Why Jogging?

So why jogging?

Well I have to admit that I'm not the fittest person....would love to be but actually don't really like the thought of exercising - too much effort!!

Now prior to having children I'd always gotten my exercise through life in general.  In my younger days going to nightclubs three nights a week and dancing the night away was enough and then as I got older I joined a local gym.  The gym was great, yes I did my workouts but it was the people that made it worth going - a small gym owned by a couple of great people who made you feel like family.  I often used to joke that it was my jaw muscles that got the most exercise!!

And although I kept going to the gym whilst pregnant and even after my kids were born it eventually fell by the wayside as the demands of the kids became greater along with a change in career going from banking into pre-school education.

Now my husband, Simon, has always enjoyed going for a run or a bike ride and over the years has been better than me at keeping fit but he too had noticed that he wasn't as fit and as healthy as he would like so at the beginning of 2012 he joined a local gym....going at 6.30am!!!  Two reasons why I didn't join him; firstly two kids at home who both needed getting up and ready for school meant that one of us needed to be at home, the second - I don't do mornings!

As the weather got better (yes we do have spells of decent weather in the UK!) Simon started to take his running from the treadmill at the gym out onto the open road.  This got me thinking...I'd dabbled with doing exercise classes in the past but there was always some excuse not to go, what with sorting kids and their activities and social lives coupled with a husband who works away part of the week always meant finding the time to go to a class was never easy, but running was something I could do whenever I liked.  So the Easter holidays came along and with lots of motivation from Simon I found myself buying a decent pair of trainers and clothes for running and embarked upon my first few runs.

OK 'runs' may not be an accurate description of what I actually did more like jog a little walk a lot!!!  But it got me up and about and moving - after all something is better than nothing!  Then through friends on Facebook (thanks Emma!) I came across something called C25K - Couch to 5km - a plan designed to get you running 5km in nine weeks (http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx#close).  So after getting my tech support to download the podcast onto my i-pod off I went.

I had really good intentions of following the podcast, honest I did, but I seemed to run into a number of hurdles (not literally!!).  A combination of workload, kids, illness and some truly horrible weather (even by UK standards) meant I couldn't seem to get past week one.

But working in education does have some benefits namely summer holidays!  Now in the UK that means 6 weeks off.....which as manager of a pre-school doesn't actually mean I get 6 weeks off it means I get 6 weeks of not physically going into work but 6 weeks of paperwork - anyway I thought this is an ideal opportunity to embark on C25K with real purpose....no excuses as I can fit the running into any part of the day.

But I have another motivation, that carrot at the end of the stick.  Next year we return to WDW and stay for the first time at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, now at this resort there is a lake that has a jogging trail of up to 1 mile, and all I want to do is to comfortably run around the lake, with Simon, in the Florida sunshine - can't think of a nicer carrot to aim for !

So as I write this I have finished week 3, which involved a combination of 90 second runs and 90 second walks and 3 minutes runs and 3 minutes walks, so week 4 here I come!!

Update - 24th August 2012

Well I've now completed week 5 and am actually feeling really quite proud of myself.  Week 4 increased the tempo to a combination of 3 minute runs, 90 second walks, 5 minute runs and 2 and a half minute walks, which all sounded very daunting at first but by the end of the week I was pleasantly surprised at how well I'd coped.

Then I took a sneaky peep at the podcasts for week 5 and got an inkling that things were about to change as there were three different runs for week 5 to complete.  But I resisted looking at the details and it wasn't till the morning of my first week 5 run that I took a look at run one.....a mix of 3 minute walks and 5 minute runs - oh boy!  Then the second run......two lots of 8 minute runs.....and then the third run.....one run, non-stop, of 20 minutes - you've got to be kidding!

I have to admit on Monday morning the thought of running for 20 minutes filled me with more than a little apprehension but here we are on Friday evening and I did it, yes me, the one who doesn't really do exercise, only went and ran for 20 minutes for the first time in my life ever!  And I'm not ashamed to say it I feel really proud of myself and would say to anyone out there who's thinking about 'doing something' to give C25K a go.  I feel fitter, I think my posture has improved but most of all I feel good about me - best tonic out there!

Update - 2nd September 2012

So yesterday saw me embark on my last run of week 6 of C25K - a 25 minute non-stop run!!

