Running in secret!

I don't normally go in for blogs, forums and all that but this one seems so friendly and as I'm starting the programme in secret, I want to be able to share the highs and lows somehow.

I'm 30 and have always hated conventional exercise. I am lucky in that I am not particularly overweight but that tends to mean that people think I am fitter than I actually am (my fitness level is appalling). Anyway I've been trying to eat better and lose a few pounds for the summer but know that I need to move more, not just eat less - so here I am. I found out about c25k from a random bit of googling a few nights ago and decided to give this a try. Ok, I admit it, I'm just too tight to pay for gym membership!

So tonight I started the programme. The weather was horrible - continuous light rain but at least that gave me an excuse to have my hood up and hide my face. I guess I'm coming to this with a reasonable amount of baggage. Partly the fear that years of school cross country instilled and partly the years of ridicule I have endured because apparently I have a funny run. Nobody has ever managed to explain what is different about my run compared to a normal unfunny run, but it seems to provide a lot of amusement and means that it is something I normally avoid at any costs.

So I guess that's partly why I have decided to keep this a secret from those that know me. There's that part of me that really wants to turn around to the next person that ridicules my run and invite them to join me for a run at lunchtime just to see how long they manage to keep laughing for!

More important than all that is the fact that I did get out tonight, and I did complete the first run. It wasn't as bad as I thought to be honest, started out ok, got tough in the middle but actually seemed to get a little easier towards the end. I've not lived here long and don't really know the area which meant I chose a route that wasn't particularly level (seemed to manage to walk down most of the hills and have to run up them - thanks Laura)! Also managed to get a bit lost so walked an extra half mile or so to find my way back but never mind.


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28 Replies

  • Welcome. I started as a stealth runner too. Perfectly happy for folk to watch these days. It gets better, no matter how funny your run... On that, it might be worth, in fact, will be worth, regardless, getting your gait analysed. It could be that you just need some foot support of some kind, possibly. Find a local running shop, they usually offer the service for a nominal fee that they knock off a purchase. Got to be worth a phone call at the very least.

  • The thing that stopped me from running for a long time was the fact that I lived in a small town. I liked to think that I was confident but the thought of people seeing me running terrified me! I finally bit the bullet and realised that most people aren't really bothered about me out running. A friend of mine who is a bit of a fitness fanatic said to me that when he sees new runners he always thinks 'good on them' for taking the first step to a healthier life style.

    I'm on week 7 now and have little time to think about anyone seeing me! Good on you for starting and good luck with your next run!! :)

  • Thanks for the comments guys, I really hope I can make this work for me and last the full nine weeks. What exactly do they do when you have your gait analysed? I have a vision of jogging in circles round a sports shop whilst everybody laughs at me.

  • Depends on the shop. I had a "gait analysis" which involved walking back and forth in my socks in the shop and that actually worked fairly decently (yes walking, not running). The better analyses put you on a treadmill with different shoes and video/analyze how your feet and legs move when you run with different types of support. No one will laugh. Promise.... Speaking of that - it sounds like your "funny run" is something of a sore point. If you have a chance to speak to a good coach, doctor, or physiotherapist whom you trust, they may be able to tell you if you run funny at all (you might not) or, if you do, what you can focus on to improve your form. But even without anyone to help you, your form will get better as you go through the program, and especially if you listen to Laura's tips.

  • Hi Wantadog, I didn't even tell hubby when I started let alone friends or other family! I think I was up to about week 4 (I'm just going for a walk!) before I was rumbled. To my surprise people have been universally supportive and quite impressed that I have got out there and done it! I was and remain far from my original idea of a 'typical' runner ie I am 45, under 5 foot, at least a size 16 and slow, not 20, tall, svelte and fast. I had never run at all before this beyond a few forced circuits of the hockey pitch at school! What I have learned is that there is no 'typical' runner as even a glance at these blogs will reveal and that most people you meet are so caught up in their own lives that they barely give you a glance. Those that do are nearly always positive. I graduated last week (still basking in the glow from that graduate badge :-) )and this programme has been brilliant. It builds you up really gradually and the support from the blogs is fantastic. You have made a great choice to get fitter and have fun. Good for you. Now get out there and show them what you can do! :-)

  • Good for you, wantadog. I wish you every success in the next 9 weeks. Like andystev says, best get that gait analyzed soon-ish.

