I GRADUATED!!!! W9R3 well and truly done, but it was a stinker!

I GRADUATED!!!! W9R3 well and truly done, but it was a stinker!

Well folks, this is the one I've been waiting for :) If you'd asked me 9 weeks ago if I'd ever get to this point, I'd have said "no". I fully expected, if I did get this far, that I'd be saying "Thank goodness that's over, I'm never running again". But not only has my fitness level improved dramatically, my outlook on life has improved, and I intend to continue running, believe it or not. I actually quite like the outdoors now.

So today's run. I was a little apprehensive this morning, as it was pouring down, but I put my faith in the Met Office app, and, ever the optimist, donned shorts, t-shirt, and trainers. Sure enough the weather cleared up, and off I headed on my lovely new route. Warmup walk done, my left knee, which is the one that's been bothering me a little over the past week, felt fine, my right knee also seems fully recovered now.

Now, one thing I loved about the new route I took last time, was that the towpath was much better maintained, with a much more even surface, less potholes. What I didn't realise, was that after heavy rain, it would basically become one giant puddle. This was my graduation run though, so I wasn't going to let a huge puddle put me off. If I couldn't go round them, I went through them, cautiously so as not to slip and do any more damage to my knees lol But I did it. I got to the half way point, the bell went ding, and I thought "You know what? I can do this!". And I did. I wasn't fast, and it certainly was short of 5k, I reckon about 4.5k, but I don't care. Because...

With the help and encouragement of all you lovely lot, I DID IT!

Thank you so much everyone for your support along the way, especially by virtual running buddie Sadie-runs. You're all wonderful :)

So now, after arriving back, taking off my waterlogged trainers, having a cuppa and washing the mud off my legs in the shower, time to relax, just for a while.

Last thing, I promise. I remember being on week 1 and finding other people's graduation posts rather daunting. Don't worry guys, the plan is good, and it works! What's the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you can't imagine doing the whole thing, just focus on the week you are on. You'll do fine :)

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  • Absolutely brilliant mate, well done.

  • Thanks ChrisAllen1, I can hardly believe I made it to be honest, but pretty chuffed :)

  • Way to go Neil! Well done!

  • Thank you Cliff_H, feels odd actually, but good.

  • Well done ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

  • Thank you Linda, I really appreciate all the support I've had on this forum.

  • Well done ! Iโ€™m on week 5 starting tomorrow I canโ€™t imagine doing what youโ€™ve done ! Brill mate good on ya !!!

  • Me too, bit worried x good luck to you pilquin x

  • Many Congratulations, Neil! You are a true Runne ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

  • Thank you Blitzy, I'm still not used to this whole thing of being a runner :)

  • Well done you, feeling quite emotional for you. I feel I have achieved something every time I run and am really looking forward to graduating. Even contemplating a park run after I graduate. Hope you'll keep running and posting news on progress.

  • Thank you! Yes, I intend to keep running, not setting too many goals yet, but my first one is to get my left knee better, after today's run it's been a little sore! No way I was stopping on my graduation run though lol! After that it's to get back up to speed, and do 5k in 30 minutes, whilst still retaining the ability to breathe :) And after that, I've got my eye on the Lyme Park Parkrun near me. It's a toughie, but looks fun.

    Oh - and thanks for feeling emotional for me :) Even I'm feeling emotional about it, and that doesn't happen very often these days...

  • Hooray Neil! Have been waiting up on this podium this morning watching for you! So pleased you've done it! My run was hard work too! Think my awe at actually being that close made me nervous! Had to give myself a good talking to at 15 minutes!

    Huge congratulations - wear that badge with pride!

    Looking forward to hearing about your runs for just the love of it! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Thank you so much, I did notice you graduated too, only just having the time to respond to everything. Well done to you :) It feels rather strange to see "Graduate" next to my name, do you find that too? And I'll certainly keep posting about my runs. Thanks for all your encouragement over the weeks I've been doing this, really appreciated.

