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 !!

Mike Groves 10 mile road race

The Coltishall Mike Groves 10 mile road race is my highlight of 2015 so far !!

A distance I thought I would never achieve after my 3rd achilles injury.

IMG_8814 (1)I was very nervous and very excited about this event, it was a small race field something I am not used too, most of my races have entries into the 1000’s this one was just into the 100’s

Meeting up with Gina and Linda calmed my nerves a little as it was so lovely to see them and have a good chat before the start.

The weather was perfect for running although the thunder storms from the night before had flooded some of the roads, which would mean wet feet and some plonker had stolen the water for the water stations, but luckily I had my own drink to carry.

I started off a little too quick but soon settled into a nice pace, with so many faster runners than me  I was away from the main crowd of runners making It feel just like another training run.IMG_8737

The marshalls at all the junctions and turns were really encouraging and very friendly, soon I totally relaxed and just enjoyed the route, which was an out and back one, close to the start we went down a hill so I knew at around mile 9 there would be an uphill stretch.

I loved this run for many reasons and finished in 1 hr 40, 5 mins faster than I had expected so was very pleased with myself :-)

Great coffee and cake supplied by the Coltishall Ladies was enjoyed after the run, before Gina Geoff and I went for lunch at the Bike themed Olive Branch Cafe.

Cycle Together Sandringham

Much to my disappointment I had to miss Cycle Together Sandringham in 2014 so it was top of my list for 2015.

Its a great family day out with routes of 10,20, 50 and 100 miles so something for everyone and every penny raised goes to Park house hotel for the disabled.

I was going to ride this with the sandringham and west norfolk cyclist and it was also going to be my first 100 ride of 2015 but as I decided to ride from home it would make it around 116 miles, my longest ride to date.

10171728_10153074990488152_6507144964771980927_n (1)As I left home it was drizzling with rain but by the time we set off from Sandringham although still dull there was no drizzle !!

A large group of us set off together we then split down into smaller groups depending on speed.

I settled into a nice little group of 5 and we rode together to the first feed stop at Holkham ,avg speed was 17 mph and at that time I wondered how I would ever manage the 100 miles.

This is where the route split and we lost 2 from our group who went on to ride the 50 while Myself, Paulette and Lorraine carried on to do the 100 miles.

We then headed out to Holt for the next feed station,we rode together really well taking it in turns at the front for a mile at a time,it was the first time I have experienced such great riding team work, it pushed me hard and I loved it !!

From Holt it was back to Holkham with the challenging Bard hill at salthouse on the way ,I think the 100 route took in every hill in Norfolk.11427703_10153074990763152_640031407545965868_n

Then before we knew it we were crossing the finishing line with big smiles and cheers from fellow riders.

We then received a lovely goody bag , had coffee and pasta before returning home.

A  fabulous ride out with 3 great ,well stocked, feed stations, ran by friendly cheerful encouraging volunteers. The route signage was also very good and clear to follow and the actual 100 mile route was fantastic to ride.

Thanks to Paulette and Lorraine it was well worth waiting a year to do and I loved it.

and I was so happy that I didn’t need a lift home !!

Pedal Norfolk

Pedal Norfolk was the second event Gina and I was doing over the B/H weekend.

IMG_2949Pedal Norfolk is a 3 day biking event at Holkham Hall,organised by Fatbirds of Hunstanton and offering various lengths of rides over the 3 days.

We did the 50 mile “hilly” on the B/H Monday.

Its the first time we had done this event as it always clashes with the GEAR run and I never thought I was fit enough to do both !!

Luckily the torrential rain from Sunday had been replaced with a nice sunny day , perfect for biking.

We arrived nice and early because at the last min and much to my delight Geoff had decided to ride, so needed to register. It was good to see a group of other SWNC riders there so we all started together then split into our own riding groups along the way.

It was a great route to ride heading away from Hunstanton towards Stiffkey and Morston on many roads I had not ridden on before up the famous Salthouse hill towards Binham where you had a grand view of the priory.IMG_2953

The feed station was simple but offered excellent refueling and the best flapjacks I have ever tasted!!

The route back to Holkham was just as enjoyable and what a delight when you spotted the sea on the horizon coming into Titchwell, then back into the Holkham estate with the Obelisk in view and that great finish.

It was one of the best Sportive Routes we have ever ridden and the lovely festival atmosphere at the end was well enjoyed with food drink and chat with fellow riders…….

So enjoyed that next year we may not run the GEAR but ride the 100 mile scenic Saturday route!!

GEAR 10k

IMG_8341I love bank holidays especially now I fill them with fun events with friends.This May day weekend was no exception.

My friend Gina came over to stay for a few days and the fun started with the GEAR 10k 

This year was the 10th Anniversary and the 4th year I would be running it, along with many other Lynnsport Ladybirds and Ryston Runners in fact it was a total sell out with over 1500 runners. Even the predicted bad weather could not stop the excitement building!

By the time we had walked into town the predicted wet weather had arrived, I have never seen so many umbrellas at a running event, the atmosphere was amazing though and not even the pouring rain was going to spoil the day.11188230_920641781312019_4608564301251447602_n

Finally it was time to gather in the starting pens, so off with the jackets and away with the umbrellas amongst much talk about how mad we all must be! then horror as 10.45 came and went with no starting gun, the roads were now becoming quite flooded and we were all eager to be on our way then 10 mins later looking like drowned rats we were off…..

