On Monday I made my way back to London for my second training session with the lovely Jo Whiley, our last session together before the Great North Run next Sunday.
I've been pleased with how my training has been going since we last met up. On the advice of Simon, the Bupa physio, I've been increasing the distance of my long run (which I usually do on a Sunday) by a mile each week. And the weekend before last I ran the full 13.1 miles. It was hard work, and I did it in 2 hours 26 minutes, but I did it! I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life afterwards, and at any given point in the week afterwards I could have happily fallen asleep. I wasn't really ready for that, having felt OK after the 11 and 12 mile runs I did. So I'm prepared to take it easy in the week after the Great North Run now, and expect to feel quite tired!
Before the training started we had a couple more interviews, and more photos taken:
Then we had a really useful session with Bianca, a nutritionist from Bupa. She gave lots of advice about what we should be eating in general whilst training, but also what to eat the night before and the morning before the race. I've recently stopped eating meat so I was also able to get advice from her on what I should be making sure I'm eating instead (top tips were low fat cheese and unsalted almonds).
After that we went back outside with Simon for some warm up stretches, and then we were off around Regents Park for a run in beautiful sunshine.
Whilst we were running Simon talked to us about what to expect on the morning of the race, what to expect at the start line, and the best way find space to run in the crowds once the race has begun. It was a really hot day, but the run went well, and we finished off with a warm down and more stretching. I think we're both definitely feeling nervous, but also excited about the run. I feel a bit more apprehensive now, knowing what hard work the 13.1 miles was and how tired I was and how much I ached afterwards! But I'm confident that we'll do it! It's great to have the support from Jo, and to be able to support her in return, as well as all the brilliant advice that I've had from everyone at Bupa. My extra motivation comes in knowing that I'm raising money while I run for Ambitious about Autism, the national charity for children and young people with autism. I was thrilled this morning to see that I have reached my fundraising target, but I'd like to raise as much as I possibly can for this amazing charity that is very close to my heart. If you haven't sponsored me yet and would like to you can do so via my just giving page which is here: www.justgiving.com/Susan-Spence1
Alternatively you can sponsor me £1 by texting SSAA77 £1 to 70070
or you can sponsor me £5 by texting SSAA77 £5 to 70070.
A huge thank you to everyone who has already sponsored me. You are supporting a brilliant cause and helping me to keep one foot in front of the other! The Bupa Great North Run is next Sunday, the 15th of September - I'll let you know how we get on!