Couch to 5K
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Catching your breath...

Catching your breath...

...her secret is patience.

For those of my friends on here who know me... Floss ramble coming up... for those who don't.. here I am, rambling:)

I love my roles on the forum, both as a Mentor and a member of the Admin team. I take my roles seriously... but I worry.. sometimes too much :)

I have a bit of a reputation as such.. as both an advocate of slow and steady and most satisfyingly, a nannying old fogey:)

So... over the last few days, particularly after the departure of the Beast from the East, I have noticed folk being less than kind.... to themselves:)

Many references to loss of motivation, and loss of fitness; aches, pains and worries about time, pace and distance.

Time then now, for a breather:)

I have rambled about this before, so I am going to, without apology, repeat myself.. once more.

I have used these phrases over and over again :)

During this programme, it is all too easy, to push too hard and to be swayed or persuaded, or even encouraged, often with the best of intentions, by other speedier, or less experienced runners

This programme is intended as a slow, structured build up to 30-minute runs after nine weeks. (If it takes you longer, then that is fine…. If you never make 5K, that is fine… you do not have to, to become a Graduate.) It is also intended to be enjoyable. Fun is meant to be had on your journey, learning about yourself and your running, getting fitter and stronger with every week.

However, the definition of what I mean by slow, is a tricky one to explain. But what I intend folk to take from any advice I may offer, is, simply, to find a comfortable, sustainable pace for the runs within their own running journey.

My slow, is not your slow… my slow, is slower than some and speedier than others. There are runners on here, who if moving slowly, would be at least 1K ahead of me, also moving slowly.

But, my runs are done at my pace, my comfortable and happy pace and I choose to run as slowly or as quickly as I am comfortable with, depending on the run: challenging myself, yes, but never pushing to the point of reducing myself to an exhausted, over-heated, sickened wet-rag of a runner.

This is your C25K and your choice of pace, but try, maybe, to find that comfortable pace for yourself, and, if you are new to running, then do, take it steadily through those first uncertain runs of the programme, and as the runs increase in time, start to feel your stamina increasing, your strength building and those running legs growing. Find that happy running pace for yourself. Get there having had fun.

The incredible, seasoned Graduates on here, amazing runners, who have proved their worth, over and over again, influenced and still influence my progress, with their tried and tested advice and their sound contributions to this forum. I am in awe of them. Listen to their advice.

Relax...follow the plan... take it gently, have patience and reach the Graduation podium safely, injury free, enjoyably and in your own time :)

PS

In case anyone is wondering... yes, that is me... half-way up Tryfan in the Ogwen valley...YoungFloss :)

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Thank you so much! I really enjoyed reading this post. Such sound advice is much appreciated 🤗

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It holds true for all of us.. wherever we are on our running travels:)

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Thanks again! I have been a bit off the boil, will try again tomorrow!!

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...and you will get there... :)

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Well said 😊 xx

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Thanks you.. xxx Glad to have you back with us :)

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Thankyou lovely 😊 i was really glad you posted this as i seem to be a bit stuck at the moment...since i finished c25k i dont feel like i have moved forward...still running for just about 30 minutes but not reaching 5k in that time OR reaching just over 5k but over 30 minutes so need to get rid of the mental block thats telling me i SHOULD be doing a certain distance in a certain time!!!i see others flying along progress wise but i still feel stuck!!!

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Totally sympathise. Me, too. But your comment made me realise I need not focus on the stuckness rather could focus on the runs - every one of which is a forward motion, long, short, slow or fast. A bit Zen - may need to chew it over a bit longer.😏 Good - relevant - discussion!

