Well, here we have it, WEEK NINE, RUN THREE! I am sitting grinning from ear to ear as I had such a brilliant experience tonight!
My week 9 has been all over the place. I loved R1, R2 was delayed by 8 days because of a rubbish head cold and R3 has been delayed by another 5 days because of work commitments and last minute hassly stuff which scuppered evening plans.
For the first half of the programme, I had planned my route quite near my house. When I had a less than inspiring W5R3, I decided to ditch that route and do another a bit further from my house. The main reason for this is the long, wide road which I usually finished on. It's long, boring, tree lined and full of posh houses and nothing interesting happens! The pavement is really uneven and I absolutely hated running up it. So I incorporated it into a longer warm up walk, and started further away.
Tonight was no different and I set out for my longer warm up in the drizzle and dark (my favourite weather). I just pressed shuffle on my mp3 player and began to run anti clockwise in a big block from a set of traffic lights. I was really aware of this being my last run of the programme and wanted to enjoy it. The weather was great, the first 1/3 of the run was really lovely and I settled into a comfortable pace. I was running the streets again but all of the different coloured leaves were just beautiful and I loved being outside after evenings sitting in. The middle 1/3 of the run was really strange - I was completely in "the zone", my breathing became really comfortable and I was in my element! At this stage, I was running past some cafes and shops and had lots to hold my attention.
The last 1/3 of the run joined the main road again and I became fatigued as I approached the small hill which would take me round the corner to my starting point. Well, what can I say, all that fatigue was in the mind. I was really enjoying the music, so when I got to the traffic lights and saw the road was clear, I carried on running across the road. I fully intended to stop as I knew I had covered over 5k and had ran for over 30 minutes (from mapping the run out beforehand) but I found an extra bit of energy and decided to continue up the horrible, posh road which I've avoided for weeks. I gave myself the goal of running until the current song stopped, but then I realised I felt great (gotta love those endorphins!) so I continued for as long as I felt comfortable. Out onto another main road, right turn and STILL RUNNING. I stopped about a 5 min walk from my house as I wanted to do a proper cool down. By this stage, I was tired and breathing harder but I wonder if I could've gone further? When I came home and mapped my route, I was astounded and absolutely speechless to see that give or take a few metres for measuring error, I ran for.......6.67km! I still cannot believe I did it!
I am absolutely over the moon and a bit overwhelmed to have got this far. This community has been fantastic; I've really benefited from the support and encouragement from so many of you and I think you're all brilliant Thank you for being utterly fabulous.
Before C25K, I was one of those people who saw runners and thought "I wish I could do that". I was a sprinter in school, so held a very fixed belief for years that I couldn't do "distance running" (which I realise 5k is far from, but you get what I mean), so I didn't try. I kept seeing and hearing about runners and once the Olympics started, I finally got off my bum and went on the hunt for something I could achieve. I stumbled across c25k and started on week 2. Week 5/6 was by far the most challenging for me but it feels like a distant memory now! I only remember the good parts!
I went from someone who could say with absolute conviction that she couldn't run for 2 minutes, to someone who can say with absolute conviction that she can run for 5k. I can't begin to describe how much that means to me and how much I LOVE running.
To all the newbie runners who are starting out, do NOT give up. If I could bottle this feeling and give it to everyone, I would. I feel fantastic and my self-confidence and self-determination has soared. It really has been life changing.
So what next?
My first park run on Saturday morning, strength and flex podcasts, a 5k event in November, a goal to be running 10k comfortably by my birthday in early 2013, and a potential goal, all being well of possibly training for a half marathon or duathlon in May 2013. I cannot wait to get started!
All that's left to say is that I have heard it is fashionable to arrive late to the party, so Gayle, Steve and the rest, can I join the party?!