Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

No pain, no gain, but rain!

I’m pleased to say, after this post, that I did indeed have a run at the weekend.

In hindsight, my timing was bad and the dark clouds didn’t quite register. Half way around the circuit the wind picked up and down came the rain! Never-the-less I persevered and the usual 16 min+ run was completed in a new record time of 15 mins 42 sec.thunderstorm

Maybe this doesn’t seem like much, but to me its quite an achievement. However, the faster time wasn’t really down to improved fitness, it was more to do with the biting wind and fear of frostbite taking the tips of my fingers and knee caps (shorts were not a good idea!)

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I was lucky enough to be number 18 in the queue at the SweatShop in Milton Keynes last Saturday, bagging myself a pair of the Nike Air Pegasus running shoes, at the 1983 price of £27.99!  The first 25 customers getting the trainers for this price as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration, a bargain I certainly couldn’t miss out on! wmns-air-pegasus-25_m

I do try and go running every now and then, I even got a Nike+ sensor so I could track and monitor my progress, but I honestly had no idea how much difference a good pair of running trainers would make.  I was springy, light and for a few moments it felt so easy just to run, I could even feel the wind through my toes! But I’m not a natural long distance runner, I’m not the right shape to have stamina and after 20mins I’d run out of gas, but the trainers were perfect and now I’m actually looking forward to a run at the weekend!

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Mud glorious mud!

Yesterday’s game at Shelford was one of the muddiest games I’ve played in a long time. With ice-y slush from the snow overnight still covering the shady areas of the pitch and a cold wind blowing right across, I was pleased to have my trusty thermal on. Although, running out for the start, the sudden and freezing rain really added to the atmosphere and from the off the sense of impending and inevitable mud covering was soon satisfied! There was a lot of sliding and slipping about and the uneven pitch didn’t help – running up hill through wet mud is a skill I’m yet to master (maybe I could learn something from cross-country skiing?)

However, the choice to go up the hill in the first was genius as we rumbled on down the hill in the second, scoring 2 tries and the Olney forwards giving a masterclass in scrummaging. I particularly enjoyed the ref trying to tell our props to ease off the pressure and stop pushing! Brilliant!

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I realised I haven’t blogged in ages. Partly because:

1) work is manic as we’re re-doing our website and I’m writing all the copy,

2) the boiler broke so spare weekends / evenings has involved the other half’s uncle, the plumber and boiler man, fixing pipes here and there,

3) As a result of number 2 I’ve been feeling poorly and cold most of the time (a hot water bottle and gas heater just isn’t enough some times),

4) lots of rugby training and playing now the season is well under way,

5) having lots of cuddles with the dog because his play mate had to be put down, but thats another story.

So this morning I was rushing to get out the door on time, which is always more of a rush on mondays because its monday and because I always feel extra tired and a bit bruised and battered after a good game the day before.

Our game the day before was against Leicester Stoneygate and I have to admit I was slightly apprehensive about it. Primarily because I don’t like going there. It’s the worst club, location and pitch in the world. It has its own micro climate which is always either cold, windy or wet, and yesterday was no exception. Its games like these when I really appreciate my thermal sports top (with long sleeves thank god.) Anyways, we won 27-5 and I scored twice! yey!

mr-bumpAfter breakfast mulling over the scrapes on my hands and thinking about the bumps on my knees, I then made a mad morning worse when I managed to trip over the stairgate (which keeps the dog downstairs) on my way down and tumble straight on into the dogs bed. Luckily as its only on the bottom step it wasn’t far to go, but I managed to smack the back of my left hand into the corner of the radiator on the way and there’s a rather large egg shape appearing – ouch.

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Yesterday’s rugby game, Olney Ladies vs Army Ladies Trial Team, was a bit of a stressful one for me.  We were all, understandably, rather nevous at the start.  Afterall, facing an oppositions who’s actual day time job is to be fit is quite a daunting prospect for us part timers that play for the love of the game or just for the enjoyment.  But with a big dose of PMA during the pre-match team talk, we started well and team work prevailed over some of the individual show-boating in the Army side (they were on trial after all).  But as a winger, games can be a bit lonely and get stressful at times when your team mates are diving into the ruck and you look up to a 3-man overlap.  The husky voice I have today is a result of my shouting!  All credit to the Olney Ladies though we did ‘defend like dogs’ and support was there when it was needed. A cracking game throughout and a real test for us, I have strong feelings that we’ll be pretty good in the league this year…

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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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The local gym that my other half goes to has got a promotion on this month as a thanks to the members for their patience during the recent renovations.  And the promotion is that a friend can get a free guest pass to use the gym for a week.

So my first night will be tonight, my aim is to do a good 30 mins on the cardio machines (rower/ treadmill/ x-trainer) and maybe some weights, but I’m not a gym kinda girl.  I get so bored and on a nice summer evening I’m much rather be outside (where running is free!) Anyways, fingers crossed that classes are included in the promotion, I’ve always fancied a go at spinning….

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Rugby in the rain….

Boo to the recent weather downpours. Theres nothing worse than trying to train for rugby in the pouring rain and wind, you get freezing cold, you can’t catch the ball as your hands are so numb and the wet mud is smelly, gritty and not unlike a very unpleasant exfoiliator.

Its a pickle that all sports enthusiasts face- its hard to enjoy your favourite sport rugbymud438.jpgwhen your soaked through (but you do slip and slide about which is good fun) , but equally it can be just as bad being boiling hot (and the ground is solid, ripping your knees to shreads) when your trying to play rugby. Oh, fingers crossed for some lovely soft ground, clear skies, no wind and perfect dry day for the match on sunday!

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As its been said many times already, England were very poor in last weekends Six Nations game against Scotland, very rubbish indeed. Now I’m a rugby player and fan but by no means a tactical expert or know-it-all when it comes to the finer details, but any ‘Jo public’ could see that the England players, as a team, lacked passion, quality and attacking force. Yes, Scotland played their hearts out, they played intelligently, put their kicks into touch and played an aggressive defence that drove England back and disrupted their game plan. And it worked. No England player took the responsibility to go forward, break over that gain line, play with ball in hand and make the tackles.

_44484139_cipriani_wilko203getty.jpgSo rant over and changes have been made. I’m glad that Cipriani gets his chance, one team shouldn’t rely on a talisman like Jonny, because when he’s not firing, it really shows. Fingers crossed that the young gun will step up (and not be seen out after midnight this week) and really take his chance.

But back to my point, and that is that these guys are professional sportsmen.  They probably train everyday, keep themselves fit, healthy, watch what they eat and practice the moves, the basics of rugby as a team every training session.  They’ve played since they’ve been able to run and hold a ball, they know the rules and they know or they should have the experience to know how to change a game and if somethings not working. Try something else.  Endless high kicks up in the air were obviously not working so why wasn’t it changed?  Where were the wingers chasing the ball? – thats your job, you’re meant to be the fastest on the pitch so if the ball goes up, you follow, simple as that.   Lets hope the lads have a better day at the office against Ireland.



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