Tag Archives: family

Saturday jog

12 Jan

As it’s been a fairly tough week, with work and personal circumstances, yesterday, I decided to go out for a run with my cousin, Anneliese.

Selfie with my cousin Anneliese before our 5k jog to the beach

Selfie with my cousin Anneliese before our 5k jog to the beach

We posed for a quick picture outside my mum’s house (“Mexico House”) and then set off towards the beach. It didn’t take long before we had crossed the towans (Cornish word for sand dunes) and were on the cliffs, where we stopped for yet another photo.

At the top of the cliffs on Mexico Towans

At the top of the cliffs on Mexico Towans

It was a beautiful day, so I made a slightly crazy decision to run on the beach. This is a rare occurrence as I find running on sand really difficult. Fortunately, the tide was on its way out, so the sand was quite firm.

I love Hayle beach. It is my home town’s main tourist attraction, proudly described as ‘three miles of golden sands’. The beach goes north-east to Gwithian/Godrevy Towans and south west to Hayle Estuary. (Heyl is the Cornish word for estuary). Across the bay it is possible to see St. Ives.

View of St. Ives from the beach

View of St. Ives from the beach

There were a lot of surfers

There were a lot of surfers

Hayle is famous for having '3 miles of golden sands'

Hayle is famous for having ‘3 miles of golden sands’

I was surprised at how many people were out walking their dogs and there were a couple of horse riders on the beach. There were also two groups from the local surf school – a group of mixed age adults and a group of children. It looked like they were having a lot of fun.

There was also a big surprise on the beach – a seal pup! Although I’ve seen seals off the coast at Porthcurno, I’ve never seen one on the beach before. He looked a little disoriented and possibly injured, so we ensured that a local wildlife rescue charity were able to come and pick him up to give him any necessary treatment.

I've never seen a seal on Hayle beach before

I’ve never seen a seal on Hayle beach beforeIMG_1680


Anneliese used to run regularly whilst she was at university, but she hasn’t run for a few months, so we agreed that we would just do 5k, interspersed with some rest/photo breaks. The surf was quite good, so it was interesting watching the locals strut their stuff.

IMG_1713 IMG_1706


I also found a few moments to share some love for Team SOAS!


After so much horrendous weather recently, the temperature was lovely – quite warm, with no wind – and there were beautiful blue skies.

IMG_1694 IMG_1691

The lighthouse in the picture below is Godrevy Lighthouse, which dates back to 1858. It is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel, ‘To The lighthouse’, as her family used to stay at Talland House in St. Ives.


After 5.15km, Anneliese decided that she had had enough, so we called it a day: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/427985303

Run - done!

Run – done!

After visiting our Grandma, we went for a walk in St. Ives. There was a beautiful sunset, so the sky looked magical.

View of Godrevy

View of Godrevy

St. Ives Bay panorama

St. Ives Bay panorama

I finally found some time to catch up with my emails, and have seen that the route for Challenge Weymouth has been announced. There’s a full description of the bike course and the run course on the official website. The bike course seems to have a mountain that will require crampons between 5 and 10k and the run course is flat, but there are 2.5 laps to do. The ‘beer mile’ near the finish is being touted as a particular attraction!

This morning, I had intended to do a 10 mile run with my cousin Kirsty and Uncle Roger. They are both in training for London Marathon. Unfortunately, I realised that I would not be able to fit in a long run with them as well as see my Aunty Anthea and my Grandma, so I decided to run to my Aunty’s house and then go and visit my Grandma.

Tamsyn and Anneliese

Does anyone have any tips for taking selfies? It’s clearly not a strength of mine!!!

Anneliese asked whether she could join me for the first 30 minutes of my planned 5 mile run, so I agreed. Her mum agreed to pick her up on the way. After 30 minutes, we were nearly at 5k, so I encouraged Anneliese to continue. When we hit 5k, her mum wasn’t in sight, so she agreed that she might as well keep moving. There were a couple fo brief walking breaks, and by the time her mum got to us in her car, we were less than 1km from our destination, so Anneliese agreed that she may as well complete the run. Way to go, girl! In the end we ran 7.07km 🙂 See our stats here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/429094133

Unfortunately, I’ve now got an achy knee, but I think it’s because my glute muscles have gone all ‘lazy ass’ on me over Christmas. Fortunately, a fellow triathlete shared this on Facebook this week: http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/glute-inhibition-or-glute-weakness/#

Finally, it was time for me to see my Grandma for the last time. I was happy that she was sitting in her chair today as it makes her look better. We had a lovely conversation and, as ever, her sense of humour shone through. Anneliese and I told her about our run and discussed the physical labour that Grandma used to do. She had a local milk-round and walked over 15 miles a day until she was in her 60s, which kept her very fit and healthy! I don’t own many photos of my Grandma, but will always be able to picture her.

When Stuart and I got married, my Grandpa wrote the following lines of poetry by Omar Khyyam in our wedding book

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

It seems apposite to remember it now. There is nothing that I can do to change the passing of time, just as there is nothing that can change what has happened already, so my happy memories can never be erased.

Nelly 90

My Grandma at her 90th birthday 2 years ago

Life is a rollercoaster

11 Jan Sweat Pink laces

Hello all! Apologies for my silence, the last week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. After the high of finding out that I had been selected as a Team SOAS Ambassador, I plummeted to a low when I found out that my beloved grandmother was seriously ill. This has thrown my training, nutrition, blogging and work plans into disarray, but some things are just more important.

