Couch to 5K
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What a month: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly!

Hello chums,

First off, I have missed you guys, and I have also missed my running, having been out of action for 5 weeks. The good news is that my Masters is finished; dissertation handed in on Tuesday, and I'm now recovering from that, and a sore throat (probably picked up from being run down, and working through several nights to get it finished.)

After my 10k race on July 20th, my calves and achilles' got progressively worse so I decided to let them recover for about two weeks, however they didn't getting any better, and sitting at my desk writing all day wasn't helping. After 4 weeks, I paid to see a sports physio (best £40 I've spent in a while) who told me that I'd got a bad calf sprain on both legs, but the right leg was really bad. The bad news is, it might take about 8 weeks to heal, but she gave me the relevant torture needed to get me on my way.

On Wednesday I spent an hour on another couch whilst a young, and very handsome, man fiddled with my pelvis, toes, and ankles. Some women would pay for this, but luckily, Gareth, my podiatrist, comes free on the NHS ;) I was seeing him about a problem with my feet (my second toes are too long and the joint is too far forward which puts a lot of stress on the ball of my foot) and we got chatting about running and my injury. He is a runner too, so he knew exactly how frustrating it was not being able to get out. Anyway the upshot of all his prodding and poking, is that my right leg is quite a bit longer than my left, and he said that since my running distances had increased, it is likely that my wonky legs were making me pronate on one side, causing the problem with calf on right side. He said that my lower back discomfort was probably also due to this. Shame I didn't have this info 30 years ago! So he sent me home with half a Sven-Goran Eriksson kit (insole for you youngsters!) to make my left leg match my right. He is quite confident that when my injury has healed, this will help prevent future strain.

So at the moment I am feeling very frustrated. I haven't put any weight on, but I feel flabby and lethargic. My mojo has gone and it has made me realise just how fantastic running is for my general wellbeing. I miss that elated (and knackered) feeling from having pushed myself, and am worried about how much my overall fitness and stamina has been affected. BUT, I am not giving up, and am now using this time to try and get a job, attack my calf muscles with a foam roller and and I think I will do some kind of home fitness plan to keep myself from getting too out of shape. (Any suggestions?)

So until business is resumed, I am enjoying all your fantastic and motivational posts, and am counting on you guys to cheer me up :)

22 Replies

Treehouse you have been busy! Well done on finishing your Masters. That in itself in no mean feat.

Sorry to hear you're going to be on the injury couch for a while but you are being treated (by a handsome man, lucky you!), you will get better and you can plan for your return to running.

I've just got out again after a 3 month break so I absolutely sympathise with how you're feeling, I hated not being able to run. But I did other things - cycling, Pilates, weights, swimming (thanks to Dozzer). Oldgirl has taken to rowing and she's breaking all sorts of records! So there are lots of activities you can get your teeth into.

I won't lie, I found the first few runs back hard but that was balanced by the euphoria I felt at being back in the game! Reading others' posts on here kept me sane and I got lots of support and sympathy which really helped.

You WILL recover and you WILL get back running again. Just keep posting here for support and let us know how you're getting on. Sending you lots of support......

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Thank you so much Irishprincess. It is awful because you feel like you're letting yourself down. I think you're right; I could perhaps get on a cross trainer or rowing machine and go swimming.

Thanks for the encouragement, and support, I really appreciate it :) x


Hey Treemouse, you're back!! :) :) :)

First of all, a massive congratulations on getting your Masters finished and handed in. That must be a massive relief to you :)

Sorry to hear about your calves :( You know you have all my sympathy for having to take such a long enforced break. However, on the plus side, your podiatrist sounds wonderful. Your Lovely Gareth sounds like my a lovely James and I love that he's given you a solution to your 'wonky' legs. Fingers crossed this will prevent any calf problems occurring in the future. :)

I know exactly what you mean about feeling lethargic without running, but I've found the static bikes at the gym quite helpful to keep my fitness ticking over. Poppy and Jax are heeding MissWobble s advice and doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred to get fitter. I'd like to, but my knee isn't up to all the lunges and jumping Jacks yet, although it's tons better and I've had a run on the treadmill. Bazza has posted a fitness regime called You Are Your Own Gym, which is a book and an app. It sounds really good too, if very tough, and I'll probably look at that too. Problem is, I'm being ultra cautious about my knee and that does tend to limit what I dare attempt until I get the go ahead from James. Suspect you'll be the same about you calves.

