Couch to 5K
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My first 'bad' run!

I've read about these on this forum but as is my way, until I experience something myself, I find it difficult to 'get' it.

I do now!

Of course I've had many tough runs, it is, after all, the nature of this beast. I've had runs I dreaded and came through too, I've even had one run I couldn't complete, however this was a different kettle of fish entirely.

The first run of Week 7 and my second 25 minuter wasn't pleasant at all. On Tuesday I ran it in driving wind and rain, was soaked to the skin within five minutes of the start and one of my socks slipped down, yet this morning's run was still infinitely worse.

Up before the alarm and out the door by 05.15 (for some reason it took me ages to get myself sorted, twice as long as usual) and I was quite pleased to see it was dry. However in a similar fashion to Tuesday, the wind didn't hit me until I hit the beachfront. And boy did it hit me!

By coincidence I had already decided to alter my usual route by going into, instead of out of, town. Then Laura suggested the same thing. I swapped as much for the change as anything. Probably an error because the wind was at my back for the first half which I didn't consider a problem as, in common with many on here, I find the second half of the long runs 'easier' than the first part (at least I had until now) so running against it wasn't a deal breaker.

It was dark as usual so other than a fellow runner (thanks Laura) as I reached the front and a cyclist ahead of me, there wasn't a sinner to be seen. Well, I assumed it was a cyclist as all I could see was a meandering red light about 50 yards ahead, which I took to be a rear reflector. Although of course, it may well have been a one-eyed devil dog checking me out.

The daft things that go through your mind when you're running along in the dark in the early hours. Just ridiculous.

However, I think I'll head out of town on Saturday.....

As I neared the halfway mark I was really feeling it, it didn't help that some youngsters were still spilling out of a club as I passed as, for the second run in a week, I was reminded of the energy of my youth. Leaving a club. At half six in the morning. On a Thursday. The bastards!

Oh how I could have done with some of that energy now.

The wind was really bothering me now, it was no longer coming from behind but the side and as I wasn't running strongly I found it impossible to get into any rhythm.

Laura's words were tormenting me now rather than encouraging me, I was really struggling. I pushed on but only by using various mental tricks, first insisting that I'd done it once so I could do it again. This was pretty much my mantra on the return leg. I also set myself incremental targets, I'd try and make it to the old pier. Then the Meeting House Cafe, after which I was on what seemed to me an interminable home stretch.

Then just as I was imploring Laura to give me the 'one minute to go' speech, some lad came by me as if on wings. The final mental kicking!

I held on but although pleased, it was more an overwhelming pleasure it was over, rather than a sense of achievement.

That's two of the 25 minuters down, two to go. And not so much as an additional minute added.

Roll on Saturday, it can surely only get better.

23 Replies

On the plus side, it's taken until week 7 for you to have a 'bad' run. And you did 25 minutes. Being an engineer, my mind calculates that as you completing 83.33% of your goal to do 30 minutes. Or you're also 77.77% of the way to graduation!

The wind has been mental as well. Hopefully when it dies down you'll get back into the rhythm of it and get going again. If I don't feel like that before week 7, I'll be delighted!

Kinda hoping that starting this now will have me well into the swing of things by summer, which should also be the same for you, I hope. You'll be able to do at least 30 mins, 3 times a week, in decent weather. Or as decent as it ever gets here, anyway.


But at least you stuck it out and finished. Well done!

Viki :-)


Well it had to happen, we do all have bad runs, and you didn't give up, you kept going and you finished so well done. On my bad run (actually bad runs- I found the whole of week 8 bad) I gave up before the end on each of the three runs. It is only a blip, am sure your next run will be good. Don't lose faith keep going you can do it :-)


Hi Fingalo - that sounds about as much fun as my run today! Let's hope the next ones are much better. :)

At least I didn't have a red-eyed devil dog around!


I think you did a sterling job. You stuck at it when it was no fun. I had a similar experience in week 7.

Just think, if you keep going when it's bad, then you have the mental umph to face all of the challenges that being a runner throws at you. :)


Cheers guys. There's no way I'd pack it in, I just like to write how it is, not only for my record but also I think it's a way of getting rid of the negativity. I write it out of me.

On the plus side, I finally remembered to turn on the app yoke I downloaded and it tells me I ran for just over two miles. Add another mile and that's my 5k. It will obviously take me well over 30 minutes at this pace but I'm cool with that, it's something to work on when this thing is done.

Greeners, part of me wishes it was a devil dog, if it comes after me on Saturday I might be inspired to run like the wind!


I've just managed to find a plus side too - although the garmin stopped recording 2/3 of the way through, on the bit that it did record, I was going faster (for me) - much nearer 6kph than my last run's 5kph - probably about 1.5 miles total (can't remember where I stopped running, which is very annoying!). So although still slow, it wasn't my imagination that I was moving better, which is cheering.

So you ran half a mile further than me in the same time and in the dark and with the wind fighting you - no wonder it was hard work!


Ha ha!

Just like you to try and make me feel better at your own expense.

To be honest I was a little disappointed when the voice on the yoke said "two miles" toward the end of my run as had thought 5k was 3.5 miles, meaning I had a huge way to go to get there. I checked when I got in and was happier that it's actually 3.2 miles.

That said, I mapped out a 5k route and it seems quite daunting.


What's a yoke?


The app thing, the yoke is an Irish equivalent of that 'thing'.

That thing I use....

That yoke I use.....


Ah. I see. Irish. :p


Well done for doing it :-)


Well done for finishing under such difficult conditions.

I find running in the morning much more difficult (when I say morning I mean after 9:00 am not 5:15 am, so I am well impressed by your performance :-) ). I think that the goal of running for 30 mins at week 9 is more important than how far you get, so don't worry about the 5k, especially if the conditions are bad or there are hills etc.

Stop measuring distance, you finished 25 minutes twice, that's awesome in my book :-)


Thanks Bibs. I don't have an issue with distance yet, that will come as my next challenge after C25k.


Oh and another positive. One of the only times I've felt a run in my legs after it, either the same day or the following rest day was after Tuesday's 25 minuter. Today was business as usual, no reaction.


Yes, I know what a 'yoke' is. I use them all the time!

Well done you on that horrible run. Sounds terrible. To think of you out running at that hour of the day! and in the dark!, alone! No way would I do that. You are amazing!

My run on Monday was in the rain and wind and cold. And my 'yoke' stopped recording at just over 2 miles. So instead of carrying on, I stopped. Unlike you!


I'm sure it's not the only Irish expression I use writing these blogs.

To be honest though, the time of day, the darkness and solitude are hugely important to me Mary. It began out of necessity but I've found I prefer it. The only thing I can say that threw me was the wind, at least I think it was that which threw my rhythm. I've chalked it down to a bad run now and am looking forward to putting it right tomorrow morning.

As for your run, I've touched on the difficulties that come with leaving behind the structure of the C25k before, I'm hoping when I do have to rely on a GPS enabled app that it functions as reliably as Laura.


Hope your next run is FANTASTIC! To add another Irish expression, hope its great craic!


Thanks Mary. One thing I know beyond any shadow of a doubt, it won't be any worse!


Ah yes wind is a terrible thing, but better out than in!

Half past six and leaving the club? Not even staying for last orders....the youth of today....

All the best for your next one.



Last orders?

I'd have taken Holy Orders if I felt it a good enough excuse to stop!


Ha! Sorry just seen this, nice one.


Well done for completing, sometimes a run has to be completed on pure stubbornness, not easy and and many (me included) would cave in and stop.


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