1st Anniversary - I was huffing & puffing through week 1 run 1 a year ago today!

Apologies before I start, but this is a bit of a waffle!!

I can't believe how quickly the last year has flown by. For all of you just starting out I thought I'd share my story to let you know that if I can do this running malarkey then so can you!

I'm a 46 year old (just) married mum of two boys. One is 14 and the other is 4! I don't work at the moment. Had to give up when my oldest son started school! This is not my choice but due to the fact that my 14 year old son is autistic, and my recently widowed mum has MS I have to take on the role of carer for both of them as well as looking after a very lively 4 year old. Life can be difficult sometimes but we are mostly happy. As a result I was starting to feel that I was starting to lose my identity, always being referred to as someone's wife, mum or daughter. I needed something just for me and I found it a year ago today!

Heard about NHS Couch to 5K from my sister-in-law who had already started in December 2012. So on a dull and cold February lunchtime I took to the streets to start week 1 run 1. Flippin heck, it was tough. Firstly I had so many layers of clothing on that I was boiling hot after the first couple of runs and secondly I thought my lungs were going to explode! But fortunately I got through that first run and the feeling of achievement was amazing. I'd done it....just me....not my kids....or my husband....but me on my own!!! Yippee!!!

Anyway after that I so looked forward to my running three times a week and the jubilation of ticking off another week of the programme. I may have only been out for 30 minutes or so but this was ME time. I graduated on the 1st May 2013 with a 5k run in 32:59.

What a difference a year makes. Gone are the layers of clothing to be replaced by Asics running tights with matching pink top, Under Armour running jacket, bright green running gloves and my gorgeous Adidas pink trainers from Sweatshop. Not forgetting the pink Garmin Forerunner 10. (OK I love pink!) When do you normally get the chance to wear such bright colours together and not get arrested by the fashion police? Just taken out a years subscription to 'Women's Running' magazine too!!

I have carried on running three times a week if I can. The biggest killer was last summer with the heat and school holidays so had a break of about three weeks. I haven't done anything spectacular like run a half marathon (never say never though) or even a Park Run. I am chuffed to say that I can now run 5K in 28:56 and 10K in 1:00:57 though. A friend and I have entered a midnight run in aid of our local hospice in May. We are aiming for the eight mile distance so very excited about that. Also since January I have inspired six friends to start C25K! Added bonus is that my weight has dropped from 11st 5lb to 9st 11lb and now wearing size 10 jeans!!

The biggest bonus is that I'm fit and healthy for my lovely boys and I'm going to continue with running as it's part of my life now. I'm still a mum, wife, daughter......but I'm also a runner and that feels good!!!

Good luck to everyone on this wonderful forum. Hope you enjoy running as much as I do!

Claire. X

47 Replies

  • Its great to read your story Claire, it makes me realise that all my huffing and puffing should be worth it! I hope I can match your speeds this time next year. Thanks for sharing x

  • Thanks, that's really kind. Just keep plugging away and I'm sure we'll be reading about your running journey too! Good luck. X

  • It was great to read your story, I found it very inspirational :) I love reading people's stories - why they started running and how they are doing after completing the programme. Be proud of yourself, you've achieved an amazing thing and I hope that, like you, I'm still doing three runs a week a year down the line (I'm only on week 4 at the mo but I've really got the running bug and love it now!) Thank you for sharing :)

  • Glad you enjoyed reading my story. I'm like you and find it interesting to learn what other people are up to. I don't very often post on here but when I do I tend to get carried away, hence the length of my story! Good luck with your running. You're already half way through the program! X

  • Very inspirational and thank you for sharing your story.

  • Thank you. I'm so glad I've managed to keep the running up. It's a real life changer. Enjoy your running. X

  • Thank you for that. It was an interesting and inspiring read. How long did it take you to achieve 10 k? I'd love to know as I am in despair that I will never get there. There might be others too in the same boat.

