Training – Red Bull Neptunes Steps 2018

So as part of my blog, I’m going to allow you to follow my training for the Red Bull Neptune Steps which happens at the beginning of March next year.

If you haven’t heard of this race then all it is an open water adventure race which involves swimming 420m and climbing 18m over seven canal lock gates – easy you may say… but this all happens in the icy cold waters of Glasgow.

As a swimmer from a young age I have the skill already there. Although my swimming has mostly been in a swimming pool and have only taken part in a handful of open water swimming events.

I have done a little research into the event and have found out that most of my strength will need to be used for the climbs and a lot of training in upper body and pull ups is a must.

I am also in talk with a coach to help build up my acclimatisation to the cold water. Trying to find somewhere to train in the winter is a little tricky but he’s put me in touch with the local lido which is currently at 12 degrees!!! Brrrrrr!!! Also taking cold showers often should help – this will be a challenge as I like my showers extra hot. So stay tuned to see what happens next and how I get on with the cold!!

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EVENT – Muscle Acre, Mud Slog – 5th November 2017

Remember, remember! The fifth of November, The Muddy trenches and obstacles.

The last in the final installment for the 2017 Muscle Acre events – until next year!! I had already taken part in the winter and summer events this year so was looking forward to my trilogy.

Muscle Acre for me is great – it’s a local event which just keeps on growing and with more and more people giving it ago. There was a chill in the air and my biggest decision was to decide between long or short sleeve compression tops. I decided to not be brave and instead be prepared for the worst and go with the long sleeve.

The atmosphere around the event village was buzzing with more familiar faces making an appearance. The fire pits were most appealing and would of happily stayed close to one.

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I was in the front runner wave at 10:40 and was going for the 10km distance and as usual we were on time and ready to go. After a quick race brief we were off onto the very familiar switchbacks and tyres. The course was great, a mix of terrain and obstacles and with very friendly and encouraging marshals out on the course. I had the pleasure of running the course with Laura Heywood  and Kate Stillwell – Great athlethes!!!

 

23167964_1947067132199629_6188742972475372536_nWell done to all Pack Fitness members – its great to see more and more members giving it a go.

 

EVENT – Kelly’s Cross Country Challenge – 15th October 2017

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Kelly’s Charity Events support charities local to the areas that they serve. They like to work with pro-active charities who work hard within the community to raise funds, enabling them to continue with the vital services they provide. They like to work in partnership and build long lasting relationships with our charities.

I have been lucky enough to do a couple of Instagram Takeovers on Kelly’s Charity Events page to show people what I get up to in a day. I also helped to promote this event with our fitness group – ‘Pack Fitness’ and encouraged members to sign up to a great  event to help raise money for Challengers. All money raised would be going to help  the charity Challengers which recently had a devastating fire to their building in Guildford.

The event was taking part in Loseley Park, Guildford. We arrived nice and early on the Sunday morning and the site was already buzzing. The kids race kicked off at 9am with either a 1km or 3km route, after a fun warmup taken by Nick; trainer and owner of Pack Fitness, they were off.

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Next there was a choice of 21km, 10km or 5km run or canicross. I thought this was a great choice for such an event and members from Pack Fitness took advantage of this. The weather was brightening up and some blue sky even appeared. The 21km set off first, they had 2 laps to complete. The 10km and 5km set off together and there was a good turnout – its great to see so many people get involved!

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The first 3km seemed fairly nice with a mix of terrain and so far not many hills to climb. Having done a lot of speed work recently to try and improve my running, I may have got a little excited and my pace was faster than normal. We hit our first major hill and then down into a woodland track, at this point we were over taking some of the 21km runners who set off before. (Some with headphones on and not noticing people over taking and staying in the middle of the track.) Down this track I managed to roll my ankle and ended up doing a weird hobble run. I got to point where I had to decide if I continue straight ahead to complete the 10Km or I turn left to complete the 5km route. The next day I was grateful for just doing the 5km and not pushing it as my ankle was pretty sore the next day.

I managed to cross the line in 2nd overall and 1st female and just behind me – yes I did IMG_1369beat him – Nick and his dog Bodhi came in 1st for Canicross 5km. The whole of Pack Fitness enjoyed the event and with some great times from everyone.

The marshals around the course was superb and everyone around the event village was so friendly and I would definitely recommend Kelly’s Charity events to anyone – great courses for great causes!!

 

 

https://charity.kellystorage.co.uk

https://www.packfitness.co.uk

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EVENT – Spartan Sprint – 1st October 2017

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The Reebok Spartan sprint puts endurance aside and tests your quickness through 5km+ loaded with 20+ obstacles. Not known for my sprinting ability but thought this would be a good chance to get in some obstacles training. Spartan races are well organised and known for the obstacles and not as a mud run.

The venue had changed from Windsor to Bagshot and luckily as we were in the Elite wave it meant we beat the queues into the carpark as I heard some people managed to miss their wave times because of this.

