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Couch to 5K
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Graduate run completed, but with a very bitter taste :(

I should be leaping around with joy, feeling amazing and having that post run buzz, especially today because I have completed my graduate run - but...... after 3K of my usual slow running accompanied by hubby (BIG mistake), a chance comment from him made me have a complete and utter melt down and I cried all the way back and had one of those 'I can't breath' panic attacks.

What was it he said 'well its not proper running really is it' Bang went all my self esteem, all my sense of achievement - a deck of cards could not have collapsed more quickly. In fact I am still really tearful just writing this.

It made me question the validity of every single step I have taken on this journey(when I say run all I get is this little voice going 'but its not proper running') and even if I have the right to consider myself a graduate because I have not done it properly.

Just really sad because I have had such a lovely time up to know, but I felt like throwing away all my running stuff and giving up. Then I calmed down a little and have resolved NEVER EVER to run with anyone again. Just me and my little pottery, doddery, walking pace little jog.

I am also sad that my self esteem is so fragile that a thoughtless comment not meant to be hurtful can shake me so much and sad that what should have been a jubilant event has been soured..

I wonder if I will carry on now?

Congratulations to everyone who has graduated this week though..

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Well done for graduating! Don't let anyone tell you that it isn't proper running. What is proper running anyway? What is important is that you did it and that you care enough about yourself to have taken up the challenge in the first place. Don't give up! This time next year you will speed through your 5k run. X


Don't give up now, you have done really well.

It really doesn't matter what speed you go at, it matters more that you have started to exercise and enjoy it, so pat yourself on the back for having done so well and get back out there - you're doing great!

K x


First off, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for you graduating ginonastring!!! :-) I "ran" my graduation run this past week almost in tears because there is no way I can keep up with my hubby (smhall) and I kept telling myself, how can this be my grad run when I'm going so slow. YOU RAN 30 SOLID MINUTES! Speed is not important! I feel bad for you that your husband made such a comment to make you question this lifestyle change. He may not have meant it as it came out. PLEASE do not give up! You have came so far and improved so much, don't think of leaving us here or dropping the running. Also, you are now officially in our graduating class!!!! :-) Hugs to you! :-)


It is so horrible how people - and so often it is people we love - can hurt us just with one thoughtless remark.

Okay, so what's 'proper running'? You weren't walking, were you, you were jogging, so no matter how slowly you were going, what you were doing was 'proper running'. You ran for 3K which is a LONG WAY without stopping, and you completed the programme and you are a graduate.

So what you do now is, stick a bottle of something in the fridge, or get yourself some really yummy chocs or whatever takes your fancy, and you sit by yourself somewhere and sometime (soonish) and you have a little celebration because YOU know you are a 'proper runner' - you did hear Laura on W6R3, didn't you - and you feel happy and positive about what you have achieved. You've done it, and you did it well.

This rant is because I know exactly how you feel. A long time ago I did something a little bit special and different, but I knew my OH would not appreciate at all what had gone into it and how I felt about it. I didn't tell him for 3 days because I didn't want the let-down and when I did, bang, I felt just as you are feeling now. It was days before I could think about it without howling. Unfortunately I didn't have a forum to come and blog to...

But you do, and every single person here will tell you the same thing - so believe us and be happy and I'll raise a glass to you myself in a wee while.

And for your post-grad run get yourself some lovely music and just go out and have fun, run as long or as short as you want and enjoy it! (And then go home and download Stepping Stones) :-)

Hugs xx


Ooh this has made my blood boil! I have had NOTHING but encouragement and support from all my friends/rellies and since I have also plucked up the courage to train with "proper" runners like my big (8 times marathon running) sis and her wonderful running club mates I have had NOTHING but praise and encouragement from them.

I am sorry you seem to have to put up with such a (can't say the word I want to say as it would not be in keeping with the spirit of this wonderful site) but it rhymes with banker as a running "buddy". Suggest you join a running club or a women's only running group where people who know what they are talking about can give you the support and encouragement you deserve.

FUMING doesnt cover it!


Thank you Deryn!! I am glad that I am not the only one that has steam rolling from my eyes and my eyes bugging out!! Even after blogging my answer...I am FUMING!!!


Definition of "run"....

To move swiftly on foot so that both feet leave the ground during each stride.

