C25K Success Stories

rduhlir Posts: 3,582 Member
I know we have the graduation thread and stuff, but we lack the success stories. Sometimes the push we need are seeing t he accomplishments that others have done. I know I did....

My success story actually started in October of last year. Some of you know that I am in the military, and for those of you who don't...well now you do :laugh: Last October I was on the verge of being kicked out, I failed my weigh ins. Like others who have failed the weigh ins, I saw and knew I was getting heavier and heavier, but did nothing about it. I didn't honestly think that I would fail weigh ins. But I did. I was 29 years old, eating like I was 16 and not lifting a leg to do one ounce of fitness. I know some of you are like, "But you are military, you do the PT test." Well, actually, the Coast Guard (as of right now at least) since it is not a battle oriented service, the PT test is only a requirement for certain jobs. I don't have one of those jobs. My job is sitting on my butt for 12 hours a day near a radio.

Anyway, so October came, and I failed weigh ins. And believe me I did everything to try and drop 8 pounds by the end of the month. I sat in a SUPER hot tub with epsom salt (don't recommend this), tried a cleanse, and even tried to starve my body for the last 2 weeks. Novemeber I was so depressed that I failed the weigh ins that I ended up hitting my all time highest weight of 174. I was depressed and on the verge of losing my military career.

December I had had enough and went to the military branch clinic here and got some Chantix. Took it, and then on December 20th I had my last smoke. I knew I was going to have to replace one addiction with another, and it couldn't be food. So...I started P90X. I was going strong, doing the P90X program, I was on here tracking, life was good.

You know how they say, "Register for a 5K and it will help focus you to complete C25K", that isn't always the case. I will let you all in on a secret, I registered for a 5K last year and didn't do it. Why? Because I was so lazy I didn't care. That failure is what pushed me to do C25K. I remember that feeling too, the feeling when I realized that I not only wasted money, but of what I was becoming and it scared me. I then saw something somewhere (forgive me but I can't remember where) about healthy birthday gifts to yourself, and saw the 5K thing. Well, I looked around and behold there was one on my birthday.

So...January 1st I started my running career. I started it alongside New Rule of Lifting for Women, but found that the running and the lifting were taking up too much of my time, so I shifted to a much easier lifting program. On March 23, 2013 I ran my first 5K and finished with a time of 33:42. I honestly thought I was going to finish much slower than that, so I was suprised when I did so well. My birthday present was one of the better I received. Here is a pic from that day:


Now, flash forward 6 months later and my first half marathon is next month. It is hard to believe that a year ago I was failing my weigh ins and sitting my lazy bum doing nothing. While I know I will probably never be the fastest runner out there, I will still rank high in the ranks of will. For with will power you can do anything you can think of, you just have to find the courage to start.



  • ktpod1
    ktpod1 Posts: 83 Member
    Awesome accomplishment!
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,538 Member
    Thank you for telling your story! You had so much teeth-gritted determination, I can't imagine you just not showing up to a 5k.

    I race walked maybe four or five races and trained for a half marathon before getting pneumonia. So missed that half and eventually tapered off exercising with a demanding job. I was slowly gaining weight, but wasn't able to fit weight watchers into my life and lose the extra. Then I got pregnant in 2010. Then I got pregnant again in 2011. I waited a year but the weight didn't magically come off with breast feeding. I was maybe 220 pounds at that point.

    My first race and my regular one is the Marietta Gobble Jog. I considered walking it with my two girls in 2012, one mile of pushing them in a stroller in mid-October soon convinced me that this wasn't feasible. Walking wasn't building my fitness like I needed. You can't race walk with a stroller. The mechanics are impossible.

    I got an iPhone in November and discovered c25k on an internet list of recommended apps.

    Now I knew I wasn't a runner. I'd proven many times that I wasn't a runner. My lungs don't like running. I got shin splints and side stitches and blah, blah, blah. I'm not athletic. However, if I could just get out there with my stroller and work up to walking another 5k I'd be happy. And if I could run one block, it would be icing on the cake. So I did c25k one day at a time. And finished to my utter astonishment in February.

