St Neots Half Marathon

St Neots was not a half marathon I had planned to do as I dithered and  missed out when entry opened early in the year but when more places came available I grabbed my place.

st neotsIt was also an opportunity to move on after Peterborough Half  and another chance to meet up with my running friends Gina and Linda.

Race day weather was dull cloudy and very very windy, I did wonder how I would cope with the wind and the slightly undulating route but i needn’t have worried.

The atmosphere was buzzing and my excitement grew once I met up with my friends, who always put me at ease.

I enjoyed this far more than I expected too, a lovely rural route , great support from strangers and the wind just seemed to make it more fun !!

Finish Time was 2.16 which I was very happy with and this one I would certainly do again !!

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 🙁

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 🙂

A great first half marathon .

Run Norwich 10k

It has been a busy 3 months or so and I have a lot to catch up with so let’s go back to August bank holiday weekend andIMG_4620 the Run Norwich 10k.

This was the first ever Run Norwich 10k event and I quickly signed up for it, then realised that they expected you to go and collect your race pack, which could have caused me and many other runners problems, but after a few e-mails I think they realised their mistake and agreed to post out my Race pack.

The weather was perfect on race day and I was looking forward to meeting up with my Norwich running friends GinaRun Norwich and Linda, as usual I had not looked at the route, so it was not until we were getting ready to start that I realised there must be a “Hill” as that is all everyone was talking about !! Gina said “it’s only a pimple don’t worry” so I didn’t !!!

Well it was a great run and I enjoyed the route with the pimple !! it was very well organised and well supported, anyone put off doing it as it was the first event certainly missed out on a great run.

Our day was not over though as we then went out for lunch with Gina and her lovely family where the fun and laughter continued.

BTW the date for this run in 2016 is August the 7th

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 !!