Couch to 5K

I came last in the park run...but I DID it!!!

I came last in the park run...but I DID it!!!

Next week's local Dartford paper will read "Desperate old biddy rolls in last at this weeks Park Run looking like a big old tomato!" I knew I was slow and it's been confirmed but do you know what? I finished it and I'm pretty damn proud of myself for attempting it just two months after struggling with a 60 second jog! I incorporated it into W9R2 but unfortunately had to walk in places. NEVER run on grass let alone mud, NEVER run with inclines (chose the flat to give me a fighting chance of completing C25K) and certainly NEVER run on frost and ice before. My eldest daughter AND two of her sons got PB's and my lovely little Ben came back and walked/ran around with nanny holding the dogs lead. Felt so sorry for the 'back-runner' having to wait but came in at 51 minutes so could've been worse.

Got loads of support from peeps as I was going around as well as the end of course and there were some people from my daughters running club who wanted to meet me too. Little disconcerting with park walkers and their dogs who systematically jumped on my dog who had to be on her lead so don't suppose that helped but things will get better...that's if my sore knee decides to get better? Think I'm going to need some ice on it today so I can have a little jog tomorrow, if not will leave till the next day.

I'm doing this for myself but the proud look in the eyes of my kids and grandkids is a truly wonderful side effect of starting on this incredible journey...ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

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Well done! Congratulations on your first park run! Ive graduated back in november and even then still can't find the guts to go and do it from this fear of finishing last and being too slow! So that is certainly one damn acheivement! :) Onwards and upwards as you say :D

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Thank you...did feel a bit of a plank trailing behind everyone but sod it...they were all cool about it! Good luck to you for your park run...g'wan, you CAN do it!

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Oh my!!!! Absolutely fantastic to read of your achievement at the Park run yesterday. You DID it!

Well done for facing the frost, snow and frozen ground - nothing is going to keep you down and it goes without saying that we are all proud of you..... 'coz we know what it takes!

I'm sure you are still smiling 24 hrs later............ and I bet you're thinking about next week already!

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D'ya know, you're right? Wondering what time I can manage next week already, and yes...I'm sitting with a stoopid grin on my face still! Thank you...

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YES! Way to go! Loved reading this, love the smile on your face in the picture. How wonderful to get out there with so many family members all cheering each other on. Will you be making this a regular outing?

Hope the knee behaves. Take an extra rest day or two if you have to.

Can't wait to read that graduation post. Good job.

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Thank you...a fellow 'runner' (!) took that pic right at the end. Miracle I wasn't on my knees to be honest let alone smiling but I actually felt a bit tearful at managing to do it at all? Glad I didn't embarrass myself further, ha ha ha!

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I've had lots of teary moments running :) It sure is something to be proud of, and unbelievable when you think back to w1r1.

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You're awesome!

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Ah, thanks! Feel like a sack of shite tied in the middle today but hopefully the knee will be better tomorrow. Mentally I'm STILL buzzing! x

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Aw Jen, Well done you , what an inspiration you are and a brilliant advert for this programme ! How lovely that members of your family turned out too.

Rest your knee today, and put your feet up. Cant wait to read your graduation post, you are an amazing lady xxx

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Aw, thanks Poppy! Think it helps being just a tiny bit mad! x

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Brilliant ! Well done - you look so happy ! x

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Well done! Lovely photo too. What a memento of your first Parkrun. I'm sure it won't be your last!

Have a rest day and then come out fighting tomorrow!

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That is fantastic, well done! To run on grass, mud and with inclines is great stuff. There's no stopping you now! Nice to get all the support on your way too. x :-D

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Yay!! A warning though that running on grass, mud and hills can be slightly addictive ;) xx

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Fantastic achievement! Fantastic post and photo! Very, very well done.

You've put me to shame! I MUST get out there and try a parkrun - Do you hire your family out, by any chance? ;-)

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Why thank you! My daughter's the one for shaming, 5 kids and she's training for the London marathon, did 11 miles just yesterday as well as a PB at park run. SHE'S my inspiration and looks like the kids are following her footsteps...except they're faster than her!

