About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, broken runner. Boxercise & Spin class fanatic. 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

Friday, 22 February 2019

Whoosh and there goes February

February is such a weird month - the weather's unpredictable but the days are definitely getting longer. 

The distance challenge is going well with Your Mile Challenge - I'm only 5k short of cracking 200km out of my 1000 in 2019.  I think I can honestly say I've never done so many miles during February.  This has mainly been helped by the fact I've managed 3 cycle commutes this month.    I'm struggling with getting to the gym to do miles on the static bike so it's good that I've been able to get outside.   I've not been to spin for a couple of weeks either. 

The weather has been mostly great this month - and on one cycle to work I managed to get to the Undercliff to see the sunrise.

There's nothing like a lovely sunrise to make the ride more enjoyable.

I've made a couple of purchases over the last couple of weeks - two from Velochampion who are fast becoming my go to for kit.

The first was a very fetching luminous yellow gilet

photo from VC site (not me!)
This gilet is going to be very useful later when the weather warms up and I don't need my rain jacket. 
The second purchase from Velochampion was a hi viz back pack cover.   I already feel safer with this over my back pack

Photo from VC site

I also bought some more lights, cos a girl can never have too many lights!

I also bought some Merino Wool socks from Wiggle.   They look great but they have made absolutely no difference to the temperature of my feet.   Guess I'm going to have to put up with cold feet on winter rides or resort to tin foil.   

The house move is still ongoing - just waiting for some paperwork to be signed off with the house we're buying and hopefully we can complete ready for Easter.  At least we have another month before that deadline arrives!

Friday, 1 February 2019

January - the longest month in the whole year!

I had a "halfway through January" post partly drafted but I just couldn't find the words to finish it off, so it's binned and I've started again.

The end of January has seen the finish of RED January.  I've tried to stay active every day - that has included spin and core classes, a couple of cycling to work and walking Archie.  Shaun has worked a few very early morning shifts so January has also seen the return of pre-work walks.  I'm useless at getting up in the morning at the moment so it hasn't been easy but it has been a joy not a chore.   I've managed my first "in the dark" cycle to work - I'm now perfecting the lighting of me and the bike.  It's also been quite cold too so perfecting the layering has been interesting.  

It has proved to me that I am actually quite active anyway but it has made me think about what I get out of each activity I take part in.   Dog walks with Archie are quiet, calm time and appreciating my surroundings.   Spin & exercise classes are social and full on fitness.   I haven't quite worked out how cycling impacts my well being - I'm still finding myself asking what the hell am I doing this for! I do mostly enjoy it otherwise I wouldn't do it.  Cycling to and from work does mean that I get some exercise in without it impacting on the rest of the day.  Going to the gym doesn't bring me joy and although I've planned gym sessions they've rarely come off 

The moving situation hasn't changed, we're still waiting.  Fingers crossed we exchange soon then we can start planning the move.   It looks like it's not going to happen until the middle of March now.  Still plenty of time for more decluttering and boxing up. 

To have something to look forward to in the meantime we've booked a long weekend in Jersey.   Shaun and I went there 30 years ago for our honeymoon so we thought it would be nice to return for a few days this year.  It's not until mid-April (in time for my birthday as well) but at least it's not stressing about the house situation.   

We're also looking at our Tribby road trip for this year.  Shaun's main summer holiday this year is the last 2 weeks of May.   There are so many amazing places to visit in the UK so the destination changes quickly.   It is a work in progress but we need to get booking sites soon.   Fingers crossed we have a lovely May this year. 

I've also signed up for the Your Mile Challenge - 1000km in 2019 (it was originally supposed to be 1000 miles but I clicked the wrong entry!)    I'm a little behind on my mileage but fingers crossed as the weather improves there will be more rides.  I managed 800km last year so with the added cycle commutes I should be ok to reach 1000km this year.   If not, I'll be visiting the gym more to do some gym bike miles! 

Friday, 28 December 2018

And there goes 2018

Well that was one hell of a year !

We sold the house and are waiting to move.  The conveyancing is taking a little longer than it should thanks to a retaining garden wall at the new house.  Fingers crossed we'll be in by the end of January.

I was awarded a Local Hero award for my work volunteering on my local park and we went to Portugal.

