Post-grad run 1: Oh, brave new world - Couch to 5K

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Post-grad run 1: Oh, brave new world


So this is it: my first post-grad run. I treated myself to TWO consecutive rest days after reaching the podium, but it’s time to get out and do some running. Besides, it’s getting crowded with all of you lot up there! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧👩‍👩‍👧‍👧👨‍👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👦‍👦

Sarah has dropped me off at Big School with a cheery “I’m going to miss ya, petal”. She has a new intake to look after, and the new littlies in Week One need her to provide hankies and hold their hands across that first, most difficult finish line. I feel a bit forlorn at being left alone, but I guess she’s needed elsewhere, so I can’t begrudge it.

I am now a running teenager, so I dress the part: black trainers, black socks, black top which says “Here’s the thing: f*** everyone” on it. I was a goth once; I remember how it goes. All I need now is the black eyeliner, black lipstick, and a perma-scowl. 🧟‍♀️

I faff around trying to decide how to manage this. First I set up a workout on Runkeeper, but can’t figure out how to make RK shuffle my playlist during a prepared workout - a total dealbreaker. Then I consider using the app with another coach, but Sarah assured me I was ready to go it alone when she kicked me out of the car at the school gates and screeched off, burning rubber as she went. Besides, the idea of running on my own makes feel like a Grown Up for the first time.

Eventually I settle on a heart-rate monitor/Fitbit/Runkeeper combo (surely the upside of taking up exercise as part of a mid-life crisis is equipping yourself with as much tech as possible?). By this time I am half an hour behind schedule, but I don’t care - off I go.

I breathe in the heady air of having the freedom to do whatever I want on this run, then decide to stick to the 5 mins/30 mins/5 mins format of week 9. Baby steps.

Five minutes walking are up - time to run! I set the stopwatch on Fitbit and get going. It’s grey and overcast this morning, but still very warm, so I start slow, but soon find myself speeding up. My legs have apparently gained some extra oomph in the additional rest day, and are raring to go.

In keeping with my goth aesthetic, I run down to the cemetery and do a lap. Halfway round, I suddenly remember what my T-shirt says, and hope I don’t encounter any grieving relatives. Luckily there aren’t many around at 7am, so I think I’m safe,

I head back up into the village. Pedestrians are starting to appear on their way to work, and I power past them. I suddenly remember how much I used to long for the walking breaks back in the early weeks, and am genuinely amazed by how far I’ve come. This programme really is incredible. 😍

Through the pretty old bit of the village, and I am delighted by the sight of a great spotted woodpecker on a tree ahead of me. Can’t stop, though - still 5 minutes to go, plus I don’t have my binoculars. Maybe I should start running with them, just in case of more bird sightings? Stupid idea - I’d give myself a black eye, and the boobs are bad enough on the bouncing front (coincidentally “the bouncing front” is also my nickname for them when running). Through the park, across the street, back towards the house. I check the Fitbit - 30 mins on the nose. I slow to a walk and check I still have my various appendages: arms: check; legs: check; Fitbit: check.

It’s a bit weird to reach the end without anyone telling me what a great job I’ve done. I look hopefully at the cat, but she just turns an ear back disdainfully and looks pointedly at the food bowl. So I put on my best Geordie accent and tell myself I’ve done well, petal. It’s not quite the same, but it’ll do. And I can’t wait to do it all again. 🏃‍♀️♥️

45 Replies

I’m a Geordie and you have done well petal!

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Crittermad

That’s just what I needed! 😀


Love it love it love it. Well run, well told.

I could just see the scowl through the black eyeliner, the arms folded, one hip stuck out, chewing gum, “wot?!”

I clearly need more interesting tshirts!

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Jay66UK

Thanks! It was fun to write!

If you want to treat yourself to a new goth-style T-shirt, here's the link... ;)

Be warned: you may be stopped and complimented on your fashion choice by Murderinos.

Jay66UKGraduate in reply to thegirlfrommarz

Oh I feel so old!


Love the post 😀👍💪🏻🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to F1ipperation

Thank you! x

SaartjieGraduate take a me about 20 mins to sort out various apps and fitbit too 😂 Sounds like a great first post-grad run! My Samsung Health app tells me I've done well but in a Google maps robotic kind of voice. Not quite Michael Johnson!

PenelopesimmonsGraduate in reply to Saartjie

Me too - once apps are running I then have to swap from reading specs to running glasses and hope there are no mishaps on either MapMyRun or Spotify as I will not be able to see to fix it!!

SaartjieGraduate in reply to Penelopesimmons


thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Penelopesimmons

Glad I'm not the only one with multiple apps and bits of kit to sort out! :D I almost forgot to start my heart-rate monitor - imagine the disappoinment of only having TWO things tracking me...

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Saartjie

I had Kat, the Runkeeper default voice, set to tell me time and distance every 10 mins, but she sounds like a depressed robot (Marvin the Paranoid Android?) so it was a bit of a different experience to running with Sarah!