Anyway it's lovely to have you back in the fold once more and I'll look forward to reading your posts as you get fitter and stronger. Take care Sweetie and keep doing those physio exercises. :) :) xxx

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Awww, thanks Carrie. I will definitely look into those plans and try to stop my bits from getting too wobbly :) Hahaha, I've got no excuse for being a slob, I must find a way to keep going, and you lovely people do just that! I hope that you are back and at it in no time too. We must have a girls night in on the injury couch, some time soon :) xxx


Congratulations on finishing yor masters, that is a massive achievement.

Sounds like you have the right guys to get you up and running, the time will fly by. I don't have any useful suggestions apart from cycling or swimming.

Reading the posts here will cheer you up and you will back out there in no time


Thanks Vixchile, I think swimming is a good one, but i do find it a tad boring. I like to swim with my friend Tina, but then our talking slows us down! You are right about reading posts, it makes me feel hopeful and I love catching the enthusiasm of every one else; it's quite infectious :)


Hey TM, good to hear from you ! Well done on finishing your degree, that means you can come back on here now, so welcome back into the fold Missus :-)

Oh dear, what a blow that must have been to be told you cant run for a while , very disappointing for you when all you want to do is get out , but you are in good hands by the sounds of it .

I am doing the 30 day shred with Jax as Carrie mentioned . Blimey , its a tough 'un :-) I don't only feel shredded , I feel like Ive been grabbed by the throat , shook , stamped on the floor and then thrown in a heap, but apart from that its a doddle ha ha :-D

Looking forward to reading of your progress to full fitness , and its good to have you back . Oh I don't know whether you know , but Dozz has gone . Were not sure where, he just rode off into the sunset but Im hoping that he will return one day . Take care and a big hug for you ((( ))) xxx


Hello PP, and how wonderful to see your gorgeous face :) You look a lot more innocent than I imagined ;) Haha. This 30 day shred thing sounds like torture, but I'm going to give at a go... well I will when my casserole has been digested a bit more! :D

Oh no! Dozz! Why?! I hope he's okay, it won't be the same without him, and poor PP ents. division must feel truly lost. Big hugs for you and also to Dozz if you're out there, Sir .

Yes, I should have a bit more time now, apart from job hunting. If I don't find something soon, I'll have to start an adult chat line! xxx


Welcome back! Firstly - well done on completing the dissertation... you might have a spare minute or two now anyway... You must be pleased that's out of the way...

I'm really pleased that you've got some answers now and that although it's been a long road that's there is now an excellent prognosis and so long as you take it easy you'll be out there and kickin' butt in no time at all... I think you'll find the return to previous fitness levels will be quicker than you think and within a few short weeks (so long as you go easy) that you'll be "feeling the love" again... :)

I use resistance bands on rest days... bicep curls, rows and squats... and do some "planks" as well for core strength.... Maybe a rowing action/machine (at a gym?) might be okay with the calf muscles.. cycling and running probably not just yet..?

Really looking forward to having you back on the trail... AWESOME! :)


Oh I do hope so, Aussie, but in the mean time I shall watch you kicking butt and motivating everyone else. I am still pretty hopeless at planks... warped wobbleboard is perhaps a better description, but I will keep at it. I have a resistance band somewhere, I might have to dig it out. I have a slightly dodgy neck, so I think rowing may be out of the equation, but I'm going to give the cross trainer and bike a go, and see how I get on. You really should be a personal trainer!

Thanks for the motivation, Aussie :) x


Good to hear from you again :) Congrats on finishing your thesis.

It sounds as though you have a keeper there with that Gareth ;) Hopefully, following his advice you will be back running in the near future.


