Jo’s Journey – Week Five


I started this week of training ready for it. I didn’t skip circuits on Monday and thoroughly enjoyed.

Tuesday was an increased long run and I was worried about getting back in time to cook tea, shower and relax before going to sleep. Was there enough time to do it all?! To make matters worse, I’m sat in my car completely kitted up, and it refused to start! I felt slightly relieved yet anxious at the same time. I was relieved that I might miss training, but anxious that I’d miss training and fall back in terms of progress.

So I rang my boyfriend Stephen and he felt as anxious as me! We developed a plan where I would run to Halfords (two miles away) to pick up some jump leads, and he would meet me back at the car. But what then? I would only be running two miles when I should have been running nine! I started running and then thought, why don’t I organise to run the nine miles and meet the team along the way, finishing the long run at Halfords? As I was thinking that, my partner in crime Lisa rang me and said, “Why don’t we meet you along the way?” How spooky!

The route we were doing went right past my house, so I sped up, met Stephen, started the car and headed back to my house to meet the team. Liv, Anna, Laura and Lisa were all running together. We had a laugh and shed some tears; Lisa had fallen prior to meeting me but managed to save herself, however her daughter Liv fell flat behind me and cut her hands and knees. We managed to laugh it off and blamed the boys who were running in front of us, imagining that they were deliberately creating a nasty obstacle course!

Wednesday was club training night and I was not feeling the hill session at all. My cousin Evan joined us and he ran with me. He’s 14 years old, tall and funny – he definitely cheered Lisa and me up! We didn’t really listen to the session (sorry Steve and Vicky) so we made it up as we went along and completed three big hill loops instead of two big and two small. We ran with Evan to make sure he was ok and on the last hill he sped up and beat us! Oh to be young again!

On Saturday Stephen was working early so I said to him, by the time you have finished your shift I will have run 12 miles and I’ll be ready for our day out! I got up and met Lisa, Nicola, Liv, Mark and Anna for our 12-mile run before our day out watching Wales V Ireland. Steve had created a route for us which went out to Pontardawe and back along the River Tawe footpath. I was feeling fine and was wearing my new trainers which the club had kindly bought me for Christmas. The miles and the time flew by as Mark and Lisa chatted about the pros and cons of buying houses at our age, as well as speculating who would win the rugby. It was a lovely sunny morning – no sign of storm Ciara at all.

Sunday’s session was called off as storm Ciara made an appearance. In total this week, I had more rest days than running, and by Sunday I didn’t feel like a marathon training runner at all. I felt more like my pre-marathon training self; a sluggish, once-upon-a-time half marathon runner. Was it the alcohol I drank on Saturday watching the rugby with my best friend Nicola, her husband Stewart and my boyfriend Stephen? Or was it the food I had eaten that week? I tried to be good at the beginning of the week, but on Wednesday Stephen and I were eating chips and curry sauce followed by a Chinese take-away for his Mum’s birthday. Then we had a bottle of wine on Friday and a McDonald’s late Saturday night, as well as a full breakfast on Sunday morning!

I contemplated all of this and decided that I would get a fourth run in this week and a gym/circuit session. I have promised myself that I’ll eat healthier, stay away from the alcohol, and make sure that I keep stretching in the mornings and the evenings.
Let’s see…week six here I come!

If you’re feeling generous and would like to donate to my Virgin London Marathon VirginGiving page, the link is below:
https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoannePopham2

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