    You're right ... the best/most important thing you did was go out the door. It won't be long before you'll go out the door head held high because you ARE a runner!

    Good running to you...

  • well done for tackling your problem now before you put on lbs like alot of us here carry. Its a great programme and such a friendly group and we all struggle some of the time.


  • I'm doing it in secret as well - I find the idea of being able to turn round at the end of the programme and saying that I can run 5k is actually really good motivation (and takes the pressure off with people constantly asking how you are getting on)

  • Well done for making they change :)

    After you have graduated you could invite those that ridicule to run a local race with you and not tell them you'll be running whilst they walk ;)

  • Hello! Well done on your first run! I am also another one with a 'funny' run, I always do my running when there is the least amount of people about. (Ok, it's because I'm fat as well!)

    :-) :-) I did Run for Life on Sunday and it was strange trying to focus on what I was doing, instead of what people might think of my 'funny' way of running!

    Thing is, we all have our little quirks and as long as you're ok, don't let it hold you back. I hope you get on really well and will be cheering you on (secretly) from here! :-)

  • I think Laura talks about how to place your feet properly in week 2 which I found helpful. My husband said I was running like a duck the first time I went out! My seven year old was more supportive but was intrigued to know "why I kept flinging my leg out to the side?" But that is all in the past now. I leave the family at home now and run with the dog who wisely keeps any comments to himself!

  • Well done you for starting on this when you have bad experiences of running in the past. We'll all be wishing you well, keep posting won't you? I got my gait analysed at a running shop at the start, ran for a few paces on a treadmill, which was filmed & analysed, & feel that the running shoes I bought then have helped me so much. I'd recommend it. Good luck.

  • If you can find a physiotherapist who knows a bit about biomechanics you will probably do better than in a running shop. I went to a running shop and they did a gait analysis and decided that I was a neutral runner. I got some lovely running shoes (which don't give me blisters!), but then I started getting problems with my knee. I went to a physio who used to teach biomechanics and she was somewhat scathing about the amount of training people have before they undertake gait analysis in running shops. (I suppose it varied from place to place.) My left hip rolls in and my left leg is longer than my right leg so she put a small wedge in my left shoe and a heel lift in my right shoe. I haven't had any problem with my knees since, and I'm now on week 8. (My first run since she did that was Week 5 Run 3 - a solid 20 minutes!). I should probably get some proper orthotics. Need to save up!

    Meanwhile, congratulations on getting started. That's the hard part done! :-)

  • I'm on Week 5 and I'm still a stealth runner! The only person who knows I'm doing this is my husband!

    This community is fab though - really supportive and it's a good place to talk about things.

  • Well done you, no two runners run the same, its great to just get out in the fresh air to walk, plod, jog or run you are doing it. Keep it up.

  • Well done for getting started, Wantadog. I hope you'll find the forum as supportive as I have.

    Here was me thinking I was the only secret runner around! I didn't tell anyone when I started the C25K programme. Didn't want to listen to my husband telling me about all the health hazards of running (normally associated with marathons, NOT 30-minute runs 3 times a week), so even he wasn't told. Fortunately, I walk the dogs for hours every day, so I could just replace one walk every other day with a run without anyone knowing, at least for the first few weeks. Since I was spotted by the postie and the neighbours, however, I've been surprised at the kinds comments I've been getting and I don't think they've rumbled me to hubby yet. I am, however, a long way off daring to run in a pair of "proper" leggings - I still wear my loose-fitting yoga pants to hide the wobbly bits!

  • I chose the week my Husband was away to start running and only told my family three weeks later because I signed up to a Race for Life and was after their money!! The guys at work don’t even know I took part in it last week.

    This forum has been fantastic, every time I have wondered about something or had a bad run I have logged on and found someone has been there, done that and moved on and its helped me to do the same.

  • Well done Wantadog, I too started running in secret with only my husband knowing. Now 6 weeks in I have bumped into a few folk who know me but they have never mocked me, in fact they are really positive.

    I got my gait analysed as part of buying some decent trainers, they just videoed my legs from the knee down as I ran on a treadmill. They seemed most concerned about whether I might pronate my ankles. The assistant was lovely, a runner herself she was very encouraging and answered loads of questions.(And my new trainers feel great.)

    Keep running !

