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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Another Day in London……..

Another day in London done- this time for the Paralympics. It has been a fab day for many reasons- not least trying to teach a bunch of drunk Aussies the words to ‘On Ilkley Moor Bah Tat’. Full blog tomorrow as its late and I’m shattered.
Great Day out
Full Catch up tomorrow
Bring it on

Another Room Bites the Dust………………..

Well I got some housework done (how exciting my life is at times) but not really the amount I wanted to do. Various reasons, I couldn’t get in the kitchen as the ever persistent rain ( it never stopped) meant I had to turn it into a chinese laundry and I entered that fateful place ‘Jack’s Bedroom’. Needless to say I never made it to any other room. Don’t get me wrong he’s not a messy kid, it just that we are so busy at times that stuff tends to get shoved in his wardrobe etc until I have more time to sort it. Today was that day.

The fact I had to dismantle Lego Wembley (except it said Wembly on the stand – Jack spelt it wrong) didn’t help – that was nearly an hour and a half gone and I’m not really sure why I bothered – he’ll have built something else this time next week. Hopefully spelt right. But it’s all sorted – for now. Shame about the rest of the place – there’s always tomorrow – well not tomorrow – we’re busy.

Yep tomorrow, for the fourth time this holidays I’m London bound – this time the Paralympics beckons. Jack, my Mum and I have finally got tickets into the Olympic park. Excited – you’re not kidding. It’s going to be a great end to a great holiday.

Another room sorted and a quick sprint done

2.6 miles in 21:56 minutes

Paralympics tomorrow

Bring it on

 

Shopping, Cycling and Shite Service…….

So the Rugby part of our weekend is over and judging by the massive hangovers on show at breakfast this morning a good time was had by all. The rugby lot have headed home and we’re having a couple of days taking in some more of what London has to offer.
Today was shopping day- time to hit the posh shops! We decided to head to the all singing, all dancing newly built for the Olympics, Westfield Shopping Centre. It’s an amazing place. Four floors of shops, cafe’s, restaurants, Cinemas and a casino. Did I buy much- 2 pairs of running socks- what a Saddo!! Mind you I’m not as sad as Jack and Ernie. Maybe it was the viewing of the Olympic Park from the now free viewing platform in John Lewis'(£2 each when the Olympics was on!) that inspired them, maybe it’s Ernie’s rekindled love of cycling. But they now own a replica (!) Velodrome- scaletrix style!! It’s bloody rubbish, make no wonder it was slashed to £20. Yep they spent an hour this afternoon re- enacting the Olympic Cycling. I’m banned, within one lap I’d killed Sir Chris Hoy- straight off the track and into the wall- whoops! Boys and their toys.

I do need to say that although Westfield had an amazing atmosphere, made even Better by the athletes wondering around pre Paralympic games.It’s not the same as heading to Oxford Street, Carnaby Street etc. Think we might have to head there tomorrow. Looks like another busy day, we’ve got Tower Bridge, Covent Garden and Shrek the Musical to fit in!!

So we ended the afternoon with a trip to TGI Fridays. Top tip, don’t go – its crap!! Mass produced food at inflated prices with useless waiting staff – well some of them are. You’d think it would be obvious that when 3 of us are sat at a table then serving 2 meals is not quite right. I know I’ve over eaten in the last few days but I don’t look like I need to skip meals just yet!! Then there was the ginger ‘ I’m on leave from performing arts college’ slightly tubby waiter. ( think overweight Bonnie Langford only camper!)I could just about cope with the crappy American accent- but when he started strutting his stuff to George Michael- well, and his rendition of Happy Birthday- glad it wasn’t my Birthday!

fun in London

Even more fun tomorrow

Bring it on

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Tidying, Tickets and the £1.50 Swing……………

So the spare room is finally tidy (sort of) , not that you’d know if you saw it now. We’re heading to London for the weekend tomorrow (Challenge Cup Weekend – see tomorrows blog) so now the room is full of clothes and a suitcase – mind you looking at the amount of clothes hubby is intending to take I better find a bigger case. Don’t get me wrong, I know when holidaying in England you need to take clothes for every possible weather situation but all we’re missing is the snow shoes and Eskimo hat and we’re sorted ( slight exaggeration but you get the picture) Mind you at least he’s sorted his clothes out I’m nowhere near sorting Jack’s stuff or mine!!

I don’t know where the time went today – well I do. Cleaning, shopping and sorting tickets out for the Paralympics- yep I’ve finally managed to get us tickets for the Olympic park – Wahoo. It is, however a good job I rechecked the times on them before booking the train as I could have sworn I’d booked the morning session. If I hadn’t of checked we would have been on our way back before the session started – whoops, we’re going to the evening session!!!! Can’t wait now, mega excited -what a school holidays we’ve had.

