A family affair - Women's Running magazine

A family affair

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  October 19, 2015

cover image

I’m Donna, I’m 44-years-old and I am this year’s Great South Run ambassador!

I started running about seven years ago but, one year in, had a motorcycle accident which affected my knees and my regular running routine became sporadic, and then none existent. Last year my oldest friend needed a running partner to help her on her weight-loss journey – I volunteered as I too needed to lose the weight that had crept on through inactivity. Our joint goal was the Great South Run, which I had previously ran in 2hrs 12mins. I knew I could do better and so entered again this year with that as my aim.

My training year started with no partner as Lisa had other commitments this year; this meant that I had little motivation to run, so I enlisted the help of my children: Morgan Rhys (17) and Jorja (11) to help me. My biggest kick into a regular training pattern came when I was selected to write this blog…I had to get out there and run and so did they! Morgan Rhys is old enough to join me this year, so this was to become his challenge too.

Running with Jorja allows us to spend quality time together talking about our day or what is happening in the book she is reading/listening to. She helps me to run faster over a shorter distance (although she can run 10K if I need her to!)

Image 3

Morgan Rhys is another matter, he doesn’t like to say much while we are running, nor does he encourage or challenge me; he just gets lost in his own run!

Image 1

I/we started running three times a week and I have incorporated a gym routine into my training, which I fit in after work. I have even been converted by the treadmill, which I use when the weather is bad as an alternative to getting wet.

In the summer, we holidayed in Holland and I decided to embrace the varied terrain to enhance my training, I did not run vast distances but did manage to run in temperatures in the high 20s, which is a first as normally I try to avoid daytime running in favour of early morning or late at night. This was not an option during our holiday as there was no let-up in the high temperature. There was a steep hill, which leads to the beach path, a well-ridden path, but never run, and I ran it! Proud moment! And even ran some way down the other side before turning and enduring the other side. During an evening run, Jorja and I came across a pathway through a field, we took that path and enjoyed a trail run, something we repeated a couple of times during our stay – it made a nice change from pavement.

Image 2

Since the normality and routine of the new school year began, I have been on a few long runs; last Sunday Morgan Rhys and I managed nine miles, his longest run to date. Jorja and I have enjoyed lots of mixed runs, we have short fast-paced runs or middle-distance mixed-paced runs to keep it interesting, but we always end up racing to the finish line in practice for race day.

Yesterday (27 September) Morgan Rhys and I ran the inaugural Ageas 5-mile road race, our first race together, so it was a test of compatibility as well as racing strategy. We did ok. We managed a time of 50mins, which is where I was aiming for, and I feel as though I am in a good place to go forward with my training for next month’s Great South Run.

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

Meet the team

We use cookies to give you a better experience on womensrunning.co.uk. By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it