Couch to 5K
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Super tough Parkrun - and a new running project

So, this morning, my sixth parkrun, my fourth different circuit/venue. This is my closest, Clair, but I have avoided it so far because it's really hilly and well known for being very tough. It also has quite low attendance as a result. A friend of mine, Liz, who introduced me to the Couch25K in the first place ran with me - she's super fit and runs a beginners running group. Even though I really struggled and walked about half of the uphill, she refused to leave me and pushed me through. My finish time was 42.31 and I'm really pleased with that on such a tough circuit. It wasn't just the hills that made it tough - it's a wooded park so there were lots of wet leaves on the ground and falling acorns and conkers so all in all pretty challenging!

And so, to my new project. Liz told me that I am an inspiration to many of our fellow workers who have noticed not only the return of my waist but my skin and, most of all, that I have more presence. Before I started running I was suffering real body image issues as I was the heaviest and unfittest I had ever been. I'm not conscious that I have changed my posture but she has been telling me for some time that she has noticed and so have my colleagues - even though the vast majority of them have absolutely no idea that I've taken up running.

Sorry, getting back to the new project. I'm going to run with her beginners group - partly to build up my own confidence but also to be a helper. Liz is amazing and totally happy to plod along with the beginners even though her normal distance is half marathons, but a lot of the beginners feel intimidated. So, the plan is that I am the living proof that C25K works to inspire them and reassure them that they CAN do this. At the end of the 9 week programme (which I will join in week 3 because of my holiday) we will all move up to the next stage together. They will see someone who is overweight (Liz is extremely athletic), someone who still finds running incredibly challenging but someone who has completed the very programme they are starting on. I'm really excited about it. I will continue to do two long runs a week and this will be my less taxing weekly run. I can't wait!

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You ARE an inspiration Rebecca! And how lovely that this programme has led you to this. What a great idea! It will also keep you super motivated I reckon. Well done on the challenging parkrun, too. Please keep posting your successes and challenges. It is posts like these that drive me forward and inspire me to keep running. 😘

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I love this! What a wonderful idea, I for one would feel much more comfortable going to a running group with this type of set up. Please let us know how you get on. And great result on the ParkRun, I just about managed 40 mins on flat terrain let alone the route you faced this morning!

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40 minutes on flat terrain is brilliant - my PB is 38.22 but I'm generally around 40 minutes so we're not that different. Don't forget that every time the hill goes up, it has to go down too!!!

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Oh yes those delightful down hills!

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What an inspiring post 🙂 and I am sure you will inspire many others in the running group. I love reading posts like this - about the impact our running has on us and those around us. Well done on taking on that tough Parkrun too!🙂

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I'm going to conquer that parkrun. The thing about the up-hill is that, hard as it is, you can catch your breath on the down! I was running faster than I normally would because I was with a friend - and shot myself in the foot in doing so!

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You are a total inspiration ! Wow.. you will be perfect for this new project..how exciting!!

This is about so much more than just running!! Living and lovely, lovely proof that this works..l:) Pease, please, keep posting as it all evolves? :)

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I definitely will! Liz is also aiming to get me running a 10k for the spring! You all know me, I need confidence and I have wondered about going back and doing the last few weeks of the programme again - and this is the perfect way to do it! At first Liz was worried it wouldn't be challenging enough for me but I don't run for PBs, for setting super fast times or for kudos - I run for me and that's about it!

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... and what it should be about... you will head for that 10K and it will come...if I can, etc etc..... :) When you do the runs your way..it seems to come naturally... and letting it just evolve...I said I would never run 10K and had no desire too.... and yet.. it happened... :)

You are going to enjoy this so much :) You should be very, very proud of yourself...:) x

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Sounds great lass and enjoyable to boot, helping others and giving you a further reason to keep going

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How was your run today rolysmate?

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It went well thank you, the course was quite hilly by comparison to where I've been running and I felt it BUT when I looked after I ran the same sort of time as I've been running on my "home track" and ended up raising just over £500 for the veterans charity

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Amazing!!!!!! Well done - I hope you're extremely proud of yourself!

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chuffed to f@@k lol

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That's so fantastic! Very well done, and enjoy your new project!

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This is precisely why you are my running superhero. Nothing more to say. Except please keep posting.

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Ah that sounds brilliant!!! Good for you!!!

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What a fantastic post, and really heart warming that you want to be a positive influence for others starting out on the programme. They will really appreciate your story.

Happy running.

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I would never have graduated without the support of the amazing people on this forum - I want to pay it forward!

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Fab you!!!

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That sounds fantastic! Well done you! :D

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This is great. I'd love to run with a beginner group. And I love to see all shapes, sizes, abilities and ages out running. If more people see runners that look like them having a good time, they might be more inclined to give it a go.

Very cool stuff

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Sounds like a WIN/WIN situation for all concerned to me!! :)

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Great post! Well done, you are a true inspiration and great plan to help other newbie runners 🏃

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