Well, I've done it at long last! First off, some background - 58 year old male, Type 2 diabetic since 2005, never really been a fan of exercise but my diabetes consultant suggested I take up exercise to reduce the likelihood of having to move onto insulin injections. For the last eighteen months, I've been working out once a week with a trainer at the David Lloyd gym in Derby.
When I found the C25K podcasts, I decided that this was a new challenge so I did C25K on a treadmill last year and really enjoyed it. In January this year, I decided to repeat the podcasts but this time do it outside. So I started running along the canal towpath near work during the week and along a local main road at weekends. This was even more enjoyable that running on a treadmill - even the rain, wind and cold failed to dampen my pleasure at running.
Because I have a tendency to lose interest in things I start, I booked myself onto the Bramcote (in Nottingham) 5K on Friday 13th April. I told family and friends and colleagues that I'd done this and they were all very supportive. Some of my colleagues regularly do 5Ks and 10Ks so I was really pleased to receive their encouragement.
And last night was the night of the race. I became more apprehensive throughout the day and, when we arrived at the venue, it was very cold and starting to rain. My wife and I watched the first race, a 2K, and were impressed with the young children who completed it. Then it was the 5K.
I started near the back of the crowd and the first 1K wasn't too bad. Then I hit the steep inclines, the grass, the mud, the puddles. I wasn't ready for all that. My training had been on flat roads with no hills and definitely no muddy puddles. I have to admit I did walk up most of the inclines. By halfway round, the runners were spread out over the course and I had no idea whether I was at the back or in the middle.
By now, it was sheer bloody determination that kept me going. This was much harder than I had expected and I kept finding myself behind runners who were slowing me down - something else I hadn't encountered before.
With the finish post in sight, I was tempted to slow down rather than speed up. What on earth was going on? I crossed the finish line, heard my name announced over the Tannoy and gave my wife a great big hug. I reckoned I had completed it in around 30 minutes.
This morning, the results were published on stuweb.co.uk. I had come in at 140 out of 201with a time of 31 minutes 33 seconds; the winner took 16 minutes 49 seconds. I averaged 6 minutes 19 seconds per km (and that includes walking for a few minutes).
I am thrilled with my performance and will be entering an 8k in May. But this time, my training will be on hills and mixed terrain.
To anyone who is just starting this C25K plan, I wish you luck but I know you can do it. Just pace yourself and enjoy the experience!