Thankfully Jack has been occupied most of the afternoon putting his £1.50 bit of rope  he got from Castleton to use again. This time him and his mate Alice (Alice who the F*** is Alice – she’s just a mate!) used it to build a swing in the tree over the road. Damn good job they made of it too. Three and a half hours of fun for £1.50 – you can’t go wrong. Get your kids outside!!

So with swing building, tidying and ticket booking done it was  – time to drop Jack at rugby training and head out for a run with my mate, a bit of a magical mystery tour tonight but they’re the best ones to do sometimes. Loved the way Gill had totally lost her bearings when we came back out onto the road – but at least we weren’t lost and didn’t get attacked by any dodgy animals – just a bit of scary looking mud under a dark bridge – I wasn’t the one who squealed (well sort of squealed) though!! Another six miles logged. I’m hoping to log six more in the morning but looking at all I’ve to do before we board the train tomorrow……Hopefully the packing fairy might visit in the night!!

Six Miles done

Wembley Bound Tomorrow

Bring it on

A Generation Inspired- Maybe!!!!!

So that’s it – the Closing Ceremony is over (No Macca – wahoo) The flame has gone out, no more sitting glued to the T.V- so now what? Well first we’ve got to deal with the press post-mortem of what went wrong. To be honest they are going to have to dig deep to find much? I’ve been lucky enough to see some of the Olympics first hand. The Ladies Marathon, the Wendy-ball semi-finals at Old Trafford and we had a day at Hyde Park Live. I’ve no complaints about any of it. Despite all the doom and gloom forecast before hand, the whole thing was a fantastic , very well organised experience. So just what were the best bits……….

Well, on a personal level the day in London watching the Marathon was awesome. It was great to see what we miss when we run the London Marathon- I can’t believe how fast they go. The atmosphere was brilliant and the way people waited for the very last injured athlete to finish some 20 minutes after everyone else had done was respect for others at its very best. Then there was ‘that Saturday night’ who will ever forget it.

As a Mum, being able to share the Olympics with my son has been truly memorable. Granted, I’m not too chuffed with his new found love for beach Volleyball- maybe because it’s not the ball skills he’s interested in but we have watched sports together that we never normally would. Horses dancing – whatever next!! I’m not too sure what he thought to the female boxing we watched but he cheered as loudly as everyone else when Nicola Adams won the semi-final!!! We also saw the first ever female Saudi athlete compete that day- Hyde Park was on it’s feet as she finished a whole lap behind everyone else- hopefully come Rio there will be more Saudi women getting their chance.

The Olympics and the Jubilee seem to have made Britain great again- will it last, who knows but it will be sad if nothing comes from all that has gone on. So can we inspire a generation? Well we can if we are all prepared to do our bit- if we sit back and assume someone else will sort it, then it will never happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axg9-3JsnGQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGA-xG-IJ6k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYtpL5YhWOQ

 

 

Off to Inspire a Generation

Anyone want to help

Bring it on!!!

Just for a Change ……….The Olympics!!!

So what a few days it has been and I can honestly say I’ve loved every minute of it. I know that there have been those who have questioned the whole Olympic thing but you only need to go to London and soak up all that’s going on( people are even talking to one another on the tube – unheard of usually) to know it’s gone better than anyone imagined and I’m sure the Paralympics will be just as succesful. Will it inspire a generation – only time will tell, my only hope is that all the facilities that have been built will be put to good use  and not left empty like in other countries. Hopefully the government has now had the kick up the arse it needs and real P.E will be heading back to schools anytime soon – but I won’t go on about P.E it’s a real bug bare of mine – I’ll save it for another blog.

It’s fair to say I’ve watched sports that I’ve never really seen before and I’ve got to say the Female Wendy-ball (football) that I watched at Old Trafford was actually quite good. Don’t get me wrong some of the kicking and heading was a bit, well…..well it was shit. But boy did they lay into one another and I don’t mean’ handbags at ten paces kinda stuff’ they really had a go and there was none of this diving like submarine type stuff that their male counterparts do – well maybe a little bit. Only downside of the whole night was that we opted to cheer for Canada and the flaming Americans won – the ref made sure they did. Cheating in the Olympics – surely not!!  Still it was a brilliant night and from a rugby league girl that truly is a compliment.

