Back in 2005 when it was announced that London had got the Olympics, I wasn’t happy about that, then the bombings the day after just made me detest the thought even more. A load more people in a city that is already very well populated and many millions if not billions of pounds spent on a few weeks of sport.
Little did I know when they actually arrived, how very quickly my attitude changed, although right up until about 4 days before they started when I took the DLR through “Olympic Park” land I was still very anti Olympics.
The opening ceremony was a total success, little old Britain proved that they could contend with the big boys and put on a show, and what a show that was! Thousands of volunteers have given up their time, booked time off work and spent many pounds travelling to London to help ensure the games run smoothly and what a fantastic job they seem to be doing.
The atmosphere in London is electric, I have never known the city be so united, people from all over the world, here in one place for one thing, to see their Olympians do well. The Brits are certainly doing us proud, I honestly never thought I would be screaming at my television at a lady on a bicycle storming round the Velodrome then jumping around like a loony with a Union Jack flag in my hands along with tears of joy running down my face as she picked up a Gold medal.
I have watched nothing but Olympics for over a week now, and it’s addictive, I have become a Handball addict even plotting a trip to Hamburg in Germany to watch the HSV handball team in action!
It’s one thing watching on tv, but I want more than that, I want to be a part of that atmosphere inside the Olympic Park, so I battled with the 2012 tickets website, I had Chrome and Internet Explorer open on my laptop, Chrome, IE and Firefox open on Matthews laptop and my iPad all searching for tickets as soon as they were released last night. I managed to pick up 2 tickets to the Handball on Tuesday night. Now Matthew is fighting to get the time off work so he can come with me! I am also going to the Athletics with my mate on Wednesday! Yay!
I am not sure London will ever be so united again and I hope the buzz continues through the Paralympics because this feeling of general overall happiness about the place I will miss when it goes…
Having spent the past six years trying to get into the London Marathon and finally getting accepted for this year, it has made me want to do it again next year so badly.
I still haven’t fully recovered from this year and with a bit of self diagnosis on Google, I suspect I have more than likely sprained my ankle, something which I used to do on a regular basis as a child so really shouldn’t be surprised!
Today, I have entered the Great South Run in October which is 10 miles. I have previously completed this race twice, in 2006 where it took me 2 hours and 12 minutes and in 2008 where it took me slightly longer 2 hours and 29 minutes. I would love for 2012 to be the year that I got a sub 2 hour time, this won’t be easy but I will certainly be putting in a lot of training once my ankle has fully recovered.
As well as the Great South Run, I have also entered Race for Life 5k in Crystal Palace in June, my best time for a 5k is 40 minutes which was achieved during the London marathon (somehow!). I would like in time to get my 5k time down to around 30 minutes but would take anything below 40 minutes for this one!
I would like to do a half marathon this year as well, and am toying with whether to do Shine which is an evening event in London or the Bristol half marathon, I cannot do both as they are on the same weekend and 2 in 2 days would just be MENTAL!!
I was also looking at the Paris marathon with a great deal of interest until I realised that there was a time limit of 5 hours and 40 minutes which I really don’t think I would be capable of
So, here’s to lots of training and lots of races and fingers crossed that I get lucky with the ballot…
On Sunday I vowed that I would NEVER ever do another marathon due to the pain that I was in. However, I was told that you soon forget the pain that you went through and you want to do it again. Someone compared it to child birth, I can’t say on that one having never done it and not planning on doing so any time soon!
One thing I am sure of though is that I DO want to do another marathon, some say I may be mad and I guess in a way I am, but there’s something special about crossing the finish line having just completed 26.2 miles, the majority of which are in agonising pain. I have now experienced that joy twice now, and I think it is addictive.
I was doing so well on Sunday, that I really did think that I would achieve my 6 hour aim, so to finish in nearer 8 hours was a bit of a blow. Don’t get me wrong, I am still so so proud for finishing giving what I was going through but something inside me says I can do better, and that is what I want to do.
