I am still running. Had a few weeks off while I recovered from chesty coughs and had to repeat a few weeks to regain fitness after the cough BUT.
I am a runner!
I know as Laura (the 'voice' of the NHS Couch to 5K podcasts) said I was. She gives you this reward at the end of the last run of week 6 (25 mins of continuous running) and it brings such a wave of emotion. 6 (or in my case a few more) weeks of hard physical exercise and mental fortitude to keep going finally pays off. I am a runner. I can run.
I still have my goal of a 30 min 5K to achieve and I know to do that I have to build more pace and more stamina into each run. However I have another 9 runs to do that in and it all feels achievable.
Earlier in the course there are certain runs that fill you with horror as the length of time spent running is cruely ramped up. The 3 min run in week 3, The 5 min run in week 4 and the largest of them all the first 20 min run at the end of week 5. But I have conquered them and there are no more left, just a gentle increase in duration till we hit 30 mins. Feel a little like Frodo after throwing the ring into mount doom. The main obstacles have been completed. Sure it is still a long way home to the Shire. But I've got this far, I can keep going to the end.
I have also found out that sharing my progress has inspired two others to start running. One is about to start week 4 and the other week 1. I never EVER thought that me doing exercise would inspire someone else. I was always the one that needed the inspiration to do anything physical.
I've lost weight, my belts are all on the last hole and I need new trousers. My shirts fasten around the collar and suit jackets are no longer straining the buttons. This feels terrific.
If I ever meet Laura I owe her a drink. The podcasts have tangibly changed my life and made me healthier where gyms and diets have failed.
Just need to keep running and finish what I started and do a sub 30min 5 K run. But this is no longer a pipe dream. It is realistic, the hard work is over I just need to keep going