Today I graduated after 5 and a half months. I always love reading about other's journeys, so here is mine...
Throughout 2013, I'd been swimming reguarly (2 or 3 times a week) But in August my local pool closed for 2 months for maintenance. For several weeks I had been reading posts on a weightloss club's message board from people doing c25k.
I was curious. I had never been able to run in my life. At school I was always the kid picked last for teams. But I needed to find something to do while the pool was shut. So one day I dug a pair of trainers out from under my daughter's bed, put the podcast on my phone, and gave it a go.
Well I really thought that r1w1 was going to kill me. The second 60s "run" was the longest minute of my life - and I include unmedicated childbirth in that ! But I made it through, and the next day I went to the shop and bought myself some new trainers. Finished week 1, finished week 2. I thought I was on a roll. On w2r3 my knee hurt a bit - but I ignored it
and moved on to w3r1. BIG mistake. I completed the run (BIGGER mistake) but my knee was really painful. Spent the next few days wearing my husband's knee support under my clothes, and went to see my GP.
He thought I'd probably bruised my meniscus and that it would sort itself out eventually. But sent me for an x-ray "just in case there is an underlying problem". Well, there was. I have misaligned kneecaps - so instead of moving back and forward in the v-shaped groove
that is there for that purpose, they scrape along the bone, causing moderate osteo-arthritis. My GP started muttering about surgery. I started thinking that running wasn't for me. But the GP also sent me to see a podiatrist - who fitted me for insoles, designed to realign my legs - which in turn realigned my knees. I wear them pretty much all the time, and they really work! After a couple of weeks my knees no longer hurt so I decided to give the programme a very cautious second go. (The idea being that if it caused my knees to hurt again, I would go back to swimming). But amazingly, my knees didn't start hurting again. I made it through the week 3 barrier while we were on holiday in Rome early November and kept working though the programme. Weeks 4, w5r3 and even w6r3 went well. I started thinking I could do this running lark. Completed week 7 and downloaded week 8, then woke up one morning feeling dizzy.
The dizziness turned into an on-off (but mostly on) feeling of seasickness. Several visits to the doctor followed throughout December while he tried to work out what the heck was causing it. By Christmas I'd been signed off work for 2 weeks and was a very unhappy bunny as I still didn't have a diagnosis, but felt crap. Fortunately we spent Christmas at home and had a very relaxed day with friends. However my ears also started feeling
"funny". This led to an ENT referral and FINALLY a diagnosis - inner ear problem, probably caused by a virus - and also a referral for vestibular therapy to fix it. This co-incided with me starting to feel better (I suspect that the virus was wearing off - also I think that knowing what the problem was helped). I had been managing to go out for walks several times a week more or less throughout, and found it even relieved the dizziness (ENT said this was plausible).
So, early January I tried to give it another go. Tried week7 and really it was too much. So 2 days later tried w5r3 - and managed it. I was so happy. Grinned thougout. Started working through the programme again, repeating runs, and taking 2 or 3 rest days sometimes (I still have dizzy days - I don't run when I feel dizzy, I walk instead) and finally this morning I completed w9r3. I am so chuffed that I managed it - and so please with myself for not giving up when I got sick! I guess I have a big stubborn streak.
My distance is only 3.5k, and I'm doing jantastic, so I've set 4k as my February goal and may set 5k for March (though I don't expect it will be in 30 minutes).
Some useful things I've learned along the way:
don't ignore niggles, get them checked, but there is probably a solution
don't ignore the rest days - and take more if you need them
tena ladies !
this isn't a competition - no-one says you have to complete the programme in 9 weeks!
If I can do it, really anyone can !