All this morning, I was searching races which I could enter from 5k to the full marathon, one thing I have realised is that these races aren’t cheap. I am tempted by entering the Brighton marathon, but I also want to enter the ballot again for London and as they are only a week apart, should I be successful in the London ballot then I am not sure I could complete both so I am in a bit of a dilemma over what to do…
I want to say thank you to everyone who has sponsored me and the outstanding support I have received from everyone on facebook, twitter and of course in person.
The crowd on Sunday were outstanding and a very kind lady even gave me her jacket when the rain came bucketing down, also the volunteers who took the time to spend hours stood on the side of the road handing out water and lucozade and offering support of their own.
I cannot thank Matthew and my mum enough for their outstanding support throughout the day, cheering me on at every opportunity they could and for the supply of mars bars which kept me going.
I also owe a lot to my colleague Chris for the motivational hug and words of wisdom around mile 23(ish), this was much needed and gave me the motivation to carry on.
I cannot leave Rachael out of this, as being with her from around mile 20 was fantastic, if it wasn’t for her, I am not sure I would have got round. Rach, you are a star and well done on finishing!!
So far, I have £360 has been raised for The Adam Stansfied Foundation and this is brilliant, I would love for this total to rise though so please do visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SamanthaCawley and even if you can just spare £1, it all counts.
On Sunday 22nd April 2012, I managed to complete the London Marathon in a time of 7 hours and 54 minutes. I was aiming for a time of around 6 hours having previously completed the Dublin marathon in 6 hours and 58 minutes back in 2007. Little did I know just what was in store.
After the first 5k, I was feeling good and had actually broken my 5k personal best in a time of 40 minutes, again by 10k, I was still doing well, again breaking my 10k personal best in a time of 1 hour and 24 minutes. However, around mile 7, my feet started to develop the most horrendous of blisters and I was concerned by the distance I still had to cover.
A few miles in and am still smiling
I ploughed on, the blisters got worse and my legs began to ache. At mile 10, I stopped to use the “excellent” facilities and it was a relief to sit down, all be it briefly!
Between mile 12 and half way, I gave in and headed to first aid begging them to help with the blisters on my feet, all they could offer was some measly plasters but I was happy to take anything!! Trouble is, this stop cost me 20 minutes and I was well behind the pace I wanted to be.
The pain starts to set in
I kept going though, one thing is for sure, I was never going to quit. Around mile 19, a lady could clearly see I was struggling and gave me some words of inspiration/paracetamol for the pain and through her, I got chatting to another couple of ladies Sarah and Rachael. Rach was also suffering from foot pain and blisters and we ended up sticking together to the bitter end.
Not smiling so much anymore
I am so so grateful that I had a marathon buddy to see me to the end, as determined as I was to finish, the pain was starting to become unbearable.
Reaching birdcage walk and seeing the end in sight was a magical moment, the worry of not getting to the end was gone, I knew I was going to get there. All through the marathon, I kept looking at my “Adam Stansfield Foundation” wristband and thought of Stanno, if he could turn up to pre season training going through what he was going through, I could finish. Adam was an inspiration and I had to finish for him. I was doing this for him.
Finished and the smile is back!
As I crossed the finishing line, tears started rolling down my cheeks, I had (only gone and) done it! I felt proud, very achey but proud none the less. Now I am starting to recover, the thought of entering the ballot next year has crossed my mind… Do I or don’t I, that is the question?
This is my analysis of the prospects of my club for the immediate future – there is obviously a lot to consider, but based on the treatment of fans, policy of recruitment and turnover of playing staff, team and media management, and the worrying stories coming out the the club about the state of the finances at all levels, you are forced to conclude:
When Matthew and I got together, and he told me he was a Blackburn fan, I never thought I would get attached to them in the way I have. I’m from Yeovil in Somerset, a whopping 237 miles from Blackburn! I support Yeovil in league one, none of this pansy overpaid prima donna football… Oh how quickly that all changed.
