Today I did something I have never done before

I ran for 20 minutes.

I didn’t stop, or even walk for a bit when no one was looking. I went slowly, but I ran the whole way. This might not seem like a massive thing to some people, but this is by far the furthest I have ever run non-stop in my whole life. Ever. (I have never been what you’d call ‘sporty’).

Here I am just after I finished. See how pleased I am? So buzzing with enthusiasm am I now that I am even adding ‘run a 5k’ to my list of 40 things to do before I’m 40. (If I commit it to virtual paper then I can’t back out.)


I don’t know if it’s some sort of chemical rush, but about 10 minutes or so after running I get really emotional. In the shower just now, thinking about writing this post, I started to cry. I’m not sure if I can explain why – I think it’s something to do with the impossibility of it, the thought of how quickly I have progressed and that satisfaction of not giving up. I suspect it may have been a surge of pure pride, if that’s not too ugly an emotion.

It might seem a strange achievement to feel so proud of, in the context of doing your A-levels while pregnant, getting a first class degree with a toddler in tow, that sort of thing, but somehow all of those things were easier. Studying came naturally to me, I wanted to do it. Running does not and I never have. The need to get fit has been an internal battle with myself for 35 years and now I feel like I am finally in with a chance of winning.

I remember when I started, less than two months ago, and had to run for one minute at a time, with walks in between. It was awful. After each minute I was gasping for breath, my legs cramping – it was horrendous. I would scroll through the programme and see week five – running for 20 minutes – and simply not believe that I would ever be able to do it.

But I did, and that feels like a big deal.

What it means you see is that even if something feels totally impossible, it isn’t. Even if you are convinced you will never be able to do something, you will. The key has been not to focus on the ultimate goal, but to break it down and concentrate on one day at a time, gradually building up stamina and confidence in tiny steps.

Quite literally in my case.




  1. Tanya Camilleri
    20 November, 2013 / 8:55 am

    Well done! It is a great achievement :) x

  2. 20 November, 2013 / 11:25 am

    I started running a few months ago too. I can now run five whole miles without stopping (not bad after six babies) and it makes me feel fantastic each time, really addictive. The only problem is this cold weather, really can’t stand it. Getting out the door is the hardest part of the run. I think you’ve done so well, it really is fantastic. Well done! x

  3. ClairejB
    20 November, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    Well done! I try to take up running every so often but can’t seem to stick to it! I’m a bit like that with most forms of exercise though to be honest…except walking, luckily that’s one that I enjoy! I made a real effort earlier in the year to become fit and healthy and lose weight but although I’ve slipped back into old habits. :( I hope you can manage to stick to it – you should be proud! :)

  4. Caroline Clarke
    20 November, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    Good job! I have recently started working out to the Beachbody – Slim in 6 and was really pleased after I completed the first 27 minute workout. I couldn’t believe I would ever make it to the 48 minute part of the routine but have just completed my second 59 minute workout, the final workout part called Burn It Up and I feel great for doing it. When I do talk myself into skipping a day, I feel horrible for the whole day so try to keep up with my routine. I don’t think I could run for 20 minutes though! :)

  5. Nicky Richards
    20 November, 2013 / 1:34 pm

    Well done mate! V proud of you :) xxxxx

  6. 20 November, 2013 / 2:27 pm

    Well done! Now you’ve done it once you know you can do it again. Reading this is sounds like me about five years ago. It’s also one of the things I’m most proud of and after my initial 5k I worked up to 10k and just did a half marathon a few weeks ago. I think it’s the fact that it’s just you doing it, nothing else, you’re in charge, in control and that feels pretty awesome. (Not in an american WOOP WOOP AWESOME way. Like, really just awesome)

    Running is a funny love hate thing but it does give you something deep, no doubt. You’ll kick your 5k’s ass. Go, you! (woop woop)

  7. 20 November, 2013 / 4:22 pm

    Congratulations! It’s a huge accomplishment – and one you should certainly be proud of . . . Keep it up!

  8. 21 November, 2013 / 9:49 am

    Awesome work Josephine. I’d cry too, I’d be very, very proud of myself. xx

  9. 21 November, 2013 / 1:10 pm

    Yay. Well done. I’m just getting back into running again after a pregnancy/world turned upside down by a baby break and I’m really enjoying it. It gives me my best thinking time and is usually when I get my thoughts into order so I can get words onto a page in something resembling sense. And the sense of achievement when you’re beetroot red and panting at the end is massive. Here’s to your 5K.

  10. 21 November, 2013 / 5:22 pm

    Well done you! It’s something I don’t think I could ever do! Go you for being so amazing!

  11. 28 November, 2013 / 10:01 am

    Congratulations & it definitely is a big deal!
    I’ve been running for a while now & it is tough. It sounds like you’ve come a long way since starting, so well done :)

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