Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

New Year’s Eve 2021

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022 | Life

Great to be partying again with these lovely people.

2021 in review

Saturday, January 1st, 2022 | Life

We started the year in the depths of the pandemic and saw out the new year and welcomed in January with a Zoom-based NYE party. I accidentally set a marathon PB of 3:55:33 when I realised three hours in that I was ahead of my previous PB pace. The vaccination programme build some momentum as my gran received her first jab. I completed my IRONMAN Coach certification and restorative yoga certification. The Humanist Chaplaincy Network launched its new Level 1 qualification.

I tried trail running in February and finally finished my 3,670 km cycle along Route 66. I launched my person-centred counselling course. Tom Brady won his 7th Super Bowl, giving him more titles than any other team, let alone any other player.

It was a work-heavy month in March as I launched two new courses. The first being Metacognitive Therapy and the second being Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. I also published my Running For Beginners book.

We got back to racing in April with the Yorkshire Duathlon (41:41 10k you say?!?) and the Wuthering Heights Wander trail race. I also completed some virtual challenges: running the Cabot Trail and cycling Iceland’s Ring Road. I also launched my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course which is now one of my biggest sellers.

The start of May was a blur as I finished the 7in7 challenge (7 triathlons in 7 days). May also saw my first TT race and the first triathlon of the year in Tadcaster (fastest HPH run split you say?). I completed the English Channel virtual swim and Bogdan and I took on the Daffodils sportive. I finished the month by completing my third iron-distance race at the Evolve Truo. We partied for Eurovision and I launched my couples counselling course.

June was filled with sport, too. Jay and I took on the Evolve Sprint and we gathered as a club for World Triathlon Leeds which took place entirely in Roundhay Park. My mum, dad and sister also raced! I finished my level 3 in counselling and launched my life coaching course.

Venla “graduated” from daycare in July. I ran my first mile race at the Summer Mile, took on the White Rose Classic, completed my first adventure race and learnt to stand-up paddleboard. parkrun returned! I took 1:45 off my full distance triathlon time at Outlaw and launched my acceptance and commitment course. England reached the final of Euro 2020.

The long-awaited Tokyo Olympics took place in August and Team GB took the first ever mixed-team relay triathlon gold. Harriers also took five teams to the Evolve mixed team relay. But far more importantly, Katie & Simon’s long-awaited wedding took place, too! Toby organised the club’s first backyard ultra, I did the Evolve quarter and my third full distance triathlon in the year at Dalesman. I wasn’t the only one sporting: Venla completed her first junior parkrun. Chevin parkrun launched. The annual Finnish picnic returned and I launched my DBT course.

We took a family trip to Stonehenge in September so that I could take in another adventure race. Venla started school. I completed a few more virtual challenges including running the Camino de Santiago and swimming Mount Fuji. There was some canoeing at Leeds Dock and we broke the world record for most people doing a 5k in 24 hours. We raced at Ilkey Triathlon and Outlaw X where I went sub-6 at middle distance. I completed my longest ever swim (9k) at The Amphibian and launched my cognitive psychology course.

After an eighteen month wait I completed my 250th parkrun in October and finished cycling the Appalachian Trail virtual challenge. It was a family affair at Goole Triathlon and I completed my Leadership in Running Fitness with British Athletics. We celebrated Venla’s birthday at Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Dobbo’s stag do at Magic Rock. I teamed up with my friends Peter and Tracey to launch our interview skills course.

My dad was hot on my heels in November, completing his 250th parkrun. Luckily my new sub-20 PB should help me stay ahead. I also set a PB at the Hubble Bubble half marathon where I came third. We went climbing, F1 legend Frank Williams passed away and we launched our conducting interviews course. I completed my level 1 with Swim England.

Finally, in December, I saw The Offspring live at The Wardrobe. I came second at the Christmas Cracker 16k. That was it for running as I then fractured my ankle. I launched my Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.We wrapped up 2021 by celebrating with family and friends.

Happy holidays

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021 | Family & Parenting, Life

Whatever version of the solstice you are celebrating, we’re sending our love and wishing you a wonderful time. I hope you’ve found plenty of good stuff in 2021 and have an even better 2022.

We don’t take a holiday photo every year, but we did take one in 2016, just after Venla had arrived. Safe to say she looks a little different!

