Monday, 6 August 2012
I started off going down the Worcester Parkrun on a sunny Saturday morning. Parkruns are fab, they are 5k training runs that happen all over the country that are free for everyone (whatever standard) to go along and run. There is a brilliant community spirit, they're kept going by volunteers and the support is amazing. I was a little nervous about running 5k, I had only done 3 training runs for it so I just wanted to get around. I did manage to get around in 33.42. Not too bad considering it was really quite hilly and I hadn't really trained. It was tougher then I thought, but was an amazing feeling to finish. I even managed a sprint at the end. I am definitely going back, determined to get under 30 minutes. 30 minutes is my goal, when I get that I am going to join a local running club.
Three days before the opening ceremony (the Gold Challenge deadline) I went over the the Prince of Wales stadium in Cheltenham to do my last events. It was a beautifully sunny evening so the turnout was amazing. I started off with my 800 metres. I don't know my times but I managed to complete my 2 laps of the track. Luckily there were 4 heats sorted in ability order so I wasn't too far behind. I had forgotten how hard those two laps are but felt great to have done it. My long jump clashed with both my track events but managed to get one jump in. It was a bit more of a long stride then a jump, but it was legal so counted!! I finished off my Gold Challenge with a 200 metres. As with the 800 I had forgotten how tough it is. I got to the finish and I wasn't too far behind. I am hoping that after joining a club and having a winter of training I can come back next year and do much better!
That is all my 20 sports completed. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me for my Gold Challenge. There is still time to sponsor me for Dementia UK if you're able. You can do here.
I will do another post in the next few days about the whole challenge- and what sports I have decided to take up. Thank you all again.
Friday, 20 July 2012
I got a bit of a shock when I first turned up as it looked like I was going to be training with a load of under 10s, but when I found my group there were some older teenagers there too which made me feel better (especially as I don't quite look my grand old age of 29). I joined in with the recreational group, this group had the girls who didn't want to compete or who had started late (you know, after the age of 7 or so). We started both sessions with an hour (YES AN HOUR) of conditioning. This was hard core conditioning, we're talking about circuits that were much harder then anything I did in athletics training as a child. As the girls are 'late' starters to gymnastics they need to build up their strength to do the fun stuff.
On the second half of the sessions we got to have some fun on the apparatus. On the uneven bars with some (lots) of help from the coaches I was able to mount by some form of spin and spin again. This was with lots of support but still managed it. I did some handsprings into the foamy pit. I was very happy to be able to do this. What I was most proud of was the beam. It is a job in itself walking on the beam, but I managed to do a forward roll on the beam unaided and with a bit of help I also rolled onto the beam from jumping on the trampette (does that make sense?). I also was able to do a few other skills, lots of cartwheels, round offs, with support I did a flick (go back into a crab and flick legs over) and handstands.
I really enjoyed gymnastics, it really felt like I had done something completely new and achieved something. I have a lot of new respect for gymnasts, it is a majorly hard sport. I am very glad I did it, and when I see the gymnasts on the beam at the Olympics I can pretend I was as good as them!
Here is my usual plea for sponsorship, every penny helps so if you are able please sponsor me here. I would once again like to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far, it is greatly appreciated!
I really enjoyed rowing, it was really relaxing to be out on the lake and was a really good workout for my arms. I can imagine serious training would be incredibly hardcore though- very good for getting and keeping fit.
I am so close to the end of my Gold Challenge now. There is still time for sponsorship- you can do that here! I want to say a big thank you for all the sponsorship so far- really means a lot.
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
My 14th (out of 20) Gold Challenge event was air rifle shooting. I was looking forward to this sport as it was one of the few sports where Steve came along to play too. We went over to Gloucester to Glevum Target and Sports Club. We went for a couple of two hour sessions (even though we tried to go about 4 times but it was quite hard to find). On our first session we had a tour around the range. They have an indoor shooting range and on the grounds is the Gloucestershire County outside range so they have very good facilities. We had the safety briefing and were shown how to use the guns and were left to shoot. I was actually surprised at how easy it was to shoot on target, but it doesn't half make your arm ache. In hindsight I would have probably done the air rifle shooting before we did the clay pigeon as it may have made the clay pigeon shooting a little easier.