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Nothing like a bit of Zen.. I had a great little book of Zen, it had so many useful phrases that kept me going through stressful times, pre running:) I lost it though :(

But as long as you are not running backwards..( which I did try a winter or two ago..)

you are going forward:) Go you :)

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Well... you have moved forward in so many ways and on so many levels... have you had a trip across to Bridge to 10K and taken a peek... and maybe check out this post too;

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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I have tiptoed over there...but too scared to post as i dont feel like i am worthy haha 😂🤣

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You come over right now....you can sit with me ( the Big School) I felt exactly the same way.. and look at me now...( well maybe not) :)

It is so friendy and you will know so many of us :) I will be waiting :)

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Noooo! Post on there! You have every right to and it would be great to "see" you there! It's a great forum for keeping up your motivation post-graduation. I know it can be easy to feel a bit lost without the structure of the programme but once you start to find your way again, you can really take off at that point. I can't honestly say I've made colossal strides ahead since graduating - my knee is a recurrent problem and demands that I do not increase distances or times much, and it is a pity because otherwise I am sure I would have done a lot more by now. But I feel that I have made my running "my own" over this period and really started to love it.

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Ah thats great 😊 well done 😊 it is a bit tricky i think once the programme is finished!!!too many conflicting issues going on over here too!!!i will be brave & head over soon 😉 x

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Whenever you feel like it.... we'll be ready to welcome you :)

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Ah thats lovely thankyou 😊

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I am there and I think I have a PB of 5.3k - once - a bit by accident. The Big kids are nice.

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Hehe 😁 i think i will remain a tortoise forever!!!

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Love this post - such great advice!

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Your C25K... your way... and having fun :) x

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Adopt the pace of nature, and learn patience.Lovely piece from the Mentor, Runner, Painter, Administrator ,Bard ,Gremlin squasher 😂with a wealth of weapons and gems to support this forum.🌟

Thank you.👏👏

No having to use towels to bag your spot at the pool or beach then.🤔🙈😂😂😂🌟

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Indeed :) But then I do get up early, so any swimming will be done before most folk are stirring :)

I am, just a runner, who has been fortunate enough to become a part of this amazing forum family. Thank you.

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😂😂Now, why have I never thought of that 🙈😂😂

Yes, and you are an amazing

Leader also ,inspiritational,

always on your front foot.🌟👏👏

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Wise words for us all, wherever we are with our running. Slow is best and it's so simple but it's so easy to forget with everything else going on.

We are so lucky to have you taking the time to help and reassure us all on our journey, you are one special lady OF :)

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Totally agree FPF, We are so lucky to have lovely Floss encouraging and guiding us.😊x

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You are just too kind xxx

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What a lovely thing to say.. you have done and are doing brilliantly and sharing your runs, a privilege:)

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A post that is spot on (as usual) :-) I will particularly keep it in mind tomorrow while I'm going for the 7K in Ju-Ju's 10 K programme at my own pace, enjoying the park and its birds. Thank you!

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Enjoy ! I did Ju's programme for a repeat 10K and found it brilliant:) Just realising that you do it your way and have fun is the thing :)

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Balanced advice Olfloss! Thank your for your varied roles/contributions!

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No, thank you... I really enjoy taking the runs with you and sharing them :)

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Such a great post Floss, and yes, everyone should enjoy the c25k journey without pressure or worries.

I had great fun today on my 30 minute run...😊xx

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Thanks you x. You are having a terrific time and dong amazingly in the process..I may need to look at those Zombies:) xxxx

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Words of wisdom,

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Just saying it as it is..you are all awesome:)

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Wise words for us newbies to take on board. I'm a bit of a loner by nature anyway but one of the reasons i like to run - and cycle - by myself is that I like to go at my own pace without feeling that I have to go faster than i'm comfortable with to keep up or to go slower than I want to (ha! If I went any slower i'd be walking!)

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Haha.. that made me smile.. I was the original Grey Snail.. and nay of us feel and felt like you...but, it really does not matter.

I run, so I can take everything in and then i write about it... I am a lone runner too and have only ever run with one other person once, ( an awesome runner from the forum:)

You carry on and have fun :)

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Very timely and wise advice - just what I needed at this stage in the programme. Will stop me fussing about times, etc, and focus on enjoyment and achievement! Thanks Oldfloss. x

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That is so good then:) Just carry on and enjoy the runs...L)

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You're ace Oldfloss 👍🏼😀

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Not really, but you are... as are all the brilliant folk on here:)

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A great reminder that we should be enjoying it out there. 😊

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What it is all about... pure running joy... even on the dull and wet days.. well done:)

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Too right. You have made my day!

