Saturday, 9 January 2010

Wow what a year 2009 was!

What a year 2009 was for me, I met Colin and decided to take on my own 365 challenge after seeing his posters in the gym and then I was off! Initially with the idea of only completing the equivalent of 2 tri-athlons broken down in the gym each week (oh how easy it would have been if I'd carried on at that pace ;-) !!) but oh no that was too easily achievable so I then upped it to 3 tri's a month. But as soon as the summer months hit and Colin had his idea of climbing the actual 3 peaks I decided to join in, in hindsight probably not the best idea I've had since my hips didn't enjoy the hours climbing but what an achievement! Reaching the final peak on a sunny day and having such an amazing view made it well worth all the pain (I won't mention the bad weather that we faced to save Colin, he chose the dates and I'm sure he looked for the days with the worst weather forecast!)

After the climbs I'd started to get the bug for fitness challenges outside and my mum managed to sweet talk the lovely Vick into giving me a free place in the Nantwich tri-athlon in September. With this goal in sight I set to work on my swimming my weakest of the 3 and with the help of the Swimming Coach - Chris at my local gym Total Fitness and after lots of classes and lots of training I had learnt to swim front crawl and managed my 500m in just 13 mins, which I still can't quite believe! I'd decided that in my head the swimming and the running were going to take the most out of me so I was going to take the bike slowly and after transitioning from swim to bike with my mum shouting "don't forget to dry in-between your toes" I was off for 20km on my bike, which as planned I took slowly perhaps a little too slowly looking back! I reached the end of the 20km to my crowd of supporters who I couldn't have completed the tri without, they were my boyfriend Oli, my mum, two sisters - Amy & Tasha, brother-in-law Joe, beautiful niece Lucia, and friends Scoopz, Kim, Colin and Donna.

Now for the run, 5km, 4 times round the barony park with even more supporters cheering me on (Chris the swimming coach & the guy from the tri-athlon shop in rufus court) and bumping into a few neighbours around the course! The supporters cheered me on when I was obviously very tired and my mum even ran some bits with me!!
But what a lovely feeling it was to reach that finish line in a very respectable time of 1hr
After the tri-athlon was over and a new bug for running developing I decided the ultimate way of finishing my 365 challenge was with a half marathon, a huge ask of myself but I was determined enough and even tried entering the London marathon (I couldn't get a place which is probably a good thing!) I set about planning my training from getting myself from running 5km to running 22km and decided to join Colin again in a 10km race for life in Rhyl as a shorter term goal and to get myself more used to the race environment. I told my Grandad and he said my cousin and his friend had entered too which meant there were 4 of us racing on the day which was really nice! Yet again we had trouble with the weather which left me a touch disappointed with my time of 1hr 4mins, but hey I did it and at the time the furthest I'd run!

I stepped up my running and enlisted the help of a couple more friends to help motivate me to run 4 times a week, my usual training was 1 swimming class on a tuesday, 1 running session in the gym doing intervals of slow jogging and running as fast as I could, 2 runs with my friend Sophie outside and 1 long run a week with my boyfriend Oli who would cycle along the side of me and keep me going, our favourite route was the Chester to Hawarden cycle path. And sure enough in time for the Bedford half marathon on December 13th I had already run my own practice half marathon and was as raring to go as I could be minus two toe-nails (apparently common in runners, I wish someone had told me) and with a bad knee, apparently from lack of hip and glute strength!

The race day soon arrived and I was very nervous, I hadn't paid too much attention to the pack they'd sent out which had a map of the route along with a diagram of who hilly it got. Apparently I should have as the run was soooooo hard and not having my usual support crew besides me to keep me going, but I got through it, up and down all the hills even with my hip pain flared up and just made my target of under 2 and a half hours!

I finished off the last bit of the year continuing with my tri-athlons in the gym and before I knew it it was all over! Lot's of running, swimming and biking, lot's of taking part in events and travelling all over the country and lot's of fund-raising later reaching a huge £2000 all for my Step-daddy Archie Thorley and I am immensely proud to be in the position to donate at least three chairs in his name! A huge thanks to all the generous friends who donated!

But what next... I'm a changed girl and have to admit I cannot wait to get running again, (a cold and the cold weather have made me take a rest) I'm planning at least a couple of half-marathon's, maybe even a marathon and another tri-athlon. As for the charity - Archie's Chairs we've raised enough money to register Archie's Chairs and register it in it's own right! A huge bonus and one that I hadn't planned for... so lot's more work to do!

So that's it for a hugely eventful 2009 and hopefully lot's more fitness in the future and here's to a successful Archie's Chairs, I know he's be proud even if I do say so myself!!

Much Love xxxxxxxxx

P.S As for the Blog I do plan to continue x x

Monday, 7 September 2009


I forgot to say that I've had a great sponsorship boost today! Work gave me £500 for Christie's through the matched funding Scheme which means I'm 89% to my target, less than £200 to go!x x

September Update

Hello to all of my 5 followers (I think I'm one of them too!)!! I've been terrible at keeping my blog up-to date, Colin has been making me feel terrible with his 100 posts!

I must have so much to update you on but I'm not really sure what...

