Running continues to amaze me, interest me and confound me. The main thing that I have discovered about running, and it's taken me a year to find this out, is that there is ALWAYS something for us to do to keep it interesting and varied, resulting in incredible self worth and satisfaction. Allow me to amplify if I may......

Most of us on here hadn't done any exercise or running since those ghastly school PE classes where some sadistic teacher would make us poor shivery, bony little people go outside dressed in a vest and shorts and humiliate ourselves in front of the school athlete. If ever there was something to affect you as a child in terms of shyness, then this was the class to do it. Now I am talking about the late 60's and 1970's, which is when I went to school so perhaps it's now different for the shivery little bony people who are still growing.

ENTER C25K! Our middle aged and senior selves (and younger folk too) discover something that we can do privately, without some ghastly teacher shouting at us to make us feel shi*. We work our way through the program and suddenly after 6 weeks of the 9 we realise we can actually RUN for quite a long time. We feel good about ourselves cos we've achieved something. Something we can shout about. But hang on? Shout where? And to whom?

ENTER the INTERNET! Suddenly there's a whole new "class" of student runners who encourage, inspire and laugh with us along the journey. It's private, yet satisfyingly "open" so that it doesn't matter what shape, age or gender we are, we can all of us "shout" about this great thing called running. Instead of feeling like a worthless piece of sh** with giggling little brats pointing unkindly at us, we can hold our heads high and say "Check me out! Look what I just did. I just ran for 60 SECS people"!!!!!

ENTER graduation! Suddenly we can run for half an hour. Some of us cover 5K and some of us the lion share of 5K, but we've done it. We've achieved something we never thought we could do. And this is where the amazement, interest and being confounded hits home. Because after the "downer" of Laura disappearing into the ether having qualified you as a proper runner, what can we now do? We can set ourselves GOALS that's what. Lots and lots of GOALS! I'm talking enough goals to keep you busy for an entire life people!! We set ourselves the 5K goal. Then there's the improvement on time over 5K. Then there's the fastest K, or the quickest mile to achieve. Then goddamit, some of us hear of folks who advance to 10K. TEN K??? NOOO WAAAY? - YES, way. I was one of the doubters that thought I would never reach 10K as a runner. It was too far, too long and a distance that only the likes of Mo Farah does at the Olympic games.

WRONG!!! So you set yourself yet another goal. Keeps it interesting doesn't it? What's that? You achieved the 10K goal? Nooooo waaaay? YES way! Suddenly your fitness is automatically getting better and better and you don't get so out of breath anymore. How is that? It just happens (thank GOD) and before you know it you find yourself planning a 10K run. NON STOP. Wearing a lycra SuperDan suit. You plan your route along the river, you make a juice, eat some dates, tell Mrs Dan "This is it baby! Not sure I can do this, but I'm gonna give a damned good try!"

THIS was today's goal - to see if I could do it. No-one was around to encourage me, no-one to say "do it like this" or "do it like that" - just me on my own with my plan which so many of YOU out there have inspired me to do. I'm not going to go into lengthy detail kilometre by kilometre, but you know what guys?

I BLOODY DID IT!!! Ten kilometres non stop at a pace I've been working on and honing. Took me 61 minutes 19 secs. I couldn't believe it at the end, yet at the halfway point I KNEW I had it in me to keep going. This is the LONGEST non stop run I have ever ever done - a huge milestone for me. Where was this energy and relaxed breathing coming from? It was coming from a years worth of running and getting to know one's body for pace, rhythm and running form. So yet another goal ticked off the list and a massive feeling of satisfaction (you know, .....the kind that The Rolling Stones can't get any of!).

As I bask in my own little world of glory I know that there's more to achieve. Quicker, longer? Who knows, but don't ever get complacent or bored with running because there is ALWAYS something new and fresh to keep you interested!

Happy running folks


69 Replies

  • Oooh Dan - what an inspirational post! You are so eloquent and with such a wacky outlook on life!

    Take a good long bask in your own glorious world - you big hero!

    Happy running everyone (even if only virtual at moment!) :) :) :) :)

  • You are too kind Beek! Thank you so much :-)

  • Inspiring stuff Danzargo, very inspiring stuff! 10k in 61:19.................Hear that crash? That was my jaw hitting the ground, I'm seriously impressed. After what you wrote yesterday on the importance of having goals to keep motivated, this is yet more food for thought, yes indeedy. Congratulations and very well done. Cue loud round of applause!

