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Couch to 5K
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Phone is Ready for Wk 6

The main thing that's stalling Week 6 for me is the wait for the stiffness in my hip to start to ease. It doesn't seem to make sense to push on while there's something telling me I'm not finished with what I'm busy with. However, another factor is the phone. The podcasts are on an SD card that has to be physically moved back and forth from the phone, and my laptop adaptor for this was in storage about 20km away. All that added up to not loading the remaining podcasts on the SD card till today.

Now it's ready, and I feel ready to prepare to edge forward again, even with the hip. Maybe to "hold myself accountable", here's the plan:

1. Tomorrow (Wed) - 8 + 8 (Wk 5 -- Again)

2. Fri -- 20 min (Wk 5)

3. Sat -- go and volunteer at the North Beach Parkrun (these things don't spontaneously self-organise)

4. Sun!! -- Move on to Wk 6

-- Sat -- do my second Parkrun, using R3, Wk6 as a basis.

Just to amplify on the "start early on your Parkruns" suggestion I wish I'd considered earlier, this is how that Parkrun should go:

1. Nico calmly says "One, two, three, go" into the megaphone, and all thousand or so of us begin to move "South". Those doing c25k (just me, I think) switch on, and start the 5 minute warm-up walk. We cheat a bit, and do a few little bursts of running in the walk, and also do very athletic things like "knees high" and "backward lunges", just to intimidate all the other competitors in this fight to the bitter death.

2. We cheat a bit, by breaking into a shambling run as soon as Laura starts to introduce the 25 minute run. This helps gain a few seconds on the time.

3. Now we overtake a few very slow walkers almost immediately. Fast walkers still leave us in the dust, but this is the "warm-up within the warm-up", and the shamble will soon develop into a full hobble that sends us flying past those walkers. All the way to the turn around point, we overtake others very slowly, but all the time. On a good day, I will tend to start to build up speed as things loosen up, so those runners whose running plan is to just start running Parkruns (at a shuffle to begin with) all fall behind.

4. My current speed takes me round the turning point, and then back maybe a km again before Laura tells me I can walk. However, it's become a habit to to a bit extra "for guts" when permission to rest is granted, so I keep going, and actually up the pace a bit.

5. About 1.5 km from the end, the extra run has destroyed my soul, and I drop to a walk. The runners I overtook begin to go past me. I walk and recover. On the last Parkrun I did (my first), on the walk after *my* run (the c25k I'm doing within that Parkrun) I recovered twice, I think. If recovered, I'll start a very very slow jog, speed it up, speed it up more, speed it up to something almost sprintlike, huff puff, go red, burst a lung, collapse to a walk. What's there to lose? I've done my run; I'm going to make it to the finish sometime; might as well play a bit, and see whether it's possible to completely reduce those legs to jelly now the goal is already achieved.

6. Because the Wk 6 r3 run is 25 minutes, adding some of the cool-down minutes to the run might even be enough to run the whole end of the run? I think maybe my time will improve, either way.

And then one day I'll be "ready", and run the whole of that Parkrun without walking at all.

Sorry for the detail, but I'm just showing you that you're actually already ready for a Parkrun. These are not track and field meetings, folks. There are some hardcore athletes who run, and they do their thing. There are some fitter ordinary runners who come in behind those athletes. They run their way for their enjoyment. And then all the way at the back come those who like to take a brisk Saturday morning stroll down the beachfront and then have a cup of coffee at the casino. They do their thing, and they also don't mind at all if you do your thing.

If you've only just started c25k you can either keep up with the walkers or not finish too many minutes after them. Then next week you'll probably be going faster than the fast walkers. And the week after that, you'll be running quite a lot of the way. Whichever run and walk you're doing, you're already doing it at one of the many Parkrun paces.

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Love the account of Parkrun :)

But hang on a minute - stiffness in your hip? Are you doing anything about that? Exercises? Have you seen anyone about it? I ask because as the runs get longer, any stiffness in joints, muscles etc. usually gets worse, not better, and pain is an indicator that something is not right. So many of us have regretted either pushing through discomfort and therefore having to stop running for a while, or ignoring pain and causing injury. Forgive me if it's something you are already dealing with, but I thought it was worth asking the question.


Thanks for your concern, Annie. I probably would've gone to get the hip checked up at a physio if I wasn't due shortly for my annual medical checkup, and I agree with what you say about the inadvisability of just pushing through (well for too long, anyway) with pain. The odd thing about this pain is that if I could just stop sleeping, it would go away, because that's when it kicks in. Running seems to actually relieve it for a few hours. Weird, hey?

To some extent, we just have to expect and tolerate a few aches and pains with this programme, but past some undefined point it's irresponsible to just hope everything will get better. Right now, the hip is nice and loose, because I've been finding little ways to attack it gently all morning between things.

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