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C25K

First 5K Run, Against Cancer

I still can’t believe I did it. I really have to cast my mind back to this time last year, and get inside my head back then. The sheer idea of me running in an organised 5K run would have filled me with, I don’t know. Disbelief, laughter, incredulity, bemusement. Take your pick, it would not have seemed to be remotely on my horizon.

But now I have done it and, actually, that first sentence was a lie. Because I can believe I did it, now. But that is because I am a different person now. Now, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched for my next run to be 10K. Well, maybe next year anyway. Because one thing I have learnt from my running experience is that small steps are the way to go. Small steps building slowly to more. If you go from not running at all, to trying to run a 5K, you will probably fail. Similarly with the next step up, don’t try for giant leaps.

As for the run itself, it was a great day. Running for a cause, against cancer, and being part of a large organised event for the first time. Running with my lovely wife, who has been very supportive throughout. But I have to admit to suffering with a bit of a nervous belly in the morning, but once I was in the starting area I was fine. It was a different feeling, running with a large group. People of all different fitness levels were present, but my race was a fun run so there wasn’t too much pressure there.

I was familiar with where we were running but, as I said, running in a pack was different. Before the race, a wise man told me, ‘Don’t run too fast in the first kilometre, everyone does!’ And what did I do? What everyone does, of course. Then I settled into my own pace and started to feel a bit more in control. Slow and steady wins the day, well I won my own race anyway. My own personal race, which is, of course, the most important.

What a great feeling it was to cross that line, get my bottle of water and have ran my personal best 5K. And then to take off the sweatiest headband I have ever seen!

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

5k, I made it!

After finishing the 9-week Couch to 5k program, and being able to run for 30 minutes, I have been continuing to run and slowly built to running 4k. And believe me I was more than happy with that. But 5 kilometres still seemed like a long way away.

Then one day I thought, why not just keep going? Just a little bit further, just another 250 metres, easy. Well it wasn’t so easy but I did it. Now I had run more than 4k for the first time, and my comment on my running app was ‘5k here I come’. Little did I think that it would come with my next run.

When I went for that next run I felt good and thought, why not go for it? So I ran for 2.5k, turned around and started running back. Now, in the back of my mind, I was always thinking that if I didn’t make it there would be no shame. But as I started to visualise the feeling of achievement if I made it, I just knew I had to go for it. And I did it.

Now, there wasn’t an immediate sense of elation, I was too tired for that. But, as I recovered and my legs stopped wobbling, it soon began to dawn on me. I just ran 5 kilometres, me. 47 years old, still overweight, never been running in my life before this spring. And I ran 5 kilometres. Was it really me? I still can’t quite believe it.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

I’m a runner, apparently?

Yes! I did it, C25k completed. Ok, at the moment, it’s more like couch to 30 minutes, but I still can’t believe it. When I think back to the first week of this program, when I was out of breath after running for 1 minute, the progress has been amazing. At time of writing I have done four 30 minute runs and each time I am going a little further, a little faster. So now, of course, the challenge is to keep going.

There was a great sense of satisfaction, seeing the little trophy light up on the application and hearing Michael Johnson say ‘You’ve done it!’. But this is just the first step, I’m still only running just over 3k but the goal is 5k. There is a charity 5k run in my town in October, and that is my target for my first organised run.

So my plan is to keep running for 30 minutes every other day and try and build to around 4k in that time. Then extend the time and do 5k, and then more. So I have about 3 months, but after what I have achieved in the last 10 weeks, I don’t see why not. It’s only my knees that sometimes disagree.

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

C25k: Progress

First things first, no those aren’t my legs, maybe one day. For now I am into week 6 of the Couch to 5k training plan and I am loving it. Apart from a short break, due to a back spasm, it has all gone smoothly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard but I havn’t failed to complete any of the runs.

I’ve gone from struggling to run for 1 minute to being able to run nonstop for 20 minutes. My next run will be for 25 minutes, that will be a challenge. But the beauty of this plan is that I am sure I can do it. It seems to have formed a mindset where running is just putting one foot in front of the other. Simple as that.

The challenges will keep getting harder and eventually I will be trying to run faster, but for now it’s slow and steady wins the day. Overall, the sense of accomplishment is amazing. I’m built like a rugby player, and a retired one at that, not a runner. So no matter your size, this plan works. Why not give it a go?

© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

Running! Who Me?

Running? Me? Really? Come on! Yes, really! It’s only the beginning, but, at least, I have begun. Inspired by my sister to join the Couch to 5k challenge. I’d never heard of it before, but when I did, something clicked and I was out of the door within a couple of hours.

If you don’t know it, the idea is that you follow a 9-week training plan and go from being a couch potato to being able to run 5 kilometres. That’s the target, and a target is what I need to get me off my backside.

So far, I have just completed Week 1. That’s 3 walks/runs of 30 minutes each. Day 1 was painful, Day 2 was agony, Day 3 hurt but…Eureka! I recovered quickly and had a great feeling at the end.

So now I get a couple of days off and it’s on to Week 2, which doesn’t look too scary. I already know I can do it. And that seems to be the great thing about this idea. It hurts, but it’s a slow build up. I know it will get much harder, believe me the idea that I could run 5k is still very far fetched for me, but I have to focus on the now.

And right now, it feels great and I’m actually looking forward to my next run. Me? Who would have believed it?

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© Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

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