Get Running: Couch to 5K – Week 7

My motivation for running is being able to get out in the great outdoors after being cooped up in an office with no windows all day and do it all on my way home from work without it eating into my personal time. Life is too short to finish your day by setting out to the gym and finally getting home at 8pm for a few hours before going to bed and doing it all again. For me that would be like being caught in a hamster wheel, so I have replaced a 25 minute tram ride with a 25 minute run home and so far its doing me the world of good.

On March 12th I started out with the Get Running Mobile Application and their Couch Potato to 5K running plan. The plan started with me struggling to complete eight 1 minute runs due a life of self confessed slacking that left me with the lung capacity of a mouse and the belly of a whale. However after only 7 weeks I am now running for 30 minutes at a time proving just how well this plan works but also how quickly your body can adapt, no matter how out of shape you are.

This has been a week of distractions, after going for a run on both Monday and Tuesday, suddenly I found myself working from 2pm on Wednesday until 6am on Thursday morning after a software move took a little longer than expected. This wiped out two days running, but I still have Friday right?

My good friend was celebrating his birthday and brought in a Smörgåsbord of cakes and treats into work. One month ago I would have demolished this fine selection but suddenly I equate cakes to having to run 30 minutes just to burn the calories off, so I just sneaked a few flapjacks due to their slow releasing energy qualities of course and realised the former couch potato is now talking like a big girl.

This was not the biggest temptation of the day though, everyone finished work to share a beer with the birthday boy and I found myself saying out loud “but I need to go for a run”. What the hell has happened to me? Anyway despite fierce peer pressure I made my excuses and left the pub on a Friday night with no beer!

After a 2 day rest, I was raring to go and felt inclined to “Payback” what I had missed and ended up going for a longer run, in fact I actually ran for 6k which is actually the first time that I have broke the 5k mark, which makes me living proof that you really can go from couch potato to 5k with some good old fashioned dogged determination.

The House of Birds on the Black Country Route.

Whilst running along the Black Country Route, I thought I would stop and take a photo of the House of Birds by Jamie McCullough which is a 12 metre high sculpture designed to celebrate the birds that once nested in the area. I think its important to enjoy your surroundings whilst out and about rather than concentrating on times and personal bests etc besides it gives me a chance to rest my ageing bones and get my breath back.

It will be quite sad to say goodbye to the app and lose the encouragement from the mysterious Claire in my ears but will I be forever grateful for how it has given this fatboy a kick up the arse in the right direction. The main lessons I have learned are that you simply need to eat less and move more whilst replacing a few bad habits with good ones.

Just when you might think that I am getting a little preachy, rest assured that I am writing this on my third double Jack Daniels and Coke (zero hehe) on a Friday night, after all some bad habits are worth keeping around, otherwise you could end up being quite a dull character and although I love a good run, I also like a cheeky JD and a late night session on my Xbox.

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