Couch to 5K
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Reality check - or is this really me?

Second parkrun today - and what a difference a day makes! Last night as I was sorting out my clothes I was wondering whether to wear my 5x50 t-shirt or the C25K graduate one. However, when I got up it became clear that the real decision was whether or not to wear long sleeves under my rain jacket.

In the end I went for my trusty Sweatshop sale long sleeve top (lovely and soft it is too) under the rain jacket, and that was about right. It was on-off drizzling as I left home and then started raining more steadily as I approached the park. At the park there were huddles of people under umbrellas - it really looked a bit of a sorry sight.

As people gradually came out from under their brollies I could see that 1) there was nothing like the 280 people who came to the first Winchester parkrun last week and 2) they all looked a lot fitter! Eeeek!

Anyway - we eventually set off and it was soon clear that the runners were on a mission - probably all wanting to get out of the damp and be first in the coffee queue. Checking my Garmin, I knew that the pace was unsustainable for me (by about half a minute per k). So folks - yes, I remembered Greenlegs' words - Slow and Steady and slowed down to a pace that I thought I could stick with. At the end of the first lap I was in LAST place - a feeling I remember so well from school, except then it was over 200m not 5K!

As we went past the start it had stopped raining and had become decidedly muggy so I ditched my rain jacket to a helpful volunteer.

Getting into the second lap I kept going with my slow pace but gradually started to catch some of the other runners. It was still very hard going - the first 500m had really taken it out of me. I did wonder if I could manage three laps - my lungs just didn't seem big enough and I reckon I sounded like a steam train coming.

The third lap was a triumph of mind over matter and some great encouragement from the marshalls - I kept going fairly slowly and was ever so pleased to get to the line.

Statistics: 5km run in 33:00min. A new PB for me!!!!! :-) That must have been the fast start, although I don't think I intend to repeat it next time. Position 116 out of 127 - and I think I was the first in my age group (although a couple from older age groups were ahead of me).

So to the title of this little blog..... Is this really me? 50 year old woman with no history of exercising apart from the odd aerobics class over the years? Last in all school sports events without exception? Finally down to size 14 jeans from something seriously unmentionable? And now I'm running a long way and don't mind being timed and actually care about my PB?? Yikes - Maybe I'm a hologram of myself - or will I wake up with a bump?

Have a happy Sunday everyone!

15 Replies

Well done on the park run and what a fantastic time... :) I too am a hologram of my former self, but I love it. I have my first 5k fun run next Saturday.....I hope I also get a good time, but I am just going to do my usual slow but steady ;-)


the dream is real, you did it and 116 out of 127 is a damn good result. Not waking up with a bump but landing on a bed of feathers :-)


What a fantastically inspiring blog! I can relate to some of what you're saying as well.

Congratulations and thank you!


Well done to you, that's great :)

And well done for keeping your pace steady! You finished, and that's all that counts, but also with a great time :)



Love this blog! Very inspiring and life-affirming! Thanks for sharing. Best wishes :)


I really enjoyed reading that! You did really well to not be defeated by being in last place and to move up ahead of others than had been in front of you.

Brilliant! :)

I did a 10k bike ride this evening - *much* easier than a 5k run, I know - though I did challenge myself to go up a very steep bit of hill! It was lovely - evening sunshine and birdsong, and I got to within a metre of a male pheasant - so beautiful! I'd never realised before that pheasants make a noise just like chickens (not the loud alarm call that I've often heard, just a quiet "chuck, chucking".


Well done great time.


Gosh, that sounds SO like the pattern of my few parkruns !

Well done, great result.


What an inspiration :-) Awesome!!!


That was absolutely awsome Ann -- I am really really proud of you! Next time in UK I'm going to do a park run too. Well done, well done :-) :-) :-)


I think Deliaitaly above has just found a new name for you - Absolutely Awesome Ann!


Wow! Fantastic result and great time too! :-)


Thank you all for your kind comments - I'm sorry I can't reply to everyone individually. I'm thinking of sending my blog (and Sue's 5x50 team one) to the parkrun organisers - maybe they'd be interested in where one of their slower runners comes from. I agree with Sue and others who say that publicity is needed to get these programs out there and known by others who would benefit from them.

One question for the parkrun experts here - does anyone know how the points system works? According to my results e-mail I got 58 points yesterday but only 4 last week (when I was 40 seconds slower). But if I volunteer I get 100 points - sounds to me like I can do better in the points competition by volunteering than running! I'm sure I can look this up on the website but any clues?

Now for today's exercise - what will it be??? Unfortunately my slightly gammy leg is playing up (not running related) but I'm sure I do something.

Only 2 weeks left now!!!! :-D


Glad you had a good parkrun and a great time, enjoy your next one :-)


Well done on persevering when you felt you'd pushed too much too soon. You did well to drop to your pace, then keep at it, especially when you felt the third lap so tough. Brilliant to get a new PB!


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