A Word

The Marathon Diaries: Week Five by Jacqueline Alexander
First published on Sir Steve Redgrave's website

Five time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Steve Redgrave, and Jacqueline Alexander, noted PUP (Pathetically Unfit Person) compare diaries as they train for the London Marathon.

Jacqueline's diary:

OK, so it's not nearly as impressive as Mr Redgrave's list of sporting achievements but at least I have redressed the balance a little. If you haven't noticed yet, take a peek at my new masthead.

I was clearing out some boxes earlier this week and, to my surprise, I discovered that, over the years, I have been quite the over-achiever!

I am now the proud owner of one netball league winner's medal, one fishing trophy and, my prize possession, a pool tournament trophy won during my wasted youth [otherwise known as my art college years]. I think I am now giving Steve a run for his money, don't you agree?

Between clearing out boxes, I have upped my efforts in the gym department. I have run everyday since Friday and increased my speed to 10kph over 40 minutes. I am still exercising my right to the walk-run approach and have reached the lofty heights of 6km in 40 minutes.

As I run, I am surrounded by posters of healthy people jogging along with big smiles stretching across their faces. As my run progresses, I begin to wonder what on earth are they smiling about? By the end of my run, I hate them, really hate them - nearly as much as I hate that moronic, repetitive base music that emanates from every damn speaker in the gym. Yesterday, I found myself running with my fingers in my ears!

I have to admit, despite hating the whole process, I do enjoy the benefits. I like what is happening to my body - my skin is clearer, my eyes are brighter and my butt is taking shape nicely - if only I could achieve these benefits without leaving my bed!

Next: Week 7

Sir Steve's diary:

As you will already know, a couple of weeks ago, I had to rest due to a sore achilles tendon. Resting was not really a problem as my diary commitments and a cold had made running more or less impossible anyway.

This morning I saw an opportunity to hit the road, so I grabbed it with both feet!

Twenty minutes in, I felt my achilles tighten. I tried to continue, hoping I would be able to run it off, but it deteriorated to painful levels, and if that was not enough, my knee joined in the fun. I realised I was in a spot of trouble and called my PA to pick me up.

This has been so frustrating and I am beginning to feel depressed. I am looking forward to the London Marathon and my aim has always been to get my fitness to a level where I can enjoy the run as well as the event - particularly as, this year, I am attempting to break a Guinness World Record.

I am going to see my physiotherapist as soon as I can. Hopefully there will be good news otherwise I fear I may be completing the Marathon in a hospital bed! Jacqueline has already asked for a lift but I think she may have to push the bed for the entire 26 miles - I hope her training is going well!

Next: Week 7

by Jacqueline Alexander
Copyright 2012

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