As Matthew hadn’t seen Blackburn for years, I took him to watch Fulham away on Wednesday 25th November 2009, a game which they lost 3-0, a cold night in Fulham seeing them lose 3-0, you’d think that would quash any feelings I would have for wanting to watch that tosh again. Yet for some reason it didn’t, but this time I wanted to do it properly and take Matthew to Ewood Park to see what the home of this lowly premier league side was like, so the weekend of 20th/21st we drove miles and miles to Preston where we were staying.
On the Saturday we went on a ground tour of Ewood Park and that was where the affection started, this wasn’t just another plastic premier league ground, it was a ground with character and a stand that wouldn’t look out of place in League One The tour guide was pointing out how the ground was built with brick and decorated to the requirements of Jack Walker. Having been on a ground tour of Stamford Bridge, it was obvious there was major differences between the two.
Then on the Sunday we went to Ewood Park, for the visit of Chelsea, with Chelsea going one up within 6 minutes, it’s fair to say I thought here we go again…. This game didn’t finish the same way as Fulham though with Blackburn putting up a fight and clawing back and getting a hard earned point.
The ground tour, the comeback against Chelsea, this made me hungry, hungry for more so three weeks later we were back for the visit of Manchester United, another draw, this time goalless though, maybe Blackburn weren’t just a lowly premier league side but one that could hold their
own against the big boys….
By now, the love was growing, although I still felt like I was cheating on Yeovil a bit, even though I used to go and watch other clubs, I never felt the same affection for them like I did Yeovil. Having major affections for a premier league side was something I never envisaged I’d ever have.
In 2010/2011 season we saw Blackburn lose 2-1 to Arsenal, lose 2-0 to Stoke, draw 0-0 with Newcastle and draw 1-1 with Birmingham so after 9 games I still hadn’t seen them win but the affection was ever growing.
In May 2011 I got a job with South West Trains which entitled Matthew and I to free travel on SWT and East Midlands Trains, meaning we could get three quarters of the way to Blackburn for nothing. I was missing football and Blackburn announced season ticket prices, £225, around £12 a game, we couldn’t, could we? After all, getting there was free….
I flippantly mentioned it to Matthew who I think thought I was joking, to begin with anyway, there I thought about it, the more feasible it seemed, when I rang up to book the season tickets I felt like I was cheating on a lifetime partner even more so, my love for Yeovil is still here, it’s stronger than ever but I also have another love, Blackburn Rovers.
Travelling up and down the country every other week is mental but when someone asks “are you a season ticket holder?” and the reply is yes but I live in London! It seems even more mental. The situation that the club is in at the moment saddens me, I didn’t know the good old days with Jack Walker but it’s obvious how much people crave for those days to come round again. To have owners who don’t understand football and a clueless manager is hard but hopefully one day that’ll change.
Blackburn have a great set of fans who all want one thing, Venkys out and success in things can’t change overnight but hopefully survival this season will be a basis to build on, a new manager would help but you can’t help but feel Steve Kean is trying his hardest with the resources he has and the amount of pressure on his back can’t be helping but the sacking of Sam Allardyce was a disgrace.
Games like yesterday’s give me hope that they can survive, and with Yeovil in a precarious position, the thought of both clubs getting relegated in the same season horrifies me, it can’t happen…. Can it?!?!
I have a vision that Rovers will need a result at Chelsea on the last day and get it and the fans in the away end will go wild… I’m obviously hoping that survival is secured long before that. The FA cup final being in the season means that Rovers home game against Wigan has been moved to Sunday 6th May meaning we can go to Huddersfield vs Yeovil the day before and hopefully finish the season on a high with them as well.
One things for sure, it isn’t going to be easy and the rest of the season will be as up and down as it has been so far but it’s gonna be an enjoyable rollercoaster none the less!
I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of January already, this year is already starting to go so fast but it is set to be a cracking year.
On Monday Matthew and I are spending the night away in an unspecified location to celebrate 3 years of putting up with each other! Who knew when I asked him out for a casual drink, it’d turn into this?
