SUP

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….

 

EVENT – Muscle Acre – Summer Madness – 16th July 2017

The joy of having an event on your doorstep. Being able to wake up at a reasonable time and enjoy a proper breakfast. I took part in the Winter Muscle Acre back in January  which was mostly frozen so I was looking forward to getting muddy and seeing what it had to offer. Muscle acre has a great vibe to it, everyone is friendly with a bonus of free parking. Registration was a breeze, the only thing I was surprised with was the idea of putting the timing chip onto the bib – this works fine for running events but when you are crawling around in mud and sliding down water slides I could see this being a problem with timings. I always loose mine somewhere along the way so decided to pin it to the inside of my top. untitled1

I had the company of some other Pack Fitness members, we decided to go around together as a team – this decision lasted about 3 seconds after the start. I felt good and I thought what the hell and decided to just do it. We were in the first wave which was the qualifying wave for the 10km race.

The course didn’t disappoint – with a great terrain and a good use of mud with  Monkey bars, Rope Climb, water slide and a Rig.  I was happy to complete all obstacles on my first attempt. I felt relaxed and it felt good to use my legs. The course had a lot of running sections so maybe a few more obstacles could be thrown in to break up the run. There was mud which was thigh high and a few tweaks to the course from last time I did it in January. I got a little confused running around, as all of a sudden a girl cut in front of me – feeling angry and how she could just get away with it, I then realised she was on the 5km course.

Marshals  were friendly and prepared with water guns and jelly babies.The total distance for the 10km course was 11km and we were rewarded with a medal, goodie bag and a beer. I will definitely be back for some more muscle acre action especially being placed 2nd overall woman again after being 2nd in January also.

 

TRAINING

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert CollierIMG_8086.JPG

I train with an outside bootcamp group and I’m the one not wanting to miss a session. It runs around 5 times a week, with each session being different – which is what I love, due to fact I can get bored pretty easily- hence why I love OCR.

IMG_8926On top of bootcamp I also have a strength and conditioning program and a running program written by my trainer. I train because I love the outcome and the benefits it brings and basically I’m always disappointed in myself so always want to do better.

Fitness has some great perks -If I am having a rubbish day which is way too frequent at the moment, then going out for a run makes me so much better.  I don’t train so I can then eat cake at the end of day. 

Finding the right trainer is a big thing and I’ve been trained by a mixture. I believe that ETD750-0015.jpgyour trainer should understand you as a person and also what you are trying to achieve, motivation is always a key element. For example I don’t do well with people shouting at me while I try and train – I don’t mind being told how to do it better but shouting at me to “Run Faster” won’t help – tell me how I can run faster. I currently have been training with my trainer Nicholas Frost from Pack Fitness for the past 2 years. I competed in my first OCR event last spring and I am now taking part in the Europeans at the end of this month and have qualified for the Worlds in October. I cannot be more grateful for all that he has done for me, I’m not the easiest person to train and I apparently like to moan.

I have made some great friends joining a fitness group and love having something in common with so many people – the love of fitness.  I get the comments of -why do I do it and- that I do too much. The people who make these comments clearly don’t know me. Fitness is a way of life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

EVENT – SPARTAN SUPER – 20th May 2017

5922b8479f32e725112257d8-oSo I entered my first ever Spartan. Well I had taken part in the Junior Spartan with my daughter but apparently that doesn’t count… anyway, the Spartan Super was going to be my first and I can say definitely not my last.

I was in the elite wave for the Spartan SUPER at 8am so had a wonderful early start to the day. Being the first wave, parking was a breeze and registration was quick and simple. I didn’t have to wait long until we got underway. Looking around I could see it was a strong field and I know that the Spartan races are very popular and bring out the best athletes.

The course itself was great, I loved almost every bit of it. The obstacles ranged from the rings, monkey bars and the rope climb. We also had many carries- sandbags, logs, tyres, more logs, atlas ball and then the dreaded bucket carry. I literally saw people break during the bucket carry. Then there was the standard walls to get over and barbed wire to crawl under.

The setting was fantastic and I tried to enjoy it while climbing up the hills. Loved the little touch of having the switch backs on the hills spell out ‘AROO’.

About 2km into the race I thought I would actually try to enjoy myself more as I feel sometimes I get myself so worked up and fail at silly mistakes – being relaxed helped me to succeed in the obstacles and to make me realise what I can actually do. I certainly did enjoy myself and the whole atmosphere was great. Plus we got some fantastic bling and a tshirt and we got to jump over fire!   AROO!

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EVENT- WARRIOR RUN – 23rd April 2017

After having two weeks off on the other side of the world I decided it would be a good time to race in the Warrior Run 14km event. Jet lagged and with my body not quite back to it’s fit self, finishing the event would be an achievement.

New to Warrior Run and hearing great things about the event I was excited to get going. Setting off in the Elite wave I didn’t have a great start but I knew from my past experience not to set off and kill myself after the first few Kms. The course had a long section of running at the beginning with a few obstacles along the way, mostly walls or climbing. Then the ‘SWAMP’ thick smelly mud which would get very deep in parts, managing to fall in and with the mud coming above my chest.