On Monday evening, I went to  Tri Club swimming session. It was a slightly strange session for several reasons. Firstly, the local council has introduced evening parking charges, but many people did not realise until they had parked their cars and gone into the swimming pool’s reception. They then had to scrabble around to find enough change to put in the meter. This meant that the swimming session started late. Secondly, I usually swim in the 8-9pm session, but I had to go to a running club meeting from 8pm, so we went to the 7pm swimming session, which meant that Stuart and I were with unfamiliar groups.

There were two ladies and two gents in the first lane. I’d never seen the chaps before, but know both of the women – Jenny I know through Run Camp and Sonia is one of the best female runners in another local running club (but also very down to earth and friendly – I would finish a long way behind her in any race, but that doesn’t stop her from speaking to me!)

We did a few lengths of front crawl as warm up, but I wasn’t fully focussed. I suddenly realised that I had been counting my strokes and had reached 13 but had not taken a breath. Whilst that was not what we were intending to do, it has made me wonder whether I could actually swim a whole length underwater with a bit of practice. (I know that it takes me 21 strokes to do a length). We did a warm up drill that involved backstroke and then moved onto various body position drills. As usual, my battle was to keep my head in line with my body. Coach Peter said it looked better, but it may just be that he is despairing about what to do with me!

The main set was 12x50m off 90 seconds. I knew that I would find that a huge struggle, so I did the first 5 and then had a break when the others were doing the sixth set, so that I was able to join in for the last half. The pace felt a lot faster than the usual group that I am in, and there  were fewer of us in the lane.

The warm down was 200m breaststroke, which was quite a pleasant change.

All of the data is here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/425939642 …but as I haven’t quite figured out how to use my watch correctly, I’m not sure it’s very meaningful! At the end of each of my two lengths of crawl, I waited for about 20 seconds before doing my next set, but I wasn’t sure what to do with my watch, so I just left it running whilst I was waiting (that’s easier for me than watching the clock on the wall as my poor eyesight means that I can’t read it!!!)

Run Camp at the track
Run Camp at the track © Ant Gritton

On Tuesday morning, I went to my first Run Camp speed session of the year. I told Stuart that I needed to get up at 6am. I think he must have set the alarm for earlier than 6 as by the time I had dressed, I looked over and saw that the alarm clock said 6:01. I might have been quick, but I don’t think I can put on compression tights and full running clothing in a minute!!!

I drove up to Southampton Sports Centre and could see that Andy had already arrived. Jenny was parking at the same time, so I picked up my water bottle and jogged down to the track with her. Coach Ant was already at the track along with the rest of the runners. We had to do 2 x 400m as a warm up before we were divided into two groups:

Group A

  • Gareth
  • Andy
  • James
  • Katherine

Group B

  • Tamsyn
  • Jenny
  • Max
  • Liz

Group A started on the track, whilst my group were given exercises to do.

1. 12 x single leg deadlift (on left hand side) with a weight

Single leg Romanian deadlift

Single leg Romanian deadlift © Townsend Fitness Systems

Image from: http://www.townsendfitnesssystems.com/2013/03/03/5-exercises-for-show-stopping-legs/

2. 12 x lunge with medicine ball on alternating legs

Medicine ball lunge

Medicine ball lunge © Everyday Better

Image from: http://www.everydaybetter.com/category/exercise-videos-online/medicine-ball/

3. 12 x single leg deadlift (on right hand side) with a weight

4. 12 x squat with resistance band.

Squat with resistance band

Squat with resistance band © The Secret La Revista

Image from: http://www.thesecretlarevista.com/en/8/3744/Elastic_band_workouts_%282%29.html

5. 2 x 20m squats sideways

We did the entire set of exercises four times before we were told what we would be doing on the track. We knew that we would run for 3 minutes, before having a 3 minute break. In that break, we would need to return to the start, so we would have to spend some of it walking. I had to run 597m; Jenny had to do 590m and I think Max and Liz were given about 500m. Fortunately, I know where the 200m mark is on the track, so I knew where I had to go. My average page was between 4:38 and 4:52, so although I didn’t manage to beat Jenny on the last lap, I think it’s fair to say I nailed it 🙂 I got to my marker for each of the four laps and when I started to feel tired, I reminded myself of my ultimate goals.

After returning from Run Camp, my rollercoaster week continued with an email confirmation that I am now a Sweat Pink Ambassador:

Welcome to the Sweat Pink™ movement, where tough and girly come together at last. Sweat Pink™ is all about sharing the joy that comes from living a healthy lifestyle. It’s a celebration of hard work and well-earned rewards. Our pink shoelaces are a proud demonstration of all we’ve achieved, and all we plan to become.
I hope to continue inspiring women around me and have ordered my first batch of pink shoelaces 😀
Sweat Pink laces

On Tuesday afternoon, I drove the 220 miles (approx 350km) down to Cornwall to be able to visit my grandmother and, for the rest of the week, I have been getting up early and trying to fit my day job (which is mostly online) around visiting hours, which has meant that I’ve been online working from around 7am – 11pm every day this week. It has been exhausting and I feel sluggish from the lack of running, swimming and cycling. Sadly, at the age of 92, I know that my grandmother is not going to make a recovery, but it was lovely to see that she had managed to get out of bed yesterday. She was watching one of her favourite afternoon quiz shows and remained as alert as ever. I saw my grandma again today and will see her again tomorrow before I have to head home, but it’s heart-breaking to know that they are probably the last times that I will ever see her.

A final ‘up’ of the week was that I found out that I already know one of my fellow Team SOAS Brand Ambassadors – the amazing Kat Marshall from Embrace Sports. Kat is one of the kindest, most supportive and most energetic people who I know. She is a brilliant role model for any aspiring athletes and I can’t wait to catch up with her later on this year 🙂

Kat at the top of The Punisher

Kat at the top of The Punisher