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Day 161: What a great weekend of sport!!

We went out last night to see some friends who we first met at anti-natal class 11 years or so ago!! We had a great catch up a curry and a few beers and we ended up getting to be late and I had to be up at 8ish for Sammy’s 1st league fixture for the spring league.

Away to Berinsfield in the pouring driving rain was not what I envisaged for the game but I suppose its the winter and for the love of our kids then these things we do!! We hid out of the wind and rain and then went across to warm up now it was at this point I stretched to stop a ball and felt a tear in my calf not good!!

The game kicked off and Grove went on the attack passing the ball around with consummate ease. Berinsfield had little or no answer to Grove and just couldn’t cope with the movement and battling play from Grove. We had a few changes from last week and some of the subs stepped into the side with Aaron coming into left back and Owen starting in the midfield and both had great games. Jack Blake playing with huge energy made a great run through the defence only so slice the ball wide, 2 mins later he should have had another after a brilliant piece of football from Jamie Dawson and Sam North but the keeper saved but it was Jack who broke the deadlock after 15mins with a great goal, 2 minutes later Sammy beat the offside trap and slotted a lovely finish into the far corner after great work from the duracell bunny that is Jamie Dawson. Harrison on the left hand side was destroying his opposite number with ease and linking well with Owen, Jack and Jamie. It was Harrison who made the initial run and cross that saw Jack power home his second and Grove’s third with 5 mins till half time it looked like we had the game sewn up!! Berinsfield managed to put together a good attack and there hard working striker managed to get a shot on goal but brave defending from Aaron Carter stopped them scoring but the ref (this is the same ref as last week!!)gave a handball and a penalty half time 3-1 to Grove.

At half time Berinsfield took the lads into there clubhouse and gave them all hot chocolate to warm up as it was a brutal assault with the weather conditions so a lovely touch from Berinsfield!! The second half started in the same way as the first with Sammy and Harrison working extremely hard up and down the flanks and Owen who was tiring but played a great game was substituted for Reuben and we swapped Aaron who’s performance was a superb effort for Luke at left back!! Lewis in goal produced some fantastic saves if ever the defence got beaten with Ben Hadley quietly efficient as usual at the back and Edel with her monster throw ins and brilliant battling keeping Berinsfield quite!! Jack Blake was putting in a real shift at the heart of midfield and scored 2 more goals one a lovely chip over the keeper from fully 25 yards and the other a polished finish from 10 yards after great work from Sammy and Rueben, Berinsfield then pulled a goal back only for Grove to go immediately and score on from close range when Rueben nicked in front of 2 defenders and the keeper to score. Final score Grove 6 Berinsfield 2!!!

A wonderful come back after last weeks disappointment in the cup and the league is off and running with a fantastic win really proud coach today!!! All the boys were outstanding today!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:542
Miles to go:553
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 160: Saturday Superb performance from the under 9’s!!

So here it is a return to regular football or SAS as I have newly named it Saturday and Sundays and I love it watching my boys( and all the boys that partake) play sport gives me a real sense of pride and pleasure seeing how they have developed and how they continue to improve is a real shot in the arm after a rubbish week at work!!

We played away at Didcot today with the Under 9’s and it was a chilly but nice morning and the parents gathered to shoot the breeze and talk general nonsense. The boys kicked off and then something happened they suddenly played proper football passing and moving and generally giving the opposition the run around. Jamie and Ollie battling hard in midfield with Toby and Dan providing excellent support on the flanks the only thing missing was the final ball and a goal!! They had a very tall lad who when he had the ball controlled the midfield and hit a long shot from the halfway line which bobbled up and rolled in. Didcot got there tails up and launched some good attacks but Freddie broke up play and set up attack after attack and if they beat Fred then Dan and Toby clattered them came away with the ball and put Grove back into attack!! It was a really pleasing defensive performance and the longer it went on the more comfortable Grove looked. The Didcot keeper was inspired saving a few and the finishing was lacking at times but it was like watching Holland at times!!

