W9R3: Glow-run for graduation 🌟🌟🊌🊌🊌💃🏌☄... - Couch to 5K

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W9R3: Glow-run for graduation 🌟🌟🊌🊌🊌💃🏌☄☄💥


I was convinced I’d not sleep, but miraculously did... and a deep-plush one at that, only ended at sunrise by a cat that found the perfect spot to compress my bladder. 🐈😌 Yesterday, I’d been thinking about my hydration, so you can imagine.

But M was like a grumpy bear emerging from hibernation, complaining of unpleasant stomach feelings. He suggested delaying a day (oh, no! I’ve made a public commitment about today! Accountability crisis! and Buddhagal snuck in her graduation run a day earlier than expected! Friendly-competitive crisis! Potential crisis for Buddagal’s non-stop 48-hour+ party 😧 What to do?). I suggested he delayed a day and I go ahead (we are perfectly capable of solitary runs). M decided he should have a coffee to see if he perked up. I agreed to wait and took the opportunity to extend my warm-up and experiment properly with a foam roller 😬😜🀪😖😱. Suitably perked up and reassured that he could always change his mind (M) and perfectly primed (me), off we went. It was not long after 9.00. I took a leap of faith and chose - wait for it - the most happiest smiley on the app. Indeed, I did! I don’t do things like that. I’m still reeling from the sheer audacity.

As we reached the park and the end of the walking section, M got in quick and declared ‘anti-clockwise’. I’d been out-manoeuvred there. He’s usually so busy espousing on the news of the day, that I get to take that decision. In my vision for my graduation run, I had imagined clockwise (the less common choice) to mark the special occasion - but if this would help M, then so be it. I relented with a (gracious and generous) smile on my face. (Weird world when so much hangs on such a tiny decision, though.)

From forecasts, I’d also imagined rain. Instead, it was dry. These were the coldest conditions in which we’ve run and I did secretly worry that M’s asthma might suffer. (It didn’t.)

The park was just so beautiful today. It was cloudy, not blankly clouded, but with interesting formations - mostly horizontal, flat forms, with some patches of mackerel - and a drop-dead gorgeous milky sun holding its own. The air was sharp and the mood almost crepuscular, with a glow emanating beneath the cloud cover. Where it hit certain objects, they answered back: the cladding on a new-build glowed; the roof of a passing train created curved swords of blinding brilliance as it disappeared into the distance. I was mesmerised by one guy’s blush-coloured hoody, which also responded well. More plastic bags and deflated balloons stuck in the tree tops were highlighted and sparkled.

Today seemed quiet (for a London park). I was especially conscious of sound: of more birds (blackbird, magpies, crows, tits); the languages being spoken by other park users; a refuse lorry reversing; the burring of the railway; but also, it seemed to me, of more air traffic than of late.

🐕🊮🐩🐕‍🊺🐟🐶 I thought a bit about the dogs. Today, the majority were short-legged for some bizarre reason. They can make me laugh with their antics. One - long-legged and long-haired, greyhound-like, ginger coat, floppy ears - was acrobatically chasing the crows. Boy, could that beast bound, leap high arabesques and twist mid-air. Like a floppy ballerina. The canny crows seemed to be teasing, always just out of reach.

I barely thought about the physicality of running. Occasionally, I checked in with M to ensure all was well (it was); I channeled Laura now and then. I gave a bit of attention to my body: how am I striding; how am I landing; am I lifting out of my hips; is my head up; are my shoulders relaxed; and (a good yoga favourite) is my tongue at ease. (You have no idea about relaxing muscles until you do the tongue!) But I’d say these moments were swift and positive. It was just a fantastic run. 🏃🏜‍♀🏃🏜‍♀🊌🊌🊌🌪☄💃🏌💫✚

I confess, I don’t get the mindset that spray-paints a tree - and does so with the words ‘Love Life’ and ‘Be Happy’. 🀷🏌‍♀ But I can see there’s something joyful about this odd urban gesture, so it’s my first photo.

