Couch to 5K

One year on and the wonders of cauliflower

One year on and the wonders of cauliflower

I am posting this on the weight loss forum and c25k as, for me; they have been very closely linked.

Many of you will have read most of this before but I thought it might encourage some newbies.

In 2013, I decided it was time to lose some weight and get fit. I had always walked and used to hill walk but that had gone by the wayside and my weight crept up. It initially increased over 20 years ago when I stopped smoking but the weight was certainly better than the cigarettes.

I decided on the NHS 12 week plan and planned my meals and exercise. I was going to aquafit & jog Scotland once a week but started walking more as well and was also doing heavy gardening.

Part of my inspiration was two people I knew who both had lost several stones.

Over the course of the rest of 2013 I lost about 22lb but I still needed to increase my exercise. I had various muscle problems running at jog Scotland and it was recommended that I had gait analysis for new running shoes and went to the gym to increase core strength. Both worked really well but I still lacked motivation to get out of the door and run more than once a week.

That’s when I started c25k just a year ago and graduated at the end of March. Meantime the goal posts were moved. A so-called friend, for my 59th birthday in January, entered me in a local marathon that was to be on 2 August. Therefore, I started training. There was no way I was going to run 26.2 miles but I did it by jogging and walking in 6hrs 34 minutes. My weight loss and continues exercise were encouraged by the positive reactions I got from people and how amazing I felt.

The past 3 months thing eased off a bit as I was away in Malaysia in October and it was too hot & humid to exercise and I put on a couple of kilos.

Now I am back on track to lose those kilos and a couple more and back at the gym & out with my new running shoes. (That’s not quite true – it was so wet today I wore my old ones :-)). I am back to counting calories and the cauliflower? Well a few weeks ago, I had posted that mashed cauli is a great substitute visually for mashed potato and Olsbean added that whizzing it in a processor to look like rice then steaming or stir-frying is good too.

So for all of you starting out, it is sooo worth the effort. I am fitter than I have ever been in my adult life, although I will never be a fast runner.

Good luck with your weight loss and fitness and a healthy 2015

11 Replies

Is that why you are called windswept??!!! Sorry.

1 like

Could be, but more to do with where I live :-).


Congratulations - you're an inspiration

try squash too. great mashed with potatoes or roast by itself. I also cube it up and roast with chunks of carrot


I think it is marvelous that you have completed a marathon - 6 &1/2 hours on your feet running and walking is an awfully long time to be on your feet. These elite marathoners who do it in 2 hours+ have got it easy!!!!

After 12 months of running, I am feeling fairly fit - but I don't know if I could handle being on my feet for 6 hours???? But, I guess if others can do it, then why couldn't i???

Quite apart from the marathon training and the sheer effort spent on the training and the marathon itself - I am boggled by the logistics involved in spending that amount time on the road.

Please tell me more about your entire marathon "journey" - warts and all -- food , drink, toileting???? Finding places to do long, long, practice runs?? Etc, etc


Hi Bazza, Thanks for your response. I will put a blow by blow account together & post it in the next day or so.


Marathon training

Hi, sorry for delay in responding. We had hurricane force winds on Thursday and lost power, internet, etc. Jut got internet back.

Somebody very kindly gave me a 16-week marathon beginner’s schedule- yes I have some very strange friends!

Its starts by actually doing less than c25k, with week one 20 minute jogging, a days rest, same again on day 3, 2 rest days then again 20 minute jogging. It does say you can stop & walk but that doesn’t count as part of the training. Day 7 is a 1-hour ramble.

The next 3 weeks increases the jogging to 25 minutes, ending with a 90-minute ramble for 2 weeks and 1 hour jogging & walking on the third week.

We thought week 5 c25k was a big jump but on this week 7 brings an 8-mile run! It builds up to a 16-18 mile endurance run on week 13. The next 2 weeks involve doing short runs every other day with longer runs on day 7 and then the next week is marathon day.

Bearing in mind I still can’t usually run more than 5k non-stop I did all of the longer runs as jog/walks.

One person doing the event had a timed programme of when she should run & when walk but my view, which works for me on longer runs, is that I walk up the hills and run as much as I can of the rest. I did a fair bit of walking in the second half of the marathon but made point of running for at least 200 yards to each mile marker and, of course, ran the last ¼ mile.

One advantage on the day was that I had done the entire route, in stages, during training, (it went past my house) so there were no surprises- not even the herd of cows and a bull, which phased some people. Although there were plenty of water stations, I had also dropped off isotonic energy drinks, extra jellybeans and jelly snakes and some of the famous peanut butter & rice cakes on the route. Bearing in mind I don’t like anything sweet, eating these things on route was something else I had to practice and needed the rice cakes as something more solid.

I needed the loo about 5 miles in but that was as I was going past the Community Centre where we had started, so popped in there. There were a couple of other loo stops available as well but I didn’t need them.

The weather was perfect as well. Comfortable temperature, enough breeze to keep the midges away and no rain. If it had been wet & windy I couldn’t have done it dressed in running gear in the open for that length of time.

I also used to do a lot of hill walking and have done some long distance path walks, so I am used to being ‘on my feet, for several hours.


Thank you for that - mind blowing!!!! I have seen many different marathon training plans of different durations - there are many that involve run/walk strategy. It is just the thought of the distance that blows me away. The longest I have run/walked has been 10 miles - when training for a 14 klm "race". This was last year - I have considered doing a Half - Marathon this year - however , we are going away to the US for almost 2 months in late April, so that would completely interfere with the training programme for a race in our winter here (July/August) when most long distance races are held.


Congrats on your successful and eventful year! You've accomplished a lot. :)


congratulations and thank you for sharing a great post. I think I might try the cauliflower thing sounds like a great alternative to having white rice and I am sure will work well with a curry. Might have to wait for winter to try though!


What an amazing story. And inspirational! Congratulations on doing the marathon, that's an incredible achievement. Thanks for sharing x


Wow, you've come so far. It's amazing when you look back at it all, and very inspirational. Thank you for sharing your story.


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