Couch to 5K
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umm... no, I still haven't graduated

I meant to do my graduation run last Saturday, so I could reward myself with a shopping trip later that day to get some new running shoes (and maybe a little something else). However I woke up that morning with a migraine, so running would not have been a good idea.

Later on Saturday my husband persuaded me, since we were near the shops anyway, that even though I hadn't graduated we should 'just go and have a look' in the sports shop. Fast forward an hour or so later and I emerge with a whole set of spanking brand new Nike kit - leggings, t-shirt, shoes (my own shoes! not my son's hand-me-downs)... and a proper sports bra for the first time!!!

Much umming and ahhing and discussion about whether I should wear the new kit the next day for my graduation run. Husband suggests I do the last run of C25K in the kit I've always worn and save the new stuff until after graduation.

The next day, I dunno.. something's missing when I go off to do my graduation run. That excitement that I've read in everyone else's posts when they've graduated - I'm not feeling it, myself. It all feels like a bit of an anti-climax somehow. And then on the podcast I hear Laura's words at the beginning of the session ..something like 'You're coming to the finish of what you set out to do which is "running for 30 minutes, AROUND 5 KILOMETRES"'

For some reason, and I know I've read so many comments that it's NOT about being able to run 5k, it's the 30 minutes that counts, and I know people have said it in reply to one of my posts about being disheartened about distance.. but for some reason a thought flashed through my head "Oh no! But I can only barely do 4k!!!!"

And that, I'm afraid, is the spirit under which I began my 'graduation' run. And I thought, well, I'd better get a move on then! and maybe I started off too fast, but after a couple of minutes I was pretty much gasping and really uncomfortable and for the first time ever since I started this programme - I WALKED WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN RUNNING... :-(

I had to stop in all 3 times to walk - perhaps no longer than 30 seconds at a time, but I felt a complete failure.

The last time I stopped was because a fit young runner was coming the other way and my dog was loose, so I stopped to put him on the lead so as not to bother her. But I noticed that this young, fit girl running towards me was actually not going all that fast, and this gave me a boost, and then after that I ran all the way (15 minutes) to the end. But it was still a huge struggle and I could hardly wait for Laura to tell me I could walk again.

So I walked home completely demoralised, and NOT a graduate.

Anyway, since then I've noticed that I've even been getting breathless running up the stairs again now. But also this week I've developed a couple of nasty ulcers at the back of my mouth, and one in my throat. So I think maybe I'm run down, or have a virus or something.. and I'm hoping that could explain why my breathing hasn't been great. I really hope I haven't lost all that fitness I had before... My absolute best run was Week 8 Run 1 when I ran 28 minutes in comparative ease, feeling like a proper runner - and certainly not with any breathing difficulties.

So I might try the graduation run again on Monday, but I'll see how I feel. I don't want to rush back into it and put myself off again. But I'm pretty demoralised, and my confidence and 'bounce' has taken a real knock.

11 Replies

Just sounds like you've got one of those unidentifiable viruses which wipe you out then go away. Take it easy for a few days and run again when you feel better. When you graduate doesn't matter, and neither does the distance. Perhaps just take some music and a watch out for the last run and make sure your husband is waiting by the front door on your return with the bag of goodies and a big hug!


Yeah, that's a nice idea.. just some music and a watch. I think I'll do that next time I go out. Thanks for the great advice. :-)


Might it be worth going back to that week 8 Run 1 because you KNOW you can do that. There is no rush and absolutely no pressure to do 5K AND 30 mins at the same time! Rules clearly state either or.

Anyway, you have to show off your new kit! Come on, you have come so far and I promise the last run feels so good when you have a glass of something lovely in yer mit and can reflect on the difference you have felt between the start gate and the finish post.

P.S. At the risk of sounding indelicate, it is worth clocking naughty hormones. Not a medic or owt, but I notice a minor effect on breathing and pulse rate which can just be enough to knock a good run off kilter for a day or so.


Haha Slookie.. no, that's not indelicate to mention hormones.. in fact those pesky little buggers might have something to do with it, I reckon!!! :-D


Menopause is fabulous! Those hormones disappear. Obviously they live behind the odd flushette or two, but that's a small price to pay :)


There is no such thing as a bad run which I have found out the hard way, having had many 'bad' runs but and even deciding to quit. I only graduated in June and believe it or not I did my graduation run with a stomach bug and it was HELL! I went back a few days later to the same run and it was so much better. It sounds like you are just not feeling right and your body has told you to rest. I agree, go back to Week 8 Run1 before you go straight for the graduation run, or even one of the earlier weeks. I often go back to Week 6 Run 3 when I have had a few baddies in a row. Puts me right back on course usually. Good luck and don't feel demoralised, not everyone has a good graduation run but the main thing is to recover and try again.


Thanks for the advice Nelly. Is Week 6 Run 3 a 25 minute run? And would you then do Week 7, 8 and 9 again after as well, or you throw in a 25 minuter then go back to where you were? It just seems so stupid to have a crisis of confidence right at the last hurdle! I was actually thinking of doing a few 25 minute runs instead of going straight back to the 30 minutes. But I need to get back out there!!!


Week6 run3 is two 10 min runs with a 3 min walk in between. It just gives me massive confidence as it feels relatively easy. I just do it once or twice depending how long I was off and then get back to longer runs. I regularly run 3km - about 25 mins and then try to have a 5k run every other week. The plan then was to speed up the 5k but a few setbacks means I am still on the 3k runs. It's all about confidence when you have a bad run so go out and do something easy maybe in a new location. Good luck.


When you start for your graduation run it can be mixed feeling but when you finished and you post your have done your graduation run you feel great. I would say you have graduated but you don't feel like it. You also sound a bit run down so give yourself a break first of all.

I would say do your graduation runner sooner - can you do Friday as it will be a great way to start the weekend. Don't worry about distance and speed it will come, having said that I still can't do 5km in 30 minutes but I have noticed my pace is improving. It does take time and miles under your belt, I am only starting to understand this now. So just get out there and enjoy the park or wherever you run and your new running gear.


Thanks Vix for the encouragement.. yes, I need to get that new gear on!!! I might try a little run on Saturday, but give myself no pressure.. just some nice music and let myself go nice and slow and enjoy the countryside! Then that will fit into starting my new schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday running to fit it in with getting the kids up and to various school buses (different start times on different days) coz I've got into the habit of running in the morning :-)


Sorry, I missed this post at the time...I'd say quite a few of us have felt deflated or whatever on our graduation run, I certainly did, I was nearly in tears for no reason, certainly not the massive high I expected. I can run for 30 minutes, and a bit more too if I feel like it now, but 30 mins doesn't get me further than 3.8 K. I think that's about average for us on here, and I'm proud of it! You should be may well find, like me, that you enjoy your running much more when you've got the milestone of graduation out of the way. Never for get how well you've done or haw far you've come.


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