💕💖💕To all of you: Thanks a million for all your incredible support and advice; for the humour, jokes and piss-taking; for the tales of your runs and honest sharing of feelings; for the words and the photos; for indulging my posts; and for the lived fantasy that even us minnows of the running world can find a 🊌inside our 🐌 🐢🊥!!! 💕💖💕

✊💪🏌To the new starters: You can do it! I did it. M did it. We never imagined we could. We’re in our 60s. We have our gips, arthritic joints, and the pains of aging. Given how we felt in the early weeks, we are aghast that we are now able to run for 30 minutes. It was all just the result of curiosity one day in early September that got us started. And we could never have imagined the impact on us, both physically and mentally. Remember: It’s not a race; it’s a personal journey. Niko-niko. Slowly. (I try to take 2 days rest at least.) It’s not just exercise; it can feel life-transforming. ✊💪🏌

🍜 PS M has just ordered a proper celebration dinner for tonight, simultaneously helping a lovely local restaurant to stay afloat during lockdown. He knows this is special! 🍜

42 Replies
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Many congratulations, fellow runner, on your graduation!! 👏👏👏🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🎉🥳🎓

Great post from you! Love to read your observations. You and M should be super proud and I’m glad to hear that you are celebrating in style. It’s a fantastic achievement 👏👍

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Jools2020

Thank you, Jools2020. And for all your encouragement.

Peter44Graduate in reply to Jools2020

Well done, both of you, and as always, a brilliant post, i even forgot you were actualy running at one point, makes a nice change from lots of stats, etc, about the run, of which i'm sometimes guilty! 🀣 enjoy your special meal later, and i guess the journey, carries on!!! 👏👏🏆🏆🥳🥳🎉🎉🍺🍺🥂🥂

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Peter44

It does, indeed. We’re already planning the next run.

I’m becoming increasingly stat-curious, I admit, but decided to put off trialling runkeeper until post-graduation. (Bit unusual, I realise.) So the first CR will be the marker.

Thanks, as ever, for your kind words. I can hear your shouts of support and encouragement all the way from the HP studios!!


Congratulations to you both for graduating!! Such a wonderful achievement 🥳🏃🏌‍♀✚ I hope you enjoy your celebratory meal 😋

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to LauraRuns

Thanks for everything, LR!

We’re now joining you on ‘the other side’.



Big congratulations fellow graduate, it'salways extra pleasing to hear other 60 somethings are running from the sofa to a new lease of life. I'm with you all the way! 🏆 x

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Raisemeup

Thank you so much. It’s unbelievable, really. A couple of months ago, M was fully morphed with the 🛋 On our cool-down walk today, he asked ‘when’s the next run?’!!


Many congratulations on your graduation, fellow runner.

This guide to post C25k running may be helpful healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

Keep running, keep smiling.

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

+ Keep loving life!

Thank you too.


Huge congratulations to you both. Sounds like a beautiful day for it as well. It's truly unbelievable when you look back at the early weeks and then, as if by magic, you're comfortably running for 30 mins.

Have a lovely meal X

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Imoca

Thanks, Imoca. It is like magic 🧚‍♀🧜‍♀🧚‍♂🧞‍♀(I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to use these!)


Wahey....whoop whoop and more whoops....YES YES YES... fantastic congratulations...what an awesome achievement hey👏👏👏👏💪💪💪👍👍👍. No doubt in my mind that you'd become a GRADUATE today🏆🏆🏆🀞🀞. What a post....lurvin, lurvin lurvin it 😁😁😁. You are one extraordinaire story teller. And I just love your inner running dialogue...yes that's me too🀣😂, ...it's pretty good psychological positivity. Well.....I'm glad I spurred you on😂🀣😂🀣....just didn't want you to miss the party.....it's still going. It's my anniversary today , 4 years with my online "find" ❀😂🀣. He was my running partner but flew past me weeks ago ✈✈✈✈....5k in 29 mins now! I've no intention of attempting to compete with him....i like floating along 😂🀣....no choice! Well .... absolutely fabulous news....on your victory....You're a winner....Really thrilled for you. Enjoy your celebration dinner & me n his nibs (another Hussein Bolt in the making. ..tsk tsk tsk) will be enjoying ours alongside you in Malvern. From one 🐌🐢.. 🊌............All the very best😁😁😁


GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Buddhagal

Hey there, BG!!! My (same-stage) virtual running partner IS HERE!! 🏃‍♀💃🏌 PARTY!!!🎈🎊 🍟

Done it! We so did it! We survived the doubts and glitches, found our own crazy jag, and crossed the (not the) finishing line!🀝🀝🀝💕 Yeah! Whop! Whoop! 💃🏌🕺🏻🀞‍♂🀞🀞‍♀💃🏌🕺🏻🌪☄

Put on the music!! Hit the dance floor! (= ‘cross-training’)


🎶Ce-le-brate good times, come on!🎶


🎶A celebration to last throughout the years🎶




BuddhagalGraduate in reply to GailXrunning

So lurvin this....Kool and the Gang 🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵.....onwards & onwards 😁😁😁😁🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🙋🙋🙋

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Buddhagal


So, Buddhagal, when’s CR1 scheduled?

