Couch to 5K

Snails, skids, snow snacks, sun and smiles………

Well, despite my earlier apathy, I did manage to get out for a run. Massive thanks to all those who encourage me, but especially to daisylou whose blog that I read this morning gave me the kick up the backside I needed to stop moping about and being wussy. I togged up and set off, later than planned and feeling a bit peckish. I put a tracker in my jog pants pocket, just in case ;-)

I decided to stay on/around main roads instead of going off into the woods or the common, mainly because they were clearer of snow and ice and partly because if I did take a tumble I probably wouldn’t die all by myself, someone would hopefully come to my aid (although it was a close call, given the humiliation if I did go over on the main roads). A good long warm up walk, followed by a slow (hence the ‘snail’ reference) jog. By slow, I mean almost glacial (how apt!). It was probably the slowest run ever, at least for me (I challenge anyone to run slower). I had a few slips and skids here and there, but by using the cycle track i.e. sharing the road, on main roads and sticking to the edges of the path or even the deeper snow on the grass verges where necessary, I managed to stay on my feet all the way. Past Tesco and M&S, through the famous Brooklands race track (don’t get me started on how terrible it was that they were allowed to destroy most of it), where I was able to run on very soft and deep (for us southern softies) snow. Lovely……very slow going, but lovely. It felt like a joy to be alive :-)

Up past the railway station, puffing and panting up the hill, by this time very thirsty, so I swiped a handful of snow from the top of a wall, it naturally formed a ball in my hand and I nibbled at it for several hundred yards. Delicious. Crisp white (I emphasise the white!) snow.

Then down on the home stretch, past my daughter’s school, the pathway packed hard with ice from several hundred feet that had passed that way earlier today. Out onto the dual carriageway, again, heels kicking high to stretch above the deeper snow, swiping another handful to hydrate. My music today was just iPod on shuffle, fast forwarding any particularly slow or unsuitable tracks, not wishing to pace any particular beats per minute, using it to zone out.

As I passed the back of the trading estate, a thought popped into my head. The problem with hydrating with two cups of tea and a litre of water and then running for miles in the cold is that you sometimes need a little comfort break. Here I was, alongside a dual carriageway between two towns. For a nanosecond, I considered nipping into the bushes, but with bare skinny branches, that didn’t seem like a sensible option, way too visible from the road, especially as I was wearing a fluorescent pink running top. Anyway, I was feeling a bit tired, I had visions of keeling over, pants down, and freezing to death. I thought about how embarrassing that would be and imagined what they’d put on my gravestone “here lies vixiej, found pants down in the undergrowth after taking a whizz in the woods”. Not one of my best moments, for sure :-o

As I continued my run, I pondered the options. Hydrating with something that isn’t a diuretic would be a great place to start. A nappy might help. Hmmmmm, good point, I think tomorrow morning I’ll have time to trot in to town to top up on Tenna Lady ;-)

Vixiej x

p.s. As I stopped running, at the 5.27 mile mark (of running, I did 6.5 miles including warm up/cool down walk) the sun came out, the sky cleared and a huge smile covered my face. 62 minutes of what I think is actually very good running, considering the weather :-D And a new personal best on amount of time running, by one minute ;-)

10 Replies

I'm glad to read you had a great run, in the snow and all! I'll admit now (15 hours later) that I read your earlier post today from the comfort and warmth of my bed as I too procrastinated about going out.

I just did a short, sharp intervals session - and without the snow - and am jealous of your southern snow.

I laughed at your dilemma of needing a pee, but being rather conspicuous in your fluorescent jacket. The very first time I wore my hi-viz yellow running jacket was the only time I've needed to pee (except for the 2-hour run trail run). Luckily I was able to go through the open gate into the nearest field and crouch behind the hedge - hoping I was just far enough away from the nearest house not to be visible. I learnt early on in the programme never to drink tea before my run; this took some effort as I used to get a headache if I didn't get my morning cuppa as soon as I get up. Now I only drink water before I run.

Well done on your new longest time. The long easy runs are such fun, aren't they?


Well done for getting out there yourself!

I am generally ok on one cuppa, but I had two, and water, lots of it :-) There are very few places around here where someone wouldn't spot you, even in combats (or white, just now). If you didn't hear about yourself on the 6pm news, then you were probably not spotted ;-)

Easy runs are the best, or is that just me being lazy, lol ;-)


V. Jealous - not of the weather but of the length of your run! However, while just a few weeks ago it would have frustrated me that I was only able to do 10mins or so at a time so 60+ was unattainable, I now know to keep the faith, keep plodding on & I will get there before I know it - hopefully by the time springtime comes! Well done, sounded fab & very life-affirming :-)


Thanks pinkhat. You have no idea how hard I found it to run for 90 seconds back in the beginning and 3 minutes............well, I never thought I'd get to 5K, let alone 5 miles. As Laura says, you just put one foot in front of the other. Every run you do, is another run closer to your goal. That's EVERY run, good and bad.

Have faith in yourself (and the programme, it works!), you will get there. I look forward to hearing all about it when you do :-)


Lovely post! Makes me want to run today ... but I need to rest for a hill session tomorrow!


thank you! Enjoy your hill session!


What is it with us ladies, we love our tea but oh my does it make us want to p - -!!!

Lovely blog vixiej think you have been bitten by the running in snow bug, its lovely when its new and fresh, not so good after a few days. So those who have snow and haven't tried a run yet give it a go, its great.


I guessed I wasn't alone with the tea ;-) Thanks for your lovely feedback, yes, I've been bitten by the bug. Today is the first time I've had any muscle ache from running, I think because I was holding myself so differently on the really slippery bits - even my back aches a bit.

I definitely recommend running in fresh snow. It's almost gone now, but its snowing hard again, so fingers crossed tomorrow's run will be on virgin snow too :-D


Very entertaining blog vixiej. I too still can't imagine running for as long as that, but I suppose one day I just might. It's lovely reading about what graduates get up to - and amazing too. Thanks. :)


thanks greenlegs, glad you enjoyed it. I remember thinking that way too, it will come, I promise. When I first graduated I found it a little disheartening to see how far everyone else had gone, but remember, I only started running 6 months ago, end of July 2012. It really is possible. You can do it! :-)


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