Ankle fracture

Monday, December 20th, 2021 | Health & Wellbeing, Life

Last week I was leading a club run when due to some combination of poor foot placement, a bit of gravel coming down from a curb and maybe just some plain old bad luck, I decked it. I went over on the ankle and it hurt a lot. Thankfully, Lucy was running in my group and was able to lead everyone back to The Edge.

I booked an appointment with my GP to get it checked out but when I asked for a telephone appointment, explaining I couldn’t walk, they said they were only doing face-to-face appointments (they’re going to freak out when they hear about COVID) and so I had to go to the walk-in. The irony was lost on them.

Next, I tried the minor injury unit at Middleton. However, they don’t allow you to drop in, you have to phone 111. Which I did. 111 booked me an appointment at the LGI A&E. I found this hilarious as pre-bookable emergencies was a Monster Raving Loony Party policy proposed in 2015. Although the LGI had some trouble finding the referral details, everything here was really good: almost no wait going through assessment, x-ray and minor injuries. They checked it out and referred me to the fracture clinic who phoned back the next day.

End result: it is fractured. It’s called an avulsion fracture which is where the ligament rips off a tiny piece of bone. I have to wear a walker boot for 4 weeks, and no running until 8 weeks post-injury at least. Not what I wanted given I had just start my training for Race to the Castle. But it’s happened so I just have to get on with life.

SEQ Level 1 Swimming Assistant

Monday, December 13th, 2021 | Life

I’ve been expanding my triathlon coaching knowledge by completing some of the individual discipline training programmes, including the Swim England Qualifications Level 1 teaching assistant.

Part of the practical was delivering swimming lessons as part of the Learn To Swim programme. Working with children is a very different experience from working with adults who, as triathletes or would-be triathletes, are typically strong swimmers. Definitely a fun challenge!

Counselling L3 certificate

Monday, December 6th, 2021 | Life

It feels like years ago that I finished my level 3 in counselling but my certificate has finally turned up. To convince Leeds City College to send it to me, I had to post them enough stamps for them to send it out.

Frank Williams, 1942-2021

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 | Life

When I first started watching Formula One, it was a story of Michael Schumacher and Benneton vs Damon Hill and Williams. Schumarcher was the better driver but Hill had the better car: the unbeatable Williams car led by team principal, Frank Williams. Of course, it was beatable, which is what made it exciting.

Best tri tops

Friday, September 17th, 2021 | Life

I have been trying to find a new tri top as they don’t make my current tri top anymore. They have a slightly different model but with one fewer pockets (my current one has three!). So, I have been hunting for the best tri tops with a high UFP rating and enough pockets for all of my snacks.

Orca 226

This is my current top of choice. Good shoulder stretch and three pockets at the back. It does bounce up and down a bit, though, so could use some grip at the bottom. Also, the zip only goes halfway down which probably helps with comfort but makes it a little less practical. It has UPF 50.

Castelli Free Speed

This looks nice but is only UPF 16.

Zone3 Lava

I bought this but it has one big pocket at the back and when I put my phone in it, it bounced up and down like crazy. The shoulders also felt a little constricted. UPF 50, though.

Zone3 Aquaflo

I ruled this one out because it does not mention a UPF rating, which means it will probably be bad.

Pactimo Summit

I ruled this out because it has a single mesh pocket at the back.

Huub RaceLine

I ruled this could because I couldn’t work out where the pockets were. It says it has nutrition pockets but I am not sure what that means. It has UPF 30 but it is not clear whether that is all over or just on the shoulders and upper arms.

Roka Elite Aero

I ruled this out because it does not state a UPF rating.

Santini Cupio

This looks like a real option and has UPF 30 but was not available from any UK supplier I was familiar with. You can buy it directly from Santini but shipping is £20 and there may be import taxes on t top of that.

Santini Audax

I ruled this out because it does not state a UPF rating.

2XU Compression

This says it has multiple pockets but on the sun protection, just says “protection aginst UV rays”

Endura QDC Drag2Zero

This looks good and has UFO 50. But it’s not clear whether this is a tri jersey. The video talks about pro triathletes using it but the description calls it a bike jersey.

Finnish picnic 2021

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 | Life

Finally, a gold medal in the mölkky! Also it was great to see the Finns and eat some tasty food.

Restorative yoga teacher training

Monday, January 25th, 2021 | Life

Last weekend, I completed my restorative yoga teacher training. If there is one thing I have learnt about my body, it is that I need a lot of props to build the ground up to me 😀 . Luckily, there is no limit to the support you can use if you are creative enough.