Saturday 31 December 2011


Had a good Christmas in Kent - great to see my family and gets lots of pressies!!

Had a bit of a cold whilst down there though which meant I didn't run quite as much as I was hoping. This also meant that I didn't get to to test out whether runners are more smiley to other runners down south or up here! When I did go out running it was generally early in the morning and I didn't see anyone else. Will have to test it out again next time I'm down!

On a good note though I did a longish run in the same place as I saw lots of miserable runners before and actually got hellos out of all the runner I passed!!

Thursday 22 December 2011


Well its been over 3 weeks since my marathon and I can't believe how recovered my legs feel! I've been mostly doing short easy runs but did my first session of efforts (only 20s efforts though!) 2 days ago and legs are feeling springy!!

I also can't believe how warm the weather has turned this week! Last Friday I was out running and it was snowing and this morning the sun was shining and it was about 12 degrees. Despite the gorgeous running weather though I was surprised at how many miserable runners I saw. I ran past about 6 people and said hello to all and I didn't get one hello back or even a smile. Very sad.

I'm going back "down south" over Christmas and will be doing lots of running so I'm going to test out if people are happier runners up north or down south. I will report back next week......

Thursday 1 December 2011

Marathon de la Rochelle 2011

I've returned to La Rochelle to run my second marathon (not including the attempt at London last year)!! Luckily the weather is better - around 12 degrees as opposed to last year being 1 or 2 degrees with sleet and rain during the race!

I have different feelings leading up to the race this year. Last year it was always an unknown and felt very exciting whereas this year I know how it is likely to feel and although I still feel excited there is also more pressure that I'm putting on myself to achieve the time I feel I should be running.

10 mins before the start and I line up at the front with the other elite female runners. The gun goes and although the start feels slow I know from last year that it will be faster than it feels. 3 Ethiopians and French girl are in front and I don't let myself get carried away with them and stick to my own plan. My first km was a touch fast but where I expected it to be. I settle into my pace and the next km is spot on. At 3.3k we join up with the men and I looked for a good group to pull me round. Unfortunately it was really strung out. Last year there were several big groups of men but this year its very different.

All in all the race went quite well. I hit a bad patch around 25k but managed to get my head together. My splits were more even paced than last year although I did lose some time in the 2nd half but not as much as last year. I finished in the same time as last year - 2hr 51 but with an improvement from 8th up to 5th place. I was really happy with my finish position but did feel disappointed with my time. I was really aiming to run sub 2hr 45 but it just wasn't the race for it. Its hard enough if you run a 10k race on your own but doing a marathon on your own is incredibly tough on your head!

My coach, Dave, and his wife, Cathy, were there supporting me and both said I looked loads better in my running than last year but knew after 10k that it wasn't going to be a race to get a time and that there was nothing I could do about that.

The presentation was fantastic. The top 5 finishers for both the men's and women's race were called up on the stage to be presented to. I was more nervous waiting to be called onto the stage than I was before the race!

I do love racing in France and will have to make more of an effort to learn to speak the language better if I'm going to race there again!

Thanks to Dave and Cathy for all your support for the days before and after and thanks to Xena (their cat) for warming my thighs in the days after the race!

Friday 4 November 2011

Worksop Half Marathon

Well what can I say? Good points and bad points about this race. I'll start with the good.....

I came 1st so obviously I was happy with that! It was a good race - well organised, good location, great atmosphere and friendly marshalls. Started off at a good pace - not too fast but considering the first mile was up hill my first split it was probably a touch quicker than necessary. I found myself in a nice group and was neck and neck with another lady (I think she was the winner from last year). I felt great to start with on the flats and downhills but on every up hill I really felt the tiredness from marathon training in my legs!

By about 4 miles the group had spread out a bit and I had a few looks behind me and seemed to have dropped the other lady so felt I could relax a bit! A good proportion of the race was through Clumber Park which was lovely (still undulating though). Me and another guy really helped pull each other round. When I was suffering I just managed to hang on to him and I think I helped him when he was suffering too.

The final mile was great as it was all downhill (we had done the same in reverse at the start). I managed to pick my pace up a bit and even had a smile in the final 400m with loads of people cheering!

