Norfolk Special Audax

No sooner was Geoff back from his travels and I had him out on a 200km Audax  strike while the iron is hot was my plan.

It was the Norfolk Special from Lound near Lowestoft, it’s quite a drive for an early start so we decided to stay over in Lowestoft.

Now we have done quite a few Audax it’s nice to see familiar faces on these rides.

I had already done one 200km Audax but this was to be Geoffs first, I knew he was perfectly capable of doing it, it’s just a matter of pacing yourself, something Geoff is not too good at. He starts off quickly trying to keep up with the fast boys then runs out of steam before the finish, whereas I go out slower and have energy at the end.

The route was described as offering a bit of everything that is nice about Norfolk – the Broads, the hillier and scenic north Norfolk, and the North Norfolk coastal village of Stiffkey and attractive market towns, finishing on gentle terrain along the flatter but still pleasant and quiet lanes of South Norfolk

As always the route did not disappoint us, we were lucky with the weather, the route had plenty of info points and 2 cafe stops, one in Wymondham where our friend Jayne lives, so we arranged to meet her there for a coffee which was nice.

Doing these rides has taught me that there is more to riding than bombing round the countryside as fast as possible which means I enjoy the more relaxed riding an Audax offers.

So another fab day out on our bikes Geoff said never again but I have other plans !!!!!!

A multi day ride

With Geoff Home and my desire to do some multi-day biking with him, I was treated to a nice Topeak MTX trunk bag and rack, we decided to test it out with a weekend trip to Ipswich.

The first job was an emergency repair to my lovely Van Nicholas bike, the headset keeps coming loose, not something you would expect from a 9 month old bike.

We set off deciding to go via Maglia Rosso for lunch, where we met a group of bikers who seemed to take a great interest in my new high-vis pink socks !! These socks were bought because after watching a TT I had realised how visible these high vis socks actually are.

After 60 miles of cycling along lovely quiet country lanes we arrived in Ipswich, the route was very rolling and I was happy that the bag was very stable and apart from when getting on and off my bike I never actually noticed it was there.

After booking into our hotel, we had a walk round Ipswich, which seemed a little run down but the pub prices were cheap, a pint of Guinness and half a cider cost £5.50. 

After a good nights sleep we woke to a dull morning,a nice full cooked breakfast was enjoyed before we went to a Friends Art showing at the John Russell art gallery   by the time we left Ipswich at 1.30 pm the sun was shining so we enjoyed another great ride home via Clare, Shop  which passing through some lovely villages including Lindsey where we came across the St James’s Chapel 

We arrived home at 6.30 just in time for a quick shower and change of clothes before meeting friends for dinner at the OShop which incidentally is where my much loved specialised bike came from, so a great way to end a lovely weekend.

and now I want to do some real touring with Geoff but the question is where !!!!!!

A busy few months

While Geoff has been away touring around South Korea and Japan, I have been filling my time doing the things I love….. running, biking and walking.

First It was the LDWA Daffodil Dawdle, Gina and I have walked the Daffodil Dawdle before from Kirtling, in unforgettable conditions which included a lot of Mud, Rain and Snow, last year we gave it a miss opting to do the Flowers of Suffolk later in the year instead where Jo and Jayne joined us too. We enjoyed that walk so much that we decided to risk the Daffodil Dawdle again.This year it was from Stradbroke and luckily we were blessed with a lovely sunny day and a beautiful route. Many people run or run/walk these events and we were inspired by these people and have decided that a challenge for next year will be to run/walk the 18 miles

Easter and a 4-day break for me, I usually hate Bank Holidays when Geoff is away but thanks to Parkrun and SWNC I had a fab Easter break, filled with running biking and fun.

My Next adventure was a 200km Audax, something I have wanted to do for a while, so when the opportunity came up to join a couple of friends I jumped at the chance. It was an awesome day, starting from Seething, riding on lovely country lanes and roads, the route took us out to the Maglia Rosso cafe near Bury St Edmunds then we headed to the coast via Framingham, Saxmundham and Southwold before returning back to Seething. The miles just seemed to fly by and I returned home eager to book another 200km Audax with Geoff.

Amazingly my next big event was running Parkrun number 100, not such a big achievement when many have run 200 but for me it was huge as I was the person that was never going to do Parkrun, why would I want to set my alarm clock on a Saturday I told everyone but it took just one Parkrun and I was hooked, now I cannot imagine a weekend without a Parkrun

 

Then to top it all off there was the 10k GEAR run, I have done this run many times but had to miss it last year due to injury, so it was nice to be back running a home event with many lovely friends and Ladybirds. This year it was being run by the Asda foundation and as a runner, I can say it was very well organised with a great medal, T-shirt and goodie bag. There was also the most amazing amount of support around the route, which provided a magic atmosphere.Due to not running for 10 days and doing 250 plus miles on my bike I didn’t expect to run a good time, but my legs had other ideas, a great time of 56.53 missing out on a P/B by 10 seconds !! After the run we all went to the pub, enjoying food, drink and of course lots of chatting and it really did feel like I just about knew everyone.

Now Geoff is home for the summer and I have lots of exciting things planned for him !!!!!!

A taste of Portugal

As Geoff was going to be home for around 10 days between his 2 big cycling trips to Sri Lanka and South Korea/Japan, I thought it would be a good Idea to do some multi day hiking again.

The plan was to go to Portugal and walk the Fisherman’s Trail BUT before we even left cambridge we realised that to do this we should be flying to Lisbon not Faro, so we changed our plans.

