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cycling with Victoria Pendleton

10 Oct

I did it!!!!  Last Sunday i took park in Cycletta at Tatton Park in Cheshire.  Cycletta is a series of cycling events round the country designed to get women on their bikes “for fitness and for fun”.  You have the choice of doing a 40k or 50k distance.  As I’d never done a cycling event before i chose the 40k distance which took us through lots of beautiful Cheshire countryside.

the start line, that’s me in the middle

The event itself was really well organised but it was super cold to start off with which i wasn’t prepared for.  All sorts of levels and cyclists take part (I even spied a woman on an electric bike – gotta say i was jealous!).  I of course took my beautiful new(ish) road bike.  Victoria Pendleton (the Olympic Gold medal cyclist) took part and at the end we all got the chance to meet her. She was very patient and lovely given the huge amount of women that queued up for the chance to have a pic taken with her.  I actually got ridiculously excited before meeting her…i’m pretty much a super fan.  She looks so pleased to be meeting me huh?!?  I got my bib signed by her too.

I need to master helmet hair!!

By the way it’s pretty much impossible to look good next to her so i didn’t even try.  Don’t judge me!

I cycled the race with a friend who i hadn’t seen or caught up with in ages so we took the course at a fairly leisurely rate and chatted most of the way, filling our pockets with sweets at the feed stations (that’s what you’re supposed to do right?).  I broke away for about the last three miles and raced them which was sooooo much fun.

The goodie bag we all got at the end was amazing.  It included a cloth rucksack, lots of free samples, two magazines and a loaf of bread (not pictured below).  There were also free massages, manicures and helmet hair rescue stations for all participants.

That evening we stayed in Liverpool at a place called Base2Stay.  Base2Stay is a hybrid hotel/apartment.  I’m definitely a fan of renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel when i’m staying in cities.  The staff at Base2Stay were super accommodating and housed our bikes for us.  The bathroom in our room was so massive i had to get a photo.  I mean there were two sinks!!  What the?!?!?!

this picture does not do it justice – there’s a huge rainforest type shower hidden in the corner

And yes i am that easily pleased.

So i know i’ve said this in like, thirteen other posts but i’ve soooo got the cycling bug now.  It’s so much more fun than running (although still doing that a bit due to impending Great South Run in two and a half weeks!).  I even own a little collection of padded lycra shorts that i would never have dreamed of owning (let alone admitted to owning) just six months ago.

Roll on more cycling events!!!  There’s one more Cycletta event left this year so if you’re interested check out the Cycletta website.  I would if i could but i’ll definitely be signing up for 2013.


what a wonderful week

19 Jul

I have had such an amazing 7 days…

It started with my lil’ sisters wedding last Friday.  What a gorgeous and relaxed day we had.  Congratulations to the new Mrs Amy.  This is the beautiful dress i got to wear



This dress is from BHLDN, the wedding arm of Anthropologie.  It is A-MAZ-ING.  Ali’s dress was from the same shop.  Stunning.

Next up we paid a very flying visit to London to see Paul Simon play at Hyde Park.  If you’ve never been to the Hard Rock Calling festival then you should definitely put it on your list of things to do.  Those who reside in dear old blighty will know the weather hasn’t been kind to us recently but the lovely festival organisers wood chipped everything so not only was there no mud but the whole place smelt pine fresh!  Paul Simon was INCREDIBLE.  His set was more than two hours long and his guest list was as long as your arm.  Totally worth getting up at stupid o’clock Sunday and Monday to see him.  I love him even more now i’ve seen him live.

Then we had my gorgeous hubby’s birthday which culminated in a lovely meal by the beach (albeit a wet and windy beach) with lots of our friends.

I’m off out for my fourth meal of the week tonight (pizza in case you were wondering).  Then i think as of this weekend its clean eating and lots of exercise for me.  I had an MRI scan on Monday and the scariest part was that they have to weigh you first!  Eeep! Having not weighed myself for about six months i had a bit of a shock.  But hey ho i’m injured – that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it.

Let me put all this into perspective for you – this time last year my husband had just been diagnosed with cancer.  I’d had to leave him at the hospital to go home and pack his bag for a medical flight to the UK.  Now we get to fly off at our leisure to do the things we really want to do.  This makes me very smiley!!!

I had the MRI results today – i’m still digesting those and what they mean for me so that will be another blog post.

I hope you’re all having equally wonderful weeks!


all the naughty things

28 May

remember my last post when i said i was going to come up with a new training plan and getting with the cross training now i’m injured? No? Well take my word for it i did.

Confession time … ahem….things haven’t quite worked to plan.  Firstly, i only came off my crutches at the end of last week and i’m still hobbling around so pretty much most types of training are out of the window.  Secondly i have been diligently doing all the exercises the physiotherapist gave me and bending and straightening your leg 10 times is hard work.  Instead of running/cycling/touch rugby i’ve been doing the opposite of training….

