I was conned.

From a grumpy Janet.

My blogging buddy, Elizabeth King, promised me a fun, girls’ weekend away in May, in beautiful Hawke’s Bay. We’d laugh, eat, talk about books (and our husbands!) and relax. Sounds great right? That’s what I thought when I agreed to it. Only she forgot to mention that we’d have to walk a half-marathon first, before we got to the fun part!

A half-marathon! That’s twenty-one kilometers. Or thirteen miles. It might as well be a trip to the moon! My idea of a long walk is going round the supermarket twice. I have neither the desire, nor the ability, to walk further. Why would you want to walk a half marathon? For the sense of achievement? Is that really enough? I need a much better motivator than that! Maybe if Chris Pine was waiting at the finish line, holding a selection of French cakes and some Belgian chocolates, then we could talk.

Image result for chris pine

When I voiced my opinion on the marathon, it soon became clear that Elizabeth’s real motive for inviting me wasn’t to have fun, but to ensure she didn’t suffer alone. Armed with this knowledge, I delved into my trusty bag of well-used excuses (although, to be honest, most of them were only voiced in my head!): I’m too busy, I told her. Too tired. Too unfit. Too freaking lazy, with no interest in walking twenty-one kilometers for fun! I don’t need a challenge, I told her. I have enough challenges. I don’t want to walk with skinny people. I don’t have the right shoes. I don’t want to wear leggings…

The excuses I did manage to voice, fell on deaf ears, and that’s when she brought out the big guns–emotional blackmail!

To cut a long story short. I’m walking a half marathon in May.

I’m told there will be cake at the end of it. They may have to feed it to me intravenously.

Unlike my blog and dieting buddy, I have some honor. And now that I’m committed to this half-marathon, I’ve started training for it. So far, I’ve done one 4 km walk. It was agony. At the halfway mark I was cursing Elizabeth and wishing my car was self-drive so I could text it to come get me. Today, I can feel every, single muscle in my body. How is that even possible? My legs were doing the work. Why does my back hurt? Why are my shoulders stiff? And my feet??? Don’t even get me started on my feet!

Image may contain: cloud, sky, grass, outdoor and nature

The long, long path at the start of my walk.


Which brings me to the lessons I learned from yesterday’s training walk:

  1. Buy better shoes.
  2. Take something to distract you from the agony of putting one foot in front of the other. I’m going to download some audio books. Or plot a mystery novel, so that I can kill someone off in it. No guesses as to who!
  3. Pepsi Max is not a good drink to take on a walk.
  4. Remember to suncream the tops of your feet.
  5. Never believe a word that comes out of Elizabeth King’s mouth.

I’ve also discovered that it’s hard to exercise AND diet at the same time. It really feels like it should be one thing or the other. Doing both seems like a human rights issue to me. The UN should get involved. There should be some sort of international decree. Because, really, this level of cruelty borders on torture–you force yourself to exercise, and you can’t even get a treat at the end of it! Hell, we even give a dog a biscuit when it fetches! I need to rethink this whole diet/exercise thing. The process is becoming far more painful that I’d planned for it to be!

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