Category Archives: Personal

Biking in Mallorca

Well with a tear in my Achilles and a ban on running and any strenuous walking it was lucky for me that our next adventure was all to do with the BIKE .

p1000218.jpgIn April myself,Geoff,Gina along with Andy and his non cycling wife Kate went off to Port Pollenca for a week,where we had hired bikes for 4 days , while we biked Kate was going to enjoy the pool and do some walking.

Our trip overlapped the youngsters from SWNC by a night so we enjoyed a get together meal on our first evening, where we heard all about their adventures.

Mallorca is definitely the place to go for cycling the roads are perfect and there is something for everyone from the beginner to  the elite.

From Feb to Easter the place is swamped with bikers and when you go out the roads are just full of cycling pelotons giving it a great atmosphere.img_0080.jpg

Our first ride out was to Petra where the main square is just full of cycling cafes full of cyclist.

We then carried onto the outdoor velodrome at Sineu which I loved biking round!!

The following day we had a nice hilly ride up to the Monastery at Lluc ,of course what goes up must come down, it was a fun but scary descent in strong gusty wind, at one point it felt like I was not moving anywhere !!

Andy showed us all how the descents are meant to be tackled bombing down like a pro and making it all look so easy !!

img_1672.jpgThe Lighthouse ride is one not to be missed a long slow Climb all the way up taking in fabulous views and at this time is year no buses full of tourists cluttering up the roads.

As well as the biking we enjoyed some fabulous meals out in the evenings,the highlight was going to Tolo’s the cyclist restaurant and one where Barry Wiggins has his bikes on display.

A fabulous holiday enjoyed by all and one I hope we get to do again and again as who would not want to be biking in the sunshine !!

Cambridge Half Marathon

Very annoyingly I returned from El Medano with a sore achilles so as it was so close to the Cambridge half I decided to rest until the event on Feb 28th.

Due to injury my friend Gina had already decided not to run but after much soul searching I decided to take a risk and run, so Gina decided to come along and cheer me on.

I was very nervous on the morning of the run,wondering if i was doing the right thing but thought if i just took it steady I should be ok. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere amazing.

IMG_3516Due to the huge amount of runners, around 7,000, the start was a slow one , which was not a bad thing. first part of the route took us through Town passing by many of the great city colleges, we then headed out to Grantchester which was more rural. Much to my surprise and delight I spotted people I knew in the crowds of spectators and this gave me a real boost.

There was Four water stations on this run each included a gel option too, so I decided to take a gel at each station and I think this worked really well for me as I never got the usual tired feeling at around the 9/10 mile mark.

By the time I was coming back into town I was happy and relaxed thinking i was going to get my P/B time, I heard Gina cheering me on and I thought I had cracked it but then at mile 11 disaster struck and i felt something “pop” in my lower leg, I stopped for a second thought bugger what shall I do now !! then decided that as i was so close to the finish I should just run/limp to the end.

My time was 2.19 not bad since I had to limp home, it was by far the best running event I have ever done,the bling was awesome, and I don’t regret running it at all.

After visiting the physio I found out I had actually torn my achilles and only now after 12 weeks can I start running again ūüôā

El Medano

Back in February I spent a lovely 2 weeks in El Medano with Geoff. before he went on his travels to Africa.

We decided to see what it was like to stay in one place for 2 weeks and El Medano offered winter sun,biking, walking  and beaches but being a wind and kite surfers paradise also means it also always very windy !!IMG_3123

We stayed at the adult only hotel Arenas Del Mar, a little isolated but only a short walk into El Medano village.  A lovely hotel with a great buffet breakfast , and a pool ,although unless you went out and bagged a sunbed by 9am you could never get one !!

There are 2 small volcanoes to walk up, Montana Pelada and Montana Roja, we enjoyed walking up both of these but they were not hard walks just a fews hours stroll for us. We never got to swim in the sea because it was always wild and choppy due to the wind but we did enjoy watching the wind and kite surfers.

FullSizeRender (11)We hired bikes for 6 days from the excellent Bike Point who were very friendly and helpful. The plan was to do the famous Teide climb, the longest climb in europe. The Biking was fantastic , always climbing and always windy but we enjoyed rides to Vilaflor, Los Abrigos, Los Cristianos and San Isidro,though the highlight of our holiday had to be the Teide climb, which was totally amazing and had me close to tears with emotion when I realised that I had reached the top !! Riding back down was another experience altogether and one that I need to get used too !!

After we returned our bikes I felt quite sad and wondered how we would fill the rest of our holiday but we spent the rest of our time walking in and out of town basking in the sun out the wind, watching the wind and kite surfers and reading.All very enjoyable but i do think one week in El Medano would have been enough.

A fab holiday but i do miss our long distance walking adventures.

2015

Well  2015 was an amazing year for me I kept myself injury free and I finally ran not one but 3 half marathons

DSCF7741In total I ran just over 500 miles and biked over 4000 miles.

2016 is going to be an interesting year with Matthew joining the army , also I have plenty of events lined up including my first Audax ride.

If all goes to plan the first  3 months I have running events , then biking events through the summer , ending the year with more running events.

I have decided to give up my running club for the summer and go on the SWNC training rides as I really want to try and improve my average speed .

There will also be biking holidays with Geoff  in Tenerife and Mallorca then back to the Cotswolds with SWNC in October.

