A Couch to 5k runner comes of age

By Jo Enright

On 29 March, I took the plunge and joined the Seaford Striders Couch to 5k (C25K) group for the second week of the programme. I had been persuaded by my friend, a current Strider, to give it a try. I decided to go along to show willing but wasn’t planning to attend regularly! That week we were asked to run for 90 second intervals, alternating with a 2-minute walk. I remember commenting to a fellow C25K’er that running for 90 seconds would be a challenge for me.

It’s now 12 weeks later and since that initial session I have regularly attended the group and have run on my own in between. I had fun joining the Seaford Striders for my first Parkrun in Preston Park. I followed this up shortly afterwards with another Parkrun in Eastbourne.

My real achievement was completing the Eastbourne Race for Life 10k on 18 June. This is something I never thought I would be able to do! I used to play sports at school and since then have been a sporadic gym goer, but running has never appealed to me as it was something that I didn’t think I was capable of.

After completing a couple of 5ks I decided to try and push myself a bit further and the 10k felt like a natural progression. I didn’t sign up until the night before and didn’t tell anyone I was going to run, as I still wasn’t sure I could commit to it! I liked the idea of the Race for Life as I knew it wouldn’t be a pressurised race and I would be able to go at my own pace. After losing my mum, my mother-in-law and father-inlaw to cancer, it also felt like a good opportunity to combine my new challenge with supporting Cancer Research UK.

Sunday 18 June was a scorcher and the heat added to the feeling of ‘how on earth am I going to complete this?!’. But I did and felt hugely proud not only of completing the race but also running it in roughly the time I was aiming for.

I have greatly valued the support that experienced Striders have given the C25K group, whether that be running with us each week, pacing us at the Parkruns or cheering us on when they have finished their own races. I am now able to contemplate calling myself a runner!

To donate to Jo’s Race for Life fundraising, click here.

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