Tag Archives: GOTRIbal

Monday Morning Motivation – The marvellous Mimi Hughes

18 Aug

Mimi Hughes is an American long-distance swimmer who has crossed the Bering Strait and swum the length of many rivers, including: the Tennessee, the Danube, the Drava and the Mura.

Mimi Hughes

Mimi was interviewed by GOTRIbal: http://www.gotribalnow.com/blog/mimi-hughes-long-distance-swimmer-interview

To get herself through her long distance swims, Mimi relies on many motivational sayings, such as:

  • When you decide to give yourself to a cause, you must arrive at the point where no sacrifice is too great.
  • It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves.
  • To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.
  • The basic tenet of democracy is an individual’s ability to make a difference.
  • Freedom means accepting—not forfeiting responsibility.
  • When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me. – Erma Bombeck
  • Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance. – Bruce Barton
  • Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.  – Napoleon Hill
  • Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Saint Francis of Assisi
  • Faith is the heroic effort of your life. Face anything you have to face without wavering. Matt 10-27
  • The evils that we hate, you no less than I, cannot be overcome with shrugs and sighs and shakes of the head no matter how wise. They but mock us and grow more bold when we retreat before them and take refuge in the affirmation of man’s tragic average. To believe that new evils will arise as vicious as the old—to believe that the great Pandora’s box of human suffering, once opened, will never show a diminution of its ugly swarm, is to help by just that much, to make it so, forever. – Thomas Wolfe
  • Never in his life had he seen a river before—this sleek sinuous full-bodied animal. Chasing and chuckling gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, only to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free and were caught and help again. Tired at last, he sat on the bank while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world sent from the heart of the Earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea. – Ken Graham
  • The first and last day of the 1,000 swim (walk) are no different, the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. Your only aim is to achieve your initial purpose, then you can really enjoy what you’ve done. There is no backing out. When you have finished what you set out to do, you have created something of value. – Sakai Yusai
  • Never look back—be forever mindful of others and always keep the eyes set on the way. Do this and there is nothing that can’t be accomplished. – Sakai Yusai
  • Nothing is life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. – Marie Curie
  • Facing it—facing it—always facing it—That’s the way to get through it. Face it! – Joseph ConradMake it a point to do something everyday that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.  – Mark Twain
To make sure that you get to read interviews with other inspirational people lile Mimi, make sure that you sign up with GOTRIbal!

#TWIETing again

21 Jan

Yesterday, I took my lovely running group out for a hill training session. We’ve got a fantastic hill loop nearby – to the right is a short, sharp hill and then at the top it is possible to continue round and then down a long, slow incline until you return to the start point. I was focussing on the UKA’s coaching points for tackling hills:

Running downhill:
  • Controlled
  • Active foot adding force, where required
  • Arms active and used for balance
  • Upright or leaning slightly forward
  • High Hips
  • Active recovery of rear leg

Running uphill:

  • Positive backward drive of arms
  • High hips
  • Terrain guides optimum efficiency and pacing
  • Foot lands naturally on forefoot
  • Triple extension

The group ran up for 30 seconds and then back for 10 seconds. It was quite challenging, but I think the group enjoyed it. Afterwards, each of the ladies received a fab pair of pink shoelaces from Sweat Pink 🙂

LRR Monday night

Shoelaces for all!

Everyone has been so excited to receive their shoelaces and I’ve had lots of feedback on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ about them, including some photos:

Katherine laces

Tuesday morning means a 6:30am Run Camp track session. Unfortunately, it ended before it began. My knee was still hurting from the weekend, and as I was running from my car to the track, I slipped on some ice and went flying. I went backwards and hit the ground with my hip, really hard – OUCH! I made my way to the track fairly gingerly and did a warm up lap, but decided that it would be foolish to try to run through the pain 😦

It was cold, icy and very foggy. Coach Ant gave the instructions to the other three runners in my group (run hard for 5 minutes, then have a three-minute recovery period x3), whilst I waited with the other group.

