Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

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.

2020 in review

Friday, January 1st, 2021 | Life

Ironically, January, when the world was relatively normal, was a quiet month. At least Planet Ice finally opened after years or delays.

In February I braved Storm Ciara to complete my British Triathlon strength and conditioning coaching training and the 49ers almost won Super Bowl LIV. I completed my macronutrition course with Wageningen.

Lockdown came into force in March putting an end to spin class, Leeds Dock social run and pilates. Worse, my three-swims-per-week was finally paying off and I was up to 3km continuous front crawl when the pools closed. There were some highlights, though. We had a good time at Michelle’s comedy gig, I spoke at Leeds Front End and I launched my web accessibility course.

I launched my Google Tag Manager course in April and we held a virtual Sunday Assembly Leeds. With lockdown in full flow, Ironman launched their virtual events and I set an unofficial PB of 21:06 at Woodhouse Moor parkrun.

I did a lot of running during May as I started the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee, the virtual Hadrian’s Wall ultra and the EveryMayDay 10k challenge. Not bad for a month in which I would have joined the 250 club at parkrun. Unfortunately I also registered my first duathlon DNF when my rear derailleur broke during Ironman VR9. I was busy learning, completing courses on nutrition with Wageningen and Stanford as well as one on sport science and another on physiology. I was busy publishing, too, with courses on CSS Grid, Stripe and Nutrition as well as publishing a book.

It was another month of running in June, completing the virtual Grand Canyon ultra and my first 24-hour race, completing 86.44 km at Endure24. I also launched my Doctrine course.

I finally took a break from running in July when I finished the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee. 1,022 km covered in 69 days, averaging 14.81 km per day. It’s a good job because Garmin had a 5-day outage that they never apologised for. I launched courses on Slim, Fear of Driving and Mindfulness for Sleep and started publishing strength and conditioning workouts on YouTube.

I had one thing on my mind during August and that was completing my second full distance triathlon. Which I did with the self-supported Woolenman. Not the week in Copenhagen we were hoping for, but a great race anyway. I also did my first organised event, the Evolve Quarter. I launched three new courses on Symfony, Heroku for Node.js and teaching mindfulness, as well as completing a physiology with Duke. Worfolk Media posted its first profitable year. In my spare time, I started reading Agatha Christie. The Tour de Frace became the first Grand Tour of the year, with the Giro delayed and the Tour de Yorkshire cancelled. Despite the challenges, Kieran & Shweta successfully tied the knot.

In September we headed to the Lake District for a short family holiday and so I could complete EpicMan Windermere. Which was a great race except for my Nike Vaporflys ripping. My family completed their first open water triathlon and I launched the Mindfulness for Anxiety app.

October is birthdays month for myself and Venla who turned 4. I completed my one and only sportive of the year at Daffodils and we finished our family challenge of LEJOG. I expanded my coaching to include the run club side of Hyde Park Harriers and published my course on CBT for Social Anxiety. Elina started a new job and completed her ATT Level 2 accountancy qualification.

I completed my yoga teacher training in November and started teaching a weekly class with the triathlon club. Anxiety Leeds began an online trial and we opened a second branch of the Leeds Anxiety Clinic in Islington. I launched a course on SASS and we reunited with some old friends for some regular Zoom socials. Elina naturalised as a British citizen.

Finally, in December, we got some much welcome news when the UK approved the first COVID vaccine. I reached 1,000 miles of running in 2020 and used my recovery time to watch lots of The Good Place and even expanded my film choices. My Running For Beginners Facebook group reached 3,000 members (having started the year with only 100!) and I completed the Alps to Ocean ultra. Online Mindfulness School opened its doors.

We have a COVID vaccine

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 | Life

Yesterday, the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine. There are still a lot of challenges ahead: how much of it can we get? How do you vaccinate 58 million people? Will it be faster if we sacrifice anti-vaxxers to a range of deities? And how long will the vaccine (or the sacrifices) provide protection? But there certainly is hope!


Saturday, November 28th, 2020 | Life

Congratulations to Elina, who has now naturalised as a British citizen.

Yoga teacher training

Sunday, November 15th, 2020 | Life

I was planning to do yoga teacher training with my local studio. Unfortunately, I held off to see what was happening with COVID as I didn’t really want to do it online, and by the time lockdown ended the course was full. So, I enrolled with the Yoga and Ayurveda Center which was online, but so affordable that I thought if it’s rubbish, I can just do the training with my local studio and I haven’t lost much.

As it happens, the course was great.

They have spent the money in the right places. The video quality isn’t perfected or edited down to a T. But there are about ten hours of contact time with tutors every week. And I would much rather interact, learn and practice teach over Zoom than have fancy transitions and perfect lighting in the video lectures.

In fact, there was so much contact time that I could often pick and choose what type of class I wanted to attend. With the lunch time ones (early morning in the US) I often had one-to-one attention with the tutor, or if I wanted a larger group to practice teach to, I could go to the evening groups.

Steph and her team have put together an excellent programme and it was wonderful to be a part of it.

Birthday meal

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 | Life

This may be the only meal we have inside a restaurant in 2020, but having a voucher to spend before it expires (or all the restaurants go bust), we decided to brave it and have a birthday meal for two at Gaucho. There was a slight mix up and we ended up with a cake with “happy anniversary” written on it, but it still tasted good! :D.