Hello 2018

For the past few years I have ended the year by doing the Ely 10k a run I really enjoy but this year I decided to have a change and start the year with a run, the Wymondham 10k

After a late night seeing the New Year in, I was up early with Geoff so we could get over to Wymondham to meet up with my running friends. It was great to see everyone but I was certainly not feeling my best after overindulging the night before. My legs didn’t seem to want to work either, 5 hours sleep obviously is not enough.

The 10k felt really hard especially with the few nice hills on the route but I did it, then enjoyed catching up with my friends over a lovely lunch where there was much fun and laughs.

So 2018 started well with a nice bit of bling but would I do it again, maybe not!

Unfortunately a few days later on a TTT ride, after hitting some black ice which was totally unexpected, I came off my bike along with 4 others. Luckily none of us was badly hurt and we all managed to cycle home.

Since then I have been suffering from a very stiff and achy lower back, so no running or biking but hopefully I shall soon be feeling 100% fit again as I have many exciting things planned including ……

Valentines 10k, Cambridge Half, LDWA Daffodil Dawdle, Biking in Mallorca, GEAR 10k and Nottingham 10k.

and I need to get training !!!

Goodbye 2017

Lambfair Green Puddle Ride

Lambfair Green Puddle Ride

Its been a disappointing December for bike mileage due to the bad weather and Icy conditions but today to end the year perfectly we clocked up a good 70 miles on the bike, many of the roads were flooded after the heavy rain but luckily no ice today.

Although that has been the only disappointment this year, everything else has gone to plan and I have enjoyed many happy adventures with my friends and Geoff.

The highlights had to be The Lap Of Anglia and cycling from my house to Edinburgh with Geoff,as well as running two fab half marathons.

2018 is promising to be just as exciting with many events already booked up, in fact, my diary seems busy right up until August which is rather exciting.

2017 finished with a ride so 2018 must start with a Run, the Wymondham 10k with friends the object now is not to drink too much tonight !!!!!

Fenland 10 and St Neots Half…..

This year I had a plan, I love plans especially when they work and today all those laid out plans came to an end.

The plan was 2 half marathons, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end of the year, in between run a few 10k events while concentrating on my biking through the summer.Untitled

I did throw in one extra run and that was the Fenland 10, an excellent event ran in perfect conditions and used as a training run for the St Neots half.The course is described as flat and fast great for getting a P/B time. The only disappointment was No Medal or T-shirt but I did get a P/B time so the disappointment was short lived !!

I really enjoy winter running especially on cold sunny days so I was really looking forward to meeting up with Gina for the St Neots half, I had been dodging coughs and colds all week so just hoped all would be ok on the day. Our other running friends Linda and Jayne came to cheer us on, it’s always lovely to see a familiar face when doing these events.

Untitled My Race was almost over before it began as when walking to the start and chatting away to Gina I tripped on a loose drain cover coming down hard on my knee and wrist, I felt quite sick for a while with the shock but was just grateful it was not worse,my new 2XU tights could have been torn !!!

After I stopped worrying about my knee we had a  great run on an undulating route, the scenery was lovely in today’s winter sunshine, very different to the 40mph windy gusts in 2015. The supporters, marshalls and organisation made it a great day and we really enjoyed the downhill finish, which made our 13th mile our fastest.

To top it all off we received a smashing bit of bling and a long-sleeved T-shirt

Now I am busy planning for next year, which starts with the Wymondham 10k on New years day which Gina Jayne Linda and I will run together and the idea of running a 15mile event just won’t go away !!!

My first but not last Hilly Audax

July 2015 was the first time I tried to ride my bike in Derbyshire, a 50 mile route from Buxton that totally destroyed me, mentally and physically and I vowed I would never go again.

Untitled After that,  I have avoided hills as much as possible because just the thought of them made me panic and break into a sweat.

Then I changed my bike, started getting stronger,doing longer rides including three, 200km Audaxes and The lap of Anglia, so when Geoff suggested an Audax in Derbyshire, after my initial panic I thought I have to do this because Geoff has accompanied me on the long Audaxes its only fair I accompany him on a hilly one.

