Warning - long post, get a cup of tea!
Well, it's been 12 months and thanks to Justin (see first link below), the NHS, Laura and you guys I've hit a massive milestone in my life.
I've been injured (thankfully minor), I've struggled for motivation, I've been disappointed - but this week I've hit my goal of running a half marathon and done it big time!
To save me writing everything again:
I blogged about my graduation and motivations here:
I also unashamedly bragged about timings when I completed stage 1 of my Great North Run Training:
And helpfully Fentaz42 has written an excellent write up on the Great North Run saving me an hour of my life
A year ago I was no different from most of the people on this forum. I weighed 79K (I'm 5 ft 6, aged 42), drank too much, eat too much and other than a round of golf a couple of times a month did little exercise. My clothes were all way too big for me just to fit my waist size and I got out of breadth climbing stairs - something had to give.
My goal was to finish C25K, not a half marathon. The progression was natural - 5K was a big challenge, I went for 10K and then thought why not go for it! A mate had sown a seed and that was enough.
In a moment of madness I entered the GNR - One year on from when I started C25K things are very different. I now weigh 66Kg, go the gym three times a week, run at least three times a week and eat well. I've said previously that I am taking my training way too seriously and realise it's not's for everyone.
My experiences of the GNR were very similar to Fentaz42 and Lovefood1984, the entire day was inspirational. I ran for H4H and spent a while with the H4H team afterwards, they (and every charity team there) all work tirelessly for their cause and deserve so much recognition for what they do. Having served in the RAF and spent a significant amount of time in my life working in hot dusty places trying to make sure I wasn't in the same country as Kate Adey I have a real good understanding and respect for everything everyone in the forces goes through - thankfully I left just before Afghanistan and my experiences were relatively tame!
I emailed the GNR team with some of my 10K times suggesting I was aiming for 1 hr 35. When my bib arrived my number was 2019, which I now know is the position they are forecasting you finish (out of 56000)! I went all out to hit the target - knowing that one of my sponsors had incentivised me to break 1hr 35 by giving me £2 extra per minute under it was enough to motivate me!
The night before I looked at my bib, and my starting position. I'd clearly got something wrong - I was in "Orange B". Orange B was at the front - immediately behind the Elites! A few minutes later I realised the celebs were between us, but wow, I was just behind the elites
I didn't finish behind the elites but did myself proud:
I finished in position 1620, ahead of my predicted position. I missed my target but only just - I finished respectfully in 1.35:39. The hills killed me (Reading is flat as a pancake), and the atmosphere meant I started off way too quick - just 9 seconds slower than my 5K PB and 20 seconds off my 10K PB and I didn't even know it was happening.
I raised just over £500 for a great cause and have been told today that I've inspired a colleague and he's starting C25K on Wednesday. It's all gone full circle since Justin inspired me 12 months ago. Incidentally Justin ran a PB in parkrun at the weekend, well done Justin!
I haven't decided what the next challenge is yet. I have Bournemouth 10K next month, Reading HM in March and a colleague is threatening to put a Tough Mudder team together, hopefully that will keep me going through the winter (already!). I'm open to suggestions
That was a long post, sorry! If it inspires just one person to keep going then it's been worth writing.
All the best and keep on running