Graduation! "Sine labore nihil"

Every day when I go out running I see those words painted on a house near me - and it reminds me that "nothing comes without work" - it's been my Couch to 5k motto. This evening I did my final run - W9R3. I'm sitting here now with tight calves, feeling exhausted, but thinking to myself that about four months ago I think I wouldn't have been quite sure which muscles were my calf muscles in the first place!

Everyone writes a graduation post that is gushing with enthusiasm about the programme, about the difference it made in their life. Well, I'm about to add to that chorus. It is not exaggerating to say that this has significantly improved my life. The physical benefits are clear - I found this evening that I didn't struggle for breath even after 30 minutes of running - this is from a person who could barely walk two flights of stairs without panting before Christmas. I have toned a bit (not enough - but I'll get there!). I'm more energetic and my skin is better. For the first time in my life I am amazed at my body - what it is capable of.

But I have to mention the mental changes that for me have made the most difference. I have tended to depression over the years, and sometimes the strain just of the day-to-day can be a struggle. This programme has given me a focus and a goal. It's given me a reason to get up in the morning when things seem black. Even when things in my personal life weren't going my way I've felt more in control of my life. A guy I'd been seeing for a few weeks, who seemed very keen, dumped me on the evening that I did W5R3 - and I remember thinking to myself "at least today will not just be the day I got dumped - it was also the day I ran 20 minutes for the first time". Life has not been great for me over the past few months, but I know that this programme has made things better for me - at times it was the one constant in a maelstrom of emotions.

I hope I'll manage to maintain - these longer runs require more physical and mental effort. I'm setting myself a new goal of a 10k race - and over the next few weeks I'll be repeating W9 until I'm comfortably running 5k in 30 minutes. This forum has been excellent as a way of holding myself accountable - plus the support I have received from you all has been second-to-none. I'm so grateful - and I hope to continue posting (if you'll have me!).

It's taken me 19 weeks, 37 individual runs...but I made I'm going to go get my badge!


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22 Replies

  • Wow SaCl you deserve that shiny new badge. That is such an encouraging post, it will speak to lots of people who find their mood and confidence enhanced by this programme, and I just hope you are one proud runner! :-)

  • AMAZING WORK! Well done :) :) :)

  • SaCi, you're a Star ! Well done, you have done brilliantly. I must also agree that this program is a great help with depression.

  • "at least today will not just be the day I got dumped - it was also the day I ran 20 minutes for the first time".

    This made me a little teary, because I know pretty much how it feels to have life spiraling out of control, but be able to hold on to one thing in my own control and celebrate that progress. I am so proud of your hard work, dedication, and faith in yourself. And that "keen guy", whoever he is, is no substitute for the self-love and honor you demonstrated sticking with the program for 19 weeks. Congratulations!

  • Thank you all so much! I'm chuffed with myself alright! I'd been planning this post for weeks, but in the end of the day the thing I most wanted to focus on is how it has helped me mentally - so glad that others feel the same way about it. x

  • Amazing stuff SaCl - well done, not just for the running but for your kick-ass attitude!

    It really is so good to read posts like this - I posted one such myself on my own graduation not so long ago...and now I'm training for a 10k too (this coming Sunday in fact!). Do keep in touch if you'd like someone to bounce things off - I'd be happy to share whatever I've gleaned with you!

    Congrats :-) :-) :-)

  • Great stuff! How strong are you? Truly inspiring!

  • Way to go!

    Posts like this are very encouraging for newbies like me. :)

  • SaCi, You brought tears to my eyes as you echoed so much of how I felt and still feel about c25k. It has made me into a different person in many ways, I too suffer from depression and have found that my mood has significantly lifted due to this amazing programme and the amazing people on this forum ( that includes you)! You seem to have a very positive outlook on life and that has got you through many a dark time, Running helps but you need to be strong in the first place, so well done! You are, in my humble opinion a true inspiration and your life can and will only get brighter :) xx

  • Thank you all so much! I'm just checking in and I see I have my shiny grad badge - yay! You are all so kind. x

  • Well done SaCI, that post was so lovely to read and I hope I can post one similiar next week!

    It's so inspiring for those taking up the challenge early on to read such an beautiful post, thanks for sharing.

  • Wow SaCI - I echo many comments above - truly inspirational. Well done - keep posting on here now you have graduated, I look forward to hearing where you go from here.

  • Wow! Well done!! I love reading these gushy graduation stories! Puts me in a good mood when i realise i can do it too :)

    Keep it up, you can do it. Run a marathon..or 3!

  • Congratulations SaCl, your blog is so lovely, I welled up reading it. The benefits of this programme are so fantastic, as you say it is not only a physical benefit but such a good programme for self-esteem and self-confidence. Let's hope you keep up the running and grow stronger in all areas of your life. Well done :)

  • Wow! What a post. So so pleased for you and your success. This is the start of the new you! Good luck:)

  • Truly inspiring. I hope I can keep focussed and determined enough to get through the coming weeks!

  • Yes SaCI, I was a bit down last week and I found I could run it off .... it was such a great way of letting go of the rubbish. I looked around (I am lucky to run in the country in sunny Spain) and thought wow how lucky am I.

    So after such a lovely post why would we not want you on this forum ... I will look out to see how you are doin so Keep on postin girl! :) Good luck xx

  • Well done you. Attagirl !!!

  • We all get to graduation in different ways and the achievement we get is different for all of us but is no less or no more than any others. It is all about personal goals.

    You put it so eloquently but sum up what we all think but can't always say. Well done you and may this be the start of bigger and better things- whaterver that means for you.

  • Fantastic inspirational post and like people have said before you need to be strong in the first place. I think many people here have experienced something along the lines of your post i can say that I have and the running really does make you feel good. With the positive outlook you can go far and get where you want to be in life. The guy obviously didnt deserve you . Well done for being you and keep going on to bigger and better things.

  • Well done you, congratulations on getting your badge, it is a real sign of achievement for so many members of this community, as for the guy - there are plenty more (tastier) fish in the sea and somewhere one is swimming in your direction - go you!

  • Guys - I'm so encouraged by your responses. Thanks for every one - I am definitely printing out all my blogs and the comments with them and going to use them when times are rough - hope they will keep me going. I have got quite emotional reading through your words - it's good to feel that people are on the one wavelength. You are all so nice! This programme has shown me that if I put my mind to it I really can change parts of my life - so I hope it will be the start of a happier me.

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