The Final Countdown – getting ready for 2016

Getting Ready
Getting Ready


So, while the rest of the world counts the sleeps until Christmas I’m counting the sleeps until the New Year!  Ok, I’m counting the sleeps until Christmas too, hoping Santa brings me a new bike jacket.

So much to think about before the New Year starts.  Some thoughts….

What if I get ill?

This has been on my mind quite a bit these past few weeks.  My breathing has not been too good.  My medication was changed due to NHS cutbacks and the inhaler drug that helped me so much these past 5 years is now considered too expensive and patients are being asked to try a cheaper version – unfortunately I didn’t get on well with it.  A sore throat and persistent cough, but no cold.  Laboured breathing which has affected my sleep and training, and I was using my reliever inhaler much more.  Fortunately after a call to the Asthma Nurse I was put back on my old drug and I feel so much better.  However, I’ve only been given a months supply and I have no idea if I’m going to have to put up a fight to keep getting it.  Stress I don’t need just now.  I’m sure it will all work out.

But if I am ill – well a year is a long time and I’m sure I will have time to catch up if I miss any events.  I have a big wall chart for each year and put stickers up for all the exercise I do – red dot for a run, yellow for a cycle, green for a swim and a little mouse sticker for my personal training session (sorry Max!)   It’s a great way for me to see the bigger picture – missing a few days of training does not usually impact on upcoming events and in fact sometimes the enforced rest is good!

Or injured?

Well, hopefully nothing serious will happen.  I do a lot to stay injury free.  I see my osteopath Ross every week.  If my body feels good I get a sports massage from him but if there are any niggles he can sort them out straight away.

I also work out with my personal trainer Max twice a week doing functional weight training – pull ups, press ups, dead lifts etc.  I’m sure this keeps my body strong and helps avoid injury.  The one year I cut down on weight training and did more tri stuff was the year I ended up with major hip problems.  Not risking that again.  This old body needs looking after 🙂


Will I be able to eat whatever I want for the next year (and drink)

Surely YESSSS!!!! Er…no 😦

Unfortunately, despite lots of training I only keep my weight down if I watch what I eat. Grrrr.  Life is not fair.  As for drinking, I’ve tried rehydrating on Prosecco once or twice (or three times)  – always regret it. Again, I’m getting old, no resilience where drink is concerned.

So my plan, and it’s so boring, is to eat REAL food, not too much and keep away from processed stuff.  My Fitbit which measures my heart rate seems to think I burn between 2000 -2800 kcals a days depending on activity levels and if I stick to eating around 2000-2500 kcal my weight stays stable.

What about my training plan?

I think the events will become my training: bike sportives, catered training rides, half marathons and marathons, catered training runs.

My main event this year is the Ironman in Maastricht and I think most of the events I’m doing will help me towards that goal.  I will still do some normal training in the week, especially swimming, but stick to shorter bike rides and runs.

I’m not sure this would work for a more competitive athlete who would probably need more intense focused sessions, but for me…who chuggs along in training AND racing, I think it will work just fine.  I did lots of events leading up to IM Zurich and it worked well.


Ahhhhhh!  I think I’m starting out as a fairly motivated person.  I love being outside and training. I’m hoping the blog and feedback will help – I know it will help 🙂 I’m sure there will be weeks where I can’t face yet another event but many of my events will be with friends and they will become my motivation.

I also know from recent experience doing the LEJOG (Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride, that I did with my good friend Tara) that you can just get up day and day, feeling achy and tired and still do it.  I think I’m good at digging deep.

Should I do this for charity?

I’m very lucky that I have a secured a charity place for the London Marathon in April.  I will be raising money for the Asthma UK.  You can sponsor me here.

10 more sleeps!!!



First Blog

Knitted Me....and I like knitting!
Knitted Me….and I like knitting!

So, how did I get to the place where doing 50 events in a year seems like a reasonable endeavour ?

I’ve always been pretty fit, a swimmer as a child into my teens – training six days a week, and a gym bunny through my 20’s and 30’s.  Also a big walker, easily doing 15000 – 20000 steps a day.  Since having my children Zoe and Heidi I’ve not really worked – the odd part time job- so have lots of time to pursue my fitness goals.

I’ve never been able to run.  I’ve had asthma all my life, often in hospital even in my 20’s.  Although I tried hard not to let it affect my life, running has always been a challenge.  Around five years ago when I was 45 – my scary age – the age I thought I would be old and finally grown up, I was put on a new drug – it changed my life (funnily enough the NHS have just decided not to pay for it anymore, but I will rant about that another time).  It meant that I was not using my blue inhaler fifteen times a day.  My breathing was much more stable.

Also around this time (think I was 44) my sister asked me to do a super sprint triathlon – 200m swim, 8 mile bike and a 3km run.  How hard could it be? Quite hard actually – it took me just over and hour and I walked most of the run.  But I loved it and lived off the high for days.  I was hooked.

I decided the following year that I would enter the Sprint distance, with a 5km run at the end and I would run it all!

So, the drugs got better, my breathing got better – I joined a online running group to help me run that 5km.  It was called Up & Running and was run by Shauna and Julia.  Coach Julia had a new approach to running, the best bit being Free Form running – it involves walking 🙂 It also came with a forum where I could share my training exploits with other novice runners.  It turned out to be an amazing community that still support me today – a world wide group of fabulous women, many of whom I’ve met  in real life and who often turn up at my events.

I did well in this environment, no pressure to run with other people, but always feeling like I had other people with me (virtually).  In eight short weeks I could run a slow 5km.  I’m still slow in case you were wondering.

Back to triathlon.  I completed the Sprint and was hooked, I signed up for the Olympic distance the following year also signing up for the 10k online course to help me on my way.

Well the years went by and each achievement and distance spurred me on to the next one.  Finally completing an Ironman 70.3 in 2013 and then the full Ironman in 2014.

In four years I had gone from not being able to run to the end of the road to completing an Ironman.  As Ironman would say – “Anything is Possible” and I truly felt this – not just in the athletic sense.  Completing something that seemed so impossible five years ago has made me realise that anything in life is possible – if you put in the work.

And so to the 50th birthday year. 50 events.  I think it will be a challenge but I think I can do it.  I have the support of my friends and family ….and no job!

As for the “events” there will be big events, small events and some made up events 🙂 Gotta keep costs down.

I will include some Parkruns (keeping costs down) but I will try and make each one special – new Parkruns and dragging people along with me (watch out family members), there be will be an Ironman (costs going up), a 300km bike ride (in Sweden – costs going up yet again) a marathon or two and lots of other fun stuff.

It’s going to be a fabulous year.  I can’t wait.