On Saturday we Island hopped and went to a beer festival.  We took a 20 minute ferry ride to Herm and sampled a couple of nice beers in the gorgeous sunshine.  Beer is good medicine.

leaving Guernsey

polished off some yummy BBQ with that half pint

This evening as i couldn’t participate in Touch Rugby training we had fish and chips on the beach.  Such a British thing to do and i love it!!


Then sat there bathing in the evening sunlight.

nice try at photo bombing John

I’m sitting here icing my knee as i type.  Hopefully it will only be a matter of days before i’m running and cycling round this little Island of mine but until then i’m trying to enjoy this rest that has been forced upon me.

What’s your favourite treat?

BUPA Great South Run here i come…

29 Apr

Yes that’s right everyone, I’ve signed up to run the BUPA Great South Run on 28 October.  It’s 10 miles.  I think i’m crazy.  Let’s put that in perspective for all of you who run 10 miles before breakfast … i’ve only ever run about 7k consecutively in my whole entire life.  At school i would do pretty much anything to get out of PE lessons and here i am voluntarily strapping on trainers and pounding the pavements for 10 whole miles!  Eeek!

I decided i’m going to run in aid of a local cancer charity.  Read this post to see why.  I took this ‘hilarious’ picture of myself in my brightest work out gear (I promise i don’t go out like this everyday…yet) to go on my donations page.

I really needed a challenge and maybe it was because it was my birthday week or maybe it was being inspired by Skinny Runner running a gazillion miles in 9 days (seriously the girl is nuts but you so need to check out her blog to read about her man-up week if you haven’t already) but for one reason or another i decided to go for it.

But it doesn’t stop there – i am also putting together a relay team to run a Marathon in August with some colleagues from work (there’s no truth in the rumour i’m having it written into their annual appraisal objectives – for some reason that’s frowned upon at my work).  A friend and I are really hoping to take part in Cycletta later in the year in aid of Macmillan Cancer.  Cycletta is a women only cycling event for all abilities – there are a number of 40k rides up and down the UK.  I’m also participating in the 5K Race for Life next month for Cancer Research UK.  I’ll keep you updated on all of these and if anyone else is doing any of these then let me know.

I can only think its writing this blog and reading so many amazing other blogs by people like me that has given me the inspiration to find and sign up to these events.

The best bit is my wonderful, amazing husband bought me the Garmin Forerunner 305 for my birthday!!  Aaaahhhhhhhhh!  The eagle eyed of you will have spotted it in the photo above.  So he either listens to my constant “i wants” or he reads my blog!

Oh hello beautiful….

It’s already done two outings with me and i am in love with my husband my Garmin.

And finally…look how much Coco gives a monkey about my blog.  Apparently laps are for cats not for laptops.

Anyone else doing the Great South Run?  Anyone got an awesome 10 mile training plan they want to share?

jazz and monkeys

7 Apr

Last weekend John and I spent a long weekend in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, for the Jersey Jazz festival.  We had such an amazing time.  Jersey advertises itself as the sunniest place in the British Isles and the weather was much obliging…it was beautiful.  Sea was flat and calm for the boat trip too.

The hotel we booked into was the base for most of the jazz so very convenient but in itself not much to write home about.  The jazz on the other hand was brilliant.  I am by no means a “muso” (as my husband would verify!!) and don’t consider myself a huge jazz fan but there were some awesome bands – two favourites being Dennis “Badbone” Rollins and Velocity Trio (sooooo funky) and The Linley Weir Trio.  You should check them out.

As well as the jazz we really explored Jersey.  We didn’t get up early enough to hit breakfast at the hotel (hey … we were on holiday) but we found this fab little coffee shop called Bean Around the World where i had banana waffles and a cup of tea.  Britain hasn’t embraced the waffle like the US has and we so should.  I’d eat this everyday if (a) i could and (b) it wouldn’t make me the size of a house within weeks!

Ok now i couldn’t turn this picture over so here is my gravity defying waffles…hehe!  I so should have brushed up on some techy skills before i started a blog eh?

The main highlight of the weekend had to be a trip to Durrell (Jersey zoo).  This is not just any zoo, it’s more a conservation centre where they breed endangered species.  It’s such a wonderful place – now one of my favourites on earth.  The best bit was that during August a baby Macaque was born.  The mother was very obliging and brought the baby right out in front of us.  I only took pictures on my film SLR so you’re going to have to wait to see that little cutie I’m afraid.

On the Monday we hired bikes and cycled for hours.  Let me tell you Jersey is very hilly (very, very hilly) but it has some spectacular scenery and some gorgeous beaches.

After the weekend’s excesses i’m already back on the healthkick.  I’ll be out the door shortly for day 2 of week 4 of C25K.  This week is hard as it includes whole 5 minute running segments.  Eeek.  I’m very motivated for my 5K next month though and i can’t wait to get those trainers back on my feet.

Have you been anywhere nice recently?  

I hope you’re enjoying your long Easter weekend x