  • ***bows sweepingly***!!! Thanks EX_ancientmum

  • Well done, Dan - that's fab. I have just 'lost Laura' so I'm working on going a bit faster, and then I shall work on going for a bit longer. Cannot imagine getting to 10k but I can imagine 7... I bet you are uber thrilled!

    And yup, I wasn't much of a fan of PE either: it was no better in the early 1980s. I well remember freezing half to death almost ankle deep in icy water on the World's Wettest Hockey Pitch. So I am truly amazed to find myself going running when there's nobody there to make me do it.

  • If only we knew THEN what we know now.....we'd have been olympic athletes!!

  • Well done Dan. Your posts are great to read. :)

    I had mixed feelings about PE at school, depending on the school (I went to a few!) and the sport. Always hated team games as they usually involved a ball! Loved athletics at junior school, and wasn't too shabby at it. Secondary school "athletes" were chosen in the first term so only the girls good at netball and hockey were worthy of representing the school at all sports - no-one could possibly be good at just some sports - so I let it go. Fast forward to the end of the 3rd year when as a treat we had a decathlon type event, every (wo)man for themselves. I wiped the floor with many of the school representatives just cos I could. PE teacher said why had I never said I could do it? Because you never asked!! :)

  • Thank you so much! How lovely.

  • Yes you are so eloquent dan , & what a great post you have summed it all up in that post . Wow well done what a great run & a great time . You know what no matter what , as you know , you can get knocked down as you have & myself + a few others on here but this plan is so good you can get straight back & build yourself right back up without killing yourself & do it at your own pace . Keep up the good work dan your doing fantastic

  • You are so right - I should have mentioned that, about dealing with knock backs. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Well Done Dan!

    This sounds like a great run, riverside running is my favourite. It must feel amazing to reach 10K - that's a 'proper run' by anyone's standards. It's really good to see posts from other graduates on here. I'm currently starting week 3 of B210K and running 7.3k in 47 minutes (with two minutes walking). Your post also makes me realise that I don't need to rush, I'm still a relatively new runner (12 weeks now) and that there's plenty of time to set and achieve all my different running goals.

    Well done again and please keep us updated, Emily :)

  • Emily you are so right. There IS plenty of time to achieve goals and your pace getting to 7.3K in 47 mins is great. I think the better your aerobic fitness, the "easier" running for longer becomes, but that can take time......but who cares how long? We all get there in the end!

  • I loved this post, so inspiring, in fact I love all your posts ( though I do think your a tad mad !! ;) ) Well done on 10 k, I can only wish

  • Thanks GJ! Yes I suppose I am a tad mad'ish, but then, all the best people are I find!! Hahaha!

  • You are amazing Dan , truly . Your enthusiasm just shines through, there seems to be no limit to what you can achieve , Well done ! :-) xxx

  • Thanks PJ. Appreciate that.

  • Aww Dan, I'm thrilled for you! You sum up the programme so well - it's all about *personal* goals. Some have gone on to Marathons and Ultras, others are delighted when they crack 5K or 30 minutes non-stop - as they should be. Whatever your own personal achievement is, it's amazing!

    I can well remember not managing the final 90 sec run on Wk 2 and various other 'bad' runs, doubting that I'd ever make a full 30 minutes, and now rejoice in the fact of being able to knock out 5ks without difficulty, 8ks with a bit of effort and 10k quite regularly. And if I don't - so what?! It's still not bad for an old 'un!!

    This forum has given me so much support, sometimes just by reading others' posts, and I would not be where I am on my running path ('scuse the pun) or even have started without it. So a huge THANK YOU to everyone who shares their positivity and sage advice, their wonderful stories and who make this FUN!!

  • Hear hear!!

  • What a super smashing post danzargo ... thanks a lot!

    For the inspiration, encouragement, delight in hearing of your achievement and a reminder that already, at W5 only, i MAY be able to run further than Keith Richards!!!

    Very very well done you .... 10kms is a really long way! It's going to be a fair old time before i go anywhere that far away without getting the car out! Or the bike at least :-)

    Cool Runnings to you :-)

  • Thank you bopeep!

    I've heard Keef knocks out half marathons regularly!!

  • Nooooooo, really? When he's not falling out of palm trees and shattering his ankles??? Oh dear, i have some serious catching up to do then! I'm off to Google again!

  • I'm kidding!! Hahahaha!!

