Couch to 5K

The end is nigh! Things I have learnt on my journey - thank you to you all for your inspiration. Think OTT Oscar Speech :-)

Several years ago I was diagnosed with a severe form of arthritis which to be fair was pretty crappy for a young 30ish Mum of one. Having tried various drugs over several years without success I was given a chance to receive special therapy but I would only be allowed to keep it if it worked within 16 weeks because (I guess) of cost.

It was amazing! I went from having no life, not being able to run and play with my son or having the use of all my fingers to having joints that worked again. The chronic fatigue that went with it was also away and I felt like a new woman. During this time, my Dad was seriously ill and we didn't know why. The last conversation I had with him in hospital was the day before I was due to find out if I could keep my miracle drug and he was keeping everything crossed for me.

I was allowed to keep my medicine - I rushed home to call my family only to find out Dad had got worse. He died later that day. I never got to see him and I never got to tell him I had been given a chance to get my life back.

My medicine comes with a horrible list of side-effects which I try to ignore but they are there. However, losing Dad made me reevaluate my life. You only have one life. Go and live it - have fun - do they best you can do.

Cancer took my Dad. I am running race for life in his memory this summer. I have stuck two fingers up at cancer and my own condition! I have taken the bull by the horns!

I can't believe that I have just completed w8r3 of the program and can now run for 28 minutes. Not bad for a huffy-puffy out of shape woman who looked at the C25K spreadsheet in week 1 and thought no way!

I have done most of the program on the treadmill but have ventured outside about 5 times. I think I prefer the rush I get when running outside and I feel like a 'proper' runner but the treadmill has it's benefits. I think it makes the running a little easier despite having it on an incline etc. I think I intend to keep mixing the two and I really need to find me an inspiring route outside because running round the houses / main roads is a little dull.

I still think I am quite slow but pleased myself today because I upped my pace on the treadmill to 7 and increased it to 7.9 for the final 5 minutes which I know is still a little pathetic, but quicker than the 6.5 I have managed thus far.

I am starting to think about graduation now .... I am aiming for 5k and at the moment I am just under so I might start setting 5k as a target distance and work towards that. Once I know I can manage it (I am at 4.35K with the warm up/cool down ) then I think I will try and increase my speed.

I have learnt so much these past few weeks especially from people on the forum sharing their words of wisdom. I am so pleased I went and bought running shoes and had my gait analysed before I even started running as I am sure that has helped. I am grateful that I was in a position to have an appointment with a physio and podiatrist who were brilliant at giving my advice on stretching and looking after myself. I am so pleased Sports Direct offer bright coloured running gear at a good price and I am so pleased that one day in December random Google searching lead me to here.

Thank you to Laura, thank you to everyone who has helped me and thank you Dad.

12 Replies

What a beautifully written post and it conveys such massive determination and spirit. I take my hat off to you for dealing with the saddest moments in a most positive way. Isn't it strange that just by putting one leg in front of the other at a...


I just had to reply to you as after reading this i'm in tears, but in a good way! You are an inspiration and must be so proud of yourself. I also lost my Dad to cancer, running was his love and I watched him deteriorate in front of me, He died 13...


Blubber. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I'm sorry I'll answer when I've recovered my decorum


What an inspirational story. Many congratulations on your success and determination. Graduation not far away now.


Hi you runner you ! You are so right you do only have one life and it must have taken incredible inner strength for you to have dealt with your illness and your dad's death It would have been so easy to have given up and just sat and felt sorrow for yourself but no you fought back and how. You should be proud of what you have achieved - I know your dad would be proud of you That will be some graduation party in your house very soon Go girl and have a fun filled life !


Thank you so very much :) I don't tend to tell my story, most of my friends don't really know how life has been but this running lark really has made me feel 'alive' :-)


Wow! Fantastic ... keep going x


Well done on your drug treatment and for your determination to run in the memory of your Dad. I was challenged to do a race for life in 2013 which was how I came across c25k and ran it in memory of my Mum who died of breast cancer. We can all do our little bit to show it the door. It looks like you are due to graduate next week so enjoy that goal and then enjoy your Race for Life - there is emotional baggage that comes with it but it is totally inspiring knowing that you are running for the cause.


Your story really is an inspiration and has made me feel quite weepy. You've done so well and good on you for sticking two fingers up and with grit and determination claiming back your health for you and in memory of your dad, i'm sure he would be proud. I'm lucky enough to currently have no health problems at the moment, but have been through a bad time in 2011 and i'm sometimes still on occasions battling with my overactive mind and negative thinking. During this time i printed off a running programme similar to couch to 5k and was going to train with my brother(bought the running shoes then but didn't get much further) this year with inspiration from a friend doing c25k i'm ploughing through it with a new determination.

Your post has made me count my blessings..........


Keep going aliboo70 - I'm sure your determination will see you through to graduation too. We are all coming at this for our own reasons and back history. I find it helps counteract any negative low feelings I have. Think I am getting addicted to my endorphin rush ;)


Respect to you; your Dad would be proud of you and I'm sure you're proud of yourself. You're a runner now!


Oh wow...what a truly beautiful, honest and inspirational post. You are fantastic, and should be beyond proud and as others have said your Dad would have been amazingly proud too. I don't know what else to say, you've made me a blubbering mess...I'm just going to say good luck, and I cannot wait to hear how your graduation goes, your first 5k and that race for life in summer. Good luck and keep smiling :)


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