Tag Archives: Goals


Cotswold Sprint Triathlon

Last weekend I took part in my third and final triathlon of 2014 (my 4th overall) and really enjoyed it. It was at the local lake where I do my open water swim sessions so it is nice and familiar and is the same course as the Women’s only one I did back in June.

As I sprained my ankle for the second time this year only a few weeks ago I made the decision to take part, but without any goal other than to try and finish (I told myself to do one lap of the run and see how I felt) and to enjoy it. Probably a weird sentiment for an event, but I was actually successful at both parts of my goal.


It was a mixed event with the males and females split into waves. I was in the second wave for Senior females and enjoyed the swim. The only downside was that I hadn’t practiced in my wetsuit beforehand as it has been so nice, so my breathing went a little wrong half way round and I had to take a breaststroke break to get my rhythm back. A little disappointing as the swim is my best bit, but I still came out 26th out of 135 women for the swim over the 750 metre course.

I took my time in transition and this even probably had my longest ones, but I did not want to fall over and hurt myself. I would like to work towards not wearing socks for sprint events, but I just can’t bring myself to just yet. I wore my ankle support in the swim as I knew that would take ages to get on if I tried to do it in transition.

I then headed out on the bike. The best bit of this was that they have improved where you have to run to the bike mount. It is now no longer as far as it used to be and goes out where the bike in comes back to the transition, so it was only about a minute jog, compared to 5 as it was before. I got on my bike (another thing I would like to work on is jumping on!) and set out at a decent pace. My ankle was a little uncomfortable so I just enjoyed the ride through the Cotswold Water Park area. I was actually a little faster (13 seconds) than in June so was happy with that. It was a little windy on the course, but the sunshine made it a nice temperature. I got overtaken by a lot of people on the bike, but I managed to overtake 2 ladies from the wave before mine. I came out 120th out of 135 women.

The second transition went okay. The only thing I did different this time was grab a bottle of water to take round with me as I really struggled with hydration last time and I knew I was not going to be fast at all. I started off at an easy jog and got into a nice rhythm. I had to walk a dip in the course as I was worried about being unstable on my ankle, but managed to jog the whole first lap otherwise. I then made the decision to do the second lap and it felt better than the first. I walked the dip again, but jog all the way round and managed to speed up a little into the finish. It really helped to have fellow running club members marshalling and Jace doing the commentary as this spurred me on. I was a lot slower than the one in June, but I was happy that I was able to jog at all! I came in 135th out of 135 women on the run section.


Overall I finished in 1 hour 40 minutes and 20 seconds, compared to 1 hour 34 minutes and 54 seconds back in June. I had a nice morning though and am really glad I took part as the week leading up to it I had a lot of doubt and wanted to pull out, but I knew others from running club were taking part and I wanted to be part of it. I love this photo that was taken of Shelly, Me, and Katie at the end. Dan and Andy also took part, but had disappeared at photo time. I felt so good at the time and I really think it comes across in this photo. I always dislike my race photos, but I have some great ones from after my races that bring back all the good memories of the events.


On a side note, this completed my Project Lifestyle goal. I originally had down to complete 4 triathlons, but due to the sprained ankle issues I cut that goal back and am extremely happy with 3. I have also helped out on the Saturday before 2 of the 3 I completed, and also marshalled at 3 long distance triathlons and will be marshalling this weekend. I feel I have learnt a lot this year about the sport of triathlon and have really enjoyed seeing both side, by taking part and marshalling. I am currently thinking about future goals and where I want to go with this sport, so keep an eye out for posts on that later in the year!

Big Cotswold Swim

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I took part in the 2 mile Big Cotswold Swim and I haven’t put my report up!

It was a grey Saturday morning, but the rain stayed away (at least until the start of the race) and I was up at 6am to make sure I could have a proper breakfast before doing a 2 mile swim at 8:45am. I usually don’t eat before my morning swims, but knew this would be harder and further than those so made sure I got up extra early to get my porridge in. Also to drink enough as there is nothing worse than swimming and being dehydrated and surrounded by water you can’t drink.

The one mile swimmers went off first and then it was the 2 milers. We had a warm up and acclimatisation 10 minutes then a briefing of the course before being set off from the beach. I was at the front as really just wanted to get going and knew it would easier to be overtaken than have to overtake during the start of the race. I managed to graze the tops of my feet during my dive into the water, but luckily the water kept them cool and although it was irritating to begin with they eased off very quickly.

I swam in a wetsuit even though the water was 20 degrees Celsius. I have done some short swims with a wetsuit at that temperature, but nothing beyond a kilometre. So went for the added buoyancy and warmth. I was glad I did as the lake had patches of very cold areas and where it had rained the top of the lake was quite cool all over. I think it was warmer in the water than it was in the air that morning.

I had a good swim and kept strong the whole way. I like the course layout of two laps right round my local swimming lake. It worked well I caught up to a few of the one mile swimmers just over half way round my first lap. I ended up swimming the whole way with one lady. We just couldn’t get past each other. I was sighting better than her, which slower me down, but she kept having to correct her course, which slowed her down. I then took to speed a bit too early before the last bouy and she got me there.

I came out of the water in 31st place out of 113 swimming the 2 mile event and in 56.37 minutes. My goal was to try and come out in under an hour as the last open water swims I had done were 3km and took about 59 minutes so I knew it would be a challenge to get 3.2km in that time, but I also knew I had been working hard and getting stronger and I smashed it by 3 minutes!

Overall it was a very enjoyable swim that I pushed myself on. I got a free place at the running club Christmas do last year for helping out with the triathlon swimming sessions and for being the best swimmer in the running club!





Project Lifestyle June Review

Project Lifestyle Purple Cover

A little later than planned for June as I was away with work and although the Lake District is amazing and beautiful, the mobile signal and internet connections are rubbish. Also I had a lot of work to do and relationships to continue to build.

My full report can be found here on Google Docs.

Overall June was not what I planned or set out to do, but it was a great month. I feel positive about the progress I have made on the project as whole beyond the goals I have set out to achieve. I am really thinking in terms of my own values and how I live my life according to them rather than always working towards the next achievement. I will take a look at each of the workstreams now, but I am not going to get hung up on what I didn’t achieve. I went with the flow of life over the month and it felt good.

Nutrition – I kept attempting to use MFP pal and would do quite well until I lost routine. So for me it is figuring out my values when it comes to food and eating well for my body and life and being able to adapt to situations that are not in my control. I was away with work a number of times last month and I let things get away from me. I had a bit of a low moment and was beating myself up in the middle of the month. I try not to do that, but it is a hard habit to break and one I will continue to work on.

Fitness – I completed by second triathlon of the year and got back to swimming in the pool. I didn’t take part in the second Wiltshire gala as I did not feel in the best place with swimming when that took place. My activity dropped a bit during the month. I can’t seem to get motivation after doing an event and the longer it takes to get back into routine the harder it is. Good intensions well travelling have made progress as I did go for a short run and swim while away with work, but nowhere near as much as normal. Fitting everything in feels hard at the moment so I need to spend some time reflecting on why that is.

Social – This has been a good workstream this month. I have gone with the flow a bit more and enjoyed it. I haven’t booked myself up weeks in advance, but committed to things I wanted to do and held out on others until closer to the time. I’ve felt more in control of what I’ve been doing this month. Control is the wrong word, maybe more self-assured of my choices. I’ve worried less about what others think if I can’t or do not want to do something. It’s quite refreshing and something I intend to carry on with.

Mental Health – I didn’t even pick up the book I bought, but I intended to and still do. I finished my Mindfulness course and have taken some of the tools I found useful and added them into my routine. I have also started using Headspace again. For me it is about not being afraid to take the time out I need to rest and recharge. I have been making a point in work to take 10 minutes outside on top of my lunch break with colleagues. I have also made sure I keep time for myself to do exactly what I want to do when I want to do it – and yes that does mean a 4 hour nap on a Saturday afternoon if I need it, or a walk around the local park on my own.