Jenny, Liz and Max listening to Coach Ant

Jenny, Liz and Max listening to Coach Ant

After the ladies had set off into the gloom, Ant came over and gave us our instructions…


We had to do all of the exercises three times:

  • Heel raises (10 on each leg or 20 with both legs)
  • Kettle bell swings x12
  • Single leg squats (12 on each leg)
  • Clock lunges (Forwards, sideways and back on each leg x4, so 24 in total)

As I was unable to do the running, I did five sets of the exercises before heading home.

I was meant to be running 14 miles today, to make up for my failed run at the weekend, but the sensible option was to give myself more recovery time. I am worried that I have missed my long run two weeks in a row, but I’m hopeful I can get things back in time for Brighton Marathon.

Here’s my TWIET for today:

Apricot and almond porridge

30g porridge oats, 10g dried apricots, 10g ground almond, some vanilla extract and water – soaked overnight and then microwaved for 2 minutes. I adore porridge and decided to have a change from protein powder as I think eating the same thing every day can lead to boredom. If I’m feeling naughty, I add some agave nectar.


A visit to my old office for a meeting encouraged me to have my favourite treat – a Mars hot chocolate. I know this isn’t healthy, but I was feeling cold, sad and tired. I am an emotional eater, so this was a better option than many other possibilities!


My husband made me my usual lunch: 5 slices of cucumber, 5 cherry tomatoes, 4 radishes, 1 spring onion, 2 carrots, a couple of iceberg lettuce leaves and 40g Applewood smoked cheese. To be more nutritious, I should probably have darker salad leaves, but I didn’t make this lunch!


After my salad, I had a delicious Granny Smith apple – these are my favourites. I don’t like red apples. It’s not really possible to see the size of the apple in this photo, but it was quite large!


My tweet failed to send, but at about 5:15pm, I had a delicious juicy Sharon fruit (also known as a Persimmon). I don’t like them when they are very ripe. This one was quite firm, so it was perfect.


My evening meals was a stir fry of bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cabbage, bean sprouts, peppers, carrots and onion. It was accompanied by 60g wholemeal noodles. Usually, I sprinkle ordinary sesame seeds on top, but we ate the last ones yesterday. This would have benefitted from the inclusion of some protein – maybe next time I’ll add some quorn or aduki/adzuki beans.


My treat was a Greek yoghurt with a huge amount of cinnamon and some vanilla extract. I also ate four almonds! I think it’s good for me to have some dairy produce, but I try not to have too much.

As the main focus of my blog post is on nutrition again today, I thought I’d share an interesting article from Ben Greenfield: http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/01/how-to-figure-out-what-diet-is-right-for-you/ The essence of the article is that people in different locations have thrived on substantially different diets due to their genetic predispositions and that we’re being naïve to think that what is a good and healthy diet will necessarily be appropriate for us… which sounds reasonable, but the problem is I can’t see how we can find out what a healthy diet is for us (apart from by trial and error) without genetic testing, which isn’t readily available to most of us!

I also read a BT Sport survey that revealed that body insecurities are rife in women’ sport: http://sport.bt.com/womeninsport/bt-sport-survey-body-image-insecurities-rife-in-womens-sport-S11363867248465?s_cid=con_BTcomNews The survey struck a real chord with me as whilst most people agree that obesity isn’t healthy, the kind of ‘role models’ that the media often present us with are unhealthily thin. Judging people on their physical appearance is incredibly superficial – since when did someone need to be physically attractive/perfect to be a good sportsperson and healthy role model. I am probably fitter than most of my friends outside of my running club and I endeavour to eat healthily, but I am overweight and constantly compare myself to the unrealistic images that I see in the media. The following question and answers aligned with my views.

Do you think young women have a problem with body image, not just in sport but in wider society? If yes, what can we do about it?

