About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, learner cyclist, injured runner. Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Big Five Zero & Easter

I've been waiting ages for my Christmas present from Danni & Joel and the first opportunity was Wednesday  after we got back from the New Forest - done and dusted now

Quite cute I think!

Thursday saw the arrival of the big 5 zero birthday - no idea what I was doing or where I was going but it was soon revealed that Shaun, Danni and I were going on the Brighton i360 and then having lunch after in the Bellevue which is underneath the i.

Some lovely presents including a night away with a meal, a couple of afternoon teas and a voucher for beauty treatments at a local salon, a cycling related poster and some cash to spend, and some pretty flowers.

Didn't do much Thursday evening and on Friday we headed to Shaun's sisters for a barbecue to celebrate father in law's birthday.  It was lovely to catch up with his side of the family - not something we do very often.

Friday night Shaun said we were going for a 40 mile bike ride the next morning so when I got up on Saturday and didn't feel up to it I decided to have a duvet day and catch up with some of the telly we'd recorded.  At mid-day Shaun told me to get ready to go out because he was bored and wanted to go out, whilst I was getting ready Danni arrived with Joel - wasn't expecting to see them at all!  We drove out of Newhaven and finally arrived at the Green Man at Ringmer, didn't spot my brother's car parked next to us but there they were - mum, dad, Steve and Jo waiting for us to turn up with the table all decorated - what a lovely surprise.  Think I gave everyone heart failure when I posted on FB that I was having a duvet day and watching 10 hours of NCIS LA.

We had a lovely lunch - bit too much food!

On Easter Sunday we actually made it out for a ride - not far just 17 miles!   It was very chilly with no arm and knee warmers - no idea why I thought that was a good idea, first time ever I've been cold on the bike and won't make that mistake again.  The roads were very busy, a couple of scary moments so we stopped at the YHA at Southease for a coffee and cake and then rode the Egrets Way to Piddinghoe instead of the road.
No idea why he was doing the grumpy face
I haven't done much today apart from washing, sorting out my winter to summer clothes ready for work and a MASSIVE pile of ironing whilst watching the first episode of the new series of Dr Who and 4 episodes of the current series of Line of Duty.
Told you it was MASSIVE
Back to work for 4 days - Operation Greek Goddess is a go, back to classes too and back to the weightloss.  Going to take it easy with the classes though, no doubling up until I'm sure the rib is going to behave itself.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

New Forest Spring Sportive and a Tribby Trip

Following on from the last post last Saturday Shaun and I headed to Verwood Camping & Caravan Club Site for a few days on the New Forest and to take part in the New Forest Spring Sportive.   We'd both entered the 66 mile standard ride as had our friend Steve Hyne (@mountainhiker59 on Twitter).  I'd more or less decided on Friday I wasn't going to ride at all and leave Shaun & Steve to ride together.  I'd had a bit of a problem with my asthma meds during the week and was a bit scared to put my lungs and heart under any unnecessary strain.  Shaun had decided that Doris and my kit was going to the New Forest anyway even if I only went for a short ride on the Monday.   During a chat with Steve on Saturday evening it was agreed that if I got a decent nights sleep I would ride the 29 mile short sportive with Shaun and Steve would ride the 66 miles alone, provided we met before and after at the start.  So glad we made the decision.
All set up

Fish & chip dinner
 The next morning we got up early with an aim to be off site at 7am as soon as the gates were opened and drive the short distance to Somerley House for the start and meet Steve.   Once we'd met up and sent Steve on his way, we headed to registration and then back to Tribby to get the bikes ready.

Ready to go #TeamGRN
We were soon being set off through the start gate and out on to the Forest.  It actually felt great to be on the bike, I hadn't had time to be nervous about the ride itself and what was ahead, I just had to ride and enjoy it.   After 12 miles we arrived at the first feed station - tables laden with flapjack, hot cross buns, chocolate mini eggs, cola bottles (apparently but I missed them), the usual PowerBar nutrition and sports drinks.  Quick comfort visit and we were off again.   17 miles later and we were heading back into the grounds of Somerley House - 2 hours 10 mins moving time.   I was extremely happy with the ride.  Don't think I would've managed the 66 miles but I still got a medal and a finishers tshirt so I was happy.  