I did The Big Half in London last week and was disappointed in myself because I didn’t meet my own goal (which was to do the full 13.1 without stopping). Just after 9 miles I did stop for a bit and I stopped another 2/3 times too). I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself and feel I left my running mojo somewhere on a cobbled street in East London.

I have not run all week and was lying in bed wondering if I could be bothered to get out to Parkrun today. You’ve made up my mind! Me and my deflated mojo will head out and enjoy a run. I just needed to remember how much I love running and that it is fun.

Thank you 💕

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I am so, so glad, and WOW!!!!

The Big Half.. and disappointed... what an oxymoron. But, I do understand, we do, and quite rightly, set ourselves challenges, I think the trick is to focus on the achievement, not the disappointment and to use that to move on:)

Enjoy your run...just because you can... and go you!!!!

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Thank you for the words of wisdom. I used to run with my hubby at his pace and constantly gave up. So when I started C25K I stuck to my pace and made the 30mins and 5k without any major problems. But my problem is I’m still not sure I like it 😞🙄😞. I’d love to feel a desire to go out, enjoying the running and satisfaction afterwards but I’m just not sure. I try to run twice a week and I’m hoping one day the thrill will kick in...but! 🤪🙃

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Thank you and such an interesting reply.

I think it is commendable that you are still running twice a week... we are not sure when we set out on C25K, and I suspect that a fair few folk don't enjoy it and don't carry on.

I began, very unsure, but realised very quickly that I thoroughly enjoyed it... not just the runs, but the fact it freed my creativity again... my writing, which had taken a back seat and got a bit stifled.. the urge to begin painting ( taking up watercolours) and keeping an ongoing diary log of all the runs. So, for me it is about more than running.

You did really well completing C25K; what about trying another branch of the running...I know you were thinking of the 10K across on the Bridge to 10K forum... have you begun that?

Maybe take a look this post too. Put together by IannodaTruffe it is full of ideas... there may be something that appeals. x

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Keep me posted?

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Thank you for the swift response I will follow up the links and let you know x

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Chilling this morning.. pouring here and it is my run day tomorrow :) A lazy start for me and time to catch up with folk on here:)

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Oldfloss ..... you are wonderful.......

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You folk all are... I am just happy to be here with you :)

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Well put. What I take away from this forum is that the programme should be trusted and everyone’s journey is different. It’s so supportive and has been so helpful to me.

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That is just how it should be,, trust the programme and have confidence in yourself :)

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Are you some kind of mind reader oldfloss? Nature is great teacher for me. I ve come home to cold wet grey weather my sunny running seems a little unreal. I dashed out into the garden to greet any new growth but of course the flowers are sensible still tucked up warm, waiting patiently for the right conditions. They are not rushing to dazzle me with their very best because in this weather they seem to know that would be a brief display before they got battered and frozen . So your post came very well timed for me on what should be park run day. I will go for my run today but later, on my own at my own pace . I’m feeling the post holiday lethargy and I’m a bit shamefaced to say I’ve deliberately had breakfast as an excuse not to go to park run on a full tum (how sad is that). My younger sister is in Barcelona doing her 2 marathon of the year with 3 more to come.... so all in all I was feeling rather deflated . As usual your timely wise words remind me that it’s ok to take breather, it’s ok to run when,where,and in whatever way suits the moment. This is my journey and I really appreciate the time and patience that you and others on this forum give mentoring us new runners thanks 😀

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I have been called a Witch many times :) x

Go you.. you are like me, out there watching for all the little tell-tale signs of new life...

I hope you got out today and I hope the run went a little way, to dispelling the deflated feeling.

You are you.. and that is enough ...welcome home:)

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What a wonderful post!

I really think that trying to take the 5k bit out of the equation is a good idea. (I know that C2 30 mins doesn't have a very good ring to it...). And I am personally not entirely convinced by the need to collect loads of stats on ourselves in the earliest stages of our running life. We are after all not really looking at performance, but preparation, conditioning, adjustment, and these are things that IMO are best judged subjectively (an exception might be the need to keep an eye on heartrate for those with certain health conditions - I am thinking of a new runner with no specific limiting health conditions). Fun though the various apps and and running watches etc are, I think it is easy to be more conditioned than we realise by the stats we collect. Obtaining loads of information is simple but we aren't very good at then knowing what to do with it or how to make it useful for us as unique individuals.