IMG_8440A nice flat course meant many of my friends, including Gina  were hoping for P/B times, as usual I just wanted to get round in under an hour and even though I achieved this with a time of 58.08 I was alittle disappointed  as I felt I could have done better. My big mistake was running in my glasses because after 10 mins in the pouring rain I could hardly see a thing and had to carry my glasses the whole way round :-(

Even in such bad weather conditions Gina and many of the Ladybirds got the P/B times they wanted and none of this would have been possible without the fantastic marshals who braved the weather too and of course Geoff who was there to cheer us on and take photo’s :-)

Needless to say the sun came out at the end and we were rewarded well for braving the weather with a totally fab medal and another fun day spent with friends :-)

Count the Counties Bike Sportive

Count the Counties was a new local Sportive for 2015 and how could we not enter when it started not far from my house :-)

You had the choice of 30 55 and 92 miles,1 2 or 3 counties and we decided on the 92 or 3 counties route  which actually turned out to be 97 on the day.

I was really looking forward to this sportive as the route went out over the Fens, an area I really enjoy riding, on a Tuesday with the Tarmac Touring Guys.

DSC_0866A small group of us decided to meet and ride together on the day.

Due to the trains not running , Geoff had to bike 40 miles to get to my house on the Saturday, so unfortunately he started with tired legs and we soon lost him :-( but I was sure he would not mind me making the most of this ride as I had trained so hard for it.

First feed stop was in Welney, which was very well stocked with good energy food,and for me the best thing was being able to get a hot drink, we waited around for Geoff, hoping he would catch us up but finally decided to leave without him.

So off we went making very good time and enjoying the tail wind as we knew it would soon be a head wind! Then disaster struck and Justeene’s wheel clipped another wheel and she had a very nasty fall.

These things always scare me, luckily she was wearing a helmet and no bones were broken but she was very battered and bruised. She decided she wanted to carry on and then due to a puncture Geoff finally caught us up and stayed with us till we arrived back at Welney for the second feed stop.

Unfortunately, Justeene  had started to feel sick and get a headache just outside Welney so she decided to call it a day and called her daughter to come and rescue her, we sadly left her but she was adamant that we should carry on and not get cold.

Much to our delight the feed stop still had a good choice of food and another hot drink was more than enjoyed especially as we knew the last 23 miles was going to be into the head wind from hell!

At this point I left Geoff, again,  as I wanted to race back and get his photo as he finished, but it soon became clear that I was not going to be strong enough to keep up with the other 2 guys, they would have been happy to wait for me but I insisted they go… the route signage was good and I had my Garmin so was happy I would not get lost.P1000174

Then I remembered I had a gel so I used it, within minutes I got a second wind and was off to catch them, it took me 10 long hard miles into a fierce headwind  but I finally caught them up and we rode the last 8 miles back into LynnSport together.

An excellent well organised Sportive which had excellent feed stations with a very well signed route.

I was very disappointed not to see more riders from the local bike clubs support this new,and well organised sportive but I well impressed with Cycle Sportives uk who sent Justeene flowers and the finishers medal when then found out about her fall :-)

I may well be tempted to enter another one of these sportives which is actually on my birthday and get a few of my friends to do it with me :-)

Trowse 10k Road race

I entered this run because I wanted something fun to do over the Easter break. My friends Gina and Jayne also entered it so I knew it would be a fab day out

1-IMG_8285Then I panicked because it had a HILL in it and I usually avoid these when running but I was determined so I started doing some training runs at Sandringham where there is a hill.

It was an early start for us on race day because we had to travel from Cambridge to Norwich for a 9am start. I was feeling nervous about the hill everyone was talking about but my nerves soon turned to excitement once we met up with Gina, Jayne and all their lovely friendly running friends.

Much to my amazement I really enjoyed this run ,the route was scenic and varied, starting along Whitlingham broads then the long drawn out hill not once but twice and a lovely down hill stretch too.

My finishing time was 58.58,as usual I was very pleased with myself especially because of the hill which I found a challenge but secretly enjoyed.The goodie bag was excellent and included a cream egg and a fabulous medal.

The day was not over for us though as Gina Jayne Geoff and I then went out for a lovely lunch with lots of chat and laughter, a great recipe for the Best Easter ever :-)

When I arrived home still full of enthusiasm and excitement I signed up for the Mike Groves 10 miler in June!!!

which I am sure will be another fab day :-)

Lincoln 10k Road Race

After enjoying running the Lincoln 10k last year  I decided to enter it again this year.

Lincoln 10kThis would be my first real running event since my achilles injury.

What I didn’t expect was a stinking head cold on the day or Geoff to be home to drive me there cheer me on and take photo’s :-)

Once again it was a fabulous day with well over 6000 runners, many  I knew from the Ryston Runners and  5 other Ladybirds. too.

The route was well supported , we had perfect weather conditions and some how I managed to get a P/B time of 56.14

Unfortunately I had told Geoff to expect me to finish in around an hour so he missed me at the finish line!

A Great start to this years running events :-)