Jo’s Journey – catching up on the past two weeks!

Week 7: 17th-23rd February 2020

I started this week with a bang! I cut my long run on Sunday short as I wasn’t feeling well, so I had to motivate myself this week in order to get back on track. I packed my rucksack with sports gear and headed to work all prepared for a 3-mile run at lunch time. Midday came and my trainers went on. The sun was shining and it was a brilliant start to the week!
Tuesday was our Marathon Training Team’s long run. Steve Arnold created an 11-mile route but in my head I needed to make up for Sunday’s run, so I decided to do 13 miles! What was I going to do? Should I run from home at 5pm or meet the team at 6pm? I thought I could run the two miles before the marathon team met up, but it would still mean a late run. However, when Steve also suggested it I was swayed; the thought of running alone on a dark and wet Tuesday night was not appealing! So I ran the two miles to meet the team, and ran the remaining 11 miles with them. After those 13.6 miles were in the bank, I felt psychologically back on track!
Wednesday was club night and we were back on Mount Pleasant Hill for hill-reps with Vicky and Steve. We had lots of fun, got some hill-reps in the old legs as well as another three miles in the bank!
Thursday was a much-needed rest day which was followed by a 6.3-mile solo run on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s 14 miles!
Sunday came, and with it came the storm! It seemed to be worse than last week, so I cancelled the club run, went back to sleep and promised myself I would go out in the afternoon. Midday came and the sun was out! The wind had miraculously dropped so I strapped my trainers on and went out, completing the longest run I have ever done! 14.09 miles! When I came back home, my boyfriend Stephen had booked us a place to eat for lunch – needless to say it didn’t touch the sides! This was followed by a cinema date to see Bad Boys 2; all-in-all a good week!

Week 8: 24th February-1st March 2020

After having a great week last week, I gave myself the Monday off to prepare for 12 miles on Tuesday. Steve Arnold had created a nice 12-mile route for the club marathon team and we set off from Costa in Parc Tawe. The group started off all bunched up and as usual Lisa, Julie and myself teamed up and chatted the miles away. We had such a laugh; Lisa seemed to know where we were going so we trusted her and off we went for the last three miles. There was a little hill at the end thrown in for good measure, so I suggested to Lisa and Julie that we race up it for fun (or so I thought). It broke me! The final mile was downhill which was great as I was still having an adrenaline rush from racing up the hill! We’re almost finished when I am ready to quit, thumb down a car and hitch a ride home. “No!”, the girls shouted, “We can do this!” We happened to catch up with Anna and Darren and we all finished together; myself, Lisa and Julie had done an extra half a mile as we somehow managed to go the wrong way!
I had a meeting on the Wednesday so I missed the club run and instead planned on going to the gym. However, the meeting ran on later than I thought so I downloaded a circuit session on my phone, completed it and headed to my boyfriend’s place for dinner.
I had nothing planned on Thursday so I decided to do my new circuit session again followed by a three-mile run.
On Friday, the club was due to meet for a tempo session but the weather put us off, so I went to the gym and did a speed session on the ‘dreadmill’. The 40 minutes could not end fast enough!
Saturday was a rest day followed by 15-miles on Sunday! The marathon girls all started together with Angela Harris, one of our club members who we hadn’t seen in ages! The first three miles were spent catching up with Angela and shouting at the rest of the group to slow down! I thought that the pace was too fast for 15-miles and we tried and failed to keep up; we just kept slowing down as the rest of the group increased the pace. The twists and turns helped to slow everyone down and make sure we were all going at roughly the same pace. Poor Laura was planning on turning back after three miles to do the rest on her own, but as Poppy from Trolls says, “No PPRC member left behind!”. So we encouraged her to come with us and finish the mileage. Julie and I asked the group to wait at one bend, but they ignored our plea and carried on!
Storm Jorge was kinder than the previous storms but it did bring sun, wind, rain and sleet throughout the run. We arrived back to The LC in one piece, and Liv Arnold had managed to earn a half-marathon PB!
So, week 8 has been conquered and we are halfway through our training. We’re quite sceptical about the coronavirus; will the London Marathon be called off? With the threat of this dangling over me, my train of thought is to just enjoy the training rather than put unnecessary pressure on myself. As one of our marathon training companions CJ said, “I think the toughest challenge lies ahead for all of us now as our mileage increases during training. Injured or not, somehow we have to find the motivation to keep running knowing that it may get pulled at the last minute.”
With that in mind, I’m pushing ahead to week 9!

The link to my VirginGiving page is: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoannePopham2

I’ll see you all next week for another update!

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