Don't think I can do this :-( : I'm on week... - Couch to 5K

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Don't think I can do this :-(

Popstess profile image

I'm on week 2 run 3, well I should be doing it today BUT I really don't want to.

I did week 2 run 2 on Friday and I really didn't like it at all. I had done the previous runs with my partner and was rather enjoying them but he couldn't come with me on Friday and I really struggled.

It was a lovely evening weather wise and it was busy where I was running I had a jacket on and it was hot I didn't want to take it off because I'm conscious of my fat arms. So I was hot and flustered and felt like I was dodging people I also think I was running faster that I had been because I was on my own and meant I enjoyed it less.

I really don't want to fail this week and not complete all 3 of my runs but my partner isn't available to come with me and I don't feel confident to go alone. I can't rely on him to come with me if I want to do this plan but I just really don't know how to make myself feel better about going alone.

I feel so silly as I know most people on here run alone. I feel frustrated with myself!!

40 Replies

So you've got used to running with your partner, but you can definitely run without company if you just try, pick a safe route, a familiar route, pick the right time of day. You've got this.....

Ayano21 profile image

I know exactly how you feel, I had a few runs where i ran a different route, or different time of day, and they used to really throw me off (I guess I dont like change) but i promise if you keep at it, you will get used to it... and will even start to enjoy it! Its easy to feel self conscious, but I promise you, no one is really paying attention to you. If running alone, why not listen to some music or a podcast? There are playlists available online with songs with certain beats per minute (I stick to about 120BPM) and that helps me pace myself and not go too fast! Good luck, you've got this!!

Hi Popstess, I felt VERY self-conscious starting out on the programme too but I hardly ever feel like it now out running (I'm on week 7). I've been running on my own from the start, but I would have been self-conscious even going for a walk on my own before because I've been used to having my kids with me. Definitely don't let it stop you..keep going, trust in the programme and believe in yourself. I found the runs quite challenging so I had to focus on my next step and not think too much about who was around me. I hope you keep going, you'll feel great!

Frenc profile image

I understand, especially about how busy places are getting. I had a specific route that I did a lot of my C25K on. I always did it first thing, but I tried it again recently at about 4:30, and it was horrific! Traffic, school children, etc. I don’t think I’d have kept it up at that time of day tbh. Next time you run alone, try and plan another quieter route, it will make all the difference! YOU CAN DO THIS!!! 👏🏼👍🏃‍♀️

chunkypie profile image

The hardest part of any run is stepping outside the door. Just step outside and start walking and see where that takes you 😃

Kitty08 profile image

I started the programme running with my son and felt more comfortable having company as I was so self-conscious. When he decided he didn’t want to come anymore, I was so nervous about going it alone but I’ve found I’m much happier plodding along on my own and enjoy the peace and quiet. I’m now on week 6 and starting to enjoy my runs! Just keep going 😊

I hope you carry on because it sounds like you really want to.

Lots of us feel self conscious, the only way to get through is to keep doing what you're doing. Eventually, because nothing bad actually happens, the feeling passes.

The great thing is, when you get your new found confidence running, you might feel more confident in other areas too.

You've learned a couple of things from your last run. You can't wear your jacket when it gets warm, so you might want to find something suitable and cool that you like wearing. You need to focus on your pace no matter what, hopefully that can keep your mind off other things. You don't like that route at that time of day, so see if you can try another.

Try to keep in mind that you are doing something really positive for yourself. If anyone is judging you, shame on them, they're not worth thinking about.

Good luck for your next run, I hope it goes better 💪🏼

I haven’t always run after 1 rest day. A lot of times I rested 2 or 3 days depending what my body or legs told me. So when you say “should be” don’t beat yourself up. Maybe plan a time and route to run tomorrow where you feel safe and slightly less conscious but definitely keep going, I agree with the previous posts about ignore people judging you. My Wife always says “ don’t join the itty bitty shitty committee, but then she is a bit of a genius. Please keep going.

