As promised (or warned), here is my C25K story up to Week 7. Reports of more recent runs to follow!
W1R1, Monday 22 September 2014
Got out as soon as I could, before breakfast, about 8.45. [I work from home so have the luxury of choosing when to go out.] Warm-up walk to the park then started first run. Lovely morning, but grass was wet and my shoes and socks were soaked through within a few minutes. First few runs and walks were fine but really struggled by 4th run and walk, so headed home after that. Had breakfast, missed lunch, had dinner. Was really stiff for the next few days.
W1R1 (again), Thursday 25 September
Had breakfast, then at about 11 did some warm-up stretches. Had half a banana and a glass of water then headed out. Completed the whole session without any problems. Did some cool-down stretches. Finished the banana and had some more water. Decided to treat this as W1R1, so will renumber days hereafter.
W1R2, Sunday 28 September
Followed pattern of previous run. For some reason, not quite as easy as last Thursday, but still do-able. Am looking into getting proper running gear…
W1R3, Tuesday 30 September
Have bought lots of running gear (leggings, shorts, a light long-sleeved top, a long-sleeved Heatgen T-shirt, a short-sleeved T-shirt that I will take back)! [Already had good trainers bought for an earlier, abortive attempt at group running.] Run was OK, am working out a pattern of walking to the park, running around the edge, walking to a ‘starting point’, then walking/ running more or less across the same part of park until the podcast says it’s the last run, when I run towards the exit of the park and walk home.
W2R1, Friday 3 October
As there had been a 3-day gap since my previous run, and I hadn’t found it that easy, was wondering whether I should repeat it. However, decided to go on to Week 2, and it wasn’t too bad at all.
W2R2, Thursday 30 October
After nearly four weeks since my last run (due to a cold, tight work deadlines, and bad weather), I wondered whether it would be tough to pick it up again. Although it was a challenge, it was do-able, so will carry on.
W2R3, Tuesday 4 November
Weather has turned distinctly cooler, wasn't sure whether my long-sleeved T-shirt would be warm enough but didn't want to overdress/ heat either. It was fine, and simply meant that I didn't drip with sweat the way I had always done before. My shoes started to get wet as I walked through the grass, however, so I stuck to the paths for the whole session. Also thought I was doing the last run when I still had one more to go, which was disconcerting but not really a problem. It started to rain on that last run and I was a bit chilled by the time I got home so showered straight away then stretched afterwards. Knees were painful for the rest of the day although they hadn't been when I was running. It's more the stretching that causes the pain. [I have osteoarthritis but weirdly – and happily! – running is easier than walking. I wonder if the well-advised running shoes have something to do with this. Consulted an osteopath, fairly soon after I started C25K, about whether I should continue with the running, and he told me to just listen to my body. I have since realized that in fact my body also listens to what I want to do.]
W3R1, Sunday 9 November
Beautiful day. Again, wasn’t sure how warmly to dress; in the end, opted for a ‘running’ (i.e. one bought at a specialist shop) T-shirt with a long-sleeved layer on top. Felt slightly chilly at first (especially my legs, which only had one layer) but I soon warmed up without getting too hot. Run was reasonably easy to achieve, although park was muddy and churned up in places. Looked in local school playing fields to see if there was a running track but there isn’t.
W3R2, Tuesday 11 November
Mistimed the run, weather-wise, and left it a bit late in the afternoon. Was nearly halfway through the run when it started to rain. It was quite cold and windy, so just headed home.
W3R2 (again), Wednesday 12 November
As had only done half the run, decided to repeat W3R2 and do the whole thing. Thought that as I had done part of it yesterday, it might be easier, but it wasn’t. Laura is really good, though, the way she pushes you to do that little bit more just as you’re wearing out.
W3R3, Sunday 16 November
Weirdly, it was still quite hard. Not sure whether I should repeat it or move on to Week 4. It's getting colder and the muddiness of the park doesn’t help.
W3R3 (again), Wednesday 19 November
Decided to repeat W3R3, as the previous one had been a struggle. Had bought a light (but expensive!) jacket and wore it on top of a T-shirt and that seemed to be just right for the day, which was actually lovely. The run still wasn't easy, but do-able enough for me to move on to Week 4, I think.
W3R3 (third time lucky?), Saturday 29 November
Should have moved on to Week 4 but as it was so long since my last run, I panicked at the prospect of moving on, so when I finished the warm-up walk I rewound and did the W3R3 run again. It was reasonably do-able – strangely enough, the first, 90-second run was the hardest – so will definitely move on to Week 4 next time, as long as it’s not too big a gap until then.