BuddhagalGraduate in reply to GailXrunning

Good morning GailX😁😁🎵🎶🎵🎶. Hope you enjoyed your celebrations last night. Well...I had a busy absolutely non exercise day yesterday...not even yoga! I guess it's allowed😂🀣....Having woken up with a slightly dehydrated celebratory anniversary/Graduation Prosecco🍟 head...my first intention is to rapidly increase my fluid intake...🚰🚰🚰🚰🚰 Water only!!!CR1 is scheduled for tomorrow.... By which time I will be rehydrated, re Yoga'd, and re-hip exercised...and ready for the next stage of my running infancy journey......consolidating all the hard work and effort of the last few months. Have a wonderful day.....When's your CR1? 🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🙋🐢🐌🐌

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Buddhagal

Haha! Good afternoon!!!

Sounds like you had a couple of blow out evenings! Fully deserved.

Not wanting to get yogic-competitive (naturally... it would so un-yogic) but I’ve just been to my zoom iyengar. And I have gone totally mad and also signed up for the class (soon to start) on pranayama and meditation. I’ll be floating by 17.00.

CR1 scheduled for Monday. Have a good session tomorrow- and looking forward to hearing how it went.

BuddhagalGraduate in reply to GailXrunning

Well...you go girl....you'll have transcended everything by Mondays run, Madame Yogi GailX. Sounds fabulous. That sounds great doing classes with other people, I just do yoga following YouTube by myself. Well...I'm fully hydrated now and my limbs have been exercised and are ready for tomorrow's CR1. Hope I have another good run tomorrow, no reason why I shouldn't, keeping that positivity high on my list👍. Happy floating....😁😁😁🏃‍♀🙋🐢🐌


Fantastic write up Gail 👍 and congratulations to both you and M for graduating 🎉🙌🎓Enjoy your well earned meal this evening and keep posting 👍🏃‍♂🏃‍♀

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to StoneDragon

Thanks, SD... and for insisting that I was finding my inner gazelle! Big moment that!

Like kids, we’ve been emulating those of you in the class above, picking up your secret lingo... 😂🀣


Aaaw...brilliant run Gail, congrats to you and M...you ⭐Runners🌟 you 😄😄😄

Enjoy your celebration meal 🥂

Looking forward to reading your consolidation runs 😊

Over 60’s for the win 👊 Niko Niko all the way!

Go us! 🐌🐢🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏜‍♂🍁🧡🍂👊🙌🏌👍👏🏻🌟🥳🏆🔥💚

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to LottieMW

Thank you, Lottie!

Too right! Power to the seniors!!👊✊🀜🀛💪🏌Go, go, go!!! 💚💚💚

(And power to everyone else too, of course!!)

LottieMWGraduate in reply to GailXrunning



Wahoo- she’s only gone and done it!!!! 😁Big, big, big congratulations- you’ve done amazing!!!! Another gazelle past the post 🊌🊌🊌🊌 You’ve kept us going with your positive posts and comments over the weeks- you fully deserve your graduation moment- enjoy!!! 🏆🏆🏆 C xxx

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Bambi2020

Thank you for all your support. +I’m definitely enjoying the moment (doing so right now.. special meal... totally podged!)


Woohoo! Congrats on your grad run and well done, you did it 💪🏌💥💫🍞🏅And sounds like you totally gazelle-d it too!!! It’s a great feeling isn’t it? All that hard work paid off and you got there. Officially now a runner 🏃‍♀ Hope you have enjoyed an evening of celebration and I look forward to seeing your consolidation run journey now you’re in the CR club!!

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to Runforurlife

Thanks a million! - Were still woohoo-ing. Yes: Fantastic feeling! We had a really lovely evening, but a body shock to indulge in rich food.

Thinking about CR club. Immediate period seems clear in terms of aims (consolidate) but need to look beyond too. Woohoo!

Congratulations! Mortar boards up in the air! Lovely written post to read over breakfast

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Thank you, Paul. Up in the air and still spinning.

(+That’s very kind of you.)


Fantastic effort Gail, it feels especially good as we get older doesn’t it? Enjoy your celebration dinner you thoroughly deserve it. Welcome to the graduate club. 10k next 🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to MoliJ

Thank you, MoliJ. You’re right, age gives the whole achievement additional ⚡ ⚡

I initially thought that we’re the oldest runners in the park, but over time I’m spotting others of similar years. Once we stopped imagining the cool young ones were laughing at our niko niko pace and vintage Ron Hills, we relaxed. (They weren’t, of course. If they thought anything, it was likely the opposite.)

