That was the magic number. Since April I've been following a running programme that is supposed to get you running 5 K in 9 weeks. You start off alternating running with walking, and slowly decrease the walking parts until you are running continuously. They have you take a big jump from running 10 mins, walking 3 mins and then running another 10 mins, to suddenly doing 20 mins continuously without walking. I was dreading that one. And because I was dreading it I was putting it off, again and again. I have been running pretty much three times a week every week since April, but have been taking the programme slowly, so it's taken me until today to work up the confidence to think that I could actually run 20 mins continuously. Last Wednesday I did a 1o/3/10 run and found that I managed it fairly easily so today was the day to bite the bullet and give those 20 mins a go. I was feeling very determined, I got going while listening to something good on Radio 4 which helped to distract slightly. The first 10 mins were no hassle, then by about 13 or 14 mins I got a stitch in my side which wouldn't go away. I've learnt by now that sometimes it will subside, sometimes it doesn't - today it didn't and it almost made me stop by about 18 mins. But I carried on, figuring that if I'd got that far, I would get to 20, and I did. And it made me feel so good. In a way I feel a bit pathetic for taking so long to get to this stage, but I'm really surprised at myself for sticking at it, I'm enjoying it and it's making me feel better, so the fact that I'm taking ages to get anywhere, is not going to get me down.
From here it's just a matter of upping the minutes slowly till you get to thirty minutes, and they reckon you can do 5 K inside 30 mins. So that's my next aim - but with this hurdle out of the way, I've got no doubts at all that I'll get there sometime!