    I RAN a 5k with the stroller in March, completed a 10k (running) in June and am training for a half at the end of October.
  • rduhlir
    rduhlir Posts: 3,582 Member
    Marietta Gobble Jog...say that 5 time fast....Marietta Gobble Job, Marrietta Gobble Job...gah....

    You know Varda, whenever I see someone who posts a weight/running threads over on the forums, I click it hoping to see your encouraging words and wanting to know what you say...they motivate me as well. I was never very heavy, so I don't know what it feels like think that I am the heavy one in the gym or out walking. But it is so encouraging to see the larger people getting out and running because it is seeing a life being saved...at least to me it is. When you are in a life saving service like I am, you can't help but try and save people's lives...no matter what area of life it is in. You are such an inspiration!

    And I just wanted to say....

  • rduhlir
    rduhlir Posts: 3,582 Member
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,538 Member
    God yes. EVERYTHING shook and jiggled and bounced and rolled during week 1, day 1. I was ashamed to get out there. It has been SOOO worth it.
  • KathleenKP
    KathleenKP Posts: 580 Member
    I started running on Jan 2. The success story for me is that I am still running. And I still love it. I never thought I would be a runner, never thought that I could run. I'm not a fast runner at all (though not the slowest - I am really just a tad ahead of mid-pack for my age group in the area). I can run a mile faster now than I did in high school.

    I could not have done it without this board. This is where I discovered C25K. I read a lot of posts in the week before I decided to start. I wanted to start on Jan 1st, but I couldn't get shoes in time. I bought them just before the store closed that night. It was one of the tips I read here - to get fitted with gait analysis. I am convinced it is why I am still running today. There is a history of early knee replacement surgery in my family and I was certain I would need it, so I *had* to get good shoes - the cost would more than pay for itself in the long term. The shoes were a New Year's gift to myself so that I could complete my resolution - which was to run the 5K. It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment resolution (I don't know that I've ever really done one, other than hold a generic wish to lose weight). Because I had a specific goal with a 5K date, I met that goal. And kept going.

    I have had a larger goal to compete in triathlons since I was 17, but I could not do it due to my weight and inability to run. I had lost a significant amount of weight prior to starting C25K, so the other thing I needed to do was start running.
  • btsinmd
    btsinmd Posts: 1,002 Member
    I'll do my success story, although there's a lot of this that is well before C25K, it all was heading that way. I was not a fat child. My mother has a college degree in nutrition. I grew up understanding what I needed to eat to be healthy and that I needed to be active. I was also a bookworm and a clutz who was never good at sports of any kind. I did not exercise for fun other than climbing trees to get away up and read.

    As soon as I was on my own I started drink sodas and eating fast food. I gained weight. I spent my time on the computer or reading books. Some friends did get me out skiing and rafting into my mid 20s, but then life happened and we all got sedentary. I didn't notice. Twenty-five years later I went on a vacation with friends (2007). They were all 5 to 10 years older than I. They all were able to hike and do other things and I couldn't keep up. It was embarrassing, but I was fat and I couldn't not be fat. I had tried to lose weight and it was impossible.

    Then a little more than a year ago, mid-October 2012, I went to bed fine and woke up unable to move. Actually I could move. It just really really hurt to do it. My doctor eventually concluded, after many tests, that I caught something, flu related probably. Makes no sense to me, Anyway, that morning it took me more than a half hour to get out of bed. I had to move my arms and legs just a fraction over and over until they moved an inch. Then repeated over and over until I got a little more movement. Once I was able to roll some I managed to get on my side and could get a little more movement, or at least I didn't feel as much like an upside down turtle. Finally got up and got to the bathroom. Then I couldn't get up off the toilet. Using what became a pattern for almost 10 months, more in the beginning and less as time went on. I braced myself with my hands on the sink and tub and jerked myself up like a weight lifter lifting an impossibly heavy bar. Taking a shower was interesting as I couldn't get my hands up high enough to touch the top of my head. The doctor prescribed 800mg of Motrin three times a day. That barely got me thorugh the day, but I was able to function.