  • "Rolling Stones guitarists Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards once went on a drink and drugs marathon" (ref. Gigwise via Google) ... some truth in what you say tho danzargo ;-)

  • Brilliant! Haha!

  • Fantastic post Dan! I'm working my way up to 10K. I've so far managed 8.5k the other day. Still bit of newbie, ran since Jan. So building up not far behind you. Aiming to get this 10k done by the autumn. I loved the bit about the internet. I chuckled. I always like reading your posts. Your mojo must have came back then!! :-D

  • Well and truly!

  • Brilliant Dan, couldn't agree more, the milestones and goals that might not make sense to people that aren't...... Well....... Us.... are what keep us all getting up at insane o'clock or getting home from mental day at work but running anyway. Every week finished, every second shaved off matters to us and the people here get that. Young, old,in the middle, fat, thin, fit, unfit it doesn't matter because it is only the standards we set ourselves that we have to worry about. And here, on this forum, are people who get that totally!

    I thank whatever deity anyone wishes that I found this programme, this sport and these boards. Truly life changing!!!!


  • AGreed. It IS life changing. Who'd have thought that putting a pair of trainers on and jogging for half an hour could have this effect?!

  • Wow ! 10k done and dusted. Fantastic. What next ? 60 minute 10k ? Half Marathon ? Marathon ? Do keep us posted.

  • CERTAINLY not a marathon! Even a half marathon makes me go all left hand side. JuicyJu and Suzibenj are the dudettes for that sort of distance.

  • Well done, Mr Dan! Great post and a Dantastic time for your 10K: very well done! :-)

  • Thanks M_Y

  • Well done Dan brilliant time too, what next young man?

  • Young man? Hahaha! I wish. What next? Probably nudge the distance up to 12K to see if that's possible - but I'm gonna take my time!

  • Eow. Stupendous run there Mr Dan. Congratulations and celebrations , your happiness is infectious. I've caught a dose of it myself! I'm loving post-grad playtime. Setting goals, trying different techniques etc, and my fave... running "naked" ( no watch, no music, just the landscape... And my shoes, shorts and t shirt of course!) Happy running to youuuu x

  • I too run without music. I found that it got on my nerves in the end and also tended to dictate my rhythm too much. Being a bit of a musician myself, music seems to take over my internal metronome which makes me want to run to the beat - and seeing as I'm trying to perfect this "slow" pace thing, THAT would be very distracting.

    Good for you enjoying your post grad running though jaqs99, Super duper.

  • Great post, inspiring and positive. Thank you

  • Thanks Laurae.

  • Sounds like another SIX MILESTONE!!! You are just soooooooo poetic at summing up how this journey has been and carries on being for all of us.

    You will do great at The Beer Run on 8th having achieved this time - was this your slow heart-rate pace you were practicing again today?

  • I'll probably arrive at the finish line totally pis**d!! And YES this was the slow pace practice run today.

    Thanks for your kind words c4ts! :-)

  • Wow you have summed everything up so well Dan. This running lark is fab init! I wish we could have had this at school. If it wasn't for the app that I stumbled across I would never have thought this possible. It just goes to show, something I have always wanted to do and never thought I could. It just gets better. Well done you on your 10k, its funny how these goals just sort of creep up on us. A great inspiring post, as always- keep it up! x

  • thats very nice of you no-excuse. Thank you.

  • Well done Dan. It is truly amazing isn't it? And it's not just the running we are learning about along the way. In addition we've improved

    1. Our local geographical knowledge from planning and running routes new to us.

    2. Our knowledge of our anatomy - all those glutes, ITBs etc that we've become familiar with. How to use them to best effect and how to strengthen and nurture them.

    3. Our ability to deal with the mental challenges that running throws up.

    4. An understanding of how our breathing is supposed to work.

    5. Sadly, a detailed knowledge of the injuries that can befall us and how to treat them.

    6. Our knowledge of technology - with podcasts, GPS, and associated paraphernalia.

    And last but not least, although we all mostly run alone we've got a whole gang of new inspirational buddies! Amazing!

  • Very good points made there. I concur!

  • Brilliant run - well done, and thanks for the post.

