The nice digital coach told me that 'today, you will run only once. This is the first continuous run, 20 minutes. If you are finding it difficult you may slow down, but do not stop. I'll let you know each time you have completed 5 minutes. Remember, do not stop'. Ha, I thought, we'll see. And I did. I managed it and without stopping once. I've found that I run better when I don't think about it too much. I started getting my old friend, the Stitch only after about a minute of running and instead of worrying about it, I tried to tune out. I can manage the stitch more or less now (although I would love to run without one!!) and I was delighted when the coach told m i'd been running for 5 minutes, 10 minutes.....ok, now I'm in unknown waters. At this point I really zoned out. I concentrated on my ipod. (I've recently found www.rockmyrun.com and if you don't know it, go look now. You can get free running playlists which are excellent and can be 100% free if you don't need many playlists. You get a free one every month or you can buy extra ones if you need to.) Anyway, I was concentrating on my ipod. The last 5 minutes, I felt a lot more, but I kept going. When the coach told me I only had one minute left my first thought was 'oh thank god' swiftly followed by 'frigging hell, I'm going to do it!!!'
I didn't stop once and I ran the whole 20 minutes. I'm not ashamed to say that I teared up during that last minute. The feeling was incredible. I never in a million years thought 6 weeks ago I'd be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping! Even when I did a 5k race 8 years ago, I don't remember being able to run for 20 minutes without stopping. I know I definitely wasn't nearly as motivated as I am today. I need this. I need this for me. Me time, Me conquering the unthinkable, Me pushing my limits. And it feels incredible.
I know I'm taking baby steps, but this running thing is addictive. I'm already looking forward to going out tomorrow to start W6 on the programme and I've started to look for a race to sign up to in France or the UK.
I was told by a neighbour who I only met for the first time this weekend that I was 'une grande sportive' (really sporty). I thought to myself, if only she knew. Everyone in my (relatively) new neighbourhood knows me as the girl that runs. Today, that just suits me fine.