    By mid-December 2012 I was moving better. I still needed the 2400mg of Motrin every day, but except for initally getting up, from bed, from a chair, from the toilet, etc, I was coping. I joined My Fitness Pal, started eating less and started losing weight. I bought a new game for my Wii, ExerBeat which was perfect for the almost incapable to move athlete. Starting in January or February I started walking the halls at work, just five minutes or so, but I was doing it. It was funny at that time to read someone's post in the MFP forums about how anyone could do squats, and thinking "You are lucky to be able to think that" and then continuing to read his post and him saying "or how could they get up off the toilet?" and thinking, "Handicap toilets, higher and with large bars on the side to help haul you up". No I really couldn't do squats. I did start practicing getting up off my desk chair without using my arms, which was pretty hard and two in a row would wipe me out.

    I slowly increased what I could do and decreased my Motrin to just 800mg a day. In May I started C25K. I didn't believe I could do it, but I had to keep increasing what I could do. Staying still was not an option. Shockingly It only took me 10 weeks to do the 9 week program I had selected and by the end I could run for a half hour straight. I couldn't run even 2 miles in that half hour, but I could run for a half hour. I entered and ran a 5K race in July and completed it in about 50 minutes, but I completed it!

    With that behind me I decided that nothing was impossible and I've kept going. I'm not taking any Advil any more except in extreme circumstances. I'm able to run 4 miles at an easy pace in just slightly more than an hour in training and I don't worry about whether I can do it or not. I've done it many times. This morning I held a plank for 90 seconds! I don't need to use a handicap toilet and I'm doing squats! I can use the exercise machines at the gym at work and I'm swimming. Next year I will do a Sprint Triathlon and a Half Marathon! Nothing can stop me now! I completed C25K. I can do anything!
  • Lyerin
    Lyerin Posts: 818 Member
    You guys are awesome!

    I started a boot camp class at my Zumba gym in February 2013 at 1. I lost over 17 pounds in the first "round" of boot camp (5 weeks x 4 times per week at 5:45 AM). At that point, I started the C25K program, very early in the AM on the local high school track (so no one would see me). I did the program pretty much straight through. I graduated in July and did my first 5K in over a decade at the end of July. I finished a VERY hard course (on a ski mountain - a lot of hills) in just under 40 minutes, and I only had to walk a tiny bit.

    I continued on with the C210K program at that point to work my way up to running for an hour at a time. I ran 3 more 5Ks as well (Color Vibe, Color Run and a trail 5K to benefit a local Adaptive sports program). I dropped my 5K time (on a way easier course, FWIW) to just under 33 minutes, which I was very happy about.

    My daughter and I ran a Halloween 5K in our town together on October 27. We finished in just under 40 minutes, which was awesome for her very first 5K (she's 9), especially since, although she is in insane shape for a 9 year old (competition cheerleader), she hadn't trained at all for the race.

    Now I'm in week 7 of the Train Like a Mother 10K "Finish It" plan. I don't have a 10K planned, but I wanted a safe training plan to follow to build my mileage base. I am pretty sure I'm going to transition to the half marathon plan once the 10 weeks of this plan are over.

    I have, all in all, lost 52 pounds. I've gone from not being able to run for 1 minute without dying to running (this past Saturday) 85 minutes straight without issue. I couldn't run even 1/2 a mile at the start and can now run almost 7 1/4 without stopping (7.22 to be exact LOL).

    I still have weight to lose (25-30 pounds ish), but I'm so much happier now than I was at 214 pounds. I am "overweight" now by BMI standards and not "obese", which is silly but makes me feel better about myself. Thinking about myself as an "obese" person really sucked. I don't love "overweight", but it is a hell of a lot better.
  • PinkNinjaLaura
    PinkNinjaLaura Posts: 3,202 Member
    My story is pretty boring compared to all of yours, but here it is. (Still tearing up from btsinmd's.)

    Summer of 2011 I walked a three 5Ks with a friend, just for something to do. We were slow, because I was so out of breath just trying to walk fast. The first race, on the 4th of July, there was a big hill at the end and I was so out of breath at the top of it I had to stop moving. I honestly thought I might be having a heart attack. I knew I was out of shape, but I blamed the hill for being big, not me for being that out of shape.

