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.