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

Dust + Loam + Switchbacks + Exmoor views = Total Success for the Southern Enduro champs

This weekend has been the greatest reminder for me of why I want to have a go at this enduro racing malarkey.  It was so much fun that each day ended with me just wanting to head back out and ride more, despite aching legs. First a little explanation of what had me smiling so much…..

Here I am sporting the new Red Brick cycles team Jersey and proudly clutching the Orbea Rallon aka ‘The Beast’ which kindly looked after me once again!

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What does exercise mean to you?

I have a confession………. I am a very intolerant person. I find it hard sometimes to relate to and understand people who don’t think the same way as I do. (Those who know me well will be nodding their heads and laughing right now!) As I’ve got older and hopefully, a little wiser, I’ve come to realise that everybody values different things, this means the way they think and motivate themselves can be the very polar opposite to your way. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong. Rather than judging people you get far more out of social situations if you listen, take an interest and try to learn from other people’s approach to life.

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South West Outdoor Festival – Half Marathon

The South West Outdoor Festival, organised by the National Trust, took place in the Heddon Valley of Exmoor from the 23rd to the 25th September. The aim of the event was to provide an action packed weekend of camping and outdoor activities for people of all ages. Through doing this it would promote the area and the fun to be had being active and enjoying the great outdoors. 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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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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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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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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