Couch to's been emotional

Couch to's been emotional

Over a year ago I had a chance meeting with a lady named Rosie Swale who i was fortunate enough to be able to help. i had no idea who she was - i just saw a mature lady running and pulling her overnight accomodation behind her! it was quite something. following our meeting we kept in touch and a small part of me was inspired to try running.

However, as with most things life go in the way, then a distinct lack of courage but I bought a couple of running magazines which I left out at home and each time I looked at them I knew I would get there one day. I finally made a start, got to wk 2 then we moved house. I started again and must have jiggled about an bit as I ended up rushed to hospital with gallstone complications......everyone that loves me blamed the running lol. Then I was in and out of hospital with that whilst waiting for it to settle down enough for them to operate. That took months. After the surgery I put on a ton of weight in a very short time. It seemed like my body just stored everything I ate and even after the recovery my exercise routine and gym loving days felt long behind me. Eventually I faced the gym again. The first day back I put on my gym clothes and the weight gain was very evident. Also my body felt so heavy. It had taken me so long to shed that weight and maintain it, I was devastated. I crept in, trying to be invisible but no, the minute I entered the building I saw a couple of instructors I know then fellow gym goers. Lots of hugs later I made it to class only to find out they were taking photos for the wall displays :( So the universe had other ideas about me being invisible then! My mate and I rolled about laughing, I posed for the photos and realised it's just not in my nature to hide. A couple of weeks later I remembered something I had heard about running being excellent for shocking your body out of storage mode and that was it I knew it was time.

Of course my journey is well documented here so I won't repeat myself but like most others I found the first weeks very hard, suffered with near lung explosions, cement legs, and all the rest. It was interspersed though with moments of great joy. I could not imagine graduating so I didn't I just went from one run to the next expecting to give it my all and I got used to the runs being uncomfortable but possible. I tried as much as I could to settle into them and relax, distract myself but tried to avoid wishing they were over because that just seemed to make them never ending lol!

Just like anyone reading this I had my ups and downs, trials and tribulations - we all do but there is always someone overcoming far more and still getting out there. The support and feeling of connection on this site was simply amazing. Such a kind group of down to earth, humble and non-competitive people. I have never really been one for virtual communities but this just felt different so I regularly blogged my journey and took great heart from reading others experiences.

Following graduation in January, I ditched poor Laura, got a plan, ditched that, got a better plan and started my 10k training to be ready for the Cardiff 10k March 3rd. My other half and friend decided to take up running just before Christmas to support me in the 10k but that independent streak in me made sure I could do it alone so although we trained together at times I tried to take off on my own as much as possible. I think you guys will understand how much courage it takes initially to get out there alone and I did not want to loose that in case I became dependant upon them. Mind you having said that I had a bad asthma attack and when the doc finally allowed me back to running it had to be on the treadmill so that was not exactly what I had in mind ;)

Last weekend, having not even tried a parkrun ( just didn't seem to get time) I ran the Cardiff 10k with around two thousand others. Best of all these included my lovely other half and very good friend. As I blogged on the day my OH ran with me, was very supportive and kept a much slower than normal pace as we willed my asthmatic lungs around the course (they were a bit tempermental that day to say the least) but we did it in 1hr 18. It was a first time for all of us and i though that was a fabulous time and i even had enough energy to do the pirouette i had promised lol. We encouraged my mate to go for it and she got round in 55mins....unbeleavable!! I can not tell you how proud we all were and she was there at the finishing line cheering when Matt and i crossed the line together holding hands and grinning like cheshire cats. The fastest time was 33mins so there were some very serious runners in attendance but thank god there were also others like me who had decided to do it on a mad whim, had put in the work and just wanted to finish with a smile.

I know it's a bit corny but I have learnt such a lot about myself with this program and community, not only that I have changed a lot. I still can't quite grasp what we have achieved as it seems surreal so I just look forward to the next thing. Even the week of the race I had already started thinking of the Cardiff half training which I am so excited about. I intend to draw up a plan this week, so if anyone has any experiences or thoughts they would like to share re half marathon training I would love to hear them. Oh that reminds me I really wanted to thanks Swanscot who gave me some excellent advice that I believe made all the difference to my training. Thanks Swanscot :) I am a bit laid up with a muscle spasm today, following a thoughtless move in last nights body pump session, hence the loooooooooong blog ;) so I have lots of time research and plan my next jaunt.

The picture is of the three of us after the race :)

All the best

Jems x


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31 Replies

  • Jems I didn't realise until now you only graduated in January?! That makes your recent 10k even more impressive (as does the asthma & your determination to get back fitness). I'm sure you can & will achieve your half marathon with dedication like that. I'll look forward to following you in that challenge, especially as I'm also building up to my first hm (currently up to 7 miles something & loving every minute)... :-)

  • Thanks notbad :) When is your HM? I look forward to reading about your journey too! Am excited and nervous all at the same time and hope to register tonight :)

  • It's September (Great North Run) so lots of time to build up gradually, I know what you mean about excited and nervous but we can do this if we put our mind to it, so much of it's in the mind not the legs. I'm finding I love the longer distances although what I'll be like after 13.1 miles I don't know.... :-)

  • What an amazing story, Jems. Your story of battling through health issues is very inspiring. You really are one determined lady!

    How lovely that your man ran alongside you too, and what a great time!