Well I'm pleased to report that I did it, yes I actually did it....I think I've even surprised myself.  The first two runs of the week had been the usual combination of running and walking culminating in a third run of 25 minutes.

Now thankfully the route that I've picked near where I live is fairly flat but when it came to run two this week I thought I'd mix it up a bit and deviate off my usual route....trouble was this meant a bit of an incline to start the run off with and boy did that make a difference.  Lesson learnt stick to the route that you know and can manage before trying to be clever, I still managed the run but did find it more difficult than I would have liked.

Also different this week was that due to a day out with the girls on Friday meant that I had 2 days rest between run two and three and I did wonder whether this would have any effect, but I'm glad to report that it didn't and I ache as much as I expected I would :).  Have to admit that my knees are feeling it the worst but I have been pleasantly surprised with how my recovery time has been steadily improving after each run.

Now back when I started this blog and wrote my page all about jogging I happened to mention that I had the six weeks summer break from school to have a really good go at this running thing....so week one of the summer break I started on week one of C25K and as I write now we are at the final weekend of the summer break and I have just completed week 6, I have achieved exactly what I set out to achieve and am really proud of myself, the next challenge is to keep it going - wish me luck!

Update - 8th September 2012

Well this week saw the return to work and school....back to normality after six weeks of going with the flow.  Now as I said last week my aim had been to make a concerted effort to tackle the C25K program over the summer holidays; no excuses, nothing to get in the way of me getting out and getting fit, and after six weeks I had achieved exactly what I set out to achieve and completed the first six weeks of C25K...but can I keep it going?

Well I'm pleased to report that week one back at work has seen me stick to my routine and complete week 7 of C25K.  That's three runs of 25 minutes each....not easy by any stretch but I did it.  I have to admit that there were plenty of times I felt like stopping but I managed to persevere and push on through, it hasn't been easy but the sense of achievement is fantastic.

I know I am fitter than I was 7 weeks ago and although my knees feel sore I am glad that I have made the effort, but I also know that my next challenge is to keep it going.  I already know that over the next couple of weeks I have other things happening on my usual run nights so I am going to have to swap and change my routine to fit everything in.....what will happen? Can I stick to the program?

I'll let you know.....

Update - 16th September 2012

So I thought I would update everyone with how the running's going.  Well, first week back at work after the summer holidays I managed my 3 runs and completed week 7 of the C25K program - so that was 3 runs of 25 minutes (non-stop).

Second week back at work and I knew I wouldn't be able to manage the necessary 3 runs.  One of my usual run evenings was spent at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham watching Cabaret, starring the very talented Will Young (a definite must see), so I decided that rather than try to complete week 8, and get frustrated because life was getting in the way, I would simply continue with 25 minute runs until such time as I can manage a full 3 runs in a week.

So I have managed to get out twice this past week and complete 25 minutes each time; now it's not the easiest thing in the world for me, nor the most pleasant, but the sense of achievement when finishing a run is fantastic.  My aim at the moment is to keep on with the 25 minute runs as a minimum and when I know I have a clear week I will move onto week 8 (this will be 3 runs of 28 minutes each).  I know increasing from 25 minutes to 28 doesn't sound like much but at the moment the thought of 3 more minutes feels like quite a big hurdle for me, so my aim is to keep the 25 minute runs going and as and when I feel them getting more comfortable to increase to 28.

As always I shall keep you posted with my progress!

Running - A Progress Report - 28th September 2012

Well, you may have noticed it's nearly two weeks since my last running update...the reason being that there hasn't been a whole lot to update you with!

As I feared after the calm of the summer holidays life has now begun to get in the way of my regular running routine.  A combination of trips to the theatre, pre-school committee meetings, demands of children and the wonderful British weather have all contributed to a lack of running.

In the last 12 days I have managed only two runs, when I would ordinarily hope to have completed five or six.  So whilst I am disappointed not to have completed the number of runs I would have liked to, I am pleased to report that both these runs were for 25 minutes each, and in both runs I have improved on my previous runs in respect of speed and minutes per mile, so it's not all bad.

I shall endeavour to get out there when I can and keep aiming for 25 minutes as a minimum each time I run.  It will be interesting to see how I get on as the nights get darker and the weather gets bleaker - wish me luck!!

Running Along - 7th October 2012

So how's the running going then?

Well, I'm still not getting out for a run as often as I would like but I am trying to make the effort when life allows.

