Couch to half marathon..who me?

Yesterday I ran the bath half marathon. I'm still on a high :)

I wanted to inspire those of you who are just starting out or having difficult weeks. Blighted with injury ,.or even lost ur way like me a couple of months ago. Done all that !

I started couch to 5 k 6 months ago. I'm not an athlete or fitness geek. I hated running..not that I had ever run for anything other than a bus. I'm a middle aged grandmother.

My first week was challenging, can still remember running for a minute longing for the walking bit. I remember feeling a bit deflated at the end...what do I do now without Laura? Winter set in and I had to pluck up the courage to run in the dark..and found I loved it with my new running playlist pounding in my ears. Running in the rain. Sub zero runs. Winter solstice at dawn run. Ran with the local running club.

5k became familiar and enjoyable. On good days I'd just keep going.

My son and his girlfriend talked me into applying for the bath half..madness. They are half my age!

And so the day in the running village with all those other runners. What a fab feeling. Running is quite solitary and it was an amazing buzz to be with thousands of others like me..all ages, shapes and sizes.

The race was fantastic..encouragement and entertainment from the crowds offering jelly babies, drinks, sandwiches ( no I didn't have one lol) cake. High 5s from the kids who shouted relentlessly. Running alongside strangers in the last few miles with aching joints and swapping running stories. Thank you people of bath.

The final run to the finish was very emotional and I still feel chocked up thinking about it.

So today as I hobble round the house with my aching legs and black toenail( which I'm quite proud of in a weird way) I just want to say thank you running community, and thank you Laura. You have inspired me and kept me going through thick and thin, and now I want to pass it on to those of you setting out on your running journey.

6 months ago did I think I would run a half marathon??? Dream on...

but I have...and I'm in tears again :)


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27 Replies

  • Truly inspirational to a complete newbie like me who is still puffing and panting their way through the minute runs.

    Thank you for this and a big Congratulations to you.

    Linda :)

  • Thank you so much for this inspiring post & well done! I'm in for the gnr this year & torn between wanting so much to do it & self doubt, this is exactly what I needed to read. :-)

  • wow ! amazing!

  • Amazing! What an inspiration.

  • I too have tears in my eyes as I read this Jules as I can feel how much this means to you and what an utterly fantastic achievement it is!! :) I am in awe of anyone from here running a HM and to do so within 6 months......well I am gobsmacked!! :D Truely inspiring!

    Jules - you rock! 8-)

    Sue x

  • Thanks sue, love the smileys x

  • What an inspiring blog! I've got tears in my eyes just reading it... Thanks for sharing. You are amazing!

  • Absolutely fantastic, Jules! Such an emotional blog, I as well, feel a tear or two! I can feel your happiness in your writing. :-) Very well done to you and I bet there will be a Marathon in your future!!!! :-) Gayle

  • Jules - Fantastic and a real inspiration. Thank you for sharing it with us all xx

  • Gosh, I think I'm almost in tears now! What a brilliant blog and what an inspiration you are. I think you can have that cake now!! I am vaguely dreaming about starting a 10k plan and joining a running club before the summer's out.


  • this is such an achievement for someone who only started running 6 months ago! be proud of that black toenail ~ you earned it! I was one of the other (14000? I think) runners with you. the atmosphere is something I will never forget. hope you arent hobbling for too long. best wishes. shelley x

  • Thanks Shelley. A day I will never forget. The crowd was fantastic. Well done , hope ur not too stiff. X

  • A very moving blog - and impressive too. Half marathon in just 6 months :O

    My eyes were a bit bleary by the time I'd finished reading.

    Congratulations. :)

  • Aw guys, you've started me off again ! but honestly when it got tough, I had an injury, I just couldn't be bothered- and there was plenty of all inspired me. Reading the blogs didn't make me feel like a lone runner.

    Now the only problem I have is my legs are struggling walking me to the fridge and my chilled wine x

  • Massive CONGRATULATIONS to you, amazing! Your blog is so inspirational. I'm on week 2 and feeling OK about it all at the moment but cannot imagine running the bath half next year not alone in 6 months! I was at the bath half yesterday as my partner ran it, it's a wonderful event. Best wishes and hope your feeling fighting fit again soon.

  • Thanks Julie. Keep going, the plan works, and I did find it tough but you get used to it and gradually can go more distance, most of all enjoy it x

  • Mega congratulations, Jules! You've had a great journey to reach this far so soon and you earned to right to get the reward of competing in, and completing, the half-marathon. Enjoy a day or two rest,then happy running! ;-)

  • Fantastic achievement, well done. Both you and Shelley with your HM stories are inspiring me to keep going....5 weeks to go until mine! Thank you for sharing like the others who have posted I can feel your smile through your story and it brought a few tears to my eyes. well done !!! :) :)

  • Brilliant achievement in just 6 months - well done !

  • Stunning distance and wonderful achievement, Jules. I am absolutely in awe of your wonderful running record. C2HM? Well done. James

  • You made me cry! What a fabulous achievement. I dont' think I could have managed that in 6 months, I'm happily running 10K (slowly) in that time, so hats off to you. You are amazing. :-)

    I bet when you started C25K you didn't think you would be the one to inspire all the other runners on here within 6 months ;-)

    Vix xx

  • This made me cry! I can feel your passion for running and total amazement of what you have coached your body into doing. It is are awesome. Thanks for the heartfelt post, I hope you really pamper yourself during these few recovery days because as the others have said, you most definitely ROCK lady!!

    Jems x

  • Inspirational! Huge congratulations!

    Can I ask some advice? How did you approach the gap between 10k and the half marathon distance? Did you add small amounts per run? was there a podcast you found? Personally I'm struggling with bridging the gap!

    Advice from anyone in fact would be greatly appreciated!

  • I felt a bit daunted on completing the 5k programme as I have never run it in 30 minutes and missed Laura.. My training programme was not very rigid or structured. I just kept adding 2 miles on. Did my long runs at weekends and during the week stuck to around 5 k. I remember running 6 miles and running around the block again until my iPod said 10k. The next weekend I did 8 miles and then 10. I think psychologically I felt I could always add another 2 miles to a run. I made my own running playlist but to be honest got a bit sick of it so left the iPod on shuffle . I use Nike plus on iPod nano, allows you to use ur own music but you can set time/ distance and it tells you of all keeps a record of ur runs with speed/ distance/ calories etc.

  • Well done. Lovely blog too. I have a little tear now!!

  • What a fantastic achievement, inspirational, enjoy the grinning :D

  • So inspiring, what a wonderful blog! Thanks, in awe...

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