Category Archives: Personal

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

On the mend !!

Having spent the second half of January feeling quite out of sorts with a very annoying cough, I finally gave in and took to my bed.

The annoying sometimes killer cough led to a chest infection,so no work , no massage clients and no exercise.

Part of my half marathon training had been to run the Freethorpe 10 mile road race but unfortunately this was not to be…..

To fill my time I have been catching up with lots of tv and netflix series, the best being The Crown, I have also made a good start on knitting my socks and have made my marmalade for the year.

I am now back at work even though I was offered a sick note and I am hoping after another week with no exercise and antibiotics, I might be fit enough to get back on my bike and continue with the half marathon training.

In the mean time I have a lovely weekend to look forward too but more about that next week !!!

Blog Birthday

This Christmas my blog had its 10th birthday, it was a gift that arrived by e-mail from Geoff.

We had only known each other a few months but he thought I would enjoy / make a good blogger, I on the other hand wondered what on earth I would write about and how would I ever spell everything right !!

Armed with a dictionary I set about writing about everything that makes me happy, walking cooking, running, slimming world, to name just a few things and then massage and biking came later.

I love looking back and reading my old posts,its lovely to see how much my writing has improved,  here is my first blog post and no I have not done the Christmas day swim yet !!

I have had 5,871 comments and 282,192 spam comments, I have also met some lovely people through my blog .

Biking in Ibiza

While Geoff was away on another biking tour I had plans to go away to the Cotswolds with some of the SWNC crew, but due to unforeseen circumstances this trip away was cancelled.

To say I was devastated was an understatement but Geoff came to my rescue and arranged for me to join him in Ibiza for a weeks biking.

November in Ibiza was perfect, its out of season so very few people about but still hot at 26 deg. making it a great place for doing the things we enjoy, biking, running, swimming and walking.

My hire bike was a Merida carbon from Can Manolo and I loved it,the roads were smooth with just enough hills to give you a challenge. Ibiza is not a large Island but we had 3 great 50 mile rides, making it a perfect place for a weeks holiday.

We also saw the beaches at there best with no people on them, just miles of beautiful golden sand and calm sea still warm enough for swimming in, no doubt I would hate them in summer when every inch would be taken up by sun beds and people

The only downside to visiting Ibiza out of season was to get home we had to take the ferry to Valencia so I could then catch a flight home while Geoff continued on his bike tour, the upside to this was that Geoff liked Valencia so much he stayed for a few extra days.

I left Valencia at 26 deg and arrived at stansted at -1deg

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 🙁

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