Bling & tshirt
We took the bikes back to Tribby and got changed and then headed back to the finish to wait for Steve who came in another couple of hours after us.   There was a lovely atmosphere at the finish with a band playing, food and coffee stands.  While we waited we had a cup of coffee and sat in the sunshine - it was a lovely day!

Reunited with Steve we headed to a pub in Ringwood for some lunch.  Unfortunately being such a lovely day the pub was really busy and the wait for food was getting longer, so we had a drink and a catch up and then went our separate ways.  We headed to Lidl to buy some food - we hadn't catered for Sunday night!

We hadn't really planned anything for Monday other than a lie in and maybe a recovery ride.  To be honest the road running alongside the campsite was so busy I didn't fancy cycling on it.  We could've driven Tribby on to the forest and ridden from there but neither of us really had the energy so after brunch we headed to Burley to stock up on cider and Brockenhurst for a coffee and cream tea and buy a new table in the amazing camping shop in the village.

While we were in Brockenhurst we said hello to the donkeys

Dinner on Monday night was the Pork Ragu & Veg I'd planned for Saturday with some prosecco and some rose wine (we seem to have drunk quite a bit of prosecco over the weekend)

On Tuesday we headed home, picking up the dog from my parents on the way.  Time to download finisher's times, Garmin and photos.   Official time was 2 hours 20 minutes and the photos were brilliant.

I think we'll definitely do this sportive again, or at least more rides on the Forest.  A great event.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Oops, We Did It Again

You know me and Mr B love a competition entry or two when we get the opportunity.   Our visit to The Bike Show in Birmingham last September was no different.   We filled in a number of surveys and cards etc and waited.   Not long after the show we were contacted by GRN Sportswear to advise Shaun had won 4 cycling jerseys in his own design.

If you click on the link above you'll go to the website but basically GRN manufacture ethically made sportswear in the UK.  The cycle tops are made from recycled plastic bottles and the tshirts are made from bamboo.

So, mad frantic thinking about a design.  Luckily we know a very talented art & design teacher who lives in Melbourne (our mate Andy) who is also a mad-keen cyclist so we tasked him to come up with some designs that we could give to the guys at GRN.   Some back and forth over the emails and up popped these three ideas

We decided that we liked the colourful coffee beans idea - an homage to 90's Mapei Team (and all the greats that rode with them), our favourite beverage (apart from the wine and cider obvs) and Sir Wiggo.   We sent them off to GRN and waited, with baited breath.   We met Rob and the gang at the London Bike Show in February (and bought a couple of bamboo tshirts) and he promised us faithfully that the tops were almost ready.   Another couple of months later 4 brand new, perfectly made cycling tops have arrived.

2 large

Shaun getting ready for a ride
They are very comfortable and the pockets are very deep so no worries about carrying essentials.  We're heading to the New Forest for the Spring Sportive this weekend so they will hopefully get a showing off!   Unfortunately due to a few health issues over the last couple of weeks it's unlikely I'll be taking part but no final decisions until Saturday night or even Sunday morning as we head to the start.  I need to be sensible though, 66 miles is a long way if you're not fully fit!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Spring is here - well the meteorological bit - Adios SAD

At last March has arrived.   I'm not going to lie this winter has been a right cow.  I've had some really low days and I've already told Shaun that I don't want to go through another winter without having some kind of sunshine holiday - don't care where we go, but it has to be warm and it has to be sunny.

I've had to double my Vitamin D supplement and use my light box.  I've really struggled with tiredness, despite sleeping well, and exercising, which I know is one of the things that I need in my life.  My mood hasn't been helped by stress over Shaun's job (I'm not going to bore you with the details but suffice it to say that work/life balance was non-existent) and concerns over my own job, not knowing whether to stay or go. I'm sure a lot of it is down to SAD, and I've allowed it to control me instead of me keeping on top of it.

