The other weekend I went to Bristol for the Women's Adventure Expo.  If you were also there (or at the Love Her Wild networking event afterwards), and chatted to someone in a bright blue fleece who forgot to introduce herself and said things like "I used to be a lot more outdoorsy but then life got in the way" then hi, that was me :)

I did start on a write up that was basically 'I saw this talk and that talk and blah blah' but it was boring, so instead here are a few key points that have stuck with... continue reading »


I took this photo a couple of weeks ago before heading out for a run, to show how my funky new running leggings clash with my shoes.  And our newly block paved driveway.

That was the last time I ran.  I had to cut my run short and limp home because the gentle ache in my left shin that I'd been ignoring for a few weeks suddenly got a lot worse and turned into a stabby pain.  Roughly where that badly doodled black X is.  Ouch.

Dr Google convinced me it was either a shin splint or a stress fracture, and it... continue reading »

national fitness day

According to the internet, today is National Fitness Day.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I will be having a rest day and doing nothing more strenuous than walking the boyfriend's dog.

Ooh, rebellious...  But I suspect I am not in the target demographic for this particular occasion, as being active is a well established part of my routine.  I get twitchy if I go too long without doing exercise, and consider it a waste of a nice sunny day to stay inside all the time.

Currently I'm running twice a week, in preparation for my first 10k later this month.  When I signed... continue reading »

Forest Warrior

I'm still not entirely sure how it happened, but in January I found myself agreeing to do the Forest Warrior - a 10k mud/obstacle race - as part of a team at work.

2.5 months of denial and half arsed "training" later six of us dragged ourselves through a lot of mud, climbed over walls, scrambled in and out of ditches, carried tyres up and down hills, crawled and swam through various depths of water, and ran/jogged/walked the bits in between.  Oh, and got shot at with paintballs (but none of us were hit, hurrah)

We were not quick.  GPS traces suggest... continue reading »

Severn bridge half marathon

What better way to spend a bank holiday Sunday than getting up ridiculously early to go and watch about 2000 people run over a bridge?

That's not selling it well - I was actually pleasantly surprised by how fun my first half marathon experience was.  Spectating, of course - and cheering on Rachael who is mad enough to do this kind of thing regularly.

They started half way across the bridge, ran into England, around some roads (including a hill of some sort), then all the way back across the bridge into Wales, finishing at the event village in a field next... continue reading »

Cheltenham Parkrun

Today I got up and went for a run.

More specifically, the very first Cheltenham Parkrun - a proper timed 5k event, running laps of the lake in Pittville Park.  Along with 233 other people, wow.

I have done one parkrun before - the Forest of Dean one, back in 2010.  But I struggle to find the enthusiasm to drive 20 miles early on a Saturday just to go and hurt my body by trying to run.  It's a very low priority behind kayaking and lie ins!

But Cheltenham is much closer, and after persuasion from a couple of mates I couldn't come... continue reading »

Capler to Fownhope

Saturday: sunshine, blue skies, warmth and general springyness.  Not a day to be spent cooped up indoors!  So I decided to go walkies.

2011's challenge is the River Wye.  I paddled a very short stretch of it last month, but 4km out of 215 isn't really much to show a quarter of the way through the year!

So I added another 5.5km of the Wye Valley Walk - from a total of 16km, starting (and ending) at Capler viewpoint (that's in Herefordshire, by the way).  Walking anticlockwise around this loop:

I set off following the Wye Valley Walk up past Capler Camp Hill... continue reading »

Exploring Hartpury

Things to do on a dull Sunday afternoon, having already wimped out of going kayaking on grounds of there being massive amounts of water in the rivers (and wanting a lie in) - take the bike out for a first ride of the year! (yes, I realise it's February, shush)

A small consultation with CycleStreets later, I decided to head for Hartpury.  5 and a half miles of NCN 45, conveniently avoiding any main roads.

Half a mile in I realised a slight flaw in my 'relaxed Sunday afternoon' plan.  Strong, gusty and quite annoying winds.  But turning back and giving up... continue reading »

I miss the mountains

My legs ache. 

Entirely due to having walked 17.5km (about 11 miles) in the Brecon Beacons yesterday.

The plan had originally been to walk up Pen Y Fan, but it looked decidedly grim and rainy up there - so instead we wandered around on the other side of the A470.  I have a nice GPS trace of the whole thing. Yay for gadget phone :)

I don't do anywhere near enough hiking any more, hmm.

bank holiday biking

Rather than unnecessarily removing plastic from my boat scraping down empty rivers this weekend, I decided to go out on my bike instead.

Now, one my main justifications for buying a bike was so I can cycle to work, which is about 4.5 miles.  So far, I haven't managed this - a few short rides around in the evenings, but nothing significant.

I conveniently live right next to the canal, which has a towpath forming part of one of the proper national cycle routes (41?), so that seemed like a good idea. It also has mileposts, meaning I can be lazy and... continue reading »

spending lots

March can easily be summed up in one word: expensive.

As if buying a kayak wasn't bad enough, I've also been spending not insignficant amounts on things like deposits for holidays (French Alps in June, woo!), a shorty cag, car MOT, etc etc.

And when I popped into Halfords to get a bulb for the car, I managed to come out with a bike.  Oops.

The bike does not have a name, and is a greeny colour, which this photo does not show very well.

Fitting it in my car was a right pain in the arse - first off, 'quick release' wheels is... continue reading »

more swimming

I've taken up swimming again.  To clarify, that's in a swimming pool, rather than rivers :P A year (or so) of uni has got in the way of my old routine of going every week, but I've got the time and money again now, so yeah.

Did 40 lengths last week, and 60 this.  Ideally working my way back up to doing 80 (2km) at a time, and hopefully I can find a time to go when it's not insanely busy and full of children/slow moving OAPs.

Several points of note though:

it's probably time to invest in a new swimming costume swimming is... continue reading »


I have a new toy.  It's one of these, and it's rather cool.  Been eyeing up some of the more 'basic' (also cheaper) models for a while now, because it's a nice geeky gadget (woo, gyroscopes!), but this one is extra cool because it lights up and has a counter.

Didn't take me very long to get the hang of it, and over the last week I've managed to improve my highest score from about 7000rpm to 10,000 and figure out how to get it started without having to faff around with a bit of string.  I thought there'd be... continue reading »

walking past swans

I went walkies yesterday :)  10 miles of mostly flat up in North Shropshire (Prees/Whixall ish).  Nice day out actually - and I'm quite glad it was yesterday and not today, silly weather!

Would anyone be surprised to hear that I went out in shorts?  I guess not, hehe.  This slightly backfired as there were stinging nettles and things, but I survived with just a few scratches and a couple of bites of some variety.  Need to invest in a pair of those trousers that zips off into shorts I think.  New hobby yay (or more correctly, rediscovered old hobby) :D

Part... continue reading »


I swam 70 lengths today. 55 dodgy breast stroke, 15 dodgy front crawl. Last time I did 60, but I probably won't push for 80 next week though, heh :D Don't want to overdo it!

Swimming is an odd one though. I used to hate it so much when I was younger, to the point of skiving off all the swimming galas and conveniently forgetting my kit...
But now I quite like it. Probably because now there's no one shouting at me about it, and no 'friends' threatening to drown me because they think it's some hilarious joke.

There is one... continue reading »