I promised some observations of what I've learned. Here goes (in no particular order):
(1) You're all an incredibly friendly bunch of people on this forum! Why can't the world be more like this?
(2) It seems I've made it through with much less difficulty than I imagined at the start. This is probably because I'd lost about a stone in weight using the 5+2 diet before (I was just over 17 stone in March!) I lost about half a stone further during the course. Also I cycle 6 miles each way to commute to work. But the people I admire the most here are those who have had a much greater struggle to get through - who have had to repeat weeks, or have struggled with health issues. The fact that you all have doggedly stuck to it and refused to give up, even if it took you a long time, is a real inspiration - you should all be very proud of your determination to get there!
(3) Running is definitely good for your mental health! What I haven't shared before is that I am having a very stressful time at the moment; my 87 year old mother has Parkinson's and also looking increasingly like dementia. I am the only child and live 50 miles away. A few telephone conversations to make sure she is taking her meds correctly when she gets muddled up have left me feeling absolutely helpless. Currently she is refusing to move from her house. There have been a couple of evening runs I have done when I felt I really NEEDED to do it just to clear my head. Also I have found morning runs really set you up for the day - after today's run I had this incredible sense of well-being and calmness that lasted several hours. I might end up as an endorphine junkie!
(4) Like just about everyone, I absolutely dreaded Week 5 Run 3 and Week 6 Run 3 as they both seemed such a huge step up from their respective Run 2's. I've seen many posts here expressing that dread, and I felt it too. But at the end, it wasn't too bad at all! I think the program prepares you for it, and the wisdom of having so many people do it kind of proves it works. So if you're reading this and not looking forward to Weeks 5&6 - try not to worry - it WILL be OK, honest!
(5) The most important lesson I've learnt is summarised in two words for me: SUSTAINABLE PACE. Find the pace where your body can sustain running for long periods of time. If you get out of breath, slow down till you get to your SUSTAINABLE PACE (there - I put it in capitals for emphasis). You will find as you get fitter that your sustainable pace gradually gets faster of its own accord.
(6) Rather than using up energy reserves and leaving me shattered, I find that doing this program has given me MORE energy than I had before. A couple of weeks ago I spent a couple of days in an office move, hefting furniture about, loading lorries, and running up and down stairs. When I first ran up the four flights of stairs, I suddenly realised to my great surprise that I wasn't out of breath! (As I had been before). After the whole day, I wasn't at all tired, and went and did the Week 8 run in the evening.