Couch to 5K
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Serendipity, surprises and...skating!

Lovely start to the day.. A smushy card and a bottle of my favourite champagne ( me and Churchill) !

Romance lives on even after 44 years! Yeay

So it was with light heart and a spring in my step that I set out for this morning's run.

It was crisp , clear, frosty and quiet this morning. I managed to be out before 8 o'clock, I love the lighter mornings... Bundled up, as I always am at the start and intending to take a familiar run up past the school and along the lanes. Not repeating the field run for a while... too much mud can be a bad thing, and after Friday's run...well!

No. one about as I set out on my warm up walk, and listening very carefully to Laura as she explained what the Stamina run is about. I completed the Couch to 5K podcasts Stepping Stone and Speed.. after Graduation, as some of you know and repeated Speed again, twice??? not sure) since recovering from the dreaded Bronchialurgy!

So, despite wallowing in mud on Friday, I was determined to see what Stamina involved. Sounded okay...maybe.. and after a brisk five minutes, I started the first part of the run. (I have to admit, that all the way through the podcast I was listening very hard and really concentrating, and everything just seemed to just follow on...)

Down to the village and a nice easy pace, it always is at the start..exchanged a quick good morning as I passed the lady who owns the newsagents, taking her dog for a walk.. She has been abroad, and has a lovely sun-kissed glow to her face which lets you know immediately she has been to warmer, DRIER, climes! This morning, she is well wrapped up too!

I headed along to the village, and on a whim, decided to find a pathway that runs behind the church.

although I've lived in this area for thirty years , I've never been on this path, so time for pastures new!

I headed along the flattish main road as the pace changed. I was just determined to stick with it and do exactly what Laura said. Legs a little heavy this morning, but still trying to lift my heels and breathe steadily. I am still finding that a bit iffy at the start of runs, but it settles down usually. The cold does not help, but my buff keeps most of it out, until I get too warm! I enjoyed the pace, although found it a bit tricky sort of getting in step. I do, as I said in another post, a sort of weird dance step.. most odd, when changing pace! The Stamina podcast is different, but I was finding it okay.

Crossing over behind the small Co-op in the village, I notice that a new teashop has its sign up now, and I know it is due to open on Monday! What a lovely surprise for a cold morning, I am thinking...Maybe I can link this in with a run... a treat after a long walk down maybe? Hmm?

So, a quickened pace and along by the terraced houses, and through a narrow gap between. Although it is unmarked and unsigned, I head up the pathway I have never been on; it takes me between large unkempt gardens, overgrown and uncared for at this time of the year. Then along by some railings and in through the small, back gate of the church grounds. It is so quiet, and so beautiful, as the sun catches the tops of two massive yews as I run through the graveyard. Is it wrong to run in a graveyard? I feel a bit guilty and run very quietly and almost on tiptoe... I catch sight of some of the names on the weather beaten headstones, including one, Ebenezer Hayward. Wonderful name!

Still running quietly, although no service here until 11 a.m. I run past the church, pink-red sandstone blocks glowing in the early sunshine and the tall windows glinting slightly through the protective screens. Out into the church lane and towards the main road and another surprise. I am halfway up the hill that runs by the high school! The steepest sloggiest part of that pesky hill, is below me. I am so pleased I speed up, then remember to listen to Laura and the beat!

Still a way to go. It is probably my own fault, ( too pleased),that I am now running the last bit of the hill on a faster beat, but, I managed it, although I am aware I am getting warmer now and my cheeks are burning. I head along by the Primary school and towards Old Road. The school yard quiet and peaceful; since I last ran this way, there have been changes, I notice that the children now have a new sitting area, under a small tree, close to the pathway hedge; slate chippings under the furniture, bench seats , a picnic table, and crocus budding all around the base of the tree. Things have moved on since my primary school days and its tiny, tiny hard brick Girls' Yard; yes it was a yard just for the girls... boys were considered too rough to play with..Go figure! I do four repeats along the pathway by the school to make sure I do the running time and try to increase the distance covered, it was relatively easy, because it is fairly flat. The whole podcast is fairly steady and the changes in pace are easy to follow when you get used to them, quite different than the Speed podcast.