    Summer of 2012 we walked five 5Ks, with some short jogging spurts thrown in. Somewhere in the middle of summer I did C25K. Didn't have the app - just the program and a timer on my watch. For my final run I did the 5K course that had kicked my butt the summer before. It took me longer to jog it than what I had walked it in the race earlier that year, but I jogged every step. And then 2 weeks later I quit running.

    In January my office starting having alternating Zumba & Pilates classes at the office right after work. It was free to anyone who wanted to come. I loved Zumba. It was high impact, high energy, and so much fun. For the first time in my life I realized fitness could be fun.

    In February I re-joined my gym ad hired a personal trainer. With the thousands (and thousands) of dollars I had spent on various diet plans over the years I had never put any money into fitness besides a gym membership I barely used. I was 100 pounds overweight and was tired of it. I told my trainer I wanted to lose weight, and that I wanted to start running again. We spent those first few months working on building up my hips, ankles, knees. It snowed and snowed and snowed in April (seriously we got 51" of snow just in April) but in May he told me I was ready to start running. I started C25K from scratch, this time with the app. My trainer's rule was that one day a week I run hills, so every week Day 2 was a hill run.

    I intended to run the 5K on the 4th of July (the one with the hill!) but two weeks before the race my friend who I'd done all these races with the past few years finally fessed up she hadn't been running at all. (We were supposed to start training at the same time.) So we walked it again, but it was still a real victory for me in seeing how easy it was for me to get around that course that the past two years had wiped me out. I wasn't even winded walking up that big hill. Watching my friend gasping for breath was like looking at myself last year or the year before. It was a real-time before & after that really made me appreciate how far I had come.

    In August I ran a 5K. Signed up for one, without my friend, that we hadn't done in prior years. My time was 35:24, which I was very happy with. There were times when I wanted to walk, but I ran every step. There was one surprise hill in the middle (they reversed the course from what they had done prior years) and I was really happy with my hills training because I was passing people who had to walk up it.

    After that I started the 5K to 10K training. Wasn't worried about speed, just focused on building distance. So my success story is that I went from running 60 seconds at a time in May to running (over) 60 minutes at a time in September. That still amazes me. Because I'm a dork I will say things to myself like "Oh, yeah, I can run 6 miles" all casual like. And then I laugh, both because hey I can run 6 miles and if you knew me a year ago you'd be as surprised by that as I am, and because I'm a dork.

    In the early weeks of C25K, when it was hard and I was hot and tired, the mantra in my head was "you're burning calories, keep going because you're burning calories." Now the fact that I'm burning calories is just a bonus. I go out because I love to run.

    (I don't hate that running is going to help me take off my final 35-40 pounds. Just grateful to find a way to do that which also makes me happy.)

    I haven't done a race longer than 5K. I have run a distance of 10K, but just in training. Originally I thought that next year I would sign up for a 10K but now I just want to do a half. There's one locally in June that I'm going to try to get into (lottery system, registration is in February).

    I've met such amazing people in the running community on MFP. It was awesome to have other people going through the journey with me. It was awesome to have people who had finished stick around and give advice. It was awesome to have someone say "you're going to have a bad run and it's okay - it doesn't mean you're a failure." I love the daily check-in threads. I smile when someone is rolling around to W5D3 because I still remember the terror it gave me.

    There are great men in this community, so this not in any way a slight toward them, but I can't tell you how honored I am to be a part of this community of strong women.
  • KathleenKP
    KathleenKP Posts: 580 Member
    Laura, your story is not boring. It's helpful to see a wide variety, because people who want to start now will also come for a variety of reasons. That was an unexpected gift that your friend gave you - to be able to SEE the difference you had accomplished.
  • likitisplit
    likitisplit Posts: 9,538 Member
    After that I started the 5K to 10K training. Wasn't worried about speed, just focused on building distance. So my success story is that I went from running 60 seconds at a time in May to running (over) 60 minutes at a time in September. That still amazes me. Because I'm a dork I will say things to myself like "Oh, yeah, I can run 6 miles" all casual like. And then I laugh, both because hey I can run 6 miles and if you knew me a year ago you'd be as surprised by that as I am, and because I'm a dork.