(I think we’ll be focusing on 5k first. The truth of our actual distance currently will be discovered on the first CR on Monday- if I manage to use the technology- where I’ll trial Runkeeper. We’re totally stat-naive right now. I very much doubt we’re even close to 3.5k!!)

MoliJGraduate in reply to GailXrunning

It doesn’t matter how far you run the fact is at 60 you are running and that feels amazing. I too run in ronhills 😂 Birds of a feather 😂😂😂🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to MoliJ

😂🀣😂 Love my last surviving RHs; elastic is all degenerated, but they still hold up by the draw-string.

Well done, you did it. Congratulations to you and M and hope you enjoyed your well deserved celebratory meal. Keep on running, keep on posting 🥳🎓🏃🏌‍♀

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to LittleMissie

I did, we did! Still reeling at the thought. And my thanks for your incredible inspiration and support, LM. Let’s all keep on keepin’ on! 🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🏃🏿‍♂🏃🏻🏃🏜‍♀🊌🊌🊌

What a super read, so descriptive I felt I was only a couple of strides behind you 🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀ Congratulations 🎉🎉 and yes it is quite transformational 🙏

The Sixty Somethings are in the ascendency 🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🐌🐢🙏

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to RacingintheStreet

Aw, that’s so nice of you.☺🙏Thank you, RitS!

And isn’t that 60s thing a real thing? Who’d ever have thought that, at this age, we could be achieving new things with running. Running! I mean, I was all one for trying new things and keeping the mind fresh, but that I can do this with something as physically demanding as running is just amazing. And then to find how much it impacts on both the body and the mind... Blows me away (along)!! 🏃‍♀🏃‍♀🏃‍♀

RacingintheStreetGraduate in reply to GailXrunning

😂😂 I know ! Of all things 🀷🏌‍♀

I cannot imagine our mothers getting into running at 60+

It sometimes crosses my mind that we tell our children that to get better they have to ‘just practise’ . As adults we forget that 😂

In terms of running and all exercise these days, my mantra is ‘find something you enjoy ( half the battle) and practise , then get better at it.

Don’t care if it’s slowly, only that in small moments it crosses my mind that...... ‘ that was better ! ‘ 🀔😂🏃🏻‍♀

I feel I’m old enough now not to worry about giving things up that ‘aren’t really me’ or I don’t enjoy and not feeling guilty , or feeling anything about it at all really 😂🀷🏌‍♀

I only started C25K because I found an exercise channel in lockdown that I liked and in between exercises I was required to do 30 secs of walking or jogging ( around the kitchen table as it happens 🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀)

so I then thought well, 🀔 maybe 🀔🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀🏃🏻‍♀

I doubt I would have tried it otherwise, too busy saying ‘no I don’t like running , can’t run to save myself’ 😄

Who knew indeed ! There’s a lesson there 😌🙏

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to RacingintheStreet

Haha! So similar! I skipped the kitchen table stage though!🀣😂

I think the idea had first crossed my mind eighteen months ago, as I chatted to a younger colleague who’d done c25k. But I got waylaid by the technical side, y’know: apps, smartphones, earphones... the need for special pockets/ belts... it all got a bit much (bit of a senior moment that!) Then a health check underscored how little cardio I was actually doing, so I discovered Active 10 on nhs website. I managed to download it (I did!) went out to experiment, and by the end of the same afternoon had also figured out and tested c25k app and done w1r1. That was my ‘Maybe’ 🀔moment.

I started off by tucking my phone into the top of my knickers, and then, realising this wasn’t going to work (and that I looked like I was about to have an attack of appendicitis) dug out of deep storage an old travel money belt and my ancient RHs. (Still using both!)

I progressed to my first experience with a discussion forum, something I’d long sneered at from afar (like running, ‘not for me’). I gather from what others say that c25k is better than most other discussion boards, but I’ve still had to rethink ‘myself’ quite a bit!!! I can run, I enjoy it; I can use social media, and enjoy it. So we’re having a bit of a ‘who am I?’ moment too. 😉😂🀣 Great fun!

Excellent ! 😂 I think it’s really important to keep challenging ourselves a bit, although the technology exasperates me at times 🥎🙄

The phone/knickers thing resonates, I have a little pocket in my leggings at the side of my knee but the weight of the phone kept pulling the leggings down so I was doing a lopsided run trying to hoist them up .

Tried the knicker storage , didn’t work either and soooo not a good look trying to retrieve 😂🀣📱

There are still days when the tech/glitches stuff is harder than the run 🀷🏌‍♀

Enjoy your CR’s 😃👍

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to RacingintheStreet

... sooo not a good look... definitely to be avoided in public situations 📵📲🩲📵😂🀣

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