I don't think I've posted about Ben Nevis, which we completed in about 7 and a half hours, it was totally amazing, the best weather we'd had out of the three peaks but my hips were in complete agony and I must have been close to the last to the top and definately the last to the bottom! The views were breathtaking and I'll definately do it again one day! We had a great weekend in Fort William, and our cottage at the foot of the mountain was perfect, it was like stepping into Granny's house, my favourite part was Lewis' bed that you had to pull out of the cupboard in the living room.

Throughout all the climbing I'd been battling with my hips as the Consultant informed me I have too much cartlidge inbetween the ball and socket joints in both hips, I'd used all of my £800 allowance through Bupa and had x-rays, MRI scans, Cortozone injections (horrible!) and lots of physio and still felt terrible when it came to running and climbing.

Afterall that I've only managed to cure myself, well with a little help from my Swimming Coach, since the beginning of my challenge I've been swimming pretty much once a week for an hour doing breaststroke but then as my triathlon approaches I'd decided I had to learn front crawl and have been going to group lessons at the gym on a Tuesday along with extra lessons with the coach so I'd had to step up my swimming to around 4 times a week to make sure I was practicing inbetween lessons and "touch wood" for the past couple of weeks I've been virtually pain free!! I'd definately recommend Swimming to anyone doing a lot of high impact training.

Through my Swimming lessons I've gone from not being able to swim front crawl at all to doing 16 lengths without stopping at the last session! I've got another skill - I wonder if I can work into my CV.

As for the rest of my triathlon training... I've had great new running trainers which are making me stop swinging my hips, and tonight for the first time ever I went for a 10km bike ride (with my new road tyres on my mountain bike) then stopped at the race course and ran round it twice, which I think is about 3km.

I've also decided to add one last challenge into the 365 plans - a half marathon in December, I'm trying to find some volunteers to join me!??

I think that must be about all for now... stay tuned for my update after the triathlon, less than two weeks to go!!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Went to see the Nantwich triathlon yesterday...

Had to check out the set up ready for my triathlon in September! Am getting the triathlon bug now, I've been checking out clothing - trisuits, now I'd never heard of those before, don't think you can buy them on! I've also even been enquiring about joining the triathlon club in Chester to improve my swimming technique and running and biking!! It seems the more I talk about this triathlon in Nantwich on Septemebr 20th the more other people want to do it too!

It should be fun!!!

Off to get on my bike now, I promise to post more!!

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Now that my legs have stopped aching and the bruise on my bum has stopped hurting, I thought it was time to tell you all what climbing Snowdon was like for me and how it was totally the opposite of what I was expecting!

I started the day with such optimism and when asked at 6am was I scared, my reply was "what's there to be scared about!?"

The sun was shining on the drive over but when we arrived at Pen-y-Pass car park (you really have to get up early to get a spot) you could feel the cold and the rain started.
My honest expectations were that it was going to be a long, fairly steep walk how wrong was I?! When we started at near enough the beginning of the climb it was like climbing steps for giants and a lot of them! The climb up was enjoyable and had some great views when the rain and clouds cleared but it was really physical and I was quite out of breath! When we got close to the top after a warning about the wind, we came around the corner and straight into the wind, vertical rain and hale, we were so high up and the wind was so strong I thought I might get blown away, the wind got stronger as we reached the summit and when we made it to the top it took Karen helping me to the very top.

Reading this back so far it sounds like I didn't enjoy the experience but I really had a great time and I think I've found another hobby.

Now for the way down and those bruises, after a very quick lunch stop at the top we began our descent but my legs were getting wobbly and the stream that we found ourselves climbing down meant I ended up falling on my bum not only once but twice hence the bruises! I must say a massive thanks to Colin at this point because if it wasn't for him holding onto me and guiding me down I don't know how I would have got down! After the climb down the stream we walked for 3km along the lake which was beautiful.

I think climbing Snowdon on a clear day will be an amazing experience and something plan to do very soon. Not as soon as Colin who was back up there two days after we finished!

We've just confirmed our accomodation for Scaffel Pike so there's no backing out and there's talk of camping in Scotland for Ben Nevis!

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tri-athlon Woman!

Now I never thought I'd be referred to as Tri-athlon Woman but that's my Chronicle headline in both the Crewe Chronicle and Nantwich Chronicle (so make sure you get yourself a copy this week).
I was really happy to get my hands on a copy of the Crewe Chronicle this morning as I was getting off a train at London Euston of all places. I haven't been to Nantwich so was waiting to see my mum at the weekend to read the article but.... someone had left a copy on the train, what a coincidence!
I am so pleased with the article and can't believe how much space I got in the paper, so please try and make sure you read it!!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

My Challenge gets its first bit of Press!!

My first bit of Press thanks to my colleagues at the Lloyds Banking Group and it prompted a further £43.25 in sponsorship which is great and means that I'm now into the £700 mark in my sponsorship!!! Let's hope this is the first of much more publicity, let's get the word out about this great fundraising idea and of course my very special charity!

All the sponsorship means so much to me and is definitely what drives me to get my trainers on and get out running or on my bike!