Couch to 5K
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First run of Week 4. Nailed! But then so am I, again!

I mentioned previously how I tried a Week 4 run while on holiday and couldn't do the final 5 minutes, then my back started giving me problems and I wasn't able to run again until last Thursday, when I did a Week 3 run by way of a warm up. Well on Saturday I tried again and completed it. It wasn't pretty and my usual confidence after every first run of a Week that once I've done it once I can do run 2 and 3 isn't quite as unshakable but that's for another day. Sadly that day was supposed to be today but I've developed a pain in my pelvic/groin area and so didn't run this morning.

Have to say I was absolutely gutted!

Returning to Saturday, I got up a wee bit later than usual (7am) and was out ten minuters later. The 'fret' was down (a misty fog that comes off the sea, the locals call it the fret) which feels like running through a cloud, not an unpleasant experience. By which I mean the feel of moisture, not being unsighted as if running in cotton wool.

Going out late meant that although it was dark when I began, it was light when I finished, quite unnerving for the nocturnal runner I've become. It was the most runners I've seen since my very first run of the C25k, probably the 'new year resolution' brigade had woken up as for the first time since I started this thing, I didn't see a single runner when I ran on Thursday, with the exception of one very rainy run. I think I may have spotted one or two fellow Couchers too as they had the gear on but were walking. Have to say, I didn't really like seeing it so busy. Still self conscious, I suppose.

Also that shower of bastards who do the military training were out again, talk about give you an inferiority complex! I suspect I'll be out earlier next time I run on a Saturday....

The first three minutes weren't too bad at all, ditto the first five minute run, I simply kept telling myself I'd done that long on my aborted Week 4 run. And again with the second three minuter. All the while though that second five minutes was tormenting me, loitering in the back of my mind and whispering sweet nothings along the lines of 'there's no way you can do it'.

Fortunately, I had prepared an aid, namely that Mike Scott poem/song I mentioned I found so inspirational in an earlier blog, Spirit. At about the two minute mark, I began reciting it to myself:

Man gets tired, spirit don't

Man surrenders, spirit won't

Man crawls, spirit flies

Spirit lives when man dies

Man seems, spirit is

Man dreams, spirit lives

Man is tethered, spirit's free

What spirit is, man can be.

It tells you something about the physical relationship to the mental that while it helped me get through to the end, by the third and final time I was reciting it, I was struggling to remember the words.

And so to my disappointment at not being able to do it again this morning, fortunately I had an appointment booked with my GP this evening for another matter so at least I can get it assessed quickly and instead of running, I have a four mile walk lined up for lunchtime so at least today won't be a complete write off.

Annoying though that I should have been frightening the life out of myself by now with a peak at Week 5.....

Ho hum, onwards and upwards!

9 Replies

Well done on your Saturday run and I hope your current problem is quickly resolved. I have just finished w7 but still prefer to juffle on the local cycle trail rather than the more public roads - I still meet an occasional person but they tend to be more sociable. So fortunately I don't have to see any too fit people!!! Hope you are back out running soon as I am waiting to read your blog after you have done w5r3.


Congrats and I hope everything goes ok.


Wise man to not try a run this morning if you were having some pain. We found adding a recovery day or two never hurt at all. I hope you find out its nothing serious when you visit the GP. I remember when I first started running, how I dreaded getting by another walker/runner. Even after doing some organized 5K's, I still compare myself to others, must be part of the mental gremlins we often deal with. :-) Wishing you a successful next run! Gayle


Cheers guys. The bad news is, I made a balls of the time of my appointment so missed it.

The good news is it's eased a lot and I've just laid out my kit for the morning!


Erm......I think.....


Good to see you are keeping at it Fingalo! Well done :)


Well done for keeping the faith. I'm having terrible problems with week 4 - never managed to finish the last 5 minutes despite half a dozen tries. Usually OK up to up before Laura says that's 2 and a half minutes and then my legs turn to stone and I can barely move. Tried going slower but no good - any thoughts welcome. Will try again on Thursday - it is not going to beat me


Thanks Jedda.

Roisin, I really feel for you having attempted it several times as I honestly felt I'd be in the same boat after my first attempt. On reflection I think I'd defeated myself before I went out that first time but the enforced break gave me time to give it plenty of thought and I honestly think that mind game I played with the poem I mentioned helped me through. I didn't really need it today but I know I'll be using it again very soon.

I'm not saying it's your route to overcoming Week 4, more that you too can find a way of using your mind to get you through it.

I wish you the best of luck, your last line gives me great confidence you'll get there.


thanks Fingalo, I will try that, I think I do concentrate too much on that last 5 minutes - worrying about it during my other runs instead of just running - I need to clear my mind and think positively about what I am doing.

Thanks again


I found the aborted run also helped me complete it the next time, I knew I could do the first three running sections as I'd done it already, then when I started the final run of five minutes, I told myself I'd already ran for five minutes twice.

Feck, I started my run with gloves on that day and felt my hands were getting really warm and uncomfortable during the first five minute run, I told myself I'd only take them off as reward once Laura told me to walk.

Use whatever you can.


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