I've taken part in a couple of challenges, both for Challenge the Norm in aid of Mind,

only one cycle sportive this year but the big change is that I started cycling to work during the summer.   I'm hoping to do it more in 2019.

I'm quite pleased with my stats for 2018 compared to 2017 - 20 more rides and over 300km further - an average of just over 11km per ride.   It would be great next year to do some longer weekend rides with Shaun instead of going out on my own.   Could have done with a few more active days but then Strava and Garmin don't count dog walking - which is more or less every day.

We've had some lovely trips in Tribby - my favourite was definitely the Isle of Wight, probably because we had amazing weather and for the first time we took the bikes with us. 

We're currently deciding where we go in 2019

Life is a bit on hold with the house and we've also got a wedding to start paying for.   Danni and Joel have booked their wedding venue for October 2020!

It's our 30th wedding anniversary this year so we're hoping to do something special - watch this space!

I didn't manage to lose much weight this year so it needs some working on in 2019. 

As we go in to the new year I've signed up for RED January and hoping to be active every day.

Had a good reading challenge in 2018 - managed to read 13 books!  I've got all my reading lined up for 2019.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Challenge the Norm is Done !

Hooray November is done and so is my Challenge the Norm cycle challenge in aid of Mind.

My original pledge was 86 miles as I wasn't sure if I could do any rides other than spin class.  It did however go better than I envisaged even though I didn't manage to get to all my planned spin classes.

To complete my miles I've cycled to work, been to spin, gone back to the gym and done the spinathon at work.  You can read about most of it here.

My second November ride to work was lovely - I managed to get my clothing right to keep warm as it's now getting colder but it was dry with a horrible easterly wind - which was good to get into work but not so pleasant on the way home.   It's on days like that you feel glad to be alive and it's always enlightening to see the sun come up!   The last couple of times I've cycled in I've wanted to keep going instead of going to straight into work.  I got in a bit too early to make an appearance at the office so I pushed on to Hove Lagoon.  I was glad I did because I was rewarded with a lovely sunrise

Cycling home was less enjoyable with the easterly wind and it started to rain.   I'm hoping that I'll be able to cycle in during December but I'm not doing it if rain is forecast, or high winds!

I've completed 200 miles over November and I'm now in possession of this beauty.

The best thing about the challenge is that I'm back in the gym and I'm goping to keep it up during December.   I'm already signed up for RED January which is similar to Janathon in that I've got to exercise every day during January.   No idea how successful it will be as Wednesdays are always a sticking point.

The arrival of December also sees the last month of the reading challenge - I'm on my last read of the year which means I should complete the 12 reads of the year.    We're already deciding the categories for 2019 but I might try and push it to 14 reads.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Challenge the Norm - Halfway

We're halfway through November already and my Challenge the Norm #cycleforMind is going well.  I originally only pledged to ride 86 miles (depending solely on the regular spin classes I could do during the month).   Turns out at half way through I've already cycled/spun through that so now I'm heading for the 200 mile mark.

It's great when you get an unexpected boost in your challenge - in the July challenge it was taking the bikes to the Isle Of Wight and having a lovely cycle path to put some miles down.   November has been a different kettle of fish altogether.    I actually managed to get to the gym in the first week and a road ride which I wasn't expecting.   The weather has been great for most of the autumn so far

As part of the #BeMoreSnail fundraising campaign work had organised a "spinathon".  Each willing colleague got a 15 minute stint on a spin bike.   It was the most atrocious day weather wise but luckily we had an event shelter up.   The event was overseen by the two PTs from Fitness Hub at Brighton.  They were certainly very motivating and played some great music to help focus on the task in hand.   We haven't been told how much we raised yet.

me warming up whilst our HR Manager does her bit!
I've never been known to sit on a spin bike without going hard so an unexpected 17 miles to add to the total.

I even did a Sunday morning spin class - 9am on a Sunday was a shocker!  I missed out on spin class last night but went to the gym instead and used the bike again.

The weather's looking good for tomorrow so I'm cycling to work - if it stays mild like this hopefully one day next week and maybe one or two the following week - that should bump the target a bit!

If I can muster the energy I'm going to the gym a couple of more times too unless I can get out on the road at the weekend!