Then we have numerous football games in February including a trip to the Emirates and a couple of nights in our favourite hotel in Leyland for QPR at home which doubles up as our Valentines celebrations. February also holds my fate as I have my final assessment for work at the end of the month! :/
March sees us off to Berlin, splashed the boat out and have booked a 5* hotel, have always wanted to stay in one but never had the opportunity until now!
April, argh, scary April, I am doing the London marathon in April and I haven’t been to the gym quite as much as I’d have hoped so I really need to crack on ASAP. Am raising money for the Adam Stansfield foundation, please sponsor me https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/samanthacawley
As well as the marathon I am off to Dublin for my cousins wedding as my mums “date” haha!
May, can’t mention my plans for May as I’m plotting a surprise for someone!
June, we are going to see Coldplay at the Emirates and if they’re half as good as they were at Wembley a couple of years ago then it’ll be fantastic. It’s also Matthews birthday in June so I will have to see what else I can plot….
Can’t wait for July, this is where I will see all my money gone as we are planning on going to DisneyWorld in Florida! Yay!
It’s my birthday in August so hopefully you know who will organise something
Errm, that’s all I have planned at the moment, I say all, it’s still pretty damn hectic and I have to fit work around all of this, somehow!!
This isn’t the most interesting blog I’ll admit but I am bored on the train to Sheffield and am testing out the WordPress app for iPad, I recently bought one and they are amazing. If you don’t own I e then I suggest buying one, perfect for killing time especially on train journeys
So in 21 and a half weeks I am taking on the London Marathon. It is something that I have always wanted to do and have been trying to get in for the past 5 years, failing the previous 4. I was shocked to receive a “congratulations you are in the London Marthon 2012″ and after doing zero training for Dublin marathon in 2007, I am determined to actually train for London. It took me just under 7 hours to walk Dublin and would like to do London quicker, but once again will be walking it.
However, despite joining the gym on 1st November, I have totally failed to get to the gym due to being so knackered from work. Tomorrow, I am out watching Dave Gorman so will do my best to get to the gym on Friday as I really need to build up some strength in my knee.
I have decided that I will fundraise for The Adam Stansfield Foundation and will be doing the marathon in full yellow Yeovil Town kit with “Stansfield 7″ on the back of my shirt. Please donate if you can at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/samanthacawley
I will blog on a regular basis with updates on my progress towards the London Marathon!
I am a bit concerned about my fitness, but I just need to work extra hard and make sure I put the effort in and I am determined to finish even if it means crawling to the finish!
Yeah I’ve neglected this place somewhat. I’ve become increasingly bogged down in a personal online identity crisis and wary of putting as much out there as I do, on here, in an uncontrolled, googleable environment. I resolved that the blog served no purpose – a blog needs a purpose. As my friend Ross put it, a good blog either covers a niche subject or has a clear target market. My blog? Talking about me? No-one cares bar a few close friends, so the dangers way outweigh the benefits.
I decided to delete it, but Sam urged me to keep it – so I have. I have edited a few of my older posts, where information was a bit too personal, but it’s all still here. I may or may not blog more in the future. But only in a way in which I am comfortable…
Well it would appear that this blog has been somewhat deleted, so I doubt we have any readers left other than Ross, Hi Ross!
I thought i’d let you all know that we are both still alive, Matthew just seems to not like his blog anymore… he goes through phases like this, one minute he loves it, the next minute he hates it! He seems to post more crap videos on YouTube than anything else these days so head over to www.youtube.com/scrxisi for some awful awful videos, mostly of car journeys sped up, quite who wants to watch those i’ve no idea….
This blog has been prompted by my boyfriends inability to ever have a decent profile picture on a Social Networking site. Both his Twitter and his Facebook have a picture of some random hideous old man. Now, I appreciate no-one wants to be over done with the same old pictures of someone thinking they’re drop dead gorgeous when they’re really not in their profile picture or a soppy picture taken somewhere so called romantic, yes I know, I am guilty of such a picture myself.
