about to collapse! Mind you, it's about ten weeks since I graduated now.

  • well done, lovely blog. Great weight loss as well. :-)

  • Thanks alcopop. I'm very pleased that the weight has started to come off now too. The jelly belly is certainly getting a bit smaller anyway. X

  • Congratulations! What's next? :D

  • Hi Bilby and thanks. I think my first challenge is to crack the 5K in 30 minutes (must get a Garmin to get more accurate distance) and then I'll see if I can slowly increase distance but nothing drastic. I think I'll benefit from getting rid of Laura's crumby music too so sorting out a playlist is next job! X

  • Congratulations and enjoy that graduation high.

  • Thank you ancient runner, did have a celebratory tipple last night! X

  • Well done. I'd recommend you now look for your next target/goal to keep you going up and onwards.

  • Thanks avensis. One thing I must tackle is hills. Managed to almost totally avoid any on my routes but then I do live in flat East Anglia!!! There are a few nasty ones that lead into town though so may have to see how I go. Eeeek. X

  • Well done on completing c25k and well done for the weight loss too :)

  • Thanks for your support. Remember, if I can do it then anyone can!! Good luck to you with the longer runs. It ain't easy but it's do-able!! Good luck. X

  • Well done - keep up the hard work

  • Thank you Gemini21. Just waiting for the shiny green badge to come through. X

  • Well done that's brilliant, a lot of that sounded so familiar, unfortunately for me I'm the same weight as I started :-) so well done in losing nearly a stone, keep up the good work x

  • Thanks Souki, love the dog picture by the way. Think my new healthier eating is a big part of the weight loss. Lots of beans, pulses, lentils & veg included so my runs tend to be wind assisted...lol!!! My husband is now getting very fed up with courgettes though! X

  • Congratulations.Lovely inspiring blog post!

  • Thanks big-momma. I'm loving the picture of your red face. I have the same trouble! Good luck with your runs, you're doing great too. X

  • From one recent grad to another a huge well done Keep up the good work

  • Thank you fellow new grad. Haven't got my badge yet. In the excitement I forgot to request mine yesterday!! Good luck with your post-graduate runs. Look forward to hearing how it's going for you. X

  • Fantastic, great blog and wonderful time+distance Claire! You must be chuffed with bells and whistles too! Have a great time celebrating and welcome to the grad club (which is increasing membership amazingly this week!!!! ). Cheers, Linda x :D

  • Thanks Linda. Sorry it's taking ages to reply to everyone. Battery level got down to 1% on iPad after posting my blog so had to switch off for the night! I'm so pleased. There seem to be a lot of us new grads this week. Love your blogs where you describe which birds or flowers you've spotted. Yesterday I saw the usual squashed frog (now shrivelling up), the old car tyre in the field of horses but pleased to say a baby bunny ran along with me for a few metres! Looking forward to hearing how you're progressing as the months go by. Claire. X

  • Congrats!

  • CouchCarrot congratulations to you also for yesterday. You are amazing to run in those temperatures. I found it a struggle yesterday at 16 degrees c. Very red faced after that, pretty sure my face would explode where you are. Good luck for the future. Claire. X

  • Congratulations on your graduaton :)

  • Thank you Anniemurph. I am really pleased to have got this far. Never thought it would be possible in those early weeks but I managed it with no repeated weeks or injury (touch wood.) Very lucky with my trainers I think! Thanks again. Claire. X

  • Well done! what an inspirational post!

  • Thanks. Brilliant name by the way! I see you're not too far behind me so I'll be looking out for your graduation post very soon. Good luck with the remaining runs. Claire. X

  • What a wonderful blog ... very enteraining! I've just completed Wk5R1 ... neverous about the 8 mins and 20 .... but taking inspiration from you!!!!

  • Thanks Allimac. Good luck with W5 especially the run 3. We all dread it but if you look back at other people's blogs you'll find that everyone seems to manage OK on the day. It won't be easy but take it steady and if you've followed the previous podcasts Laura will make sure you're ready. She has faith in you and so do the rest of us! Good luck. Claire. X

  • Loved hearing about your journey,Im just starting out on WK1 so your story is inspirational! Congratulations and keep running!