Steve and I went back yesterday for our final session. We did another couple of hours of shooting and I do feel I was gradually getting better. Glevum club seems a really good local club, it has about 150 members and everyone was really friendly. Steve is definitely considering joining and I am going to wait until after the challenge to see what time I have on what days. There are loads of sports I want to take up!!
I am less then 2 weeks until the end of the challenge. I have my final gymnastics session tomorrow, rowing on Thursday, a 5k parkrun on Saturday and an open athletics meeting where I will do 200metres, 800metres and long jump on Wednesday 25th. That'll be it- 20 sports completed. I am still raising money for Dementia UK. Please click on the link to see the amazing work they do.
If you would like to sponsor me please do here. Even a very small amount will make a difference to the charity. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far.
Saturday, 14 July 2012
The first session I went to was in the glorious sun. There must have been over 30 people there, some were playing a game of canoe polo, others were having formal teaching, and the rest (like me) were having fun kayaking around. I learnt how to tip the kayak over and get out, how to go forwards and backwards and how to turn around. We spent the last half an hour playing polo without our oars (using our hands to paddle). I managed to get stuck in and nearly scored a goal!!
On the second week the weather wasn't quite as good (it was bucketing it down). I was actually going to go rowing and finish my kayaking next week, but after a long drive through rush hour traffic in the pouring rain we found that rowing was called off (we think it was as there was no one there) so we drove back to Cheltenham to go kayaking. Honestly, kayaking in the rain is not so much fun as it is in the sun. It did get a bit chilly but still managed to improve my skills and didn't fall in. Even in the rain about 20 people showed up- and there were some very dedicated playing a serious game of canoe polo.
Cheltenham canoe club seems to be really thriving and has an active kayaking and social calender. I can imagine it is very easy to get hooked! I haven't yet decided whether kayaking is something I am going to pursue in the future, will have to see when I have completed all my sports. I have a busy week coming up, rifle shooting, gymnastics (I still ache from my first session) and rowing. I am also doing a 5k park run next Saturday so I need to squeeze a few training runs in so I can get round in one piece.
I am almost at the end of my Gold Challenge- less than 2 weeks to go. Thank you so much for your sponsorship so far- but there is still time to raise more so if you can sponsor me you can here. I am raining money for Dementia UK who do such an amazing job helping improving the quality of life of people affected by dementia.
Saturday, 7 July 2012
Pheonix Diving Club in Highworth near Swindon. I'll be honest, I was the most nervous about diving than anything else. Was very nervous that I just wouldn't be able to do it and end up doing some lovely belly flops! I turned up to the first session- the first hour was gymnastic based, I didn't do much of that due to my knee (even though I am due to do gymnastics next week but 3 weeks has passed since then so hoping it'll be a bit stronger now) but then the second hour we got into the pool.
In the pool I started out diving off the side of the pool- I was surprised at how easy it was to go in head first without belly flopping. I also managed a few dives off the springboard too on the first session. The second week I managed to jump off the 3 metre board!! I will need more than 3 hours of training to dive off it but I jumped and was very happy to have done that. I also passed my level 1 diving certificate- that involved back dives, pike jumps (I think that's what they're called) and other dives off the side of the pool. It was very nice to have actually acheived something. In the third week I concentrated on diving off the spring board and keeping my legs straight. I think I pretty much managed it by the end!
I LOVED diving. The club were really friendly and made me feel very welcome and I would like to thank them for the time in coaching me and also donating the training fees to the charity. Before I started I had no intention at all in diving again and went in with the attitude of 'it can be something I can say I have done but never have to do again', but a local pool in Cheltenham do an 8 week diving course in October time and I am going to go along and if I still love it after that I may even join a club.
I know I say this after every post but I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far. The amount raised will really make a difference to Dementia UK, and there is still time to raise more. If you are able to sponsor me you can do here (and if you haven't already check out what I got from Alan (Jonathan Creek, QI) Davies, and if you ask nicely I will tell you how I managed it!!
Thanks again :-)
Friday, 6 July 2012
Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far, and who took part in my sweep stake. Your money has made a massive difference. I am getting so close to my goal now, so if you can sponsor me any amount please do. You can sponsor me here.
I did my final diving session on Wednesday- definately one of my favourite sports so far, will upload blog on the weekend. I have also started rowing, rifle shooting and kayaking. Supposed to have my final rowing session tomorrow- we will see how the weather (and the traffic for the Royal international air tattoo affects that).