The obstacle village was packed with obstacles ranging from more walls, monkey bars to crawling through tunnels and of course the fun of the water slide. This had to be my favourite section and you knew then you were near the end of the 7Km course. As I had entered into the 14km I had the pleasure of going round again, even though it was tempted to go into the left lane and head to the finishing line.

The second lap was obviously a lot busier with the waves setting off behind us now on the course. This didn’t cause a problem as people just stepped out of your way and would let you continue. It was a great boost to see some of my fellow ‘Pack Members’ taking part and giving me a cheer as they continued on with their 7Kms.

Now at the end of the second lap I could take the left hand lane and head towards the finishing lane. A few water obstacles and a 7ft wall and then a run up the warped wall to the finish line, a great obstacle to end the race with.

An overall great event with everyone of the team enjoying the experience and loving the obstacles. I know that we hope to be back for some more in the future – Thank you Warrior Run.

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EVENT- THE SUFFERING – Rockingham Castle 11th March

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I left the house at 5am on the 11th of March, and had a 2 and half hour Drive to Rockingham Castle near Leicester.  Sometime ago, from the comfort of my sofa, I had entered myself into the 10Mile elite wave or should I say the “no less than 10 Miles” OCR Event

In total the 10 Mile event turned out to be over 13 Miles of pain and suffering. Luckily the weather was in our favour and it was a mild and cloudy day, still nice and muddy though, thanks to the wet weather earlier on in the week and to be honest my body wasn’t counting the miles.

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(Photo Credit – Tony Jarvis Event Photography)

The course ingredients included hills, mud, water and obstacles – what more would you expect. The highlight being a field of switchbacks which included carrying a sandbag, and with a few angled walls to get over along the way. By the time you get to the top of the hill and your calf muscles are burning you have to turn around and go back and do it all over again; this took my endurance to a new level.

There were many switch backs along the course using the natural terrain to its full advantage. The course also involved a lot of carries; such as tyres, barrels, buckets of water, logs, tyre on a rope and more sandbags. I felt the obstacles were challenging but highlighted my need for more mental and physical strength – another amendment to my training plan as I get stronger and more competitive.

The last part of the course  took place back in the events village and was the most technical section; this included the rig , ninja rings/monkey bars and many walls. All obstacles had a forfeit of burpees and then there were the ‘Reapers’. The Reapers are people who gave out some additional punishments in addition to any obstacle or forfeit, this could be anything from walking like a duck, mud angels, press ups, more burpees or even having to sing Happy Birthday (appropriate seeing mine was the following day)

The event was well organised and the marshalls were great, they were well stocked up with sweets and encouragement which were definitely needed on the last 2 miles. I have to say the last reaper was just before the finish line and was simply cruel- when all you wanted to do was get over the finish, he had set the punishment of frog jumps over the line. Legs on fire and jumping like a frog to finish!

I felt the course pushed my body and mind and it felt good to be back out racing again. It made me realise my weaknesses and what I now need to work on. I have a few scratches and bruises but nothing to major. It was a great course and would recommend this to anyone who is up for the challenge. I take my hats off to the people who manage to complete all of the events in one day – 10m, 10km and 5km – Relentless!! On the plus side I did manage to finish off my qualifications and have qualified for the World Championships 2017.

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THOUGHTS

When taking part in an event of any sort – from a 10km run or a 21km obstacle race. My mind is a big part of getting round the course, here are a few thoughts that go on in my mind during an event.

“At the start line – Where shall I put myself?”16298715_1810218252551185_698633974575762445_n.jpg

The wave is about to begin and I look around to see who else I will be starting with. Do I place myself near the front so I get a good start or do I think I will just get in the way of everybody? Either way I am about to start, excited and nervous and not knowing what is out there…. Do I need another pee?

“Wow that was COLD!”

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The first water obstacle and I go for it. The shock of the cold water hits me. I will always remember at Judgement Day 2016 and I could hear the squeals of people entering the water before you could even see it – and most of the squeals came from men! – It won’t last long and you will be fine!

 

 

“I paid to do this, why am I putting my body through this?”

I’m tired, and that’s great because I’m challenging myself! What is life without challenges? BORING! So I sign up for a harder challenge when I’m done.

“I need to train harder – I sucked at that last obstacle.”

img_5543I have found a weakness and need to get training.
This thought is a good thought as then you have an area to work on in training. Time to book in a session and work on the technique.

 

“I really need to stop, I’m tired.”

I get this thought a few times during a race. I obviously don’t stop as I have many other thoughts that help to kick this thought out of my head. The biggest thought thats helps, is very simple – I want to do people proud. I have a list of people who I race for, these people keep me going when it gets tough. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

“I can do this – I can actually do this!”

The adrenaline is pumping and I am loving every moment. I am feeling confident and even better I am doing well. The marshals around the course keep me updated on my position – I am actually doing this- Just keep going!!

“Where is the finish line?”

I can hear the music coming from the event’s village but where is the finish line? This is the point where you know the end is near, but wonder how many more obstacles are to come?  I feel a little disappointed that it will be over but then I am also looking forward to putting on my dry robe and getting warm and dry.

 


“I can see the the Finish Line – COME ON!”img_3324

Yes I did make it, I am in one piece and didn’t break a bone. Now time for the finish line selfie with my medal – You deserve it! Enjoy the moment and be proud of yourself.