So this last week has involved another trip to the theatre, shopping, children at karate and the lovely wet British weather so once again my attempts to get out and run have been thwarted.

So we get to a busy Saturday and I say to Simon 'I really need to get out for a run, we're too busy today so how about we go running tomorrow first thing'.  Now I'm not really a morning person but this morning we were up and out the door before breakfast!

So I had my first experience of a morning run on a beautiful autumnal morning in the countryside, watching the mist get burned off by the warming sun.  It was not the easiest run I've ever had but I did it and managed 25 minutes.  

I definitely earnt my coffee and brioche breakfast :)

Running Update - 2nd January 2013

Having not been out running since early October I thought I'd better do something about it!

So today saw me brave the elements - a dark, grey and damp afternoon - and dust off the trainers and get outside for a run.  No excuses, I had the time, the weather was as good as it was going to be and I had the clothes.  Simon had bought me for my birthday in December some new running clothes - gloves, hat, leggings, cold weather top and a lovely bright pink jacket.

So off I set with no great aspirations other than to get outside and get moving again, even if that meant just a walk I would be happy with whatever I could manage.  But I surprised myself, after a quick warm up walk off I jogged and you know what it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.  I kept giving myself little targets...get to the end of the road, pass the houses...and although I didn't run all of the time, I managed a combination of short runs and quick walks, I completed 2.35 miles in just under 37 minutes and burnt off 336 calories.

And after all as my visit to WDW is only 230 days away I need to get training in order to accomplish my little dream of being able to run around Lago Dorado at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in the Florida sunshine!

So for anyone out there thinking about going out for that first difficult run stop thinking and just do it.  Whatever you manage to do is better than doing nothing, don't compare yourself to others just do what you feel comfortable doing because the person who'll feel better for it is you!

Update - April 2013

So New Year met with new determination and out I set for a run in my new gear, and was pleasantly surprised with myself.  I did better than I thought I would and although I couldn't run for as long as I had been doing I still got out there and gave it my best shot.  A couple of days later I got out for another run and thought I was back on the way to getting into a routine and running regularly again...

But then the British weather took hold!  We have had the coldest and snowiest winter that I can ever remember and conditions just weren't good for getting out and running. I was also suffering from a chilblain on one of my toes which was making walking, never mind running, extremely painful.  So yet again my running came to an abrupt stop.

I now find myself at another school holiday; two weeks off work!  Now the weather is still awful, apparently it's been the coldest March on record (no kidding!) but I have two clear weeks to get back into that ever so important routine.  So as I write this I am not long back in from my second run in four days...now I say run but to be honest at this point I am back to a combination of running and walking...but at least I am out there and moving!

I have to admit that they haven't been the most pleasant of runs, my cold weather gear has kept me lovely and warm but running in cold air really quite surprised me; really taking my breath away. Today I was confronted with quite a strong wind which again didn't help matters but two short runs in and nearly 700 calories burnt so I don't think that's too bad.

So although tough going I am pleased that I have got back out there and know that long term I will benefit so much from what I am doing; I shall be fitter, slimmer and healthier.  I am setting myself sensible, attainable goals; I have a 3K fun run planned for 28th April and two possible 5K charity walks coming up.  Simon is also taking part in a 10K on the 28th April as well as our local half marathon in September so I think it's fair to say our house is going to be a lot fitter by the time we take on WDW in August!!

Update - 28th April 2013

So after a very cold winter and being plagued with a painful chilblain on my left foot I have finally managed to get back out on the road.  My new efforts started over the Easter weekend and I have now completed 8 runs.

I am kinda picking up from where I left off last October and am doing a combination of running and walking, something I first started doing last Summer when I tackled the C25K program.  The mix of steadily increasing the running and reducing the walking worked really well for me and resulted in my being able to run for 20/25 minutes non-stop.  So when I picked up the baton again at Easter I decided to adopt a running and walking approach but rather than follow the C25K program again I thought I would just get out there and see what I could do.

So 8 runs in and I have to admit I am pleasantly surprised with myself and my efforts.  I can now run for approximately 1 mile non-stop and then finish a route of nearly 2.5 miles with a mix of walking and running.  And what I have noticed is that my running segments are getting longer!