The new plan was to start our walking in Sagres and make our way along the coast using the GR13 and GR11 trails,another mistake we made was expecting it to be warm,at times the strong winds made it feel very cold.

Anyway we managed 6 days of walking and covered around 80 miles, we even had a days walking along the fisherman’s trail which as expected was amazing , so although it may not have been as warm as we expected  the sun did shine , the scenery was awesome and the wild flowers were beautiful, I also loved spending a week with Geoff.

The beach’s in Portugal are also very beautiful, I think we saw them at there best, out of season and empty ! The beach at Carrapateira was especially amazing with its boarded walks, its a must visit place if you ever find yourself in Portugal as well as the beach at Praia De Monte Clerigo.

The other thing not to miss is the traditional Portuguese tart or Pastel De Nata, they are delicious and we consumed many.

Within days of being back Geoff was off on his next trip but I have things to look forward too, some multi day biking together, maybe on the North sea cycle route and a 200km Audax ,both good training for my Lap of Anglia ….. but first its the LDWA Daffodil dawdle

Cambridge Half Marathon

After being poorly and missing 3 weeks of my training I decided that my aim would be just to complete this run and enjoy it

On the morning of the run, the weather was damp and chilly and I was determined not to overdress so found myself in the starting pen in the rain huddling up to other runners to keep warm

The start went really well and 10 mins after the gun I was crossing the start line in the second wave of runners, not bad considering there were 8999 other runners, the rain had stopped too which was a bonus!

The first part of the route was through town with tons of support then out to Grantchester before returning back into town via Newnham and the “Backs” then just as you might be getting tired you arrive back into town where there are crowds of people to cheer you on.

It was a real boost to see Geoff and other friends along the route, I also took advantage of the gels provided at the water stations and I swear these made a difference as I never felt like I was tiring at all.

Due to starting in the rain I had decided not to run with my glasses on so was unable to read the information on my running watch, I cannot begin to tell you how amazed I was to find myself crossing the finish line in 2.09.25 with a huge big smile as not only had I ran better than I expected too but I had also managed my longed for P/B.

I really loved this event, it is so well organised , the weather was perfect for me,the bling is awesome and I got to tick off two of my 2017 goals, a half marathon and a P/B.

So what next ……well I have three 10km running events booked and a huge biking challenge to keep me going !!!!!

Ready or Not !!

Due to injury Its now  a year since i did my last running event, the Cambridge Half marathon, it was while running this that I tore my Achilles.

It took a while to heal, but with help and advice from a good Physio i did mend, ironically it was the week of my bike crash that i had the all clear to start running again.

I started back with 10 min runs, then 15 min and finally back to parkrun on 11th June 2016

Since then I have built back up slowly, deciding no events till this year, with that in mind I booked freethorpe 10 mile and the Cambridge half marathon for 2017

For some reason I have had trouble finding running shoes that I really feel comfortable in, I love my Hoka and my Adidas boost but neither are wide enough for runs over 6 miles,so I have mizuno wave for the extra width but i have not fallen in love with these shoes !!

All was going well un till I caught a virus in early January, I tried to fight it off for a few weeks but finally had to give into it when it turned into a nasty chest infection and a course of antibiotics was needed.

Not only did I have to pull out of the freethorpe 10 miler i lost 3 weeks of training too, I started back not 100% well but was determined not to miss my Half marathon.

Its a week to go now, so no more running, no alcohol, and a Berocca everyday then fingers crossed I will be rested and ready !!!!!!

The Fisherman’s Trail

In March Geoff will be home from Sri Lanka for 23 days and we are going to Portugal for a week of walking.

He then goes off to South Korea for another 6 weeks of biking,after that I hope he will be home long enough to do some biking with me !

We have decided to walk some of the Rota Vicentina which is a network of walking trails, 400km in total, comprising the Historical and Fisherman’s trail along the SW coast.

After doing some research I discovered that we was actually planning to walk it in the wrong direction and would miss the best 4 days of walking.

So now we shall start In Porto Covo and head to Odeceixe along the Fisherman’s trail

Day one… Porto Cova to Milfontes 20km

Day two…. Milfontes to Almograve 15km

Day three…. Almograve to Zambujeira 22km

Day four…. Zambujeira to Odeceixe 18km

and to finish off  a beach circuit at Odeceixe

You can then join the Historical way and carry on walking to Cabo de San Vicente but we wont have time for this as its just a short trip, but it will be lovely to spend time with Geoff and see some sun.

Weetabix cake

Its no secret that I enjoy baking cakes, in fact when I am feeling stressed I can often be found baking cake very late at night !!

A life time ago in another life I baked many cakes for many RAF coffee shops, including this one.

Luckily for me now,I know lots of people who like eating my cakes, else I might be a little larger than I am. I don’t like posh fancy cakes but good easy wholesome one’s and the occasional Guinness Cake that i still have to make for the girls at work ….

An old favourite recipe is A weetabix cake, many people have asked me for this recipe, including the Cambridge Rambling Club Ladies, after i took one for after our Saturday walk, so I thought the easiest way was to put the recipe here on my blog

2 weetabix

half a pint of skimmed milk

8oz soft brown sugar

8oz mixed dried fruit

1 egg beaten

8oz S/R flour

Place weet-a-bix. milk.sugar and fruit in a bowl and leave to soak over night.

add egg and flour then mix well.

bake in a lined 2lb loaf tin for aprox 1 hour, until skewer comes out clean at 180

Best left for 24 hours before eaten and keeps well for a week