Couch to 5K
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Oops, I appear to have gone 'off message'. Again!

Meant to post this here too:

Up with the lark this morning, the alarm was set for for 5am as usual but I awoke about 4.15, dozed off a again until what I thought was almost five bells so jumped up, only to realise it wasn't even twenty to. Looking back, I can't help but feel my subconscious had done this deliberately....

The extra time meant I didn't feel the need to rush out the door but I found that counterproductive this morning as I was plagued with doubts, 'what's the point in doing this, it's not as if you're gonna keep it up?'

This feeling is always there but I usually keep it supressed, every now and then it struggles to the surface though and I find it quite disconcerting. Not so bad that I've ever felt like staying in bed (it's why I get up and out so quickly usually, I don't want to give myself the chance to think about it and change my mind) but it bothers me that I can't quite shake it off.

I'm putting this one down to post grad blues, although I'd thought my decision to proceed to 10k had dealt with that. Feck it anyway!

So gear on and out the door, Spotify playlist at the ready. If Mollie wants her revenge, this is going to be the blog for her because as I walked out the door McAlmont & Butler went from saying 'Yes' to no because all I was getting in my ears was the sound of silence, and I'm not talking Simon And Garfunkel! My 'phone had died.

After a bit of a fiddle I realised it hadn't protested at my choice of music, it had just decided to shut down (smart, my arse!) so a quick reboot and all was well.

Another lovely morning for a run, there was a fine mist that had wet the ground but no rain so off I went on my warm up walk to the beachfront, although I was still undecided whether I was going to do my usual 5k route out of town or head in for a change. Again this uncertainty was to do with my doubts servicing as I couldn't make up my mind whether the change would work for or against this. Doubts, doubts, doubts.

Without having made a definite decision, I found myself heading into town. I knew the pier in the centre was just over 2k and thought I'd go beyond it and try to gauge from the MapMyRun guy in my ear how far after he gave me that milestone I should go before turning for the 2.5k home.

I found the first kilometre quite tough mentally, I just couldn't shake the negativity, however by the time I reached the pier I was in ball order and had settled into the run. I ran beyond the pier to the tourist railway which runs up to the marina in the summer and in the absense of any other obvious landmark beyond that, turned for home, although I knew I hadn't gone far enough for the return journey to quite make up the 5k.

This didn't concern me too much as by now I'd started entertaining the idea of pushing it a bit, last Thursday I'd done my first run over the 5k (6.3k) so I thought I'd go to 6k today, aware as I was of the 10% maxim and the fact I was in no rush to the 10k distance.

For my return journey I didn't head back down to the beachfront (to go up by the pier I'd had to come off there up a slope) but parallel to it, giving myself an overview of the sea (albeit it in the dark, as usual) and a run along the pavement by the coast road through town. Now I know it's a party town I live in (I've ran by clubbers emerging at 5.30am in the middle of the week before now) but a pizza place open at that time? Really?

I was peering at it across the road as I ran by and although the lights were on and they were clearly open, I couldn't quite take it on board!

After this I hit some works on my side of the road but as I didn't want to cross over, I ran on the the only section of pavement available until I passed them, which was only about two foot wide. It was either that or on the road and as my jacket is dark, I didn't want to test the awareness of anyone driving at such an early hour by choosing that option.

This distracted me for a bit but then it occurred to me, MMR guy still hadn't said 3k, which seemed quite a gap. However he said it soon enough after to convince me the 6k was on. Not too long after I hit 4k I was almost back to where I started (it's a lovely thought that I can now run in and out of town non stop) and by 5k had headed up aong my usual route out of town, with thoughts of going beyond the 6k to the four mile mark, 6.5k. I don't know about anyone else but when it comes down to it, my head still works in miles, never mind this new fangled kilometre malarkey. Try as I might, four miles just seems further than six and a half kilometres.

By now I was on my way back towards my start point and approaching my new intended distance had decided I felt good enough to keep going. Don't get me wrong, I could feel it in my legs but not so much that I felt I had tio stop (a bit like this blog) so realising I was within spitting distance of 7.5k and running for an hour, I opted to continue, back by my starting point and in towards town again. I knew I was being greedy but I couldn't help myself. Because the MMR guy only updates at each km, I'd now fished my 'phone from my pocket and was checking it for the hour up and 7.5k mark, which looked as if they weren't going to be too far off each other. A lovely 'coincidence' of timing and a satisfactory place to end a satisfying run.

