1 step closer to galloping past three 7 year olds!***

Just back from the dreaded Week 5 Run 3 and pleased as punch to complete it with a new PB!

Decided to start this programme in the summer holidays after struggling (and failing) to jog round the school field as part of our Sport Relief 'Walk a Mile' week we did at school, despite being in my twenties and alongside 30 7 and 8 year olds with boundless energy, giggling and goading me to chase after them.

Had to stop running after Week 1 after the ankle I had turned when I put my foot in a rabbit warren (ah the joys of the countryside!) at the start of July refused to settle down and then couldn't run whilst I was on holiday with mates in America for 2 weeks as it was blisteringly hot and I was too hungover most mornings.

Nevertheless, by then I'd already caught the running bug and had found a nice, secluded walking trail by my house that only has a handful of dog-walkers each day and was well away from the busy roads full of pedestrians and drivers whom I was sure were all judging me for my lack of fitness every time I had tried running in the past.

Completed Weeks 1-4 relatively comfortably and always restarted the podcast when it had ended to run/walk a full 5k back to my house, and was quietly optimistic I would be OK this week too after having posted a PB of 34.59 (including the 5 min warm up walk) at Week 4 Run 3, but this week had been a bit of a nightmare until today.

I thought my first run would be a breeze after my previous week's success (how many times has someone said that on here!) and soon found after my first 5 minute run my calves and shins, which get sore when I push myself, were still stiff from my last run, and by the second 5 minute run they were so stiff my thighs and hips were sore from trying to compensate. I completed the third stint at a hobble, and walked back home dejected with a time of 41 minutes and feeling like 20 minutes of running were light years away. Week 5 Run 2 was more of the same on Thursday. I completed it, barely, in around the same time, but my legs were sore throughout and I had to walk home after the podcast finished rather than get my breath back and starting jogging again.

Which leads me to today's Week 5 Run 3, 20 minute jog which I had pencilled in as the day I could feel a little bit like a proper runner (sorry, it's taken so long to get here, but I thought the context might be worth explaining as it's my first post) and for the first time since I'd started I was dreading it. I discarded the pact I made with myself on Thursday's run that I would set a timer on my phone at 12 minutes to see how I go, and just went for it, nice and slow. Completed 1k in 8.03 (including the 5 minute walk) and my legs held up OK but I could feel a stitch coming along. I completed the 2nd 1k in 5.52 and felt pretty good when Laura told me I had ran for 10 minutes, the longest stint so far. By the 3rd 1k (6.09) I actually felt confident I was going to do it. My stitch had disappeared and my legs felt fine. When Laura said I had 5 minutes to go I upped the pace back to my normal jogging speed and pushed as hard as I could. The result was my fastest 1k at 5.24, but because of the speed I was going I hit the bottom of the hill earlier than I wanted and had to jog rather than walk up it, which wasn't fun at all! Completed the 5 minute warm down and then thought, I think I can run some more and I ran the last 0.3k home to finish with a final time of 33.26, knocking a further 90 seconds off my PB! Time will tell if this was foolhardy on my part, if I start Week 6 with sore calves again, but post-shower I feel great both physically and mentally and can't wait to get going again.

Apologies for such a long post (I never was much good at condensing my essays at uni!) but I am so elated with my progress I wanted to share it with someone rather than blurt it all out to my friends when I see them later like a madman! I read the forum everyday and your constant positivity and enthusiasm are equal to Laura's soothing voice itself! I truly believe everyone can do this programme and if any lurkers are reading this like I was 2 months ago (firstly, well done for getting this far down the page!), give it a go, this running lark is infectious :)

***I should probably explain the title of the thread before I go too. When twiddling my thumbs after Week 1 and not being able to run, I stumbled across my local 5k parkrun, which is my target after completing the programme. The only issue is 3 7 year old kids I teach, run it each week and the fastest has a PB of 28min! So I won't make an appearance there until I can at least get close to running 5k in 30mins. Doesn't do a lot for the street cred of a 28 year old teacher when he's wheezing and puffing behind 3 7 year olds!

8 Replies

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  • Excellent essay, and just keep going. It's not about speed or PBs, but if that motivates you, keep recording them. I'm somewhat older, but get an A+ for puffing and wheezing!

  • You call this a long post? Check out my ramblings :) it is a teacher-thing :)

    You are doing brilliantly, and clearly at your own pace...but slow and steady, is often the mantra we give on here...just to make sure you reach the end of the programme uninjured and having had a great time en route! Up to you though.

    The children...? Well, we all know how hard it is to catch a small miscreant on the play-yard..? Enough said!

    Onward and upward... and maybe, pull back a tad and take some time to enjoy the view? :)

  • Nice to read your latest novel, very entertaining. Well done on your progress, stick with it.😃 I fear the sixth-formers around where I live.........they walk faster than I run , hey ho!

  • So it's you that's been teaching those pesky tortoises to speed past me! I'll have you know that by the end of this year I'll be able to catch the little blighters by hook or by crook!

  • I wouldn't worry about speed or time at the moment. Well done for getting W5R3 done and dusted, it really helps your confidence. I have been recommended to start Parkrun asap so that I can feel really good about my progress, am sure that I will never do 5k in < 30 minutes but your younger legs may :-D Happy running.

  • Lovely lovely lovely post! I too was a teacher although doubt I would have found the time to complete the programme while teaching so I'm very impressed!! You're clearly doing great - as you've probably read, sometimes it all comes together on the longer runs when the intervals get left behind. You'll soon be catching those children!

  • Thanks Melly, I must admit I thought running might go on the back burner once September rolled around, but I'm already so hooked and jump out of bed at 6 to run before work! The biggest problem I've had so far is getting the energy back after a walk for the first few strides (once that goes the runs are usually fine) so I'm looking forward to the longer ones where I don't give my legs the chance to ache and slow me down :)

  • Thanks for all your comments. I know setting time goals and worrying about my speed isn't the C25k thing to do, but as Scruffy says it's keeping me motivated to push myself rather than coast along. Nevertheless, just getting through each run is the priority! Must have looked rather smug last night as my mates kept commenting on my big, beaming smile and even managed to get one (who's a massive gym bunny) to run alongside me next weekend for the Week 6 Run 3!

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