An Unexpected Milestone

Those of you who are kind enough to read my blog will know that I have had a bit of a struggle with the C25K program over the last few weeks. Today though, I put all of that behind me and achieved a rather unexpected milestone.

On Monday, I repeated Week 6 Day 1 to try to get my confidence back. I found it hard but managed to complete the run and intended to do the same run again this evening to try to build up my fitness. But something strange happened.

For some reason, after a hard couple of days at work, I decided that I didn’t want to be told when to run and when to walk. I wanted to just go out and run on my own to see what I could manage.

My plan was to get as close to 5K as possible, so I set my RunKeeper app to 10 minute reminders, thinking that I would try to do some 10 minute running segments. Then I figured that if 10 minutes was too much, I could try running for 1K at a time, so I set the 1K reminder so that I could go by distance if necessary.Β This was a great motivator as it also told me my current and average pace every 10 minutes and every 1K.

I set off at a nice easy pace, knowing that I would be running a lot further and for a lot longer than I had ever done before. And it felt good. The air was cool and I was feeling relaxed knowing that I didn’t have the added pressure of having to reach a specific goal.

I was surprised at how easily I managed the first 2K. Running further along the seafront than I had ever done before gave me a huge lift, especially when I reached the end of the promenade and had to turn around again.

It felt amazing. My breathing was slow and steady and my legs seemed to be working all on their own. It was as if they were gathering some kind of momentum. I knew that if I made them stop, it would be hard to get them going again. So I kept going and was shocked when the voice came through my headphones to announce that I had done 3K.

Of course, after a while, it did begin to get harder. My legs started to get tired and by the time I reached 4K I really felt like stopping. But I didn’t. I just kept going and going, until I had to look at my app to see how much further I had left.

When I realised I only had about 0.25K left to go, it occurred to me that the faster I ran, the sooner it would be over. So I took a deep breath and gathered all my strength to run as fast as I could to the finish.

And I did it! 5K in 37.10 minutes!

5K-2013-08-28I have to admit, I am feeling pretty damn pleased with myself. Knowing that I can run 5K without stopping has given me a huge confidence boost and is a great motivator to complete the program.

My goal now is to use C25K to try to improve my pace and eventually achieve a sub 30 time. I’m not sure what kind of pace I will have to maintain to do that, but I’ll figure it out. For nowthough, here are my splits for tonight’s run.

5K Splits-2013-08-28

Not too shabby for a 39 year old who hasn’t run in over 25 years!


27 thoughts on “An Unexpected Milestone”

  1. So awesome! I just did my first 5K race this past weekend, and was really surprised to find I could run nearly all of it. I trained using C25K also, and was shocked to find it was really helpful!

    1. Thanks Valerie and well done on completing your first 5K race! C25K is unbelievable! To think where we all started and how much progress we make in such a short time is just crazy. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Ronald. Starting slow and steady definitely helped maintain the pace. Just need to pick up my feet a bit more to get a faster time, but I guess that will come. πŸ™‚

  2. You should be well chuffed with yourself. How about trying this unique virtual 5K run next? It’s FREE, it’s friendly, you can do it wherever, and whenever (but on Sunday 29th) and with whomever you like….did I mention we actively encourage you to do this if you have a BMI of 25+ and we looooovvveee slow runners!!! So please share this event on your facebook pages and lets get 1 million overweight runners…well running!!!

    1. What a brilliant idea! I’m not overweight but I’m certainly slow and I did feel very self conscious when I started running. Not sure if I’m signing up as I plan to do a park run that Saturday, but I know some people who might so I’ll share the link. Hope it goes well. πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for liking my Post and now following my blog. I too have been in this position with the c25k programme, and did exactly what you have just done…just run! In my last post your will notice that I am starting a group using the same principles as the C25k and I look forward to converting some of the dis-believers πŸ™‚
    Nice Run, look forward to reading more of your blog πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you. I love your idea of starting a running group and converting more people to C25K – I keep telling people how great it is, but I’m not sure that they believe me… To be fair though, I’m not sure I would have believed me a few months ago either. πŸ˜‰

  4. Outstanding effort! Yes, it’s all over quicker if you run faster! At the end of my runs I keep thinking, just 6 more minutes, just 5 more minutes and it’s easier to make it to the end. To break your 30min time you’d need to be running 6min/kms or just under. Easy does it – you’ll get there!

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