Courtesy of thefreedictionary.com/run

Believe me, if you think you're running then your feet are leaving the ground during each stride so you are running. There's nothing in that definition about it has to be over a certain speed. Yes I can walk faster than the runs I was doing at the beginning of the program, but it takes much more effort to launch your body into space each and every stride. If you still don't think you're running then go on a treadmill. Start off slowly, then gradually increase the pace but wait until you settle at the new pace before you increase it. Yes you can walk awfully fast but there will be a point where you have to break into a run. Now slow it down, see you can run slower than you were previously walking. As Laura said, at this point it's not the speed that's important it's the time, being able to run for 30 minutes non-stop. Speed and distance will come.

As Gayle said we're happy to have you in our graduating class. Now go email JR21 for your graduate badge, oh my is he going to be busy this week!


Can I come and count his bruises from your kicks, bad hubby, but I'm sure he didn't think about what he was saying, just opened his mouth and put his size 10's right in. You are a runner, congratulations on your graduation. You can start to do some speed up training when you are ready but please remember that all things have to be taken into concideration when a person runs, i.e. age, leg length, weather conditions, stamina the list goes on, your job now is to try and improve on some of these things just like we all are doing, leg length you can discount you can't do anything about that. So good luck Ginthestring, don't forget to send JR21 a message (thats John) and you'll have your grad badge in a few days, now come on give us all a big smile, you have done well :)


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! This graduation party that Gayle and I are throwing seems to be filling up quickly, but Ginthestring is coming in, too!!!!!

Gayle and I were reading posts at the same time, but on different PCs this morning. She came running in to me and told me about your blog. I was instantly heartbroken and that only continued as I read your blog myself. I have to say though, that my feelings have changed. There is NO way that I am going to allow anyone to take YOUR GRADUATION away!!

Take a few breaths (I think I need them, too) and let's talk about this. About 9 weeks ago you made a committment to yourself. A commitment to improve every inch of your body and your health and to run 30 minutes. What were you thinking?? Do you remember asking yourself that? I did...Gayle did. Where did you ever believe that you could do that? Guess what...YOU DID IT!! Not only did you run 30 minutes today, but you did it two other times this week!! YOU RAN 1 1/2 hours this week!! Could you have done that 9 weeks ago?

"Proper run" by big, fat American butt!! You had a proper run!!!! 1 1/2 hours worth of proper run this week!! And guess what...you better have some more proper runs next week and the following weeks, also!!! If you don't Gayle and I may just have to make a trip over there to get you out and lace up those shoes for you!!! You have come way to far to chuck it in now!! "Proper run"...we will do a "proper run" right down to the pub and hoist a few glasses of bubbly in celebration of YOUR GRADUATION!!

You worked hard, you committed, YOU DID IT!! WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!!! Hmmmm...and you know, you KNOW that YOU HAVE A LOT TO BE PROUD OF!!!

I apologize if I had to blow off a little steam, but NOONE is going to steal YOUR GRADUATION!!

Now, "proper run" your magnificent little self to this graduation party that so many of us are sharing this week!! It is only 11 am here in the States, but I think that I am about to hoist a pint of homebrewed Pumpkin Ale in your honor!!! Hoooooorah, Ginthestring!!!!

Oh yes, and did I say...CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!


I was going to blog separately but Shmall has said what I feel. I would only add a very small comment:

This is not a race, it's about each individual improving themselves in their own way and at their own pace.

A warm congratulations Ginthestring for completing the course and achieving your first goal. You are a winner, well done.


well said smhall!! it takes a lot of effort & willpower to continue through this program & Graduate & you have definately earned your Graduate badge :)

I had a few "what do you mean you run for pleasure, are you mad?" comments from friends & still do, but luckily have had the support of my family from the word go. even when I was so over the moon about running 3mins in one go & boring everybody with it :)

get back out there & please dont let his words become your running demon. YOU did fantastic to finish c25k & deserve to celebrate.

Congratulations XX


I echo everything smhall said.

As I read your post, I felt very sad, but by the time I got to the end that sadness had turned to anger. How bloomin' well dare he! You worked hard to complete C25K and complete it you did! We all know this is just the first step in our running journey, but a very important step and one worth celebrating. You may choose to go on to train to run faster or to run further, but today is the day for thinking about what you have achieved in your first nine weeks!

Go enjoy your graduation - you are a right proper runner! :-)


How hurtful thoughtless words can be, even if they weren't meant to harm, they hurt.

All I can say is who cares what anyone else thinks (although we all often do), you started a journey 9 weeks ago and you have gone from 1 min to 30, please celebrate that success and keep going.

Why does speed matter, if you are working hard, which I know you are your heart and lungs are benefiting and that is he point at the end of the day, far better than returning to the couch.

Please take advice from the carefully crafted responses above and find a supportive group to run with and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE run again in a couple of days and let us all know your ok.


