One Moment in Time – Tissues Required!

So despite the Wildcats best efforts to ruin my day by losing 36 – 0 at the stoop (and to think I carried their flag round for 5 miles so I could wave it in the Sadium – pft!) nothing was going to take the shine off what was a truly memorable day.The thing is, where do I start, so much to tell ……………….

Once upon a time there was a lady called Pat, she was one of the best people I ever knew, kind caring, hilariously funny and had a real fighting spirit. Sadly cancer took Pat from us before she ever got the  chance to put up a fight. Pat is the reason I run today. At the age of 34 I did something I hadn’t done since my teenage years, started running. That Race for Life  back in 2005 was the start of something I never expected, the start of me becoming a runner. The follwing year saw me line up for my first ever Marathon and with Pat looking down on me I’ve gone from strength to strength. Fast forward a few years and here I am about to race in the Olympic Stadium. To be honest I’d give all my medals back to have Pat here with us today sharing what she started. But as I ran into the stadium and the sun briefly came out I knew she was watching.

Right you can put your tissues away now, I just wanted you to understand why this run was more than a chance of a life time for me.

So race day dawned, and in a total contrast to the day before it was absolutely bloody freezing. Great for running – terrible for spectating.To say I was nervous was an understatement. It’s never taken me so long to eat a weetabix. Thank god I didn’t opt for the cooked breakfast like Ernie. Travelodge’s seemingly only cook in something that pings when its ready -hence the rubber food-  you should have seen the lasagne the night before, I’m still chewing the lasagne from the night before! Anyway, breakfast over we headed to the newly built (for the Olympics) Westside Shopping centre so I could buy another layer of clothes to keep me warm – honestly it was that cold!! The shopping centre ( it’s huge) was overflowing with Red-T-shirted runners all nodding excitedly at one another as they passed.

Shopping done it was time to queue to get into the Olympic Park, what a queue. Photographers and Celebs (allegedly – don’t get me going on the celeb thing!) got in early – amazing how many people thought Flawless were Diversity – then they realised they weren’t,  quote ‘where’s the big dude’ Bet poor Ashleys well chuffed!! So we waited and a guy in an orange high viz and a Walkie talkie kept saying won’t be long now – lying git!! To be fair they weren’t that slow, pretty organised for a first go. These huge tents opened and there inside was an airport – no really- scanning machines, carousels the lot ,only thing missing was Tie Rack and a WH Smiths. Poor Ernie,who’s shed a fair few pounds recently, had to take his belt off and then shuffle throught the scanner trying to hold his trousers up. I didn’t laugh!

We were in. The Olympic Park spread out before us in all its glory, well some of it did, some of it will when its finished! I’m sure come the opening ceremony it will all be finished but I did expect it to be completed, sort of …! Don’t get me wrong, its amazing, simple in parts but then that’s probably what’s so good about it and I’d love to see it again in July when all the flowers are in bloom and the Olympic flags are flying.

So, just what did I see.Well as you enter the park you see the Aquatics Centre, and Water Polo Arena – both pretty impressive and finished. Next up was the Orbit, which I think is finished, but it does still seem to have some scaffolding on it – or is that just part of it. Hard to tell really because I’m not that sure what its meant to be/represent. But it is an awesome bit of construction (art!!!) and even more fascinating there was a bloke stood at the top, is he stark raving mad?!?! Then we came to the Olympic Stadium. Now I’ve got to say when you first enter its no Wembley or Old Trafford for that matter but when you run onto the track and get a different view it definately takes your breath. Again, I can’t wait to see it come opening day.

The run took us further into the park, passing the Basketball Arena and The Velodrome – my favourite, you could see the BMX Track across the road, I’d love to have a go at that! On to the Riverbank Arena (Hockey) and the Copper Box (handball). I seem to recall lots of work still going on around here. On top of all that there are lots of waterways and greenery and you can definately imagine all of it been put to good use for years to come.

So to the run. Well there was definately a touch of excitement in the air – lots of giddy people, me included. Once in our starting areas, the warm up started. Now that was good, if you didn’t know the person either side of you before the warm up, you did after. Its fair to say we were standing very close together!! Warmed up and raring to go we then patiently waited for our start – by this point I was an emotional wreck and having some dude singing ‘You Raise Me Up’ didn’t help.

So Princess Beatrice waved us off and my moment had come, my Olympic Run. Highlights, all of it really. The workmen cheering us on, the drummers, the brass band, the sights, even the bloody big hill – I thought London was flat. But the best bit by far was the Stadium, running underneath was awesome, Chariots of fire played as we ran round and the huge roar as you entered the track is a sound I shall remember forever. So I ran my lap, my Wakefield flag held a loft for all to see (except for Ernie – who missed it). I ran the final straight as if I was going for gold and for me it was my gold medal and memories that will last a lifetime.

So stats for the day

5 miles (though many are claiming it was further) in 41:27

1975th out if 5707

266th out of 824 in age group and 68th out of 398 women in that age group

422nd out of 2700 Women

And I beat Princes Beatrice!

Not a bad day really

Best Day Ever


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

We only nearly won……………

Ok, so I know its been Mothers Day and most Mum’s look forward to breakfast in bed and a day off. Well living in a male dominated house puts a different slant on it. So my Mothers day treat was a day trip to Warrington with Jack, Ernie and the male half of the Harding Family (there Richard I’ve mentioned you!!!) to watch Wakefield Trinity take on the mighty Wire. On paper Wakey shouldn’t have had a cat in hells chance. Wakey obviously didn’t read that paper. I know I had my beer goggles on (yep go to a game with boys and they treat you like a boy and buy you a pint, not a half!!) but we looked bloody good. So good that we led nearly all the game and only  a dubious looking offside try gave Warrington the game (probably nowhere near offside when I’m sober tomorrow). Still it was a great day out in the sunshine – shame the sunshine was at the other end of the ground – can’t have everything I suppose.

A lovely Mothers Day and now I’m sat here wondering where the weekends gone. Mmmm, let me think………….

Less than 2 weeks to the ‘Olympic Run’ now

Bring it on

Paper Aeroplanes, Wendy Ball and a Sudden Realisation!

Well the day started better than yesterday, I made it to work without killing anyone, always a good start and I remembered to call for petrol. No more flashing red light. It was definately going to be a better day………….Then I marked the Maths Homework, can’t wait for the day some of our kids get the train, they’re going to be on it for days, more work on reading timetables is definately needed. All they had to say was the train doesn’t go to Perth, but no. A full on essay explaining why you would have to stay on the train until sometime the following day when the train has re-visited all the stations (at least twice!) before calling at Perth seemed to be the order of the day. Mind you who am I to criticise, I couldn’t make a paper aeroplane this afternoon! Mainly because I failed to the one thing we are always telling the kids to do…….Listen! I pre-empted what the teacher was going to do- wrongly and encouraged the kid I was sat with to the same. Whoops. Thankfully I know where the spare paper is kept – perfect plane (eventually).

Another thing that made for a better day was extra P.E, wahoo, shame it was Wendy-Ball we were playing- but then you can’t have everything. (wendy ball is a rugby league term for football) I had to resist the chance to get stuck in too much though, don’t want to miss my Olympic Run with a wendy ball injury!!!

So a great day, ended with a great run. Another hour of putting the world to rights while running – fairly fast. That’s when it happened, the realisation that I’d got something terribly wrong …….. Yesterday I opened my Olympic Running pack, took one look at the red dot on my running number and assigned myself to the red start. I couldn’t understand why no one else had the same colour. Tonight it dawned on me. The red dot means allergy!! White start anyone? Explains why the spectator bands are white not red. Oh well, I’m not blonde for nothing.

7.5 miles in 1:07:10

Brain switched on tomorrow

Bring it on

Inspiration + Hill Session = An Olympic Vision

Ever get the feeling its going to be one of those days……………….            Well having nearly served Jack his weetabix on a plate, calling at the supermarket for petrol, buying milk and no petrol. I was starting to get that Monday morning feeling. So when 200 yards from work not one but two suicidal birds flew into my car I seriously considered going home. I wouldn’t mind but I only cleaned it yesterday now it looks like it’s done ten rounds with Big Bird!  Still after a pre work coffee, my mood lifted a little and it turned into a ‘not too bad day’, the swimming bricks are starting to float and the radio reports we’re doing in English made for much laughter. Granted they weren’t actually meant to be funny but thats the upside of working with kids, what they say and what they mean are never the same thing.

I had thought about a run free day today, the ankle was aching a bit and I thought an extra days rest might do it good. Then I got home to find a little bit of inspiration had arrived. Yep, at last the Postie had been, my ‘Olympic Run’ pack was here. Giddy – just a bit. So my plan to rest went out of the window. A nice hill session was called for, just a short one as I haven’t done one for a while, I usually hate them,today I just imagined the Olympic Stadium was at the top of the hill. I was done in no time.

1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down and 2 x 2 long hills

3ish miles in 25 miles

Longer run tomorrow

Bring it On



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