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well done a brilliant effort :D you should be so proud of yourself :D such a great attitude :D your family must be so proud too :D

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It's the first really pleasant way I've found that helps me lose weight. Even better than swimming but I do tend to exercise my gob more than anything else in the pool. It's almost a bit masochistic cos I certainly don't find it easy but I love the feeling of wellbeing after. Got more energy than I've had in 30 years, how bad? You lot have been marvellous too, so glad I found you all.

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What was it someone has said on here previously, last beats did not finish, and even then totally trumps did not start, you are brilliant lady, don't you forget it, and what's that new advert 'the girl can', !

Fabulous you!

M x

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Ah, thank you! I think one poor woman DID have to stop, I felt for her. Previously, I would've been drinking coffee watching TV so you're right!

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Oh that's so fantastic, a great achievement to get round the course really great piccy too xxxx

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Thanks. Every time I see your name here I smile...years ago I was Juicy Jen on CB radio! x

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Fantastic. Well done! Love the picture. I've got to try a parkrun next time I go to visit family in the UK. You've inspired me!

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You won't regret it, great bunch of people and the volunteers are fab too, go for it (as Laura says!).

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Fantastic achievement Jen You should feel really proud - bet your family are . Time is irrelevant I know what you mean about coming in at end and your family beating you but you have to remember ( and it's hard sometimes) that you are only in competition with yourself . Also are you aware of the age grading thingy you can see on park run results ? It takes into account your age and gives you a % number. So for example a younger person could finish well in front of you but actually you are ' faster' . And this morning you got a PB for what sounds quite a challenging route. So massive congratulations.

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Thanks so much. The support from peeps on here is AMAZING! Fab site, so glad I found it. I reckon a couple of my grandsons will amount to something if they carry on running, not doing their football teams any harm either. Hopefully next week I'll get my barcode sorted. Only knew my time because of the back runner. One senior guy REALLY went for it and came first due to the age difference, totally awesome chap, reckon he had a good few years on me!

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Wow amazing achievement !!! You have every right to be so proud absolutely onwards and upwards,no going back now!!!

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Hooray for Jenjan! Brilliant effort my girl. I'll bet your family are so proud!

You did, that's all that matters - after all someone has to come in last. Bet you never thought you would be running in a 5k race a few short weeks ago. Be proud!! Very proud!!

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Congratulations!! Fab photo. I think you have beaten a few of us to Parkrun that graduated a while ago (including me lol)

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Cheers my dear! It's true, I probably wouldn't have done the run if not for my daughter and grandsons. When I get home I will certainly be trying the Whitstable park run, go on...give it a go.

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Cheers my dear! It's true, I probably wouldn't have done the run if not for my daughter and grandsons. When I get home I will certainly be trying the Whitstable park run, go on...give it a go.

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Well done for getting stuck in. Well done for finishing. I'm glad you've found an event where they're looking out for people like us. It only gets better from here and I look forward to stories of your achievements in the future.

Congratulations!!!

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Thanks Rob...will do. Now, need to find some ice to put on this damn knee....

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Woo hoo! Well done for getting out there and doing it!! I'm still waiting to do my first one but not until I'm off my injury throne properly. Totally expect to come last and I won't care a bit!! :D

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Good for you, let us know how you get on. Reckon I'll probably be last next week too but hopefully a slightly better time now I know more of what to expect.

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How did you find running on grass? I've not done that before either. From memory, the one we'll go to is a bit of a mixture of surfaces and I'm used to smooth and rough tarmac. Might have to go for a bit of a stroll round the circuit to suss it out.

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HATED the grass, much prefer tarmac but I'm told grass is easier on the joints? There was a mixture yesterday thankfully. I'm going to find a park with level ground to start with I think. Just think how great all this will be with better weather...can't wait!

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Yes I heard that too, so might be a better choice of surface for me to run on with all my muscle and bone dodginess going on too. But, after having to occasionally divert on to the grassy edge of the lake for a few steps when other park users have inconveniently been in my way on the path I can't imagine being able to run on any grass that doesn't resemble a perfectly manicured bowling green.

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Well done. Compare your 51 minutes with nearly an hour wasted on the couch.

Give the knees a rest and then go out for a run for fun later in the week. You are fantastic.

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Thank you, aren't you lot a lovely bunch?!

