Back to Racing

Back to Racing

My first road race…where do I start?

The fact I got to the start line at all?

Almost losing the nut for the end of my axle?

Or, the fact I completely miscalculated the amount of laps that were left?

On the morning of the race I was a mess. I genuinely thought about just not racing at all. Why? The fear of getting dropped. In Welsh Crit Champs last year the group almost split in two. The faster girls were way ahead. I come to Pimbo to race…not get dropped again…ha!

I even said to Ryan who was with me on the side of the road at the start line, “I don’t even want to race anymore”.

I was dreading the start gun and the girls just disappearing up the road.

But the start gun went and I managed to hold on to the bunch.

Going round was a learning curve. I was constantly waiting for some sort of attack off the quicker girls, but nothing really happened. Holding onto the back was tough at times, but I held up better than I thought I would…until I sped up a lap early than the finish lap.

I picked up my pace to try and get myself in a better position, only to see the others stay at the same pace. When I realised we had one last lap my legs had already blown up. Embarassment or just genuinely feeling gutted at what position I could have maybe got, I was so frustrated with myself.

But either way, it is my first road race out of the way.

Back to Racing

Racing in general isn’t going great for me to be honest. I decided to try and make it in time for the club time trial this week, only to get a few minutes in and my bike pump fell out of my pocket. My only option was to turn back and get it in case it was in the middle of the road. I had riders behind me coming so I didn’t want them and their expensive bikes to hit the deck because of me! Thankfully they let me restart and I could get the frustration out of my system…ha! I even smahsed my target time too.

So pray that I’ve got all of the bad luck out of the way???

You Survived January…

January can sometimes be the hardest month to get through. Everywhere you go you find yourself having the idea of New Year Resolutions forced upon you and to ban yourself from eating almost every type of food.

This diet will make you lose 2 stone in a week.

Food to avoid and why.

The fitness plan that changed my body in 6 weeks.

Those article titles make me feel sick. They make you feel guilty about eating foods without you even realising it.

That one training session missed and the immense guilt that follows.

January is suppose to the be the month of positivity is it not?

My point is don’t feel down because your 2018 so far hasn’t gone as well as you’d hoped. Because I’m in the same boat.

My 2018 has been hard physically and mentally.

The return to work after Christmas was a massive shock to the system, which probably wasn’t helped by the flu I was battling. I can’t remember the last time I was so ill I could barely walk round my local park.

So that was the first week of 2018 scuppered. It was me and a box of Kleenex tissues rather than sweating it out in the gym.

I’ve also been worrying about the up coming race season and how the amount of training I’ve done for it being zero.

I kept finding myself in the mindset of it being too late to start now…

My point of all of this is, is if you find yourself in the same boat of the start of 2018 being anything but positive…keep your chin up.

How I’m getting out of this rut is to say I’ll just start a fresh in February (well now really). I’m prioritising what is important so as to not spread myself out too thinly. And plan out all of my trips to the gym to get back to my old self.

So if you feel like writing off any goal achieving in 2018, why not start a fresh in February? There are 11 months left after all. We don’t need to go from zero to hero in a month, we can just take those small steps to get us there.

#WorkoutWednesday: 5th April 2017


Swiping to the right on my phone to see the countdown to my first triathlon ticking away, it hit me. We’re now in the month of April and it’s less than 20 days until it all kicks off. 

Yikes!

I’ve had plenty of training to do and thankfully got the 400m mark in the pool, which is what I need to do come race day. It was an odd session really, definitely mind over matter. 

Getting into the pool I was tense and unsure of if I could hit the 400m mark. With obviously not long left to get there, I was naturally a bit worried! Worrying played havoc with my breathing, but all of a sudden I found my self just going back and to in the pool. Racking those all important lengths up. 

Granted, once those 400m were done I had to sit in the jacuzzi pool for a bit to get my breath back…but I still reached my 400m milestone!

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in getting a personal trainer or following a strict diet, but sometimes setting yourself some realistic goals each month can make a huge difference! I’ve built up my ability in the 100m at a time.

What do you find helps with training? Do you prefer to train alone, or get someone to sort all your sessions out for you? Leave it in the comments below, whether you’re a training champion or just do it to keep healthy/enjoy it. 

#WorkoutWednesday – 8th March 2017

I’ve not got round to posting about my statistics for February yet, so to kick this week’s Workout Wednesday I thought I’d go through a few stats I accumulated over the second month of 2017. 


