C25k challenge for the next twelve months

My first post here. I''ve been inspired by all the other posts sharing success. I'd love to contibute to everyone else's post, but I'll content myself with saying "well done" here to everyone else.

I started going to parkrun in October. My wife had been going for a few weeks and thought I might like to volunteer. I went as a marshal for three weeks and loved it; then volunteered as barcode scanner, timekeeper, finish token keeper, number checker for several weeks. I'm recovering still from quite a major bout of depression which had me finding it very hard to take any exercise at all. parkrun has been fantastic in helping with this, although nobody involved knows quite what they have done for me. The sense of community, of teamwork, of sharing a common purpose is immense. The satisfaction in seeing the first runner finish and the last runner come in, and everyone in between. Everyone takes part at their own level. It is all completely free, and like meeting up with the most wonderful week.

So, I got into December, feeling like I was starting to recover. Then I wondered why I wasn't running myself. I had started to walk more as part of my therapy. I realised that I could go faster and started the c25k using Laura's podcasts. Boxing Day was my first go around the course at parkrun. I walked some, I ran some. I walked some more. There were lots of people finished ahead of me. The tail runner was always behind me. I got the same response from the finish team as the first runner, the last runner and everyone in between. The few who knew what an achievement it was for me came and congratulated me and welcomed me to the group of runners. Later that day, I was so proud to see myself on the results table online. It didn't matter where I finished, or in what time. All that mattered was that I was there.

I've now completed seven runs, have reached week 6 day 2 of the c25k, and had another personal best yesterday. I still volunteer because I love that just as much, but I'm running every Saturday at parkrun and a couple of times a week around my village. I can see me graduating in a few weeks- I can't wait for the satisfaction that will bring.

I've now set myself a challenge for when I do graduate. Today is my 49th birthday. I want to run my 50th parkrun on the weekend of my 50th birthday. That gives me 52 weeks to do 43 more parkruns. That is certainly achievable- allowing for weeks I'm not available, it still leaves plenty of time to volunteer occasionally. I'm getting used to the longer runs on the c25k. I'm now at the point where I've finished having the walk in between the runs. It will be ever longer continuous runs from now on. However, it has made such a difference to my mood, it has helped me deal with my depression and has now become part of my regular routine.

I'll let you know how the next few weeks go on- especially when I graduate. After that, it will be a case of ticking off the weeks until the 50th looms.

16 Replies

  • Good for you ! I have found parkrun similarly helpful , it has helped me no end . I hope you'll post a picture this time next year of you in your '50' t shirt ! Good luck with your mission.

  • Wow, what an uplifting post!

    I am so glad that parkrun and C25K have brought you such benefit.

    Good luck on you continuing journey - keep us all posted - you've got lots of virtual pals on here rooting for you!

  • Well done you. Very inspirational

  • Well done terrapin. You will inspire so many with the story of your personal journey. God luck for the next 52 weeks- you will surely get there! I woke feeling a bit glum this morning but you have really improved my mood. Thanks.

  • What a fantastic story, thank you for sharing!

  • Wonderful story - congratulations on your successes so far.

  • Happy Birthday.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    I also suffered from depression and started walking....completed 2 half marathons in 2014,it really helped being outside just seeing the world go by and sort out my feelings.

    I volunteered at the Cancer Research winter run last year and watched my boys take part in Nuclear Rush,it made me think could I run.....

    I started C25K in May 2015 and graduated in August.

    I am signed up but am still to get to a park run,need to reorganise my life and get there.

    This year I was as a runner in the Cancer Research winter run and it felt amazing do much so that I came home and am doing my next 10k on 21 Feb

    And walking a marathon in September.

    Have a great day

  • What a fabulous post. Welcome and well done. You've already done amazing things and I loved to read that running has changed your life in all the right ways. That's a great goal for your 50th and one I'm sure you'll achieve with no problem.

    A very Happy Birthday to you.

  • Happy Birthday to you !

    What a truly lovely , lovely post , very honest and heartfelt .

    Posting on here will hopefully inspire more people to keep going , the benefits are immense, even life changing I would say.

    Thankyou so much for sharing, and all the very best to you going forward .

    Keep posting so we can follow how you are doing .

    Good Luck ! :-) xxx

  • Brilliant! Parkrun is great - my husband has been running for around 18 months, and last October I decided to start volunteering at our local Parkrun. I've had various roles, but I think timekeeper is one of the best, I love encouraging EVERYONE over the finish line! I'm just beginning week 4 of my C25k journey, and I haven't plucked up the courage to take part in a Parkrun yet, but I have everyone well warned that I want the same level of encouragement on my first run as I have been giving everyone else!!

  • Good for you and we'll done. Its amazing what exercise can do. So many benefits. Good luck in all that you do and happy running.

  • I have mild depression, and have found that running definitely helps. Whether it's the exercise, the endorphins, the peace, the success, or just the fact that I'm putting me first for half an hour - I don't know, and I don't mind. Maybe it's all of them together.

    Well done, terrapin, for giving it a go, and good luck for your '50 at 50'... :)

  • Happy Birthday!

    It is really great being part of the team of parkrun volunteers isn't it ( my team incl me are on the top of the parkrun uk homepage at the mo :) ) I wasn't able to run for 2 months so helped instead - it kept me connected if that makes sense

    I too have that dream of completing my 50 run on my 50th, but I don't have that 7 under my belt at the start so I'm unsure if it will be do-able, but I'm still going to try.

    Maybe this time next year we'll have a double, double celebration!!

    Let us know when you graduate so we can celebrate along with you

  • Happy Birthday.

    A lovely post. Good luck with your challenge!

  • Well done, I am now going to look into Park Run after reading this.

  • What a wonderful story!!

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