Couch to 5K
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I did it! I graduated today!

I am so proud of myself for sticking to something right to the end. Only this isn't the end, of course, because I shall carry on running. But i had to post here, to say thank you to my two good friends J and W who did this with me, and also to reflect on all the support and advice from here that helped in the bad moments :)

So what did I learn along the way?

1) The programme works. Trust it. The music might be dire in some places, Laura might make you grit your teeth in others (sorry, Laura!) but the whole thing works.

2) You don't have to complete it in 9 weeks. It took me 50 runs not 27 - but that's okay. I re-did them as I felt it was necessary, and I was still progressing. I am 48, 5 stone overweight and had never done any exercise, so I didn't want to create unrealistic expectations of myself which I would then fail to live up to.

3) Support is vital in two ways: if your family and friends aren't bothered, everyone on here cares!

4) The other area in which I needed a lot of support was in my bra. It became affectionately known as the Forth Bridge Bra, abbreviated to fbb. I am in awe of the engineering skill that went into its construction :)

5) Have your gait analysed and get the right footwear, whatever that may be for you.

6) Find new routes - but check them out first. I had a couple of nasty surprises in terms of very steep hills and an unexpected ford.

7) You might think that everyone will laugh at you as you slog along, puffing and sweating, but actually, random strangers just aren't that interested. This is a good thing! And at least you are out there doing something good for yourself.

8) There is no such thing as a bad run - because it was a run. Even if you thought you might do 20 minutes and only managed 5 - good on you. It will be better next time.

9) Be kind to yourself. Drink plenty, and if something hurts, give it a rest.

10) Look back and marvel at your progress - even if you're only on week 2. Congratulate yourself when you get out through the door for a run - and then again when you complete it. Remember when running for 60 seconds for the 6th time was almost impossible? This programme works!

24 Replies
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Really wonderful blog, so many wise words, I'm very happy for you - many congratulations!

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Thank you so much, Suki_007 - wow, what a swift response!

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Many congratulations - thanks for all the tips too.

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Thanks, Lane - to be honest, I think most of the tips have been said many times on here before!

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"Forth Bridge Bra, abbreviated to fbb" made me laugh

Well done on completing the course.

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Thanks, Chewy - I couldn't have done the course without my fbb :D

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Congratulations! And thank you for tips. It really means a lot to us new to the program to hear from all you graduates.

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Thanks, kc407 - I found it helpful to hear from others when I was just starting. All the best with your running, and I look forward to your graduation blog :)

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Congratulations! All good tips. I'm looking forward to starting week 5 tomorrow.

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Thanks, swanscot! Enjoy week 5 - it was where I started to think 'I can do this!'

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Congratulations and what great words of wisdom! I graduate tomorrow and I could not agree with you more...on all accounts!

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Thanks, NewbieLisa - ooh, just think, by the time I'm writing this you might be graduating too! I look forward to your graduation blog :)

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Congratulations. And great tips too.

Hope you continue to enjoy future runs.

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Thanks, samdavi - here's to good runs for everyone!

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Well done and thanks SO much for all the experience you told us about. I start week 2 tomorrow and am surprised how much I am looking forward to it. Congats to you and keep going. What an achievement.

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Thanks, Maturelady - I hope week 2 goes well and you can enjoy your running.

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Many, many congratulations, and thankyou for the advice. I think the support and encouragement you can get on here is invaluable. Good wishes for the future.

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Thanks, stridingedge - everyone on here has been and still is really helpful. I look forward to your graduation post too!

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Absolutely brilliant job - well done you! Tips are good too. I also have a fbb, so this made me giggle. Well done again.

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Thanks, Super_rach - where would we be without such support?

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Well done, thanks for sharing your blog, it was lovely and important for new people to know that it's f ne to have to repeats weeks and runs. Enjoy the satisfaction and the smile from ear to ear that graduation has brought....oh and your new green shiny badge when it arrives (hope you've ordered it) :-)

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Thanks, Phil72, I'm looking forward to my badge! Happy running :)

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Congratulations! A really inspiring post, thank you!

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Thanks, TaoRouTing - all I need now is a badge like yours!

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