A Paralympic Day Out, Some Pacing Issues and more Killer Dogs……………….

 

So a three part blog(sort of) today as our late return last night didn’t give me much of a chance to tell you about our amazing day. Yesterday saw my Mum, Jack and I finally make it into the Olympic Park. I say finally but for Jack and I it’s our second visit – see link below. I’m happy to say that despite my worries back in March the Olympic Park well and truly exceeded all of my expectations.

https://jacksmumontherun.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/one-moment-in-time-tissues-required/

One thing both of my visits to the Olympic Park had in common was the weather – it was freezing. Hence a very hasty visit to Primarni to buy some skinny jeans and a long sleeve top – well, a girl can never have too many skinny jeans! The shopping centre itself is amazing – newly built especially for the Olympics – all four floors of it. I don’t think my mum could believe what she was seeing.

Anyway after a bite to eat it was time to enter the Olympic Park, finally we were in and part of the Paralympics. The thing that gets you before anything else is the buzz about the place. The smiling faces (even in the cold and rain) the diverse range of people and cultures and due to it being the Paralympics the unbelievable range of  wheelchairs, false limbs etc being carried around by the soon to perform athletes and coaches. When I was young ( I know it’s a long time ago now!) my grandad had a false leg. The leg weighed more than he did and he rarely wore it as it made what was left of his leg sore. The leg spent more time behind the sofa than in actual use. So to see athletes with prosthetic limbs, carrying their sport limbs around kind of shows how far things have come – I wonder what my Grandad would have thought about blades!

The first venue  you come to when entering the park is the aquatics centre, now this has been the cause of much hilarity in the Earnshaw household as Jack thought  aquatic meant full of various fish (think sea world!) not aquatic as in swimming – bless him. So people probably thought we were stark raving mad as we stood there laughing hysterically as we explained to my mum what Jack had said. Next to the Aquatics Centre was the water polo…, er what do you call it pool, arena, place… not sure. Anyway after that it was the Olympic Stadium (did I mention I’ve run in there!) time for the now traditional pose – the Mobot, and a cheeky Usain as well – I think my mum got a bit confused with the second one – more Nazi Salute than Bolt – Oh well.

We spent the next couple of hours taking everything in, there is so much to see. Not just stadiums and arenas but gardens and art and…..the list goes on and on. My favourite place, apart from the gardens was the Velodrome – it’s huge and so, well mind blowing really. Cycling was also the first thing we watched albeit on the live screen. But you would have thought we were in the Velodrome, what with all the flag waving, cheering and the singing of the National Anthem. Yes we watched Team GB’s first gold of the Games – magic. The swimming was magic too – how can someone with no arms not only swim but win a gold – these paralympians are something else and it’s not disabled!! 

I could go on and on about all we saw and did but I don’t want to bore you.  I think you get the point that it was awesome, amazing and so on but more than anything in some ways it was pretty humbling to be there seeing the results of months and years of hard work and training. Even more humbling when you see some of the health issues and obstacles some of these athletes have to overcome and deal with day in day out.

Hopefully parts of the Olympic park will be there for years to come and will eventually be used by the generation it was meant to inspire – it will be a bloody shame if it’s not.

Tired when I woke this morning, just a bit. Asda Big Shop wasn’t really what I wanted to do but needs must, especially as today is officially the last day of the school holidays – where did the six weeks go!! It was a big ‘Asda Big Shop’ as well took me nearly all day to put it away – honest – well in between trying to watch the Paralympics on Channel 4. Trying being the operative word. What with the never-ending adverts and the relentless chatter in the studio there doesn’t seem to be much actual sport on!

In the end I gave up and went for a sneaky 8 mile run, I was pleased to up my mileage (at last) but not happy with my pace – I ran my first mile in just over 8 minutes and then died. I can’t blame my amazing ‘Nike+ Sports Watch’ – (it never works) because I’ve finally sussed it . If you don’t pause it when you have to wait to cross a road or get attacked by a killer dog(more on that in the next paragraph) then the mileage is accurate – means that it shows you’ve run slower than you actually have but you can’t have everything – well unless you’ve got a Garmin!!

So to the ‘Killer Dog’ , my worst nightmare. Bloody thing tried to trip me up and wouldn’t let go of my shoe lace I had a right job getting it off……Alright, alright it was a puppy – a Jack Russell. But it wasn’t giving up my lace  without a fight – bless it. Not a bad run really 8.3 miles in 1:19:50 – the fight to get my fitness back is on!!!

 

Another great day out

On the bike tomorrow

Bring it on

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