Today Simon and I decided to try something a little different with our run, instead of doing the usual route near where we live we thought we would drive a few miles to a local country park and have a run around the grounds.  The weather was just right, a little chill in the air but the sun was shining with only a light wind.  We parked up, set our i-pods and running apps going and off we went to find our route.  The park is relatively flat and had plenty of clear paths for us to follow, so dodging pedestrians, cyclists, dogs and children we had our little run.

This was my first taste of running on different terrains, which I was a bit nervous about, but I found it was much easier than I'd expected.  It was a beautiful setting to run around, lots of greenery, gardens and even a stately home and courtyard to navigate!

Update - Jogging Along - May 2013

Thought it was time I gave you a little update with my running efforts as it's been a couple of weeks.

So at the end of April I completed a local 3K race raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, but what have I done since then...

...well confession time...not a lot if I'm honest.  That's not to say I haven't been out running because I have but I haven't done as much as I would have liked.  The good old British weather has played its part with some pretty awful wind, rain and cold temperatures. And then finding time after work, juggling the mundane aspects of life, has been against me so my opportunities to get out there and run have been somewhat limited.  But I still have that goal of running around Lago Dorado at Coronado Springs to spur me on and I am determined to get there.

So in conclusion, if this were a school report I think it would read 'must try harder'!!

Update - August 2013

Well it's been awhile since I wrote a post about my running endeavours and to be honest that's because there hasn't been an awful lot to write about until now.

Since the end of May I have struggled for one reason or another to find the time, and inclination, to get out and run but I have now re-found my mojo and am back out running...or as I like to call it 'my bouncy walk'!

So I have hit the roads with a combination of running and walking, I'm not following any special plan just simply listening to my body and switching between running and walking when it feels right for me.

I always start with a good paced walk for a couple of minutes and then launch into my run and see just how far I can go before I need to slow down, walk and get ready for the next run.  This seems to be working really well for me, and even though I have had a break of a couple of months it is both surprising and re-assuring how my body has responded. Simon has always said that once your body has experienced running it will pick it back up relatively quickly and I have to say he's right.  So apart from a few muscle aches all is going well so far.

As I run I set myself goals of where I think I should be able to run to and then surprise myself when I run further!  I am also changing my route; todays run was completely different to my usual route which made it more interesting for me with more things to look at and more hills to run up!!  I am fortunate to live in a semi-rural area so I have some lovely places to run around, even if it does mean dodging overgrown nettles and local wildlife! I got surprised today by a bird running out of a bush in front of me, I'm not quite sure how we missed each other!

I am pleased that I am back out there and running the best I can and am looking forward to the challenge of running around Lago Dorado at Disney's Coronado Springs in a couple of weeks time :)

Update - Running Again - April 2014

OK so I think it may be confession time.  When I started this blog the idea was to document not only my love of Disney and all the planning that goes into a Disney vacation but also my venture into running - hence the initial tag line of 'Blogging, Jogging and Planning my way to the Magic Kingdom'.

Once we had last years vacation to Walt Disney World booked I gave myself the goal of running around the lake at Coronado Springs Resort where we would be staying.  Not a massive goal but one that I felt very achievable; I'm not a natural runner and felt with the time I could put in before the vacation this was realistic.

However due to the unexpected hotel upgrade we received when we arrived in WDW last year (we were upgraded to the Wilderness Lodge - see my previous post WDW Day 1) I never got to run around Lago Dorado...not that I minded too much.  After all the unexpected upgrade more than made up for it.

But the knock-on effect seemed to see me fall out with running.  I think a combination of straight back into work and then the dark evenings of Winter all contributed...or should I say gave me the excuses I needed not to run.  Initially after our vacation I managed to get out and get a few runs done but as the time between runs became longer and longer I eventually realised I'd not been out in months.

I am ashamed to say that I used the excuses of work, life, other commitments, bad weather and dark evenings to give me the reasons to not go out for a run.

So my confession is that I haven't run for nearly 6 months :(

BUT I have decided to do something about it.  So around late February time I decided that if I couldn't get out and run (because of all the excuses above!) I could at least walk and make walking part of my normal day.  So I started to walk to and from work.  Now work is only a couple of miles away (takes me around 30 minutes) but I figured it was better than doing nothing.  So I aimed to walk at least 3 times a week and I am pleased to say that I have been able to achieve this and it was a lot easier than I was telling myself it was going to be.  In fact I am now at the point if I can't walk to and from work I feel cheated.

