Yaaaaay....I've finally finished the couch to 5k programme on my third attempt - a mere 10 months after I first started it!
This has to have been one of my toughest runs. It should have been yesterday, but I didn't want to set the alarm stupidly early - I wanted to enjoy the feeling of completing the programme, savour the fact that I can now 'run' for 30 minutes without stopping, something that nine weeks ago seemed an impossible goal. But the day got busy, and I never found the time to go for a jog, so I was determined that today I would do it no matter what - and that meant setting the alarm for 5.30, which is very early when you've only been in bed since midnight and your son wakes you up coughing and wheezing and generally needing wide awake attention at 4am. So, leaden and reluctant I got onto the treadmill and set off at my usual gentle pace. It seemed to take forever, and at around 20 minutes I got a stitch, something I've not suffered from before. I honestly think that if it wasn't for the motivation of it being my last run I'd have given up, but my stitch and I crossed the finish line and the sense of achievement was well worth the effort. Have you heard that saying 'horses sweat, gentlemen perspire, ladies glow'? Well, call me Dobbin 'cos that was no glow as I finally ground to a halt!
I'm glad I found the C25K plan. I would not have stuck with running without it. It has taken an exercisephobe like me and shown me there is something I can do that will significantly improve my cardiovascular fitness level. This time round I managed the whole thing in a straight nine weeks. I don't know if that would have been the case had I carried on with the programme on the first two occasions, or if my fitness going into it this time was a bit better having tried before, but it was knowing that I'd made real progress on my previous attempts that enabled me to restart after the breaks -I knew it was worth giving it another try. (Both of my incompleted efforts were due to bereavement rather than having had enough of the plan).
Now I'm going to work on getting quicker. I'm jogging at around 7.4kph, which gets me almost 4k in 30 minutes and I really want to up that to 5k, so I've got to speed up to 10kph which seems like another enormous challenge - but if I can go from non runner to 30 minute jogger I'm sure that eventually I can break the 30min 5k. Wish me luck!