Thursday, 21 June 2012
I am a one woman sports machine at the moment- I have started wheelchair rugby and have my final session on Saturday, I went diving yesterday and have 2 more sessions left (await a blog post with pics and maybe even a video in 2 weeks). I loved my first diving session and can't wait for next week. I should be doing sitting volleyball as we speak but it helps if you take kit to work if going straight from there...... (so will be doing it next week). I have also had contact from a local rowing club today too so from next Saturday I will be doing that too.
Just a quick update about what's going on with my Gold Challenge. Here's the usual bit, if you are able to sponsor me, even if it's just a pound as every penny helps. I am raising money for Dementia UK who support all affected by dementia and help fund Admiral Nurses (like me!!!) If you can sponsor me, you can do here. Thank you.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
If you remember me from my athletics days (I hung up my spikes about 10 years ago) you may remember that I was rubbish at throwing, I have always had the upper body strength of a gnat and when it comes to chucking things I just have no oomph, but, I always enjoyed doing it.
Steve and I turned up to the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham for the Brewer Games and entered on the day. I was surprised how quiet the meeting was, events were multi age group, but still people were entered in every event. I have memories of the Spartan Open etc. where all the 100metres events had 4-5 heats with semis and finals and that definitely wasn't happening here! I'm not sure whether that's the sign of the times, the fact it was slap bang in the middle of the Jubilee weekend or because it was more of a 'fun' meeting with non championship events (1k etc.) and no medals. Saying that, the same old atmosphere was there with lots of support and cheering for every event.
My first event was the Shot Put. When I was young Shot was probably my least favourite of the field events. I don't think I had picked up a Shot since at least the under 17 age group- and that is many years ago now! All I needed to remember was to push the shot (not throw it away from my neck) and to walk out the back. My first two throws were legal and I got the very long distance of 3.92. My last 2 throws were no throws for throwing it away from my neck. I was happy with that- it's not long but it was a mark and that's what I came for!
After a couple of hours of spectating it was time for the javelin. I used to love javelin when I was younger, as I said above I was not 'naturally talented' at it, but really enjoyed it. Our competition consisted of under 15s up so were about 15 people competing so I didn't get a chance for a practice throw (but doubt that would have made a difference anyway). When throwing the javelin it has to land point downwards. I was very pleased that all 4 of my throws were legal. My throws weren't long- I got the grand distance of 7.93 but baring in mind my PB was on 10.28 when younger I don't think it was that bad (for me!)
I had loads of fun at the athletics track and I really got the bug to get into it again. I am going to start slowly jogging at the start of June to see if my knee tolerates it and Cheltenham Harriers have a series of open meetings in July that I am hoping to do a couple more events. I am also hoping to do a 5k park run before the end of my challenge too. There are also a couple of local clubs that look welcoming so I am determined to join and properly get back into it (it's got to help with operation size 8 wedding dress too!)
Next week I am doing my first rifle shooting session on Monday and have my final table tennis session on Thursday. I am waiting for lots of clubs to get back to me but I am hoping to squeeze another sport in next week- I am thinking it will be wheelchair rugby on Saturday but I am waiting for confirmation. Will let you know.
As usual- here is my usual plea! I am doing all these sports to raise money for Dementia UK. I am getting closer to my goal of £2012 but still have a little way to go. If you can help at all- even if it is only a pound please do. You can sponsor me here. Dementia UK do amazing work helping people who are affected by dementia and improving quality of life. They support Admiral Nurses (like me) and help carers nationwide. Dementia UK is an awesome cause and every penny helps them.
Friday, 1 June 2012
Friday, 18 May 2012
On Wednesday I went along to Pitville Badminton Club and had an amazing time (even though my arm still aches). We basically spent the whole evening playing doubles matches. I lost every match but one of them went to a tie break. I still don't understand the rules of who serves when, something to do with left to right odd and even numbers..... maybe one day I'll get it. I had a great time playing with them and it is definately on the list to want to do when I have finished the challenge (only 70 days left eeeeekkkk).
