So back in August, I couldn’t run much more than a bath, and now 9 weeks later with the support of The Positive Movement Project I can run 5K 🙂! I sound like one of those annoying adverts “in just 2 weeks you too could lose 95lbs”. It’s all true (ok, not the 95lbs bit) but you can do it too. I can run 5k!
I still use the word “run”, rather loosely as it’s really a slow plod. I’m not sprinting like Jess Ennis, but I am moving my chunky legs faster than a walk without stopping, I feel super proud of myself. I still don’t find it easy, and sometimes when I’m going round the Park I think, “What on earth are you doing?!”.
I thought I’d share some of my new jogging wisdom with you, a sort of a glossary with some explanations…..here goes!
- Do it tomorrow no matter what day it is – “I’ll start the Couch to 5k (C25K) app next Monday”, …. well you probably won’t, or if you will, and it may last until Wednesday, then you might stop, and then you will wait until Monday again to restart. Do it tomorrow no matter what day it is. I started the app on a Friday… who starts stuff on Fridays ? ME, that’s who!
- You will surprise yourself – “I can’t do this”, …you will surprise yourself, I literally couldn’t do this, but I have, if I can, you can.
- Don’t worry about others – “People might laugh”, … I thought this a lot, it put me off trying things before, but all these weeks later I haven’t seen anyone laugh. When you are puffing round the park you are too busy concentrating to worry about what others may think.
- You will survive – “I’m going to die” I thought, a little melodramatic of me when I had to run for 1 minute in week one (spoiler alert, I didn’t). As the weeks went by, I ran 90 seconds in week 3. Now in week 9 I run/jog for 30 minutes thinking “I’m going to die” but guess what I haven’t and you won’t either. Your body will grumble a little at being pushed out its comfort zone, you will get a bit hot and if you are like me, you will pant like a steam train, but you won’t die.
- Just aim for the tree – My odd trophies keep me going. I’d look at a tree in the distance and think “go on Sharon”. Just make it running to that tree and then it’s yours.. or run to the lamp post, or the post-box. This week I made it to the bin by the swings, I own that now. In fact I own many trees, bins, post-boxes and even a tyre. Don’t think about how much time left… just aim for the tree.
- Runners nods, pass it on! I don’t think I can claim this one, but if you see an actual runner and they zoom past you, they don’t laugh or poke you with sticks for being slow, they often give you a friendly nod as they pass by. Translated it means “ GO YOU, well done for trying, keep going”. I gave someone slower than me a nod this week, so pass it on!
- Give it a donkey kick. In my park when I run to one end there is a bollard at the end of the path. I have no idea why, but when I reach it, I give it a little kick with my heel telling it “I am here, I made it” and then on I go. I even have “donkey kicked” walls and lampposts (gently I should add!)
- Check out online – C25k is a great, and there is plenty of resources available online too (https://www.nhs.uk). I needed some new trainers after my feet got soaked one day, what started as a half hour browse looking for shoes for fat feet, ended up browsing running stuff for hours one rainy afternoon… it passed the time and made a change from looking at cakes and cat videos.
- Being outside is so good for you – even on a dull day, a wet day, or any day, half an hour outside really does clear your mind and make you feel better.
- Be your own cheerleader – when I get to the end of a podcast I have a proper shout out “whoop whoop” to myself . Sometimes quite loudly.
So now I’ve finished C25K, what next?! I think it would be a shame to stop and waste all the efforts of the last 9 weeks so I’m going to keep running 3 times a week and hopefully each time I will manage 5K, and get a little quicker. So if you see a middle aged woman (with fat feet) in the Park, donkey kicking lampposts and cheering “whoop whoop” as she passes a bin, whilst panting like a steam train, then do the right thing and give me a little nod!
Big shout out and thanks to Terri and Leanne at The Positive Movement Project for their support and getting me off the couch.
Visit our Couch to 5K page to find out more about how the app can help you to get active.