Couch to 5K
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The hills are alive - with the sound of me puffing and panting!

I have been thinking about Parkruns and 5k in 30minutes but it turns out the next challenge was much closer to home. Our house is in the bottom of a dip which means there is nowhere to go except uphill as I leave the front door. The countryside is also quite rolling tho very pretty. However up until now, all through C25K, I have walked to the top of a hill as my warmup walk and only started running downhill! In the early walk/run days I became very skilled at timing the walk bits for the uphill stretches and the run bits for the flat or downhill stretches. I figured that it was more important to finish the runs and ultimately C25K than to be a purist about the route. In fact the hills became a bit of a bugbear for me and as the distance built up I ended up further and further from home at the end of each run just so I wouldn't have too far to run uphill. And I have rather blanked the fact that I was avoiding the hills so much!

But yesterday I bought a new car (now the proud owner of a tiny, shiny, brand new, bright red motor - instantly christened The Tomato by the kids). As is the way with these things signing on the dotted etc took longer than I had anticipated and I did not get home until 2pm. So I had 1 1/4 hours before school pickup time and I hadn't had lunch. I think it is a measure of how much I have changed on this programme that I actually thought of running at all instead of feeding my face instantly. I knew I would not get a run in if I had lunch first as I can't run after eating. But realistically I had to run, shower and eat lunch in a little over an hour as I knew we would have to go for a joy ride in the new car as soon as I picked up the kids.

Dilemma - I did not have enough time to walk up the hill and get to a flat bit to run and then walk back avoiding running up the hill. Finally I had to bite the bullet and run up the hill! Started the W9 podcast (reasoned I could not do this without Laura!) and off I went. Warm up walk took me halfway up the first hill and I started running as slowly as possible (don't know the gradient but I can't cycle up this hill yet even with gears!). To my own surprise I managed it tho I was very glad to get to the downhill bit for a breather. The run went well (for once it wasn't raining and I only met one well behaved dog) and then I had to turn around at 15 mins and run back up the nice downhill bit. It was a struggle, I admit, but I did keep going even if snails were whizzing past me and I sounded like puffing billy as I got near the top. Got to a flattish bit about 25 mins in and tried to lenghten my stride as just keeping going had made me shorten my steps and sort of cramp up. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear Laura say only 60 seconds to go just as I reached the last downhill bit towards home.

Just goes to show that graduation is only the start of the journey!

BTW - the kids were thrilled with the new car! The old one was 15 years old and had 190,000 miles on the clock (the guy in the show room said I had broken his record for the highest mileage!) so I suppose anything would have been an improvement. But you know secretly I was more thrilled with running up the hill than with my lovely new Tomato. :-)

7 Replies

I'm going to have to change my route (round and round the park) and head out towards a railway bridge. We don't really do hills here in Cambridge. Well done you on conquering the hills! :-)


Thanks Miss T. I don't think 'conquer' is quite the right word yet ! ;-) but I am at least getting over my hill avoidance problem!


truly a multi-tasking masterclass of a day :) well done


Hero! Well done!


What a great blog, Pingle! You are getting stronger each time out!

I'm with you on using avoidance to my advantage. After battling "the Hill" for a few weeks, runners knee forced me to look for a better way. Just be careful with those downhills...they seem like a free ride, but they are actually very hard on the knees. (I live on top of a hill...and my 5 minute warm up walk brought me to the beginning of the down slope, where I always started running. I think now, THAT (and some stupidity on my bicycle involving riding UP that same slope) is what blew my knees up.

Great to see you are willing to work in your runs, even with a shiny new car waiting for its "maiden voyage". But what joy...a new car and a great hill workout all in the same day!

Have fun!


Thanks Grammadog. I think it will be a while before the hills are my friends! There was someone a few weeks back who was running up a trail and then jogging back down to do it all again over and over as interval training. Can't remember who it was but I was in awe! I'll take on board what you say about downhills being hard on the knees too.

I will have to conquer it on the bike soon though as my 7 year old managed to get to the top on his new bike for the first time when out with his dad at the weekend thus removing my excuse for walking the last bit. But I will be careful ;-) He did fall asleep on the sofa for an hour after they got home - totally worn out! New car is lovely too! So light and easy to drive compared to the old one. No stopping me now!


try zig-zagging back down as this puts less strain on knees - makes it a longer route and gets you a few looks tho' :)


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