Nailed W9R3 - in Hong Kong

What an amazing program C25K is, I've been a lurker on the boards here, and found them inspiring and informative. I live in Hong Kong although originally form the UK. I completed the runs in both my local park and on the treadmill at the gym (or hotel when I was travelling. The runs in the park were much more enjoyable though.

I first thought about running 5 years ago. I started taking long walks, 5-10km, with my dogs. I bought a pair of running shoes selected for their ability to help absorb the shock on my heavy frame, especially my knees. I read Haruki Murakami’s book “What I talk about when I talk about running”, something about it made me feel fresh and hopeful. I still didn't run. Yet running remained something that I thought about, that I would like to be able to do; it held some ethereal promise of a better quality of life.

At 45 years old I found myself often tired, always stressed, with high blood pressure and a short temper. I was in need of goal not imposed on me by work, or family or the everyday stuff of life. I was in need of a healthful goal, something to help body and mind. And so it was, twelve weeks ago that I decided it was time to run.

My previous experience of trying to run on a machine at the gym was bad, I lasted about a minute before my legs hurt and I was out of puff and had to stop. I had no idea how to how to start. First I looked for a running coach but was generally met with guidance that I should not run yet, I was told that I needed to lose weight first. I wanted to learn to run, I was determined, I did not want to stop even before I started; I had seen people of my size and larger running, surely I could do it too.

After googling and reading I came across the C25K program, I was impressed by just how many people appeared to have followed it successfully. I decided this was the one for me. I also signed up a trainer to help me twice a week with strength training for the bits of me that would be useful to develop so that I could run with less of a chance of injury.

I took my first run 9 weeks ago and completed my final 30 minute, 3.2 km run today. I am a C25K graduate! I celebrated by buying a pair of new running shorts and matching top. I am frankly amazed and embarrassingly pleased with myself.

Thanks for all the implicit support from the forums.


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17 Replies

  • Brilliant, well done, determination definitely seems to be the key. :-)

  • Thanks Rosebery, I think determination and not running too fast for yourself, I slowed down a bit after week 2 and the program became doable.

  • Congratulations on graduating, what a great treat for graduating. That is a really good post thank you for sharing your story. It's amazing this programme gets us running for 30minutes from nothing. What's next?

  • Thanks Vixchile, I'm think of the B210K to help me to increase the duration of my runs and I like that it puts some walking breaks into the runs which I think will really help with pace too. What did you decide to do?

  • Congratulations! Well done, I bet you have been walking around with a silly grin on your face since graduating??? :) It is a lovely feeling of accomplishment, isn't it?

    I enjoyed your post enormously, it is a great program but I often think the mental benefits out weight the physical. Do you have any plans for your running future?

  • Thanks for the congratulations Beforefifty, yes pretty happy with myself! And yes, probably even happier with the achievement because of the mental benefits of running.

    Things I want to do next:

    - Keep running regularly

    - B210K to increase my duration

    - Finish a 10K race late this year

    - When I am travelling. to actually use the hotel running map. I've been seeing those things for years as I travel and they were just part of another world, now they can be part of mine.

    What did you do after you finished?


  • Congratulations, what an interesting post.....great to read what led you to C25k. Fantastic achievement.

  • Thanks AmberC and congratulations for completing C25K yourself too. What did you do after you graduated?


  • After graduating I concentrated on consolidating my strength and stamina by running 3-4 times a week and working up to that holy grail of attaining the 5km mark! I did this by increasing my distance by about 10% each week and I successfully attained that. I also signed up for a 5km fun run, which I participated in yesterday.....I smashed by old PB and ran it in 34:41. It felt fab. At 51 I'm wary of pushing too hard too soon, I don't want to end up on the injury couch and then loose my hard earned fitness. So next on my agenda is to gradually work myself up to 10km....I think. But it will be a gradual transition, I'm not going to go mad. I shall sign up for another 5km race in October and there is also a mini triathlon in November, so I'm pondering on that one.

    Wishing you good luck and injury free running.

  • Well done, excellent work. I dread to imagine what running in HK conditions must be like so extra tip of the hat to you for that. I loved Murakami's book, too. I was put off buying it by negative reviews for a while, despite being a huge fan of his 'normal' books for years, but when I finally did, I loved it.

    I'm about the same age as you and began running for similar reasons. It's a great feeling to have cracke dit and it has opened up a whole new world of possibility to me. Give yourself a big pat on the back and keep up the good work.

    If you want another good read ( or two), I would hugely recommend Once a Runner and Again to Carthage by John L Parker.

  • Hi Rignold,

    Well, like everywhere, HK had its pros and cons for C25K, I ended up doing most of the latter part of the program in a park near me, which has a running track as well as a jogging track, I ran in the mornings and evenings when it was cooler. Some unexpected pros:

    - As a Caucasian expat I look pretty different from most other people in the park, I'm different anyway from the start, so I think I actually experienced much less of the stigma that people have reported of being an overweight runner. I suspect I ended up feeling less self-concious running than I would have done in back in the UK.

    - One night, running round the park I saw a wonderful sunset over the city, that I just would not have seen if I had not been running and, it was supplemented by the beautiful (and unexpected) aroma of the ginger-flower trees!

    Thanks for the book recommendations "Once a Runner" is on its way to my kindle now.


  • Great to read your story of your journey to graduation. Congratulations.

  • Thanks getfitgran :-)

  • Superb well done. Love the new purchases to celebrate!! The trick is to keep running 3 times a week from now on Good Luck

  • Thanks Getting fitter, I'm planning to stick with it. How have you managed?


  • Congratulations! Great story - I hope you feel very proud of yourself.

  • Thanks Ullyrunner, yes I do! What did you do just after you graduated?

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