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Couch to 5K
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I knew today was going to be a difficult run when I got to 3k and struggled...however I was determind and aiming for 24k.

What went badly:

I ran out of water at 13k

I only had cheese and crackers for last nights' tea

My right hip was hurting....I tried to ignore it thinking it would go but it got flipping worse...

I had mini eggs as fuel....every time I fely the chocolate in my mouth melting I felt sick

At 16.5k I stopped, burst into loud sobby tears, draping myself on some poor persons fence as I felt incredibly sick and feint

Called home, husband collected me but he couldn't find me. Worked out though that if I had put on my Tom Tom I could send him my location ( top tip!)

Hot bath, then had a wierd feint in the kitchen, ate lots of boursin on crackers ( my fave)

Running is a bit like growing plants....all the elements have to be right, and every plant is different. Sadly most of us have little idea what type of plant we are...

I have decided I am a fig tree...slow-ish growing, need looking after in winter, lots of watering and feeding in Summer, and if you put me in a tight pot I do better. Given the right conditions I can grow quite majestic :) :)

I would love to know what plant you think you might be and why??

So....to address my bad run, and take account of understanding my body...I want to bear fruit and grow nice and big...

My plan

Don't get too low about today ( lots more tears since but no more allowed now)

Carb up properly the night before

Invest in a camel thing

Buy some gels and NEVER EVER take chocolate

Give myself 3 days before my next run to let my hip repair

Do some hip stretching

A post run hug would be nice :)

Keep panthering

No more hot baths after a run...a cold one a la Devina, then a shower :)

I am going to cook this with leftover lamb:


I managed 16.6k, next week WILL be 24k

Happy Panthering everyone



32 Replies

Figs. Very nice. Of which, incidentally, I had three earlier.

There's no need to feel down, JJ; 16.5k is bloody good going indeed and you should be proud of that! I would be! One 'bad' run does not a disaster make. Rest, let your hip recover (hope it does soon!) and feel positive about what you've achieved. Nothing wrong with calling it a day if things don't go right; running out of water would just about do it for me! A Camelbak, do you mean, by the way? A sound investment, I feel. I have one which I got as a present for long hot motorcycle rides, but I never used it, though I am going to use it on longer runs when my stamina grows. Looks a good bit of kit though.

Hmmmmmm, plants? Difficult. A Dragon's Blood tree, I think, as they're cool and unique.

The shepherd's pie looks delicious; enjoy! Oh and we'll done on the run; it's a fantastic achievement! :-)

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BLIMEY...your plant sounds sooo much cooler...mmm interesting, a beautiful tree, and you want to flavour everyone with your dye? I like that! Yes I need a Camelbak, although I'm worried if it will go all green in the tubing ( like curly straws?). Its in the oven now...fingers crossed!!!! And thankyou...


Well done Juju to have kept going knowing things were not right, but take care of that painful hip and respect your body and it will respond in a kind way.

Tree? - I'm a Weeping Willow at the moment, sagging over with aches and pains coming from all directions!!

But I live in hope that one day I will morph into a majestic Royal Palm Tree, tall, slender that does not cower in high winds ;)


Thanks babe.....Oh dear...a Weeping Willow...thats not good...You are definately a Royal Palm in my eyes, you majestically look over us and protect us too , as well as looking splendiferous...xx


16k is great and not to be sniffed at. I am just coming out of a crash and burn week. So in terms of a plant I would have to be a neglected one. I upped everything and forgot to look at my food. I calculated some days I only managed 600-800 kcal after I took off the exercise. So by the end of my epic week I felt like I was on my knees. I am now. working on fueling better, my favorite being peanutbutter. On whole grain crackers. Protien and carb eaten within half hour of finishing. After some TLC I hope to become majestic coconut/date palm, blooming and growing as the sunshine takes hold, giving shade and shelter to all. Furnished with nutritious dates and having the ability of dropping coconuts on people who are mean to me. I know I am Being greedy choosing two but couldnt decide which one. Happy panthering.


Awww RFC that is crap calories...even the strongest plants still need food...Yes I agree I see you as a splendid coconut AND date tree ( all in one...therefore special AND unique, which you are...)....Got to keep fuelling or the coconuts won't be big enough to drop on the nasties :)

...and thankyou xx


Awwwww JOOJ! ***wraps arms firmly around and gives encouraging hug*****. I believe you did the right thing - stopping I mean. Our bodies decisions should be heeded and I'm glad you called hubby to pick you up, despite him getting lost. Wipe away those tears of sadness and replace them with tears of JOY because you are one of the HU GIANTS of RUNNING. Your stamina is awe inspiring and to reach 16.5K feeling like sh*t is an amazing feat indeed.

