Race for Life – Sandwell Valley 2007

Well folks, have completed the Race for Life for a 2nd year running.  Not a huge accomplishment I know, but at least it means my months of training weren’t in vain.  It was a extremely hot day again this year and my gps cut out half way round so probably not my best time ever but P reckon’s I was in the top 100 finishers or if not then just outside.  That’s fairly acceptable to me as there were about 3000 entrants.

Have decided to change my training technique though for the next few months so that I’m able to increase my distance and stamina.  I thought I’d get our hols out of the way tho first and then embark on my new schedule. I’ve entered another 5k (the Hydro Active Challenge) in Sepember but my ultimate aim is to also be able to complete a 10k before the end of the year.  I’ll let you know how my progress is going.

Puerto Pollensa, Majorca

Just returned from a fab 6 days in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca. It was our first time here but sooooo pleased we’ll be returning in 5 wks, it was beautiful.  Left here on Weds 25th April from Birmingham and can you believe it – I got frisked again!  Only visited Birmingham Airport twice and on both occasions have been frisked, I must have that kind of face

Arrived in PP around 6pm and the weather was breezy but sunny.  Had a stroll down to the beach and visited the nearest bar for a spot of tea.

We stopped at the Apartments Don Miguel which we were a little concerned about due to a few bad reviews we’d seen, but too be honest the apartment was great! Basic, but clean and tidy and in a great position overlooking the pool.  The staff were friendly too as were the other holiday makers stopping at the resort.  P attempted the pool a few times but I only ventured in on the last day – OMG was it cold!

We sampled a few drinking establishments while we were there RAF and Palms to name a couple.  But the place we spent most of our time was ‘Bony’s Tea Shop’ in the church square.  It didn’t seem to matter what time of the day or evening we went here it was always busy – a testiment to the fantastic ‘Jose’ who ran the place and he’s ultra friendly staff, namely ‘Pablo’! Jose is such a character, he has several catchphrases which include “people, people”, “don’t panic, don’t panic”, “people….. viva espana!”.  He also throws handfuls of sweets out into the square for any passing kids to go collect. Pablo was extremely friendly and helped P no end with his attempts at Spanish even though we could tell he found my efforts highly amusing.  On our last night at Bony’s I decided to have one of their “large spirits”.  P had asked Jose previously, who decides on the measures?  Jose’s reply was simply “if I like you, you get a very large measure”.  Upon asking for a Southern Comfort with just ice I was bought something resembling a brandy glass which was then 3 quarters filled with SC!  All that for 4.90 euros which I believe to be about £3.50.  Needless to say I don’t remember much about the 20 minute walk back to the apartment that night

On Sunday night we re-visited ‘Palms’ and I took part in the karaoke night they had on.  P was most disappointed that there were no Depeche Mode songs listed, so refused to get up and sing!  A great night had by all and had a lengthy chat with the Ex pat owners of Palms about life in PP.  Quite an eye opener!  Also chatted with another great chap but can’t remember the name of the cafe.  It turned out he wasn’t spanish, he was actually Moroccan but could speak 7 languages.  We bumped into him a couple more times whilst walking around PP and he always recognised us and said ‘hola!’.

Puerto Pollensa itself was lovely.  Beautiful beaches and lovely clear, calm sea.  We had 3 sunny days and 2 dull/rainy days while we were there but this didn’t stop us having a great time.  The marina area is great too with plenty of places to eat, drink, chill out along the way.  If you’re ever heading out to PP check out the lovely ‘Pine Walk’ along the beach and also the fantastic sand sculptures by the marina.

We left PP on Tues lunchtime and headed out to the Airport by transfer.  Really didn’t want to leave and can’t wait to head back out there to the Don Miguel in just 5 weeks.  This will be the kids first holiday abroad and we really can’t wait and neither can they!  As for the flying….. still don’t like the take off – at all, but everything else was ok and as with Tenerife – still have the bug for overseas travel. 🙂

London was ‘Wicked’!

P and I had our fab trip to London a couple of weeks ago.  We headed off on the train on the Friday afternoon and a couple of tube rides and a courtesy bus later we were at the Hilton Docklands where we stayed for 2 nights.  The hotel was wonderful, would definately stop there again.  Staff were friendly, food was delicious and the views towards Canary Wharf were fantastic especially when lit up at night.

We spent Saturday morning viewing some of the sites, Buckingham Palace, Downing St, Nelson’s Column etc and then headed off to the Apollo Victoria for our matinee performance of ‘Wicked’ that P had bought tickets for, for my 30th.

What can I say…. ‘Wicked’ was wicked!  The sets, costumes and music were amazing and even better that it starred Idina Menzel from the original broadway production.  Her voice is truly amazing.

We set off from the theatre to Waterloo, where P coaxed me into a flight on the London Eye.  I wasn’t convinced that I was going to enjoy it as I’m not the best with heights, but it was brill and I’d recommend it to anyone.  Weather was a bit murky though so would be nice to try it again on a clear day.  The area around the wheel had many stalls and a kind of carnival atmosphere going on.  There were plenty of food stalls, live music and there was a group of great breakdancers.

We headed back across the bridge towards Trafalgar Square, where we noticed they were setting up ready for the Scissor Sisters concert that was on that night.  As you can imagine there were crowds of people everywhere!  We hung around for a little while and then headed back to the hotel for something to eat.

Sunday morning we headed off to the Oxford Street area but were quite disappointed that none of the shops opened until 11, some even later than that at 12, 12.30pm.  So we just had a wander with a few rest stops to save my aching feet!  We checked out of the hotel at 1pm and then made our way back to Marylebone to catch the train home.  One of the nicest weekends I’ve ever spent away.  Plenty to do, plenty to see and fantastic company.