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Wow congratulations. It doesn't matter if you come last at least your out there x

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What a star. That's excellent! I admire you loads! The one attempt I had at a PR I dropped out.

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That's amazing JenJan that you did a Parkrun 2 months after starting the programme. You've done incredibly well and no wonder you're smiling in the photo!

I can understand why your family is so proud of you. We are too! Go girl!

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Thanks so much, I was flipping glad when it finished I reckon, hence the smile! Looking forward to next week...

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You ran for 51 mins on your graduation run ? That really is great going and at a park run too. How lovely that you had so much support from your family. There really will be no stopping you now. That's a great picture and you do actually look as if you're enjoying yourself. Did your running friend that you did C25K with do it too ?

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I did enjoy myself although I was dead worried to start with. The 'sweeper' was with me all the way so that made it easier. My lovely co-conspirator wasn't with me unfortunately, she's doing 'her own thing' whilst I'm staying at my daughters for a few weeks but we're in constant touch and will re-unite when I get home. We're both very much looking forward to continuing our journey with bigger and better runs. My knee is very swollen so definitely won't manage my run tomorrow, fingers crossed it goes down and feels better otherwise I'll be on here again asking advice. Don't really want to go to the docs as they'll probably just tell me to stop doing what I'm doing and I'm not prepared to do that...fingers crossed eh? Oh, and I didn't run ALL the way as the ice and mud were a bit daunting as well as a little slippery bridge, it was sensible to walk. Will try harder next time!

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51 minutes???? Pish!! That's nothing !!!! The back runners at my Parkrun come in at up to 70 minutes!!!!! You are going to have to try harder than that for a last place record!! :)

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Ha ha ha! That's made me feel better! I thought I was slowest on record as I know I'm a bit of a plodder, I really can't wait to get quicker (impatient old bag that I am!). Thanks for that...

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Brilliant, just brilliant! Very well done you :)

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Thank you, I'm still a bit 'glowy'!

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Yay. Well done you :)

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Woop, Woop!! What a lovely post, bet you've still got that big grin on now!! Brilliant stuff, give your self a pat on the back .... Rest the knee ready for next week .... You are a star ;-)

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You should feel really proud of yourself, excellent Jenjan and a great photo !:)

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Well done JenJan!! Parkrun is a run, not a race - so you are exactly the type of person that Parkrun is aimed at. I did my first parkrun a year ago, I was last (well someone has to be), and the only person that was bothered about that was me! Trust me when I tell you that the people who come in at speedy-Gonzales times have nobody there other than the marshals to cheer them home. Those of us at the back get far more cheers and applause. I did actually embarrass myself on the finish line, by crying (red tomato wearing a fluorescent top - not a good look)... but so bloody what! It took more effort from me to pluck up the courage to go, to run/walk as fast I could, and not to pull out halfway round - that I earned that right to have a few tears of relief and pride :) I have to confess to your posting setting me off again too :')

Well done, be super proud of yourself, and look forward to next week's Parkrun. Don't forget you can run at any of the Parkrun events around the world, so always keep a lookout when you're being a tourist in a different town/city. I look forward to reading your next achievement!

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Wow, rilliant, fabulous, fantastic, momentous! very very well done, your smile says it all! Rub a bit of Ibuprofen gel on that knee, it works wonders xx

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Rather late on parade but... Bloody Marvellous JenJan! Loved reading that, what a lovely family you have. Bravo!

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Thank you. I'm quite devastated that I haven't been able to run since the Park Run as my knee finally gave up the ghost! I was quite surprised that it lasted me the 9 weeks it took to get to a 30 minute run. I'm able to walk still and after the holiday I'm currently on, I'm going to the docs to get said knee fixed. Think I've got cartilage problems that may need a small op but I'll be back! I fully intend to find another way of resuming my running career, even if it's with the run/walk system. I walked over 7K yesterday, mostly uphill on a lovely Caribbean island so I'm still on a keep fit regime to maintain weight loss...I WILL GET THERE!!!

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Fingers crossed it's all sorted out soon. In case you're interested, 51 minutes at my local Parkrun would have seen 8 people behind you last Saturday, so not bad at all! Steve x

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