OK> Time to scold you now and put you across my knee. BAD GIRL for just eating cheese and crackers for dinner when you know that you're going out on a 24K super run! But then, you know this already, so you can get off my knee now. Hip stretches are reeeeeally good. I do them before EVERY run now and it wakes them up in readiness for the pounding that they're gonna get. Can't say I concur with you about the hot bath, as Super Dan loves his jacuzzi after a run. But we can't have you fainting for gawds sake! Take care and look after that body and you shall reap most magical rewards!

Re what type of plant am I? - I would be a horse chestnut tree. Hairless stout twigs with big conkers and firm big leaves. That's me js.

Keep panthering.


Thankyou.... :)

Yep thats a perfect tree for you...very good choice, and once established is there for years just getting better.... And yes I am a bad girl, but I have my Shepherds pie bubbling away in the oven with a beautiful Medoc from family in France warming nicely :)

And yes, no more feinting but plenty of dramatics :)


Well done - 16km is much further than most of us dream of (or have nightmares about)! Great plan for getting over what seems to you like a bad run, but leaves me in awe. Not so sure about the cold bath though!

Hmm ... photosynthesis ... would be a great way of being able to get some energy on the move!

Not sure what plant I'd be. Guess a runner bean is too obvious and not actually very likely...

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Thankyou....and wouldn't it just!!! Yes a runner bean is OK, but the whole plant....so bears alot of fruit, needs a structure to grow on, and provides people with lovely food :)


There could be a whole blog: 'When Runs Go Bad...' Sometimes it's like the planets are just misaligned and everything seems to go t*ts up, doesn't it? Still, 16K is pretty scorching in my opinion. Take good care of your hip and don't run through the pain if it's the wrong sort of pain. And eat properly! That said, I inhaled a fly this morning on my run, not my of protein of choice.

I would be a mimosa (not the cocktail, though wouldn't say no to one) - the plant that thrives in warm climates and on lots of hydration, and is perhaps a bit over-sensitive.


Yum protein on the go!!! :)


That sounds like a lovely plant....and yuk re the fly!!! Thank you my hip is now improving!


Oh Juju, I'm worried about that hip of yours as you've mentioned it in a number of recent blogs. Might not be a bad idea to get a referral to a physio - I had hip pain that was waking me at night. I thought it might be arthritis and was beginning to imagine horrible things like hip replacements looming, but physio says its all about the running and the need for really good core strength in the hips and glutes. He's set me a whole set of exercises and I'm seeing a real improvement in the running as well as the pain virtually disappearing.

I'm nowhere near your distances however and remain in awe of your achievements!

Don't cry about today, you'll come back stronger and better - you've got real grit girl!

As far as trees are concerned, I'd like to think of myself as a silver birch -all elegant and light and willowy. ( sadly this is far from reality, but we can dream!)


Oh I love silver birches... Really beautiful... And yes I may see a physio, I have rested it all week and excited about a run tomorrow!! Thank you!


Maybe a dwarf acer - not getting far and usually bright red in the face. It may not have worked out how you wanted but 16k is still a mega run to me. It is funny how our perceptions change that such a distance wasn't good enough. I hope you enjoy that cottage pie.


Deep red Acer are beautiful, elegant trees nice choice.


Lovely choice of tree... And thank you the cottage pie was fab!!


sounds like a hard day for you and very emotional! hope you have now got a lovely dinner and feeling more positive. you know i haven't even reached a 6 k run yet so 16.5 k is still amazing so dont be too hard on yourself!

i was pondering what plant i would be on the drive home, and decided i would be ,.......like the apple tree in my garden; not done much for the first 3 yrs, but this year is looking more full of life and showing signs of bearing fruit! Hopefully will not get blight and leaves shrivle up like last summer- (this equates well with me only starting my running this year but buying the trainers in 2011!)

hope you have a relaxing evening and look forward to your next run.

happy panthering!

ali x


Thank you for posting about your experience. I'm sure it must have and probably still does feel very emotional. I can't really add anything to the good advice already given here, but sending you a hug and keep going. You and all the experienced runners are an inspiration for runners like me who are comparatively, still fairly new to running. I'm sure if you think back to when you started c25k, you may not have imagined ever wanting or being able to train for a marathon, and yet here you are :-)

Keep going, keep panthering. Remember not to get too lost in the training programme: I remember an earlier post of yours about the simple joy and pleasure of moving and draw some positivity from that x