Celebrate strength and fitness rather than image and clothing. Promote women from all sports, not just one or two attractive women from select sports which is what currently happens. Have a range of women broadcasting about sport, talking about fitness and health. Look at the way we educate our young women and the culture of PE in schools, which is not one of pushing young children to improve fitness. It is one of ticking a box of doing an hour of PE a week. We could teach girls to love the sport of fitness not just try and get them to do competitive sports.

Why don’t we herald Rebecca Adlington as a beauty? Joanna Rowsell? Why does Jess get the Marie Claire covers? It seems to be open season. If a man isn’t that attractive he just doesn’t get put on covers/photo shoots. If a women isn’t she is teased by comedians or made fun of via social media – as if it is part of the job description – how dare she not look gorgeous!!!

What is it going to take to force the media to change?

This evening, I’ve had another tantalising glimpse of my Team Soas Kit:

Team soas patch

Team Soas patch

I am so excited about it and just want it to arrive now! (I’m also hoping that when it does arrive, I’m not judged on how I look in it or my ability, but for my passion for sport and desire to support, encourage and inspire others!)

My GOTRIbal profile is live now: http://www.gotribalnow.com/content/gotribal-ambassadors How exciting!

Finally, I’ve got a great interview lined up for Friday this week, so check back then 🙂

What’s a #TWIET?

14 Jan

So, today marks the first day of #TWIET – Tweet What I Eat Tuesday. I’ll be sharing what I’m eating with you on Twitter (and here) in the hope that it shames me into making healthy choices. It will also be interesting to get some feedback from people on alternative (vegetarian) options that I could try. I also received (from my husband) a copy of ‘No Meat Athlete‘ just before Christmas, so I really should check out the advice and information in that when I’m planning my meals.

#TWIET isn’t an original idea of mine – I came across it on “Bitchcakes'” blog: http://www.sherylyvette.com/

I’ve created a storify about my day: https://storify.com/tamsynsmith/twiet but as it’s not possible to embed that here, I’ll also give you a brief pictorial run down of my day…

Blueberry protein porridge

Blueberry protein porridge

Lunch preparation

Lunch preparation

Kumquat salad

Kumquat salad

Tofu snack

Tofu snack

Sharon fruit (persimmon)

Sharon fruit (persimmon)

Caribbean rice

Caribbean rice

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

So, what do you think of my nutrition today?

Exercise-wise, I didn’t fulfil all of my goals. My first session of the day was an hour at the track with my Run Camp coach, Ant. It was tough getting there for 6:30am and the temperature was around freezing, so I had to scrape my car windscreen and there was ice on the track.

IMG_1762 IMG_1760  IMG_1758 IMG_1757

Like last week, we were divided into two groups. My group went first. We had to run for longer than last week – 4 minutes, with a 4 minute recovery after each one. Like last time, Jenny demonstrated her superior stamina, but I was not displeased with my performance. I managed to run just over 800m in the time, which also meant that I didn’t have to spend any of my recovery time walking back to the start.

After the running, we had to do some exercises – Romanian deadlifts, 20m jogging (to keep warm), hopping and walking lunges with a twist (and a kettlebell).

It all felt like hard work, so I hope that I start to see some good results this season!

I had hoped to go to my first turbo trainer session this evening, but I’ve had too much work to do to leave on time, so I’ve given myself a break tonight to allow me to blog and read a few other people’s blogs. The first blog post that caught my eye was from ‘Pipe Down Piper’ on motivational advice: http://pipedownpiper.com/2014/01/14/the-best-piece-of-motivational-advice-ive-ever-received-and-a-race-wrap-up/ I don’t want to reveal what the advice was, I just want to recommend that if you’re stressing out about an event, it’s worth bearing this particular guidance in mind!

