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:

Six weeks into my training programme and I can honestly say that there is nothing to indicate that I am being converted to a life of fruit juice and fresh air.

Horizontal is better than vertical. Slow is better than fast. Downhill is better than uphill and resting is better than running!

I now understand the term health-freak. I always thought this term described those people fanatical about health but it turns out that they are simply not normal. I do not deny that I feel really good when I finish a run. This morning saw me complete 12.5km in an hour and a half. It's less record breaking than it is back breaking but the minute I finish I feel great - mainly great relief but great nevertheless.

Still committed to completing the task in hand, I am running at least an hour every other day to ensure it is not an embarassing event. Last week saw me run an hour every day for five days. Unfortunately, I was just about ready for the knacker's yard by the sixth!

I am completely fearful of Sunday which will see me complete a half-marathon at Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. Did you notice my use of positive thinking in that sentence? I will complete it. I will. I will. I will. And, hopefully, in time to watch Planet Earth at 9pm on Sunday evening - superb!

Next: Week 8

Sir Steve's diary:

This week has seen me travel from Liverpool to Bahrain and my chosen methods of transport have included a boat, a car, a plane, a child's motorbike and a 380bhp Chevrolet V8 SS Luminas. Unfortunately, I have not managed to clock up a single mile by foot!

My son's birthday saw a welcome addition to the family in the form of a mini-motorcycle. Of course, in my role as protective father, it was essential that I take a test-drive. I needed to check the brakes were in good working order before expertly hanging on to the back as my son experienced the the dangers of two-wheeled travel for the first-time. It was great fun but hardly the training programme I had hoped to shoe-horn into my week.

Next stop was Bahrain. As I will be running around a Grand Prix circuit next week at the Silverstone half-marathon, I thought I should get a bit of practice in. Luckily, there was a Chevrolet V8 and a Grand Prix driver there to help me prepare for this arduous task. I had an amazing time during my first solo drive in a race car and I am pretty sure it was a lot more fun than the plans for next weekend!

I did manage to see the physio earlier in the week. He diagnosed a problem with the angle of my foot when running. It was a relief to hear that I don't have a serious problem with my Achilles tendon and it means, with the help of some padding to push my foot into position, I will be able to get some training in this week... just in time to run the half-marathon! Oh dear.

Next: Week 8

by Jacqueline Alexander
Copyright 2012

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