The second half was the same with the defensive trio sending good balls to Jamie and Ollie who were opening up Didcot with ease they just couldn’t score Cameron who had ploughed a lone farrow up front made way for Owen who had a few good efforts but they just couldn’t get the ball in the net!! On a rare incursion into Grove territory Didcot scored again and the final score was 2-0 which was really tough on the boys as they deserved so much better.

The second game was a better affair and Grove scored 2 early goals through the “Machine” Jamie Aston a few substitutions followed and Didcot got back into the game and levelled at 2-2 but Grove hung on defiantly with some great defending and equally good attacking!! A moment of pride for me personally Freddie was man of the match for the second week and gets to keep the captains arm band for a second week but there were many players today that could have won the award special mention to Danny Rees who was outstanding and Jamie for his 2 goals and Toby for his determined face!!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:539
Miles to go:556
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 159: Relax its Friday!

The ease up before the weekend so I decided to do a slow run after my slightly longer run yesterday!! Ended up not short of a PB!! Still something must have spurred me on but good pace and really enjoyed it.

A saying that is banded about willy-nilly is the expression “runner high” now I for about 120 days of this thought it was a load of nonsense running and highs more like pain and frustration followed by depression!! Now having said all that I have recently started to experience some joy in running and I am starting to feel a buzz after completing things in a better than expected time, I hate to say this but I am liking running injury free and really enjoying it!!

I seem to try to persuade people to take up this challenge as it has done a lot for me so far but people just look at me strangely and tell me to F off very rude!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:536
Miles to go:559
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 158: Another mile just one more mile!!

I have been slowly upping my mileage since Christmas as I have another half marathon in April so I am following a plan and am not too worried about following it wholeheartedly but am using it as a basis!! I have started to enjoy running as I am not trying to overdo speed or distance at the moment and am slowly building pace and distance. The targets I set myself I am hitting and am pleased with my progress. Sharon and I have recently embarked on a new challenge a 30 day plank challenge which had been a bit of a giggle and I am really proud of her efforts so far never though you’d get to day 3!!!

So stepping up efforts to do this sub 2hr Half and starting to feel quietly confident but we shall see come race day! Mr Haskett is doing sterling work on his amusing blogs (mainly based around his meals!) and good work with the running 3 weeks and you’re smashing it already!! No training tonight as pitches are out of bounds so a quite one in!

One of my targets is to run every other week and extra mile on my long runs at sub 9 min miles so after a 5 mile last week I thought I’d go for a 6 miler and managed 6 sub 9 min mile at a consistent pace so another target ticked off next is a sub 7.45 mile for one mile only one!!!!

Miles today:6
Miles completed:533
Miles to go:562
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 157: Hump Day!!

Wednesday and we are on the downhill roll to the weekend with loads of football this weekend as Freddie is playing for the under 9’s and Sammy’s league program starts again and I will be interested to see if the cup form carries on in the league!!

I attended an FA course on first aid with some of the other coaches/managers from Grove challengers and really enjoyed it although I am first aid at work qualified I have nothing for children’s first aid so a very useful course. I found the course well run and picked up some really good ideas from the course leaders to use for our first aid bag.

Short blog I am sure you are glad to hear!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:530
Miles to go:568
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 156: Sometimes small things please my small mind!!

I am not very good at paperwork as anyone who has worked with will testify, my desk is at best chaotic and at worst looks like like armageddon has hit!! But the interesting thing is that I know where everything is and I can put my hands on it quickly, the problem arises when I decided its time to have a clean up and file. The desk then looks wonderful but I can’t find anything and I get a little frustrated and this happened today I had tidied and filed and was sitting back feeling all pleased with myself and then someone wanted a some technical info and I couldn’t find it so as the frustration grew so did my temper in the end I found it in the file it was supposed to be in!! I sat back down and made myself a tea but there was no tea bags so I opened a cupboard that stores all the tea etc and saw this well I am very childish but this made me roar with laughter and as they say laughter is the best medicine!!

photo

Now this also reminds me of the kids at home especially the line “I didn’t do it, it isn’t one of mine” priceless!!

