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,