So yesterday I found myself in Alfreton for the Hilly Beware of the Plague Audax around the Peak District. I wore my SWNC kit and It attracted many funny looks, many of the other riders wondering if I knew what a hill was !!!

I was told get to Eyam tea rooms and all the hills would be done, so off we set and I actually found myself enjoying the lovely scenery, amazing views, and the climbs, it felt like in no time at all we arrived at the first control point at Eyam T-rooms.Some of the other riders teased me saying you made it then !! Then proceeded to tell me that I had not seen a hill yet !!!

UntitledWe left the tea rooms with me wondering what was to come, but happily, I can say it was just more great scenery fabulous views and enjoyable riding, In fact, we were enjoying ourselves so much we forgot to stop at Monsal Head and get a photo of the viaduct !!  luckily we seemed to miss all the heavy showers just catching a little drizzle now and again.

As we headed back to Alfreton we passed the Crich Stand, Geoff suggested we go take a look but as it was at the top of a long hill I declined. We arrived back in Alfreton at 3.30 just as the heavens opened and I can honestly say it was a very enjoyable Audax.

Sadly this will most likely be the last Audax I get to do this year as Geoff will be going off on his travels again soon but I am sure next year we shall be doing more of the hilly Audaxes.

Lap of Anglia 2017

Finally it was here,16th August,

A day I have been waiting for all year, the start of the Lap of Anglia I was nervous and excited all at the same time, and still wondered if I could actually manage to ride over 400 miles in 4 days.

The meeting point was at the QEH, packing the van, greeting everyone and sorting last minute problems did not take long so just after 8 am 45 riders gathered on the helipad, a few photos were taken and then a peloton of Red jerseys set off on a 4-day adventure.

First stop of the day was just down the road at Sandringham for another photo shoot and to gather ourselves together after the great send off, we then split down into smaller riding groups making it easier and safer on the roads.

We continued along the coast stopping at Holkham, Sheringham, and Walcot, where they served the most delicious Salted Caramel Ice cream before ending the day In Norwich after riding 97 miles.

Lap of Anglia

click for more photos

The Holiday Inn provided great accommodation even allowing us to take our bikes to our rooms, where some I believe even washed their bikes in the shower, tut, tut !!!!

After a fabulous breakfast, and a few laughs and jokes with fellow riders we set off in the rain for another day of riding, sticking close to the coast, we called in at Wroxham, Great Yarmouth, Leiston, Melford, and finished in Ipswich after 109 miles. luckily by the time, we arrived in Great Yarmouth the rain had stopped and the sun came out to help us on our way.

You never had to think about how many miles you were covering in a day, as each stretch was never longer than 29 miles, then the magic support van would always appear and you could mingle and chat with the other riders as well as refuel before setting off on your travels again.

The third day was the day I was most looking forward to and dreading at the same time, riding mainly in the flatlands I wasn’t sure how I would cope with the climbing but this was my chance to find out. Same routine, stopping every 20/25 miles calling in at Acton, Ridgewell, Saffron Waldron, Letchworth and finishing at Luton after 99 miles. A total of 5.190 feet of climbing and I was happy, even the few rain showers didn’t bother me some people mentioned the wind but, to be honest, I hardly noticed it as my mind was on the hills

Untitled Far too quickly it was the fourth and final day, I really did not want this adventure to end, it was going to be the longest day with 110 miles to cover but after the hilly start, we would hit the flatlands with a tail wind. We called in at Flitwick, where Tesco supplied us with Bananas, then Catworth and Stanground by then you could feel the excitement rising as we realized that we were going to make it !! Geoff surprised us with a visit too, catching us eating and drinking at the Woolpack pub. Next stop was at Parson Drove, where a children’s karaoke party was in full swing. Then we all gathered at the bank house in Kings Lynn for the victory ride back to the QEH.

Damien led us the last mile down the bypass back to QEH it was amazing, 45 riders all in Red Jerseys one after the other like a long train, the atmosphere was electric, then over the roundabout you could hear all the family and friends shouting, clapping and cheering us, a totally fabulous ending to a totally fabulous event.

