Week 1: Day 1 ~ Manatee rising

Week 1: Day 1 ~ Manatee rising

I managed it, but not without difficulty. The leggings I bought were too loose and I had to alternate hands: one pumping along with my legs, one holding up my trousers. It felt shameful, I ran past some children and I felt their eyes. I remember thinking horrible things about overweight people running when I was a child. But I kept going.

I picked a bad route too, too many intersections, too many people. People I felt could hear me breathe. Of course they couldn't, they probably didn't notice me, but these tiny voices are what has held minor efforts at bay. It was an achievement to be out on the pavement in spite of the doubt.

Sixty seconds never felt so long. I felt sick on the last run, nauseated, but I followed it through. I walked the last five minutes around the park, I've not been so proud of something in a long time. Along with the pride comes the fear: will I keep it up, will I get injured like last time?

It's been perhaps 3 years since I did any real exercise. The usual excuses apply, I started a new degree, I moved house and then country, I got a new partner, I struggled and exercise was the first thing that went.

I did try last year to get back into it. A colleague was all about weights and building strength - do that, cardio kills muscle, build your strength first. But I was too ambitious, and as I spotted for him, my back slipped. I crawled out of that gym. I spent two days on the floor. It will be a while before I attempt the weights again.

And now I'm here with CouchTo5K. It's paced, it's careful, and it promises results.

So the easiest part is over. Day 2 I will have to go out there with a fresh memory of the pain and the fear. At least this time I'll know to wear leggings with a drawstring.

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41 Replies

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  • Brilliant- so well done for starting. I am really enjoying these forums and learning so much from others. Welcome aboard!

  • Thanks Gillma! It's certainly nice to have this community :)

  • Great write-up (and illusrations). Good luck with the programme!

  • Thanks so much!

  • Well done you keep going πŸ˜€I'm new to the programme too ,we all have to start at the beginning ,were all going to have good and bad days x but we get there with a little support

  • Yes, good luck to you Linney :)

  • That is a great decision to start this programme! Yes you are right, tie string leggings are a must. Good shoes and for ladies a good sports bra are the important pieces of kit for runners.

    Follow the programme as is, there have been many think they can rewrite it to suit themselves and unfortunately often very soon disappear from the forum as they cant complete or end up on the injury couch (IC), which is not a nice place to be.

    Take your rest days, these are absolute. You can do other non running activities on those non run days though, swimming, cycling, walking, yoga, palaties, spin.... lots of things to choose from.

    There are a lot of experienced runners who contribute to the forum, ask the questions and you will get the answers. You will be supported, congratulated, encouraged. Everyone has done a similar journey to the one you are on and will be here for you if you post.

    Enjoy and welcome!

  • Sound advice... Millsie-J you feel exactly the way I do, as you know :)

  • Thank you for the kind words! I will take it slow and steady.

  • Yeay! What a post... welcome!

    You are going to do this.... with the outlook you have shown in the post... you will... and now...you have us with you!!!!

    So... you have the right idea, this programme is slow and steady, it is so structured and by following it, you get to the 30 minute runs having had fun, and injury free :)

    Loads of tighter leggings to be had, and some great deals... you don't want any flappage to slow you down as your runs get longer:)

    Get yourself to that park and just focus on the runs. take your rest days and more if you need them; some other exercise may help you on rest days.. strength and flex or swimming or cycling or just waking?


    Mainly.. go at your own pace, and know we are right there with you...so keep posting!!!

  • Wow, what a welcoming reply! Thanks so much :)

  • Don't worry you will hear plenty more from Oldfloss, she is a prolific poster, font of knowledge, and dare I say it, known for her rambling. We love you Oldfloss😘

  • ... and I love you too..my lovely forum family!

  • Well done!! Double well done for completing it with drooping drawers! I'm loving this programme, never ever thought I'd be out in public running for five whole minutes in one go, but I did that this morning - even in the rain! You can do this. I love your manatee-with-bunnies wallpaper by the way

  • Good run done there belonger

  • Thanks for your kind words! Five minutes in one go is definitely something to work towards :)

  • About running past kids--I run in the mornings and often have to run past kids. (I also have a 13 year old kid). Most kids are wonderful and I don't really think that they're thinking "look at this fat lady run" especially the group of teenage girls I thundered past a few days ago! :)

  • I agree, it's totally the product of a paranoid mind but I figured I'd be honest. Maybe these thoughts will lessen over the weeks.

  • They probably will because you'll be in too much pain to notice. lol (just kidding, I'm sure you'll do great!)

  • Good work. I wouldn't gIve up on the weights though. Just because you injured yourself before doesn't mean all resisatnce exercise is at fault.

  • I agree. I think this time around though I want to work on supporting muscles before I go back to the weights I was using before. So simple squats, lunges, floor-work before I go back to the gym.

    I don't think resistance exercise is to blame - my eagerness to progress is.

  • I expected that to read 'doesn't mean all resistance is futile...'. Oops.

  • Haha that all sounds sooo familiar! I'm set to do my 3rd run of week one today. Despite telling myself 'don't worry nobody will notice you' I still try to take a quiet route on the way home free of people to judge my beetroot face and incase anyone starts a conversation and I can't reply!!! But hey, we're out there!!! Keep going!

