Today in one year since I graduated, and I am still here and running! It took me much longer than 9 weeks to complete the programme, mostly because I was still swimming several times a week at that time, and thought that running would just be something else to do, especially in places where there are no pools. I also got the dreaded shin splints after week 2, I have no idea why I just didn't give up at that point! A trip to a sport shop and some proper shoes sorted that out quickly, from what I read here I got off very lightly, only 2 weeks off. When they wore out, the next pair caused me problems, pressing on a weird lump on my foot - it took me quite a while to find some shoes that worked for me.

Since then I've made slow but steady progress, best way really and I didn't want to use up all the fun in one go! My longest distance is about 12 KM, my fastest 5K time is 36 minutes down from 47 for my first 5K. I run 3 or 4 times a week, doing one or two of the plus podcasts each week.

The good points-

I've run in 3 countries, France Spain and England.

My blood pressure and resting heart rate have both come down.

I've learnt more about the places live than I ever would have before.

I've lost weight - about 8 Kilos.

I've learnt to love the rain.

You lot here, I couldn't have done it without you! A big shout out to Madge who ran ParkRun with me after I had a bad experience there. This forum ROCKS!

The bad points -

The afore mentioned shin splints

Being at the mercy of the weather, I don't run in thunder storms, or in fog - loads of both here in France, although I did manage to run regularly in the heat wave we had recently.

That's about it really, not too bad I guess!

I've maybe not done so well as I might have hoped, but I've done better than I dared to hope for, I can't believe it's really me and still expect Laura to jump out from behind a tree and say "ha ha not you Curly, I was just kidding!"

I've found it hard some times to tell the difference between gremlins and my body genuinely complaining that I've done too much...I'm working on that. That said, I've found I fell better after a run if I've pushed myself a bit, sometimes the slower runs can leave me feeling a bit deflated, so if nothing else I will finish on a bit of a sprint or hill.

I've recently started to tackle some of the bigger hills that we have so many of around here, and I'm surprised how much I've enjoyed them, They empower me, I fell like I could do anything now! The smaller ones that caused me so much pain this time last year seem quite easy now. Notice I said quite lol

My goals for the next year are to work on my speed and distance, I'd like to be comfortable with 10K, I've done it a few times but can usually find an excuse not to bother. (Slaps own wrists)

Thanks again everyone here for sharing my amazing journey, and for sharing yours with me.

To the newbies I say, keep plodding on, put your trust in Laura and HU, they won't let you down

Here's to the next year, and the next and the next....

Happy running!


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

38 Replies

  • Congratulations - well done!

  • Great stuff, Sarah. Who'd think that running can make such a difference to your life?

  • Lovely post! Well done on your achievement. I hope to get there myself one day and the posts on here are a constant source of reassurance and inspiration!😀👍


  • I'm still stuck in the early zone with mild shin splints. Don't worry, I'll be careful, but I'm going to keep going.

  • Congratulations on your Runniversary,Curly - sounds like you are doing brilliantly to me .....and well done for continuing to run through the heatwave ,I have to admit that it has totally floored me this year ,so I take my hat off to you 😎 x

  • It's been 20 - 27 in the mornings, I can just about manage that. If you are running later in the day it would be impossible.

  • I like that idea of not using up all one's fun at once. Everything about the expression is right - and not least, the importance of having fun with this. Here's to you keeping on rocking.

  • Really well done Curly :D and many more runniversaries to come :)

  • Right back at you hon! And a big hug! Blimey, it's amazing how the time goes by isn't it? You think, oh I'll just do this for a little while.......then before you know it a year has gone by! I hope we can catch up again when you're back in Cambridge.

    Mx 🎉😄

  • Oh yes, definitely! I'll be back 15th Oct, just give me a couple of days to catch my breath...By the way, I remember last year there was a Zombie run at Milton Park, they wanted volunteers to be the zombies! Free Professional make up, and zombies run free! I think we'd make great zombies! Fancy that?

  • Yes, that sounds like fun, the drive/walk home afterwards still zombified would be interesting!


  • Keep an eye out for it at PR, I saw it advertised on a tree last year, someone from here did it, Banxie or Bonksie or something...I don't think it's open yet, it would be great fun! We'd make mega-zombies!

  • Woo Hoo ! Happy Runniversary Curly !

    Its been a quite a journey hasnt it ? :-) Always a pleasure to read your posts and follow your adventures and I totally get about what you say about hard to tell the difference between the gremlins or your body saying you have done enough- I feel exactly the same too !

    You are amazing running in the hot weather and conquering hills too !

