Hurray, just made it over the line this morning to complete W9R3 and just about achieve my own little goal of 5k within 30 minutes, despite a couple of barriers at the end (and that's according to my shiny new Garmin connect.garmin.com/activity... ).
I'm sad in a way that it's finished. I'll miss the well-structured programme and the just-about attainable targets. But I hear that Laura lives on in other podcasts, so maybe we'll meet again.
I don't like gyms and I'd never really considered jogging or running before, but reading the programme and the enthusiastic comments and blogs on the site it sounded like a good way to improve my fitness and stamina. So a few weeks ago I got up early and quietly slunk out into the darkness with my iPhone and the podcast, and tentatively tried jogging for 60 seconds. It didn't seem so bad – no obvious pain, just a certain disbelief when Laura kept on and on nagging me to run for _another_ 60 seconds. After a few runs I invested in some proper running gear but kept it hidden under hiking trousers and a lightweight jacket in case I had to appear to be just walking quickly, not pretend-running. Then the times and distances crept up and now I catch faint echoes of what running used to be like, when it was just fun.
I have always been moderately active (though I hadn't run more than two steps in the same direction for decades) and I don't really accept that I'm 65, but it has been hard work at times. So I really admire and salute those who do the programme carrying an injury or excess weight, or who run on busy roads or awkward paths (or inside), or who have to run at difficult times because of work or family. It's a real challenge and a huge achievement for those who complete it, particularly if the odds are weighed against you in even a small way. I strongly believe that you need to be a bit selfish about fitness - because those around you also benefit from the improved you.
The help and encouragement here is really fantastic and a hugely motivating. Keep it going everyone.