Couch to 5K
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So, Week 4, you thought you were a tough guy eh?

Well okay, you may have landed a lucky punch my first time out but by feck, did I kick your arse this morning! In fact, I'm pretty sure I heard Laura giggling at you, so complete was your humiliation.

You looked the part when I first clapped eyes on you, I'll give you that much. Indeed I wasn't confident at all about taking you on, which is why you gave me a bloody nose at my first attempt but I went away and gathered myself before having another go at you and the next time I won. You asked for a rematch, which was fair enough as I'd not beaten you comprehensively and even I wasn't convinced I could take you again, until the end of the first round, when I knew I had your measure. After which I went on to win that third bout, again on points.

But no, you wanted another go, all because you couldn't accept that having beaten me once you had lost twice since. So I agreed. It was wrong of me I know, because I knew by this stage that you were merely a stepping stone to the big fight next week, however I just wanted to put you away for good. And I did. By a knockout!

I did my 4th Week 4 run this morning (I've mentioned before how I failed to complete it the first time I tried) and took a different route this time, turning left out of town instead of toward town, as I wanted to see if there was enough beachfront path to complete next week's 20 minute run without doubling back on myself half a dozen times. It transpired there is more than enough.

I'm confident at this level now so although I still find it tough, it's not brutal (what a difference a week makes?) and so I jogged along quite happily. I only saw a couple of fellow runners (what a difference a month makes?) as I'd gone out even earlier than usual, setting my alarm for 5am instead of 15 minutes later, again in preparation for the longer recovery time I expect from next week and subsequent runs.

I still had a touch of gout in my right foot when I awoke (it had flared on Tuesday) but I felt okay to run on it so didn't let it put me off. I know what you're thinking by the way, a bad back, pain in his abdomen and now gout? It must be his age. Well not really, I'm 48 now and my body has been falling apart for a good 20 years. Oh and did I mention the eczema?

What can I say, I had a tough paper round....

Having completed the first three minuter, I was well into the first five minute run when I happened upon a bench festooned with memorial flowers, along with at least three cards of remembrance. My first thought was that some poor soul might have drowned at sea and this was the nearest point loved ones could affix their tributes, tragic. Then it occurred to me some old boy might have breathed his last on that very bench ,after a full life it was his time. Not a horrible way to go, a lovely view of the world before meeting his maker.

Anyway on I went, brisk walk then into the next three minuter and finally I turned back towards home for the last run. Passing the bench a second time I was really feeling it and a different scenario that might explain the flowers occurred to me and a headline flashed into my mind: OVER-AMBITIOUS RUNNER FOUND DEAD ON BEACHFRONT! However, I dismissed it immediately.

After all, I don't know three people who'd send flowers to my funeral.....

Anyway I made it to the end and as I was still some way from home, having got my breath back, I decided that instead of listening to that shite Laura has been assaulting my ears with for weeks now, I'd walk back to something I actually enjoy, so flicking through a huge playlist on my 'phone I selected Perfect Skin by Lloyd Cole & The Commotions.

I left it for a minute or so though as, having stopped the podcast, I suddenly became aware of the sea and wanted to enjoy the feeling of walking along in the dark, having the whole world to myself and listening to the sound of the waves hitting the shore. Simply beautiful.

Then something strange happened, something I put fairly and squarely at the door of a fellow blogger on here who shall remain nameless but it's not Bluearms or Yellowfeet (ahem!).....who I'd read yesterday had felt so good at this stage on his Week 4 run that he continued, running ten instead of five minutes.

The bastard!

As the first notes of the song came through my reattached earphones, a thought popped into my head: "You feel all right after that short walk, why not run back to the song?"

So I did. Then as I was going along quite nicely another thought occured to me, "you're not quite back to the point where you turn up from the beachfront for home so why not continue into the next song, just for the further minute it'll take you to get there?"

So I did. And beyond. Because I decided I may as well go until the end of that song too.

So I did. Although I was thankful it was Woke Up (the theme song to The Soprano's) which lasts about four minutes, rather than Bohemian Rhapsody, which at eight minutes or so may well have become the theme song to my funeral.

I'd looped around a hut by this stage and so as the song and my ability to run any further ended, I was almost where back to where I started my run and so slowed to a walk.

And what was the next song that came on? Feckin' Morning Has Broken, as near a pop song has come to a hymn as you can get!

I was almost home now but one more song began before I reached the door and if I tell you what it was, you will definitely think I'm saying this for the laugh, however it's as true as I'm sitting here. After choosing only the first song, Perfect Skin, from the middle of a playlist which has 158 songs on it, on came Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus!

I couldn't believe it and was smiling as that bench came back to mind.

However I think I'll run in the other direction on Saturday.


Until I got home and checked, it was guesswork as to how long that additional run had been but looking at it, the two songs together meant I'd ran for just over seven minutes. That means not only do I now think the first run of Week 5 a doddle at three five minute runs but I now also feel quite reassured that I'll be able for the two eight minute runs in run 2.

