Sketchy times at Okeford Hill Bike Park – Southern Enduro round 1

A better title for this weekend’s race, the first round of the Southern Enduro series on the 11th June, would have been Downduro. A name cleverly thought up by a guy (who I’m trying to track down to give credit too) we were chatting to on the push up. Okeford Hill, it would seem, is certainly more of a natural, steep and sketchy downhill kind of venue than you would normally expect from a bike park hosting an Enduro competition. Think of how many rocks there are at Bike Park Wales, Okeford has that many roots with a nice bit of slippy clay in between, then imagine this with a good bit of rain overnight. It’s safe to say staying upright was a tad challenging!

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Dyfi Welsh Open = Challenge Completed

The weekend of the 20-21st May saw my team mate Laura Griffiths and I trucking the 6 hours up to the village of Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for the Welsh Open run by Welsh Gravity enduro. This was to be a race unlike any other I had taken part in with 45km of pedalling and 1800 metres of climbing on both practice and race day. As an EWS qualifier we knew this race was going to be a big leap up from our usual local races. Excitement levels were high! (heightened by a healthy dose of fear!) Continue reading

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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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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