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.


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

Guess What……………………….

Well it’s fair to say I felt a lot livelier today, however ‘Asda Big Shop’ and the sudden summer weather (I’m crap at running when it’s warm!) put pay to me running anywhere near the distance I intended. In fact had it not been for the Olympics I probably wouldn’t have gone at all. But Joe Pavey’s run in the 5000m pushed me into it. I ‘m glad I went. For the first time since my iron infused comeback I felt like I had a decent run. Granted it was only 2 1/2 mile but I did it in less than 22 1/2 minutes- not bad to say I could still taste the Chicken Enchilada I’d eaten less than 2 hours earlier – bet Paula Radcliffe never had timing issues with her meals!! The comeback is definitely on.

Just a little mention for my favourite topic – yep, Olympic watching has still taken up most of the day. I’m slightly baffled by the press moaning that today hasn’t been such a good day. Granted we didn’t pick up some Golds we expected to win but there has still been plenty of silver and bronze’s and lots of PB’s to celebrate. And let’s be honest that BMX thing boils down to who copes best on the day – are they stark raving mad – talk about taking your life in your hands. I don’t think I’ll be trying it anytime soon. Apparently the mountain biking starts tomorrow – can’t wait to see what that’s all about!!

No doubt tomorrows press will be full of the mens  GB 4 x 100m team cocking in up in the baton change, but come on there were a couple of novices in that team and to change a baton while running at silly speeds is not easy. I remember doing it at school (slowly) yes we did real sport in my day – well apart from Primary School when we had to roll round being a leaf blowing in the wind. Believe it or not they still do the same thing only they updated it to washing on a line – I’m not kidding. I did it on a P.E course last year. Then there was the giraffes can’t dance lesson………..sorry I’m rambling again. but you do wonder how we win anything in the Olympics teaching stuff  like that in P.E!!

2.5 miles in 22 minutes and 22 secs

Queen of Speed (I don’t think!)

Bring it on

School Holidays and Sun – never!

So first day of the school holidays and with the ‘boys’ away at the British Open (golf – yaawwnn!) though I will admit to taking a sneaky peak at the T.V to see if I could spot them both, I had a day to do anything I wanted. Even better the sun was shinning – so what to do?

Well I could have sat in the sun all day and caught up with all the books, running magazines etc that are piling up and I could have just chilled. But as I’m sure you’ve all gathered by now I’m not very good at chilling. So by ten o clock the Asda big Shop (and it was a big shop) was done and away, 2 loads of washing were hanging on the line and one load was spinning in the machine. By eleven o clock I’d been to B & Q for some fence paint and was in my ‘garden gear’ ready to do battle with the ivy from next door that’s taking over my garden – I won! I also collected a ridiculous amount of cat poo and returned it to its owner – well come on why should I have it all in my garden – I kindly put it in a carrier bag for them and dropped it over the wall!

Then it was painting time – god it was hard work. Maybe its all the rain but my fence has turned into a sponge – one tin of paint has gone already. Mind you by the time I’d finished I was covered from head to toe in brown splodges – the paint was everywhere – oh well. Now my shoulders are throbbing, not sure if it’s the painting or using the shears to hack the conifers so I could get to the fence. Time for  a rest tomorrow I think  – maybe!!

Gardening Started

More sun so I can do the ame tomorrow

Bring it on

Wanging it down in Wakefield……………….

Well we didn’t need to board the ‘SkyLark’ to head to Derbyshire as the school trip was well n truly off. It started to rain at 8 by ten past we had thunder,lightening the whole job lot. By 8:30, Wakefield was like the City of Atlantis (slight exaggeration – but some parts weren’t too far off!) So that was that, no trip and stuck inside all day – poor kids have got cabin fever.

Thankfully, come One ‘o clock, the text went out telling parents they could come and get their kids – Wakefield was becoming gridlocked. The main road to the motorway was shut so traffic was backed up everywhere. The majority did – some left them to the bitter end – can’t blame them really! By the time I left work, the way home was blocked so I opted to stay at my parents house until the traffic calmed down – didn’t expect it to take 3 hours. Still I got bangers n mash and chocloate cake while I waited and Ernie had done ‘Asda Big Shop’ when I got back – every cloud has a silver lining – especially the wanging it down ones!

                                                                                   Rugbys off tomorrow  (again) 

Summer Rugby

what a joke!!!


Incident Free Running……………..Maybe One Day

So another day another SAT’s test, but wahoo, the main ones are over with now, time to relax – sort of! Looking forward to tomorrow now, time for the ‘Big Dance 2012’, all our hard work will hopefully pay off. If year six do as well with it tomorrow as they did today I’ll be well chuffed – they’re ace, all of them – brought a tear to my eye, bless them!