  • Your last paragraph begins "So the easiest part is over..." Disagree. The most difficult part is over, Seacaow. Getting started is the hard part and you've done that. All you have to do now is carry on. I write from a position of "been there done that". And I can promise you, it does get easier - as well as more challenging - as you go along. In February this year I was where you are now. Unfit and thinking I'd need to ring for a paramedic to get me home after the initial sixty second jog. By week three I was actually looking forward to going out for my little jogettes (I can't really call what I do running) and now here I am, I've completed the programme and this morning I ran 3.4km just because I can. It took me way longer than the nine weeks because several weeks were repeated until I nailed them. Week 5 run 3 took nine attempts. But hey, who cares? A low moment for me was during a running section (in my head I was sprinting) and I was overtaken by two lads who were ambling along... Never mind. They were young, tall and skinny and I am none of those things. You've started and that's what matters, plus you have this amazing community with you every step of the way.

  • Thank you so much for your kind words!

    I'm overwhelmed with the response from the community and I'm looking forward to following everyone's journey.

    3.4 km on a whim is quite an achievement - I'm highly anticipating feeling that kind of freedom to use my body again.

  • You sound amazing well done.

  • <3

  • Fab post! Well done in starting and doing the first run, the hardest IMO. I agree withi Rignold that you shouldn't give up on the weights as they can help you build a stronger running body. Book a session with a trainer and get a proper programme to complement your running.

    Good luck and I look forward to reading your future posts.

  • I agree. I think where I've failed in the past is taking on too much too quickly and not being able to sustain it. The plan is to run with (haha) this program for a month or so, and if I've been able to keep it up purchase a personal trainer session at the gym.


  • Seacaow, love your post and cartoon! Welcome...looking forward to future posts and pics from you on your way to 5K!

  • Thank you!

  • I'm looking forward to hearing about your next run. I've rapidly come to the conclusion that people care infinitely more about themselves than me. People generally don't even really take notice of me rolling down the street.... Sod 'em anyway.

    You will go out, you will do it: because you can. If you take it slow and steady, you're sure to win the 'race'.

  • I think I should get slow and steady printed on my wall.

    Thanks for your kind words!

  • Well done on getting started πŸ‘πŸ‘ I love your attitude but I think most people just think "at least you are trying to do something positive ". I'm just starting week 2 tomorrow and feel if we stick at it and keep improving slowly we'll get there πŸ˜€ Good luck with your next run πŸ‘

  • Thank you! :)

  • You've done the first run. That is the hardest one!

    I'll let you in to a little secret: Even if people did hear you breathing? They have no idea how far you've run. For all they know, you've been running for an hour πŸ˜€

  • Haha! I like that. I imagine though that they're more surprised to see a giant marine mammal rolling down the road.

  • Not half as surprised as they would have been if you'd lost your leggings, I'm sure. 😜

  • Well done and Welcome? As you can see, still quite a team you are joining!

    I set out a few weeks ago on my first run of week 1 wearing some narrow legged yoga pants I'd had for a few months and used previously not just for yoga but brisk, purposeful walking etc. without any issues. Well, you can guess what's coming, as well as whether my lungs would hold out for the full 60 secs, I had this aweful feeling that they were slipping. My route at that time was determined by where the snow had melted or been cleared so I was on pavements of streets near my home. Didn't think I could haul them up and keep running so I waited. At the end of 60 secs there followed what must have been an entertaining show for the local residents as I simultaneously tried to change pace, cough, catch my breath, and yank up the offending clothing. I repeated this after each of eight runs and because I didn't want to be too far from home, I had planned to run until I had done four, then turned around and went back same way ( good technique btw generally). Of course this meant that, some of the local residents were exposed to my antics not once, but twice!

    Serves them right, if they have nothing better to do than look out into the road!

    I learned on my second run that doing it at 2pm was a bad idea. There I was shuffling along the road next to mine, when I was passed by the big yellow school bus ( I'm in Canada), it stopped up ahead of me, dropped off a group of high school kids who dispersed and most walked straight towards me as they lived in houses behind . No!!! As they approached, Laura said to stop running, well that would be even more weird I thought so I ran until they were passed me. Not five minutes later, the same thing happened again as my route crossed the path of another school bus. Ground, please swallow me up. I should say here that I have three teenagers and so, these were all classmates of one or other of my kids and it was only a matter of time until I am recognized by one of them. I have not been out at that time again since!

    We all have our insecurities, Issues and concerns. I think we all arrive at this forum believing we are the least likely runner to ever walk this earth. You will learn very quickly there are people here who are older, more inactive, more paranoid and generally more everything than you and they have all gone on to complete this challenge.

    Take it slow, you sound like you got that message, don't be afraid to ask , to complain or to motivate others ( or all three if it is warranted!)

    Looking forward to following your progress.πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ‘πŸΌπŸƒπŸ»πŸ’πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ‘πŸΌπŸƒπŸ»πŸ’

  • What a great story :D I will for sure avoid the after-school crowd ;)

  • Like you I'm in Week 1, my first run was a sweat inducing, lung mangling, heart pumping 20 minutes of alternating pain and relief. Like you I wasn't looking forward to run 2 but out I went and do you know what?.......it was a bit easier! Yes, really! I couldn't believe that after 1 run my long ignored body would respond, but it did and I'm now really rather looking forward to run 3. Forget the 'fresh memory of pain and fear', go and enjoy run 2 I bet it's a little bit easier.

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