  • And thanks to you too!

    Yes graduate badge seems strange - implies running wisdom that I don't yet have. Can't wait to get out and run for fun though.

  • Brilliant - well done to you! It feels really good, doesn't it? A fantastic achievement... now go and collect your bling!๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿƒ

  • Thank you! It feels amazing, especially the more I think about how I could ever manage to run for 30 minutes. And I couldn't have managed that at all without the support, wisdom, encouragement and gentle chastising (yes Sadie-runs I'm looking at you) from people here.

  • Neil!!! You runner you!!

    Great great job! Now get your shiny new badge!

  • I know, right? Who'd have thought? Me, on the podium!

    Thanks so much for your encouragement over the weeks. I really really appreciate it :)

  • Likewise!

  • Ab Fab Neil way to go ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿƒ Iโ€™ve followed u from the beginning and now ur all graduated. Kept posting do we can all see ur progress onwards x

  • Yay thanks Shelby :) This feels great, not least because I dropped out of my university degree, so this is the first time I've graduated from anything!!

  • You've eaten the elephant!

    Really well done Neil. Glad to see you safely up on the podium :) I am sure you will love the next phase of your running journey :)

  • Metophorical elephants, of course*

    Thanks for the encouragement, I'm sure I'll love it too. I think consolidation comes fairly high up the list :)

    * No actual elephants were harmed in the completing of C25K

  • Well done Neil .. thought about you on your run this morning whilst I did my run along my canal towpath. Congratulations well deserved and glad the knees are holding up :)

  • Awww thanks Richard7! Not quite sure how I managed to get this far, and to be honest, my left knee is now complaining at me, but I don't care, because the view from the podium is great!! Thanks so much for your encouragement along the way :)

  • I have had an ongoing problem with my knee for quite a number of years but seems to cope. After about 20 mins either I have lost all feeling in my legs or the knees feels great .. I think the latter! Funny old things knees - take care of them. See you on your next run :)

  • Well done you have done it! What a great feeling it is to now be a graduate you have done really well I took much longer to get there. You are a runner! Doesnโ€™t that sound great? Enjoy your graduation xx

  • Thanks :) Yes it does sound great. And it certainly sounds weird that I'm a runner... me... weird in a good way though.

    Currently enjoying my graduation evening with a nice cup of tea :)

  • CONGRATULATIONS!!!! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฅ‡๐ŸŽˆ You have done amazingly well Neil, I donโ€™t even know you but Iโ€™m super proud of you. So many people out there dwell on their problems but youโ€™ve done everything within your power to improve your situation and you deserve to reap the benefits of these types of achievements. And not even an injury or massive puddles stopped you ๐Ÿ˜‚ Hats off to you. Itโ€™s been fun reading your posts, Iโ€™m going to miss them! Keep us posted on how you get on with the podcasts x

  • Thanks so much Minnow1985, that was a really positive thing for me to read. And thank you SO MUCH for all your encouraging words along the way. It's been a real encouragement to read your posts, I think you're doing really well.

    I'll still be posting here don't worry, I'm going to have a few days off to get my left knee better I think, maybe some walking and some stretches and exercises, but I shall be back! And how could I abandon you before your graduation?

    Thanks again, it's been so much fun. And the fun is just beginning!

    p.s. When do you start W7?

  • Has it sunk in yet that youโ€™ve graduated?! Sounds like a good plan to let your other knee rest. Hopefully it wonโ€™t be too long if your first knee has now healed.

    Itโ€™s been my pleasure and I am equally thankful for your encouragement ๐Ÿ˜Š

    I started it today but it was the same run as W6 R3 so didnโ€™t have much to report. Thanks for asking though ๐Ÿ˜

    Just out of interest, I saw a post on here today about what a difference running shoes make. I have a cheapy pair of Adidas running shoes and they seem fine. What do you have and did you have them from the start? Also, I hope they survived the puddles ๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Honestly... no, it's not sunk in yet! I feel slightly deflated about it actually, because I felt I didn't do it justice, because of my silly knee. I know what you mean about W7R1... I listened to Jo, and when she said things like "go on, you can do this", I thought, yeah, because I did it last run of Week 6! Seriously though, if you can do W7R1 you can do W9R3!