Thanks before fifty, he's great and very keen to get my legs and feet sorted. I saw a grumpy woman before him, and she couldn't care less; she looked at me like I was bonkers when I told her I was running. But he has poached me from her, and is really keen to help me out. It is a bit of a faff having to put a heel raiser in every pair of shoes, but if it prevents this from happening agin, then I'm up for that :)


I have to wear an innersole in my shoes too as after a couple of weeks doing C25K I had a lot of problems with calf muscles and plantar fascitis. Turns out I was wearing really soft unsupportive trainers and I have low arches. My physio is a runner too, I don't think you can beat that experience when dealing with these kind of issues. I have one pair of innersoles that I move around all my shoes and after a week of aches getting used to them I have been fine.

I think my husband visited your original grumpy woman ... or there is more than one of them! The last straw for him was when he turned up 5 mins early for his appt. but she spent 15 mins gossiping on the phone at the front desk and then told him off for being late and said that they would now only have a 5 mins session as she had to leave work early :D

I hope your heel raisers work out ok.


Welcome back TM :D You have been greatly missed. Congratulations on handing-in, that must be a huge weight off your mind :)

I'm sorry to hear about all the injury trouble you've been having. The good thing is, it sounds like you've really got to the bottom of the issue, and given some patience it'll all look up from here.

Good luck with the job-hunting and let us know how you're getting on,

Em x


Hi there Em, I have missed you all too! Loads! Yes it's a big relief to have finished it; not that it will help me get a job... Eighteenth-century studies is not a requirement of any of the vacancies I've seen :/

I will be about soon, I hope, and clocking up some running. In the meantime, I am relying on you to keep the home fires burning, and I am having great fun watching your movements up and down hills :D x



Good news about the proper diagnosis. At least you know where you are now

As for exercise, I do Jillian Michaels DVD's at home. Done 30 day shred and now doing Ripped in 30 which is harder than the Shred. Good though!

Hopefully you'll be out there running in no time. Champing at the bit I bet!


Hello Miss W. What a lovely photo of you in your purple superwoman outfit, and doing so extraordinarily well too! I agree with the others that you need a name change: missfirm, or misstonedbuttocks ;) I will get myself a dvd and get cracking, but will make sure that the curtains are fully shut so the neighbours don't get a laugh for free :)

I can't wait to get back out there, especially as it has cooled right down and is nice and autumnal :)

Thanks for the recommendation, I hope to be as toned as you very soon :) x


Welcome back Treemouse. Bet you're delighted to have finished your dissertation. There's always stair climbing assuming you haven't got a bungalow ;-)

Great to hear you have a diagnosis and hope you get back out there soon.


Haha, thanks GF, I must do about 100 trips up and down the stairs each day, but the bloody cats (five of them) are a bit of a nightmare, and try to ambush me as I pass them! I will try to turn my house into my new sports centre, and will attempt to give progress reports :)


Oh hey there TM ...sooooo pleased to see you are back on here and a big well done for seeing off that dissertation.

Hope the "handing in " party was good :) .....but sorry to hear you've been feeling rough ,It's really annoying how viruses strike just when you should be relaxing and enjoying yourself,though you're definitely more at risk when life's been stressful and busy.

Glad you are getting good treatment for your injury...I'm sure you'll be back into it before long .

I can't really suggest anything home -based for you to do ( you've had some pretty good ideas from the others) .I was a right lazy and miserable cow a few weeks ago when my running tailed right off due to a virus ,plus long standing hip problem ....I didn't do anything at all and for a while ,even though I knew I was better, the running mojo just deserted me.

I did eventually kick myself up the bum as I really needed that feel good factor after a while ...and I was feeling pretty flabby after my ' slump ' I can really identify with the way you are feeling at the mo.

Anyway, chin up chum...really hope you can build your strength up and start feeling better very soon :) xxx

* ps...cycling perhaps ??....if you have or can borrow a bike....and if you're brave enough on city roads !


I so feel for you...when I went to see the sports Osteo[ath who said it might be 3 months before I could run I as gutted to say the least...however I did exactly as I was told and it ended up being 6 do as you are told, keep up your fitness by doing other fun stuff, and stay strong :)


Glad you are back treemouse and that the dissertation is done and dusted! Take things easy, you will be back running soon I am sure. 30 day shred is great, I've not long started that, along with a bit of hoola hooping and pilates, so just try and do what you can do x :-)


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