Yesterday, after trying every possible option to get in the Olympic Park, we failed. Jack and I headed to Hyde Park to watch some of the day’s action on the big screens – another fab day- the atmosphere was electric. It’s hard to describe really, but everyone laughs and jokes with one another, all talking about how good the Brits are and asking why us in Yorkshire are doing so well – I didn’t gloat – honest!! One of the best bits had to be watching Nicola Adams (another Yorkshire Lass) batter her opponent to get to the finals. Female Boxing – whatever next. Not what I was expecting – they really go for it. Jack was some what bemused – think he was expecting girlie slapping and handbags – but he wore his union Jack Flag ( wore it – it buried him!) with pride and cheered just as loudly a everyone else. Despite his disappointment at failing to get in the Olympic park ( at least he did get to go in when I did my Olympic Park Run – but I think he wanted to see it finished!) he loved the day out and hopefully when he’s older he will be able to look back and say  he was part of it.

Only three days left now – then what will we do? The hunt for Paralympic tickets is on!!

Olympic exhaustion today

Feeling livelier tomorrow

Bring it On

Just a quick one………………..

So we’re back after a fab day out in London and I didn’t get on the wrong tube once – impressed – well I am!! We still didn’t make it into the Olympic park but watching on the big screen in Hyde Park was almost good enough. Jack was somewhat bemused by the female boxing – think he was quite disappointed that no girlie slapping was involved – believe me, there was nothing girlie about it!!!

So the feet are throbbing (again) and I can see a lazy day coming on tomorrow (again) but at least we’ve been part of it.

Survived in the Big City

Full Details tomorrow

Bring it on!!

Catch up time………..Well some of it!

finally a bit of a chance for a catch up but only a short one – I need to catch up with my beauty sleep before Jack and I head to London to enjoy the Olympics.

So let’s go back to Saturday night- what  a night that was- Team GB rocked and the whole country seemed to be watching. It was awesome-  the only downside was I didn’t get my early night prior to getting up at five for our trip to London to watch the Women’s Marathon – but who cares- we’ll never get to see a home Olympics again- got to make the most of it.

Sunday was brilliant, I don’t really know where to start. The weather failed to dampen the spirits of all who watched- and boy were there some people watching! I now know that in order to improve my marathon running I need to wear pants and crop top, long socks and copious amounts of pink tape on my arse- go down well in Wakefield that!!! But if it makes me as fast as them I’ll try anything. I’ve a long way to go to achieve the stick thin look though. Some of those girls were seriously in need of a plate of pie n chips!!!

Once the Marathon was over we headed over to Stratford to see what was going on around the Olympic park. top-tip- go. You may not be able to see the events in the park but you still know what’s going on and the place is buzzing. Mind you the train home was buzzing – but perhaps that was the large wine we had in the champagne bar before we left.

Last night saw me at Old Trafford on a school trip – female Wendy-Ball. Hate to say it but it was really good. I’ll give you all the goss on that in the next catch-up.

Early Night needed

Hyde Park Live tomorrow

Bring it on

An Olympic Catch Up………………….

So with art hogging the blog last night (the blog hogged my night – bloody uploads!) it’s  time to get back to what’s important at the moment- the Olympics. The Olympics have for one reason or another been a huge part of my life this year from my nomination to carry the flame ( didn’t get picked but to be nominated was massive) to running in the Olympic Park -what a day that was. I can’t wait for the athletics to start then I can sit there knowing I ran on that track before anyone else (well apart from the other 5000 that did the run!) Then there’s all the work we’ve done at our school and all that Jack’s done at high school for his ‘Going for Gold’ award, the list goes on.

Now the time has come to sit back and watch all that’s going on. Trouble is once I sit and start watching I don’t move – it is so addictive and not just because team GB are competing – you name it – we’ve watched it!!  I’ve got to say it’s nice to see the GB medals rolling in now – if only to stop the press whining. Honestly, personal achievements just aren’t enough for the newspapers – the swim of their life only means something if it comes with a medal attached – it’s really starting to naff me off but that’s British Press for you – always on a downer.

The London Olympics is hoping to inspire a generation – judging by the amounts of people suddenly out cycling and running it is certainly inspiring some people. It’s definitely inspired Jack – his sudden interest in Beach Volleyball is amazing – can’t think why, thank god we don’t live near a beach!

Still despite watching the rowing,canoeing,cycling,double trap shooting (!),gymnastics, horse jumping type thing,judo,and the ever popular ‘show us your muff’ Beach Volleyball I have manged to paint the front wall, weed the patio (Jack’s question of the day – are these weeds that stuff you smoke!) clean the downstairs and most importantly – fit a run in – managed just over six miles today- wonder if I’ll be fit enough for the marathon – might be needed now Paula’s dropped out!

Still loving the Olympics 

loving having the running shoes back on too

Bring it on!

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