Archive for April, 2021

7in7 Challenge: Day 5

Friday, April 30th, 2021 | Sport

Day 5 of the 7in7 challenge starts to push the game a little further. The first four days added up to 13 hours of training, which is a lot, but not unheard of on an Ironman triathlete training schedule. But from here on out things get tougher as I crossed the 16-hour mark. Some aches and pains, soreness and chafing but so far it is pretty manageable.

Today’s plan was swim, run, bike. My swim felt good but there was some messing about dodging other swimmers so ended up slower than yesterday. Despite feeling sluggish at the start of the run, I got stronger throughout and felt amazing for the final few kilometres, possibly because I Was coming back down hill. Finally, the bike course took in the Beach Island Loop of Watopia. Thank you to Graeme, Naomi and Leigh for keeping me company.

Swim: The Edge, 38:23
Run: Woodhouse Moor loop, 51:23
Bike: Watopia, 1:19:36

7in7 Challenge: Day 4

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 | Sport

Today I passed through the halfway point in the 7in7 challenge. And we passed the £600 mark in fundraising for Unseen!

The cold water in the lake seems to have dried my hands out and I’ve been madly moisturising all day. And I forgot to foam roll last night so I felt pretty stiff this morning. Luckily, after an uneventful swim, Laura Henson was able to fit me in for a sports massage. I broke out the overshoes for the bike ride today but the rain mostly stayed away. Finished up with a trail run around Meanwood Valley with Sarah. It’s all downhill from here!

Swim: The Edge, 37:03
Bike: Otley loop, 1:42:18
Run: Meanwood Valley, 1:01:28

7in7 Challenge: Day 3

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 | Sport

Day three was a reverse day: run, bike, swim. Morning run with my dad through the bluebells in Temple Newsam before heading down to Wakefield to cycle with Bogdan. Lovely to have some company for both parts! In the evening, I headed down to the Blue Lagoon for my first lake swim of the year. The water temperature had fallen to 13.1 degrees and it felt freezing! My core was okay but my poor hands and feet.

More importantly, we passed the £500 mark raised for Unseen today. Thank you for all of your generous donations!

Run: Temple Newsam, 56:56
Bike: Wakefield, 1:39:52
Swim: Blue Lagoon, 49:39

7in7 Challenge: Day 2

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021 | Sport

Day two complete. My swim stroke is feeling much stronger today. I swam an extra 50 minutes as by the time I checked my watch to see how many lengths remained, I was already past my target. The 1,500 itself was 3 minutes faster than yesterday. The bike was slower due to the route being hillier, and my cleat came loose. Heavy rain and stomach cramps on the run, but it was lovely to be running with the club. Thank you Clare for leading.

Swim: The Edge, 38:17
Bike: Chevin Eccup loop, 1:40:55
Run: Kirkstall, 1:02:59

7in7 Challenge: Day 1

Monday, April 26th, 2021 | Sport

Day one in the bank. The pool was busy this morning and it felt like hard work, possibly because I was thinking there was still all of it to do! Luckily, the sun was shining for the rest of the day and I got my summer jersey out for the first time, albeit with a base layer underneath. The run was shorts and t-shirt weather, too. A little soreness in my left glute but no concerns at the moment (of course, it is only day one!).

Swim: The Edge, 40:01
Bike: Castleford out-and-back, 1:35:23
Run: Aire & Calder Navigation, 53:23

Yorkshire Duathlon

Monday, April 26th, 2021 | Sport

Racing is back! Last weekend, we headed up to Croft Motor Racing Circuit for the Yorkshire Duathlon. There were both a sprint and standard distance race that formed the national championship. Amy and I did the standard distance that is a 10-kilometre run, 40-kilometre bike and final 5-kilometre run.

The field was competitive and hundreds of people came running past me on the start straight. I wondered if I was going too slowly but my first kilometre came in at 4:10 and I held this throughout the first run section averaging 4:13 per kilometre. When I went through the 5-kilometre mark I realised I could easily run a 10k PB, and possibly take the family 10k PB as well. Alas, the run course came up 100 metres short on my Garmin so I cannot in good conscience count it.

Running so fast was a continuous decision to sacrifice the rest of my race and I collapsed over the barrier in T1. Luckily I managed to recover well enough to put in a sub-80 bike split. The final run was dogged by a stitch but I still managed a 23:09 for a course that measured a little over 5 kilometres so I was happy with that.

Disapline Time
Run 1 00:41:41
T1 02:06.2
Bike 01:17:00
T2 01:59.4
Run 2 00:23:09
Total 02:25:5

Amy put in a smashing performance that won her age group, including a sub-39 minute first run and sub-70 minute bike.

Racing on the motor circuit was excellent: the super-smooth tarmac and generous width really contrast with riding on the roads. There are constant pot holes to dodge and bumpy toad surfaces that make getting down on the aero bars unpleasant. There was none of this on the motor circuit which was as smooth as can be. It was a joy to cycle on.

The organisation by TriHard was very good.

7in7 Challenge

Sunday, April 25th, 2021 | Sport

Starting tomorrow, I am attempting to complete 7 self-supported standard distance triathlons in 7 days. It is in support of Unseen, the anti-slavery and human trafficking charity (registered charity number 1127620). They run safe houses for both women and men, the Modern Slavery Helpline, and training on modern slavery awareness.

That’s a 1,500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike ride and 10 kilometres run each day. I hope my body holds up! The pools have only been open for two weeks here in England so it has been a short ramp. And I seem to have picked a week filled with rain. But I have it a lot better than the estimated 40 million victims of modern slavery worldwide, including thousands of victims here in the UK.

If you want to get involved you can come swim, bike and run with me. You can also get involved via the JustGiving fundraising page. I will be posting updates here and on my Instagram.

Ring Road virtual challenge

Sunday, April 25th, 2021 | Sport

Earlier this month I finished cycling around Iceland, virtually. It took around two months so I think I might start doing some of the longer Conqueror challenges on the bike so that I get more out of my money! The medal is really nice: not only does it have a cool design on the front but the runic wheel on the back spins around.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course

Friday, April 16th, 2021 | News

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is the gold standard of psychotherapy because of its proven effectiveness in improving mental health and wellbeing. This course will give you everything you need to understand what CBT is and how to use it.

CBT uses the cognitive model to help us better understand ourselves and make sense of our difficulties and uses a series of cognitive and behavioural strategies to make positive changes in our lives so that we feel better.

Preview the course on Udemy.

Wuthering Heights Wander

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 | Sport

Racing is back! Last Saturday I took part in the Wuthering Heights Wander in Haworth.

The course is an 8-kilometre trail route from Haworth village to the Bronte waterfall and back, taking in 180 metres of elevation gain on each loop. You can do a single loop (5 mile) or as many as six for the ultramarathon.

I’m not a big trail runner. I thought this was my first trail race but I have since remembered that I did do the Kirkstall Abbey 7 4 years ago. Additionally, it is rated 5/5 on Grim Up North’s difficulty rating (“Grimmer Than Grim”). Given this then, I decided to take on just one loop.

I was aiming to take it easy and enjoy it but ended up going around the course in 46:41, which was good enough for 7th place in the 5-mile category. Despite the better-than-expected pace I very much did enjoy the run. The descent down to Bronte waterfall was technical but it was otherwise relatively easy running albeit with some hill climbs. Might be very different after heavy rain! But fun enough that I am going to look at more trail races, and coming back to Haworth, in the future.

Plus, it was Grim Up North, so excellent homemade cake at the end.