    Now I'm not really qualified to answer the question on running shoes. Many people would advocate gate analysis and then chosing a suitable pair of running shoes, and of course they'd be right. However, I suspect if your running shoes were a problem, your feet and legs would be telling you about it now, and maybe your hip and knee joints! However, buying new running shoes is a bit of a rite of passage I gather, and if you can manage to find somewhere that will do gait analysis, all the better.

    I'm sure there are people far more cleverer and knowledgeabler than me though :P

  • What a lovely post Neil. CONGRATULATIONS on graduating!!!! You did it. Youโ€™re a runner and youโ€™re amazing.

    Youโ€™re so right, if I had imagined getting here I too would have thought my attitude would be โ€˜thank goodness thatโ€™s overโ€™ but thatโ€™s not how I feel at all either. I have never been much for the outdoors to be honest but I enjoy that aspect too now.

    A very well done to you especially with the mud you had to contend with. Nothing got in your way!


  • Thank you Sadeskin, you're always a real encouragement, you know that? (And I see you've changed your profile picture again - I really must do that. Mine looks like I'm trying to do a poo!)

    Yeah - the mud was not fun, even though I mostly just ran straight through the puddles, I didn't want to slip and injure myself. It wasn't fast or particularly pretty today, or even 5k, but I got there! x

  • Oh I have just managed to get a profile pic centre in the image! I did it on my laptop, whenever I try (using the app) you only see half of my head. There must have been a glitch as I now have a cover photo too. Only took graduating for these things to work!!

    Hhaaaa you made me smile but your pic is great!

    We went to the Junior Parkrun this morning, my boy runs it. It was very muddy and he was slightly reluctant to run through it. Good job you didnโ€™t slip over and yes ... totally not about speed esp in those conditions anyway. I hope you are still feeling high from your great achievement. Will you choose that route again?

  • Huge commiserations on your stinker of a run. My graduation run was similar, remembered for all the wrong reasons. Set them up carefully for a brilliant graduation.

    Huge congratulations on your graduation and coping with your new addiction.

    Consolidate and run for fun for a few weeks, while you work out where you want your running to take you and to further ingrain the habit.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • Aww thanks IannodaTruffe, yeah, wasn't the perfect run or anything, but a graduation is a graduation, right? :) I feel really comfortable with running now, it's most odd! I have confidence that actually doing 5k is well within my capability, just thinking of my poor knees! A little rest period should solve that problem. I nearly didn't go out this morning as my left one was hurting a little, but no way I was going to miss my graduation run. (I know, I know!!)

    I will keep posting updates on here anyway, since I gave up Facebook 18 months ago, this seems to have replaced it :)

    Thanks also for all your support and advice over the weeks.

  • Orrr brill - that's such good news๐Ÿ˜ฌvery well done Neil! Isn't it a good view from up here๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿท๐Ÿธ๐ŸŽ‰

  • Thanks Debbie698, yes it certainly is! Thanks for all your encouragement too, I think it's great that we all get stuck in and encourage each other, I couldn't have coped without it to be honest. I don't think I would have graduated, I think the "Black Dog" would have won.

    But - I did finally make it, and I'm chuffed to bits. Celebrating with a cuppa :)

  • I absolutely agree- I am having a glass of champagne on your behalf๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Yay! Buddy! You did it, just like I knew you would. Well done on your resilience, your pluck and your courage to run through puddles. Congratulations, you lovely graduate. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฅ‡๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿ˜˜

    It has been a real pleasure sharing this running journey lark with you. You have been my biggest supporter and your encouragement has meant so much to me, and to many others on here. You are a great runner and a kind person. It has been a joy watching you progress and go from strength to strength.