    In the early weeks of C25K, when it was hard and I was hot and tired, the mantra in my head was "you're burning calories, keep going because you're burning calories." Now the fact that I'm burning calories is just a bonus. I go out because I love to run.

    This is so me. It really stopped being about fitness in June. I mean, I'm fitter and I look better and I continue to improve, but that's just a bonus to the actual running.

    I totally do the "pretend to be casual" when talking to myself thing too. I mean, Wow! I'm capable of running 13 miles! That's completely ridiculous! I mean...!!!
  • yamsteroo
    yamsteroo Posts: 480 Member
    I can't remember the date I started C25K without checking ... around late May this year. It's odd that I can't remember the date as it really was one of those life-changing moments.

    I'd never been a runner. Actually, at school I was a sprinter. Not a very good one but I could run 100m. If we had to do 400m I used to stop for a walk around the half way mark as my lungs would be on fire. This was back in the days when I was a slim young thing so I can't even blame carrying excess weight. So with that in mind, once I left school and no one made me run anymore, not even 100m, I didn't run again until I was 44yrs old.

    I'd started counting calories in Feb this year after shocking myself silly when the scales racked up a wopping 182lb (Still no idea how I got that fat, 5yrs earlier I'd been 126lb and had been for most of my adult life). Anyway, the lbs were dropping off but now it was starting to slow down .... I was on 1300cals a day and thought to myself, if I ever want to eat a biscuit again I'll need to start burning some calories so I can eat more!

    The gym was out. I'm inherently lazy and the number of excuses I could find as to why I couldn't go to the gym each day was huge ... bigger than my butt. I did 30DS ... bit dull and the calorie burn wasn't what I was hoping but I did it because I could do it from home before work. I'd a bicycle which I put on a static trainer in the dining room but it was so boring .....even with the TV on I could get away from the fact I was pedalling like a circus monkey on speed but going nowhere .... kind of messes with your get up and go after a while.

    Then I noticed on the Fitness board people talking about C25K all the time. I'd no idea what it was, initially put it down to some American fad ( ;) ) but eventually got curious enough to Google it. I was surprised when it returned the NHS website right here in the UK which is where I found Laura and the C25K podcasts. Of course I thought, "running, yeah right, that's going to work" but the appeal of not having to 'go' somewhere to do it or need specialist equipment (how I laugh at my naivety now lol) got me curious. So I downloaded the podcasts free from iTunes and pulled on my old trainers, a pair of leggings that probably didn't fit the best in hindsight and the Tshirt I happened to have on and stepped out my front door.

    I had absolutely no expectations on that first day, it was just to see what it was all about .... see if I could run for 60secs (barely, it turned out). What I didn't expect was to enjoy it. I came home covered in mud and pine needles hoping none of my neighbours would see me but in addition, I was smiling! I'd managed to get through W1D1 and couldn't wait for D2!

    Over the next lot of weeks (it took me more than the 9 wks of the Podcasts as I repeated some days and went on holiday) I got more and more confident about whether I could do it but more importantly, I kept enjoying it. I graduated mid August and I've been running since ...7miles is my best so far though I'm not setting any records in the speed department, but I still love it and because I can just get out of bed and go, I don't have any excuse as to whether I'll bother going or not ... I'm out and at it before I can talk myself out of it even on the darkest, wettest mornings.

    If you're thinking,"should I?", then go for it!
  • rduhlir
    rduhlir Posts: 3,582 Member
  • spookyjo
    spookyjo Posts: 76 Member
    I think you are all awesome, thank you for inspiring me.

    Finished W1 D3 today, even ran in the rain as it doesn't seemed to of stopped in the UK for days.

    I wasn't going to let it stop me even though I'm worried about how to dry out my running shoes.

    Halfway around my run I realised I forgot my door keys so finished the run and had to wait in the rain for a locksmith (£65) to let me doh!!

    Sorry i went off on a tangent.

    Your stories have.. well this whole group inspires me eveyday.

    Thank you all again :flowerforyou: