About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken 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

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Chestnut Sussex 100

I knew this ride wasn't going to be easy when I saw the profile on the event information, but I was assured it was nowhere near as bad as it looked.  "You'll be fine" said Shaun!

On Saturday we both suffered from a bit of an upset stomach, no idea whether it was food or a bug, and there was every possibility that the ride wouldn't happen, which would have been a massive disappointment.    Saturday night we decided we'd go and when we got to the 20m route split we'd see how we both felt.   

Shaun loaded up Tribby with bikes and kit and off we headed to Bentley Wildfowl where the ride was starting.  It was a bit nippy out so I decided to try out my new Aldi arm warmers.   They were very comfortable, just the right length and the strip at the top meant they stayed in place for the ride.   I also wore the ergonomic socks Shaun bought and he wore the wool ones - sounds like I should have worn the wool ones instead as my toes were a bit cold at one point.

The first stretch to the feed station at Herstmonceux seemed to take forever.   The feed station was in the village hall so nice clean loos and lots of food and hot and cold drinks if you wanted it.   We only stayed long enough to fill my water bottle, have a wee and Shaun grabbed a cup of tea.   

The roads we were cycling down were great mostly, some were very potholed though and in some of the tree lined lanes it was very dark, although we did need sunglasses with the gorgeous sun being so low in the sky.   I did struggle with some of the hills, but I took my time and got up all of them but two, even the one where it was pitch black and came out at the top of the road opposite the road closure.   The road closure it turned out added an extra mile to the route.   

Somewhere between 30 and 35 miles there was a really horrible hill, everyone who passed me was puffing and the minute I saw someone climb off in front of me that was it - brain told legs to stop.  Unfortunately I could see that it ramped up again so brain got the better of legs and I was off ...... walking, up hill!    Shaun was waiting for me at the top with two marshalls who directed us over a busy junction. 

Only another 5 miles or so to go and another feed station which we didn't stop at, I just wanted to get finished!!!!!  I remembered from the profile that we had a few more hills to do, but they were nowhere near as bad as that big one, and the elevation was decreasing.  

It was great to turn the corner and see the entrance gate to Bentley and hear the music playing.   There was lots of support as we crossed the finish line together and we were given our medals.   

We'd done 41 miles in 4 hours 4 mins (18 mins officially if you count the stop at the feed station). We took the bikes back to Tribby and got changed, and then headed to the coffee shop where we bought some well earnt coffee and cakes.

We'd definitely like to do this ride again in the future, and who knows with a bit of training beforehand perhaps we could manage the 103km (60 miles) route ..... oh and with a lot of hill training.   The support from the organisers was fantastic from beginning to end, and a lovely medal to boot.   Wish we'd gone for the free massage after too! 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Aldi Special Buys 24th September 2015

It's been a while since I've been approached to test and review kit so when I received an email asking if I wanted to test some of the items on sale in the much publicised cycling special buy event at Aldi my immediate reaction was "yes please". 

It seems like weeks ago when I started tweeting and sharing the event on Twitter and Facebook.  The main draw for most people was the price of the Garmin 500 

that was on offer - £79.99 (currently on sale on Wiggle for £118.99).  No surprise then that come Thursday the cycling community was buzzing for a bargain.   Unfortunately there was a fair bit of disappointment on Twitter as most of the stores seem to have sold out of stock quite quickly.  Some stores only had 2 Garmins to sell and by 9.15 Twitter was alive with complaints.  

My only complaint the day before was that I'd spotted the shoes were only in sizes 8-11 - I really want a pair for spin with cleats and these look ideal, but not for my little size 5 feet !

come one Aldi, us ladies need shoes too!

I got home from work yesterday to find a huge box sitting on the table, couldn't actually believe what was in it as I unpacked it with Shaun.
Lots of stuff!

Helmet cover, arm warmers and waterproof under helmet cap
Two pairs of gloves
New lights which will look great on Dolce, you can never have enough Muc Off and I'm looking forward to trying out the gel & tabs

Not entirely sure about the beanie

I love the waterproof jacket - just what I needed!
Shaun also went to Aldi yesterday and bought me some socks so I'll be throwing in a review for those as well. 

It's going to take me a while to get through everything and test it out but so far I'm really pleased with the fit of most of the accessories - the gloves are a bit big so I might have to get Shaun to test those along with the helmet cover as he's more likely to cycle in the rain than I am (he cycles to work),  The arm warmers feel lovely and I might give them a test on Sunday's ride.   I tried out the electrolyte tabs at Spin last night - I'm not a great lover of lemon flavours, they tend to make me feel sick but these didn't.  I usually use the High 5 zero calorie tabs so these will make a nice alternative.  

Watch this space folks - reviews are on their way.  

Don't forget though Special Buys are only available as long as stocks last, so don't expect to go into stores and be able to buy what you want in 6 weeks time! 

Did you manage to pick up any bargains - let me know what you think in the comments below or tweet me @lilbeeloo67.

Happy cycling !!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Tribby's Travels - Back to the New Forest

As we're having such gorgeous weekend weather at the moment we decided to have one last Tribby sleepover before we pack everything away and put Tribby to sleep for the winter, although we might use Tribby for a few bike rides - including one which is coming up this weekend.

As you know from previous Tribby's Travels and other posts we absolutely love being on the New Forest.   It's only a couple of hours drive from home and just about on the limits for Archie the dog's travel sickness.   Unfortunately I can't actually tell you where we stayed as it's top secret.

This year we bought the BritStops book again, as well as signing up for the Caravan & Camping Club.  To be honest BritStops hasn't really been worth the money as this weekend is the first time we've used it and it cost us a fortune at the place we stayed as we couldn't resist buying produce.   Anyway, so all I can tell you is that the place we stayed is number 105 in the book.  
The whole point of BritStops is somewhere to park up overnight which is safe and secure, either in a pub car park, farm shop and various other places which the publishers of the book Mandy and Steve Clarke have negotiated with the owners.   You're not obliged to buy anything in return, although sometimes it is very difficult not to.  This time (without giving away any information whatsoever as to the location) we bought food and alcohol, had a ploughman's lunch and Brunch the following morning.  All we had to pay for at the "site" was £2 for electric hook up.

The whole secrecy thing is that most of the "sites" have limited spaces, in this case 2, so if a non Britstopper tried to use the site it would take away a space from someone who had bothered to spend £30 on the book.

After we'd eaten our lunch on Saturday I sat down to read some of my latest kindle book and Shaun was pottering about and playing with Archie.  Unfortunately the effects of some cider I consumed happened soon after sitting down - while I slept Shaun went off for a wander through the forest with Archie.   I had every intention of going with him, or even meeting him in the village for a spot of shopping but that never happened.   We had a very lazy afternoon and after dinner and last dog walk I made up the bed and snuggled under the duvet and watched a DVD.  There was a lovely sunset

The next morning when we eventually woke up was chilly and misty, while I was putting the bed away Shaun took off over the Forest again with Archie - I missed my chance again!

Giant spiderwebs

I never did get my walk or shopping, once we'd had brunch it was time to pack up and head home.   We had what can only be described as a very lazy weekend, which I suppose is exactly what you need sometimes.

As I said at the top, we're not putting Tribby totally to bed just yet.   We've got a sportive to do on Sunday (Indian Summer permitting) and another at the end of October (Pedal in Preston Park).  It's quite possible we'll have to sleep in the campervan over Christmas too, after which Tribby will be going into "storage" at the in-laws whilst we travel round Australia in January.   Hopefully Shaun's shift pattern will allow us a few more trips next summer, we really haven't had enough this year !!!!!

Monday, 14 September 2015

I'm Hanging Up My Runners - well for now

Don't panic ...... let me explain.

Since my last update I joined a group of friends on Faceache and we started the Couch 2 5k (C25K).  Week 1 went fine, didn't really struggle with the actual running segments - 3 completely different runs, one was a trail run along the riverbank at Ouse Valley in glorious sunshine, one was very wet along to the beach and the other one was a lovely warm day.   Week 2 didn't start too badly either - my first run I decided to head in a different direction and again the running segments were fine, a bit puffy & panty in places but I was beginning to remember why I love running.   Then came a kick fest at boxercise and the day after (which should have been Week 2 run 2) never happened as my legs were completely mashed.  That weekend we were away in Tribby so I decided I'd repeat week 2 the following week and go from there.    The legs never really recovered.   The calves have been as tight as hell and the shins decided to stay painful too.  So, now I should be coming up to the end of week 4 and there's no way I'm going to be able to run.   It's probably sensible to pack up the idea of running again, even if it's only until after our holiday in Aus.   I've got 2 very long flights to get through and I don't want to be worrying about cramps in my legs or worse.

After a lot of thought I've decided to concentrate on the bike and my overall fitness with boxercise.  I might add another class in to the mix, maybe Kettlebells which is also run by Claire, and of course there's always spin classes to help with cardio and leg strengthening.   It surprises me actually how much of a difference spin has made to my road cycling.   I'm actually standing more now than I did at the beginning and I'm sure it's all down to the leg strengthening that comes with spin.

I'm not saying I'm never ever running again.   The C25K podcast is fantastic and I shall be keeping it on my Ipod for future use, just might not be until 2016 now, let's see what happens with the legs!