Not a fantastic time but on tired legs and being a fair bit hillier than I expected I can't complain.


Getting ready to leave on Friday and I looked at the race info which I hadn't really looked at before. I was disappointed to see that there was a significant difference between the top prizes for men and women especially for 1st place. 1st place male was to win £150 and 1st place female was to win £90. Why?? This is the 21st century and a time of equality. I wrote to the race organiser stating my thoughts and that I do appreciate there are generally less women taking part in these races than men but the top 3 men and women generally train just has hard as each other and I don't feel that women should be rewarded less. The organiser did get back to me saying that they are gradually bringing their races in line, but why not just bring it in line now - why gradually?

Anyway as I did then turn out to win I was even more disappointed when I received my prize as it turned out to be a voucher. I wouldn't have minded but their website listed all amounts in cash and nowhere did it say prizes awarded in vouchers!

Would I do it again? Maybe as a training race and I happened to be in the area for the weekend!

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Galway 70.3

After a few crap races and I finally had a race I feel happy with!

I did Galway 70.3 at the weekend and apart from the nasty weather I really enjoyed myself. We arrived on Friday evening and checked out the sea conditions and the water was lovely and calm. Back there again on Saturday morning to do a little bike and run and the sea was still lovely and calm. I did my pre-race session and pleased that my legs were feeling good. We'd been out on the Friday and driven the bike course - looked ok. Not as hilly as I expected (or hoped) but undulating. Road surface could have been better though!

Morning of the race and I was up bright and early (whilst it was still dark) and down to transition to make sure everything was in place. Everything fine with my bike but the sea was completely different to how it had been for the 2 days before! It was no longer calm - there were now massive waves and it was looking a bit scary!

In the end the race was delayed by an hour and the swim course was cut from 1.9k down to 1k. I was slightly relieved about a shorter swim (swimming isn't my strongest part of a triathlon) but also a bit gutted as I would rather it was the full distance.

10 mins before the start we were lined up on the beach with our ankles in the water (which was actually surprisingly warm)! Then we were off running into the water! The waves were huge and it was really hard work. We had to swim out to a turnaround buoy before turning back to head toward a beach further along. It seemed to take forever to get to the turn buoy and I'm sure it wasn't that far out! I actually had a really good swim and felt like I attacked it well and didn't get phased by swimming in such bad conditions.

T1 was sooo long and I really hate running in bare feet. I have such sensitive feet and it hurts so much! Put on lots of gear for the bike (jacket, gloves etc - I've learnt since the Bala disaster)! I enjoyed the bike and worked really hard, probably a bit too hard for the first half but needed to after not working hard enough at my previous middle distance races. About 20k from home I went through a bit of a bad patch which coincided with an absolute down pour of really hard rain and nasty lumpy road! Luckily my bad patch didn't last too long and I managed to get back into it again.

T2 was equally as painful on my feet. I then had some problems trying to find my transition bag!

Then onto the run. A bit of an average run for me. To start with I had really bad back pain for about 5k. I kept my HR in check but feel I probably should have gone a bit quicker. Its difficult at the time to know if you can though!

Finished 2nd in my age group and 5th age grouper over all, so all in all happy with my result. Definitely more my sort of course than Antwerp.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

A couple of average races but were done for a training purpose so feel ok about them!

Firstly, a duathlon for my french team in Metz. Good fun but very short compared to what I've been training for! The first run (5k) went ok and I came into T1 with a group of about 6 girls. Bike was good fun (20k). Lots of surges which were hard going as I haven't prepared for them at all. Our group got caught by a chasing pack before T2 and about 500m out from T2 there was a final surge which was one too many for me - I had nothing left in my legs! Came in at the back of the back and then just survived the second run! Our team did well though (first team!) and I enjoyed it!

Then Stockton Olympic distance triathlon. I thought I'd had a good swim but when I saw my result it seemed that it wasn't particularly! My bike was very average - it was 4 laps and very technical and stop start the whole way round. Then my run was ok apart from having a big stone in my shoe that I had to stop and get rid of! Not a bad race as I treated it as a hard training session.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Hacked off with myself and been feeling miserable all week and I have no one to blame but myself.