Thanks you so much everyone. Your support and kind thoughts are SOOO much appreciated. I have felt a bit low all afternoon and slunk off to bed for a little nap, came down and found all your response to my blog. My friend Clare is coming around this evening (she of the half marathons) and I am jolly well going to get that chilling bottle of bubbly out and CELEBRATE. (I told her about my run and sniffed down the phone and she is going to give me a big hug when she gets here) So, I might be a little late to our graduate party, but I WILL be attending.

Once again, thanks for being there everyone, this is such a fantastic supportive forum and I feel like we have all shared this journey - through good times and bad. (all emotional but in a good way now!!) Hugs to you all oh and I did email JR21 for my graduate badge xxxx

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Well I've just showed this to my other half and told him what NOT to say next week! Well done you! Try not to let a thoughtless remark, which I'm sure he didn't mean to be hurtful, spoil the feeling of achievement. I have 3 more "runs" to go and I'll be joining all you graduates.


Good luck on your last three runs. That green graduate badge is nearly yours!!!

Hubby genuinely did not mean to be hurtful and was very bewildered as to why he had this snivelling woman all the back to the car. He said it was meant to be encouraging me to get outside my comfort zone!!!! And did try to qualify it... after I had recovered enough not to want an instant divorce!!!


Please, please, please don't let your hubby's thoughtless throwaway comment dent your pride in your achievement (or lead to divorce!) I know exactly how you feel because the only other time I tried running about 25 years ago me and my friend were training for a 5k. We thought we were doing really well when a third friend (who had not been training) asked to come with us. She basically left us for dead. My friend and I were so demoralised we went to a barbeque instead the day of the run and it was 25 YEARS before I tried again. 25 years potential running time wasted!! I now know that the only person I should compare myself to is myself and when I started c25k I could not run for 1 minute, much less 35 which I can do now.

Men can be such idiots without even meaning to and I had to ban my hubby from wanting to run with me as he is still so much fitter than me (has been known to cycle 400 miles in 4 days). I didn't even tell him I was doing c25k until about week 4 but in fairness he has been supportive if a bit bemused.

Message JR21 IMMEDIATELY to get your lovely green graduate badge, maybe order a c25k graduate T-shirt if you can afford it and above all be PROUD and keep running! :-)


Just read your post. My blood is boiling too! Listen, when you run/jog/wobble whatever anyone wants to call it - your cardiovascular system is getting stronger, your heart muscle is getting stronger, your risk of so many diseases is falling drastically, your life expectancy is increasing immeasurably. Not a 'proper run'? Thank God your physical body is not so judgmental and will be appreciating every move you make.


My first thought was to ask if I could pop round a give your OH a slap or two, happy to still do that if it helps you feel better :-) smhall and the others have said it all. CONGRATULATIONS!!! what a fabulous achievement. Be proud, I hope you had a lovely sore head from all the celebrations! I've heard going for a run is good for blowing away the cobwebs and getting rid of a hangover (with plenty of water, of course!) ;-)

It is sometimes difficult for people to just be happy for you, your OH might be feeling (subconciously) a teensy bit unsettled by your new found confidence and determination and that may have prompted his comment - people sometimes take the edge off things with little negatives when they are uncomfortable with the changes going on around them. Don't accept that you have a problem. You are a star. And who knows, a year from now you could be signing up with your friend for a half marathon :-o


Thank you again everyone. Not so upset as I was yesterday.

Yesterday evening I came across a fairly detailed map with footpaths on it that I had been hunting for for a good few weeks (hidden somewhere in the house) and when I uncovered it my first thought was 'oh good now I can plan some more routes to run' SO obviously not been too discouraged by yesterday and still keen to get out there.

Still disappointed that my OH could be that insensitive.... oh well. Just never going to go running with him again - ever!

Had a nice little celebration with my half marathon friend, and she gave me lots of encouragement too. SO onwards and upwards. Here's to 5K in 30 minutes (may take a loooong time to get there, but we all need goals)

Happy running everyone x


Well done on graduating. Don't necessarily give up on a running buddy just chose 'em more carefully. I'm sure you OH didn't even think how that comment would be taken, I know that I wouldn't run with mine because he would leave me for dead and it would end up with tears or in a row......or both!!

My friend started hers with her hubby a month or so ahead of me. She has kids so I have managed to catch her up but her hubby ran a 10K this week. Thats right, a 10K, seems he has taken to running like a duck to water so we've been pushing each other because we are the right level to inspire but being a week apart, have been challenging each other to run for longer. It has worked because we are more suited as running partners than she is to her husband.