  • hey hey! Where did you get the running trainers done? I want to do this after I've graduated :)

  • Hi ! And welcome aboard. Me too do not go for blogs, but this one not only is friendly but also a serious one ! People do not write the rubbish we read in other blogs, in here we can find temporarily failures, good achievements and plenty support.

    I am proud to tell everybody ( family and friends) that I am doing the C to 5K to learn how to run , then following a program to train myself for the 2013 Dubai Marathon. i know very well I am aiming very, maybe to high, but I have been finding a lot of support and people ask about my progress. You are doing something which is good for your health, do not take any notice of bullying people... they do not deserve your attention.

    Keep it up !

  • I thought about running in secret but decided to do the opposite and tell absolutely everyone. Then i had to continue because people kept asking me how it was going and I couldn't for shame tell them I'd given up. Since I started 2 of my work colleagues have also joined the programme and we compare notes and encourage each other.

  • Just pretend everyone you see on your run is a Couch to 5K-ER in disguise! Works for me, I have a thing about funny running too

  • Welcome!

    Iam not sure I have a funny run but like others on here, I am carrying quite a bit of weight around and I suppose to some people, thats funny :( This has kept me from running too much in public but Iam now starting to creep out in daylight a bit more!! I graduated 2 weeks ago and did RFL on Sunday. This is a fantastic place to be and everyone is so friendly and keen to give and ask for advice.

    I love the fact that you are doing it in secret. I would love to be there when you go public. The look on their faces - Now, that will be funny!! :)

  • Another secret runner here. My husband is currently in Afghanistan, I hope to graduate from C25K the week before he get back. I think he's going to be surprised when I suggest we go running together.

  • that will be amazing!

  • Wow! That is so cool! Such a brilliant idea, I'm sure he'll be totally surprised. Well done!

  • Hello and welcome wantadog! I am with you, i'm not one for blogging... i don't even have a facebook account!

    Well done to you for getting started. I just completed w7r1 tonight and did the RFL on sunday! I have said before i can't quite believe i'm the same person as i was 7 weeks ago and you get such a sense of pride and achivement.

    I started with my cousin to be and the odd person (partners!!) said we wouldn't keep it up but we have and they are now far more supportive. So much so that my boyf has now said he wants to do this programme!!!

    C25K is the best thing i've ever done, not only has it improved my fitness but also my self confidence. Everyone on this forum is very supportive, encouraging and friendly.

    So well done (again) keep it up and let us know how you get on.

  • Thank you everybody for all of your comments and fantastic replies - I can't believe so many people have commented on my little blog!

    So, a quick update. Tonight was W1R2 and I was really looking forward to it. Not because I enjoy the running, I most definitely do not. I guess it was simply an opportunity to prove to myself that I was going to keep going at this and achieve. But of course real life got in the way and I ended up having to go to London for a work meeting today which meant I was travelling home later than usual. I had also arranged to go out for dinner tonight with my boyfriend and a friend of ours. Consequently I was sat on the train, for what seemed like an eternity watching the time available to go for a run slipping away.

    This did not have the effect that I reckon your expecting, I did manage to squeeze the run in, but came very close to being rumbled by the boyfriend as a result. Unfortunately I am one of those people blessed with the post-run (and probably during-run) beetroot face. Thus my plan of walking really fast home from the station to get changed and dash straight out on the run and then jump in the shower before going out was a bit of a nightmare. When the boyfriend arrived to go out I was greeted with 'Wow! You've got a big red face!' I muttered something about rushing back from the station and hot showers which he seemed to buy but it feels wrong to lie and the truth was I still could have been mistaken for a stop sign when I sat down at the restaurant!

    I guess it is proving to be harder than I thought to keep it a secret, especially as my legs have been so achy since and I have a tendency to sit down and forget when I stand back up that my legs may not be quite so keen. Does anyone have any tips on reducing achy muscles? I really seem to suffer with this, always have done. I can even remember feeling achy as a child the day after my swimming lessons sometimes, despite the fact that I used to swim twice a week! The sore muscles are much worse now that I'm older, and last for days. Will this improve or do I just need to accept that my legs will feel like this for the next nine weeks at least? I made a point of drinking a big glass of water when I got in from the run and will have another before bed, hopefully that will make a difference.

    Anyway, thank you again to everybody that has commented, it's great to be a part of such a friendly group. Happy running!

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