Slow recovery run tonight but I do find it increasingly hard to run slower and do wonder what good its doing me!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:524
Miles to go:571
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 155: Monday may it hang its head in shame!!

It was Monday it was dull and I was tired. I felt it was ganging up on me well Monday if you want some lets have it! I was in one of my “Monday” moods today so decided to try to change things around attack the day and deal with the stuff I hate on Mondays and this made this Monday a particularly good one I seemed to get loads done and Monday blues just disappeared it had no fight in it I win Monday you are pathetic.

I was thinking about doing something different with my life so I have decided to become a male model as I am of a good height and am obviously very good looking so with my missing teeth I think I have a good chance of being very successful in my new chosen career….no you say well I’ve beaten Monday can you say the same and my confidence is at an all time high…. never let anyone tell you you can’t always believe you can and that is my philosophy in life I can do, not, I can’t there is always a way to win!!

I was planning a slow run tonight but forgot until halfway through mile one that I had a board meeting at the rugby club so a few changes through the gears and I smashed mile 3 in 7.56 min and that felt good!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:521
Miles to go:574
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 154: Gutted!

Today was the Under 11’s cup 1/4 final which had been postponed due to the weather and we were to play away at Abingdon who are in the league above but that wasn’t anything new to our boys as in the previous rounds we had beaten a side two leagues above and the side top of our league so they held no fear!! We arrived early and had a look at the pitch and decided that with it being quite heavy that we would only do a gentle warm up. The boys were not switched on and it took some time for them to stop messing and start thinking football.

The game kicked off and Grove were quick out of the blocks with some lovely passing and great off the ball movement. Jamie Dawson and Sammy combining well and Harrison making some lovely runs down the left hand side but the very young linesman from Abingdon started to give some very contentious offside decisions!! We scored after 5 mins and suddenly when the ball was in the net his flag went up for an offside apparently from 3 passes earlier is there any need at under 11 football to do that!!

We continued to dominate the game but with time running out in the half and the boys getting frustrated with referee and linesman Abingdon broke and scored a great goal although I felt it was offside our linesman who believes in fair play gave the benefit and the goal stood!! Half time Abingdon 1 Grove 0.

The second half kicked off and with Jack Blake starting to boss the midfield and Ollie Hughes breaking up most attacks it looked as though we would fight our way back into the game and with me standing near their linesman the contentious decisions stopped. Ben Hadley and Dillon continued in their rich vein of form and kept anything that came from Abingdon at bay with Luke pitching in with some good solid tackles and Lewis pulling off some good stops. Jamie Dawson grazed the upright with a great shot and Sammy beat his opposite number and forced a good save from the keeper. It just wasn’t to be and although the boys gave everything and left it all on the pitch we just couldn’t grab the equalizer we deserved and had we scored we would have gone on and beat them as out fitness was far superior to there’s.

I was very proud of the lads today as they took the defeat that obviously hurt them well and shook hands with the opposition, coach and referee. It sounds like sour grapes but I felt we were not beaten by a better team but by some poor decisions made by the referee and Abingdon’s linesman. We need to take these performances into the league and for the lads that didn’t play or only had a few minutes thank you for your patience and continue to work hard in training and opportunities will come and remember there is no such word as can’t we can and we will are all we need to hear!!

Longish run today up to Denchworth and back and was pleased to see that I had run 5 at sub 9 min miles so all coming together for April’s half marathon!!

Miles today: 5
Miles completed:518
Miles to go:577
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 153: Wendyball is back!!

I missed last weeks match report and for that I apologise it was remiss of me and for Loren that means I was negligent or exhibiting carelessness or slackness or to simplify it further just for you Loren I forgot!!

Saturday turned out to be a really enjoyable day the home match was called off due to pitch conditions so we rearranged to play over at Crowmarsh, so we travelled over far too early for my liking and met with the other parents while the boys warmed up. John Newton was there with Joe to watch and catch up as he is running the other Under 9 teams and doesn’t get to see them very often unfortunately I see him far too often and have explained to the other parents that they aren’t missing much!!!

