Like a lot of people I had a bit of a wobble after the elation of graduation and the big "now what?", i had a few mediocre runs, a few strops and had a moan on here and of course, as usual, this great forum talked me out of my funk, and someone suggested the c25k+ podcasts.
I had been gradually increasing my distance anyway but was feeling like I wasn't getting any faster so i opted for the 'speed'. Man o man, did i hate it. It hurt, it pushed me harder than i wanted, and i literally screamed (anger, frustration, being a general drama queen) while running the first time i did it.
But for all my hate, i liked the challenge and i liked having a bit of structure.
My current regime is 'speed' and a 5k during the week (i run at lunchtimes at work) and do a longer run 6k+ on the weekend. Its been good. And last week I managed to push myself on my 5k to get my 2nd fastest 5k (32.21, my fastest is still my graduate run at 32.10).
This week the dreaded 'speed' wasn't as awful and I got my fastest average pace and fastest ever k! I did my 5 k this lunch, lovely day but the park wasn't too busy... i set off and didn't find myself plodding but also didn't really push myself and I did one of my better 5k times (33.17) without making a serious effort (well, not more serious than the already serious effort that running costs me regardless!).
So 'speed' is working! I'm getting faster. I don't know why i'm surprised. A year ago i would have laughed in the face of someone who told me i'd be running a 5k each week, let alone trying to improve my time! "Trust the Programme" should be a slogan on a tshirt.