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Jo Smyth

London Marathon 2019 for Cruse

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]As some of you know, I will be running the London Marathon in 2019! OMG! Well I say running, jogging is more likely! [/p][p]Now that the excitement has worn off, the reality has set in and training is about to start. [/p][p]Whist I am pretty nervous about what lies ahead now, I am delighted to be running for Cruse - the fantastic bereavement charity who helped me come to terms and navigate life without mum and dad.[/p][p]For those of you that do not know too much about Cruse, here is a summary of the great work they do:[/p][p][i]Cruse Bereavement Care was founded in 1959 in Richmond upon Thames and is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone dies and work to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.[/i][/p][p][i]Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support. We have a Freephone national helpline and local services, and a website ([/i][url=http://www.hopeagain.org.uk/][b][i]hopeagain.org.uk[/i][/b][/url][i]) specifically for children and young people. Our services are provided by our network of 5,000 trained volunteers and are confidential and free. Cruse also provides training and consultancy for external organisations and for those who may encounter bereaved people in the course of their work. [/i][/p][p]You can find our more here - https://www.cruse.org.uk[/p][p][b]So why am I running the London Marathon?! [/b][/p][p]Well, I started running consistently again in 2017, completed 2 x half marathons in 2018, and so running the London Marathon in 2019 feels like the natural next step doesn't it(?)! Honestly though, it has always been a bucket list item for me and now that I am in my 30th (I mean 40th) year it feels like the now or never moment![/p][p][b]And why am I running for Cruse?[/b][/p][p]As a thank you. I feel very lucky that I had access to Cruse during arguably the most difficult time of my life. [/p][p]In the future I would like to volunteer as a bereavement counsellor for Cruse so that I can help others in the way that Cruse helped me. For now though, I would like to show my appreciation and considerable thanks for what they did for me, by running the London marathon to raise funds for them.[/p][p]I hope you will join me in supporting this incredible cause - with all my thanks Jo[/p][p]****[/p][p][b]Blog (for regular updates & more pictures follow my London Marathon journey on Twitter - @josmyth100, Instagram - josmyth100 & Strava - Jo Smyth)[/b][/p][p][u]Week 1 - 3 x training runs completed! [/u][/p][p]W1R1 - 30 mins[/p][p]W1R2 - 40 mins[/p][p]W1R2 - 7 miles[/p][p]Highlights - finally deciding which training plan to do and completing week 1! [/p][p][br][/p][p][u]Week 2 - 3 x training runs completed! [/u][/p][p]W2R1 - 30 mins[/p][p]W2R2 - 40 mins[/p][p]W2R3 - 9 miles[/p][p]Highlights - this week I connected with 3 of my co-workers who are also running the London Marathon this year. I joined Strava and we have all been giving each other Kudos! Very motivating on these dark and cold nights! I received my first donation from my sister, brother law, niece and nephew (Ted the dog!) so 2% of target complete!! This morning I ran with 2 of my running club buddies and we completed 9 miles. So far, feeling good! [/p][p][br][/p][p][u]Week 3 - 1 x training runs completed :([/u][/p][p]W3R1 - 10 miles[/p][p]Highlights - completing 10 miles! This is the furthest I have run since completing the Peterborough half marathon last October, so feels good to be getting this distance in again. There were 5 of us from running club this weekend and indeed we all achieved milestones. We got a bit carried away snapping the stunning Cambridge landmarks which may have slowed us down but we got some great team shots! [/p][p]This week I experienced my first training low which I guess is to be expected and I am sure there will be more to come. Work was crazy busy and I just didn’t manage to get my short runs in :( I was pretty disappointed in myself but have to accept that sometimes life gets in the way and learn from it. [/p][p]In other highs, I reached the Β£100 sponsorship milestone! Yay! And celebrated one of my best friends 40th birthdays! Not sure if this weeks aches and pains are from the long run or the crazy dancefloor moves?! [/p][p]Looking forward to getting back on plan next week! [/p][p][br][/p][p][u]Week 4 - 3 x training runs completed! [/u][/p][p]W4R1 - 30 mins[/p][p]W4R2 - 60 mins[/p][p]W4R3 - 10 miles[/p][p]Highlights - being back in business! Target 3 x training runs completed this week - what a relief! Also, week 4 of the training plan completed, which means 1/3 done, 2/3 to go - scary! For this weeks long run my running club buddies and I ran 10 miles again. It felt good to solidify last weeks efforts and it was great to see I knocked 3.5 minutes off without even noticing. And... it was 0 degrees and snowing!! This week my story went live on the Cruse website and socials which was a little nerve-wracking, but if sharing my story can help just one person with their bereavement journey, it will be worth it. You can read it here :) https://www.cruse.org.uk/about-cruse/bereavement-stories/jos-story [/p][p][br][/p][p][u]Week 5 - 1 training run completed :([/u][/p][p]W5R1 - 8 miles[/p][p]Highlights - this week was rest week which I embraced as I was unable to complete my short runs (in the words of Rihanna - β€˜work, work, work, work, work! πŸŽΆβ€™. Long run yesterday was great though (even with the gale force conditions πŸ’¨πŸŒ¬πŸ’¨πŸŒ¬πŸ’¨πŸŒ¬πŸ’¨!!) Looking forward to cracking 13.1 miles for the first time since October 2018 next weekend! Short update this week as about to take off ✈! Philadelphia here I come! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ[/p][p][br][/p][p][u]Week 6 - 3 x training runs completed! [/u][/p][p]W6R1 - 40 mins[/p][p]W6R2 - 50 mins[/p][p]W6R3 - 13.1 miles[/p][p]Highlights - being half marathon ready! This is the furthest I have run since Peterborough half in mid October 2018, so feels good to be back and ready for the Cambridge half in two weeks. It has been a busy week with the 2 short runs completed on the treadmill (it was snowing in Philly!) and this weeks long run completed back in Cambs in gorgeous spring conditions! Delighted to nearly be at 1/8 of target on the sponsorship front - special thanks to the Platten family for the flurry of sponsors this week :) [/p][p][br][/p][p][u]Week 7 - (nearly) 3 training runs completed - yay![/u][/p][p]W7R1 - 45 mins[/p][p]W7R2 - 36 mins (vs 46 mins - the gym closed!!!)[/p][p]W7R3 - 7.88 miles [/p][p]Highlights - The weather!! Apart from the lovely sunshine, this week has been a good one. Quite gentle ahead of the Cambridge Half this weekend. 2 x treadmill runs completed and a gentle long run this morning. The reality of having to keep going after completing a half is starting to sink in now. Usually I would take a few months off to recover! Er, not this time! [/p][p][br][/p][p]W8R1 - Cambridge Half Marathon Day!!! - well done everyone πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ» [/p][p]Lending a helping hand to our friends at Arthur Rank Hospice today too. [/p][p]So happy to have knocked 3 mins off my time from last year but now the daunting feeling that next week is not a rest week, I’ve got to get back out there 😬. Wish me luck πŸ™[/p][p] [/p][p]W9R1 - managed to break the mental barrier of running further than the half, which quite frankly I have been dreading all week. But... I did it! πŸ‘ŠπŸ» #itsnotasfunwithoutmyfriends #teamworkmakesthedreamwork[/p][p][br][/p][p]W10R1 - Gentle 10 miler this morning in the wind! πŸ’¨β˜€πŸ’¨β˜€πŸ’¨ Consolidating before the next climb! 6 weeks to go until Marathon day - OMG!!! [/p][p][br][/p][p]W11R1 - The plan was to run 18 miles today, but I knew 3/4 marathon was in touching distance and then I rounded up to 20 miles. Marathon advice doesn’t recommend going out too far before the big day so hopefully it won’t set me back. Really happy to have 20 miles in my legs as it gives me the confidence that 26.2 miles is achievable! Which is a good job as the marathon is 5 weeks today!!! Ahhh! Ps. perfect sunny running conditions β˜€πŸƒπŸΌ?♀?β˜€πŸƒπŸΌ?♀?β˜€πŸƒπŸΌ?♀?[/p][p][br][/p][p]W12R1 - VERY early morning run with my co-worker Chris @running_working_mum in Paris!! πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡«πŸ‡·[/p][p]W12R2 - Tough 10 miler πŸ˜” Should have listened to my body 🀦. The knee twinge turned into knee pain and I now have what I believe they call in the trade β€˜runners knee’. Hoping physio on Thursday will sort me out πŸ™[/p][p]Highlights for this week definitely include the incredibly generous donation which means we are well on the way to the half way point! And the work trip to Paris. [/p][p]Lowlights - the knee injury and of course Mother’s Day - always one of the hardest times of the year. Following the supportive Cruse posts on Instagram and Twitter in the run up was super helpful. πŸ™[/p][p][br][/p][p]W13 - no running this week :( The physio helped but still feeling twinges in the knee so going to listen to the body and rest. More physio next week and then looking forward to getting on the taper train next weekend. There are so many cool marathon posts on Twitter and Insta but they are making me feel nervous!! #3weekstogo [/p][p][br][/p][p]W14R1 - today was hard physically and emotionally :( It was all going well until mile 6 when the knee starting playing up again. I thought I was going to have to stop but managed to run though the pain until I had completed the 90 minute target taper run. For the first time since I took on this challenge I questioned whether I could actually do this and deliver for my charity - Cruse. It turns out marathon training is not so easy after all! [/p][p]Anyway, with the help and advice of my friends in the know, I got my positive mental attitude back on. I had my gait checked the morning and replaced my year old trainers that had completely worn out. Hopefully the extra cushioning will help. For the next 2 weeks I will try to take it easy, keep up the physio, stretches, eat well, hydrate and rest as much as possible and hope the adrenaline takes over on the day for a pain free run. #2weekstogo [/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][i]For regular updates & more pictures follow my London Marathon journey on Twitter - @josmyth100, Instagram - josmyth100 & Strava - Jo Smyth[/i][/p][p][br][/p]
London Marathon 2019 for Cruse image 1
London Marathon 2019 for Cruse image 2

Share Jo's story


May 19, 2019

Hannah A

Sorry this is a bit late but well done on such an amazing achievement xx

May 5, 2019


Thank you Melissa 😘

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

May 5, 2019

Karen Gott

You are such an inspiration! Well done for all your hard work for a brilliant cause xx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

May 1, 2019

Baz and Christine

Congratulations Jo, what an achievement . Well done x

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019


Congratulations Jo!!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Apr 28, 2019


Super proud of you girl πŸ’žπŸ’«πŸ’ž. Lots of love, Jacqui, Matt, Max, Isla and Bruno 🐢 of course! Xxx

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 28, 2019


Good luck Jo! Very proud of you!

Apr 28, 2019


Good luck Jo. Xxx

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 28, 2019

Becka Pete Oliver and Joshua

Good Luck Jo xxx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Apr 28, 2019

Julie and Ian

Good Luck Jo, you’ll be amazing. Love Julie, Ian, Ellen & Callum. xXx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid