Friday, 31 August 2012

Exercise routines

The final instalment of our Olympic travels.  Below is Monday afternoon in the Riverbank Arena for the hockey.  We saw group matches between China and Japan and South Korea and Belgium.  The former was a thrilling contest.  Japan, bottom of the table, snatched a deserved victory against their bitter rivals China (3rd in the table) to ensure that China couldn't go through to the semis and Team GB then didn't need to beat the Netherlands to go through (which is a good thing as they lost later that night).  It was slightly surreal to hear a crowd of mostly Brits chanting "Nippon, Nippon, Nippon"!

It is a really fast and physical game.  My photos are rubbish though as we were sitting behind the screen (and I'm pleased we were given the speed of the ball).

The Olympic Park was pretty stunning. 

And we had a great time.

After the hockey we headed of to ExCel for the second round of boxing.  I was very impressed by the regeneration of East London.  Nothing like the development below existed when I lived in London in the early 1990's and now it looks as though it has always been there.

The atmosphere in the boxing was excellent.  It was not a huge arena so you had great views from all over and the crowds were very boisterous.  We saw 5 lots of quarter finals and were lucky enough to see 3 of Team GB's eventual boxing medal winners - Luke Campbell from Hull, Anthony Joshua from East London (both of whom got golds) and Anthony Ogogo who won a bronze. Of those, Anthony Joshua stood out as a star - I tipped him for the gold as soon as we saw him fight.  (He's the big chap in the bottom 2 pics.)

In other news, I'm taking baby steps to get back to my pre-summer exercise routine and am having some success. To date, 2 runs have been achieved and one thwarted by unavoidable late night working and torrential rain. I am thinking about running more, though and starting to plan when I can fit one in. Running is now back on my radar.

I realised how much I'm /my chimp is motivated by competition when I found it much easier to go out for a run after reading a facebook entry from a friend about her last run. She is getting back to fitness now that her twins are toddlers and her husband is working locally so more available for babysitting duties. To help her, she has a MapMyRun app which records her run, the route and time etc and then posts it to FB. It is a run I used to do all the time and her time was pretty good. I found myself thinking - I can do that and then, on Tuesday morning, I headed off to Bamford and did (most of) it! Actually, she is clearly fitter than me at the moment so I'm setting myself a medium-term target of getting back to those sort of times. I might even sign up to the app if it works! I'm probably never going to be as fast though as I have all the dog-based palaver to cope with; the leads on and off again, the chasing after them while they run round fields chasing low-flying swallows etc.
So, to keep up the momentum, today I'm going to go out for a short run at lunchtime with the dogs and then play golf this evening.  We're playing my final knockout competition.  It's the mixed and me and my partner Nigel are playing against my usual pairs partner Fran and her mixed partner, Lee.  A crunch match if ever I saw one!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

More sunny sporty pics to cheer me up in the rain.

 A few sporty pics to cheer me up in the relentless rain.  I should be on the golf course now but we were rained off by a torrential downpour.  You CAN play golf in the rain of course, but the sheer volume today was epic in its proportions.  The greens were flooded within 40 mins so we had to come in, thank the Lord.

These were taken a few weeks ago the Friday before we went down to London for the Olympics.  We're watching the 2nd Test match against South Africa at Headingley.  It was a great day out.

I've not been there since the new Media Centre was built.....very swanky.

Rich and his pal Sean.

The longest "beer snake" I've ever seen.  Chains of plastic pint glasses collected throughout the crowd and then joined together as the afternoon gets more beery!  Maybe not the most sophisticated entertainment but it relieved a rather dull game.

Sean acquires a "flankie".  Half flag, half hanky!

Oh God, there are 2 of them...

Next day we're at the Olympic Stadium (mercifully sans flankie).

Mobile beer seller - genius!

Then on Sunday over to west London to dump our stuff at my pal, Natalie's place and meet up with some Uni/college friends for lunch.

Then a boat trip down the Thames to Excel for the boxing.  It was a great trip and a bit more interesting than sitting on the tube for hours (although we did loads of that too).  London looked very glamourous.

We alighted at North Greenwich next to the O2.  The quickest way to Excel was on the cable car link over the river.  Rich declined so it was a couple of tube stops instead!

So, that's all the pics for now.  Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting instalment!!

Only joking.

We've had another hectic Bank Holiday weekend: 

We went over to my parents for a couple of days Thursday and Friday.  We played golf (badly) on the Friday at a very smart course near there.  Then had supper with my parents, sister in law, Her sister from Malaysia and my niece and nephew.  It was a brilliant, funny, chatty evening after which we took Dad for his weekly trip to the boozer.  It was great catching up with the Canadian half of the family.  They are great kids and good company and their Mum is a proper laugh too. 

The youngest lad, Lachlan is about to start a couple of semesters on a Tall Ship with the University of Nova Scotia.  Lucky beggar - they start in Instanbul, through the Med, down to Senegal, then over the Atlantic via the Azores to Rio de Janeiro.  How exciting for an 18 year old boy eh?

Mum is declining badly I'm afraid.  She won't shower or change without a great deal of "persuasion" and wants to go out every afternoon back to Grimsby to "her Mummy".  Poor dad, it's hard on him so I take over the showering, hair washing and clothing duties when I can.  It was rather upsetting this time as she was not her normal pleasant self.  There was a nasty streak to her.  So, while I remind myself that it is the disease, it was hard to listen and stay nice.  Very hard.

Saturday it was back to Sheffield for the football.  Another stirring victory over Millwall this time.  Our 18th consecutive unbeaten game (most of which have been wins).  It really is fantastic being a Sheffield Wednesday fan at the moment, long may it last.

Sunday was walks and boozing with my London friend who was up here staying with a mutual friend, Stacey.  (Stacey came up here to visit once and met a mate of mine, Jim and they have been married and lived here for years!)  Bit of a big night I'm afraid but luckily Rich and I had to catch the last bus at 10.30pm so we weren't in as bad a state as the others!

Monday, a rainy day out at the local agricultural show with my friend Natalie from London.  We couldn't quite believe we were going out in the downpour but it calmed down eventually and we had a fun time wandering round the stands and watching the gun dogs and sheep dogs and cart horses etc.  Natalie is a proper townie so loves all the country stuff.  Apparently, according to Stacey, she spent most of the evening surfing the net looking for properties up here!!

I took Tuesday off too to meet yet another London mate (Rachel) coming up with her husband.  Just to add to the inter-twining complexities, Paul was at college with me and Stacey and met Rachel at my wedding.  So I'm a proper matchmaker!  We don't see them often as they have kids (one of whom is autistic) and a very busy life in London so it was great to have a few hours catching up in Castleton. 

Then, finally, a dash into Sheffield for yet another football match.  This time a Cup game against a Premiership side, Fulham.  And we WON!!  And played brilliantly.  We're into the 3rd round and are now 19 games unbeaten.  Heavenly.

So, all in all, a hectic weekend.

I had been looking froward to rounding it off with a game of golf but now...a quiet morning catching up with blogs before heading off to work.  Back to REAL LIFE soon....booooo!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Super Saturday!!

 So, here we are, we've just arrived at Stratford and got through security (didn't take long and was very friendly) and we're about to enter the Olympic Park!!

Orbit.  The jury's out on this but I loved it.  I think the park needs a focal point and something which will form an attraction in years to come.

The Olympic stadium - we're getting v excited now with only 2 hours to go!!

Flag's out...check...


Admire lovely wildflowers....check...

Enter the stadium and find our brilliant seats.  We realise that we're sitting right at the end of the longjump pit and it is the mens' longjump final - bonus!

While we wait, we watch the volunteers setting up the hurdles.  It was a military operation, they actually marched in step and waited for orders to pick them up off the truck, take them to the marks and then even to put them down!

We soaked up the atmosphere and took some photos.  This family weren't quite Union Jack-ed enough as, after I took this picture, she applied sparkly cheek transfers onto her husband and father!
I was jealous, I wanted a sparkly face transfer!!

I love this picture of Rich and me.

Dai Greene in the first race of the evening - the mens' 400m hurdles semi-finals.  He made it through to the final as fastest loser.

I liked the little remote control cars to carry the discus's and javelins back to the net.

Christina Ohurougu.  She surprised us by coming second in her semi-final and making it through to the final (and then doing so well in the final to get a silver medal!).

Chris Tomlinson in the longjump.  He was never quite "on it" so it wasn't surprising that he ended up 6th which is pretty good by all standards.

Louise Hazel in one of the heptathlon 800m heats.  Rich fancies her so I indulged him with a few photos...

 And something for the ladies....this chap came 3rd in the longjump and was a real character, entertaining the crowd.

The Olympic flame - we couldn't see it until after the discus net was taken down.  Stunning.

I tried for ages to capture an entire sequence of a longjump and, when I looked at my photos, was chuffed to realise that my best effort was also the gold medal winning jump.  Well done Greg Rutherford, you did us proud!  Here goes...

Then Jess ennis enters the stadium and it goes mental.  She ran a brilliant race and gave that little bit extra to win her race as well as the gold.

All the heptathletes do a joint lap of honour which is great but all eyes were on one person...

I'll give you a clue, she's the one with the flag....

You will know that she's a Sheffield girl but did you know that her mum is from the Hope Valley, where I live?  Her mum went to the local school and her grandfather still lives a few miles away.  She has been out here loads of times so there's pictures of her in loads of the lcoal businesses (especially the ones who sponsored her int he early days) and, as a result, we feel like we have that little extra pride in her.

And then, after the madness of 2 gold medals, Mo comes out!  It was crazy loud, waves of noise rolling round the track....Mo, Mo, Mo, Mo......

Keeping us on edge, he gradually picked his way through the field and to the front before his awesome final lap blew them all away

At the end, he celebrated with his training buddy Galen Rupp who came second.  How cool is that?

It was an evening we'll never forget.