I am sorry that you feel that way but I completely understand. One thing I do know is that runners/walkers out and about will NOT be looking at your arms - so be comfortable in your skin and believe this is your run for your sake - honestly people will celebrate your efforts! I am doing this alone but understand that not having your partner join you is a bit of a confidence zapper - but imagine is he there and the conversations you would be having - I am only starting week 2 and I am scared - but I know that not doing it I will be letting go of a commitment I made to me. You can do this - every journey starts with one step... believe in you! The fact that you are honest and sat down to write the posts tells me that you have the desire to do it and just lack a little bit of courage - so take courage from your journey so far and what you have achieved already - and you go do it!!! (by the way, it is also okay if you don't - don't beat yourself up about it). x

Whenever I see someone running I’m in complete awe and yet when I’m running I think everyone is watching and judging so I understand how you feel. I’m also completing at my own pace I can’t always run 3 days in a week so this will probably take more than 9 weeks. I’m trying different routes and different times of day to find where I feel more comfortable. Don’t give up keep going you’re doing amazing and everyone here is cheering you on x

Popstess profile image

I did it!!!! 😁😁😁

I cannot thank you lovely lot enough! Wow the response to my post was completely overwhelming thank you so much. I couldn't have gone out and done that today without the support from you all.

I went a different route which is quite an open space and it was nice and quiet and cool even a little breeze was a million miles away from Fridays run. I slowed right down so that I could breathe properly and speak clear sentences out loud without gasping and it made a HUGE difference I actually really really enjoyed it. I even saw some ducklings which were utterly adorable and put a huge smile on my face. I do know that route gets extremely busy on a sunny day though so wouldn't be one I'd do on a regular basis I don't think.

I did wear my jacket because I have a pocket I can put my phone and keys in, but when it's warmer I'm not going to be able to wear it I know. I have an arm band and a bum bag belt type thing but I just feel really self conscious and "on show" when I wear them. I know it's so silly as I wouldn't ever think anything of anyone else if I saw them with an arm band or belt or whatever but it makes me feel so awkward. I might try wearing my belt bum bag under a looser top.

It's so weird because when I'm with my partner or a friend I don't worry about all these things. I used to run with a club and friends years ago when I completed c25k and never worried about all this stuff I guess it felt like safety in numbers.

Thanks again everyone for your lovely kind supportive words! You got me out the door. Ironically I listened to a podcast about self love on today's run which also really spurred me on. Here's the link in case anyone's interested

I can't believe I start week 3 next week 😁😁 go me!

Tasha99 profile image
Tasha99Graduate in reply to Popstess

You only regret the runs you don’t do. Remember that. Don’t let the demons win. Hold on to that post run high to motivate you 💪🏽

Cmoi profile image
CmoiGraduate in reply to Popstess

Yay, well done Popstess, you did it, and you'll get out there and succeed again!

Running-rings profile image
Running-ringsGraduate in reply to Popstess

Wahoo! I'm delighted for you. I'm also wondering what to do with my keys etc when the weather warms up. I felt like a bit of an imposter going out in running clothes at the start.. 😂 Oh, when I'm feeling unmotivated to go out I tell myself - I'll just go out for 5 mins and I can turn back (I never actually want to turn back once I'm out!) Enjoy the next run too!

Popstess profile image
PopstessGraduate in reply to Running-rings

You just hit the nailOn the head for me that's exactly how I feel like an imposter!!! I think more so while I'm doing this plan with the walks and slow runs, I think I've got it in my head that people will think urgh what does she look like wearing that or who does she think she is 🙄🙄

I was bullied quite severely as a child and those bullies voices pop up at times like this. I know it's pathetic and I'm a grown woman now.