Not satisfying enough obviously, because I still didn't slow to a walk.

I couldn't help but feel that I may as well go to the five mile mark so I did one last double back and finally tapped stop.

Another concerned text from Mrs Fingalo (my subconscious obviously hadn't got me out of bed quite early enough) and some calf stretches later and my run was over.

5 miles/8k done and running for more than an hour. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination but two milestones I'm well pleased with. I know I took the piss with regards to the 10% rule but it was there so I went for it, on Saturday it was all I could do to manage the 5k, although I'd ran faster than usual.

Postcript: I assumed I might feel a little sore afterwards but having had my shower and headed to work, my legs felt fine.......Until an hour and a half later when my train arrived in London and I was walking down the platform.....Stiff as a poker but you know what, I can live with that.

Still, those doubts.....

10 Replies

Ah Well that is just great!

I am really jealous and pleased all at once. Good on you but just be careful you don't do too much and get yourself an injury. Doubt? Looks like you are storming...10K before you know it :)


Thanks Tish. All the while I was running this morning (and even while writing that blog post) I was aware of the dichotomy between how I felt starting when I got up and the run I managed but I also understand it.

In one case I feel I'll not keep doing it, on the other, once I'm out I never entertain the idea of stopping before I'm supposed to.

To give you an idea of how much it bothers me, after my run last Thursday (the first time I'd gone beyond 5k) I was buzzing all day. Today while I'm pleased at how I did this morning, those doubts are preventing me enjoying it as much as I might.

Ho hum, I've been here before and probably will be again.


What richly textured, interesting people we are. I think the answer may lie in a simple act on your part. Just keep on getting out there.

I know how you feel though. I am the type to not stick at things. But this time I have been determined. The benefits alround out way any negatives. I went out for a run this morning because of just that. After weeks of injury I felt it slipping away. I sort of surprised myself this morning. Jumping out of bed like a mad woman in the wee small hours to run!

Anyway I have heard it takes 12 weeks to make a habit so I reckon you are nearly there. And there is always the amazing people on here that will support you 100%.

What would we do without your wonderful blogs? Ahem that's enough ego massaging from me ;)



I've no intention of jacking it in yet, I'll keep going in the hope I find a way of enjoying the runs themselves. I've my first yoga session on Saturday, perhaps that'll help. I think your expression "stick at things" sums up my dilemma, you don't stick at things you enjoy, you don't have to, you do them for that reason alone.

I appreciate the kind words, I certainly do not have to stick at doing the blogs, that's my favourite part!


Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Fingalo. Almost felt I was there with you. Thank you.

Think I can understand about the doubts. I'm only on week 1 but already have thoughts such as "who I am trying to kid with this running lark. As if I'll keep it up". Tonight's run is getting closer. There is an inner battle with my stubborn streak that says I can't stop now.


Very well done to you! :-) Wow! It has taken me 6 weeks to work up to an hour 5 miler! You must be totally chuffed! Enjoy a brew and celebrate! :-) Gayle


Hey, I spy a green badge - ta da! (Don't think I missed it yesterday, or did I?) Brilliant running Fingalo. Hope the legs are ok!

Great blog as ever. Honest, thoughtful and laugh out loud funny. With colourful language. :) (I'm reading Murakami's running book at the moment, and enjoying it, but there aren't many laughs in there.)

You are just not allowed to stop running and blogging. :D


I second Greenlegs. Keep running, keep blogging.

Congratulations on the badge.


Thanks Pam.

Well done to you too Gayle, I'm pleased I was able to go so far and for so long but I guess my sore legs are evidence that perhaps I should have taken a little more time to build up to it. No real joy from it though, I really am going to have to find a way to enjoy the runs as opposed to enjoying it that I run.

Cheers Greeners. I can always rely on you for a boost. I enjoyed his book too.

Thanks Annie.


Wow, Fingalo, you did amazingly well :) I'm not sure about this motivation business - I'll post separately about that later - but I started c25k last April, had a few ups and downs, graduated in August and still have problems getting out of the door at times. I think your attitude is the right one - just roll out and go. It works well for you :D


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