    Here's wishing you a happy, healthy running future, dear friend.

    Sadie-runs xxx

    PS I had a shocker of a run today too, very hard! But we did it. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘

  • Thanks Sadie-runs, you've been with me, cheerleading, for most if not all of my journey, and that encouragement and sometimes semi-gentle chastising and pep-talking has been wonderful, and just what I needed.

    I'm still coming to terms with seeing myself as a runner at all, not sure I qualify as a great runner, but at least I'm enjoying it. What I'm really looking foward to is being able to go a bit faster. I know my muscles are capable, but I still need to work on knee strength I think. Or I could just get my knees removed, they just seem to cause trouble :P

    Yup, consolidation is the key I think.

    Oh - and sorry your run was a difficult one :( I think we all understand now that there are good runs and bad runs. Just think of it this way, that's one less bad run on the pile for later on!

    Do keep in touch though. Oh - and I see I've been upgraded to 3 kisses now, that must be because I graduated :)

    Take care you,

    Neil-runs-too xxx

  • I'm hearing lots of fireworks tonight, Neil, and am pretty sure they are all for you. ๐Ÿ˜€

    And hey, who cares if we are not great runners or not?! We get out there and we run, and that's pretty great. As for getting to 5k - sheesh! Don't get me started! I ran this morning and when I finished and looked at MapMyRun I had done 4:98. I just laughed! Nearly there, you will be too. Just look after those knees.

    Three kisses cos you are a fabulous person and a worthy graduate. ๐Ÿ˜Š So glad Neil-runs-too.

    Sadie-runs xxx

  • Absolutely brilliantly well done Neil. โœ… I am so pleased for you. Welcome to the wonderful world of being a graduate ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿผโ€๐ŸŽ“๐ŸŽ‰

  • Thanks so much Kim, doesn't seem like 5 minutes since you graduated actually. I still can't quite take it in!

  • Fantastic- cheering loudly for you! The running world's your oyster now. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Let us know how the next stage of your running journey goes.

  • Thanks Elfe5, all cheerleaders welcome!

    Not had oysters for years actually, but I guess now is as good a time as any to start again!!

    I'm certainly planning to keep up with this forum, and I will be posting, maybe not every run, but frequently, simply because I know how much encouragement I get, and also it's great to have come out of the other side and be able to encourage others too.

  • Brilliant achievement and even better to do it one a bit so good Run. Just think how many great runs are just round the corner. Lovely to hear how running has changed your attitude to things. I know exactly what you mean. Iโ€™ve found myself driving along looking at roads Iโ€™ve never noticed before thinking โ€œoo that looks like a great place to runโ€ lol. Onwards and upwards fellow alumni of C25K.

  • Thanks Renmurew, I have to say that I'm looking forward to my first decent run with no leg gremlins or nasty mud baths!!

    It's a strange thing running, it's done wonders for my mental health, and my original goal was simply to get less unfit.

    Thanks for all your words of encouragement along the way too. :)

  • Woohoo! Well done, Neil. Fab stuff!

  • Aww thanks! I'm actually still grinning :) Going to sit in bed shortly as my left knee is complaining at me lol

  • Brilliant Neil! Way to settle in and nail it, through puddles and all! Congrats, thats a big moment there! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ’ฅ

  • Thank you Decker! This was the first run I actually gave up on dodging small puddles, and just ran through 'em. My trainers and socks were soaked by the end, but I honestly didn't care. Just looking forward to consolidating and actually hitting 5K in 30 minutes now :)

  • haha - like being a kid again! That's how it should be :) . Consolidating can be a nice phase and then, who knows whats next?

  • Quite fancy a park run... though they sound rather intimidating...

  • The park runs look like good fun! I donโ€™t have any nearby so Iโ€™ve never tried one personally

  • Great post.. absolutely amazing and you have had one heck of a journey...:)

    HUGE congratulations and very, very well done.

