Couch to 5K
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Another Milestone at 12 Weeks!

Those of you who have read my other blogs will know that I am not going to be running in the upcoming Olympics... or winning any other races either, inclusive of the three-legged race at the local elementary school. I am slow. Very, very slow. I wish that weren't the case, but alas! I have short legs, an extra 40+ pounds and joints that are not supportive of being fast.

In some ways, C25K has been perfect for me in this respect. Speed truly doesn't matter. You just run until Laura says stop. That's it. And I consider anything faster than a walk to count. My run is actually dubbed the "slightly bouncy walk".

All to the good. I do the nine weeks, I run 30 minutes.... or about 5K. Umm, no. My first 30 minute run (week 6) was 3.0 km. By week 9, 30 minutes yields about 3.25 km. More than halfway, but nowhere near the 5K goal. Still and all, I keep at it, 30 minutes 3x wk, plus some added weight training after graduation. I think I might be at this for years before I run 5K in 30 minutes.

Today was the day. I felt good, the sun was shining. I rested a bit after my first workout, and had a protein shake with a little fruit & veggie juice to replenish. I was finally, after 12 weeks, going to run 5K.

Everything went great. I saw new flowers out in bloom. I even saw lavender butterflies. I have never seen that color before, have you? I chugged along, nice and easy, remembering to breathe and telling myself I can definitely do this.

"I am a rock star!" I say, and chuckle. Not some much rock as stumble. "I am a superhero!" (Well, I have the lycra, anyways.) "I am an athlete," I amend, and smile ironically. Maybe not really an athlete either. Some people walk faster than I was going.

"Ok, I am a runner!" Yes. I run, therefore I am (a runner).

The first 3K of my route is very hilly. Not necessarily brutal hills like in the mountains, but substantial 10+ degree inclines. From there I turned into another neighborhood that is much flatter. Not totally flat, but much easier going. It was my reward to myself for continuing on past my normal route.

Somewhere around 3.5K, my body started complaining. It has gotten used to our 30 minute runs together, and was ready to go hit the showers, not to keep traipsing along the street. So, if it is possible, I think I actually slowed down even more. Luckily, around 4K the endorphins really kicked in and my body resigned itself to continuing, and I was able to resume my standard, plodding pace.

I had mapped out my route, and knew approximately where 5K ended, but my only time clock was Laura's updates on the podcast (which I had restarted after finishing the first half of the run). Once, a few weeks ago, I ran 4.88 km. Just the once. And I was so bummed that I didn't know how close 5K was - I would definitely have finished. So this time, I wanted to be generous, and be SURE I made 5K.

I ran to the approximate 5K marker, but needed a time cue from Laura, so I kept going until she gave her next 5 minute update before stopping and staggering home with my "brisk cool down walk". (What a joke! Toddlers were passing me on tricycles.)

I mapped my route ( and discovered I ran 5.5 km in 52 minutes. My presumed 5K time was 47 minutes. (I told you, I am slow.) So, after 12 weeks, I can finally say that I can run 5K! Hurray!

20 Replies

That's fantastic another milestone achieved. Well done :)


Thanks again for the regular support and cheerleading.


Well done you. The nice thing about C25k is you set your own goals and can look back on just how much progress you've made. Running on hills is really hard so I'd say your time is pretty respectable.

What next? I'd recommend Parkrun if there's one near you.


I would really, really love to do a parkrun. Unfortunately, I am in Canada and haven't been able to find anything like that. There are frequent formal races, starting at 5K distances, but I would be pretty intimidated to do something like that. It just seems to have a completely different feel and aim. I am crossing my fingers that parkrun takes off here and I can join in the fun.


Brilliantly done - loved your post. You manage to convey that mental dialogue so well. I am so glad nobody can hear what is going on in my head as I plod along <g>


Mental dialog? I actually said half of that stuff out loud... hmm... inside voice - good idea. ;)


There you go !

Knew you'd crack it one day.........really well done.

I love your writing style...eloquence itself.

Maybe you should spread the word about c25k and start a group yourself ?

you could be a fantastic example/mentor :)


I love that idea. I certainly am telling everyone who will sit still for it about how much I love C25K. I feel a little ambivalent about starting a group though, and presumably "leading" runs. Most people will be faster, and I think the leader should be able to keep up.... maybe if I lead from the rear...


Fantastic run and fantastic post! Congratulations on your second graduation! (The plodders amongst us get 3 graduations, 30mins, 5k and 5k in 30 mins assuming that's even possible for ordinary mortals!) . 5.5k! You didn't just pass that milestone - you smashed it! Three cheers for Alaiyo!


Thank you! I definitely feel like I got to graduation #2. I would have to increase my speed by about 40% to run 5K in 30 minutes, and I haven't even come close to that kind of speed improvement even from week 1, so I think it is a very long-term goal for me. I may be able to run 10K in a semi-reasonable time before I get 5K in 30 minutes. Still happy though, and basking in the glory of accomplishment.


Nice one - very well done! :-)




Well done!!

You must be feeling very proud of yourself, I know I would be! :)


Thank you. I do feel proud. :) And you will be too.


You are doing great and your post is great !

As Laura says, it is not speed, is endurance ! My wish is doing the marathon and I am training for that, but not with a time goal, just finish it will be great even if when I reach the finish line everybody will be already home having their dinner !

... by the way, I have not found a hill, where I live, so I will not be surprised if, while running together you will leave me behind as I do not know how to run on hills, so double well done on your progress !



Thanks for the kind words. And best of luck with the marathon. That is a pretty incredible goal. That's like, 10 times the distance! I am rooting for you.


Lavender butterflies - beautiful. Distance and time is not everything. The health benefits of running for 30 minutes, whatever the distance or speed, are immense. Your heart is stronger, your muscles bigger, your lungs more efficient and your fat levels have gone down (even if you haven't lost any weight). I'm really pleased for you that you got to the 5K today slow or not!! Hoorah!!


Yes, the butterflies were amazing. They were the same color as the flowers nearly, and I had trouble believing they were butterflies, but flowers don't dance around the breeze in quite that lilting manner!

You are so right about the health benefits and fitness! I can see and feel a tremendous difference, and can do other (non-running) things I had never been able to do before. I am delighted with my health improvements, and accept that speed is not going to come easy - but it was never about winning races for me anyways. :)


Well done. I think you're amazing and I hope I can manage to run 5k at the end of the programme. I finished week four today, which I was dreading but got through it and I am now looking forward to week five. I must add that you are brilliant at writing these posts and I always look forward to reading them.


Thank you so much! I am so grateful for all the love and support I get from this community. I am really glad you are enjoying my posts, and that hopefully they help you on your own journey through this program.

I am sure you will do great with week 5. I totally understand dreading new challenges - at almost every step I had this voice in the back of my head wondering if I could *really* do it, but time and again I surprised myself, and you will too. I can't wait to hear about your success with week 5 - it is a big milestone too! :)


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