Back in the early spring I posted that I was re-enrolling on C25K for a further term as an undergraduate having originally graduated in 2013 before holidays, beer and Christmas messed up my plans. At that time I had one goal in mind for the year and I'm pleased to say that goal has been achieved. Actually I eventually set myself three goals for the year, two running and one cycling along with a bit of weight loss and I haven't done too bad. Weight wise I'm an ex prop forward and have the build to match but over the year I've managed to shed 15kg or more than 10% of my bodyweight which is a promising start but there is still more to do in this area as I'm still carrying too much. Grade this year is a C-, Could do better. Next on the calendar after Graduating for the second time was the Olympic Park 5 mile run in July and I ran most of this on a hot Sunday morning finishing in 1 hour 2 minutes. This was my first "proper" race and I had a great day out, it made a huge difference to me running in a large group as all of my training had been solo. I used the Olympic park run as a test for a later challenge and the fact that I ran the 5 miles cleared the way to continue. 2014 Grade B.
My third personal challenge was cycling related and this was the Ride London 100 mile bike ride in August and on a really soggy day due to the back end of Hurricane Bertha and a slightly shorter course I completed the ride in 5h:47m, and rode away from the finish to get back to the carpark. My Grade here B+.
Finally to my fourth personal challenge on Sunday when I ended up in the middle of a motorway in Newcastle with 42000 other runners at the start of the Great North Run. As I crossed the Tyne Bridge I had a flashback to my first session back in Week 1 Run 1 when I think I managed to run for just 5 of the 8 one minutes runs and here I was running in the biggest and best half marathon in the world. Now I would love to say I ran all the way to the seaside, but I didn't. There were times I walked but on balance there was more running than walking. Mentally I had a time of 3 hours in my mind and I ended up just outside at 3h:01m:02s and my grade here has to be an A. So there you have it. I started the year seriously overweight, I couldn't run very far, I really struggled with Week 1 but carried on and set achievable goals over a long term. I hope anyone who is struggling with C25K keeps going at it, there will be good days and bad days but hopefully you too can wear your C25K graduate jersey with pride like I did on Sunday as I crossed the finish line in South Shields.