    Cross-country was the only sport I was ever remotely good at when I was at school. I was the stereotypical uncoordinated, unsporty last one to be picked for a team whatever the sport (I wasn't fat - there weren't any fat kids in my year at school, so it was the genuinely unsporty ones who were last to get picked). When I did my first cross-country run when I started secondary school I realised that most people were walking and that if I just kept running then I could beat most people - which I did. Went on to area and county championships, but the PE teachers only seemed to know how to train pupils for netball and hockey teams, so I had no training or advice whatsoever and just had to turn up at the races and run. Once I left school I didn't run for "lots of" years until I discovered C25K last year. I rather wish I'd been running regularly in the intervening years, but at least I've found it now :) .

  • Interesting post there rnb. Thank goodness we've all found something so fabulous and inspiring.

  • Well said SuperDan! thats a great time for 10k, i'm very impressed! i still haven't got past the 6k mark yet........maybe tomorrow?! Did my fastest 1 mile yesterday though at 9.33 mins & fastest average pace at 6.12 per km! Went with OH on seafront, he turned right then looped back so he did a longer run than me, i turned left and he didn't catch me up! he was surprised! did 4.76km in 29 mins so am improving! you have given me inspiration :)

  • You see? You did a fastest mile & fastest average pace! Brilliant. And take your time with increasing distance up to 6, 7 etc. I got great advice on here from folks who gave me the impetus to keep at it at the point I was thinking "I'll never get to 10K!".

  • Well done on your 10 k Dan!

    There is always new stuff to learn. I was thinking that today as I was working through a yoga dvd. I would never have dreamed I'd ever contemplate such a thing but there I was learning a new skill. I think it's within us all to push ourselves that bit more

  • It is. Good point there. Doesn't yoga make you very bendy?

  • Brilliant stuff - I think I remember an early blog where you didn't think you were cut out for more than 5k - who knows where you'll end up now. Don't you wish you'd started earlier tho' - I do, and never done any sport before.

    I still find it really hard work but after my ridiculous 4-5/12 blip am getting those distances back. Bet you'd never imagined yourself out and about in yellow lycra - and now you wear it with pride!!

  • YOU ARE RIGHT!! I did indeed blog about that very topic. And at the time I truly believed that 5K was "my distance" - but doesn't it just go to show how we ALL improve slowly, if we keep at it? Amazeballs.

  • Hey Dan, check you out! I love the way this post has something for are a legend!

  • Blimey! How lovely of you to say! :-)

  • Well done Dan; great post and that uninterrupted run is a great feeling. I aim for that too; don't always manage it but it sure feels good when I do. So, after 10K, what next? Faster or longer? I'm beginning to toy with the idea of a HM (note how I don't actually types the full words!! Too scary.)

  • Shhhhhh oldned. Don't say HM too loudly!! Gor blimey, now THAT is a challenge. Our friend juicyju knocks those distance out for breakfast! The thing is, a HM is SOOOOO far isn't it? Double what I did yesterday, but I suppose it's all down to the right mental approach. When I set off on my 10, I had planned and decided that THAT was what I was going to do so paced myself accordingly. Perhaps its the same with a hm?

    Will you do one for me? Thanks!!! :-)

  • It'll be enough of a struggle to do one for myself!!

  • There you go, you did it, just like we all knew you would! Lovely eloquent well-argued post too. Why do I keep misreading the title as ANOTHER LIMESTONE though?

  • I do too ! Thought it was just me :-)xxx

  • limestone? Hahah! That's hilarious. Thanks TT for your most kindly comments.

  • Brilliant Dan - huge congrats to you!

    Very inspiring for us "undergraduates" too! Hoping to be hot on your heels 12 months from now! ;) :D x

  • You sure will be! Good luck with completing week 6 - that's a hard week. Especially after the glory of W5R3! You have to treat it with respect - so go kick it's aaaass!!!

  • Thank you dear! :) x

  • Great post - well done Dan! You're an inspiration to many people on this forum and I absolutely love reading about your running adventures. You capture the soul of what it is to discover running as an escape, a challenge and a personal adventure for all of us... thank you!

  • That's extremely kind aussiegtc. Thanks so much.

  • Just caught this a few days late and glad I did. You speak a lot of good sense Dan and I'm not surprised you hooked that 10k, I could tell from the tone of your last blog it would not be long. Well done! :-)

  • thank you nb. Appreciate it.

  • Its all been said Dan so I'll just add my tuppence ha'penny worth - superb!

  • Oh my god Dan a huge massive well done and BIG hug! Congratulations! I'm sure you looked every inch the runner in your super suit ;-)

    I hope one day to be able to do it too!

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