W9R3. There we are then: 'The End of The Begin... - Couch to 5K

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W9R3. There we are then: 'The End of The Beginning.'


Apologies for the Churchillian quotation, but that was a bit of a battle. I had planned to do my graduation run on Friday as I've done three toughish (for me) runs in 6 days, but, circumstances and commitments dictated I had to go today.

And now it is done! Huzzah!

But what a pantomime! I decided to run along the track and bridleway down to the woods as the fields, canal tow paths and the Moss are sodden and flooded in places. It is basically a wet hole here and we are surrounded by rare wetlands and bogs, canals and lakes: it is an incredibly beautiful and rare environment but often very, very wet.

I didn't count on my mate, a local farmer, deciding to harvest fodder beet today. I had to negotiate huge wheel ruts, beet scattered everywhere, mud everywhere and tractors and trailers blocking the path and forcing me to run out into the field or find myself harvested and fed to cattle.

My plan to cruise along in a euphoric state, powered by The Pogues blasting my lugholes, didn't quite work out.

It was the hardest run by far out of all 27. But, never mind, it is done. I now look forward to consolidating for a few weeks before moving on. As I've said before, I only started this because I was forced to stop my principal sport, swimming, due to serious shoulder injuries: my wife Karen was doing C25K and I simply grew curious. To be honest, I doubted whether I would ever drag my 98Kg agricultural carcase along for 30 minutes without stopping, but, this programme really works. I never really ran more than the length of a rugby pitch -and only then if I couldn't find one of those sickeningly fast backs to pass to-and in my farming life I had teams of sheepdogs to run around for me. Nope, I never saw myself as a runner. But, by some strange sorcery, I appear to have become one.

Anyway, special thanks to all those who have given support and advice: this is a great forum.

40 Replies

Wow, oh wow! you did it! Well done!!! and I would be thrilled to have that distance and pace.

My turn Friday, but I will be slower and not go as far.

So pleased for you.

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to FlickM3

Many thanks Flick: it has been great to have your company and support on the journey. All the very best for Friday: I hope you will be wearing the star-spangled leggings?

FlickM3Graduate in reply to Pm3eak

Well thank you for your company and support too. i have very much looked forward to your posts.

I think the purple starry leggings might be saved for slightly warmer times, as they are thinner than my others, much as i would like a victory portrait of myself in them :)

Millsie-JGraduate in reply to FlickM3

Just wear two thin pairs maybe?

FlickM3Graduate in reply to Millsie-J

Why didnt I think of that 😊


Great post thanks and huge well done! Bask on that shiny podium (not a beet in sight)!

Enjoy the next part of your running journey- preferably without being fed to cattle. 😃


Congrats, congrats, congrats. Sounds like a memorable, albeit not easy run!

Enjoy the next phase of your running journey.

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to SaskAlliecat

Thank you! I feel ridiculously excited.

SaskAlliecatGraduate in reply to Pm3eak

I hear you. Many of us felt exactly the same way. Yup, you're definitely hooked 😆


Brilliant achievement, you ARE a RUNNER 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏅🌟🎓

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Millsie-J

Thank you!


Well done on graduating. The name wem rang a bell so had to googlemaps it. I used to live in shawbury as a young lad some 37 years ago and recall my brother used to go to wem for high school. Lots of lovely rural memories, maypoles and corn dollies for some reason.

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to pinkaardvark

Thank you! Much appreciated. Yes, Shawbury not far away. My Mum's side of the family lived there since 1700s...possibly longer, that is as far as we could go back. My Dad was born just outside Shawbury too. We are pretty much inbred around here...and yes, very rural.

pinkaardvarkGraduate in reply to Pm3eak

Wow, that's great that you can trace your lineage so far back, mine came off a potato boat in glasgow not too many years ago from Ireland I suspect. I was an RAF brat so just passing through shropshire..


Sometimes you just have to grab your moment - well done for not being defeated and getting to the end of the programme.

The good news is you can take the day off from running tomorrow!! Enjoy the alcohol free celebrations.

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Richard7

Thank you Richard. Yes, no running today...just the usual trudge with the dogs. Way behind with the garden too so hoping for a few dry days.


Look, look, you e got graduate after your name!!!

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to FlickM3

Surreal. If my golf and rugby mates see that they will be more merciless than Ming, your Garmin.

FlickM3Graduate in reply to Pm3eak

Take no notice of them!

And perhaps that should be GarMing ;)


Wahay! Well done 👍😃

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to misswobble

Due in no small sport to the support you give to all of us: thank you!


Great post. Well done. Enjoy the next stage of your running journey :)

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to helenwheels

Thank you: I am looking forward to it.


Congratulations and best of luck with the next stage of your running journey!!🙂

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Sandraj39

Many thanks: I am looking forward to progressing.


Ah now then, what you need with your most excellent choice of tonic is a wondrous thing called Peak Zero Proof which is non-alcoholic gin, sold at a price which isn't the same piss-take as the also excellent but egregiously expensive Seedlip Garden.

Available mail order.

(No financial interest, just very happy to have been able to knock back a couple whilst doing the Christmas spuds and sprouts and not fall asleep in my dinner)

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to GoogleMe

Thank you for this: I found the website and you are right, it is much more sensibly priced than others I've seen. I will give it a go.


Many Congratulations Pm3eak😁....

I can just picture your graduation run..with you picking your way through that rutted field edge..Pa Larkin style with elbows flaying...😆

Not how you imagined, but done nevertheless. We'll done👏👏👏👏

Now the adventures start...

Happy running Graduate 😊xx

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Bluebirdrunner

Thank you Jan-now-runs. The Pa Larkin analogy is pretty much spot on-dare I say, 'Perfick'?

Today I shall mostly be cleaning half a field off my running shoes.


Yeayhhh! Very well done! The three witches from the bogs did a great job ;-) Hope you will enjoy some more happy, easy running as your graduate run was more like a trail running in the wetlands. The running spell is on you!

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Anthie

Yes, those three kept their promise: not only did I graduate but I am now Thane of Northwood! ( Apparently, some Scottish chap had already been promised the Cawdor gig).

Fantastic achievement 👏👏really well done 👍

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Chairmanoftheboards

Many thanks: I really appreciate everyone's support.

Woohoo well done on your graduation. I hope you are enjoying celebrating your fantastic achievement 🏆🍾🥇

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Cornet-Carolyn

Thank you! : I am looking forward to the next run.

Congratulations that man!!!

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to Imeviesgranny

Thank you!: it still seems surreal.


Welcome to the podium! Bet you are very pleased. How has your wife fared with the programme?

Pm3eakGraduate in reply to VictoriaRuns

Thank you! She is doing very well and is into week 9 without any effort at all. Unlike me she is small, swift and always been a natural runner. When we were farming I stood in the middle of the field whistling while she ran around with the dogs. However, she works long hours as a teacher and finds it hard to fit runs in during these weeks of short days. She leaves before light and gets home late, plus we are out in the sticks and it is virtually impossible to run in the dark with any degree of safety. I tried to get her to join the forum but she hasn't yet. I know she has a 10k in mind later this year so I think she might join that forum.

VictoriaRunsGraduate in reply to Pm3eak

Wow you both seem very active so I'm sure this will supplement your lifestyle nicely. I live in the sticks too. Looking forward to the days getting longer and brighter, as I'm sure you both are

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