A Word

Just a half: I've fallen in love

by Jacqueline Alexander
First published in the Henley Standard newspaper

I am in love. But, unfortunately, not with running. Instead, I have fallen in love with my bed.

I have always loved my bed but now I have a new appreciation for the soft mattress, the cool sheets and the sheer absence of training shoes. I have decided to renew my vows with my bed immediately after completing my 13 miles of purgatory.

Jacqueline Alexander in training.

Having entered week three of training, we were all sent off for analysis this week. I assumed that it was our heads that needed testing - after all, no one in their right mind would volunteer to run 13 miles without the threat of violence for non-compliance, but we did.

Instead, our trainer insisted that we should participate in "gait analysis".

Unfortunately, Sam was unable to make it so Sue and I toddled off to find out if our running style or training shoes could help us to complete the Henley half marathon. For me, the answer was a resounding "no". Video footage only served to prove that my running gait was perfectly straight - only a few remnants from ballet training were deemed to be out of the ordinary but even a tendency to run on the outside edge of my foot was not enough to gain professional help.

Sue, on the other hand, was immediately diagnosed with problems that only magic trainers could help to alleviate. Even as an amateur observer, I could see the strain that was being put on Sue's shins as she struggled to get her feet aligned with her legs. New trainers were purchased ready for Monday's session.

Sam, having missed two weeks of training, returned to the fold in fine form. Laughing and joking as we trudged around the field, she was still looking sprightly after an hour of lunges, squats and sprints.

As I collapsed in a heap of exhaustion, Sam stood there with hands on hips and a determined look in her eye before declaring: "It's not too bad, is it?". Somebody, please gag her.

Next: Unexpected outcome after uphill struggle

Copyright: Jacqueline Alexander 2012

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