    All the very best to you Sarah, and heres to the next one ! :-) xxx

  • Thanks so much PP! You're giving me a run for my money now aren't you? You're doing brilliantly now!

  • Aaaaw excellent post curly!!! Happy runniversary!! Mine in a few weeks!!! You've done fantastic. You should be sooo proud of yourself. I am yet to get to that 10k. Aiming for it before or on my runniversary!!! you have achieved so much. Well done and hope you have many many more happy running years. And Madge!! I need you to PARKRUN convert me too I think! I've never been back after my horrid one either!!! :( xx

  • Thanks Toony, you'll get there. Come to Cambridge and run with me and Madge!

  • Maybe I should just do that!!!! Xx

  • Fab fab post Curly. You're a real testament to the programme, and to your own determination. You've pushed on with the speed and the distances, and come on leaps and bounds. No wonder you're happy with your progress over the year.

    Now, is it all round to yours for a Runniversary party? I'll bring the cake 🍰 :) :)

  • Happy runniversary curlygurly :) don't underestimate how far you've come, think back to that week 1! you've done brilliantly! and entertained us with your posts! heres to the next yr :)

  • That's is a great post Sarah, congratulations on your runniversay. You have had some exciting places to run, me all I do is pound the street around where I live, but I live in hope. Keep smiling and enjoy your running. 😎

  • Hey Curly - Happy Runniversary! You've come (run) a long way so be proud and keep on running! X

  • Hi CG - thanks for the post, it's always good to hear someone else's journey so I can keep my ups and downs in perspective. Interesting the hills have become easier, logical I guess but heartening to hear.


  • Congratulations. Great post. Wishing you many more happy years of running :)

  • Oh CG what a fab post. Many congratulations on your runniversary and haven't you done well? Here's to another year of fabulous running adventures and keep posting here to tell us all about them. x

  • Fabulous progress Curly. Hope year 2 is as successful.

  • Congratulations! !

    I love seeing these posts, it's great motivation not to give up even if you finish the course 😁

    Thanks for posting and well done! Xx

  • Great Stuff - I think you've done brilliantly. x

  • Happy Runniversary Curly :-). I'm on the IC atm with an arm injury (can you believe it?!) so have missed this on GC.

    I think you've done just brilliantly and you should only be proud of what you've achieved. I'm too busy nowadays to do much more than check this email in the morning, but I do always try to read your posts - funny and heart warming.

    Keep up the good work and enjoying it - that's the main thing.

    :-) xx

  • Thanks PinkAngel sorry about your arm... x

  • Congratulations on your runniversary. Really good to hear the fruits of your labours have been so rewarding. I also began my 5k time around 47mins, have reduced it to 45mins so far, would love to think I can get it to 36 like you. Keep running :)

  • Do you use the "Speed" podcast with Laura? I've found it really useful, and if you have an app like Runkeeper you can set it to a particular pace you would like to achieve, I started at 8 mins 30 per KM... ooh what's that? 42 mins 30 for 5K? and it will tell you if you are in front or behind that pace. I found that really useful too. Longer runs help too, at least for me, I found I was faster on the shorter ones., Otherwise, just keep plugging away at it...good luck xx

  • Thanks that's all good advice. I need to sort out my tech. My over ear headphones broke a few months ago and I haven't got round to repairing /replacing them. I also have a windows phone which doesn't have all the good apps. I use endomondo to hear my laptimes for each km, just on loudspeaker, which is prob not enough if I want to really monitor my pace. It all starts to sound like petty excuses seeing it written here though, will sort it!

  • Happy runniversary, you've come a long way. Sometimes we don't even realise the progress we've made! Congrats🎉🏃

  • So Curly has evolved into a heatwave hill runner!!! A brilliant and inspirational journey.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • Thanks a really inspirational post, and congratulations .....

  • Yeah!!!! Congratulations on a whole year of running, and thanks for the great post that clearly sets out the advantages of running. (Only just found your post; sorry for the late response. Life is getting in the way at the moment.) Big nugs and hopes of cool weather for you.

  • It's pretty cool here now, got the quilt AND the blanket o the bed at night now. Good ole France, nothing between freezing and boiling! Foggy mornings have started too....not so many weeks now until I'm back in lovely flat paved Cambridge, lots of variety too, not like here with one route lol!

    How is it where you are?

  • Storms where I live, and hot during the day/cool at night in the Estérel mountains (back for a long working weekend and a funeral, fun. Not.) - but hoping to fit a run in to inject some positive at some point).

You may also like...