OH MY GOODNESS. I have done it. I have actually completed Couch to 5K. I actually stuck something out. 9 whole weeks. Before I tell you about my progress and how I feel now I will give you a wee update of the final three weeks of the program.
Each run was a five minute warm up followed by a 25 minute run. I had mentally prepared myself for the first run as I’d previously completed the same run at the end of week 6. However, that did not make it any easier. Aw my legs ached so so much after this run but I felt SO good.
The second run felt slightly easier and my calves felt a bit looser. I can now manage to run around the full circuit of Airthrey Loch which is 4.5km so I’m beginning to see so much progress. I was bloomin’ knackered after this run though and just wanted to sleep. Also, I run straight after work so I have a full face of make up on and it stays on. How?!
The third run felt like I was beginning to see the progress. I managed it well considering the heavy downpour of rain and wind against me.
This week is gonna push me so hard. After the 5 minute warm up walk it’s 28 minutes of running with no break. AHHH. 8 weeks ago I could barely run for 1 minute without stopping. GO ME. Progress.
Run 1 – Okay, I did this on a Monday after work and it absolutely KILLED my legs. Like I thought my calves were going to pop out of my skin. I felt like I could barely walk. I was very pathetic and limped to the bus home. I felt so good after though but when I got home I sat with my feet up all night and a hot water bottle between my legs to try and ease the muscle pain.
Run 2 – I decided to do this run in my lunch hour as it’s starting to get darker at nights so I have less time to run. Anyway, today felt a lot better despite not having a rest day. My legs coped a lot better! I feel like I need to try and start running faster as I don’t find myself breathless at the moment. But I’m trying to work through the muscle pain first. Doing the run on my lunch hour completely re-energised me for the day! I usually start feeling sleepy about 3pm but was wide awake today!
Run 3 – Okay. I can actually do this now. My calves aren’t as sore as they were on the first 28 minute run and I think, I THINK, I’m getting a little bit faster. I just can’t believe how far I have come in 8 weeks and that next week is my last week of the program.
OH MY GOODNESS. The final week is here! Okay, so I would usually do my first run on the Monday but I hurt my knee over the weekend and it feels like there is fluid in it – yuck. Typical for this to happen to me on the final week. I didn’t want to injure myself anymore so I skipped Monday (which made me feel like absolute poo.)
Run 1 – Okay, my legs started to feel as if they were going to give up on me about 20 minutes through my run but I managed to push through! I felt absolutely incredible at the end! I can run for 30 minutes! My legs felt like they were going to fall off after but no pain no gain right?
Run 2 – Uhh my legs are still sore from the first run. I felt a lot less breathless than my prior run once I completed this which felt good. My legs still hurt. Ahh.
Run 3 – I cannot believe I have actually finished something that involves exercise. Oh my goodness. The final run was the best yet – i just felt so good!
I ACHIEVED SOMETHING. I honestly feel amazing. Apparently I can now call myself a ‘runner’ but personally, I wouldn’t go that far yet. I have never felt so good doing exercise. Unfortunately, I haven’t lost any weight yet but I keep being reminded that I must be patient. So I will be. Because I’ve definitely seen such an improvement in my fitness level. 9 weeks ago I would have even been able to run a quarter of what I can now! I am so proud of myself. But I also feel pathetic at how little I was able to do before.
Physical benefits aside, I cannot begin to explain the benefits it has had on my mental health. Running allows me to escape, to let go of all the things that have been troubling me for at least 30 minutes. This might not seem like much but it honestly works wonders. Going for a run can completely turn my day around. Running completely calms me down and slows down my thoughts which sometimes is an absolute blessing.
Moving forward I am going to continue running 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time. My goal is to pick up the speed a bit before then starting to do longer runs. I am planning on starting to train to do the Great Scottish Run next September so I should have enough time to prepare.
Honestly, if you have always wanted to start running but lack the motivation or simply think ‘there’s absolutely no chance I can run,’ start with the Couch to 5K program. Or at least give it a try!
Thanks for sharing my journey with me!