I originally graduated in September 2012, but due initially to injuries, a new job and then the change in season, my running was not quite as regular as I had hoped. In mid-September 2013 I got back into the habit of running three times per week, but didn't feel I was making much progress and was nowhere near running 5K. A month later I decided to go through the whole c25k programme again from the beginning, starting off a little faster than my original tortoise-like pace. I worked my way back up to running for 30 minutes and then running 5K. It was hard work, especially for my lungs, but I persevered.
Now, as we approach spring 2014, I can say that I have run at least 3 times a week all through the winter (bar a couple of occasions when I was really unwell), regularly run 5K, have run 8K a couple of times, and various distances in between, and my pace has gradually improved. Back in 2012, it took me 50 minutes of hard, gruelling running on the treadmill to do my first ever 5K. Just over a week ago I did my 'personal best' 5K in 37:22 outdoors, which I believe is something like 25% faster. Yesterday, I covered 8K in 1:03:49.
I have lost 33lbs since I first started running (still plenty more to lose!) and in February, between running and walking, I burned over 10,000 calories. Calories that I would be 'wearing' if I hadn't got off the couch! When I first started c25k it was a struggle to run for a whole minute. Now I can run for over an hour, faster than I did for that first minute!
If you are wondering if you can do this couch to 5k thing, the answer is yes! If you are struggling with a particular week and feel like you are getting nowhere, know that every run is making you stronger, even the ones that seem 'bad'. One day you will turn a corner and realise just how far you have come. You are doing the best thing in the world for yourself and no-one else can do it for you. Keep at it and keep smiling.