W4R1, Monday 1 December (written on Saturday 6 December)
Don’t quite remember this day. I did the run, which wasn’t easy (still wasn’t by the third time). It is really tempting not to push through to the end sometimes, but Laura’s advice to keep on going when you don’t feel like it is really motivating.
W4R2, Thursday 4 December (written on Saturday 6 December)
Was a bit concerned about how cold I was going to be, so put on running shorts as well as my leggings (that’s the part of me that tends to feel the cold at the beginning of the run). Also wore an old thumb-looped top, an old fleece, my new running jacket and gloves. This was exactly what I needed although I found I did drip with sweat by the end.
W4R3, Saturday 6 December
It has been getting really cold now (around 3 °C) so as well as the running shorts with the leggings (must get some proper winter running trousers), I put on: a running T-shirt, my running thumb-looped top and my running jacket. Didn’t bother with gloves but kept the ends of my sleeves wrapped around my hands until they warmed up. Week 4 isn’t an easy run but I’m glad I got it all done in one week and hope to do the same for Week 5.
W5R1, Wednesday 10 December
Was a bit apprehensive about starting this week, as I had read that it was a bit more demanding. However, I kept it steady and found all the runs not bad at all. You actually get quite far running for 5 minutes in the park! Dressed very warmly, including gloves, which I was glad about.
W5R2, Sunday 14 December
The second run was also do-able, which is really good. Must admit that when Laura says, ‘You have just one minute left’, it is a bit discouraging. That last minute seems so long and boring. I literally just count the seconds to push myself through it.
W5R3, Tuesday 16 December
I knew beforehand that this was going to be a challenge, so I appreciated Laura’s remarks that it is more about the mental training than the physical. It would have been do-able if I hadn’t hit the uphill bit of the park when I came to the final 2 minutes. I did just walk that, then ran for a couple of extra minutes when I got to the top, although I’m aware that was cheating. However, I think I’ll push on to Week 6 next time, planning my route better, and repeat the first of those runs if I find I’m not achieving if properly.
W6R1, Saturday 20 or Sunday 21 December (written on Saturday 27 December)
Found a good route: it takes 5 minutes to do the brisk walk up to the park and out the other gate, then start running as soon as I cross the road, on the footpath around the sports centre, over the bridge, turn right into the local university campus, out the exit, a short stretch of tarmac, then on to the track behind the independent school. So the only uphill bit is the warm-up walk to the park. The irregular lengths of runs and walks made it a bit tricky to plan, but it was OK.
W6R2, Wednesday 24 December (written on Saturday 27 December)
Took the same route as Run 1, but had to run a bit more beyond the end of the path behind the school (a bit of pavement running), as the run was longer. Then when I finished the run I was further from home than I usually am, so the cool-down walk actually took longer than usual by a few minutes.
W6R3, Saturday 27 December
Really cold today, so dressed quite warmly. Timed it perfectly, and it was useful to know the precise halfway point so that I could turn around and finish the run exactly 5 minutes’ walk away from home. It really is getting a lot easier, though I don’t exactly push myself. I just keep on going. Maybe I’ll push myself in later weeks.
W6R1–3, I forget when!
As it had been around three weeks, due to a cold and bad weather, since I had done the Week 6 runs, I decided to do them all over again. Probably a good idea, but didn’t find them terribly demanding. I find being told ‘You just have 1 minute left’ actually quite difficult, it’s almost the hardest minute of the run.
W7R1, Sunday 25 January (written on Sunday 1 February)
This was exactly like W6R3, so it was fine. Took care to note where the midway point was, which was good, because…
W7R2, Tuesday 27 January (written on Sunday 1 February)
… all the podcasts disappeared as soon as I got to the end of the warm-up walk! It was quite a cold day and I didn’t want to hang around trying to sort the problem out so I just ran the route without the podcast and turned around at the point that I recognized from the previous run. Running without earphones was interesting – I didn’t realize how much noise I made, what with the pounding feet and the huffing and puffing.
W7R3, Sunday 1 February
Tried something different out: although I had redownloaded the week’s podcast, I decided to listen to Radio 4 instead. This was really good; listening to a talk programme was a very good distraction from thinking about how much longer I had to go. The next run will be a new week so I’ll have to use the podcast, but as the rest of the runs will be identical, I’ll be able to go back to listening to Radio 4. It might be worth it to do the runs at a time when I’m particularly interested in the radio programme. [I did carry on listening to radio broadcasts until the end of the C25K programme. It tended to be while that soap set during WWI was on, then You and Yours? Must get out more.]
My future posts won't be such a marathon (read, that is, let alone reporting on a marathon run). If you did read to the end of this post, thanks!