The only parameter in C25k is time, and one of the most interesting parts IMO is learning how to control pace to get through increasing run times - and I think that is best done on the basis of simpler methods such as aiming at conversational pace (the run I spent on the phone to my daughter was one of my most instructive!)

I am not suggesting there is no place for monitoring our runs - it's loads of fun, I do it myself and have done since my graduation run and I enjoy it, but I can see how it can become a bit of a straitjacket too. I just don't really think there is much of a place for it during C25k, or if it is being used as a motivational tool, then it should be done with great care.

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Great reply Helene.. Thank you, and you are right.. monitoring has its place and I use it to help with my progress... used properly it can be a terrific aid. I just worry when it starts to impact on the enjoyment, at this early stage..as you say, it becomes a bit of a strait jacket.. :)

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Thanks for this post. Since graduating I've now worked up to running for about 45 minutes but I still get hung up on average km per minute!! but not any more. I shall now concentrate on enjoying running without putting this pressure on myself. Happy running 😊

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Great..just run.. and enjoy :)

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So right Floss.

I remember what a hurry I was in, even though I stuck to the plan, but would say your mantra of slow and steady is the only safe and reliable way to become a runner.

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Thanks Tim... I enjoy being a slow and steady old fogey :) x

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It's good to remember that although it is called couch to 5k, the plan does not set pace or distance goals, but focuses purely on building up the time you can run for.

Good post as always. A well timed reminder that running, above all, should be enjoyable.

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Enjoyment. it is, what it is all about:)

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That was really helpful. Thank you 😆

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You are welcome..just keep posting your lovely photographs:)

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great post , im running more than 5k now and do always pop on to the forums for motivation etc , and im still slow , im MY slow , which i love, im not competing with anyone else , im trying to be better than i was 3 months ago , 6 months ago , a year ago , i now run because i cant bear not too , i have goals and dreams and i will acheive them , but ill do them slowly lol , happy running everyone , the reason i joined this forum ( not to outrun zombies , but the colchester half with my daughter ) is in 2 weeks , and i will be slow , steady and relentless all the way round !!! but ill also think back to last year when it was a distant dream and i could not run for 60 seconds , stick with the program , do it at your own pace , its for YOU no one else x ! PS my hubby runs with me now too ... apparently " im an inspiration!"

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That is fabulous.. running together:)

Go you and just enjoy the Half Marathon :) I shall watch for your post :)

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Ooh Good luck with your HM in two weeks secksy, brilliant that you are your daughter can do this together!😊xx

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That is spot on! I feel such a sense of achievement after each run and people in the park often pass me but I don’t care as i’m running at my pace! I didn’t run at all in the snow but last tuesday I went back out and thought i’m gonna do this as it is self achievement and the main thing is i’m doing some exercise! Life gives us a hard time without us doing it to ourselves!

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Brilliant.. go you.. we have to remember, we are our best asset :)

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Thanks for writing this. We live in a world that encourages us to compare ourselves and our performance to others and even to our younger selves and it is easy to feel that we are not good enough, fast enough, fit enough. It is really helpful to be reminded that this C25k thing is something we are doing for ourselves as we are now.

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So true..:)

" Comparison is the thief of joy".

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Great advice as always Oldfloss and I remember in Wk5 as I was approaching my first 20min run you said to me to take it slow and steady and enjoy it.

The last 5mins of that 20min run was so tough but I kept saying over and over in my head “slow and steady, slow and steady” until I finished my run. I’m now in Wk7 and your mantra I constantly repeat to myself so that I find a nice steady pace, enjoy the run and complete it.

Thank you Oldfloss 😊

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It gets us to the most amazing places, doesn't it ? I say it so myself, so often..

Well done you x

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Look at you on top of the world! A very wise post Floss and what’s this about “young” Floss? You’re still young! xxx

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Ha ha!!

We worked out last night.. I was 22!!!!

Oh my goodness..was I ever 22???