And then 12 days ago at the start of my Easter break I decided that enough was enough, no more excuses I needed to get running again.  So 12 days later I have 4 runs under my belt.  Simon has always said that once you've run your body knows what to expect and you kind of pick up from where you left off; and you know what he's right!  Now after my first run I thought 'what have I done?' my knees hurt and my legs ached so much but I was pleasantly surprised at how long I was able to run for and the pace I achieved.  So I left it a couple of days before run number two and this time the aches and pains weren't anywhere near as bad as after the first run.

So 4 runs in and I'm glad I've got back on the 'treadmill' so to speak.  I am still in the run-walk-run pattern but I am quite happy with that at the moment.  My pace seems consistent across all runs, and I'm covering a good 2.5 miles each run.  And you know what I'm not bothered about being the fastest, or going the farthest distance I'm just bothered that I'm doing it for ME.  I'm the one getting out, I'm the one running as best as I can, I'm the one doing something and it's for MY benefit.

So as I type this I have not long finished run number four, and am eating a home made, freshly prepared, fruit salad and am feeling pleased with todays efforts but also feeling motivated.  Motivated to keep at this running lark but also motivated to have a healthier lifestyle. 

I recently watched a documentary movie called Fat,Sick & Nearly Dying which follows Joe and then Phil as they tackle their weight, illnesses and their lifestyles.  The film is definitely worth a watch, not necessarily for the approach taken, but for the motivation it can give you, as you watch two unhealthy, ill and overweight guys completely change their lives for the better.

So that's what I intend to do; get fit, eat better, make healthy choices and enjoy life doing it.  Simple!

Running Update - 17th May 2014

I started running again a few weeks ago.  I took advantage of two weeks off work to get out and moving once again.

Now when I last wrote I had managed four runs and was relatively pleased with how it was all going. But I was intrigued by a method of running that one of my friends had adopted and wondered if it was something I should, or could, be doing.  So I did a little research...firstly I contacted my friend Emma Godbold to see what she could tell me and whether there were any books she could recommend.  The next thing I did was to do a bit of internet research into a guy called Jeff Galloway.

I had come across this name whilst following various 'runDisney' events and had heard about his run-walk-run method.  I knew that Emma had adopted this approach with her running and had used it to complete the Walt Disney World half marathon back in January.

I came to the conclusion that the basis for this running method was actually as simple as it sounded...run for a bit then walk for a bit back to running and repeat!  What I liked about this method was that all those who had adopted it reported less injuries and better times; well I liked the sound of that!  I have always suffered with my knees and I had therefore been reluctant to try running in the first place fearing that my knees wouldn't be able to stand the pressure.  But one thing that I had noticed from my last foray into running was that although my knees weren't great during and after a run the more I ran the better they got.

So I decided to give the run-walk-run method a go...I decided to start steady and run/walk at one minute intervals so one minute of running followed by one minute of walking and so on.  My first attempt was a great success I improved my mile pace from 14.01 minutes per mile to 13.16 minutes per mile...now that to me was a vast improvement, in fact I had never run that fast before...ever!

Since starting this method I have seen my run times improve, I have managed to get under 13 minutes a mile recording times around 12.45 - 12.55 minutes per mile and then today I ran my fastest ever with my mile pace at 12.23 minutes per mile - wow! I am still running/walking at one minute intervals but I have increased my time out running from around 30 minutes to 36 minutes and now completing nearly 3 miles a run!  I think this method may be working...!!

I am aiming to run three times a week and on the days where I don't run I am trying to make sure that I walk to and from work (this is about a 30 minute walk each way).  I am even making the most of my daughter's Saturday morning guitar lesson by going for a run while she 'rocks out'!

When all is said and done I want to be a healthier, fitter person; if I can lose some weight and a few inches at the same time then that's a bonus! Eating better and moving more are my aims and who knows what the results will be!!

Update - April 2015

Have a read of my new page called 'Get Real' to find out why I've stopped jogging and the new strategy that I've taken towards my health and fitness, along with some amazing results!


  1. Enjoying reading your blog Jane - would love some inspiration to get fitter / fit . Caroline D

    1. Thanks Caroline and believe me if I can do it anyone can! Can't recommend the C25K program enough - just go for it :)

  2. Glad the C25K programme and running in general suits you as well Jayne, I look forward to sharing your running journey ;)