Well I never thought I'd be running in public!

It had been in the back of my mind for a couple of months that I wanted to start the Couch to 5K running plan. I knew my fiance was going away on holiday in August and I figured I could use the evenings on my own to start running. Taking the first step to go out running in public was tough but I did it!

A few days before he was due to go away, I actually woke up one morning and decided to just do it. I hopped in the car and drove to a more secluded coastal route with the intention of easing myself in gently in the embarrassment stakes. When I got there I realised I'd forgotten my earphones! So I did some aimless running until I could take no more and left feeling like I was probably more capable than I thought but knowing I definitely needed more structure and direction.

The next time I chose the same route and actually remembered the earphones this time! So the official plan began - W1R1. I wouldn't say I found it easy but it wasn't overly challenging either. I definitely felt it was achievable.

W1R2 - well I have to admit I cheated and skipped straight to week 2 but from here on out I promise to faithfully abide by the plan.

So W2R1...more of a challenge, especially because my route started out going up hill (hills are pretty unavoidable where I live I'm afraid). However, what goes up, must come down. Running downhill, looking over some beautiful landscape with the sun setting - I'd say I almost enjoyed it for a second!

W2R2 and W2R3 - I chose to walk up to the local park instead. Slight problem with half of it being closed off temporarily, so instead of a lovely circular route, I had to go backwards and forwards! Still it was nice and quiet, with just a few dog walkers for company (and didn't I feel superior running around!)

W3R1 - I was pretty horrified to think I now had to double my running time from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. But I put my trust and faith in the plan, and all those who've gone before, and gave it a go. And do you know what? It really wasn't that difficult. It was lightly drizzling with rain and I felt amazing. I get such a sense of achievement from each run. I can feel how much I'm improving already - a combination of improved cardio fitness and muscle strength?

I'm getting married on Saturday and this running program, even though I've only been doing it for 2 weeks, has really helped shed the last bit of excess flab so that my dress fits perfectly now. Don't get me wrong - I'm no skinny minnie. I'm still overweight. But now the dress fits great and I'm feeling more toned and most of all I'm feeling more confident.

Like Laura, I think my biggest challenge is mental rather than physical - thinking that in a few weeks I'll be able to run for half an hour without stopping seems pretty impossible right now. But perseverance is key and I'm really starting to enjoy and look forward to running.

8 Replies

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  • Well done, fab progress and great to see a difference so soon (I lost an inch off my waist in the first 2 weeks too!).

    I didn't pluck up the courage to run in public until week 8 but by then I was heartily sick of the treadmill.

    I was also finding it hard to fit in my dog walks on my run days so what finally got me out was being able to combine. I still felt self conscious for weeks, so avoided busy areas and only went out very early or late evenings till I graduated.

    And good luck on your impending nuptials.

  • Well done on being a graduate! I'm looking forward to joining the club. Thanks for the well wishes :)

  • Well done on your achievement so far, and good luck for wedding day!

    I am still a bit reluctant to be out running, but ony because there are 3 friends who live locally that I haven't told yet, and we only meet up every couple of months. Last time we met it didn't crop up in converstaion!

    Also, I have lapsed a bit since having a week's holiday, and I think I have lost confidence a bit. I got to about 5k, including my warm ups and cool downs, but haven't managed a full 5k run yet.

    On the plus side, husband started 3 weeks after me and is absolutely loving it!

  • It sounds like you're doing really well. Good luck with getting to the full 5k. You've come this far, there's no doubt you can do it. Thanks for the good luck wishes!

  • Sounds like you have some lovely places to run. Good luck with the wedding!

  • Thanks :) It's beautiful here but ever so hilly!

  • Lovely to read your story ange123, all my best wishes for your wedding day! I agree with you about mental challenges, it's been half the battle for me too & I felt weird at first running in public but this course works wonders.

  • Best of luck on Saturday! Hope you have a wonderful wedding and a marvelous married life!

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