Antwerp 70.3. Had a crap swim. Sighted wrong, got on someones feet I shouldn't have and went off course quite badly! Ooops! Then onto the bike - very windy. Tried my hardest to put effort in but seemed to go nowhere. Couldn't get heart rate up to where it should be at all. Gave up on it. Really wanted to drop out of the race but felt I'd be letting myself down even more if I did. Cycled the rest of the course at an easy pace and decided to try and have a good run.

Did have a good run but so I should when I had cycled with no effort!

Not really a course to suit me as totally flat bike (I like the hills) and very windy. Looking back I'm not really sure why I entered this one, oh well. Not a race I would recommend even if you do want a flat fast bike as the bike course was soooooo boring!! Won't be going back!!

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Happy at Last!!

Well after this run of bad luck with races recently it finally came good at the weekend!

For the 3rd year in a row I did the Northampton triathlon. Ideal conditions for me - lovely and hot and not much wind! Very different from Bala 2 weeks ago!

I started well with a good swim for me and was 3rd or 4th out of the water. I worked well on the bike but finding it hard at the mo to get my HR up into my Olympic distance HR zone with all the middle distance training but it felt good. My bike felt great though and I'm getting much better at being down on my tri bars now.

Onto the run which was 4 laps with 2 out and backs on each lap so you can easily see where your rivals are! My main rival Zoe (who beat me last year by 4 mins) was about 300/400m ahead of me on the first lap. At the same place on the 2nd lap she was about 200m ahead and by the 3rd lap I'd got it down to about 100m then caught her towards the end of the 3rd!

I was so happy to cross the finish line in 1st - it felt so good and the confidence boost I needed after feeling miserable with my previous races.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Bala Middle

What a disaster!!

I'm really having no luck so far this year!! 2011 was supposed to be a good one as I know I'm fitter than ever but crap things keep happening at races for me!!

Its supposed to be summer but for some reason on Sunday it was around 5 degrees, raining and blowing a gale.

I got in the water with no dithering (quite a step for me). Race got underway and swimming out was good as we had a current with us. Coming back was a different matter though. It was quite choppy and hard to spot the buoys. One minute I was with a group of other swimmers the next I seemed to have no one around me and had gone quite badly off course! Never mind I just looked up for a few strokes and tried my best to head in a straight line towards the finish.

I seemed to be in the water for ages (apparently I've since found out it was a bit long). With about 400m to go my body started to get really cold.

Finally out of the water and ran to T1. Put a bike top and gloves on and headed out on the bike. I was freezing cold but thought once I go up the little hill past town I should warm up.

Got to the hill and I was a shivering wreck. My legs wouldn't work and I felt disorientated. I then got really upset as I couldn't see myself carrying on like this. A group of guys cycling towards me told me they'd dropped out further up and that loads of people were turning back.

I was very lucky as a couple who I'd never met before (Rob and Sue) came to my rescue! They got me in their car with the heaters on got me into some warm clothes. They then very kindly took me back to the race start/finish area and waited while I got myself sorted out. A very big thank you!

I felt really frustrated after Bala as I had high hopes of doing really well in the race. I've since looked at the results and 383 finished the race but a massive 140 dropped out due to the conditions.

Friday 27 May 2011

Tri Grand Prix Race

Don't really know what was wrong with me at the race on Sunday. Just couldn't seem to keep my pace up on the bike. The course was 2 big laps and 1 smaller lap. Was doing ok on the first lap but then my speed just dropped along with my HR and couldn't seem to make myself go any quicker. Looking back at my Garmin data and my average speed was the same as I get when going for a long,steady bike. Oops!

When I came to the run my heart really wasn't in it and I just seemed to jog round.

All I can think is that somewhere in my subconscious I was a bit scared of bonking like I did so badly in my first middle distance race last year!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Manchester 10k

On Sunday I represented the South in the elite race of the Manchester 10k. I did this race last year and was glad to be back again. A really nice race to do, even with the weather being a bit miserable.