Work done, Asda Big shop out of the way, it was time to run. Strange how the weather warmed up when we started running, it’s been bloody freezing all day. Another great run – almost!!  Tight calves (me) at the top of the two mile climb that starts the route meant lots of dodgy stretching on the roadside. Then it was a sore foot (my mate) more dodgy stretching. We avoided the low flying pheasant – it was laying low at the side of the road…………dead!!  Thumper and bugs seemed to have suffered the same fate – who needs Planet Earth Live – just run round Woolley! Finally it was the battle of the brambles (my Mate) part of a bush attached to her foot and next minute she was wrapped up in it. Once I’d stopped laughing I pulled it off her and she wiped the blood from her lacerated (slight exaggeration but a better effect!) legs before we continued on our way. A nice steady run that probably would have been faster if it had been incident free – but then what would I blog about……………….

8 miles in 1:18:45

Big Dance tomorrow

Bring it on

Link to the Big Dance if you want to see what we’ve had to learn


Shopping, School and Stuck

The good thing about local elections is I get the day off, the even better thing is that now Jack’s at high school I get the day off on my own………..Well I would of been on my own but hubby took the day off too. Still the plus side of him being off was he could drive us to Meadow Hell (nearby shopping centre) – I only drive the school run and ‘Asda Big Shop.’

The main aim of our shopping trip – stuff for the holidays. Jack’s sorted, Hubby’s sorted, me – I’m nowhere near sorted. Did I find anything I liked………………..no. The problem is my age- I just don’t know what I should be wearing these days. I know nearly 41 is not mega old anymore but I really don’t want to wear shorts with my arse cheeks hanging out but nor do I want them knee length with a turn up. I tried on some lovely tops but see-through seems to be all the rage and while I have a nearly six pack – if you turn off the lights and squint – I really don’t want to flash my knockers – or lack of them to all and sundry. In the end I gave in and bought something where age doesn’t matter – new running shoes – team GB here I come.

Shopping spree over, we headed to Jack’s school for parents evening. His first year at high school  is nearly over (eek) and it was time to see how he is doing. Seem’s we’ve produced an angel – no really – hard working, enthusiastic, a pleasure to teach – good to see he takes after me!!!  Proud parents – not arf!!!

So then it was time for rugby, and I was panicking as we drove up as the traffic was chaos and I thought we we’re going to be late – we we’re one of the first there. The motorway was shut, with the coach, my running mate and various team members stuck on it. I did contemplate jogging down the hard shoulder to meet my friend but I’m not sure your allowed!!! still I hung on and waited as I knew she was badly in need of a run having been on hospital watch – in law’s dodgy hip- all week. Thankfully they were finally freed from the motorway and we had nearly as long a run as we had planned anyway – I think she just about got everything of her chest as we flew round – can’t beat a run to clear the head!!!

5.7 miles in 53:35

No running tomorrow due to family party

Bring it On


Sun, Streams and Snorkels…..

Well if yesterdays rain was bad, todays…………Well todays rain was relentless. Come the end of my ‘Asda big Shop’, I needed a submarine to get home. Think ‘Finding Nemo’ meets Asda Carpark – well and truly flooded. Even worse not only was rugby training cancelled but the weekend game is off as well – grouchy 11 year old – great. What do you do with a kid who loves to be out when its hammering it down – leave him with his dad while you escape for a run- problem solved.

Yep, I know going out in torrential rain is not the best of ideas, but needs must and with rugby cancelled I went sooner rather than later. Only when I got out did I realise just how much rain has actually fallen today. Wakefield’s roads are now streams and the ‘five little ducks who went swimming one day’ are spoilt for choice as to where to swim.

So I splashed my way ahead, ever hopeful that the hint of sunshine ( honestly it was there) in the distance was moving my way. It never did!! Five minutes in, I was soaked – every last bit of me – soaked! I had so much rain in my ears I felt like I was listening to my Ipod under water . To be honest it was less running more synchronised swimming. All I was missing was the nose clip, sequins and false grin plastered on my face. I suppose any normal person would have turned back…………..

Thankfully tonight the car drivers were kind – only one car attempted to soak me – the rest slowed down, drove round puddles or just stopped and gave me the ‘are you mad!’ look. I may be mad but I’m in good shape.

A mile from home the rain stopped and it hasn’t rained since – not one sodding drop. Had I have run when I should have done I’d have stayed dry………… 


7.3 miles in 1:03:11

Running in a snorkel tomorrow?