Career – I feel this is moving well and I feel more confident in myself this month and the role I am playing in my current job and the value it has. I am also working on understanding myself better and therefore making it easier to look and understand my future career options. I am not used to everyone being so open and talking about development, but that is how it is in my current organisation and it is great. I don’t feel stuck and know there will be opportunities to go into, but right now I need to concentrate on doing the best I ca do in my role and build relationships with everyone I am working with and when that is a national thing to do it does take time.

Overall I feel Project Lifestyle is working towards what I want. I need some time to reflect this month and to revaluate if required. I also want to focus on my values, rather than my goals and make sure the decisions I am making meet those and that will help me get unstuck when it comes to my goals as I will understand my motivation and values behind them better. It is all a work in progress, but I like the progress I am making.


Royal Wootton Bassett Triathlon

On Sunday I completed my first triathlon of the year and my first one of my Project Lifestyle goals – The Royal Wootton Bassett Triathlon!

As it was a pool swim my wave wasn’t until 10am, but I was wide awake at 5am and so headed up to cheer fellow running club members on who were in the early waves. I felt quite relaxed once I was up there and love this photo Paul from my running took while I was bring my stuff to transition.  I think getting up there early calmed my nerves as I got to see the layout and knew what to expect by the time it was my turn to head out.20140521-123345-45225368.jpg

Unfortunately there was a car accident on the bike route. Thankfully no bikes were involved. But everything got pushed back by half an hour, so I wasn’t starting until 10:30am and it was already warming up quite a lot. I think it turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far! It was goo though as my parents had been marshalling the early run and so were able to get up to the pool to see me head off and watch the rest of my event.


The swim was great. I was really nervous about this part as we are put in lanes with other swimmers who put about the same time down, so I was worried about being too slow and then coming in last after the run. But the lane worked out great and I was able to nicely keep up with the ladies in front and came in with a swim time of 6 minutes 39 seconds, which was only 7 seconds slower than my 400m event last November.


I then headed out to the transition and managed to get through that in 1 minute 35 seconds – super fast considering this was the first time I had to do cycling shoes.


The bike course felt good. It was a lovely sunny day and being on the bike meant there was a nice breeze. I need to practice drinking on the bike though as I struggled to drink enough. I felt strong all the way round and even braved picking up speed on the downhills, more than I did during the couple of practices I did in the weeks learning up to it. I felt I got my gearing done well throughout the route. I was overtaken in the first mile by the men who were slower in the swim, but then had the rest of the course to myself until the last hill where the men from the next wave caught me up not he big hill at the end. My goal was to finish in under an hour and make it up the hill and that is what I did. It took a while to recover from the hill but I kept moving and tried to spin my legs out before getting off the bike. I finished the bike in 52 minutes 47 seconds – really pleased with this time for 22km.


Unfortunately I noticed something was wrong with my right shoe just before the big hill. I was preparing to stop at the bottom as we were told we would have to and I couldn’t get my shoe out of the clip. I could basically move my show all the way round. I was then worried it would come off on the hill, but it stayed put. I then had to leave it on the bike when I got off for the second transition. I was laughing from nerves as I was sure I would fall off, but I unclipped the left and then undid the other shoe and ran in with only one shoe on. Just practicing for what the professionals do! The next transition was exactly 1 minute. Probably a bit slow, but getting my running trainers on and laced up took a bit of time. I had lots of encouragement and finally got going.



My parents then followed me round to the big hill on the run and waited there while I did the two laps. The run was super hard. The first lap was horrible. My legs felt awful and my mind kept losing grip and focusing on the doubts. The course was described as flat with one hill – that was a lie! There was one big hill, but also another one on grass, which was just as hard. The first lap was hard and at the point coming back up the hill first time I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. My parents were at the top encouraging me on a nd the my swimming club friends were doing the water station and came to me with water as I got to the top. I had to walk the hills and was so appreciative of Karen, my parents, Inge and Andy for cheering me on and getting me going again.


