My first Marathon – The Dartmoor Highground

I’ve done it, total success! I can now proudly call myself a marathon runner! It still doesn’t seem real. It was less than a year ago I lined up for my first 10km race and the thought of me running a marathon seemed like such a distant dream, something only ‘real’ runners could do and an almost impossible distance for me to achieve. Now, with a little bit of determination and a lot of hard work training I have done it. Best of all I even enjoyed the experience!

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Hill hiking, river splashing, bog hopping, Volcano climbing …….. standard Sunday!

Sunday 21st August saw me tackle the notoriously hilly original race organised by Pure Trail …… The Dartmoor Volcano. This was a 10.25 mile route starting and finishing in the village of Scorriton that included the highest point of southern Dartmoor, Ryders hill as well as Snowden and Pupers hill before hitting the ‘Volcano’. This is in fact just a spoil heap, the remains of Red Lake china clay works abandoned in 1933. It does however make an impressive target on the horizon to aim for and some great pictures! With almost 500 metres of ascent in not a huge distance you sure do notice that you’ve done some climbing.

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Go Exploring!

One of the things I love most about moving to a new area is the promise of miles and miles of new footpaths and bridleways to investigate. Top of my to do list on arrival is always to invest in an OS map. Many people out there, I believe, are missing out on the opportunity to discover so many fantastic trails, views and hidden beauty spots by sticking to following the same old routes they know or have found in their chosen guide book. Today I would like to help open your eyes to how easy it is to have your own micro adventure in the nearest available wild place – by going exploring.

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Beating race day nerves

Butterflies having a party in your stomach, feeling nauseous, an inability to eat or even sit still. Frustratingly can’t sleep, can’t think straight and that ever present frown on your face. Doesn’t sound like fun does it? Yet racing is meant to be fun, that’s the whole point isn’t it? That’s the focal point of your hobby!

Nerves can put a real dampener on race day. I know this from my own struggle with them, one I am still battling now. Whilst some people seem to be immune from this issue, most of us will at least feel a little nervous, especially as we come to line up at the start line. This is an inevitable result of all the hard work and preparation that’s gone into being ready for that moment, it’s also a sign of a desire to do well. It is only when these nerves get to such a level that they detract from your performance and enjoyment of the day that they become a problem.11583890763_5c8edabcf3_o

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‘The Great Escape’ – I nearly didn’t make!

On Saturday 23rd July I took part in my second Half Marathon ‘The Great Escape’ which was organised by Pure Trail. This was to be a linear route on Dartmoor starting from Princetown heading off across open moorland to South Brent on the edge of the National Park. This was one part of Pure Trails first ‘Big Day Out’ as they were also running an Ultramarathon of 34 miles called ‘The Crossing’ which had runners traversing the entire moor from north to south – Belstone to South Brent. The Half marathon was definitely a big enough challenge for me at this stage!

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Keep training simple, keep it fun!

Lately I have found myself spending increasing amounts of time trawling through endless fitness websites. With a half marathon next weekend and the big aim – my first marathon, looming ever more present on the horizon I have been searching for advice on the right way to increase my training programme. I had been hoping more knowledge would work to stem the panic but infact the more I read the more confused I became and the more inadequate my own training efforts felt. It was all aerobic/anaerobic/lactate thresholds, VO2max intervals, protein shakes, measuring your heart rate, counting your steps and having a target pace for every mile you ever run.

It was all so far from everything I enjoy about exercising.

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Moments like these…

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I believe in Positivity

Life is full of challenges. Some we choose for ourselves, others are forced upon us. The difference between those who succeed in life and those who don’t, is how they choose to deal with these challenges. A lot of that will come down to the way each person thinks. This is where having a positive attitude comes in. I believe this to be one of the key contributing factors to living a happy, fulfilled, successful life. Let me try to tell you why in the most non fluffy and unpatronising way possible……….

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Rebooting my brain

It is done. I have finished my Freelance Journalism course. The strangest thing is, for the first time in my life, I actually feel sad to finish studying! Though I have very much enjoyed my course, it hasn’t always been easy. Returning to ‘school’ is becoming evermore popular, a quick google search suggests that a quarter of all students enrolling are over 21. A UCAS report from 2014 recorded 37,300 students over 25 accepted onto higher education courses that year. With this in mind, I thought I would share some of my troubles and successes as I am attempt to refire the old brain engine so others can see they are not alone in their struggles.

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Onwards and Upwards

To begin this post I would first like to apologise for my severe lack of content over the past month. I felt it would be best to offer some explanation so I shall briefly fill you in on where my life scheming plans have taken me now. I personally prefer blogs that give an insight to the writers life, it’s part of their appeal in my opinion and it will help to give the posts context if you understand where I’m at in my life now. So here’s a little of my latest story……..

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Learning to ride a bike with Katy Curd

Recently, I had my first mountain bike lesson with Katy Curd at the Forest of Dean. Katy is multiple British 4X champion and one of the top 5 female downhill mountain bikers in the world right now. She is also a very highly rated coach and I for one had heard nothing but good things from those who had benefited from sessions with her already. With an attempt at a 2 day enduro race looming on the calendar for next weekend I thought I had better get involved myself.

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