I'm even thinking of jumping the first run and doing run 2 twice, hoping it will better prepare me for the 20 minutes of run 3. I'll see how I feel on Saturday.

21 Replies

:D :D :D :D Love it, love it!! I nearly choked on my lunch at my desk as I read this, I was laughing so much.....! Way to go Fingalo! Actually, I didnt mean "way to go" as in way to drop dead :O ....oh, you know what I mean!! ;)

Well done; your next run will be a doddle indeed!


ps I meant to say; after reading your comment to PacMan the other day about you working in Holborn I am now convinced that I DID hear you from my train carriage when you discovered the joy of W5R3..... ;) I work in Bedford Square so not very far away and maybe you come in from the same direction as me??


Glad you enjoyed it Sue. As I clicked 'submit' on that I had a call from a mate in the office who I'd agreed to a lunchtime wlak with, about 3.5 miles around the Thames, as mentioned the other day. I usually do that on days I've not ran and find it quite comfortable, not today though. Halfway around my right leg started to stiffen up and by the time I got close to the office I was doing my utmost not to walk like an over-affected teenager.

I'm laughing at the thought of you being on that train, quite possible as I arrive at City Thameslink, the beachfront I run along being in Hove.


Oh dear!! Take it easy!

Aahh, very nice :) I come into Charing Cross from the Kent direction but not as long a commute as you. Maybe one of these days you will run in to work as I see so many doing up here!!! Wonder how many miles/kms that would be?? :O


Not on your nelly!


You survived and lived to tell about it!!! ;-) Sounds like a fantastic run and I can feel your confidence and enthusiasm from your blog. YOU ACED IT!!!! :-) Gayle


Ha, what a brilliant blog post :D Glad you made it without keeling over. Week 5 doesn't look so bad now, eh?


Thanks Gayle and Cazvs, it was easily my most enjoyable run, not least because it gave me so much confidence about what comes next.

As I mentioned when I first saw Week 5, this was the first time I'd looked at the next Week (first run only) without being fazed. Now as I said, I am genuinely considering skipping to the next one altogether. Although it's entirely possible that it's just a case of Mr Arrogant escaping his box once more.

20 minutes though....


You will be fine, your blog always makes me laugh, well done on the extra 7 mins running I certainly couldn't have done that. 20 minds will be a breeze for you. Good luck in your next run :-)


I just thought of something I forgot to mention. OLD AGE?? ;-) You mentioned gout...have you tried concentrated cherry juice? It is all natural, highly concentrated and acts as a anti-inflammatory. My brother use to have gout flare-ups and swears by it. I {try} to drink a "tonic" of cherry juice and ground ginger daily for a hand issue caused by too many years as a Cosmetologist. I think I can tell the difference when I am consistent in taking it.


Cheers Rolphie. I'm sure I'll get by run 3, just unsure I'll nail it at the first attempt. It won't be for the want of trying though.

Thanks Gayle, I may give it a try. It certainly beats the medication I'm reluctant to take.


Well, that did make me laugh, and grin too! Maybe it should be illegal to say if we do more than Laura asks for, in case it incites others to overdo things. I hope you don't suffer tomorrow, but I've been fine today, no aches at all, to my surprise.

Anyway, there are now probably quite a few people on here willing to buy flowers if you keel over after the 20-minuter, so at least you don't have to worry about that bit any more.



Ha ha!

I was a bit mean to portray it as my having a go at you whereas, if the truth be known, I am extremely grateful as you inspired me. I don't think it would have even occurred to me to add a run onto what was required had I not read what you'd said.

The day I complete the 20 minute run I will owe you a cyber pint, as the run today has really set me up for it.


Not mean at all, it made me laugh, and I boasted to my daughter that I'd inspired someone! I'll look forward to that pint then (cider or gluten-free beer would be great, thanks!)


Fantastic Mate, really enjoyed reading it.

All the best



Thanks for another great post. As for the longer recovery times for longer runs, I'm actually finding I recover more quickly. Must be getting fitter or something ......


Brilliant! What a lovely place to run and props to you for getting up at 5.00 a.m!!

I'm just intrigued now to know what the memorial is for? Have a run round would you, and let us know? ;-)

Loved your blog.

V xx


Mrs Fingalo walked by it later that morning, it appears none of my ideas were correct and sadly, it was for a child.





It's very interesting you gave Laura a rest and ran to other musical strains. I'm a bit frightened to leave her - even though I've got to week 9 and only one track spurs me. Think now I might try my own music. By the way Morning Has Broken is a hymn - we sang it at primary school in the 50s.


It wasn't intentional this time, I'd finished my run and just wanted some tunes to listen to while I walked home, then Greenlegs got into my head and off I went.

I made a playlist for the whole of this morning's run, I'm off out now but will explain in my next blog how I went about it.


Thanks to those who've said they enjoy reading these blogs, I enjoy writing them too.


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