Running-rings profile image
Running-ringsGraduate in reply to Popstess

Haha yep same thoughts exactly, and my self-consciousness is from childhood bullies too unfortunately. Not severe or extreme, 'just' excluded all the time because I wasn't good at sports and our school had a really good camogie team (girl's hurling) so if you weren't on the team you were not worth talking to. 🤔 Anyway.... I'm sure there are plenty of people on here who have/do feel self-conscious for various reasons. It's not pathetic to feel how you feel, it's not your fault how you were treated as a child. But you have the power now to decide what thoughts you want to think and keep, and the thoughts you want to let go of. Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking to your goals and getting out there!🙂 I'm rooting for you!

Runninggirl59 profile image
Runninggirl59Graduate in reply to Popstess

Well done. Please please carry on running, you really won't regret it. Good luck!

Knitruntalk profile image
KnitruntalkGraduate in reply to Popstess

Well done! I really admire you for beating those gremlins and getting out there.I always run with a bum bag to keep my key, my phone and my tissues in (my eyes water when I run). It took me almost 6 months to complete C25K as I couldn't always fit in 3 runs a week with my work and other commitments. I also varied my routes and the times of day I ran and discovered that I much prefer running first thing in the day, especially in the summer . I always get really hot when running and struggle when the temperature is too high.

As others have suggested if you try out different routes, try differnt clothing combinations you will find something that works for you. Good luck, with your determination I am sure will do this.

DylanTheRabbit profile image
DylanTheRabbitGraduate in reply to Popstess

I'm so pleased for you. I knew you could do it!

I totally understand the safety in numbers thing, having friends with you is like having a shield.

I also got bullied at school. When I got home my mum would say "don't worry about them, they're just peasants". It definitely undermines your confidence, but it is SO worth working through. 😁

Dellie100 profile image
Dellie100Graduate in reply to Popstess

Wow - well done! And thanks for sharing. These posts help to inspire us all 😊

Sandraj39 profile image

Please believe you can do this Popstess - many people feel like this at the beginning but I assure you that self-consciousness goes. Also, if you were running even slightly faster than normal (and hot) then this is likely to have made the run feel a lot harder at this stage - slow and steady really pays off! Look around at runners out there - we really do come in all different shapes and sizes and what matters most is that we are out there, united in our running!💪🏃‍♀️🏃🏽Good luck!🙂

Well done, Popstess! Like you, I have had so much support from this forum. Lovely people! I’m at the same stage - just about to embark on W3R1. I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be imagining you jogging along beside me. You won’t be alone... there are hundreds of fellow runners from this forum doing it with us too. It helps me to hold onto that thought 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️🏃🏻

Popstess profile image
PopstessGraduate in reply to MarybellM

That's such a lovely thing to say ☺️☺️ Thank you, an imaginary running club ☺️☺️

PS I forgot to say, you could tie a very light cagoule type jacket or hoodie around your waist and pop your keys in the pocket if it’s zipped and safe enough.

Popstess profile image
PopstessGraduate in reply to MarybellM

I don't like things flapping around as I run and my phone would bounce about in my jacket wrapped around my waist I think

This post about mental approach may help

If you want to do it you will.........only one person will stop you.

Irish-John profile image

Not silly at all, just trying something very new and at times bewildering because its very new :)If you look back in the Archives, you will see that so many of us thought we would never suceed. Heck - my fervent ambition was to be able to run three tenths of a mile without having to stop. It literally seemed an unbelievably far distance when I looked at that furthest marker in the local Park.

But - the programme works. In my case it took me about 16 weeks to graduate, and in the five years since I have never managed 5k in 30 minutes.

But I have had an absolutely fantastic experience thanks to running regularly. It's impossible for me to putbin words just how many things and attitudes it has changed for me, internally and externally.

I started the programme running like Frankenstein with irate ferrets fown his trousers. Asthma, screwy foot bones, overweight and almost 60 years old having never run before.

Talk about self-conscious lol.

Thing is - I still run like that because screwy footbones and while I haven't needed an asthma inhaler inbyears now, my lungs are those of a former near forty years heavy smoker.