Running round the flat sports field my legs came back to me and I started to feel better. I also had Jase, a fellow Hound, on the microphone and could make out my name every now and again as I went round for the send lap. The second lap was better than the first as I was prepared for it. I knew I would walk the hills and then just got going when I could. I used my arms better on them and power walked up.


It was hard, but I sped up to the finish line. I never look good in finishing photos!


I finished the run in 31 minutes 37 seconds. I think it was slightly less than 5km as I was expecting at least 36 minutes. I didn’t wear my garmin as I didn’t want to fiddle with it going round.


The Mayor was giving out medals and it was great to have my parents there at the end. I think they were surprised I made it (especially after the first time up the hill), but I did and it felt good. I think I surprised them as they rarely see me train for things and were really impressed with my swim time – fastest running club swim time – and I had said the run would be the hardest bit. They said a lot of the super fit looking participants struggled up the hill – it was almost vertical (I’m not exaggerating!). I think the mental strength to put yourself through an event like it is the hardest part. You can learn to swim, cycle, and run, but if you can’t calm the mind during the hard points it would be easy to give up. I struggled on the first lap more than I expected and it caught me off guard, but I kept moving forward and focused on people shouting my name as I went and used that energy to keep me going. I am so thankful for everyone there who cheered me and everyone else on – amazing spectators and volunteers!

Overall I finished in 1 hour 33 minutes and 40 seconds! I beat my own predicted time of 1 hour 45 minutes and was really pleased with it. I wasn’t last in either!


Also a funky medal to add to my collection.


Overall it was a fantastic day and event. I was so glad I could be a part of it and support the local organisers and be part of the club supporting it. I’m also super proud of the running club members who took part in their first triathlon – amazing! It was so nice that it was local and the weather was amazing. I think it went really well and hope it continues to become an annual event. I know a few more runners wished they had taken part this year so really want it to happen again. My only request would be to look at the run route and take out that hill (otherwise running club might introduce it as a hill session and it is a killer!).


I’m making excuses.

If I want to lead a healthy life I just have to do it.

I know binge eating is a problem, but I can avoid my triggers.

I need to nap and go to bed earlier.

I need to mix up my food and exercise to avoid boredom.

I need to get engaged with my hobbies.

  • Look into triathlon training

  • Look into nutrition

  • Start crafting lists or thought journal – use tapes to make things pretty (not perfect)

  • Cycle and walk for fun – take camera out and enjoy the countryside

  • Take up headspace and practice mindfulness

I need to stick to my budget and that will allow me to save and spend on things I really want rather than chocolate or binge foods.

I need to make the food I eat for meals more appetising.

I need to make health a priority.

The number on the scale is just a number. It does not define me or success.

What do I want to live for?

  • See the world!

  • Go skiing all over the world

  • Try new activities

  • Meet new people

  • Sign up for events and be able to give anything a go

  • To experience life

  • To practice meditation and maybe take up tai chi or a martial art

  • To explore my local place where ever I am

For me life isn’t about people or things. It’s not about starting a family of settling down. It’s about experiences and exploring and learning. I don’t ever want to stop learning.

I’m limited in terms of money right not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn about health and myself. Let’s rephrase that – I’ve not got the opportunity to plan any trips right now so I can use this time to explore myself. This is an opportunity to not be distracted by grand plans and trip planning. This is an opportunity to get to know me on a daily basis. This is an opportunity to make great small decisions that add up to something amazing each day.

I’m going to tune into myself more often. I’m going to ask myself how I’m feeling. I’m going to ask myself what I fancy.

I’m also going to listen. To myself!

I would like to take the words – should, could, need, must – out of my vocabulary. I am going to replace them with kinder words of encouragement and listening.

This is a totally random post. It wasn’t started as a post. I was in work having trouble concentrating on anything that I opened a word document and kept adding to it throughout the day. It helped me get my thoughts out and I feel better for it. It might not make much sense to anyone else reading, but I wanted to share the struggle as well as the success.

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