I have to admit though, I was getting a bit tired at this point. maybe just the change of route, and the new podcast, but still, up to the Old Road. The hedgerow, latterly laced with hips, haws and holly berries before Christmas has been completely lowered and has now been laid in the traditional style. It looks amazing, and already, new bright green shoots are coming through the bottom of the beautifully intricate twining, of what will be a new, thick and verdant hedge by the end of the year. Plus, I can see right over the top now, all the way along. The road is quiet, the winter has created some potholes and as I turn to the Bridle Path it is quite tricky. Laura is counting me down towards the end of the run and I think I remember her saying I finish with a burst. I turn at the Bridle path and head back down the lane; someone has not fastened a field gate, and I decide to nip in and have a quick run along the top of the field. Here it is frozen, the grass is white frost tipped and the ground is firm, a new copse of trees with a few determined leaves clinging to the low branches, I had a quick glance around across to the distant fields, took two huge breaths of icy air and turned back to the gate. I had got two minutes left to run, so headed back to the lane. Down the hill I went, I did feel quite elated because this is the longest continuous run I have done since being ill, silly me, why did I think that!!!

You know the saying, Pride come before a fall? Well, it so nearly did.

I knew it was frosty, but I had not experienced any icy surfaces en route, so, as I ran down by the side of the hedge the patch of black ice was a real shock! It took me completely by surprise and not in a good way; because I was running, I could not stop. In a split second, brain whizzing, I thought if I try and stop I will definitely, I slid!

Yep, 65 year old grey snail sliding along the lane... Only a short distance and then I managed to slow somehow and step into the middle of the lane. It can't have been a huge distance and happened so quickly, but it was enough to make my heart beat really, really fast! fast burst wasn't, really, unless you count the slide! I slowed down and when Laura said to walk, I did keep running, to make up for the missed bit! Down the lane to the bottom; the lady at the end cottage still has her old bicycle outside the door, the basket filled with trailing ivy, down past the hens, noisy cockerel, and Rookery Wood. I stopped running here. Forty minutes continuous running plus ice skating. I enjoyed the podcast enormously, but need to repeat it on Tuesday as it all went in a bit of a blur.

The walk back was slow and pleasant. I feel as if I have achieved something today. I have run for forty minutes, in beautiful dry weather, I kept with the pace and I completed 3.47 miles! I am pleased. Pleased that I feel better, and extremely pleased that I have not broken anything!

Okay, so on my last runs, I have had rain, mud and ice... and as I write this the first gentle flakes of snow are falling...Whatever next :)


Sorry it's a long you know...I get carried away :)

24 Replies

And when you get carried away you take us with you!

Sounds lovely m'dear - glad the ice didn't make you come a cropper. I can put up with wind and rain but am so wary of slipping on ice that I delay my morning runs until things have warmed up a bit when it's like this.

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I love taking you all with me, it's company! :)

Yes.. it really surprised me I have to say... very dangerous stuff!


I feel sure you could be commissioned to write a book - 'The fantastical running adventures of a grey snail', or something with a better title than that (it is late and I'm tired!). It would be a bestseller, no doubt 😀


Well..thank you... and... some one has given me an idea... and I have got a lovely new workroom /craft room etc just completed.. may be an ideal place to start the idea...hmmm... :)

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Serendipity is one of my favourite words floss. Love your description as usual and I'm glad you didn't come a cropper on the ice. It's a bit scary that ice, one minute you're upright and the next........Bambi lookalike!

I hope you enjoyed that champagne. It sounds as if you had a perfect day! x

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Mine too!!!! I love it.. Happy finding you on here x

I am so glad I did not fall... the idea of Bambi, legs akimbo is fun, but I feel I may not have got up again.

The champagne was good..some left for tonight...!.( Found a really good champagne saver stopper that works,) My day was lovely thank you :)

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Hope you had a lovely valentines day after your adventurous early outing old floss. You earned it. Enjoyed hearing all about it. x :) I'm running tomorrow. Only 30 mins though. 😊

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Thank you, I did have a lovely day and hope your run was as good out again tomorrow.. trying to avoid all things perilous! :)


Just beautiful Dear Floss xxxx

Have a Pug Hug (((( )))) and a Massive Well done for completing that particular podcast , it seems to go on forever doesn't it ? Ha ha :-)

First time I did it , I kept thinking " Am I there yet ? Where's Laura ? " I thought she'd got fed up waiting for me and wandered off ! Ha ha !

Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts with us Floss , you're a proper diamond ! Xxx

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Nice hug, thank you...:)

Yes you're right! It does go on... I wasn't sure on how it was going to go and yes, Laura does go quiet.. I like it when she prompts me.!

i am going to repeat it tomorrow..see if I can perfect it more.. and avoid ice!!!

Or, as Irishprincess said... it will be Bambi Revisited.. or Daughter of Bambi!!!



Love your posts OldFloss! Being an "exile" Brit living abroad I really get a sense of the English countryside. It's somehow very Olde Worlde and whimsical. A bit like the Midsomer murders without the murders! Well done on the ice-skating, you were threatening it in a previous post, now you've done it!

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So lovely to take you with me too! :)

A small piece of England in your pocket. It is a bit like Midsomer too... and I now have an idea for a book maybe!!!!

Yes.. Dancing on Ice will be signing me up soon...maybe???


Like Jay, I was thinking of Midsomer murder.🎼

I love your post. It was like I was going through it myself. I could see it all.

Thank you for making my day

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Love taking you with me, not for the falls though!

I cannot help the writing, I never realised that the two things have become so interlinked. I am loving all aspects of it.

The thought of you being happy makes me really happy much grief in the world. We need to spread the smiles! :)

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And now... I replied to you twice...told you I cannot help it...good job I don't talk as much ! ( My husband may disagree with that!) :)


No worries, twice the pleasure


Welcome...:) I love taking my friends on my runs with me :)

I love Midsomer murders and as the late great Wogan would have said...why would anyone live there? Maybe I could write a book.. running based with a mystery/crime theme...hmmm!


Oooh you do create a lovely image or two!! So glad you didn't hurt anything with that slip, it must've been terrifying! The stamina run sounds very interesting, definitely not for the faint-hearted!


It was a tad scary... but in hindsight.. fun!

Hoping tomorrow is slightly less eventful, I am going to repeat the Stamina run and try and extend my distance. Going to run to the next village ,because I think I have found a way to avoid a steep hill on the return route... Watch this space :)

Enjoy your run at Keele tomorrow... weather is set fair I think! :)


Hi Floss, beautiful post as always, but cor, I was holding my breath reading about that pesky patch of black ice lest you fell and cracked your shell, thank goodness you stayed upright and slid your way to the end of your run. ;)

Sounds like a great one, your fitness sounds like it's on the way back up after the bronchial lurgy and you're brilliant to put your welly into these podcasts, keep it up! :)

I agree with the other posters, a selection of your running stories would be a sure fire bestseller... And I'm convinced you would inspire masses of other old grey snails to become spring chickens like yourself :)

Looking forward to the next run instalment, as always.

Nat x

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Great to have you was exciting... if a little scary, from the broken limb perspective... but.. childhood memories of long icy slides were clearly still there.

I do feel a lot better physically.. and am gonna repeat the Stamina run tomorrow. to really see what it is all about... I am very relieved that I can run for a longish time too.

Have loads of idea in my head for putting running and stories together...just need to work on them!

Going to read your post now...:)


That sliding sounds scary! Well done on another fantastic post old gloss-oops that's supposed to be floss I read it this morning but had no time to reply or i would have been even later to work than I usually am!

I've only done the podcasts a few times over a year ago, you may have just inspired me back to them!

Ps I think you would make a great columnist for a magazine with your adventures. If you get a min have a look at some of danzargo s old posts, he's not around so much now but he's very funny, you two both deserve a spot in my opinion


There's a great one called " heckle complaint "

Pps glad you got spoiled by hubby !😆


Lovely and poetic post Floss. I love the Stamina podcast and the more you do, the more you'll love it too. Good to hear you've put the bronchitis well and truly behind you :)


Lovely post, you do so well to recall everything you see and share it with us! Especially with "Stamina", that one just sends me off somewhere else! Be careful though, it can become addictive! I miss it if I don't do it for a couple of weeks. Enjoy!


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