The boys kicked off with a slightly different formation than usual with top scorer Jamie playing in defence with Freddie and “Mr determination” Toby with Ollie and Dan in Midfield and Cameron as the lone striker. They started off brightly and attacked with some lovely passing moves but the final ball was lacking and we failed to score, with frustration growing Jamie kept pushing up in the hope that he could force a goal it was at this point I started to tell him his defensive duties to which he responded with a grin the lad wants to win and I admire that and he has the tools to do it!!

With Jamie on his travels Freddie and Toby manned the pumps at the back when Crowmarsh broke and kept their talented frontmen quite with some crunching tackles until when hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned Grove finally conceded. I am not condoning this behaviour but one of the Crowmarsh strikers lashed an arm in to Freddie’s face so after a quick check to see where the ref was he tripped him up, the striker then got told off for diving by his coach!! (Naughty Freddie but that sort of behaviour needs to be stopped in football and I told him so on the way home) I will explain my take on cheating at this level in tomorrows blog( I am writing this on Tuesday!!)

The boys we on the end of a 1-0 defeat which wasn’t really fair on them and also in the friendly game they lost but a good team performance and some good laughs had!! I was chatting to John and also Dan’s dad Gary who said he may be interested in taking up this challenge so watch this space and we can see if he has the balls!!

Home for “jobs” that have been ignored since Christmas and I fair rattled through the list that Sharon had left me and headed out for a run and decided to run to Wantage where John’s team were playing and enjoyed them running out 3-1 winners in there 1st match before Sarah gave me a lift home and I started some more “jobs” and managed to catch my finger and have now got a massive blood blister!!

Sharon went out for a friends birthday and I settled down to watch Lincoln and have a few ciders bliss!!

Miles today:3
Miles completed:513
Miles to go:582
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12

Day 152: Love early Fridays!!

Well another busy day at work punctuated by still frustrated customers and there are too many to keep happy at the moment as we are a couple of managers down so in true Northy style I prioritised me and my tea breaks!! I didn’t really as this would have been unprofessional but I can’t physically get around all the customers at the moment. I had a course on PDR training(staff appraisal) this afternoon and the company are trying to stop managers just putting all there staff as outstanding, I have never done this but according to HR a lot of managers do! I find this really irritating as there are very few people within any team who are truly outstanding( I have some great people who have worked for me top top blokes but their personality doesn’t actually make them outstanding!!) its about exceeding set objectives and as long as your objectives are achievable (senior management take note!!) then people in general will meet or exceed with a very small percentage making the outstanding level or maybe its just I like to leave room for people to keep striving to be the better!!

The course finished at 3 and I left the office at 3.30 and for a split second nearly headed back to site but decided that it wouldn’t be worth it ;0)!! I was home after a detour to Sainsbury’s by 16.15 and decided to run it took me 45mins to get out of the door!! Sharon is right it does take me a long time!! I was being picked up at 5.45 to go to indoor football training so I had to do a reasonably quick run which wasn’t in my plan!! Mark picked Sam and I up and we headed to Hanney memorial hall where I decided to give the boys some fitness as it was out first training since Christmas so I did the beep test. I couldn’t make the grid 20m as the hall isn’t quite big enough so it was approx 12m so the test was a little false in terms of where they got too!!

As is normal they all set off too quick so midway through set 1 I decided to join in to slow them down. So I keep the pace even and got them into a decent rhythm on each set the first started to drop out at about set 10 and the majority had gone by set 15 there was Sammy and Jamie and myself still going but by set 17 the boys were starting to falter (so was I badly!!) I stopped at stage 18 and that left Jamie and Sam battling it out Jamie pulled out on 18.2 and Sammy kept going to 18.6 really proud of him excellent effort!! The whole squad that were there really put it in tonight and we have a big cup game Sunday afternoon at Lambrick way Abingdon come along too give them some support!!!!

Miles today:3 (plus at least 1 in the beep test!!)
Miles completed:510
Miles to go:585
Shoes: Saucony Omni 12