A Word

Just a half: I ache and I've been abandoned

by Jacqueline Alexander
First published in the Henley Standard newspaper

Three Standard staff are training for the Henley half marathon in October. Sue Dinsey, Sam Riley and Jacqueline Alexander are receiving help from the Expert Fitness Studio in Bell Street, Henley. Here, Jacqueline, the Standard's web strategist, reports on their progress.

I ache and I have been abandoned. This can't possibly describe a good week, can it? Training for the Henley half marathon started last Tuesday and I have yet to wake up in the morning and make my way from bedroom to bathroom without doing an impression of the March Of Progress, Rudolph Zallinger's illustration showing man's evolution from knuckle-dragging ape to modern day being.

Our first training session felt like fun. Gentle jogging, a few lunges, a bit of squatting and a lot of skipping all contributed to rolling away the years to a time when running for the ice-cream van was fun.

Jacqueline Alexander in training.

The exertions left me with a feeling of well-being and an optimistic outlook for the coming weeks. Then the morning came. As I woke, the reality hit. The spirit was willing, the alarm clock was insistent but the limbs were reluctant to help me out.

The truth has since become undeniable. I am not as fit as I had hoped. My occasional jaunts on my bike and casual walks across the fields are not enough to prepare my body for 13 miles of what will, undoubtedly, be hell.

To add to the challenge, my two so-called training partners have disappeared. Sam decided that one training session was enough and promptly went on holiday claiming it was pre-booked but I have my suspicions. I have had to send out a search party for Sue but the word is she will not be back for two weeks so I am on my own.

Even our official trainer was on holiday this week - I am beginning to believe that I have been duped. Our stand-in trainer, Aaron, has asked me to run for as long as I can. This distance is to be my benchmark for the coming weeks. It may also be my undoing. Time will tell.

Next: The river of pain

Copyright: Jacqueline Alexander 2012

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