The post just seemed timely..:) xx

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Yes perspective is everything Floss (I still refuse to call you old) and everything is relative. Its so easy to get caught up in other’s numbers, but our own milestones are what counts in our own personal progress, as everyones challenges and struggles are different. That said, it is always very inspiring to see how far others have gone and gives you some hope that you could maybe pull it off too with time and some work. These boards have been my running lifeline for a full year now from 5k to 10k and now further on. I am very grateful for having stumbled across them and the kind folk like yourself😁.

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Do you know my friend, I don't know where the Old, came from... I think when began the programme, maybe I felt old??

Now.. I don't...even when my body lets me down a bit.. :) But.. I started as Oldfloss so I will stick with it:) And I love that you call me Floss x

You are doing wonderfully.. and making incredible progress, it is great having you here:)

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You rock, Floss and so does everyone else that has taken up this running thing here! xxoo

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Good advice, but a bit of a shock always assumed you were a man 🤣

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Honestly .. ? Hahahahhaha !

No.. all woman!

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Had a picture of a wise old sage with a white beard and calf muscles like boulders 💪

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I love it... I absolutely love it.. but the name, Floss ???

I don't even have white hair... and.. since C25K and having a small runner in training to keep me racing around... my figure is almost like it was in the pikkie..and I think I am as strong as I was then :)

I am so going to have to do a cartoon of myself as you see me.. thank you so much :))

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... and as such... totally awesome :) Ha ha !

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Exactly 🙌🙌

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I thought you were a wise man too x

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My goodness Floss!

I just saw IP's reply to you and had to take another look at your picture...lovely 22 yr old Floss on top of the mountain!😄😄😄Wow!

I assumed it was a piccy off the Internet (should have known better since I didn't realise a gorgeous painting on a recent post was all your own work😆)

You are always surprising me, and ebcroquet mistaking Oldfloss for a man with a white beard too, made me chuckle...*you are much to talented for that😉😉

Funny thing is, I know you used to climb from your old profile piccy, but that's such a gorgeous shot I assumed it was a professional shot, an advert maybe for a holiday!

Good spot IP and huge respect Floss and hubby for the climb...😊😊😊x

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Hey thanks you !

I am not sure if ebcroquet was kidding me...I am going to do a cartoon sketch of me as she sees me :)

Blimey. 22... gosh that was a while ago..J and I climbed most weekends and all school holidays, before the children arrived.... mainly in the Llanberis Pass...and hey.. I could still do that climb now.. thanks to this programme :) ( Not going to though..ha ha !)

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Gosh :) Seriously ? :)

No.. just me, although I have suffered through most of my life with people mis-spelling my name.. the masculine form and not the feminine:)

I used to say," No..I did not climb Everest . :)

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I bet you could if you had wanted😉x

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thankyou XX

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You are very welcome:)

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Love the photo and love Tryfan. Climbed it on my honeymoon in 2010! Always enjoy your rambles Floss 😊. Once my ankle is better I intend to repeat C25k from the beginning.....slow and steady.

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Did you!!

That is amazing.. one of our favourite climbs and we have a great ink sketch of the Castle of the Winds too:)

You will love repeating C25K... no pressure and the added bonus of knowing we can do it:)

Heal well :)

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Thanks for a super post Floss & I love the photo - great demo of enjoying your climb & using happy pace! Absolutely right! - My lovely OH has a "power all the way to the top" philosophy while I need "view & breathe" breaks - we have been attempting to retrain each other for over 30 years!😂

We are privileged to have you and all the other mentors/ administrators on this forum thanks. I greatly admire the commitment, wisdom, endless encouragement and humour that you share with us on our journeys. Big thanks! 😃

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You are really kind, thank you.. I am so lucky to be here with all the forum friends:) We all learn so much from each other x

PS

I needed that break half way.. and I was actually napping!

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Just what I needed to get me to week 9, lost my mo jo this week and actually wondered to myself ‘why am I doing this, I must be mad’ lol

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Just what I needed to get me to week 9. Lost my mo jo last week and even wondered ‘why I’m I doing this to myself ‘ Lol

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Brilliant.. and yes we are mad.. great isn't it :) x

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