As you say you have now managed to run for 30mins straight, now you can concentrate on getting your speed up. Good luck ;-)


Thanks for the words of wisdom. OH didn't think at all ...and said it was because he wanted me to do better and push me out of my comfort zone!!!

So its onto stepping stones speed for me, and back to my local recreation ground to run in circles for 16 minutes!!! Maybe when I speed up a bit more I might dip my toe into running with a partner again.


Stupid man! You are brilliant, valiant, and a lot fitter than you were a few weeks ago - I can't wait to graduate, and absolutely take my hat off to you and salute you!


Hi there. I had to join in on this one. My hubby said something similar about me being slow, (only because I told him I was, and he's never seen me run), and that I would get faster and soon be really running. (really running! that's the only bit my mind hears. Not the bits when he says how well I've done.)

He was trying to encourage me really, but I struggled on my next run, worrying about whether I was going too slow. It didn't stop me though. I am still running. (See.... I wrote "RUNNING!) And I have gone from struggling with 60 seconds to being able to run for 25 minutes. For me it was my lack of confidence that made me feel bad.

Don't give up. Especially after all your hard work. I think you may have got the hint from the other comments here. You are brilliant!

Remember: "I have had such a lovely time up to now." Hold on to that feeling, to the lovely time. The massive achievement!

"...my little pottery, doddery, walking pace little jog", sounds just like me! I will think about you next time I am out running.


Maybe we need a sub section for really slow runners!!

You are so right about it being the only bit your mind hears. All the other positive stuff just fades by comparison of one potential negative.

And yes it is all down to lack of confidence - which is really stupid because I can stand up in front a class of teenagers and not flinch in the slightest, and perform on stage and not worry too much. But anything that treads anywhere near my self/body/physical image I just crumple and automatically resort to those old negative programmings that just run around inside the head. (fat bird trying to run? ha ha; who are you trying to kid that you are really running....etc etc)

Which is ridiculous given I am 50, and should have really dealt with it by now!!!

And yes he was trying to encourage me, but sadly a lot of people (often of the male persuasion) do not seem to be aware how devastating a comment like that can be especially if you are a little fragile around that area.

Oh well lessons to learn and new things to deal with - I suppose it is all part of the learning curve that so many of us go through when we follow C25K.


Lessons to learn.... yes I think you're right about that. When I started and was on the running intervals, I would rather wait until someone was gone before starting my next interval in case they saw me!

Now I keep on regardless. It is a fragile thing that's for sure. But as a sufferer of anxiety & depression, I'm finding that this C25k is helping me a lot - not just in the physical sense. :-)

I did think of you while I was out today, running slowly but steadily in the rain. Huffing and puffing, red in the face, but with a real sense of achievement when I reached the end of the 25 min run and could still stand!


As a mere male can I just add my congratulations too! If you haven't already come across it I'd recommend a book called 'The Courage to Start' by John Bingham. It's an amusing and inspirational book by someone who as an 'overwieght coach potatoe who smoked' started to run at age 43. He discribes his own running style as being 'more like a penguin than a gazelle' but has still completed '11 marathons and hundreds of road races' to quote the blurb on the back cover and now coachea and teaches others. His main pont I guess is that everyone who runs is a runner and we will run in our own way - some of us may be gazelles and some may be penguins - but so what? Definately worth reading!


"some of us may be gazelles and some may be penguins - but so what?"

I like that a lot. It's true we all have our own style. I feel sometimes surrounded by gazelles, as I live near a forces base and see them out training. But I am pleased today by the simple fact that I can run at all, even if I am red-faced and puffing by the end.


Trust me the Forces have their fair share of penguins too - they just don't let them out that often!


Love it - I am definitely not a gazelle - suspect maybe a duck? I will check that book out. Haven't run yet since Sunday. Will do a nice trail run tomorrow afternoon if I can escape work a little early!!! Hope the weather will be nice.

Just noticed I have got my Graduate badge... wohoooo.


Woo hoo indeed! Well done Graduate!

Trail running sounds good. Not brave enough for that yet, just not sure how my weak ankles would cope... :-) Have fun.


Well done Ginthestring! You are a WINNER!!!! You are a big girl now so don't let his inane remark get to you. I think remarks like that come from people who talk a good job whilst not being able to do diddly in reality. They think if they put you down it somehow boosts their self-esteem.

I didn't tell my old man that I was embarking on this programme because I knew I'd get nothing but derision. He can't even touch his ruddy toes as it happens.

Enjoy your girly celebration and make sure you don't save him any bubbly. Keep on running!


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