The important part of keeping on top of SAD, for me anyway, is to ensure I've got plenty to look forward to.  Because of Shaun's job we haven't been able to plan much.   The trip to London for the bike show was last minute, and I'd had a trip to the theatre and a concert booked and paid for for a while.  Last week was the Kaiser Chief's gig at the Brighton Centre.  I've wanted to see them live ever since their first album but the timing has never been right.   Shaun didn't want to go but Danni did, so we had a mummy/daughter night out, including dinner out at GBK, Brighton.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and it reminded me how much I enjoy live performance.

We've got our holiday booked - as it's my 50th in a few weeks I got to choose the destination so we're off to Crete for 10 days.   We're staying All Inclusive at the Solimar Aquamarine in Gerani.  We've upgraded our room with our own pool and terrace and we're both really looking forward to going back to Greece.  The last time we were in Greece was 22 years ago.

I've also got the New Forest Spring Sportive on 9th April - I was looking forward to it but it's getting close now and I just haven't been able to get out on the bike to train.  No idea how I'm going to do 66 miles on the day.  I am however looking forward to our first trip away in Tribby.  

As soon as we know what Shaun's summer rota is we'll be booking more Tribby weekends away.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

London Bike Show - Take 2

We weren't going to the Bike Show this year but we both needed a break so at the last minute booked tickets, a hotel and sorted out train tickets.  Because Shaun was finishing late and I was out watching Not Dead Enough at the theatre on Friday it was an early start on Saturday morning instead of a hotel on Friday night which we did the last time - up at 6am!!  We needed to drop Archie off with my parents and then get the train from Horley to the Excel Centre.    No problems getting up by train and we were at the show nice and early.

As in previous years the Bike Show is part of 4 which are on at the same time - the Triathlon Show, The Outdoor Adventure & Camping Show and the Oceans Festival (which is about conservation, protection and diving).  All 4 shows link brilliantly.

First stop was the Outdoor Adventure Show - the last time we went we won an activity holiday on the New Forest so we went to the stand to see what was on offer this year.   Forms filled for a competition entry and on to walk around the rest of the stands.  I've become a member of the Woodland Trust for £3 a month - this will be invaluable for our trips in Tribby giving us some new walks and places to visit and also with my work on Riverside Park.

We also entered competitions to win holidays in the Philippines and Tobago - fingers crossed 2018 holiday could be sorted.

The thing we love about the shows are the amount of freebies you are showered with - pens, bags, trolley tokens, lanyards, water bottles - so much stuff.   I also bought a battery phone charger, which in turn got me a free pen torch.  It's a good idea to bring a foldaway bag of your own to carry everything.

We also stopped at the True Start Coffee stand to stock up.  We first came across True Start at Birmingham and amazingly Helena, the CEO remembered us.  No freebies apart from tasting the new bars being launched next week.  Stocked up we went off to find GRN who we also came across at Birmingham and won 4 cycling tops in their competition.   We've provided the design and we're just waiting for the tops to arrive.  It was great to catch up with Rob & Pete - and of course we couldn't resist buying a couple of their tshirts.  This is mine - Shaun's is a brand new design and not available on the website yet.

Can't wait to unveil the prize - hopefully they'll be ready to wear at the New Forest sportive in April.

Part of the Bike Show is the "Air to the Throne" competition - pretty amazing to watch some of the stunts.  We watched a couple of the qualifying heats but the final was on Sunday.  As soon as I can work out how to share the video Shaun took I'll add it.