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The elite wave had a good turnout with even a minion joining in. The wave started and we were directed straight into a very muddy trail which meant it was very difficult to get past people and got a little frustrating. Eventually we came across some walls and more obstacles and carries which spread out the field and allowed some more freedom. I was feeling the effects of a nasty cold so wasn’t feeling my best and ended up having to take some penalties of 30 burpees. As the race went on I started to get into it, but this was a little late as I could now see the end in sight and was coming up to the dreaded spear throw. I did practice this before the race and didn’t do so well, so I was expecting to do the penalty.  I actually did it and I have never been so happy about completing an obstacle, after my excitement I went on and completed the last few obstacles. This gave me a great advantage as I over took some other females. The last two 8ft walls and the fire jump and I was done.

After some DQs to a couple of females after a dispute on burpees, I came out with 3rd elite female.

EVENT – Nuclear Blackout 16th Sept 2017

 

I’ver never taken part in a Nuclear event so was pretty excited to check it out. The problem was I wouldn’t be able to see much of it as it will be pitch black.

So the idea is to do as many laps as you can in 2 hours. If you complete a lap in 1hr 59 you can still go out and complete another.  A lap was just over 5km with obstacles and a lot of mud. Due to an event happening in the day it meant that the course was churned up well and with the help of the wet weather.

The event village was busy and was well organised. I was going off in the second wave at 7:30pm, with a quick dash to buy another head torch as mine decided to stop working. I was off.  Going down hill on a slippery muddy slope was an experience. Looking into the woodland area and just seeing head torches light the way was amazing. The marshals were great and so much fun, I loved every bit of the course. With every lap I did, it got quieter and quieter and on my final 3rd lap it was a very lonely occasion. I managed to complete 3 laps in the fastest female time which put me in 1st place. I will definitely be back again next year!!

EVENT – NUTS Challenge 2017

September the start of the OCR fullsizeoutput_308aWinter league and also the start of myself running for Team Kitbrix.

Like in March Mudstacle  put on a sprint wave on the Saturday morning for Mudstacle members. It gives people the chance to get out on course before the other waves; meaning it hasn’t been churned up by the 1000s. It also means you are competing against other league members who are out to go fast.

This was a busy weekend for racing. Spartan and Man Vs Mountain was also taking place on the same day, so it was a good chance to get some high points in for the league.

The weather was in our favour and we set off at 9:30am. It was a good  fast start and I was feeling happy with my pace. I didn’t want too excited at the beginning and then die at the end, it had been a while since I had raced and I know that I can get a little carried away. Nuts is very much a mud run with lots of ditches to climb in out of and tyres to climb over. There were no technical obstacles to deal with. Everything was going so well and I was happy with my pace, then it went wrong – I managed to take a wrong turning and ended in the woods. I couldn’t see any red and white tape and knew from then I had screwed up big time. Feeling disappointed, I found the course route again and knew I had a lot of catching up to do. I tried my hardest to catch up and get back to where I was but due to the course only being 7km I would of need a few extra Kms to do so.

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The ending of course had to be my favourite, as you know I love water and this is where the water obstacles took place. Starting with the slide and ending in dunk under water and swim to the finish line. I ended up taking 2nd Female behind Becky Rendell form Nuclear Phoenix. It was a good start to the season and I was happy with my result.

 

 

 

On the Sunday I came back to do it all again with Pack Fitness who I train with. It was great to see people taking on their first OCR event and with the conditions so much worse than the Saturday, with rain and so much more mud.

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From a young age I was always in the water. I swam A LOT and sailed and canoed. I love all water sports and have been on many surfing and water sports holidays. I still love the water and want my kids to have the same confidence as I do.

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I tried stand up paddle boarding a while ago and then got introduced to it again last year. There are many places that offer hire of paddle boards at a reasonable price. Quays Wake and Ski in Mytchett is a great place to start off – they have a man made lake which you can explore and is a great place to build up your confidence.

So this year I decided that I was going to purchase my very own board. I had a couple of friends who had their own boards that varied in size and material.

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Whilst in Australia in April I tried out an inflatable board. It was a great board and even with my daughter on the board it felt easy to control and stable.

I thought the inflatable board would be a lot easier for me to get up and go. I didn’t want to spend lots of money on it, as to be honest I will use it when the weather is good and in the UK that hasn’t been often. The benefits of the inflatable board is the obvious one of that – yes, it deflates so you can roll  it up and put it the bag and go.

I went for a 10ft Two Bare Feet Inflatable board. Its a perfect balance between a tourer and all-rounder. Its great for beginners and comes with a great starter kit.

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We have used this on the canal, river and in the sea and it has been great. The kids absolutely love it and keeps my two year old son very happy and hates to get off.  I now have my waterways license so can go where I please and I’m now looking forward to some nicer weather and to head out on some adventures.

A great idea is to pack up a picnic and head out for the day, stopping off on a bank somewhere to relax and enjoy the view while digging in to your picnic.

If you know any good routes to try out then let me know….