I have signed up for a 5k fun run at the end of March. It must have been a moment of madness as I cannot run for 5k, or anywhere near that. I have also signed the kids and Richard up as well, so we can “enjoy” this as a family. With an 8 and 6 year old I am not expecting to have to run the entire thing in one go, I hope they will need to walk for parts of it. I just really want to walk because they need to and not me! I want to be the mum that joins in and can do stuff, not just watch from the sidelines.

I am following the NHS couch to 5k podcasts (I’ve written about this here) and I have made it up to week 4, run 2. Which did not go well! I did manage all the runs (3min run, walk, 5min run then repeat) but the second 5 minutes was very hard and only just counted as running. I am only going running twice a week rather than the recommended three times, as I am fitting in yoga as well, so next week I will finish off week 4 and start week 5. The following week I will complete week 5, so in theory I will have run for a solid 20mintues by then. Which should be enough to run-walk the race with the kids the following weekend.

Wish me luck!



Back to week 1 of running

Right, I am going to make another attempt at the NHS couch to 5K – I have been trying to get this completed for over a year now with very bad luck. But I am going to put 2012’s health problems (mycroplasma pneumonia, glandular fever and loosing my big toenails!) and this time I am going to be successful.

I have started right back at the beginning again (I listed all the runs awhile ago). I got to week 5 before I hurt my toes and I was tempted to try starting further though the programme, but I went with week 1 for several reasons: I didn’t want to start at too high a week and fail, I haven’t done any exercise over Christmas, I like week 1 (intervals suit me better) but the biggest reason is that when the runs gets hard I want to confidence that I have done all the necessary preparation.

Running has always been my nemesis, at school I would happily play netball or hockey, where short burst of running where required, but I detested longer runs and, like many others, cross country was a dreaded activity. So, why am I trying to run now? Partially, it is because I have started and haven’t managed  to complete it so I want to get there. Also, I want to be able to keep up with the kids, I would love to do a 5k with my daughter at some point. It is available anywhere, there are exercise classes here (I go to yoga) but they are mostly at the foreigners compound which is about half an hour’s drive away, and it is an effective way of increasing my fitness. There is also an element of shame – I really should be able to run more than I can.

The first run of week 1 is completed, I have to say it is getting easier to do, so fingers crossed some of the running is paying off, only eight and a half weeks to go.

First run on week four – blughhhh.

I have managed to get the running weeks out of sync with the real week (typhoon Sanba threw me off last week, as the school as closed) so I had to start week 4 on a Wednesday. Now, I never like the Wednesday run, for me it is the hardest of the week so stepping up to the next week was really hard today. Not sure fully why, maybe a combination of getting on my bike at the weekend and laziness but I really didn’t want to go running this morning. So probably not the best positive attitude that I should have had. But I know my self and I have to stick to my schedule, as soon as I start to let it slip then very quickly I won’t be going at all. So to the gym I went.


And it was tough, I tried to keep the incline at 1% and my running speed at 8 km/hr but I was just not going to get finished that way, so incline set to zero and running at only 7.6km/hr. Which felt like a defeat, but I did keep going and finish the run. Today’s run was only:

  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 3 min run
  • 90 sec walk
  • 5 min run
  • 2.5 min walk
  • 3 min run
  • 90 sec walk
  • 5 min run
  • 5 min warm down walk


But the first 5 minutes run felt like it was lasting forever, strangely the second one although hard didn’t feel as long. I feel a mix of emotions now, slight embarrassment that running (slowly as well) for 5 minutes was hard work, pride that even though it was hard work I did do it and also fear – if this week is hard, how on earth am I going to cope with the coming weeks!


I have another run on Friday and then I have to take a week off, the children are off school (Korean festival of thanksgiving – Chuseok – and then a couple of teacher training days) and Richard is in the UK, so no time to go to the gym. We are planning on heading out on our bikes though so I will still get some exercise, and if the weather holds as pleasant as it has been, I think we will take a picnic and make a day of it. So my plan is to do two runs of week 4 this week and then do it again once the kids are back at school, then I can start week 5 on a Monday, which always feels so much better.