    Get over to that podium......it is party time.. and that shiny badge looks just great on you!


    No eating any elephants... they are my favourite animal! :)

  • Awww thanks Oldfloss, and I absolutely positively could not have done this without your support and wisdom, thanks so much!

    And don't worry about the elephants, no *actual* elephants were harmed :)

    Oh and my party? Just a cuppa and a sit down, though I will have a whisky before bed in a few minutes. Just a small one, have to be up for work in the morning :/

  • Brilliant... I think a small tot is in order for you :) Well done!

  • I have 3 of my favourite things... tea, whisky, and you lovely lot!

  • Massive Congratulations Neil!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

  • Thank you John, much appreciated, and thanks for your words of wisdom and encouragement along the way!!

  • Thank you Neil :)

  • Whoopee!!! Well done Neil!!! So pleased for you! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

  • Thanks Polly, I never expected that this many people would respond. It's quite amazing really :)

  • Cos itโ€™s an amazing bunch on here!! ๐Ÿ˜œ

  • You're not wrong!! I'm now at the stage of replying to the replies to my replies of the original replies to my post. Phew, my brain hurts even thinking about it!

  • Hahahah I would take it easy and enjoy being a graduate ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

  • Congratulations, 4.5k on graduation is really good. Happy running ๐Ÿ˜

  • Thank you Jenny! I just need to consolidate now, and make sure I can work on speed a bit after that. Desperate to hit that 5k, slightly gutted that I haven't already, but that's dodgy knees for you :)

  • Iโ€™ve just graduated this morning. Itโ€™s a fantastic feeling! Iโ€™m not at 5k either more like 4 but like you working towards it. Weโ€™ve managed this far so Iโ€™m sure weโ€™ll get to 5k! Good luck.

  • Well done, itโ€™s funny how some runs are so much harder than others. Iโ€™ve just done run 3 of week 8 and am not sure how I got through it, it was horrid!

  • Thanks :) Yes they are, aren't they? But trust me on this. You got through it, and you are perfectly capable of completing week 9. Just remember to pace yourself, and you'll totally nail it!

  • Well done @316neil fantastic effort and a well deserved achievement...

  • Awwww thanks Christene :) Looks like you're not too far behind yourself. When are you hoping to finish?

  • Well, if I run to schedule it would be Wednesday, but, I fancy finishing with a flourish @316neil so will delay my final run to coincide with Saturdays Park Run, and get my 5k at the same time ... ๐Ÿ˜€. Couple of extra rest days wonโ€™t hurt either ... ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Sounds like a plan to me! Can't wait to hear how you get on with the park run, slightly too scared to try that yet :-)

  • Am almost there, if Iโ€™d done one more lap of the boating lake the other night I would have done it already, but sort of want my cake, and eat it with Ice Cream, and a few strawberries on the side ... ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. Itโ€™s not going to be a record breaker though, if the 30 minutes is up before the finish, and it will be, there will be walking involved .... ๐Ÿ™„

  • Fantastic news. I bet you are over the moon. Well done you

  • Yes I am over the moon, whilst feeling a little peeved at not having achieved 5k yet. I know I know, it's about time not distance, but I am a little OCD about these things!!

    I'm still excited though!!

  • I have done a couple of Park rubs since graduating. It takes me about 36 and a half mins ๐Ÿ˜„ plenty time to work on times . Keep us posted

  • Thanks, I certainly will :-) And of course I'm far too polite to comment on the autocorrect!!

  • Hahahahahahaha I did not notice that ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Woohoo! ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ Absolutely amazing. Iโ€™m so pleased for you Neil. You must feel fabulous. Itโ€™s been good to read your posts and see you progress. Keep on running and enjoying the outdoors. ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐ŸŽ“

  • Thank you TJMazz, and thank you so much for all your encouraging comments over the weeks. It won't be too long for you now, eh?

