They Think It’s All Over – Couch to 5k The End of the Long Run

Photo by Daniel Reche on

Well, it actually is all over.  I would love to be able to tell you that it all ended in a blaze of glory, but I cannot.  It was more a splutter of indifference.  My knees hurt, my ankles hurt, my hip ached, my calf is sporting something that looks like a huge swollen bruise, and my bladder has still not learned to cope with the amount of water I have to drink in order to deal with thirty minutes of mouth breathing.  This morning I can hardly walk.  Getting fit has reduced me to a physical wreck.  I don’t think that I am well enough to be fit.  I am at least thirty years older than when I started this, ten weeks ago.

My big question now is, will I continue running?  I don’t know, there are a number of factors to consider:

  1. Do I enjoy it?  –  No, I don’t.  I can honestly say that not for a single moment whilst running have I ever thought to myself, ‘What good fun I am having’.  Running is torture, so why would I want to continue?
  2. Do I feel fitter?  –  No, I don’t.  Currently I would struggle to locate a non-aching bone in my body.  I can run for thirty minutes where ten weeks ago I would not have managed thirty seconds – but I’m still struggling to understand why I would really want to.  This country no longer has sabre-toothed tigers, so there’s little point.  If push comes to pull there is little of danger that I can’t stroll away from.
  3. Do I feel thinner? – Yes I do.
  4. Do I feel better for it? – No, I feel thinner.

So will I continue? – Almost certainly yes, unless I can find some way to stop without losing face.

I clocked my final ‘Couch to 5k’ thirty minute run at 4.85 kilometres, which is far enough away from 5k to make getting there a further challenge for me, but close enough to make in achievable.  This week, step by painful step, I begin eeking out my misery towards that goal.  An extra 150 metres (is that correct?) – I should get there in a matter of weeks – and then, I suppose, I will have to try and speed up a bit. 

My last run was in the rain and I found it so much more comfortable than my plods in the sun.  I have been considering taking water with me – but I think the extra weight will involve extra training, so I will stick with the chewing gum which I always regret after about five minutes.  Spitting it out is not acceptable – I work in the High Street, I have to contend with an ice-rink of the stuff in wet weather – and, although I run past a couple of bins, my eyesight is by then so bleary that I could not trust my aim at all, so I chew until my jaw aches (I wouldn’t want to leave my face out of its share of pain) and drop the tasteless little bud into my bin a few minutes after I get home – just as soon as the palpitations stop.

One thing that the Couch to 5k regime has taught me is that when I publish three blogs a week, I do not get adequate time to read those of other bloggers, so, although I do intend to keep you aware of my progress – to 5k and beyond – I probably will not do so with quite the regularity or verbosity of the last few weeks.  I hope that it means I can get to read a little more of what you all have to say and, therefore, bore you to death on the comments boards instead.

Anyway, this week ten post is really just to thank you for sticking with me through this – I’m guessing it was probably more painful for you than I – never forget, They also serve who stand and allow the little ginger bloke to whinge interminably. 

This post will be the last outing for the unknown runner’s legs at the head of the page, but they will not be replaced by my own legs at any future point.  Outraging Public Decency still, I think, carries a prison sentence and I would not be good in prison: I am allergic to woollen blankets, porridge, communal showers and dungarees with arrows on.  Mind you, if I ever managed to escape, I would at least know exactly how far away I could be in thirty minutes…

12 thoughts on “They Think It’s All Over – Couch to 5k The End of the Long Run

  1. Huzzah, Colin, so, so impressive! Road running is always worse on knees (I speak from past experience) and if you’re trying to lose the weight that certainly exacerbates it. If you’ve lost weight that’s good but if you can do go for running on more natural terrain.

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  2. Congratulations and 4.85 km is pretty decent for 30 minutes. Now give up you fool. I’ve been going for 6 months now and I’m still utterly miserable when I run.

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  3. Masochism is overrated. Like your heart-rate at 5 kays. Do as James says and stop now. Someone might be tempted to wallow in your footprints, and do you want THAT on your conscience?

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  4. Surely those GPS distance measuring gizmos are somewhat inaccurate anyway. You’ve probably done the 5k and then been lied to about it. Tech is like that. My advice is fit whatever distance measuring gizmo you have into a tennis ball, sit on a comfy chair, with the drink of your choice by your side and then bounce the tennis ball off the wall repeatedly until it has completed the 5k distance. Then feel smug. 🙂

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