Race for Life

Well I did it!  Completed the Race for Life at Sutton Park on Sunday, god, was it hot!

Didn’t quite manage the time I’d hoped for of 30mins but much improvement on my last 5k time.  This year I completed it in 32.30 so have knocked about 7 mins off.  The training obviously paid off.  Just hope I can knock as much off again next year.

We had a great time and as ever the atmosphere was brill.  The course was hard, much harder than I’d expected with rather a lot of hills.  P and A came to cheer me on which was much appreciated and altogether there were 6 of us from learning4life taking part.  Me, Kath, Barbara, Debbie, Tracy and Lisa.  Kath managed a fantastic 28 mins and put us all to shame!  Raised some cash for Cancer and now hoping to do the Hydro Active Challenge in September as I have the race bug again.

Race for Life Training

Have been frantically training since Mar/Apr time in preparation for the Race for Life at Sutton Park on Sunday 16th July.  I completed the Women’s Hydro Active Challenge last September, this being my first ever race.  It was only 5k but managed to complete it in 39min 6secs.  I wasn’t going to be breaking any records but I’d at least beat my target time of under 40 mins.  After completing the Hydro I fell out of the training habit unfortunately, but then got roped into the Race for Life with a team of work colleagues.  I’ve been training hard, running 3 times a week, as this time I wanted to be able to run 5k with ease rather than feeling knackered after 2k!  I was running on my own to start with but now P motivates me on most of my runs I think you can call it that anyway, it feels like torture!

Anyhow, I’m up to 5 mile run’s now, whether it be torture or not and I’ve set my goal of running the RFL in under 30mins.  Whether I’m successful remains to be seen, but I’ll keep up the training all the same.

Any offers of sponsorship will be greatly received !

Tenerife!

Well we got back from our 4 night trip to Tenerife at 1.30am on Tuesday morning.  As you know P bought me the trip to Playa De Las Americas for my 30th birthday and it was my first trip abroad.  Had the most fantastic time and the weather was extremely hot.  Much hotter than we’d expected it to be.  We spent most of our time on the beach, eating out or shopping!

Some of the places where we ate out were The Drop Inn, Head or Tails, Mick’s Cafe, Las Vegas and The Steakhouse.  All were great in different ways.  Heads or Tails and Micks’ Cafe were both English places.  We had meals at both especially Micks Cafe where we went every day for lunch as it was just off the beach.  A pint of Estrella there was 1.5 euros so as you can imagine, P had rather a lot of those even though Dorada seemed to be the beer of choice lol  We also ate at ‘La Cas del Pescado II’ on our first night.  They had the most amusing man standing out front promoting whom I assume was actually the owner.  He had a laugh like ‘Mr Miyagi’ from the Karate Kid film and wherever you were round and about you could always hear him saying ‘We do good Tapas….. you like Tapas?’.  Needless to say he became known as ‘Mr Tapas’.

The Drop Inn was another great find as they had live entertainment there each night from 10pm (some were better than others  )  But the best night of all had to be Sunday night.  We started out at ‘Las Vegas’ where they had the most entertaining Portugese singer/saxophonist/keyboard player/guitarist I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.  He got us dancing, singing and even made all the passing children laugh as they walked past.  Thoroughly nice chappy who I hope we’ll see again some day.  We then ended the night in ‘The Drop Inn’ where, wait for it……………… ‘BLACK LACE’ were performing!!  We couldn’t believe it, cheesy I know with Agadoo, Hot, Hot Hot, Brown Girl in the Ring etc, but a fantastic nights entertainment all round with plenty of food and beer included

Every meal we had during our stay was delicious with no exception.  The people were friendly (apart from the supermarkets close to the hotel where the shop assistants looked like they’d seen just one too many tourists!)  P tried out the Spanish he’d been learning and all the restaurant/shop workers that we met seemed very appreciative of this and tried to help out.

Looky-looky men, promoters, time-share people were very in your face.  I didnt like this at all but P said it didn’t bother him.  I just felt after saying ‘non gracias’ for the 100th time I was a bit peed off!

Would love to go to Tenerife again but maybe try some of the ‘greener’ areas further North.  Flying was fine – didn’t like the take off much but being up there and the landing were all ok Definately have the bug for this overseas travel now and can’t wait for our next trip abroad.

My brilliant birthday!

Well, I’ve just had the most brilliant 30th birthday you could possibly imagine!  Thanks mostly to my wonderful hubby, P.  My day started with some lovely presents, one of which was tickets to go and see ‘Wicked’ in the West End in September.  I then opened my card off P and on the back he’d done a little quiz along the lines of ‘my first is in mom but never in dad’ kind of thing.  This led me to go look in the microwave in the kitchen, whereby I found 2 tickets to Tenerife!!!!  This was the best pressi anyone could possibly have bought me as I’ve never been abroad before and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

Things didn’t end here.  I then went to work on the afternoon and received a lovely bouquet from P.  We didn’t do a lot on the evening of my birthday but I was so overwhelmed with the lovely things I’d had I was happy to stay in.  The following day P said him and the children were taking me out for a meal.  We all went off to the Harvester around 6.30 ish.  We had a lovely meal and then headed back home around 8.15.  As soon as we arrived I knew something was going on as there were photo’s of me as a child on display and then as I walked into the kitchen I was greeted by about 30 of my friends and family all wishing me Happy Birthday!  And then to top it all off, I yesterday, went out on a motorbike as a pillion passenger for my first time as a special birthday treat.  All in all it’s a birthday I’ll never forget thanks to the thoughtfulness of my lovely hubby.  I just can’t wait for my first trip abroad now! Will keep you updated!