Jo’s Journey – That’s a Wrap

Week 9

2nd – 8th March

I have never written this sentence as much as I have in the last week – we find ourselves in unprecedented times! I don’t know if you feel like me; you’re in your house watching the news and you are concerned; you go outside the front door and it all seems normal – what is the fuss all about? Then you pop to work and there is no one there; you go to the supermarket and the shelves are bare and you talk to friends, family and colleagues and it’s all you talk about – Covid-19!

It would seem that we are in a war zone with no army, tanks or planes flying over ahead, just a silent virus that is attacking the world as we know it! And it has attacked my life, albeit at the moment I am showing no signs of the virus, but my boyfriend works on the front line as an NHS staff member. I am obviously concerned and proud of him and as you know I have been training for the London Marathon with a team from the Paul Popham Running Club.

Last week would have been week ten in our training schedule. With only 6 more weeks to go, all our races started to be cancelled. Paul Smith’s Rome Marathon was the first to hit, followed by London, then Newport and finally the Great Welsh Marathon. 

We all completed week nine successfully with the gloom of the virus hovering over our heads. I had completed a circuits class on the Monday, then ran 12.65 miles quite warily on the Tuesday, dragging Liv, Julie and Mark down with me although they all lifted my spirits. That’s what our team has done over the last ten weeks; kept each other motivated.

I went to club training on the Wednesday and supported one of our club groups by videoing their efforts on hill repeats. It was so nice to be out with the members who I very rarely see at club!

On Thursday I did a home circuit and on Friday I did my last 16 mile run solo as I was planning on a boozy girls weekend at the Bluestone Resort with the girls! I created a 16-mile route that started off with the first six miles along a route I liked and was used to.

My thoughts were that the first few miles had to be something I was familiar with, otherwise I would be in danger of quitting. I successfully pushed myself through the six miles to the start of the next eight through some beautiful scenery of Fleindre and Lliw Valley Damn. The rain was holding off and the road, despite being hilly, was quiet and dare I say enjoyable.

I realised on this journey that while I run the marathon, a dialysis patient will be hooking themselves up to a machine for a similar amount of time to keep themselves alive and they have to do that, depending on treatments, three to six times a week. I have to do it once and my life doesn’t depend on it. It kept me going knowing that every step I take will raise money to help patients thrive and survive!

I came out of the scenic route and emerged into familiar territory, passing Morriston Hospital, Trwyddfa Road and then I was home! That was me done, now to get ready to go to Bluestone!

My mate Caroline and sister had promised to run with me while we were there, but I forgot my trainers! Nevertheless, we had such a laugh catching up and it was the tonic I needed, as well as a full body massage that ended with my feet being massaged! Well, after this I felt like a different person!

As I approached the final week of training, I was starting to think that the marathon would be cancelled and was finding it difficult to motivate myself to run.

When we found out that the London Marathon had been postponed, we all agreed to run one last run together. Despite not feeling well, I joined the team and left them at mile 7.5 while they ran the extra 10 miles for a post-run and team lunch! I was off to my boyfriend’s mother and father’s birthday lunch followed by a takeaway with my family for my mother’s birthday – the perfect ending to the end of my London Marathon training!

It may be over now but we will be back. The event is postponed until October and I will be ticking the legs over during this unprecedented time until June/July to start the training yet again!

Thank you all for sticking by me during this journey, your support has meant the world.

Until next time!


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