A very average run for me but very glad I did it. I have no speed in my legs for 10k at the moment after marathon and middle distance tri training so I didn't have any high hopes of a great time. I finished really feeling like I could keep going at the same pace for a fair amount longer but during the race just had no change of pace. Needed the race and I'm now looking forward to my first triathlon of the season at the weekend!!

Wednesday 27 April 2011

London Marathon

Well what a pain!

I'm really disappointed with what happened at London but really feel that I only have myself to blame. I ended up dropping out with a twinging muscle at just past the half way mark. Very upset as I really had hopes of doing something special there.

The reason I feel it was my fault is because I got myself into a bit of stress at the start (no change there really). The gun went and I just felt really congested and like I was held up behind loads of people running slower than I wanted to be running. So I started dodging around people and speeding up and slowing down. All this I think lead to me twinging my leg. It started niggling around 5k but I didn't think much of it. By 10k it was quite bad but I was still ignoring it. By about 16k I seriously started to wonder if I was going to last much longer as it was really affecting the way I was running. Then 20k and I knew I couldn't go on and was just looking for somewhere to stop. Eventually I saw St John's Ambulance so decided this was the best place.

All that training and focus on the race and then down to a moment of stupidity its gone! Oh well, you live and learn! In future it doesn't matter if I'm held up at the start of a marathon as being 1 or 2 mins down at 5k is really not the end of the world in a marathon and its probably for the best to start off a bit slower.

Thursday 31 March 2011


Back home now and feeling cold! I had such a great time in Fuerteventura and it has enabled me to get a good block of training in when in the UK it has been too icy to go out on some days. After Dan left I had 2 weeks left and I started to feel ready to come home. Thank you to Jane who has been a great help to me whilst out there and a good friend - hopefully I will be back next year!! I now have London Marathon to look forward to (and wearing my Asics DS which coincidentally are in my favourite colour)!!! 17 days to go........

Sunday 13 March 2011


And for all those that worry that I haven't been eating enough...... and yes I did eat all of it!

Saturday 12 March 2011

2 weeks left

A group of 40 from my tri club came out for a week at the end of Feb along with Dan coming out for 2 weeks. Was great to be amongst lots of people as I had been doing all of my training on my own. Apart from swimming which I benefit from swimming in a group, I do mostly prefer to train on my own but it was nice to see and talk to friends and of course to see Dan for 2 weeks!

It also meant that I got to spend nearly 2 weeks at the Play Itas hotel which was great. Also a bonus was that they messed our booking up and we had to be moved from the apart hotel into the hotel and as compensation got breakfast and dinner included for free!! Food was great - lots of it too!

Dan also surprised me - a time trial bike!! After asking around to see if a shop or manufacturer would loan me one for the season Planet X said they could do one at an amazing price. I had said I'd think about it but unbeknown to me Dan had been negotiating with them. Thank you Dan and Planet X - I love it!! It needs some adjusting (like the tri bars chopping down) and I will have to customise it with some turquoise!

Wednesday 9 February 2011


A quick update.... been out here for 4 weeks now and loving it! The cycling is fantastic especially as I love hills! A great place for my base training. Swimming in the outdoor pool was a bit disappointing to start with as the heater had been broken since before Christmas and I've been having to swim in a wetsuit! The good news is it is now fixed and I can now get a tan while I swim!! Its all about the tan!!! Running is progressing nicely and all on track for London Marathon.

Sunday 16 January 2011


Arrived in Fuerteventura 5 days ago. Lovely and warm with clear blue skies! So nice to be away from the cold in England. The facilities up at Play Itas are fantastic - outdoor 50m pool, nice gym, some great marked out running trails...!

Out here for almost 11 weeks! I feel so lucky. Although I had to say goodbye to Dan yesterday and won't see him now until he comes out again in 6 weeks time.

Wednesday 5 January 2011


A much needed rest after the marathon. Even if I'd wanted to run I couldn't. It was painful enough walking let alone running for most of the week. 2 days after the race and I had tickets to a rock concert with my sister! Really good night but not the same when you can hardly move!! A good Christmas and light training but freezing cold which I really can't deal with. Lots of cycling on the turbo - boring! as too icy to go outside. Bring on the 12th of Jan!!!