Where cycling is concerned, I was shocked to realise how little I’d actually been out getting some miles in. With a trip to London taking up one weekend and Storm Doris taking over another, I suppose it can be expected…so a measly 25 miles was done on the bike.


For running, I managed to fit 19 miles, which wasn’t as much as the 33 miles ran in January. (Sticking to my training plan isn’t going great is it…!) But I did find a new route, which I’m eager to try again! It was a very hilly 6.5 miles. On my way round though I did find a few trails that looked intriguing, so if I get some good weather I’ll give hem a go and see where they take me.

When it comes to swimming, it is where I seem to have made a lot of progress. My February goal was to complete 200m of continuous swimming at some point during a swim session in February. March the goal was 300m. I say ‘was’ because I’ve actually already managed it tonight in the pool! The four more lengths to get me from 200m to didn’t seem as long as they use to be!

Something I wanted to highlight about my training this week was kickboxing. Me and my brother have been talking about going for so long and this week we finally got round to going. It definitely tested my flexibility and I needed to find my aggressive side to make the  most of the session, but honestly? It was one of the most empowering things I’ve done for a while. 

Growing up female you’re not expected to be aggressive. I’m not talking going round and hitting everything in sight. A girl doing something like kickboxing isn’t a common occurrence…I’ve not met many girls who do it anyway! 

It was a mixed class of men and women. Some obviously knew what they were doing, and then you had me and my brother…who didn’t have a clue! But there were no judgemental looks thrown my way because I was a competitive newbie. Everyone there was purely there for kickboxing. In the gym I always feel like people are constantly judging my every move, but with kickboxing I completely lost myself in it. When leaving, it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders!

If you take one thing from this post, I’d say give kickboxing a go. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post on International Women’s Day! I have been lucky enough to have some amazing women support me throughout my life. Whether it’s the morals I now follow because of them, or being there for me when I seemed to be a little bit lost on what career path to take. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

#WorkoutWednesday – 1st March 2017

I included a little press-up challenge in my training this week – one I came across whilst searching for a song off mountain bike film, Life Cycles.

Sally Down? Go down into the press up position.

Sally Up? Push yourself back up.

Don’t be surprised if you have to hold yourself in the bottom of the press up position for a while!

Why not have a go and let me know how long you lasted! I use to be able to last for 1 minute 24. It was only a minute this week though…I clearly have some work to do on my upper body strength!

#WorkoutWednesday 8th January 2017


I’m holding my hands up. I’ve completely fallen away from my training routine this week. I felt awful coming home from work on Monday and with a maths exam coming up, my head wasn’t fully in it either.

But excuses aside I have tried to do some training this week, even if that’s meant just doing what I can squeeze in.

Running and a gym session really, so what did I get up to in the gym?

I decided I wanted to make use of a medicine ball and exercise ball for training this week. Just to mix my gym sessions up a bit really and work different muscles.

Warm-Up

10 minutes on the bike. (Which is probably not enough for a good warm-up I’ll admit!)

Workout

1. Mountain Climbers to Frog

2. Plank to Pike on Exercise Ball

3. Commando Row
1. Plank Jacks

2. Press Ups with feet on exercise ball

3. Lunges with dumbells


1. Alternating Press Ups with medicine ball.

2. Ab Roll Outs on exercise ball

3. Russian Twists holding medicine ball.

Cool Down

Steady Run on the Treadmill 

Cobbles and Country Lanes

This weeks ride was thankfully less of a mission than last week. Not that I didn’t enjoy our ride in the Welsh hills last week, I just wasn’t sure if my legs could cope with hills two weeks on the bounce!

Following one of Ryan’s creative routes, of which I could not repeat on my own if I tried, we headed out  Cheshire way rather than deeper into Wales.


It was the type of ride that passed through quaint little villages that seem a whole world away from daily life. Cobbled bridges over slow moving rivers, where you end up surrounded by tiny cottages and narrow streets.


It was a social loop too. The best conversations happen whilst riding bikes.And being apart in the week, me and Ryan normally have a lot to catch up on!

Following some more twisty roads and country lane riding we find ourselves on a fairly narrow lane. One where even bikes and cars can’t really pass each other. With a BMW coming towards us we pulled into the end of a driveway to let him pass. Just as we’re about to head off again, two waggy tails appear at the gate begging for attention…being a dog-lover like I am…I can’t really resist!