An exciting year ahead … I think 2016 is going to be all about the bike !!!!!

Swapping running shoes for 2 wheels

First week in November and I spent 5 days in the Cotswolds with biking friends from SWNC. We stayed in a fabulous lodge on the Lower Mill Estate near Cirencester, our lodge even had its own hot tub on the balcony

I was worried about this trip as it involved biking up hills, when it comes to hills I lack confidence and fail mentally but I was hoping this trip would help me overcome these fears !!

imageTuesday we were going to head North to the hills riding through plenty of typical Cotswolds villages.

Wednesday an easier flatish ride leaving time to enjoy the spa.

Thursday drive over the Severn bridge and ride into the Wye valley by Tintern valley and Monmouth

The weather was damp but warm and we managed 2 of the planned rides , happy to say I coped with the hills far better than expected. On the third day we decided it was too wet to risk the ride especially with all the wet slippery leaves about.

We didn’t waste the day though spending it in the Spa and generally having fun, I even tried the outdoor plunge pool .

This was a totally fabulous week spent with great friends having lots of fun and laughs  ,so good that we have booked to go again next year and certain people have promised to join me in the plunge pool.

and I may be starting to fall in love with those hills at last !!!!

Peterborough half marathon

My whole year had been focused on the Peterborough half marathon, it was a very important run for me, after having to pull out last year, due to  an achilles injury.

But this one was doomed too !!

Somehow and somewhere I picked up a heel injury,maybe it was while walking up Snowdon, which had involved some scrambling.

I was so worried that it may be Plantar fasciitis that I decided to go to the local sports injury clinic and see Ian Brown. Thankfully he was almost 95% certain that I had just aggravated a nerve in the side of my heel , this put my mind at rest but it still needed resting.

IMG_2828Then Geoff  decided not to come and support me as he wanted to go swimming in Dunwich with his friends,and although I encouraged him to go I was actually devastated as this run for some reason was really  important to me and I wanted him there.

So after 3 weeks of no running and with my head not really in the right place  I arranged a lift with 2 other ladies from my Ladybird running club and thought I can do this !!! 

And I did but………

I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever made myself do, I hurt everywhere apart from where I expected to hurt … my heel !! ¬†and my heart rate was far higher than normal which meant i had to run/walk a few miles in the middle which I was not happy about.

I managed to finish in 2 hours 36 but did not enjoy one second of it and hated the route which just seemed to go through housing estate after housing estate and for the first time in many many years my legs ached so much I could hardly walk for a week ūüôĀ

Now the question is ………will I do it again next year !!

Wissey Half marathon

Back to September 6th , this run was not one I had planned to do, Peterborough was always wissey 4going to be my first Half marathon but with some encouragement from my friends I decided to do Wissey and just treat it as a training run for Peterborough.

I also thought it would be nice to support my local running club, Ryston Runners who organise it.

Needless to say when race day arrived I was very nervous, but I knew many of the other runners and they were all full of encouragement , which soon put me at ease.

This was a beautiful rural route ran on a perfect sunny day, I put myself under no pressure just wanting to do the distance and I can honestly say I enjoyed every step !!

I carried my own drink and did not stop at any of the water stations and I think this works well for me, I also took a gel at around mile 8/9 which seemed to give me a burst of energy towards the end when I needed it.

Much to my amazement I finished in 2 hours 14 ,much quicker than the 2 hours 30 I had predicted and I still had a smile on my face ūüôā

A great first half marathon .

Gran Canaria

This summer we decided to visit Gran Canaria so Geoff could decide if he would like to spend the winter months over in the sun.

We had 6 glorious days up in the mountains at the Parador Cruz de Tejeda. We spent these 6 days walking, enjoying the spa and eating steak every night, well I ate the steak while Geoff being a vegetarian had fish and he will never no what he missed out on !!

The parador is in a very remote spot offering some fantastic walking with amazing views, from our bedroom we had the most fantastic view of the volcanic rock, Roque Nublo, the highlight of IMG_2619our 6 day stay was walking to this Roque.

Its a  tourist hot spot although most people drive there and park in the carpark , before taking a short walk to the Roque, most people thought we were mad walking the distance we did in the scorching heat !

Then we moved down to the coast to Port de Mogan, where we had a bit of a shock, after spending the week in such a remote place and hardly seeing soul, the coast was packed with people and very touristy.

The plan was to do some biking and more walking but it soon became apparent that not much of either would be getting done.

We did finally find the Freemotion bike hire shop hidden in the grounds of  the Cordial Mogan Playa hotel, so we hired 2 of the most fabulous Cannondale Synapse Ultegra bikes for the day and in 34 deg heat enjoyed an amazing days biking.IMG_2667

Our hotel  Puerto de Mogan had a lovely pool and private access to the sea and I found it amazing that people would lie by the pool from 9am till 7pm , I enjoy a swim and can relax by the pool for aprox an hour but only after a good ride or walk.

As we had a hire car we did spend some time driving round the coast as far as Las Palmas but none of these places really took our fancy although I did like the Sand Dunes at Maspalomas where we enjoyed a swim at the Nudist beach .

I loved spending 2 weeks with Geoff, its the longest I ever get to spend with him and although we had a fab holiday It’s not the place for Geoff to spend his winter months !!