Take it slow and steady. Do it for you - that's the only person you need to be "accountable" to. Read all the good "real world" advice and keep it fun, as it should be :)

I wish you many happy miles in your future :)

nowster profile image

I was very self-conscious when I started out. I ran wearing far too much for some of my early runs. You wouldn't have seen me dead outside wearing anything lycra related!

A year on and I don't care a fig. I realised that people just see another runner. If you look like you have a purpose and are doing the typical things that people who do that sort of thing do, nobody thinks you're not one. (It's the same headology that allows someone in high viz with a clipboard get access to places they shouldn't. )

That’s great Popstess- you did it. Apart from the lovely ducklings you saw try and describe 5 people you saw during your run. I bet you all the tea in China that you can’t. And that’s exactly the same for people who see me or you out running. We might think they are judging us but we are completely forgotten about 100 yards later. They probably only remember a nice smile or a hello. As long as people don’t shout “run Forrest, run” we are quickly forgotten. Not sure the above makes sense but it’s fantastic you got back out running. Keep it up.

LadyGault profile image

Well done on getting out and please try not to feel self conscious. I'm sure anybody who does notice you will be admiring you for taking the initiative to run and it won't be long before you feel like a runner. Just a few years on from you I'm running 10 miles regularly but I still remember those first C25K runs when I thought I might die 🤪 and always make an effort to smile and say hello to all runners however fast or slow they might be going. I know it won't be long until they will be feeling proud of their achievements and delighted to be seen out. Keep going you'll soon believe how amazing you are.

Sod the world, do this for you!

Popstess profile image

Your replies are so supportive and encouraging thank you so much, if I have a day like yesterday again I'm going to come back and read all of these posts.

I really enjoyed the run yesterday so I have proved to myself I can go alone and I can enjoy it.

Sometimes I really get in my head and get all flustered, it doesn't help my confidence that I'm a couple of stone heavier than the last time I did c25k 5 years ago not to mention 5 years older lol so I keep comparing those experiences too.

I feel really big and cumbersome when I run and I just want to make myself small and unnoticeable. I'll get there. I've done it before so I know I can do it again but I do need to get over these running alone gremlins that I have.

Anthony59 profile image
Anthony59Graduate in reply to Popstess

Proud of you Popstess! 👍👍

Popstess profile image
PopstessGraduate in reply to Anthony59

Thank you so much 😁😁

ChippyR profile image

You can do this! I have some music or a podcast going to distract me and that really helps. I actually prefer it to having to talk and run! It's hard not to feel self conscious , I feel super aware especially as I'm so slow so barely running. I've started to avoid circuits of the park and started running through the Street so you are less likely to come across people and even if you do, it's fleeting. As others have said, I avoid rush hours, 11am is a good time for me as not too hot and no one around. You can do this x

You’ve had lots of tips and encouragement and i’m pleased you slowed down and enjoyed it, I bought a pair of leggings with a pocket at the top side of each leg, one for my phone and one for a couple of sweets or keys, That works well for me, good luck and have fun, it’s going to be hard sometimes but it’s a lot of fun too

Popstess profile image
PopstessGraduate in reply to WillowandSola

Do you mind me asking where the leggings are from and what brand? I was worried my phone in a leggings pocket would be heavy and drag them down when I start running so I'd be constantly pulling them up at the waist.

WillowandSola profile image
WillowandSolaGraduate in reply to Popstess

Yoga pants i just searched on Amazon and they weren’t expensive the phone fits my pocket snuggly

Jilldiamond profile image

Hello. I REALLY struggled the first few weeks. (Let’s be honest it isn’t a walk in the park now!) and I have worried at times about dog-walkers watching me. I do go out at about 7 am when there are fewer people around. Also, when I see people out running, whatever they look like I think ‘good for you!’ So I guess that some of the people seeing me might think the same? And then, plus, so what, what they think, I’m doing this for me. Put some good music on, get into a rhythm and just go. Good luck x

Jilldiamond profile image

Sorry, that was a reply to your first post. And now I need to say 'so well done you!' And keep going x

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