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Couch to 5K
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Fergus sings the blues

But Batman Rises.

A bitter-sweet day today.

I completed my third 30 minute run of week 9, this evening. I have graduated!

That makes me really happy.

Unfortunately, it is the end of the school holidays and my lovely daughter who has some speech and language issues and is dyslexic, has had to return to her incredibly wonderful school. I say unfortunately as it is residential so the house is a sadder place for it - at least until Friday when I pick her up for the weekend and I'm happy again!

As I say, the house is definitely not the same without her and my son has returned to college, so when we got back from the drop off it was very quiet with neither of them here.

The best way to beat the blues and blow away those feelings? Drink voda and coke. Failing that, get your kit on and do the last run of week 9.

After a round trip to Surrey and back we were both feeling a little jaded so I needed to get out.

In my slightly befuddled state, I didn't realise what the time was - school kicking out time - so as I am ambling up the street I have to contend with Mums, tots, schoolchildren and prams, all going in the opposite direction to me.

In fact, as I came past the school, there were so many people outside of the sweet shop, I had to briefly run on the spot whilst trying to squeeeeeeeeeze my way through.

There were more than a couple of wide-eyed stares from some youngsters that remember me from working at the school and were agape at my foolish attempt at running.

I took your advice the other day for my 2nd run and slowed the pace down - I figured I needed to work out what I wanted to achieve. Did I want to be a quick runner or a distance runner? I will never be quick. The Flash, I am not. But running for distance - I think I could do that. So I slowed down and run 2 was far better than run 1.

This time, even with what I thought to be an appropriate pace, it was nearly the 20 minute mark before I finally felt 'settled' and it stopped being a slog. I still ran on for about another minute or so past the point Laura called time, just to make sure I had done it.

It's funny but the W9 podcast says 'that's it, you can use your own music now if you want to', but I felt in an odd way it would almost be discourteous not to finish the course with Laura. I know that no-one knows whether I run with the pod-cast or not but Laura was just what I needed when I first started out.

She was with me 3 times a week, every week. To have finished it without her would not have seemed right - so, W9R3 right to the end.....with Laura.

Now - I think I will look at the bridge to 10k. I like the structure of having the goals.

Finally, thank you to every single person on this forum.

You have helped me get to this point, without a doubt. You are wonderfully warm, witty and motivational people.

As for me?

Well. Hey, I'm Batman

21 Replies

Well done for completing the programme! End of school hols are always tricky, but hey, running should be a good pick me up when you need one. Certainly better than vodka and coke (at least on a regular basis).

Good luck for the next stage of your journey.


Very good news on you graduation, well done...I'm so looking forward to finally be able to post that too.

My daughter is off to Uni this weekend, so I'm gearing up for my empty nest feelings next week :( Hopefully the running goals will help us both. Also as I will no longer have to drop her off at work on a Saturday morning, I'm hoping to give the local parkrun a go.

Vodka and coke does sound quite tempting though, maybe when I finish my week 9!

Cheers to your success :)


Huge congratulations! I hope you are feeling really proud of yourself. I think you deserve that drink!


Many congratulations on your graduation! I very much enjoy reading your entertaining posts.

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Well done Batman! Missing Batgirl & boyblunder then, hope he can keep up the programme while at college...😀


Well done, and good luck on your journey to the 10km mark. If running is already helping you steer clear of the vodka and coke, occasionally, it's already adding new enhancements to your life. Trouble with spirits is that they start to taste bland in single tots, then doubles, and the next thing you know, you've found the fast track between enough and too much. Mind you, you can find that with scrumpy, even without the benefit of higher concentrations of excess-goodness-that-goes-bad. Now I have to say that too much of a good thing is often a good thing, in my experience, but it has knock-on effects, doesn't it? If it becomes possible to occasionally dodge the knock on effects, that's pretty handy. And probably for feeling down, depressants are probably never going to become a truly good solution.


I left for my run this morning before my boy set off for his first day in sixth form (gulps back a sob of pride) as I didn't want to embarrass him (again) by blubbering as he headed off down the road on his treader.

