Performance Enhancing Pugs

I was so close to curling up on the sofa and watching a film on Sunday. I didn’t feel 100% and wasn’t sure how that would pair with a hilly road ride. There’s nothing worse than being unwell on a road ride!

However, another scorching day dragged me out of the house. I tried not to think about the long climb ahead on the route Ryan had planned. I just kept turning the pedals hoping my burning legs would quieten down soon. 

The route went from trying not to fall put of a trackstand at traffic lights to ever rising and winding country lanes, one of which I was lagging behind Ryan a bit. Suddenly out pops a Pug from the hedge a the side of the road, hopelessly trying to catch up to Ryan.

I don’t think anyone will have ever seen a Pug runs so fast. 


When she (i.e. Bella the Pug) realised her short legs couldn’t quite keep up, she came running back down the hill to me. Only to the. go and do a little excitable wee on the floor, which was thankfully not all over me as I then picked her up to stop her getting in any more trouble!

So we were out on a road ride and now with a Pug in tow…

What on earth do we do with a Pug?

I didn’t even have my bum bag with me to squeeze it into and take it home…damn!

Ha, no. Ryan went further up the hill to see if Bella had got free from her lead. I tried to calm a rather excitable Pug down, which in all fairness was not that easy! I had no idea how full of energy they were!

Ryan had no success so we went down to the houses further down the hill. Wherever this Pug had come from, with all the excitement Bella certainly needed a drink. Hearing a voice in one of the gardens we went to ask for water for the Pug, for that garden to be where Bella had actually escaped from. 

So one Pug was safely returned and it put me in such a good mood for the rest of our loop in the Welsh Hills. Somehow Ryan coped with me going on and on about how cute Bella was. My aching legs disappeared and I sprinted up the next few hills.


I was so glad Ryan convinced me I’d feel better when I was out on the bike. The ride just got more and more surreal. The views looked different and I couldn’t help myself from stopping to take it all in. World’s End was like a corridor of purple heather and on the Panorama the views went on forever. 


We got back later than expected, but it was such a funny and picturesque ride we just ended up in hysterics every time we spoke about it. 


I hope everyone had a Bank Holiday Weekend as amazing as mine. I got to spend it with such lovely people, it put me in the best mood for the week ahead. 


Welsh Champs 2017: Llyn Brenig

Photo Credit: Welsh Cycling


For some bizarre reason I decided to enter a 20 mile Welsh Champs TT race. It was near Llyn Brenig, which is one of my favourite places thanks to Rally GB. It also involved some hills, which I apparently like going up at the minute.

On my recce ride last week it was blue skies, barely any wind, you could almost say it was a perfect day for Wales. Good enough for lots of photos! I fell in love with the route and couldn’t wait to race it.

From the photo-shoot with Ryan



The elation of surving a hard 20 miles!


Race day on the other hand had completely different circumstances. Rain. Wind. Just typical North Wales conditions really.

Brilliant. 

I got there before sign on was even suppose to open and I had no idea why. I couldn’t really warm up so there was nothing else I could do apart from wait for my start time. 

I thought I’d be fine in just a jersey, but decided to opt for a jacket instead last minute. Que rushed number swap from jersey to jacket…I may have pricked my fingers with the safety pins a few times!

I got to the start, then realised my Clif Energy blocks were still in the car.

Then to start I had a massive hill my legs just didn’t want to go up.

Becky, who rides for the Army, was so lovely! She went onto get 2nd so she had a mega ride!


It wasn’t exactly going as well as I’d planned. All of the other girls passed me not far off the start line and I felt like a bit of a numpty.

Why on earth did I think I’d be able to do this race?

My fitness was lower than it could be, certainly lower than it use to be. 

The further around I got, the more frustrated with myself I got.

Gosh I sound dramatic…ha!

Whilst I was trying to get use to tri bars, I had no idea if I was holding up any of the guys behind me. Before starting I joked the now National Champ would probably overtake me, and towards the end I was starting to think he would, despite starting half an hour after me. I tried to sprint up the final hill to the finish line, but my legs were having none of it. 

I crossed the finish line and my legs just burnt out.

I enjoyed pushing myself, but felt I could have given it more than I did. 

I loved being able to descend and lean into the corners dotted around the Evo Triangle, even if I was battling with the wind.

How cool are these for race numbers though?


Thanks to Welsh Cycling and everyone else who was involved in organising such a great event. Everyone was so lovely, racers and organisers, despite a complete rookie turning up…ha! Coming from downhill where I’d get moaned at a fair bit for holding guys up on the trail, it was good not to get it in TT’s too. 

