Couch to 5K
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5x50 - day 21

I'm really enjoying the 5x50 Challenge. So far I've covered 184km in the 21 days - I was planning to do mostly running days but I'm having to be a bit careful because of my sore achilles tendons and niggly calves. This is how I've done it:

3 days cycling to and from work (23km each day)

2 days cycling for fun (11km and 6km)

1 rest day 'cos I was totally exhausted - I managed to double up the day after

2 cross training days

12 days running

and today I cycled about 5.6km to get to the parkrun (mainly uphill), locked my bike at the finish line then walked to the start line ready to take part in the parkrun. The organisers had decided to dedicate todays parkrun to Boston so we all stopped for a minutes silence before the start. I've had a really dodgy tummy on and off all week and it decided to start griping just before the start so I wasn't optimistic. I'd already decided not to expect too much after cycling beforehand, although I noticed it seemed to have loosened/warmed up my achilles tendons and they were more comfortable than usual. To counteract that I could feel the burn in my thighs.

I may have mentioned the dinosaurs before. Telford parkrun follows a route past a children's theme park that includes dinosaurs. As we ran the first lap and past the dinosaurs it felt as if my stomach and the dinosaurs were trying to out-roar each other ! I kept plodding away, decided to strategically walk up the nasty hill near the finish line, in the hope I could run more consistently afterwards. That seemed to work reasonably well, although the sound of my breathing was shocking !

I've noticed that I'm finding my breathing hard work over the last few days and had also had a few brief dizzy spells - I suspected this might be due to low iron levels again so I've been taking a supplement and things seem to be improving so hopefully the noisy breathing will calm down a bit !

When I got my PB a couple of weeks ago, I'd felt a bit bad because I'd passed one of the ladies in our running club, who I know is a better runner than me. She's a lovely person and congratulated me on my finish but I know she was a bit gutted and I felt a bit bad. Today, I found myself gaining on her again. It was tempting to push on but I felt a bit mean - I'd set out not expecting a good time so I thought it would be nicer to stay back. I walked for a little bit, then just tried to maintain the same distance between us. As I came round the last corner, I broke into my version of a sprint finish. About halfway along the last stretch my stomach started griping again and I had a moment of panic as I fully expected a Paula Radcliffe style disaster. It momentarily crossed my mind to stop but I couldn't resist pushing on, so I risked it and kept running. I was very grateful that the risk paid off and there was no disaster but I think it says a lot for what this running lark does to our brains and attitude. A little over a year ago, I'd have just chucked in the towel and headed for the loos (or the bushes) ! ;-)

I was so hot and bothered that my sunglasses steamed up !

All things considered, I was really pleased to find that I was only 7 seconds behind my PB. As my PB was 2 mins 21 seconds faster than my previous time, I think today's result was close enough to prove it wasn't a fluke and that I must have it in me to do it again ! :-)

After the post park-run chats and congratulations I headed for my bicycle, looking forward to the ride home, only to find that I had a completely flat front tyre. I also had no bicycle pump :-( I had to call home to be rescued so I did lots of calf raises while I was waiting - I must have looked very strange exercising in the car park.....

I'm quite disappointed that what should have been a 15km day in all, was only a 10km day. Or maybe 11-12km, 'cos we walked to the pub for lunch ;-)

I've sort of got it in mind that I want to have averaged 10km a day by the end of the challenge - I'm on 8.76 so far.....:-)

12 Replies

What a great blog and sounds like you're having a fantastic time with 5x50. I've definitely been enjoying it. I think you definitely earned your pub lunch today :-)


My pub lunch was lovely but way too big. I thought that a jacket spud with chilli & cheese would be a spud with a spoonful of chilli and a sprinkling of cheese. Instead, I got a spud with a bowlful of chilli and cheese, a salad, two pieces of garlic bread and a bowlful of tortilla crisps. Why are food portions so HUGE ?! Will have to work hard tomorrow as well, I suppose !!

5x50 is just great :-)


Brilliant blog but what an eventful day! I loved the bit about the dinosaurs and your stomach :D You managed a great time as well, and I think you were very kind backing off from the running club lady. I hope you get your dizzy spells sorted out because that doesn't sound good at all :O And bummer about your flat tyre.

I'm going to go for a lie-down now 'cos reading your blog has tired me out! Keep up the good work though - you're doing brilliantly x


I think the dizzy spells have improved so will keep taking the iron supplement for now. I need to try and remember how to change the inner tube. Either that or I'll pop it into the bicycle shop just over the road from work ;-)


What a positive blog - apart from the grumbling stomach; I've suffered with a rumbling tum and had the 'will I need to dive into the bushes?' query sometimes when running.

The bike commute sounds good. I hope you've got a pump on your bike now!


I usually do have a pump but I'd taken off the big bags I use for going to work and it was in one of those. Oops !


Congratulations on a brilliant run. I agree with Anniemurph about your dizzy spells and hope they get sorted soon. I'm considering doing the 5x50 next time round this blog is inspiring. Congratulations again :)


I highly recommend the 5x50. It isn't always easy but I expected the motivation part of it to be the toughest aspect and instead I've found the toughest thing is being flexible enough to change my planned activity to fit around my work, my partner's work and silly things like dental appointments etc


This is great a great blog. Well done for all you're doing for the challenge :) I am averaging about 7km a day but would li,ke to improve it. It was a great decision to join. Keep up the good work, but maybe rest the tummy a ;-)


Thanks - I think the tummy might be a stress thing but it's a bit annoying now! :-)


Great blog! And determined running, too. Reading about tummy issues always makes me nervous (and makes my tummy rumble in sympathy!) as I had years of what I thought was IBS, but which turned out to be coeliac - since I've sorted the diet out, it's been pretty good (except when I ate loads of apricots, trying to get enough iron in my diet! - not so clever!)

Hope you get it sorted soon - it is very distracting, to put it mildly. :)


Thank you, I hope it settles down - I've just realised I've got a 10k race on Sunday. It was supposed to be in January but got snowed off.


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