I woke up at 8:30 this morning knowing that today was the day I was going for that run. "I'll go 10:30" I told myself and at 10:30 I found myself still in bed with my laptop on my lap. My heart felt like it was racing already through panic at the thought of this run, how was I ever going to get through it? But I dragged myself up and half an hour later, I was in black skin tight, running clothing, my hair was tied in a high ponytail and my iPod was secured at my arm, my white trainers were tied and my inhalar and water bottle were in my hand
And off I went.
There is little interesting about the route I walk. I go along my street and up past other streets that all look the same. By the time the 5 minute walk is over and the run begins I am at a field, just doing a minute or so circle in there to get myself started. The first couple of minutes seem impossible and I'm certain 20 isn't possible.
There's a slight downhill past an aldi which is definitely useful to getting into a rhythm. Being told the first five minutes is over is both a blessing and a curse. I feel like I have achieved something but I also feel like I am never going to make it another 15 minutes.
Along a main road and then onto a back road, and back again. A pass a couple with a buggy, an elderly couple one with a trolley the other in a electric scooter. Laura announces 10 minutes and I slow down even though I feel like I'm going slow enough as it is. Up and down this route takes about 5 minutes, so I do it twice to get to 15 minutes and the third time I go further along it.
"Just two minutes left" Laura tells me and I find myself speeding up, I can do this. I've done 18 minutes, the next 120 seconds will be fine. As Laura says, the feeling of finishing will make it worth it and it does. The last few seconds are the fastest of the whole run because a car starts backing out of a driveway and I don't want to be hit. "That's it, you just ran for a full 20 minutes, well done,"
And I'm walking again, and because I didn't go my usual route I had ten minutes rather than 5 minutes walking at the end. Two puffs of inhalar and after 5 minutes the back of my legs stop hurting and I can breathe again. I am grateful for the wind against me, blowing in my face, keeping me cool.
Finally I get home, and it hits me that I actually did it. I have got through 5 full weeks of Couch to Five K and I have ran 20 minutes without a break. Yes I went slow and according to Map Your Route ran less than 7km/h but I still managed it.
I am not expected Week 6 to be easy, but I do have a new found motivation that yes Ii can do it