  • Hi misswobble. Thank you. I stuck with 5k distances and the speed podcast for about 6 months after graduation then signed up for the charity run and thought I'd better start trying to increase my distance. I used the Bluefin Bridge to 10k plan which takes you back to walking intervals but only 1 minute breaks. What a difference it made knowing that I was going to have a 1 minute walk reward about 3 times during a long run. It really helped recharge the batteries! Got to 10k in week 4 so never finished the whole plan but it was enough to get me to my target! Hope this helps. X

  • Great post! A very inspirational read, especially for all who are just starting out on the C25K journey...or perhaps finding it a bit of a struggle .

    You're a brilliant advertisement for it.....and for what can be achieved in just a year. Happy 1st Anniversary :)

  • Thanks Carolecal. I hope my post will inspire others. As you can tell I am a very big fan of C25K! I'm also looking forward to my six new running buddies graduating so that I don't always have to run on my own! Happy running. X

  • Wishing you many happy returns of that running anniversary. You've said it all in a very honest way. Running really is a win/win thing. Health and fitness, confidence and achievement all rolled up in the satisfaction that a good run brings.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • Thanks for your kind reply IannodaTruffe. Just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your posts. You certainly sound as though you've caught the running bug too. Impressed by the distances you've been running. Well done.

  • What an inspirational story. Well done you. That's a great 5k & 10k time. Inspiring 6 friends to do the programme must make you top of the leader board too. I think this programme should be advertised in GP surgeries, libraries, etc. So many people have never heard of it and there are lots of us who need this forum to keep going and to try other further runs too.

  • I agree : ) I read about the C25K in the newspaper when i was looking for a phone app to help me run. but i needed guidance from "Laura"

  • I agree and have mentioned it at my GP surgery - still nothing up about it though. In truth, I haven't seen it advertised anywhere that's even remotely connected with the NHS such as pharmacies etc. In fact, I think that the NHS Choices Livewell website should be promoted at all related venues such as those mentioned above.

  • Thanks Tinyrun. You are so right about the programme not being well advertised. I found out about it from my sister-in-law who is a nurse at a GP surgery but I've never asked if she found out about it through work. There are other C25K apps & podcasts out there but I doubt they are as good as the NHS one. Even though some of the music is a bit dodgy we couldn't do without Laura! X

  • I am a nurse in a GP surgery and had never heard of this!!! I stumbled across it when I was googling C25K and there it was, the podcast that changed my life! I bore my patient to death banging on about how good it is! I agree though, it's just not promoted enough.x

  • brilliant story ! im at the start of week 7 and find your story inspiring x

  • Thanks sharfeuch. Glad you enjoyed my post. I didn't discover this forum until about week 4 of the programme but I always found other peoples stories really helpful after that. Nice if my story can encourage others. Good luck with your future runs. All long ones from now on for you. Be reading about your graduation run very soon. X

  • What an inspiring read. Well done to you.......... we all need ME time. I find it difficult to push myself out the door but currently Im at W3R2 having repeated Wk 3 again- bad weather and good excuses kept me in the warm and dry. Im going to keep your post in mind. Well done x

  • Thanks Scrappydee1 for your nice comments. I agree it really is hard this time of year to get motivated and get out of the front door. I don't mind the cold or even the rain but I hate running in the wind. Good luck with your future runs. It will be much nicer as the weather improves! X

  • Well done. What a lovely post and story. I am also just over a year in, and cannot believe the change it has made to my life. Keep going in all your pink (and green) glory!

  • Thanks sprynn. Well done to you too for keeping up the running for over a year. I can't imagine not hitting the streets in all my fluorescent glory. I guess that goes back to my teenage years being in the 80's when all the neon colours were in fashion. I still miss my electric blue tights worn with shocking pink shoes!! X

  • I am sure you look fab. I have fluo gloves and a small light clipped to my iPhone as I run early. Much better look than all black I think ;-)

  • Thank you so much for such a wonderful and uplifting post. I shall show the Mrs and see if I can get her back out.

  • Thanks, hope Mrs Sallycycle finds the inspiration to get back out there. Hopefully the nicer weather is on the way. It just makes life in general a little bit easier when the sun is out. (Then we'll be moaning about it being too hot to run)!

  • I shall start pestering her...!

