Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Couch to 5K

It all started with the lovely CT from Countryside Tales. After reading her wonderfully inspiring post about her running, I decided to give it a go. For a while I had wondered about the Couch to 5K programme, but other things and my natural indolence always got in the way. My exercise of choice is swimming, with a little yoga and sometimes pilates thrown in, just to shake things up a bit. Running was something that R and other people did. I can remember doing it at school but I was never particularly good, nor did I enjoy it much, so I'm not sure why CT's post made me want to reach for my trainers ......... but it did. I printed off the Couch to 5K itinerary, stuck it to the fridge, donned my gym shorts and a ratty, oversized T shirt and off I went.

I find, like with most things, that there are pluses and minuses. The biggest plus so far is the feeling when I walk through the door afterwards. The house feels lovely and warm, I have my breakfast smoothie whilst cooling down and then enjoy a warm shower. I feel virtuous and, if I'm honest, more than a little relieved that it is over for 2 days! I feel less guilty about sneeking the odd biscuit and when R and I had to run for a connecting train on the way back from London this week (missing the train is a big deal round here - you can find yourself stuck on a cold station, waiting for the midnight bus alternative - the one that takes over an hour winding along the country lanes and stopping at every god forsaken station between Reading and our destination), I did it without a second thought. 

As for the minuses - well, I'm waiting for the time when I actually look forward to running. At the moment, I'm still forcing myself to leave the house and I'm hoping that this will improve. Also, I'm only at the end of the 2nd week. There wasn't much of a step up between weeks 1 and 2, but next time, I will have to run for 3 minutes at a time. I know to some of you, that might not sound like much, but for me it's a big deal! I wear an analogue watch and don't have a snazzy phone, so whilst I'm running, I'm constantly squinting myopically at the tiny second hand to time the sessions. I tried counting instead, but find that I'm too easily distracted and forget where I'm up to! The mornings are getting colder and there will come a time when it gets frosty and slippery underfoot. I can choose to run at the gym but that means driving there and I'd also feel the urge to make myself look more presentable before going. The biggest minus though is other people. It's nice at the weekend because, although I wait until it's light before setting off, people are having a lie in, so I don't see many of them. On week days, however, there are people driving to work and children walking to school and I don't like puffing my way, beetroot faced, past teenagers, who I feel want to snigger at my middle aged attempts. Then there is 'white van man' who feels the need to call comments or whistle as he drives past. I can rarely make out the comments, but I find I am very quick on the draw with my hand gesture in reply. It's a reflex action; please don't judge me! Finally, I worry about what running on pavements is doing for my knee joints. I could run in the park on the grass but I'm sure that wet feet wouldn't improve the experience.
So, there you have it, my running journey so far. I know that it's very early days, but I feel that by writing about it here, I might force myself to keep going and, looking at the list of minuses compared to the pluses, I need all the motivation I can get! So go over to CT's blog and read about her far more impressive running experiences. If she can inspire me, she can inspire anyone!

Other happies this week:

R and I went to a local Classic Car Show. Sadly, his beloved 'Bridget the Midget' (or 'The Lady' as I like to refer to her in my head - see the adult Ladybird Book of 'The Midlife Crisis'!) was off the road and we had to take my car, but we took a picnic and the weather was glorious.

 I find I have a yearning for a camper van!
 On Wednesday, I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Ally Pally:
I had a wonderful day, but did feel that a little more seating would have been a good idea. I took a sandwich and bought a coffee from one of the stands but, finding the seats all occupied,  I sat on the floor with a bunch of other ladies - the more elderly of whom had more than a little difficulty standing up again!
Here are my treats for the day: a pottery yarn bowl, a skein of yarn from La Maison Tricotee and a hat pattern and yarn from Toft.
 The yarn bowl in action - this is a sockhead hat for E. 
I met up with R after he finished work and we went to an Ethiopian restaurant, Addis, for dinner:
I finished my Hitchhiker Scarf. So called because of the number of 'teeth' along one edge ......... that's right, 42.
Finally, a not so happy. On my last visit to Oxford, L had helped me to choose some yarn to make a hat for her boyfriend, J. Yesterday evening saw R holding the skein of yarn, whilst I turned the handle on the winder (we certainly know how to live!). Before I knew what was happening, we had managed to make an almighty tangle that took us well over an hour to sort out. Bad Words were uttered and the scissors used on more than one occasion. I feel that a yarn swift will be making its way onto my Christmas list!
Anyway, that's all for this week. I'm just off to move some dust around the house. Wishing you all a wonderful week. 
Toodle pip for now. x


  1. Well done for getting out there!

    I know what you mean about that feeling when you arrive hone after exercising.

  2. CT has certainly inspired a lot of us! Well done on the running, I'm sure if you keep going it will get easier and you will notice white van men less as you power past them! Loving all your makes. That 42 teethed scarf looks great, was it a freebie pattern? I would have loved to go to the ally pally for the knit/ sew thing. The disadvantes of living on an island! Have a good week. B x

    1. This was actually a 'pay for' pattern - about £3.60 from Ravelry. I think it was worth it though as I foresee a few more of these making their way onto my needles! xx

  3. Wow! Way to go re the running! Respect Gal, you keep it up!I have a yearning for a camper van too, there's something so freeing being able to just take off and go anywhere. I love that scarf!xxx

  4. Oh do keep going with the running. It does get easier I promise and nobody is laughing at you. They are just jealous that you can get off your bottom get out there :-) Two fingers for white van man seems entirely appropriate.

    As to road or off-road. Off-road is a little gentler on the knees and gives you a better work out as you use your muscles differently. If you get wet feet they do warm up in a couple of mins and you'll never know they were cold and damp. Have you thought of carrying a phone and taking photos? That's what I do when I am unmotivated. I recommend a spibelt for carrying your phone, keys etc. They are brilliant. Cheapest place is wiggle.co.uk.

    Keep at it :-)

  5. very impressed by your running x oh dear to the tangle x

  6. I am SO PROUD of you. Anyone who's started running will more than understand all your minus points. I always tell myself when I run past someone they've got no right to judge considering they are the ones walking! I second small L's points about the benefits of off road. I try to incorporate both. Running through woods and fields is lovely and it makes you stronger. You really don't notice wet shoes once you've got wet feet once! Achieving a three minute run is really something when you're starting out. I do remember thinking I'd never manage 2 mins, then 5, then 15. Now I'm running 56 and it isn't a problem. It gets easier. You just have to stick at it. Maybe a cheap 2nd hand gps would be worth getting? I find mine helps motivate me- keeping a record is a great motivator. Keep up the good work! I am waiting for the post that says "my first parkrun" I shall be so thrilled to read that.

    I love the wool bowl and am in awe of your knitting skills. Xx

  7. That should say Small P, not L. Bloomin' phone auto correcting! Xx

  8. Just in case you don't see my reply on my post, m read your post yesterday and said why not think about joining a local couch to 5k group? There are plenty around as its popularity has spread. Your local running club would be a good place to start. It would give you support on off days and introduce you to like minded people all starting together. Just a thought xx

  9. Well done on attempting a new regime with running. I admire your efforts and am sure you will come to enjoy it as time goes on. I know it is something that I couldn't manage these days and wish I had had a go when I was younger. Having said that one of my best friends from school who will be 62 in January is really into running and has done a few half marathons - something to aim for? xx

  10. The 5k apo is brilliant, I am so happy for you. I used that app and had many happy months of running. Sadly I have now developed foot problems which preclude me from running. You will get to a point where you look forward to 'run' days rather than 'rest' days! Good luck x