Page last updated at 01:47 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 02:47 UK

'I thought the wall was a Pink Floyd album'

By Neil Bowdler
Health Reporter, BBC News


Sophie Thompson's London Marathon Diary: Part Two

Actress Sophie Thompson is running the London Marathon, and is making a video diary as she prepares for the big day.

Today, she's squeezing in a lunchtime jog in London's Soho Square, and as she skips between the traffic while crossing the road into the square's gardens, the first thing she notices is the nice public toilet.

"I choose a place for its facilities. Regent's Park is great lovely coffee, lovely lavs."

You can't go under it

Time is running out between now and the date of the London Marathon and, as the race draws near, Sophie is feeling a little of the pressure that comes from publicly declaring to friends and charities that you are going to run 26 miles, 385 yards.

We were running away from these dementors [on the Harry Potter set] and they said - Soph, you're going too fast!
Sophie Thompson

She's also realised that "the wall" is not just a 1979 classic prog rock album.

"I've heard of the wall - obviously, first thought, that's Pink Floyd isn't it? - and then I thought it's something sporty and it's not very nice and I don't want to ever go near it."

Should she hit it, she hopes she will garner some extra strength from the day. Failing that she'll resort to a song she tries to recall.

"You can't go over it, you can't go round it, you can't go under it. Oh no, you've got to go through it!"

Harry Pottering

It's not just in the parks and streets of London that Sophie has been getting in some unscheduled training.

She's also been speeding down the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She's playing a character called Mafalda Hopkirk.

"We were running away from these dementors, which Harry Potter people will know are these horrible creatures that suck out your very soul and they had to slow me down.

"I was in my high heels and everything because I'm playing this little secretary character ... and they said: 'Soph, you're going too fast! Nobody can keep up!'"

Fighting talk

Monday - walk for 15 mins
Tuesday - jog for 30 mins
Wednesday - jog for 90 mins, run for 10 mins
Thursday - jog for 60 mins
Friday - jog for 30 mins
Saturday - rest day
Sunday - jog for 120 mins

Source: Virgin London Marathon's 24-week training plan for beginners

Another lap or two around the gardens and Sophie takes a break on a park bench and talks family.

"I think all working mums can relate to the fact it's all about fitting things in - I've endeavoured to try and incorporate the runs into my working day so it's not when they come home from school or at the weekends.

"I don't want to miss out on the weekend larks because I'm dragging myself around the park."

Her two boys are now gradually realising the task she has set herself. As for her husband, the actor Richard Lumsden, he is playing the role of mentor.

"Richard's been incredible - he sends me off and says: 'Go girl!'

"He's been like my man in the corner with the oranges and the towel going, 'Come on, come on,' and saying all the suitably positive things when I return looking like ugh ... (impersonates a punched-up boxer).

"They've all been really ... supportive."

Sophie Thompson is running the Virgin London Marathon 2010 for Children In Need India (CINI).

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