Bring it on

Queen of the Hula Hoop………………Ouch!!

So despite another child free day – I am so bored when I have nobody to play out with – I never made it out for a sneaky run. I have, however caught up with some of the mundane things like ‘Asda Big Shop and ‘Mega hoover session’, yaawwwnnn- can’t remember them been listed in my wedding vows, how did it come to be my job….. Oh aye, I remember, its cos I’m a girl. Pft!!!

Anyway, today hasn’t been a totally exercise free day. I’ve been up and down our 3 flights of stairs countless times with hoovers, swiffers, mops and cloths and pushing the trolley round Asda wasn’t exactly a walk in the park – wish I had of been walking in the park – that’s what we need – an outdoor supermarket!!I’ve also practised a bit more of this dodgy contemporary Olympic number for ‘Big Dance Day’ I’m looking quite good now if you close one eye and squint a bit!! But best of all I’ve treated myself. Clothes… No.   Shoes….. No  Make-up…. No. I’ve bought a hula hoop (not the crisps). Yep, having read some of my Facebook friends reviews I’ve taken the plunge – does it work. Well after a 10 minute workout it hurts to breathe, yep it works. Six pack in six weeks, well if today is anything to go by come my holidays I’ll have a figure like Jessica Ennis but with a wrinkly face and bingo wings- Can’t have everything I suppose!!

Early blog today as we’re taking advantage of being child free and going out- grown up going out, not an 11 year old in sight, can’t remeber the last time we did that!!!

On the way to a six pack

Maybe running tomorrow – depends how many wines I have !!

Bring it on

Ps link to my Olympic Park Movie


Two runs, Too Tired ,Too Hungry………..

This mornings run was perfect, the birds were singing and there was frosty sunshine all the way round, bliss. This evenings run, well that was a different matter………….Maybe its the bike riding taking its toll – but tonight I felt like I was running with someone else’s legs and worryingly that was after a mile. My calves just got tighter and tighter.How I managed another six miles ,well , I just did. Thats the good thing about having a running partner though. Plenty of conversation is great for taking your mind of aches and pains and despite the fact that some weeks we run together at least twice a week, we never run out of conversation!!

Within a minute of finishing I’d decided it was a lovely run and I’d really enjoyed it!!!  Only when I got home did I start to feel tired again and hungry, yep Jack and I had another ‘who can eat most in one night’ competition. I’m going to have to do ‘Asda Big Shop’ twice a week at this rate, or get a lock on the fridge. Need to re-fuel though- Sport relief Mile with 200 kids tomorrow – can’t wait.

3.6 mile in 28:55

7 mile in 1:07:14

Only 1 mile tomorrow (maybe)

Bring it on


Two Bike Rides, a Broken Chain and a Skiving Guitar……….

So day two of ‘going to work on my bike’ regime and I managed to sneak an extra quarter of a mile onto my route. I’m hoping to get to do 3 miles once I get the hang of it – and find a safe enough route , and do 4 miles on the way home. Most of the route on the way there is main road and I can’t believe how close some traffic gets. What’s the point of having a cycle lane when you can’t get in it for cars. A different route on the way home makes for less traffic but as most of it is on mud tracks its no good for going to work – can’t turn up splattered in mud – maybe it will be better once the drier weather comes along!

Today I had my first technical problem, my chain came off…………….Now if it was a flat tyre on my car I could cope. The only thing I know about bikes is that they have 2 wheels and if you stay on it too long you get  a sore bum – yep I’ve invested in some fab looking padded shorts -they’ve yet to work!  So I was a little relieved (very), that my chain came off near my Mum and Dad’s. Good old Dad had it fixed in no time and I continued my scenic route home. Another downside of the scenic route home is the dodgy downhill tracks, Ive mastered going down them at break neck speed – I just need to learn not to scream as I fly down them! I just can’t help it. Jack and Ernie will testify that every theme park ride we go on results in me screaming longer and louder than anyone else in the place and for whatever reason I have the same urge if I’m flying down a hill (even short ones!) It’s fair to say I get some very strange looks!!

So to the skiving guitar – would you really play truant on the day you have to take your guitar to school. A whole day trying to look inconspicuous in a school uniform is hard enough, but with a bloody great guitar strapped to your back! Make no wonder the skiving guitar had given in by 9:20……………..

1.7 and 2.1 miles cycled

No biking tomorrow cos I’ll never fit my ‘Asda Big Shop’ in my rucksack

Double run

Bring it on

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