Friday, 19 October 2018

#BeMoreSnail Day

Anyone visiting Brighton since 15th September will have spotted a few painted snails.    Following on from the famous Snow Dogs which raised a lot of money for Martlets Hospice, this year we are being reminded to "BeMoreSnail.   If you're coming to Brighton over the next few weeks there is  a trail you can follow and selfie with the snails.   There are lots of events taking place up until 18th November and today is #BeMoreSnail Day.   Also today local famous person, Fat Boy Slim will be walking a marathon taking in all 50 snails - Go Norman !

You can donate funds for the campaign too here!

At work we've been encouraged to take part, especially as we have our own snail - Inca.

Inca sponsored by my firm
So today I took advantage of the amazing weather we're still having and Shaun being on a rest day and cycled to work, taking in some of the beautiful sights of dawn rising
Sunrise over Brighton

Sunrise back to Newhaven/Peacehaven
and the snails which are on my route in - although I did go a bit off route to selfie Inca & Goldie! 


Nee Nor - sponsored by Peter James the author

In Search of Regina Hotel
On a recent visit to Stanmer Park I also grabbed a selfie with the snail outside the house 

You can upload your selfies to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #BeMoreSnail and see what fun everyone is having.

Oh and that's also Cycle to Work #6.

Have a fab day and don't forget to #BeMoreSnail.

Monday, 15 October 2018

When Trying Something New Seems Like a Good Idea

I get bored quite easily in the evenings when I'm on my own or not at spin, running a meeting or spending time with loved ones and quite often it ends up with me doing online shopping (poor credit card).   Saturday 6th October was no exception - can't remember why but I suddenly caught myself looking at booking a Les Mills Experience at my local gym.   5 mini "taster" classes, 3.5 hours on a Sunday morning ............ starting at 8.30am (did I mention it was a Sunday?)

I've wanted to try Body Pump & Combat for some time but have been put off going to a class for either as it always seems everyone there is super fit and knows exactly what they're doing, I just couldn't face being the newbie!   So when Wave Leisure advertised their taster morning I thought it would be a good idea - Body Pump, CX Works, Body Combat, Body Balance and Body Attack.   I couldn't get on Body Balance so would have to either sit it out or see if I could sneak into an unused space on the day - more on that later*!   I did manage to book on to the other 4 classes.

Sunday 14th October arrived - Shaun was less pleased at this fact as the alarm went off at 7.30am.  I arrived at the centre with about 10 mins to spare and then spotted a lot of familiar faces - the class was being done by most of the people who already do the classes but I tried not to be put off.   The Pump station was already set up to go (the regulars were busy changing weight plates over but after some advice from a friend who was there luckily, I left mine as they were set up - my friend Jeremy said "don't worry about the weight - worry about the technique" so that's what I did!   Quite enjoyed it apart from all the faffing around with equipment, it's quite fast paced so I got a bit behind on some of the moves, but otherwise quite enjoyable, and it was nice to be lifting weights again. 

45 mins later we were being thrown out of the studio so that the room could be set up for CX Works - omg really didn't enjoy that class, I'm definitely going to stick to my Saturday morning Core Blast class.   30 mins of doing I don't know what and we were out again so the floor could be cleared ready for Combat.  Luckily I can't get to the CX Works class to give it another go!

No idea how long Combat was but I actually quite enjoyed - the instructors were good and I think having done boxercise helped as I already knew my punches and kicks. 

The music is great and I think if I'm not concentrating on the moves so hard I could get quite a good workout from it. 

*Next up was Body Balance - the one that was full!   I didn't hang around in the end and cancelled Body Attack - I had other plans which included lunch out with Mr B and visiting Pelham House in Lewes for Danni as a possible wedding venue.  Beautiful isn't it - and that's before a major refurb for next year!!!!!!

I certainly didn't feel like I was missing anything I'd worked quite hard - my Garmin said I'd burnt over 300 calories so I was happy with that.

Monday morning and I'm in all sorts of ouchy - ouchy in a good way - quads are on fire and I can't raise my arms very high.     I'm definitely going to give Pump and Combat a go and need to try out the other two I missed. 

Operation #MotheroftheBride is a go!!!!!