Saturday, 21 April 2012


First race of 2012 let's gooooo!!!
6 months of adrenalin, training and excitement stored up, this was going to be a good one whatever the end result!

The Bath Uni Tri Squad of 16 athletes travelled to Dorney Lake (Olympic 2012 rowing venue) the night before the race. We were put up for the night by a travel lodge, and did Pizza Hut great business the night before.

There had been emails going back and forth all week between organisers and athletes as to whether the race would be a triathlon (which was what it was meant to be) or a duathlon, due to the water temperature of the lake being so cold. For a BTF race to go ahead the water has to be a minimum of 11degrees Celsius. The day before the race the water had dropped below this, which forced the organisers to question the triathlon going ahead. However we hit lucky (some may call it mad), and the water temperature was 11 degrees on race morning. This was to the delight of the swimmers (and proper triathletes may I add!) of the club, while the duathletes looked most disgruntled.

Into the wetsuits for the 400m swim and off we went, well, we tried. It was crazy, your breathing went, your head spun, body went numb and vision became blurred. The effect the icy water had on the body and mind was quite frightening. I realised the extent of the effect it had had when I a) tried to exit the water and fell over and b) couldn't for the life of me remember where I had racked by bike then c) fell over putting on my left shoe in T1.

Not my most poised and graceful moment to date. 

But onwards and upwards eh?! At least I had a long list of 'areas of improvement' for Coach. 
The 20km bike was great, nice and flat just how we like it though a little more wind than ideal, then out onto an out and back 5km run. 

Sweets and more sweets at the end for all competitors (first sign of an excellently organised race) while the team stood and cheered on the rest of the athletes. Everyone looked slightly disorientated from the swim still, most of us with numb toes and pins and needles throughout our bodies. But at least we all knew it could only get better and warmer through 2012!

Here's a lovely team snap :)
Great venue! Can see why its a popular one for beginners and pro's alike! Recommended! Despite spending alot of time on the floor, I managed to grab a victory which was a great start to the season. Boyfriend Matt Everest also won the men's race, while fellow team mate Rob Abraham got pipped by just 30seconds and took 2nd. Good Job Team!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


May 2011, and a secured spot for the 2012 European Championships in Israel. Through the winter I struggled with a shoulder injury, which required steroid injections, physio and reduced training in the pool, it wasn't the best race prep for a European Championships.

After applying for funding from Bath University, I was granted with a very generous contribution to flights and accommodation. But the doubts were with the injury, and whether making the 7 hour flight to Israel, would be worth it to have a race where I wasn't at my best. The decision was to withdraw. Today the rest of the team flies out, to compete this weekend in the race. 

Its one of the 'not so great' things that accompanies being an athlete, very frustrating and upsetting especially when a big race in the pipeline has to be missed. But hopefully taking the time to properly recover and fix my shoulder will pay off later in the season.

Instead, this weekend I will be travelling to Windsor, Dorney Lake with the Bath Uni Tri Squad for the first Triathlon of the season, it won't be 34 degree Israel, but hopefully it will be a great race and start the 2012 season on the right foot.


A refreshing week in the Lake District with family and boyfriend, bikes, wetsuit and trainers.

We stayed in a rural cottage, the Coniston Coppermines. Gorgeous setting with the most amazing views over the mountains and down to the village and Coniston Lake. The cottage was set back from the village, a mile up a gravel track which didn't fair so well for the road bikes, but so lovely to be in such a peaceful location.

Day one, 7am and a brisk fell run to explore the mountains behind the house. Dodging parts of the old coppermine, sheep, and their newly born lambs, then run took us up above the house and over the first peak to give us a clear morning view of Coniston Lake.

The cycling in the Lakes was second to none (apart from the driveway to the house). The roads were smooth and clear, the drivers were patient and considerate - very different to the hustling cities of Bristol and Bath where the majority of cycle training takes place throughout the year. 

For me the Lake District is a second home, from the age of 10 or so, my parents owned a lovely country cottage in Great Langdale, home of the notorious Langdale Pikes. We had the house there for just over six years and holidayed there most weekends and school breaks, the rest of the time it was privately let. The Lakes is just a huge playground there to be explored. And doing so by bike, was fantastic.

We cycled through all the local parts, Ambleside, Coniston, Windermere, Grasmere, Kendal, Hawshead, and it brought back many memories to see all the old sights and areas in which my sister and I had grown up in.

The westuits had been gathering dust in the suitcases for the first part of the holiday, so on a chilly Tuesday morning we decided to give swimming in Lake Coniston a go. 6 degrees and three swimming hats. The water was not welcoming, the worst part was  not cold hands or feet, but a cold face. Putting your face in the water was surreal, and rising to the surface after you would feel most disorientated and dizzy. The water was cloudy and of a pale green colour, just clear enough to see my hands as I pulled the water back with each stroke and to see the bubbles of my fellow swimmer.

The rest of the day that we braved Lake Coniston, it snowed. 8hours of blizzard and wind. We couldn't have picked a better day for it ;)

The time we weren't training or submerged in icey cold lakes, we engaged in as many activities as timely possible in the local area. Mountain biking in Grizedale Forest (a must for anyone!), munching on fudge and sipping Victorian Lemonade in Lakeside cafĂ©'s, eating the world wide famous Grasmere gingerbread, climbing peaks, or sitting in front of the log fire in the cottage, baking marshmallows and chocolate.

For anyone who is looking for a week away from city life, with a bit of training thrown in, the Lake District is perfect. The cycling was second to none, the running fantastic, and the swimming - refreshing?