Monday, 13 August 2012

Memories & motivation - the best Olympics ever

So, it's over.  The most amazing Olympic Games ever held (I might be biased) have finished, the London 2012 flame has been extinguished, and the flag has been handed to Brazil...but it was a wonderful, emotional, inspiring time and I feel a real sense of loss at its close.

My running has unfortunately taken a back seat during the Olympics (what with being a volunteer Games Maker at the Olympic Park or being unable to tear myself away from watching all the sport on the TV, two laptops & iPad we've simultaneously been using) and I have clocked up just  37 miles since the Opening Ceremony! I think I have to accept it's probably a good thing that the Olympics didn't last any longer, for the sake of my fitness if nothing else.

But now, as I refocus on my both my goals and what I need to do in training to achieve them, this will change and my mileage will get back to normal, and then start to increase as I prepare myself for the 10in10. I'm taking inspiration from the ordinary people that the Olympians were before they committed to put in the relentless "hard work and grafting" (as Mo Farah put it) to become the extraordinary athletes they have proved themselves to be during the Games.  I'll never be as fast or as strong, or able to dedicate my life to sport as they do, but I can certainly be the best that I can be.

I'm not just a marathon runner...I'm a London 2012 Games Maker!

I wrote a "Top Moments" list for the Olympics, but it became ridiculously long, so I've shortened it.  The result is that my list now omits many amazing performances I've seen, and experiences I've had, but I decided for the sake of brevity I had to whittle it down to a Top 10. So in no particular order, here it is:-

 * Attending the rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony. Words can not describe what it was like to be inside the stadium for that show. Danny Boyle is a genius.
 * Seeing just how much competing meant to every athlete, TeamGB or not - whether they won or lost, the emotions for most were etched on their faces, telling us the story of just how much they sacrificed & how hard they'd worked during the last four years.
 * When I started crying with pride, empathy and admiration as the runners came round the corner towards me in the women's marathon.  Although they were not the only tears of pride & admiration I shed during the Games...
 * Watching Mo Farah's 5km and 10km phenomenal, triumphant races, as I screamed encouragement at the TV. He's an absolute hero.
 * The World Record breaking 800m race by David Rudisha.  Lovely man, awesome performance!
 * The elation and the exhaustion of the rowers who gave absolutely every ounce of themselves in their races. 
 * The domination of the fantastic TeamGB cyclists. Bradley Wiggins & Chris Hoy are absolute legends. 
 * Jessica Ennis's gold - mainly because I think there was so much pressure on her, I am amazed at her strength of character and determination to actually achieve what was expected of her.  Also, I really believe that the multi-sport events are the hardest, and those competitors are the very best of the athletes.
 * Flag waving & cheering - at the screen at home, at work, at the Olympic Park and at the women's and men's marathons - any chance I get...give me a flag & I'm happy.  People at work even waved my flag at my desk on my behalf when I was out of the office and TeamGB got a medal  I'm am sure that the waving of the lucky flag has helped many to success!! ;)
 * The atmosphere at the Olympic Park. The place is truly astonishing & beautiful, especially as the sun sets, or at night when it's amazingly illuminated, with everyone happy, all sharing an experience, everyone patriotic but supporting each other.

I'll post some other photos from my Olympic experience, but for now, here's the fab TeamGB "Don't Stop Me Now" video - this song has always been one I love to run to, but now it will be a much greater motivator for me....

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