Graduating on my first park run: Sorry for the... - Couch to 5K

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Graduating on my first park run


Sorry for the long post.

Today was a big day for two reasons. I did my graduation run and my first Parkrun.

Looking back at how hard I found week one and the doubts I had on whether I'd be physically able I am so chuffed to have got this far. I am hypothyroid and suffer the issues with Low energy and joint and muscle pain and am also coming off the back of a prolapse L4/5 and fractured T10 vertebrae so you can see where my doubts are rooted.

I have a 17 year old son and my partner has two girls aged 10 and 12, she is also a runner having done half marathons and regular 10k's so I was looking ahead top my 47th birthday with a choice of either letting my ailments beat me or spending the next ten years fitter than the last. I remember last summer watching my lovely lady and her girls do a 5k innovations run and having to sit and hold the coats, it was great to see them run but felt like a gulf that I might not be able to bridge.

I opted for fitter rather than the couch. I was intimidated by the prospect so I bought a treadmill so I could run around by schedule and also when on conference calls (which I do a lot of). I struggled so much that first week but trusted the programme and found myself enjoying it more and more and getting confident in my ability to actually do this. I must confess I did overdo it a couple of times when I felt in the zone (and was suitably chastised on here :D) and I redid a few runs I thought were on my limit.

One thing I struggled with was confidence to get from the treadmill to running in the real world but my girlfriend dragged me out in public for a few runs on the common and I enjoyed it immensely clocking up a few 5k's min the process.

Thursday I did my penultimate run (which I overran slightly) and was really surprised to have covered 5.8km, that led me to today...

Today I ran my first parkrun with my other half and her youngest, no sitting at the finish line looking after coats or giving in to the various aches and pains my conditions foist on me. I took off with all the other folks and did what I wanted to do, got through without any walking and manage my pace... I didn't look at the phone or Fitbit once and foot through in one stint and to my surprise I did it in 31:40 with some left in the tank.

My take from this is if you're thinking of trying C25k then just do it. If I can you can and it's worth it. I feel fitter and more able than I have in fifteen years and the aches and niggles are like little medals that attest to the effort I've put in to getting fitter and getting moving.

Thanks so much for the support folks

11 Replies


Welcome to your new life, fellow runner.

Keep running, keep smiling.


Well done! What a fab time as well for your first parkrun. Enjoy being a fitter version of you and keep going!


Congratulations graduate! Brilliant run, brilliant post. Love that shiny badge, it suits you nicely runner! 🎓🏅🏃🏻

What an inspiring post!

Keep running, keep safe and enjoy the new family activity :)

Congratulations Cliff_H😊...

What a great graduation and your family must be sooo proud.😄🎉🎉🎉🎉👏👏👏👏

Happy running adventures... (caution*still respect the rest days and not too much too soon..we like consolidation on here😆😉x)


Very well done 👍


Thanks for the kind words folks. I'm looking forward to the next step(s) in this journey, park runs for now and a 10k after Christmas, should give me time to build slowly.


What a fabulous post! Congratulations

Excellent motivational story for me Cliff - Thanks


Cliff_HGraduate in reply to AstroJoe

Thanks Joe, the journey continues, that was four months ago now and I’m regularly running 10K once or twice a week with a couple of shorter runs, who’d have thought it! I’m proof it does work.


Great job Cliff. You’ve just showed your lady that you are made of sterling stuff. Well done,

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