The funniest advice that I’ve read on a blog this evening was about the importance of preparation, so that you have fewer excuses for not exercising. I know that today would have been less stressful if I’d organised myself yesterday evening by:

  • laying out my clothes for this morning’s exercise and today at work
  • fully preparing my breakfast (or packing something that I can eat at work – this used to be easier when there was a microwave available to me)
  • preparing my lunch
  • reattaching my panniers to my bike (I took them off to repair them)
  • packing my work bag

However, what made me laugh about the blog post that I read was that it appeared to have been written seriously and was recommending sleeping in your work out clothes if you are planning to do an early morning exercise session. I’ve tried sleeping in compression tights before (after my first marathon) and it wasn’t a great experience, so I will definitely not be sleeping in full sports kit. Have any of you ever tried that?

I also read an interesting blog post about ‘Creamy Mashed Cauliflower’ on The Iron You and it sounded so delicious that I’d like to try it: http://www.theironyou.com/2014/01/creamy-mashed-cauliflower.html I’m wondering whether I’ll be able to convince my cauliflower-hating husband to try it.

I’ve received entry confirmation for my first multisport event of 2014: Charlton Duathlon: http://trytri.co.uk/events/charlton-duathlon.aspx  I do hope that I have received my Team SOAS kit by then as there should be some pro photographers out on the course… although obviously, I need to factor in posing practice along with the other disciplines! 😉

A few people have asked me about GoTRIbal, so here’s one of their videos that explains a bit more:

Back to Southampton

13 Jan

I returned  to a hectic day at work, but before running I managed to read Chrissie Wellington’s latest blog post about body confidence: http://www.chrissiewellington.org/blog/new-years-musings-body-confidence/ Whilst I agree with her proposition that everyone has some issues with body confidence, there is a difference between being paranoid about what you look like and being acutely aware that you are a significantly larger build than the majority of your fellow athletes. I’ll try to bear in mind her suggestion that it’s how your body functions that is more important than what it looks like, but that’s difficult in an image-obsessed world!

I also read a really interesting blog post by Tough Mudder of 4, where she demonstrated how she has significantly increased her flexibility in a really short space of time. I’m concerned about how much flexibility I’ve lost since quitting gymnastics and karate, so I must start stretching again.

My Lordshill group did a sprints session tonight. As I wasn’t sure whether I would be back from Cornwall, Steve and Trevor had organised the session, which was good. There was a large turnout, which I guess was to be expected as lots of people have decided to take up running as a New Year’s resolution.

After running, I headed down to the swimming pool. The warm up has changed to 200m crawl, 100m kick, 200m crawl, then 100m pull. I did the first 500m before Coach Peter told us to stop. I was a little disappointed as pull is one of my favourite drills. I also had a little go at swimming underwater, and managed 17 strokes before I bumped into someone else’s feet!

The drills included swimming on our sides to work on body position and a new drill called the Popov drill, which is described here: http://www.triradar.com/training-advice/improve-body-roll/

I found it really difficult as I couldn’t work out when to breathe. Then we moved onto the main part of the session: 8x100m. We had to do 1 length easy, 2 lengths medium and 1 length fast. Coach Peter timed me on a fast length and told me that I had recorded the fastest time on a length: 24 seconds! I was really surprised. He also gave me his usual ‘praise’: “If only you could swim without breathing, you’d be really good!”

GoTRIbal Ambassador

GoTRIbal Ambassador

Finally, I found out that I have been selected as a GOTRIbal Ambassador. I don’t think this will conflict with anything else that I am doing – essentially, it is working with other women who are looking for support, connections and a network to help them lead healthy, active and adventurous lifestyles. I love encouraging people to network with others who are interested in health and fitness and the idea of being able to meet up with sporty women who are a similar ability to me anywhere in the world that I might go is fantastic… how many times have you been on holiday and wished that there were a local who could show you where you can run safely? Or just wanted someone in your local area to be able to train with?

[Apologies – I have had to disable comments on this page due to a high volume of spam!]