Skip to main content

Imposter syndrome

Imposter Syndrome
Being able to run for 30 minutes is a huge achievement. Being able to run 5k is another huge achievement. Being able to run 5k in 30 minutes, well, I'm sure that will be a massive achievement too, if I ever get there.

Last night, in a few seconds shy of 80 minutes, I ran 10k. For me, that was a truly massive achievement.

I can't take running 30 minutes or running 5k away from what I've achieved over the past 4 months, but while I was doing C25K, I always felt like a bit of an imposter. So many of the people on the programme have either never ran, or haven't done so for many years, and they were getting out and going for it.

Me? Well, as a referee, I've been running for many years. Yes, it's only been short dashes of up to 100m, but it means I have a certain amount of experience of running in my legs, and an "above the couch" level of fitness.

Does that detract from what I achieved in completing the programme? No, it doesn't. But for those of you who truly did start from the couch and are progressing through the plan or have graduated or are now building up and moving on from graduation; you are truly inspirational. I know how tough I found it with my "advantages", so to start out from scratch, I cannot articulate my admiration.

But I always felt a bit like I was in the wrong place. This was somewhere for beginners, this was somewhere for people for whom running was totally alien; what on earth was I doing here in the company of of people who thought I was just another novice like them?

I know that's not the case. I know my achievement is as valid as anyone's, but I still felt like I was "cheating" slightly.

Last night has dispelled any remaining doubts about what I have achieved since I first laced up my running shoes back at the start of March. Bridging from 5k to 10k was a kind of validation of the work I put in over those 9 weeks. I couldn't have run 10k without first having got to 30 minutes and then progressing to 5k and then stretching that distance out steadily over the intervening weeks to the 10k I ran last night.

I'm not sure I could go as far as to say this programme has changed my life, but it has certainly changed my perceptions of what I can do, what I can achieve.

If you are currently bridging to 10k (using ju-ju-'s plan or some other approach), good luck in your endeavours. I'll be here cheering you on your way. If you have graduated and are consolidating, well done; be proud of that achievement. If you are progressing through the programme, know that you are amazing just for having started it, and you can go on and complete it and more. If you are thinking about taking the plunge and starting out, go for it; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain and you absolutely can do it.

It's been an amazing journey for me over the last 4 months and I have shared the highs and lows with a lot of fabulous people on this forum; both the graduates and administrators sharing their wisdom and experience, and my fellow "students" geeing each other on, sharing their successes and practices.

If anyone is interested, the total distance run so far is 201k. I'm sure there will be plenty more to follow...


Popular posts from this blog

#MilesForMind - Job Done!!!

At the start of the month I set myself a #MilesForMind target of 75 miles. Having started my assault on that total on Saturday 2 May with a half marathon, twelve runs later, I completed the task tonight with a 5k in glorious sunshine to bring my total to 75.59 miles. It's not impossible that I might squeeze one more run in over the weekend to stretch my total further, but those will be bonus miles; the target I set myself has been achieved, and I'm feeling decidedly chuffed with myself.

To anyone reading this who still has to reach their own target, good luck over the next few days. Happy running and stay safe.

If you feel like "congratulating" me, please do visit my Just Giving page and give whatever you can.

Negative splits

Sometimes this running thing throws up occasional pleasant surprises; the unexpected additional distance or the unintended PB. Today's surprise was discovering that I'd managed the "holy grail" of negative splits. I wasn't aiming for a fast time; I'd already done a 7k+ session with my Sunday morning running group and this was simply a solo after-group session that has become my traditional "scenic route" home from the park where the sessions are held.The route is one that I have run many times (although usually in the other direction); a mixture of roughish forest path and hard packed dirt former railway foot/cycle/bridle path. I wasn't putting any real effort into it; just simply zoning out, plodding along enjoying my surroundings. I wasn't paying any attention to the timings when each kilometre split buzzed on my wrist.The was no "pressure" on me to achieve a particular time, pace or distance. The thing with doing a route that is …


I know I've been pushing towards it lately, and having reduced my 10k PB down to 1:02:07 last time out, and having not had the best couple of days, the last thing I expected was to go out and better that time tonight. If truth be told, I wasn't even sure I was going to run that far tonight but, once again, my legs seemed to have a will of there own and as the kilometres clicked by, I realised something was going to happen, and when I reached 6k in a shade over 36 minutes, I knew it was potentially on.

The final 4k flashed by in just under 23 minutes and I "broke the tape" at 58 minutes 58 seconds. The result of this means that my PBs are now:

5k - 28:0410k - 58:5810 miles - 1:44:54HM - 2:21:21 I'm not quite sure where this new burst of pace has suddenly come from, but needless to say I'm absolutely delighted with it.

I need to set myself some new year end goals, but that's a nice "problem" to have, I guess...