  • Good luck bess123. Just think sometime in July we'll be reading about your graduation run. Not that long really. To help me through I used to reward myself with little gifts from Sports Direct. Water bottle, bum bag, new running top, pair of socks. Nothing that costs the earth but just gives you a bit more of a boost!! Good luck. Claire. X

  • I'm starting tonight, so thank you for the inspiration x

  • Thanks Smilingsuzc. I'll be thinking of you tonight. The first run is always a tough one so don't be put off. You may be a tad achy for a while after but it soon passes. I see from your profile that you've got a very special reason for doing this. Bet you'll end up having to have the wedding dress made a lot smaller. Good luck and look forward to hearing your progress. Claire. X

  • Thanks Claire, no I've left it too late for the wedding dress but other things will still benefit!

  • Fantastic!! And all so familiar, even being 46 and the mother of 2! Am a couple of weeks behind you, week 7run 2, but its reading blogs like yours that keep me going and give me the motivation to finish, so pleased for you, watch out for my victory blog in a few weeks!

  • Thanks Olliebollie, nice to have a fellow 46 year old to compare notes with!!! Hope the 25 minute runs are going well for you? You're so close to the end that you probably won't notice the increase in minutes in weeks 8 & 9. Good luck for the remaining runs and look forward to the victory blog. Claire. X

  • Brilliant, both the blog and the achievement!! I'm just behind you on this plan, so well inspired to get there. Thank you!!

  • Thank you for your kind words. Good luck with the final week and look forward to hearing about your adventures soon. I've noticed that I still haven't got my Graduate badge which is a bit of a shame but I'll try and be patient!! Claire. X

  • Congratulations! What an achievement. Hopefully in 4 weeks or so I might be in the same place. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Thanks, sounds as though you're fast approaching the 20 minute run? Seems such a big leap from 8 minutes but you'll be fine. Did mine early on a Sunday morning when it was quiet but probably woke lots of people up with my huffing and puffing! Such a great feeling to get that one out of the way. Good luck. Claire. X

  • SO COOL! LOVED reading your blog and a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on your accomplishment! I'm on week 8 right now and your words are really an INSPIRATION to me! Have to thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. Keep on running!

  • Thank you Lolly188t that's so kind, glad you enjoyed the blog. Took me ages to get it all down in writing but I know how much it helped me to read about other people's experiences so wanted to share my story too. I'm so glad I found out about C25K. Never ever thought I'd be a runner in such a short space of time. Used to get puffed out running up the stairs!! Good luck with your last few runs of the programme and look forward to finding out how you get on. Claire. X

  • Loved this blog!

    Also like your user name (nomorejellybelly).

    Have just done Wk 4 run 1 and also found it not diffficult so it's interesting to see how things get more difficult in coming weeks (EEK!!).

    I can echo your problems with the dog: tried it in week one and gave it up as a bad job

    Anyway, thanks; that was an inspirational read.

    And well done on going the distance (har har, bad pun I know)!

  • Thanks lola465, glad you enjoyed reading about my adventures. Even though I waffled on a bit I just wanted to let everyone know that if I could manage the programme then anyone could!! Shame you had doggy problems too. If I took mine out now I think I'd end up carrying him home along with the poo bag! Lol. Good luck with the rest of W4 and don't dread W5 R3 too much...you will be fine. Claire. X

  • Congratulations on graduating ... though had to take a double take as it sounded so familiar ... even dog and trousers falling down!!!

    Well done on getting the 5K as well :)

    Happy running

  • Thanks amsjo for your kind words. Your dog looks gorgeous from the picture. Mine is a Cockapoo, all long wavey black fur at the moment! (Badly needs a haircut.) Glad I'm not the only one having calamities along the way. Makes life a bit more interesting I suppose especially for the poor people witnessing my leggings on the slide!! Thanks for your support and I look forward to hearing how you're getting on post graduation. Claire. X

  • Toffee is a lurcher and as a sprinter got too tired when we were running and so had to be left at home in the end ... meant we didn't get dragged off after cats etc :) Cockapoo sounds good - are they as mad as spaniels?

    I wore a very old pair of leggings and had to hold onto them as the lycra had perished and they just went from being fitted to saggy hareem pants in the first minute :)

    Post grad was scuppered slightly by a holiday and health issues but now back on track and back up to 20 minutes and feeling good again ... never thought you could be excited by running!!

    Enjoy your next few runs ... keep it going x

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