Well done from another ex goth 🧟‍♀️ sounds like a really good run 🏃‍♀️

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Bridget007

It was! Thank you!


... and from another ex-Goth 😂 I see a pattern emerging 🤔

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Flaraflarkin

Apparently there are a lot of us about! :D

What a wonderfully well written post: you clearly have a talent for writing - and I should know; I’m a teacher. 😜

Very inspiring. I’ve been in your shoes (trainers) and continued on to self propelled 10k runs, and then stopped and it all went a bit wrong, and now I’m still trying to get out of the door for Run 1.

This post made me realise how much I actually miss it.

Also... “Well done, pet!” (Imagine Geordie)

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Fifie

Thank you very much - I enjoyed writing this even more than I enjoyed running it!

I hope you get back out there, especially as you know that you can do it. I used to run in my 20s, but thought I couldn't do it any more after multiple sprains of the same ankle which left it very weak. C25K has built my strength up enough that the ankle has coped (touch wood! :O) and is now much stronger than it was.


This was a lovely read 🙂

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Nictwit

Thank you!


You, Kate, are now sounding suspiciously like a real, proper, grown-up running-type person. How the hell did that happen? Do you get some sort of turbo-Goth implant with the shiny Grad badge?

Well done, you. We all miss you in our Soft Play area xx :-)

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to sallenson

Haha, you should see me post-run, all pink, shiny and out of breath - I'm definitely not a proper grown-up runner yet!

Your choice of turbo-Goth or turbo-classic-rock implant will be presented to you as you ascend the podium, unless you're _SimonT_ , in which case you will be presented with a turbo-Cheesy-Quaver version (I could also have accepted this version - my musical tastes are... eclectic).

I miss you all too! Not long until you're on the podium too, though! ;)

_SimonT_Graduate in reply to thegirlfrommarz

Haha! Current fav is Gecko (overdrive). It’s a bit old but I only buy music when it’s cheap!


That’s absolutely hilarious. What a brilliant start to my day thanks. You should publish!!!

And well done on the run (and don’t start a sentence with and. melanie!!😄)

_SimonT_Graduate in reply to MelsieJay

Don’t worry Mel. I looked into the whole ‘starting sentences with conjunctions’ thing and it turns out there’s no hard and fast rule about doing it. Lots of authors will do it for an effect but probably not too often! And furthermore - Death to the grammar police!

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to _SimonT_

Starting sentences with "and" is something up with which I will not put, as Churchill probably once said.

_SimonT_Graduate in reply to thegirlfrommarz

Argh Mel - run and hide! The grammar police have arrived! Luckily we can run further than we used to! 😂

sallensonGraduate in reply to thegirlfrommarz

And the scores on the board are : Kate 1 - _SimonT_ 0

Don't mess with a woman who lives in Oxford or she'll start surrounding you in commas.

_SimonT_Graduate in reply to thegirlfrommarz

And what do you mean as Churchill probably said? Oh yes!

And as Einstein said “most quotes attributed to me are fakes” 😂

sallensonGraduate in reply to _SimonT_

But that was probably one very long word with "-innigkeit" at the end.... :-)

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to _SimonT_

And 95% of statistics are made up on the spot. ;)


Love it.I often start my route with a graveyard...kinda sets your determination up a smug notch!

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Empem

Always good to start with a reminder that life is short, but running may make it less so. ;)


Glad I’m not the only one running round graveyards 👍😁

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Forestgrump

Nice open space, lots of company but very quiet and unobtrusive... :D :D


Great report! 😂😂 Glad you had a nice run. You are naughty wearing that t-shirt! 😈

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to _SimonT_

Thanks! I love the T-shirt (it is a quote from the My Favorite Murder podcast) but am far too polite to wear it out for anything other than running!


Your title should surely have been "Grave new world.... " :D

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Hidden

Damn it, that is clearly much better than my title, and now I am sulking. ;)


Well done. The picture of the cemetary caught my eye - I'm relieved the post had a happy ending!

It is weird when you graduate and its all just you. I recommend consolidating with a few weeks of those 30 min runs for a while whilst you look at the plethora of options available to you. I would also recommend that you stop running to the clock, focus on distances and start exploring new running routes.

Enjoy your running!!

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to Whatsapp

Thanks! My goal is to run 5K, which I've only done once (accidentally - the app crashed and I didn't notice...), so I'm planning to give Parkrun a go, but otherwise stick to consolidating for the time being until I feel ready to move on.


Love this post so much 😂👍

thegirlfrommarzGraduate in reply to JennyH10

Thank you! x


Love your post, Sarah kicking you out of the car made me snort in my cuppa 😁


Brilliant post! 😂. Wish I’d read this before my run this morning, it’s so motivational... and hilarious! Your village sounds a lot more interesting than mine. I’m saving running from the house and around the village for after graduation. Not long now 😁

Fabulous. Well done! 👏👏👍

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