I think that is pretty amazing going. Well done on coming so far, I can't imagine getting so far and finding the determination to make it happen. Hope you can take some pride in your achievements and the fact that you keep inspiring the rest of us. Sounds like you are learning from your runs too and that will help with the future ones. As for plants, I reckon that I would be a bit like a Dartmoor Hawthorn, growing in impossible places, short of limb (!) but hopefully able to bend with the wind and impossible weather. Not without the odd thorn, fruit or flower! Enjoy your well deserved rest xxx


16k! Wow! I am a 47 yr old sapling looking up at the fig tree in total awe and admiration. I have no idea what tree I might be but one that is slow to grow! :) Seriously well done on such a great run and don't beat yourself up. I can onky walk that far :)


Sorry to hear you had a bad day Ju. I expect your dinner will cheer you up and make you feel human again. You can't win em all so put it behind you and move on

Your husband sounds like a saint!


I'm opting for a eucalyptus as they flourish after devastating fire (I'm thinking phoenix rising from the ashes here) I've had 25 yrs of devastating health issues, but here I am stunning everyone by taking up running at 50 and loving it so much.


Ouch a bad run does knock your confidence, but doing on an iffy hip was bad enough because you were aware of it when you set off (good thing because it made you stop - your body will always tell you when its had enough and time to stop).

But you doing it without proper fuel was a bad thing - and that's what I've been saying these last few weeks darling, you need to fuel your body if you're regularly going to run beyond 12k (1,000 calories).... so you are then running on an empty tank so its only a matter of time before she splutters all over the fence and ends up saying no more!.... So think that 24k will need 2,000 calories of fuel. Sven would let you know when he is about to run out of fuel, and so does the panther.

Good plan BTW. And I'll stand in line behind Dan to give you the post run hug, although those standing in the line behind me might as well go home because I'm not letting go.

Oh and choc, yes no good when running, randoms, jelly babies anything sugar is better. Gels are even better but taste yuk - I'll bring you some next time.

Sorry you asked for plants didn't you? Well, I'll be a dandelion, not because they are particularly pretty in fact most gerdeners see them as a weed which needs to be eradicated, but they are tough, resilient little flowers, they sleep at night and come awake in the sun. But above all when you leave them alone in a field and let them do their own thing, a few months later they will have grown on you and have taken over everything!

Happy Running


Virtual hug to you! Well done for getting back and sorting your plan for the future, all positives from a not so good run. Look after that hip.

I think I would have to be one of those bright red water lilies- my colour after running. I need to have water and plenty of it and to sit in a lake full of it all calm and serene with my favourite, frogs, all around would be wonderful! x


You were under-fuelled. Simples!! Even trees can't grow without fuel. Doh! But still did 16.5K though; hang on to that thought.

I'm a Douglas Fir (you'll know why from previous FB posts!)


gels mrs j yes have some sweets but you need to take at least four gel whats the harm in trying and for gods sake drink loads and i mean pints the day before and as many as you can get down on the day of long runs carb up night b4 try the gels and see what works for you hot bath b4 run cold after have a cuppa with you this helps as for training increase run s as you go along eat chicken fish build them bone s head held high you will smash it next time please try gels on next run you not a convict r u they always change there pic s happy running :)


Very lovely hubby to come and get you. We dont have a car, whenever i reach the long training stage, i shall have to be certain of busfare in my pocket! And extra careful about getting enough food the night before. Glad you are safe at home, resting that hip.

I am no good at picking plants right now: i have been longing to see a dogwood tree. Beautiful white flowers in spring, brilliant red leaves in fall. They are native to where i am from, and blooming now so i wish i could see one. they would grow here, but i havent spotted one in likely places like the botanical garden or kelvin park. I want to be a tree that isnt from here, guess i am feeling homesick.


Juicyju you can send me your Easter eggs then. :-) Sorry about your run but hey at least your ran. Can you get a physio at work to look at your hip?

Nitzed I just looked up dogwood trees. They are beautiful. Here's one for you. dowagiacchamber.com/images/...


I dunno about what plant I would be (probably something a bit spiky and needing lots of feed and drink!) But I hope running as a "hobby" is something with year round interest like a Rowan or a Crab Apple


Well done on the 16+k and hopefully you are now fully recovered. hydration definitely vital and I would recommend a camelbak. The modern ones have covering over the tubes to stop light getting to them but you can also get cleaning brushes like very thin, long bottle brushes. I used to use one when I did a lot of hill-walking and will dig it out for when I start doing longer runs.

I did Jog Scotland yesterday after aqua-fit and was definitely running on empty by the end so going to look at 'fueling' between times.

Great idea re trees. I would be a Rowan (mountain ash) as they grow in wild, inaccessible places and provide berries for the birds and to make lovely jelly to go with lamb!


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