While doing C25K there may be occasions when you wonder whether you might be a bit too old, overweight or unfit to do this programme. It’s certainly not easy, especially if you have literally come off the couch.
When I started in 2018, I was 60, overweight and had been on medication for high blood pressure over 10 years. My aspirations were not high. I didn’t particularly want to run far, or fast, but I wanted to take part in the 5k Santa Run along the promenade after seeing it the year before, and I wanted to be able to run some of parkrun .
I remember not liking the running very much in the early days, but I loved the euphoria of completing each run over 9 weeks. I didn’t come across this forum until about week 7 but I was very lucky to have a husband who played hockey and ran occasionally, and he accompanied me (very slowly) and carried my water while I followed Jo Whiley’s instructions. He could walk quicker than I could run.
A year ago today, I ran W9 R3 - 4k In 30 minutes. I had graduated and I really enjoyed that run, especially as I was cheered on by an elderly man sitting on a park bench as I passed him for the 4th time. Hubby and I celebrated with an ice cream on the prom.
On 18th May I took part in my first parkrun at Southsea , which is one of the flattest in the country, and runs along the prom and back. I started with my 5 minute walk and had Jo Whiley talking me through the 30 minutes. Then I walked again until I saw the finishing line and a photographer. Well what’s a girl to do? I had to run over that line. I was elated. Saturday mornings have never been the same since and I love taking part in parkrun by either running or volunteering. To date I have volunteered 13 times and run 38 times . I have run at 4 different parkrun courses, 2 of which was to meet some lovely virtual running buddies I came to know through this forum. At each parkrun I was made to feel welcome and was cheered along the way.
I dressed up in a Mrs Santa outfit and ran that Santa Run last December and I am still running 2 or 3 times a week. I have now reached 10k with the help of the B210K forum, and after a few fun runs to raise funds for charity I took part in my first official chip timed race at the Great Bristol 10k this month. This was a fantastic experience and one that I never thought possible when I started this magical journey.
This has also rekindled my husband’s love of running and he has signed up for the 10 mile Great South Run 22 years since he last took part.
The best things though:
By September I was taken off medication by my doctor as the running had brought my blood pressure down to an acceptable level. My GP is now promoting C25K , after I told them my story.
My weight is now almost in the healthy zone again, and I have certainly lost inches of fat.
I feel so much better, both mentally and physically, and I am sleeping well again.
Running has added a new interest which I can share (or not) with my other half. We have found running routes that we didn’t know existed in our local area.
I have met some lovely people through the forums and at parkrun
I can wear flashy running gear and no one bats an eyelid.
I never thought that I would achieve all of this when I went out for the first time.
So the struggle you may be going through at the moment is totally worth it . Listen to the advice from the brilliant volunteers who give up their time to keep this forum going. Don’t be in too much of a rush to increase distance and speed. Keep on running and tell everybody how amazing C25K is. 🏃♀️🏃♂️🤸🏿♂️🏃♂️🏃♀️🏃♀️🏃♂️🤸♀️🏃♀️🏃♂️🐢🐢🐌🐌
Good luck everyone, you are on an amazing journey