  • Youโ€™re very welcome. So pleased youโ€™ve done it and hope you keep running. Iโ€™ll keep you posted on my progress ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  • Many Congratulations to you Neil, on a fantastic achievement ! :-) xxx

  • Thank you poppypug! It's really heartwarming when an existing graduate responds with encouragement like that you know. I guess we've all been on the journey, right?

  • Aw that's so nice Neil , thank you . Yes we all started from the same place :-) xxx

  • Huge congratulations, well done you! Enjoy your well deserved bling! ๐Ÿ…๐Ÿƒโ˜บ

  • Thank you JB173, I'm still getting used to seeing "Graduate" after my name actually. It's quite surreal :)

  • I've been waiting for this post and I've only just had time to sit and read today's posts. What a fabulous achievement and I would whoop and dance round the room right now I'm delighted for you.

    Welcome to the podium you are a true inspiration way to go you. You are a runner and graduate ๐Ÿฅ‡๐Ÿ†๐Ÿƒ

  • Thank you so much for the lovely comments Carolyn, and of course your support along the way.

    It's funny you know, talking of responding to posts, that's all I've been doing for the last hour :) All of them deserve a response though, because each person has put time and effort in to congratulations, encouragement etc.

    * Disclaimer - I may not get through them all before I need to go to bed!!

  • Well done you! I graduated last week and my run was very tricky....so I know exactly how you're feeling.....but you did it, waterlogged or not! Great stuff!

  • Awww thank you! Yeah - the puddles were effectively mini-lakes. I would have been better donning a swimming cap and speedos to be honest ;)

    Congratulations on your graduation too. You've done brilliantly!

  • Amazing very well done to you!!! :)

  • Awww thank you. You've been quietly supporting me along the way, and I really appreciate that!

  • Good luck with your next steps :).... Relax and let it flow and enjoy the consolidation period. I've just signed up for Bridge to 10k (eek!), but I've had a looonnnnggg 3 months of consolidation since graduating! I found it's helped just to get into the habit of 3 x 30 mins a week, so t's like second nature (still hard mind!). Only now do I feel I can move on. But everyone is different and you'll know what's right for you. But I think enjoying it has to be at the top of the list :)

  • Well done you! Hope u will keep posting now that you graduated.

  • Thank you :) Can't quite believe it actually.

    Yes - I intend to keep posting here, you lot are a little bit like family now :)

  • Sorry to hear youโ€™re feeling like that. Do you think a bit of the deflation might be because itโ€™s over too? Iโ€™m a little worried Iโ€™ll be gutted when itโ€™s over. But we have a plan, right?! Podcasts woop woop!

    Thatโ€™s a good point, thank you. Think Iโ€™ll stick with what Iโ€™ve got, I was just taken by comments about feeling like youโ€™re running on air ๐Ÿ˜‚

    I feel a bit confused about the fact that thereโ€™s only 3 more weeks left but Iโ€™m only 5 minutes away from the total end running time. How did you find the final weeks?

  • Thanks Minnow, it's OK you know, I'm still very pleased, just a bit annoyed I didn't make 5K. And also, I'm feeling a bit like "now what?", but it's OK, because I have consolidation to occupy me now, and getting to the magic 5K!

    I noticed a massive difference underfoot with my new trainers, but that's probably because I started out with my years-old ones, the difference was incredible.

    I think the last 3 weeks are more about consolidating what you've already done. The jump from 25 to 30 minutes is really not much physically, but your fitness will still increase, which means after 3 x 30 minute runs, you hopefully won't be dead!!

    Stick with it, I know you will, I shall be cheering you on all the way. It's been quite a journey, hasn't it? I bet you're beating your dad up those hills now!

  • I didnโ€™t realise until I read this that the program should be called couch to 30 minutes! There is no way Iโ€™m going to be covering 5k in 30 minutes so Iโ€™ll join you in that boat ๐Ÿšฃ what is consolidation?!

