I spoke with my coach Alex & he said as I had been working really hard I deserved a reward & he agreed to me having the time off, I was so excited!
I flew to Belfast on the Saturday morning with Oliver Kenny (My friend, squad mate & training partner), his mum Amanda & my mum. My mum doesn't really like flying but it was only a 1 hour 15 minutes flight so she was ok until she started to watch the disaster movie with me & Ollie (it almost scared her half to death when we landed, what a wuss haha!).
We had plans for everyday we were there & Amanda had all her Christmas shopping to do so we started with the Christmas market. It was beautiful & the food smelt so good. We also went inside the town hall, it had a massive Christmas tree inside & we all felt really Christmassy!
Sunday morning we had a shopping trip around the city centre, it's massive, there are hundreds of shops & we found a lovely indoor market but Amanda brought presents for herself instead of her Christmas presents.....we had so much fun shopping together, my mum tried using a selfie stick but I had to take over she was useless haha!
We were staying by a Cathedral that had a Christmas carol service starting at 3:30pm & my mum was ever so disappointed that she couldn't go as she'd be taking me to the Titanic where the awards VIP pre party would be starting at 4pm BUT as we made our way back to the hotel we came across the rugby team singing carols raising money for charity.....only in their shorts, socks, shoes & santa hats! They must of been so cold as the wind was bitter but they were brilliant & so entertaining, money was being chucked in their collection buckets the whole time. I think that made up for mum missing the church service!
We chatted for some time with Kelly Gallagher, Adam Peaty, Judy Murray & Gary Hunt who does the cliff diving. We took our seats in the main arena to watch the show, it was fantastic & I had messages come through on my phone that we had been on the television.
Our mums are so good they turned up with trackie bottoms & trainers for me & trainers for Ollie, I love dressing up but my feet really are not used to high heels & after a couple of hours they were killing me!! When we put our trainers on we both said how spongy they felt & how pleased we were to have them haha!
Monday morning I went over to the David Lloyd gym & met up with Marco McCullough who's a European, Irish & Celtic champion boxer & Leah McCourt who's a European Champion & World medallist in Mixed Martial Arts. We were all working together promoting the Belfast Marathon who's main charity is Mencap, who I am an ambassador for. We had a great time together & I enjoyed the photo shoot. The next time we meet we plan on having a training session together but no running......I'm much safer in water & very clumsy on land which they found very funny when the photographer thought it would be good to have an action shot & turned on the running machine!!
We then returned to meet up with Ollie & Amanda who had done a bit more sight seeing & travelled back to the airport for our flight home. I was very sad to leave beautiful Belfast but very happy to be going home for Christmas, I do hope Amanda manages to get some shopping done when she gets home haha!!