Seriously though, there are better pictures out there then the picture on the left, is this what people think my boyfriend likes when they click on his profile or what? I just don’t know what he’s thinking with this picture. Yes, granted, it’s different and is more than likely unique, but come on, it’s AWFUL!
Previous profile pictures of his have included, him with a sign at Silverstone, yes, this is a good picture, quite why it was replaced with THAT, only he knows. Before that, it was a picture of a sheep, because of the “make your profile a sheep” campaign, which I also didn’t mind as sheep are one of my favourite animals Prior to the Silverstone and sheep picture, was a picture taken in Greece of him with a blue tongue caused by cocktail. Again, this was another good picture as it reminds me of good times. Before this, was a picture of bananaman, acceptable due to his character at Comic Relief.
So to sum it up, my boyfriend is rubbish when it comes to profile pictures
Hello – this blog is brought to you in association with East Coast’s 0900 to Glasgow Central (Coach F, Seat 62). It’s a quiet train but nearly every pissing seat is reserved so it looks set to get full. We’re established in our seats though, all the way to Newcastle, so here comes a random blog. Continue reading On the train
As I have mentioned previously, I have been wary of social networks and the role they play – not so much privacy concerns per se, but the worry it will kill stimulating communication and meaniful contact. Anywho, I have concluded that I quite like having it but I can be more comfortable if I set up my privacy levels to match appropriately the level of friendship I have with people in a more offline environment. Whilst this sounds a touch creepy, I think it sits well with the objectives I like to achieve whilst keeping everyone in touch – as no matter what I set to visible for certain groups, everyone can still contact me on it (if that is their preference). Continue reading More Latest Obsessions
On the 1st May 2011, Andrew Foot, Vikki Langsdale, Mike Stone and I will be taking part in a 5k “run” in Exeter raising funds for The Adam Stansfield Foundation.
The Adam Stansfield Foundation was set up in memory of Adam Stansfield who sadly passed away in August 2010 following a battle with Bowel Cancer. Adam was a cracking footballer but an even better man/husband/dad and he is missed by all who knew him or even just saw him play. I don’t like to write too much about it as I get emotional so i’ll just point you to this post from the time…. Adam Stansfield: 1978-2010
Doing the 5k is going to be difficult for me as back in 2007 I injured my left knee and it hasn’t been the same since. I’ve now got a job which requires me to spend a lot of the time on my feet and it’s been getting very painful recently, so much so that i’ve been back to the doctors and am waiting for physio which starts on 10th May. Even just walking a mile to Ewood Park yesterday was painful so 5k is going to be hard.
I feel like i’m letting the others down as they have trained so hard and I simply haven’t been able to, but they can put their hard work into practice and get a good time and i’ll just amble round and get to the finish when I can!!
Please make the pain worthwhile by visiting our sponsorship page and I know it’s a cliche but every little helps so please donate whatever you can.
Yesterday I witnessed Yeovil Towns biggest away win in EIGHT years!! They beat Leyton Orient 5-1 on their own patch, the same patch that has seen the O’s go unbeaten at home for 6 months!
I wasn’t sure whether to attend or not having spent £50 last weekend watching a vital 3-2 win away at Exeter, and it costing £22 to get into Leyton Orient. £22 could get 2 people in to Blackburns game vs Birmingham and 2 tickets on the Rovers gamble! That’s how mad this football lark is!
However, having enjoyed the game last week so much, and travel costs being £0.00, I decided to go and thank the lord I did as someone was shining down on Yeovil! I like to think it was Stanno, but I cannot prove this; one thing I do know is he wasn’t shining down on Exeter who suffered another defeat at the hands of Colchester United this time, also 5-1!
Early on, Orient had some good possession but then the ball fell sweetly to Shaun MacDonald who fired in a powerful shot from at least 30 yards, leaving the keeper as stunned as the away faithful, Yeovil were winning!! :O
Orient then had a man sent off, much to the amazement of the home crowd who seem to think that going in two footed, studs showing is an acceptable way of tackling! Poor Welshy only has small skinny legs so I feared for them for a second, luckily he was able to carry on!
