I completed W9R3 yesterday and felt a real sense of achievement. For this forum I am unusual because I am not new to running - I started when I was 40, 15 years ago and have completed a marathon and several half marathons as well as lots of 10K races and have been a qualified run leader. I love running, it has kept me sane through difficult times, introduced me to my partner 13 years ago, given me the confidence to leave London to live with him and then to apply for a job I never thought I could do but am still doing 6 years later. Once you've conquered that first 1 min, 3 min, 5 min run; got up that hill; run a marathon you feel you can try anything and if you don't succeed it doesn't matter because you can just try again!
So why did I do couch to 5K? For the past 3 years I've had several injuries and last year after completing a charity challenge of running/walking 10K for 3 months a day I tore a muscle in my back - it was so painful! and it set off all the weaknesses in my hips and bum. I wanted to get back to running gently, and the physio recommended it, but the biggest challenge for me was the continuous running - for all the running I have done it has always been a run/walk, different ratios depending on the terrain and with whom I'm running. So when I did my 20 min run it was the furthest I had run without walking in 15 years of running! And it continued right up to my 30 mins of running. I felt so proud of myself!!
I'll probably go back to run walking, it suits me, but I now know I can run without stopping and intend to keep up one run a week when I won't walk and hope to build up my distance so who knows may be one day I will run a 10K without any walking, but I may not, I'll see how I feel!
I have been inspired by this forum and reading how everyone is getting on, especially new runners feeling the wonderful effects of running for the first time. Good luck to all of you and thank you for your inspiration and warmth!