Well, I may have spared him the embarrassment, but as I was trotting home, I got caught up in all the teeny tinies who were walking to our local primary school for their first day at 'big school'. Yup, you guessed it, I was a blubbering wreck, and I didn't even know any of this particular crop! 12 years ago ... can it really be that long ...? My baby ... ... ... !!!

Good grief Charlie Brown. What am I going to be like when he goes to uni? Better buy shares in Kleenex before then ...

For the record, he had a fab day and is feeling fairly chipper. But then, he hasn't actually been set any proper work yet ...


And congratulations!

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So, Laura IS your ally!!

Congratulations winged one!


Congratulations!! I should have graduated today too but alas work had other ideas and a late finish meant I don't have time to fit it in tonight...I hope to be able to go out after finishing work tomorrow and graduate! Eek! Excited but nervous too...

Well done on graduation, amazing achievement...x

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Holy Graduation Runs, Batman!

Well done and congrats.


Really, really well done you. Hope your lad keeps it up at uni as well, after all your efforts. Keep posting 😀


very well done :D here's to all your running adventures to come :)


Holy Graduation Batman !

Kapow ! Splat ! Kerrang !

Excellent job, Many Congratulations to you , I have enjoyed reading of your progress.

Heres to the next chapter ! :-)

Cheers ! :-) xxx


Congratulations! what a lovely positive post, i like the way you write! and yep, you've got to stick with Laura til the end! :) that graduate badge looks good on you! running is good therapy for the blues and it will soooooooooooon be the weekend! bet she'll be really proud! :)

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Congratulations, and well done on getting through the first day back at school blues. My little one started primary school yesterday. I'm bizarrely sad about this.


This is the 3rd year now, you would think I would be used to it after all this time - but no. It near breaks my heart every Sunday when we drop her back.

That said though, during the holiday, she and her bro went to the library (of her own volition - a dyslexic going to the library....) where she proceeded to get a Barrington Stokes (dyslexic friendly) book. Over the next week she read it cover to cover to my absolute delight and amazement.

When she first started reading, she would repeatedly spell out simple words like C-A-T. Over and over, it just never seemed to stick. Here she was, reading a proper book with some complex phrases. Incredible.

There is nothing bizarre about the sadness but we know the good out-weighs the bad. God, being a parent is hard.


Holy broken bones Batman! You finished the programme! Wahay! Congrats and well done. You could do the Stepping Stones podcasts with good old Laura. Download them here for free. They will lead you nicely into Bridge to 10k.

Empty nest syndrome ey. It comes to us all. You will love it after a bit. I ached for ages after my niece left home for uni. I pined. When my son left for uni I danced with joy. You will be able to run when you like. Fancy that!


Congratulations Batman!! Great achievement. Gosh, it's tough having to say 'cheerio' to your baby girl every week but she's obviously doing really well.

I run late in the mornings as I have about 20, yes 20, schools/nurseries/playgroups within a half hour walk of my house, so whichever direction I go, I have to contend with a school 'run' (should that be walk?!) I soon learned.....


I can empathise completely. I too have just finished the programme and said goodbye to my son ( who has severe special needs) as he starts his second year at a residential college. He stays term time too so not home at weekends. There is some sadness, the house is SO quiet, and a lot of worry (no-one looks after them as well as you) but it is exhausting at times having him at home so I appreciate the rest - and the freedom. To add to my worries, I take my daughter to Uni soon - In Spain!! The house will seem very empty this time next week.

Re the music, the one time I ran when I could hear Laura (I usually run in a very noisy gym so just 'watch' the app) I was on holidays and in a gym with no noise ?! but I could select my own music in the background and it went quieter when she spoke..

Good luck with your next challenge .

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Congrats batman, good work, you're a graduate now! :-D

Sorry to hear about the empty nest syndrome, thats sucks, but you must be so proud of your children and sounds as if your daughter is progressing leaps and bounds visiting the library and reading voluntarily.

Really enjoyed reading your posts these past 9 (10?) Weeks. Keep up the running batman! :-D


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