On Thursday tea time I hopped on the train up to Bromsgrove to play boccia with the Bromsgrove Boccia Bears. I was really looking forward to doing boccia (and I know I have been blogging about it for a while). Boccia is similar to French Boules and was created for people with cerebral palsy and now anyone with a disability can play. There was a very big turn out and we split into 3 games and started playing. The basic idea of the game is that you're either on the red or blue team and you're given 2 balls in the colour of your team. The balls are hard or soft depending on ability/ skill (I had a soft balls because they're the easiest to play with) and someone throws the jack and the teams try and get their balls closest. My team ended up winning about 7-1 (would love to say it is something to do with my skill, but I was rubbish!) I had great fun at boccia, the whole group were really friendly and welcomed me (and didn't laugh at my terrible efforts). I am going to try and go back before the end of my Gold Challenge because I would love to have another go.
After Boccia on Thursday I rushed home to go straight out to fencing with Steve. We turned up only to find out that fencing is on a Wednesday (we went last Wednesday but for some reason thought it was on Thursday nights). FAIL. We'll to fencing after we see the Olympic Torch next Wednesday (will someone make sure we get the right day next week??).
Next week I will be doing table tennis Tuesday and Thursday (I will not get lost this time), fencing on WEDNESDAY (I will remember), and of course I am going to be inspired by the torch relay next week. I am also going to book a couple of rifle shooting sessions in the next few weeks to get another sport done.
As you know I am doing my Gold Challenge to raise money for Dementia UK, if you are able to sponsor me you can here. Thank you.
Saturday, 12 May 2012
It is a six week course and on the first session we learnt the basic stances, moving forwards and backwards, basic attacking and defending and we did a bit of sparring at the end. It was great fun and a really good workout- especially doing it in the armour and helmet.
I am in the last few months of my challenge now. I have to get cracking to get all the sports done by the Olympics but I will complete the challenge. Typically, lots of the sports clubs I have found seem to be on a Thursday evening so I think I'll be busy on a Thursday until my challenge ends. I have lots of sports in the pipeline and will keep you updated as I go along.
I have done so well with my fundraising so far, but as it's the 2012 Olympics I am determined to raise £2012 for Dementia UK. Please have a look at their page to see the amazing work that they do. If you are able to sponsor me, you can here. Even if it is only £1, it will be greatly appreciated.
I will post more about my fencing course as it goes on as well as my other sports (with pictures when I get a new Dementia UK T Shirt as my other one had a washing machine incident with a pair of red jeans!)
Monday, 2 April 2012
I had my knee operation almost 2 months ago now, and I was hoping 2 months post op I would be able to at least jog the 100 metres but unfortunately my 'recovery' isn't exactly going according to plan and when I saw the consultant 2 weeks ago he gave me the great news that I can chuck the splint in the bin and the bad news that I need to go back on crutches- so that's that's how I 'ran' my 100 metres, walking on my crutches.
Back to The Olympics. Steve and I got on a coach down to London yesterday morning and hopped (literally) on the tube to Stratford. It was great to get a first look at the Olympic Park, it is dominated by the stadium and has the swimming, water polo and basketball arenas near and also the Olympic Village. They are still doing work on it- but it looks amazing. When we got to the stadium my we got directed through the disabled access so we didn't have to queue (benefit of crutches #1) and Steve made his way up to the stadium and I made my way to prepare for my race. While waiting for my race I got to watch all the participants of the parade, and didn't freak out too much when the mascots came past (think Whitley Bay). I was in the top fundraising group and within our group the participants ranged from serious athletes, a man dressed as a rhino and a 5 year old girl. Each group was split into 2 (one race on back straight and one on front straight) and found that my race was me and the serious athletes. We got led into the stadium- into the warm up track first. The warm up track is inside and was massive! I hope that after the Olympics it holds some junior sports hall athletics competitions because it would be amazing for that. There were some very motivating helpers in the warm up area getting us warmed up- I had to politely decline the star jumps and lunges! We were then led out on to the track- there were about 20,000 people there so the atmosphere was amazing! We were led out to the back straight and the other group went first. After watching the rhino sprint I am relieved he wasn't in my heat.
The whole day was an amazing experience and I am so glad to be given the opportunity. The stadium is awesome and the atmosphere was great. I have woken up today with aching arms from the crutches (hoping it's toning my arms up- benefit of crutches #2). I am exhausted but it was so worth it.The Olympic Stadium Event is over but I still have a way to go on my Gold Challenge.
It is for Dementia UK, an amazing cause.