Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Barbara's Diary

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Barbara's Diary

Article excerpt

Day 1 ( Tuesday, February 8

Janet had a domestic crisis and I had overbooked appointments.

Training cancelled. Just as well, as I dropped my pedometer down the toilet and it needed overhauling with WD40 and new batteries. Great start!

Day 2 ( Friday, February 11

Janet and I met at reception in the institute and headed down to the changing rooms in the basement. After deliberating about taking the lift (to the floor below), we decided to challenge the stairs.

After a flustered conflab on what equipment we would need to take ( ie: pedometer, security pass, camera, hankies, keys, training plan, smelling salts, we headed out to Leazes Park togged up in our training gear.

I handed Janet a training timetable and exercise programme which we were to follow. I was concerned that some weeks we had to run as much as 26 miles at a time. Janet ( being the professor ( pointed out that this was the total number of miles per week that we would be covering! Duh!

At the park I realised I had forgotten my glasses, so was unable to read the instructions for the warm-up routine, but fortunately Janet had her lenses in. Due to the inclement weather, we quickly realised we would have to adapt the routine and began leaning against the outbuilding and stretching our calf muscles ( improvising beautifully.

This was followed by standing on one leg, knee bent clutching the foot and a series of lunges, all very practised. However, one exercise which called for us to extend and hold a support, cross one foot over the other leg and dip the hip down to the floor had us collapsed in a heap after clashing heads.

Now for the run ( one mile today.

We headed off towards the bandstand and realised it was all uphill. A route round the back of the terrace led us back downhill and into a play park, then we headed for the lake, while every five minutes (yes, five!) we checked the pedometer.

By this time, Janet was expressing the need for her inhaler and we had been overtaken by three sets of childminding grandparents with pushchairs. However, us girls were determined to push on.

After half way we decided to walk for a lap to make sure we were not too stiff for the next session. On the last lap round the lake (0.2 miles) we managed to run.

Back to the institute for a shower before Janet and I returned to work. The first session took us 30 minutes ( a difficult target to beat.

At that rate the run would take us six-and-a-half hours. However, early days.

Day 3 ( Monday, February 14

Janet phoned to say she couldn't come to training as she had the builders in, but she would run from home. I was determined to keep up my pledge and made my way swiftly to the changing rooms at lunchtime, got stripped off and bolted down, only to find I had forgotten my jogging bottoms. …

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