Tag Archives: Challenge

Bubble, bubble, breathe – Swimathon 2018

12 Jan Swimathon 2018 logo

I’m so excited to be an ambassador for Swimathon 2018. I had a great time last year and it really pushed me to get back in the pool after having M. I had big plans for swimming more when I went back to work, but as M has been ill for most of the last 4 months, that didn’t really work out. She’s now seeming better, so I’m hoping to take her to the pool with me this weekend. She’s not really swimming yet, but who knows, maybe she’ll be ready to take part in the 400m challenge next year!

Last year I entered the 5km challenge, but that was a lot to take on, so I’ve entered the 2.5km Swimathon challenge this year. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to improve my speed this year. I want to do a 2.5km time trial as soon as possible, so that I know what time I’ve got to beat. 2.5km is 100 lengths, so it will still be hard work! By concentrating on a shorter distance than last year, I’ll be able to focus a bit more on my technique rather than just focusing on getting the distance in.

There are venues all over the country that are taking part in Swimathon. I’ve decided to swim at David Lloyd at Ringwood because I can do my swim there on a Friday morning. I no longer work on Fridays, so it will help to keep my weekend free so that I can spend more time with M.

If you’d like to join me, there’s a 50% discount until 21st January, so what are you waiting for?!

Did you know that Swimathon is the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim? So far it has raised £48 million which has benefitted 36 charities. It really doesn’t matter what your age or swimming ability is, there’s a challenge for everyone, including a new 400m event this year.

My motivation for taking part in this event is two-fold. Firstly, I need an event that will push me to get in the pool and train. I enjoy swimming, but as I’m so time-pressed that unless I have a reason to be in the pool, it is sometimes squeezed out of my schedule. Secondly, the charities associated with Swimathon (Marie Curie and Cancer Research) are ones that are meaningful for me as my father died of oesophageal cancer nearly 16 years ago.


I got in my first swim of 2018 yesterday. I could only fit in half an hour, which was a bit frustrating. I had hoped that I would be able to swim for an hour and that I would be able to see how far I could swim in that time. I managed to swim 1000m. I could tell that I haven’t swum for a while as it felt like so much hard work. My speed has definitely dropped and my arms were tired by 200m. If I can maintain yesterday’s pace then 2.5km will take me 90 minutes; if I were at my best, I know that I could do it in an hour, so that is my goal.

First swim of 2018

Have you entered Swimathon? Which distance?

Taking a risk in 2018

10 Jan Fitness instructor course materials

It’s that time of year when people are thinking about their hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Even if you don’t believe in making New Year’s Resolutions, chances are you’ve been thinking about how you might want your year to go and have perhaps been thinking about making some changes. Maybe 2018 will be the year when you take a risk and try something new.

At the end of 2017, I qualified as a fitness instructor and am looking at pursuing a secondary career in sport (alongside my day job). It would be great to do it full time, but I love my current job and it feels like too much of a risk for me at this stage in my life.

Fitness instructor course materials

I thought it would be appropriate to have a look at some of the athletes who have made risky career movies (often with a significant pay decrease).

View Interactive Version
(via SBO.net).


    • Victoria Pendleton, a multiple track sprint Olympic and World Champion between 1989 to 2012, wandering into horse riding, cashing up to £200,000 per race.
    • Adam Gemili found his fame on the football pitch until 2012 when he transferred from the field to the Athletics track, representing Team GB in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
    • In 2009, the All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams started leaning more towards heavyweight boxing, successfully winning all seven of his competitive fights, while still actively playing on the rugby field.
    • Rebecca Romero, silver medallist for rowing in the 2006 Olympics, became the first-ever British woman to compete in two sports at the Olympics Games, when she decided to make the move to cycling. She went on to take home the gold for individual pursuit in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    • Martina Hingis, 5 Grand Slam single title-winner, took a break from the professional tennis world at just 22 to compete in equestrian competitions. She later returned to the court in 2005.