    'twixt winter and summer we have the spring when the young leaves are unfurling against blue skys, and the streams and rivers are babbling; a time when the running is blissful and the miles slip by as we wonder at the beauty of nature.

    Only a few weeks to go!

  • Fantastic story and thank you for sharing! I have one more wk 9 run to do tomorrow to graduate but I doubt my 5k is that fast - just plodding at the mo to increase distance and breath space. I was also wondering what to do next to keep motivated. Thank you for the bluefin bridge tip! I hope I can say the same in a year. Happy anniversary :)

  • Thank you carole01. Good luck with tomorrow's graduation run. Will look forward to reading all about it. I used to get obsessed about my 5k times but actually it has tended to be the ones that I've decided to take steadily that have produced the best times. The Bluefin plan is quite a nice gentle one to get to 10k. Happy running. X

  • What a wonderful post. Congratulations!

    I'm only on Wk6 but I'm loving it (even though it isn't easy) reading about your journey is an inspiration.

  • Thanks Zizzy. Week 6 is good and not to be under estimated after that week 5 20 minute run. We all think going back to intervals will be a doddle.....but no it's hard!!! The longer runs are looming now and it is tough, especially the first 5 or 10 minutes, but you can do it. Good luck. X

  • I'd not heard of the Bluefin thing. I am supposed to be doing Sami Murphy Bridge to 10k but I'm not progressing. I blame the fags I smoked 30 years ago!

  • Misswobble here it is. blog.bluefinapps.com/about-...

  • A very uplifting and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your success and, most importantly, continue to enjoy your ME time. With my very best wishes.

  • Fitmo thanks so much for your best wishes. I had a lovely ME time run today in the sunshine and it was good. X

  • What an inspirational story :-) we are the same age although my kids are 18 and 16, but with work pressures and looking after elderly sick parents I felt exactly the same as you did about losing "me" and I thought it was about time I looked after myself as well! I started in Jan 2014 and have just done W6R3, nursing a tendonitis niggle which I am trying to fix. I've signed up for a 10K in June and am nervous about it, but then I look back to Jan when I was puffed out running a minute and today I ran for 25! I really hope that when I get to my "anniversary" I'm doing as well as you :-) Good luck x

  • Hi Sunshine910. Well done to you for getting to 25 minutes, that's a great achievement. Hope you get the tendonitis sorted as it's so frustrating when you want to get out there but can't. Take it nice and gradually to build up to 10k. You've got plenty of time till June so you should be fine. Good luck. X

  • Really well done and fantastic achievements. a lovely inspiring and generous post :-)

  • Thanks suzybenj and I am in awe of you training for your marathon! Amazing stuff. I could never imagine being able to run that distance. Good luck. X


    I loved it. I am so impressed with your story Claire. May I say an extremely hearty "Jolly well done!" and what super times too. Size 10 jeans, healthy heart and delightful boys! What more could you want?!

  • Thanks Dan very kind of you to say my post was bloomin' brilliant. That's a compliment indeed coming from the person who writes the best posts on this forum!! Loving your amusing stories and the freedom your running tights have given you!!! X

  • Thanks Tiny!

  • what an inspiration you are...and so totally life changing...we are all so lucky to have this thing called running aren't we??? So good to hear your passion too....

  • Thanks juicy. You are so right...we are amazingly lucky to have discovered running. Never did I imagine a year ago that I would be managing the distances I can now do! By the way I love reading about your panthering adventures and the amazing progress you (and Leon) have made. Sad news about your running shoes though. R.I.P. Brooks!!! Good luck with your half marathons. X

  • I don't often read posts twice. I like the ones that make me go wow! Yours is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing this nomorejellybelly.

    Despite my recent setbacks you've made me determined to finish the c25k.


  • Viktor, thanks so much for your kind words. Hope you're getting over your injury problems? You must be so close to graduation now? Good luck and happy running. X

  • You're welcome. I've lost my way a bit. I'm back at week 5 due to injury and work. I've done 7 5k runs with a running group. Just can't seem to finish to C25k, but I will. I'm determined.

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