I feel very proud to have been a part of such a fabulous well-organized event, I met some awesome people,had some great laughs and realized I can achieve more than I think I can and the answer to the question most people want to know is…. No, I wasn’t too sore or tired, in fact, I went out with SWNC the following day on the 100-mile ride to Cromer.

Lap Of Anglia

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The Lap of Anglia

It has has been a dream of mine for a long time to go on a multi day bike journey, I am very lucky to get to do all the fabulous things I do but I have envied my friends and Geoff when they go off on their biking adventures.

BUT Tomorrow I start my own bike adventure with a very special bike journey, The Lap of Anglia.

Untitled A 4-day journey that will take me and 40 other riders from Kings Lynn to Norwich, Norwich to Ipswich, Ipswich to Luton then Luton back to Kings Lynn, a total of 400 miles.

You may wonder why I would want to do such high mileage over 4 days but its all in aid of the East Anglican Air Ambulance, such a fantastic service that relies on donations to continue to survive.

This ride is not a race or a sportive, it’s not about getting from A to B as fast as possible, it’s about making people aware of the great work the Air Ambulance does and how it’s funded by donations, something I did not realise.

Hopefully the three 200km Audax rides that I have done, and dragged Geoff along too, have taught me how to pace myself better on long rides, how to fuel myself better and how important it is to take a little stop every 20/25 miles or so, by doing this I have never finished a 200km Audax feeling tired or worn out.

This will be a tough challenge for us all, but most of all it will be fun, meeting new people, making new friends, having a laugh although I expect there will be a few sore bits too !!!

If you would like to donate and help us keep turning those pedals here is the link

You never know when you, a family member or a friend may need the help of the Air Ambulance……….and if you see us on our Journey be sure to give us a wave of encouragement.

Some Hills and A Swarm

I had been looking forward to the first weekend in July for many months.

Untitled While away walking in Portugal we had booked up the Norwich Cycle swarm with Gina, deciding on the 100-mile route, an event I had wanted to do for a few years but had never managed to fit in !!

The route would cover some roads that we had never ridden on before so I was looking forward to some new scenery and a chatty ride with Gina.

Then SWNC decided that our yearly trip to Rutland to ride the hills would be on the Saturday before the Swarm, this we could not miss!

I had done this ride in 2014 but then missed out last year when I suddenly got afraid of hills !! Now I feel stronger on my bike I was eager to go and face my fear of hills!!

The route included 2 great stops, tea and cake at The Windmill then lunch at cafe Ventoux.Untitled

Happy to say I loved this ride, coping far better with the Rutland hills than I expected too, it was a huge SWNC turn out for an away day ride which just proves what a great social biking group it is.

Amazingly the Flying Scotsman even made an appearance just us !!

The Norwich Cycle Swarm is an annual mass participation cycling event that starts from Norwich City Football Club.The routes head out of Norwich through Wroxham then along the coast through Happisburgh and Bacton then turning inland at Mundesley, the coast road was very scenic and windy !!

It was all I expected it to be although I thought the feed stations were very poor but as we are used to doing Audax rides we just stopped at a cafe along the coast.

Although Gina had decided not to join us on the ride we did meet up for dinner so a perfect ending to a busy weekend.

Run/Walking along the Fen Rivers Way

After all the rain yesterday the weather today was just perfect for the run/walk I had planned with Gina

Untitled We caught the train to Downham market then came back along the Fen Rivers way, walking a mile, running a mile.

It was an excellent route, the grass only too long for running in one small part, and thankfully not as wet as expected after a days rain.

After about 8 miles we stopped at the Crown and Anchor for a pint before continuing on our way to the quay side in Kings Lynn.where we enjoyed fish and chips at Marriott’s warehouse.

A total of 12 miles covered in 3 hours 3 mins at an avg pace of 14.42.

An excellent day, we both found it much easier than just walking 12 miles, and I can see us doing some more run/walking in the future.

Happy to say my Deuter Speedlite 5 pack was perfect for the job !!