On bank holiday Monday I made my big return to the athletics track! Well, big return may be stretching it but I was definitely there! For the Gold Challenge you have to take part in 3 hours of training or a competitive event, so thought I would do a couple of athletics events. I haven't starting running yet so entered a couple of field events- shot put and javelin.
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.