    Now Iโ€™m officially a runner I should probably invest in some new shoes. Glad you saw an improvement when you got yours.

    3 x 30 minutes?! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ you deserve that graduation badge!

  • Brilliant Well done!!!

  • Thank you so much! The support on here is just amazing, isn't it?

  • Congratulations and well done on your achievement. You are a true inspiration xxx

  • Wow, thanks so much :) Loving your profile pic btw!

  • Fabulous post, and well done! I knew you'd ace it though.

    I am in awe of puddle and mud runners, out on unfriendly terrain in inclement conditions. Not easy at all, and finding the motivation to get out there and dive in when it's cold and wet is no mean feat.

    Glad your knees are ok too - hoping you'll be off the IC for good now. Revel in your achievement today, and please, keep running and keep posting! I have really enjoyed reading your posts.

  • Sorry I was en route home from Italy, so missed your graduation post. Brilliantly done Neil itโ€™s just fantastic that you got there, a really fab achievement for a really fab runner

  • Great work fella, congratulations and welcome to the club! Thanks for the advice on elephant eating, those things are a bit tough, I was finding the trunk a bit chewy......!

  • Is the party still going, because I'd like to join!?! Congratulations Neil!!๐ŸŽ‰ you've had a hard fought battle, but never let it beat you. Your journey has been fabulous to be a part of. Thank you for sharing so much of it with us. Enjoy basking in the light of graduation, get rested and sort that knee out, because here starts your new life as a runner, and I'm hoping you're going to keep sharing your exploits with us. โ˜บ๏ธ ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Neil...how did I miss this...

    ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰*Huge Congratulations *๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

    Well done on Graduating the c25k program..Your journey has been tough with your knee issues, but you have always been cheerful and encouraging to your fellow runners and your posts are a delight to read.

    So a puddly run...but you made it to the podium and received a great ovation. So โœ‹and๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘from me too๐Ÿ˜„and I know you will carry on running and get that 5k nailed too.

    Happy running Graduate๐Ÿ˜Šxx

  • Thanks Jan, that's lovely! I do try to be encouraging, and not write anything I wouldn't be happy to read myself. And everyone else has been so wonderfully encouraging to me.

    The knee is still annoying me, so I'm having a rest until the weekend, at which point I'll do some consolidation!!

    Thanks so much for all the encouragement along the way too!

  • Sorry 316neil, I had a hectic weekend and didn't see your post ๐Ÿ™ˆ ... and what an awesome post it is ๐Ÿค—

    Huge congratulations on your graduation - really, really well done..!! ... and congratulations to your knees too, they did you proud ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Awww thanks :-) I still can't quite believe it, and seeing "Graduate" after my name just seems strange.

    I'm giving my poor knees a few days rest, they need it! I should be back out there at the weekend all being well.

  • You look good wearing your Graduate title ๐Ÿค—

    Haha, bless them - mine are taking an extra rest day today in preparation for my last 2 runs (not ever, of course) ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Happy running at the weekend ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Thank you! Never thought I'd see the day that I had graduate after my name for anything remotely athletic!!!

  • Brilliant well done ๐Ÿ‘

  • Hey thanks :) it's definitely quite a journey, but a good and worthwhile one.

  • Excellent! Well done 316neil that is amazing

  • Awesome! It's great to see your graduate label. Feel immensely pleased for you....and just hope I can get there too. :)

  • So just a little nag.... have you been for a run or are you resting on your laurels????

  • I only say this as a complete and utter hypocrite as i ditched my run today to go Christmas shopping instead! although I did end up looking at running gear....:)

  • Thank you sweet Jan ;-) Nope, not run since my graduation :-( my knee is not happy still and not improving much, and this week at work has just been a nightmare too. Really really hoping I can get out this weekend! I'll do a proper post later... thanks so much for your concern though, it means a lot x

  • Oh you poor thing the knee issue is difficult, and you don't want to injure yourself more. Finger's crossed it gets better soon. J

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