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Archive for August, 2008

I’ve been a complete Olympic-addict over the last two weeks, eagerly awaiting the highlights on the TV in the evenings after work (Euro Sport HD has had fantastic non-stop coverage) and munching my cereal to the Breakfast Bulletins each morning.  So great has my obsession grown that I’ve been trying to catch up on those missing bits by watching the videos on the BBC website, which is brilliant!

The thrills and spills from the Modern Pentathalon has left me chuckling this afternoon.  These events seem to only pop up in the main sports media circle every 4 years and these athletes must be insane! Shoot, Fence, Swim, Show Jump and Run. All in one day! And on a randomly selected horse you’ve never ridden before. EVER!  No wonder it makes for such fascinating watching! I’ve managed to watch most of the Equestrian events, I love the cross country and show jumping (not so much dressage I confess) but it all looks so easy when the professional riders tackle these difficult courses.  Watching the pentathletes (who’ve already done three events and have a 3km run still to do) struggle round the course on un-familiar, seemingly wild beasts, really makes the competition wide open.  You may be doing quite well, then, like poor Yahor Lapo of Belarus, his horse, Pingping, decides not to play the game, resulting in a whopping 1200 penalties!

With such successes in cycling, swimming and rowing I’ve found myself glowing with pride and feeling truly patriotic as various previously un-heard of members of Team GB hop up on the podium and clutch their hearts as God Save the Queen rings out. I now can’t wait for 2012 and for our athletes to get their golds on home turf!

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It’s now less than a month to go until our first rugby match of the new season and, although its only a friendly, there seems to be no amount of fitness training that can prepare your body up to match fitness other than actually playing a lot of matches (past experience you see).

I do feel much more motivated and prepared this year compared with a lot of previous seasons (having won ‘Most Improved Player for 2007/8’ I feel v proud, but I’ve still got a lot to work on, fitness and stamina being my priority No 1) Its not that I’m an unfit person really, I’ve settled into a good fitness routine, helped ten fold by the other half’s unwaivering new addition to exercise since his knee op, and as a competitive gal I can’t let myself down when he’s off to the gym most nights.  So for the last few months its been:

Monday – Circuits (too many tuck jumps last week though and I was close to vomiting. Urghh. I thank circuits, and ‘Frank Brunos’ in particular for my increasingly defined ‘4pack’ woohoo!)  Tuesdays, he’s at the gym so I do a Fartlek run and then 30mins powerwalk with dog in tow.  Wednesday – Rugby! yey!.  Thursday is pretty much the same as Tuesday.  Friday is sometimes a rest day as is Saturday and Sunday, but I might do a quick run.

But what I struggle with is stamina.  Its frustrating, I’m a fairly decent sprinter (powerhouse thighs means I’ll never be seen in skinny jeans)  but once I’ve used the tank it takes ages to get my breath back and get the lactic acid from the afore mentioned thighs.  So I’ve changed recently from pushing myself to run for more than 15 mins in one go, which I sometimes find boring as well as hard work, I’m just not built for the long distance stuff, to Fartlek runs which involves: sprint x 30 seconds, jog/recover x 10seconds repeated for 10 mins.  I think I’m feeling some improvement but its going to be a long process.

All this exercise means I can scoff loads of yummy grub, I totally agree with CKs mate Rob, as I’m permanently hungry and I’d be humongous if I couldn’t exercise! So its rugby training tonight and as its chucking it down it’s going to be a rather soggy session.  I think I’ll have another biscuit thanks, going to need to keep the energy up!

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Fabulous France

We’ve just returned from a family holiday in Brittany and it was lovely. The weather was good, the food was delicious and the wine flowed freely. We discovered that 1Euro bottles of red are perfectly drinkable, as are the 5 Euro (5litre) barrels of wine which were equally good to wash down masses of bread and coarse pate.

We stayed near a particularly beautiful town called Josselin, complete with picture-postcard castle (Le Chateau de Rohan) canal, cobbled streets and plenty of cafes to sit and watch the world go by. Bastille day was celebrated with an enormous medieval festival the whole town was decorated and everyone but the visiting tourists were dressed in medieval attire.

As this was my first real holiday in France I was determined to make the most of all things French (not just wine and pate) so… food of the region as we were near the coast – Langoustines, Lobster, Oysters. I did eat a lot of Langoustines, they were on every menu and in every supermarket and I loved them, although a bit messy. Although we did find fresh live Lobsters in Vannes they were pricey and I’d rather a professional prepare and cook it, equally I chickened out on the Oysters, they just don’t look like your meant to eat them! I did however, and to my surprise eat a Snail. I wasn’t brave enough to order my own plate but I tried one and it was actually ok, a bit like a mushroom texture and tasted of garlic!

After a week of relaxing and eating its been a hard week coming back to reality and the holiday blues have definitely set in as we’ve munched and drank our way through some of the reminders of France we brough home. Now I want to plan when we can go back!

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Garden Magic

I can’t tell you how excitied I was yesterday when I discovered something miraculous growing in the garden. I like trying to ‘grow my own’ and have had success with most varieties of lettuce and rocket, I’ve tried tomatoes (got about 4 in total…) and the strawberry plants grown from seed have yeilded 1, yes one strawberry. It was very tasty, but still, just the one. So when an old grow bag started to sprout, I thought it was a tomatoe plant coming back to life so I’ve watered it, put it in a more sunny spot and watched its progress without too much hope for any produce. But that all changed yesterday. As I was watering said mystery plant the soil shifted and to my utter surprise, there in the black earth glistened a large yellow mass, a potatoe!

I can only guess that after watching Jamie at Home I must have bunged a potatoe in this used grow bag and completly forgotten about it. Amazingly I have grown spuds without even knowing it! So the bigger ones (4 as you can see) I have picked out but there seems to be plenty of more to come. So fingers crossed that
my careful transplanting into a proper tub has not damaged this mystery plant!

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