    Very best wishes as you begin training for your first half... Wow. :)

  • Thanks Greenlegs, i guess i am lol You should check out Rosie Swale on the link above - she is truly awesome and one of a kind!

    The first half in not until October and I figure if I can get from 5 to 10k in 2 months then 10 to 21k in 7 months should be possible. I hope to have a similar experience that I had with the 10k by doing the distance before the day so I know I can do it then relax and enjoy it. Though how I would do that amongst 18000 people(last years figure) I do not know! Keep left Jems....keep left

    How is your parkrun prep going?

  • Well I just might give it a go this weekend... Just got to get my head in the right place, but it's looking promising at the moment. If it has to wait a few more weeks, it's not a big deal anyway, which takes a lot of the pressure off.

    18000 is an awful lot of people! But I bet you'll do it!

  • Yes keep the pressure out of it. You know I think as the distances get bigger, you get more people walking and coming in at slower times. I was looking at the finishing times for the half and lots of people over 4hrs and at least one over five. I saw some of people walk/running the 10k (I had told myself I could prior to her ace but had absolutely no intention lol) and having watched the half marathon footage from last year there were even more walking that. I had a look at my local park run times and out of 278 runners 266 came in under 35mins, there were 3 back runners that I have discounted. My comfortable 5k (I am forbidden by my lungs running anything other than comfortable at the moment) is 40mins. So perhaps us snails are better suited to distance as most normal runners must loose some speed in transferring over to distance? This is just a theory that occurred to me reading your response. It also occurred to me that I am more scared of my parkrun than the half marathon because despite not minding being last at 10k or above I think at 5k I would feel sad but then someone has to come last. Hmmm interesting stuff this coming last and walking phobia lol.

  • It is indeed very interesting psychologically!

  • So you should definitely do the 10k instead ;)

  • :O not just yet!

  • No, this Saturday would be a bit soon! ;)

  • Such a beautiful blog Jems! I believe I feel a tear or two coming on! Such an amazing story of what a human is capable of doing if we set our mind to it. Congratulations to the three of you and a huge high-5 to hubby for being so supportive of you! Gayle

  • Thank you Gayle, I really appreciate your kind words. High 5 will be delivered this evening ;)

  • Oh, thanks for the mention, Jems. I just passed on a suggestion for what had worked for me last September/October when I went from 5K to 10K. I'm glad it worked for you. By worked, I don't only mean being able to run 10km, but participating in a race and enjoying it. You say you finished with a smile, so that's success in my book! ;-) And now, here's you looking into doing longer distances! :-)

    Very well done to you managing to do all this following health issues and with your asthma!

  • Thank you Swanscot, it helped so much. The asthma thing is interesting as it is only a big problem with running, if I do a cardio class I am fine, it is mainly an outdoor running in the cold trigger. Slowing down has really helped though as will the warmer weather I'm sure :)

  • What a journey! What a woman!! :) Brilliant Jems!! Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all to keep going.

    33 mins??? :O We can but dream.........

    Keep running; keep planning and keep enjoying! ;)

    Sue x

  • Oh gosh Sue, thank you :)

    As for 33mins, I would be happy with that for a 5k! hahaaa but I guess that's what being a 17 year old male brings.....speed. I did joke to my mate that he was just a spectator being chased by the police ;)

    Thanks again your comments really made me smile.....x

  • Wow Jems, that is truly inspiring -- 10K in such a short time! High five and keep on running! xox delia

  • Cheers Delia! High five back atcha baby! Did those jeans arrive yet? We want pics of you looking hot in your new jeans Delia :)) xx

  • Not ordered them yet...cannot choose between flowery pair or pastel coloured --- definitely not blue, too ordinary for my mood!

  • Right start a new question thread immediately "should Delia order both?" ;)

  • Definitely! Hahahahahaha :-)

  • such a lovely blog. to do a 10k race so close to completing c25k is absolutely brilliant. you should be so proud of yourself. you all look very pleased with your medals :)

  • Thanks Shelly we were over the moon! :)

  • Wow, well done, and super blog too... Fantastic how you hve gone from C25K to 10K so quickly; I may brave my first parkrun on Saturday, have run 5k more than once alone but the thought of all those people is worrying... and I don't think my knees will ever forgive me running much further until my excess weight is gone!

    Good luck with your hm plans, look forward to reading all about it! :-)

  • Wow best of luck if you go for it on Saturday poppy! Take your music and that will keep you from taking too much notice of the people. I wish I had taken mine to the 10k. It's lovely to be around everyone before hand though as you can feel the excitement. I look forward to reading all about your adventures too :)

  • Oh wow Great blog and what an achievement! I graduated last July and have been uming and ahing about signing up for a 10 k in June. No excuses now! I've got to go for it. You're inspirational!

  • Yay! Go for can do it! As long as you train well and remain injury free you can do it. It is lovely to take part in an event but for me nothing will beat the feeling of that first 10k the week before and I think reaching the distance is to be celebrated! I am sure you will get to your 10k before July and then you can dance all the way around to celebrate your brilliance very best of luck!

  • Abslolutely brilliant - well done on the 10K (in a great time - I think!) and thanks for the lovely blog.

    Best of luck with the Half Marathon training and please keep blogging :-)

  • just a very quick look at the Rosie Swale Pope web link - WOW! I have never heard of her - will have a proper look after I have had a bath :-)

  • Thank you s much! Yes she is a ver amazing lady, she has been through so much but continues to think of others. Awesome. hope you enjoyed your bath :)

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