    Other sporting heavyweights have decided to downsize when making a move, proving how the pay cheque isn’t always the deciding influence. Michael Jordan, six-time NBA champion and five-time NBA MVP, decided to take a break from the basketball lime-light in 1993 and move into baseball, despite lowering his earnings to $850 a month plus $16 daily meal allowances. He made a comeback to basketball in 1995, but has since retired.

    After retiring from cricket, Adam Hollioake transferred to MMA fighting in 2012, leaving behind his average salary of £50,000 a year and claiming no earnings to date in his new career.

    From Jordan’s slam-dunks to home runs, Sonny Bill’s tries to knockouts or Martina’s backswing to jump combinations, check out the full infographic here from SBO.net to see which other careers sporting stars have attempted.

    Are you thinking of trying something new in 2018?

    parkrun Challenges

    24 Oct

    I love attending parkrun every week, so I’ve decided to set myself a number of parkrun related challenges for the next year. Most of them are teeny tiny goals, but I thought they might add some fun.

    parkrun volunteer

    • Achieve my 250 club (17 parkruns to go)
    • Qualify for a cow cowl (I need to do 1 more UK parkrun) Cow cowl
    • Do an international parkrun (this might not happen)
    • Get an overall PB (<23:40)
    • Achieve PBs in 5 locations
    • Do all of the parkruns in Cornwall (Trelissick and the new Eden Project ones to go)
    • Do all of the parkruns in Hampshire (7 to go)
      • Alice Holt – done
      • Andover – done
      • Basingstoke – done
      • Brockenhurst – done
      • Eastleigh – done
      • Fareham – done
      • Havant
      • Lee-on-the-Solent – done
      • Lymington Woodside
      • Medina I.O.W
      • Netley Abbey – done
      • Portsmouth Lakeside
      • Queen Elizabeth
      • Rushmoor
      • Southampton – done
      • Southsea
      • Whiteley – done
      • Winchester – done
    • Do other near-by parkruns:
      • Blandford
      • Moors Valley
      • Poole
      • Salisbury
      • Upton House
      • Weymouth
    • Encourage 3 friends to do a parkrun
    • Support my mum to get a parkrun PB

    Do you do parkrun? What’s your next parkrun goal?

    Thank you to everyone who’s voted for Fat Girl to Ironman so far – there’s still time to cast your vote in The 2018 Running Awards.

    Nominated for The 2018 Running Awards. Please vote for me.

    Planning for 2014

    24 Oct

    With only 10 weeks left in 2013, I thought I should start planning for next year. My five year plan included the following for next year:

    2014 1600m swim 63 mile sportive (IoW) Marathon Sprint

    I haven’t booked a 1600m swim yet, but I may do Bournemouth Pier to Pier swim in July 2014. For cycling, I may do the Wiggle All Wight Sportive. I’ve already booked my place in Brighton Marathon in April 2014. I completed two sprint distance triathlons this year, so maybe I should up the ante.

    The events listed below are ones that I’ve entered or am thinking of entering:


    • CC6                                               05/01/14 (cross country race – no entry fee if running for a local club)
    • Stubbington 10k                        19/01/14 entered


    • CC6                                              09/02/14 (cross country race – no entry fee if running for a local club)
    • Charlton Duathlon                    23/02/14 not entered yet


    • CC6                                                02/03/14  (cross country race – no entry fee if running for a local club)
    • Salisbury 10 mile                         09/03/14 not entered yet
    • Winchester Duathlon                 16/03/14 not entered yet
    • Eastleigh 10k                                23/03/14 not entered yet



    • Lightning run                              04/05/14 not entered yet
    • Portsmouth Duathlon (3)         11/05/14 not entered yet
    • Netley 10k                                  18/05/14 not entered yet



    • Thunder Run                              26-27/07/14 entered


    Yes, you read that correctly!!! My lovely other half has entered both of us into the half iron distance Challenge event that will take place in Weymouth in 2014. Only this afternoon, I was explaining my sensible long term triathlon plan to a colleague at work – oops, I’ve blown that now!

    324 days to go!