Yeovil then got a second, again thanks to Shaun MacDonald, that man really is a different class, if we’re able to sign him at the end of the season, it would be amazing. He is at least a Championship class player!
Orient then decided that handling the ball was a good way to get themselves back in the game, referee didn’t approve though and quickly pointed to the spot! There was only one person ever taking this penalty, yes you guessed it, Shaun MacDonald, he stepped up and slotted away a cool penalty to send the away gathering wild and the home crowd silent!
And that’s how it stayed to half time. 0-3, not sure anyone could quite believe the Yeovil side that had turned up were the same side that were battling relegation with the opponents fighting for a play off spot!
Yeovil started the second half the same way they finished the first, with fire in their belly and a real want of more goals, they didn’t have to wait long… just 2 minutes actually as Andy Welsh knocked in a goal from a position that he really shouldn’t have been allowed to get into! 0-4!!! GET IN!!
Unfortunately, a moment of weakness at the back saw Orient get one back, and a few nerves started to form from within, could we really throw away a 4 goal lead, you wouldn’t have thought so, but this is Yeovil so expect the unexpected!
Luckily, my worry was meaningless as Yeovil went onto get a fifth thanks to Dean Bowditch, that was it, signed, sealed, delivered, 3 points in the bag!
And then full time came. It still didn’t really hit home that Yeovil had scored FIVE! Yeovil don’t score five, especially not away from home, yet they had and the whole squad looked delighted. It’s great to see such a squad unison and the sheer passion from the players. People say loans don’t really care that much, but I disagree, those at Yeovil all wanted the 3 points and none of them would have been happy should that have not happened!
I can’t quite decide if Facebook is spawn of the devil or fantastic keep-in-touch tool that has kept many an otherwise doomed-to-lose-touch friendship bubbling along.
I previously left Facebook for about 6 months when disillusioned with it, and now I am getting pangs to do so again. It’s a lazy tool that lets people keep in touch with me by stealth. I don’t communicate with Facebook friends, I pass comment on their life, or if I can’t even be bothered to do that, I show a simple mark of approval. If I want to talk to someone I still reach for my email – excepting those people who generally don’t respond to email, or for which I don’t have an email address. So there is an argument straight away – it has enabled communication with someone who I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to contact.
No it hasn’t, it’s enabled communication with someone I have been too lazy to ascertain correct contact details for because of Facebook.
I recently lost touch with a friend who wasn’t on Facebook – maybe had he been on Facebook we’d have kept in touch, and that is the future for me if I get rid of it. No, hang on – we got back in touch by phone and had a happy beer fuelled reunion, in which it turned out that he’d had so much going on with work that he’d largely neglected everything else. Facebook would have been everything else and would not have helped.
Regular reader Ross is not even on Facebook and we text and email regularly. In fact arguably more than we ever did when he was briefly on Facebook. In fact arguably more than we did ever. There is no pro-Facebook counter argument at all for this point! It’s never been needed and would no nothing to enhance things.
It’s its creepy laziness that I think I want to get away from. But there’s something about it that I don’t want to lose. I am aware that I will stay in touch with my closest friends whatever – but I’d lose a lot of social interaction around activities and events I partake in and enjoy if I wasn’t on Facebook. It’s more the funny links posted and events of the TCDL that I enjoy on there. If I didn’t have Facebook, I think I’d fall out of a lot of loops rather quickly.
So maybe I should resolve to make it something I use for what I want it for, and tidy up my profile to counter privacy concerns. And then of course, anyone who seems to be “Facebook-only” can still get in touch. But I am also going to go throught my contacts on my email and make sure I have an email address for everyone.
Hello and welcome to another random blog post. Last time I used a phrase, “lets take a ride on my train of thought” – and that will very much dictate whether or not this post has anything in it or not! All aboard! Continue reading Podcastery
If I were to identify one feature of roads in London that is different to anywhere else in the world, it would be the humble roundabout. I learned to drive up north Continue reading Roundabouting London