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!