So it may be noticeable that I stopped writing about my running progress over the last month, basically I failed a run.
This was two days before our trip to Alton Towers and the run was doomed from the start. I made the error of wearing jogging bottoms for my run and got hot very quickly. I also realised 5 minutes in that I hadn’t had a glass of water before I left and started to feel panicked. The final straw was realising that I hadn’t yet printed the Alton Towers tickets and our printer had broken the day before. I still remember trying to push myself through the run in the park, the baggy jogging bottoms dragging me back, my throat sore, my mind panicking about how I would get the tickets printed. The last thing I wanted to be doing was running for another 20 minutes. I failed this run.
To be honest I cannot remember what I did during this run, I think I would’ve completed the podcast but spent much of the time walking. I hated that feeling walking back home with ‘Laura’ in my ears congratulating me on a long run.
I didn’t want to write about it at the time (in fact I’m not enjoying writing about it now) but I was scared by all the negative thoughts I was having. I had failed. Would I have the energy to try it again? I didn’t want those negative comments on my blog.
It was hard getting back into it, not that I left it too long. I’ve never put the jogging bottoms on since and I am more conscious about having a drink of water before leaving.
But now I sit here after completing Week 9 Run 3, officially a couch 2 5k graduate! It has taken longer than I’d hoped. With my current work pattern I start earlier and finish later and this only leaves me two days that I can run, Tuesday mornings and Friday evenings. But I’ll keep going with these until I can figure out another time slot.
So my last three runs have been great. I tried a run in the country park but decided I prefer the roads better. I have been sticking to the same route and this really helps compare my runs. This morning was definitely my fastest. I find the first 5 minutes fine, the following 10 minutes is the biggest struggle but once I break the 20 minute mark it does start to get easier again. This may be due to the hill I run between 10-15 minutes but I feel I’m getting quicker at this point too.
My fitness is far better than when I started, I used to breath heavy during my five minute warm up but now I can walk briskly without losing my breath. My recovery after a run is much better than it was too. Thinking back to how I felt after a run in Week 1 compared to how I feel after a run now it is hard to believe I am running more now! The most difficult part for me is still the breathing. Does everyone breath heavy when they run? With my headphones in I don’t notice it but wonder how I come across to those I pass.
I have lost some weight over the weeks. Weight loss was never a motivation for me but I do wish I’d weighed myself before I started. Generally though I was around 9 stone and my weight lingers around 8.5 now so it has done something.
Has it improved my mind? It is hard to tell. I still have down days but recently I realised that one of my triggers is getting something wrong. Much like failing that run a few weeks ago. This brings my mood down and my anxiety up. But actually I think it has helped. My overall mood is better than it was. And it makes me feel good to know I’ve started something and improved.
The next step? Keeping up the runs. Improving my speed. And getting to 5k officially. I have been looking at my runs using Google Maps and my run this morning was 4.5k. I know where I need to run to reach 5k so that is my next goal.
I hope someone reads this and decides to take up couch 2 5k. It is an incredible series of podcasts. They took me from a complete novice runner to 30 minutes. Week 1 consists of intervals of 1 minute running and 1.5 walking for a total of 8 minutes running. I felt so proud to complete those runs and each week gave you a sense of satisfaction. Please read up more on them here:
(And if you’re interested, the printer had a maintenance option that should be done every couple of months. We never used it so once we found this – with James’ help – the printer was fine, we printed our tickets, and you can read my blog below for the awesome time we had!)