After stopping to look at the view over the Cheshire plains we soon found ourselves home to warm ourselves up with a cup of tea.

Because I apparently now drink tea…despite years of saying I don’t like it.


Come Sunday morning Ryan was off out on a much longer ride than we’d done the day before, where I was more content with going for a run with Jenson alongside me. Although I’m not sure if he enjoyed it that much…he seemed to get a bit tired towards the end of it…

#WorkoutWednesday 25th January

workout-2-peach

It’s time for another #WorkoutWednesday, which gives you an insight into what I get up to in training each week!

Although I’ve already shared some swimming sessions I’ve been trying this month, I just couldn’t not share this one with you! Found in an old 220 Triathlon magazine it helped me push that little bit further than I have been doing in other sessions this month.

Wind back to last October when I decided I wanted to work on my swimming (after a failed attempt at outdoor swimming!), I would find myself panicking a bit when I was swimming. Every time I pushed off the side of the pool it would be a miracle if I got to the other side.

Yet, following a Speedo Fit swimming session with double Olympic Silver Medalist, Jazz Carlin, it was perfectly timed to nip any of my bad habits in the bud before they became to set in my brain! I was basically swimming all different kinds of wrong when I started, but we’ve all got to start somewhere right?

So what training session did I get up to this week in the pool?

Warm Up

10 x 25m lengths (I stuck to front crawl but the 220 Triathlon session said any stroke would do the job!)

Main Set

5 x 100m freestyle, 20s rest per interval (I’m guessing freestyle is front crawl right? Well that’s what I did anyway!)

Cool Down

4 x 50m choice of stroke (I continued with front crawl)

So what’s making me so excited about this week’s #WorkoutWednesday ? The fact that I’ve achieved this months goal of being able to swim 100m! One quarter of the way to being able to swim the swim distance in my Triathlon of 100m!

I genuinely can’t believe the luck I had in noticing the Speedo Fit advert when it popped up in my newsfeed. Jazz Carlin and the Speedo Fit crew were so lovely and helpful. It’s starting to make my big ambition for 2017 of completing a Triathlon more realistic, as swimming was always going to be the biggest wall to climb.

I just hope there’s more Speedo Fit sessions in the future because if there is…sign me up!

Sometimes you’ve just got to run…

 

sometimes-youve-just-got-to-run

I used to hate running. A jog around my local park would be enough to make my lungs cry…and now I’m training for a triathlon.

How things change!

I can’t pin point exactly when that change happened, but things have changed. All I do know is that I started to do something a little different from just riding bikes all the time. As great as that can be, sometimes I like to mix things up.

If you’ve been on my Instagram this week you’ll have seen all of the running I have been doing this week. With one of those runs being a little out of my depth…

I woke up with the urge to do sprints. Don’t ask me why, but I did. A choice between 20/10 intervals and 3 minute intervals, I chose the latter.

Both were workout sessions on my Garmin, so off I went to start the 10 minute warm-up at a steady pace. Constantly looking down at my watch to see how long I had left I had to up my pace.

3.4 miles later…my watch was beeping at me to tell me my workout was complete, which came as a surprise to me as I thought there were more sets to come.

Most people would start to head home after this, but I decided to run a little bit further…

Bad…bad idea.

It turns out I ran a further 5.4 miles, so totalling up to nearly 9 miles I’d covered a lot more distance than I would normally. I just switched off and kept going!

Yes I moan, but sometimes you’ve just got to run.

Workout Wednesday 18th January 2017


I must admit it feels rather odd to have something to train for. I mean I trained for downhill and other mountain bike races, but it was always just what I felt like doing at the time. I was never pushing my limits or progressing. 

For my first Tri in April I have a main goal…to complete it! I could say I want a certain time but I’ve never done one, so why put extra pressure on myself?

With a workout session downloaded onto my Garmin, the workout I’m sharing with you tonight is my 6 x 400m sprints. 

10 minute warm-up

400m sprint

200m recovery 

Complete the sprint and recovery pair 6 times.

Cool-down/Stretches

I’m not going to lie…it was tough!

I got to that final sprint and my lungs were crying ‘what on earth are you doing to me?!?’

But I could completely switch off and just respond to the beeps of my Garmin informing me if I needed to sprint or recover. Although when it was beeping every 2 seconds to tell me my heart rate had risen or falling…that got a bit annoying.

I hope you’re all having a good week!