Also a big thanks to my brother for driving me there. I don’t think I would have been in any fit state to drive home after it otherwise. Apparently I looked white as a ghost after finishing, so we headed to the Llyn Brenig cafe for breakfast before heading home. Racer’s diet all the way…

Does anyone else when they have an all day breakfast make a bacon toastie with the bacon and toast? Nope, probably just me…ha!

Now into hill climb season…yikes!

Why so slow Lucy? Why so slow?


Swimming with Fishes´╗┐

Swimming outside in the likes of lakes and meres has always been something I’ve wanted to do. After my failed attempt around this time last year, I’ve been working on my swimming ever since to try and conquer it. That and getting my body accustomed to being a bit cold!

Towards the end of this week I decided I wanted to try out my new Hubb wetsuit, which I bought a few weeks ago. Although this meant an early start to get to Manley Mere, I was curious to see how I’d get on.

Once kitted up it was a bit warmer than I’d expected. My hesitant first toe dip into the water, I didn’t feel the chill through my body I was expecting. It was actually quite pleasant. It was a little different when water started going through the zip of my wetsuit however! 


Since my last attempt, I’ve been working on my swimming quite a lot. I’ve never been a strong swimmer, but that’s something I want to change. Especially after getting the Triathlon bug and now wanting to try an outdoors one. 

So I’m a much stronger swimmer now, surely I’ll be ok?

Yea…swimming in open water is so much different to swimming in a pool! You’ve not got a wall to kick off every 25m…

But I gave it my best shot. My goal of trying to get at least the first buoy tarnished my weeds getting stuck around my ankle. And my body deciding it didn’t like the constant swimming. 

After my little dilemma and standing at the edge of the lake with every part of me wanting to get back in. A lady who’d already been around the lake once offered to show me the ropes of outdoor swimming. Up until this point I’d only managed breast stroke, which is quite ironic as it has always been my weakest stroke. She pointed out front crawl was much easier to do than breast stroke in a wetsuit. 

I just struggled breathing out under water when I was swimming outside for some reason. So she got me doing breast stroke, but this time put my head under a few times to get used to it. 

And it worked! 

All of a sudden I was doing front crawl. Granted, not very far, but still, we had progress. I’d not come away from there a complete failure.

On first arriving, I couldn’t have felt more of a newbie with the amount of Iron Man tattoos around. But thanks to the lady who showed me the ropes, I couldn’t wait to go back. 

I wanted to swim for longer, but thought it was best to end on a high and go back again soon. Especially now I have more of an idea what I’m doing. The morning’s antics had completely tired me out, so I was glad Ryan was there to get me home! 

South Wales Valleys


Despite being a week off, this week has been a whirlwind of being busy! There was always something that needed doing. With that being said, it felt good to switch off for an hour and get out on my MTB. Something I’m not doing a great deal of lately.
I even got to tick off somewhere I’ve wanted to ride for so long…Bike Park Wales. It’s just somewhere I’ve not managed to get to. I wasnMt up for doing anything gnarly. I just wanted to pedal. To be outside and just think of what lay ahead of me. 
However, their network of trails is possibly one of the most complicated I’ve seen. I looked at their map and thought…yeah I’ll just see where the blue signs take me. So I’m not actually sure how I got to the top!

I must admit I was expecting it to be more like Llandegla with lots of XC loops, as well as some downhill tracks thrown into the mix. But it is very much more downhill focused, from my experience anyway. 


The ride up was lengthy and before I knew it after getting to the top, I was at the bottom. Perfect descents for an uplift I guess!

But as I’ve already said, I did want to just go for a pedal. With a Welsh National Time Trial I’ve decided to enter in a few weeks, I need to fit in as much pedalling as I can!

The climb up was good. I’m so used to the gravel tracks at Llandegla, it was nice to ride up some forest ascents for a change. After it was recommended to me by some lovely female mountain bikers, I decided to ride down Terry’s Belly. It was also the longest descent. 

It was a good choice.

It’s far from what I use to ride, but it was just berm after berm after berm. It was a good route to do with:

A) Being on my hardtail

B) Riding alone

Some guys did catch up to me on the way down however, so it was reassuring to not be completely on my own on the descent!

It felt so quiet at Bike Park Wales, I almost forgot it was a Saturday. I’m guessing the uplift was busier!


Despite the confusion on what trail I needed to follow to get to the top (and make sure I stayed on the Blue!), I got to the bottom with a smile on my face. I felt strong on the climbs now I was back on my hardtail. I bet the Juliana Strega I tried a few weeks back through Alf Jones Cycles would have been amazing!