We also stopped at the Rider's Lounge where they have guest speakers - my main aim was to see Hannah Barnes and David Millar but we also caught part of the Team launch for DROPS Cycling - the new women's team.   It was great to see them - I could seriously listen to David Millar talk all day.  He's been a hero for as long as I can remember, apart from his ban obviously but he is working really hard to make amends and even more so now he's retired working with junior teams to inspire them to ride clean.
Hannah Barnes
DROPS womens cycling team launch

David Millar interview

 We'd seen everything before the David Millar Q&A so left the show to check in to our hotel.  This time we'd chosen the Holiday Inn Express Excel - which was next door the Travelodge we stayed in last time.   A very comfortable room - sadly a twin instead of the double I'd booked but we were both too tired to get it changed.

Had dinner at the Fox Connaught again and then returned to the hotel for a bottle of wine and Taboo on the telly.

On Sunday we got up and had a lovely breakfast (Holiday Inn do a fab inclusive breakfast) and then checked out.   We were going to do some touristing but decided instead to head back to Horley and visit mother in law in the nursing home as we hadn't been able to get up to see her since Christmas.   We picked up Archie who'd had a lovely weekend with nanny & grandad and headed back to Newhaven.    All that remains is to wait for the results of the prize draws - fingers, toes and everything that's crossable are crossed.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Janathon week 4 and a bit

Woohoo week 4

Sunday 22nd January

2 dog walks and a morning spent picking up litter at my local Park (between 6 of us we picked up 14 black sacks full) - 10600 steps (5 miles apparently). 2 hrs of ironing - that's it for me today

Monday 23rd

Dog walk
Boxercise 1 hr
45 press ups

Tuesday 24th

Dog walk
Didn't double class because of the useless stand in instructor
45 press ups

Wednesday 25th

Shopping day so no dog walk - thanks to daughter
45 press ups

Thursday 26th

Dog walk
45 press ups including 15 on my toes

Was supposed to go to spin class or turbo but I struggled to get warm with 2 fleeces on!

Friday 27th

Dog walk
50 press ups (20 on my toes).
Didn't manage the planned turbo session as I fell asleep after walking the dog and then had lots of phone calls until OH came home at 8pm

Saturday 28th

Dog walk
50 press ups
1 hour bike ride on the road

Sunday 29th

Not much from me today as we've had a relaxing family get together - 50 press ups is all I can bring to the party

Monday 30th

Dog walk 
1 hour of Boxercise

Tuesday 31st

Dog walk
1 hour of Kettlercise 
1 hour of Boxercise

Didn't do any extra press ups - did loads in class


So what have I achieved?  I've actually done quite a bit (considering I've been ill and the weather has been rubbish)  I would've preferred to have got some more cycling (indoors and out). 

I have actually managed to accomplish one thing I've been trying to do for ages - press ups on my toes!  Still needs to some work, but at least I've done a few.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Janathon Week 3

Week 3!  I'm now a whole week behind on Yoga Revolution so I need to get back on it, really struggling to get up in the morning with the darkness.

Sunday  15th

Dog walk in the rain - 30 press ups

Monday 16th

Dog walk
25 press ups
Boxercise 1 hr

Tuesday 17th

Dog walk
35 press ups - 15 on my toes
Kettlercise 1hr

Wednesday 18th

Food shop day
30 press ups

Thursday 19th

I had planned to either go to spin or do a turbo session at home but I was so cold after the afternoon dog walk I couldn't face getting changed a second time.   All I've done is the dog walk & 30 press-ups including 15 on my toes

Friday 20th

Another cycle/turbo fail - did manage a slightly longer dog walk as it's not getting dark so early and I've done 30 press ups - 16 were on my toes

Saturday 21st

Planned to go out on the bike this morning but when OH came back from walking the dog at 10.30 and said he'd just helped out a crashed cyclist that idea was quickly shelved. No way I'm risking sliding on ice.  😣Ended up doing a 40 min high intensity turbo workout indoors, 

Didn't manage the last 1 minute effort - however, lots of sweat and very jelly legs after. 

30 press ups Inc 17 on my toes.

I also walked half a mile to Lidl to find some veggies and then walked back with a very heavy shopping bag and cooked dinner😀