Tag Archives: triathlon show

2014 race awards

18 Dec
For this post, I’ve linked up with Montana at Pretty Lil Mudder  and a few other fab fitness bloggers – be sure to check out their posts. Here are my 2014 race awards… drum roll, please…
Most Scenic Course
For me this award has to go to Lanhydrock parkrun It’s in a beautiful location, but as the course profile shows, it’s not an easy route:
Lanhydrock parkrun course profile
The event takes place on a National Trust property, which is a stunning old country house. This photo of the gatehouse shows just how magnficent it is.
Most Challenging Course
This was a difficult award to decide on. The profile of Lanhydrock parkrun made it a runner up, but overall, I decided to present it to Adidas Thunder Run. This event is a 24 hour relay on a 10k cross country course. It has lots of different sections: uphill, downhill, short grass, compact ground, mud. The weather conditions were also quite warm.  I ended up running 50k as part of a 7-person relay team.
Best Expo
This was a tough choice as the only races that tend to have expos in the UK are marathons, and I only ran one this year (Brighton). In the end, I decided to award it to the Triathlon Show with Primera Tri Expo as runner up.
 IMG_1966 IMG_1965 IMG_1964
Best Post-Race Food/Beverages
Braishfield 5 mile beer race – beer, cake and water – what more can I say?
Best Swag
This was another tough category to judge. The goodie bag at Brighton Marathon was good, but the prize has to go to Good Fri Tri, where finishers were not only given a medal, some dried fruit, a drink and their choice of free gift (mug and coaster; bike bottle or buff), but also a lovely Cadbury’s Easter egg 🙂
Good Fri Tri finishers

Stuart and I before collecting our Easter eggs

Most Unique Medal
I loved the ribbon on my Brighton Marathon medal, but probably the one that I liked most was from Eastleigh triathlon:
TryTri have custom medals for every race 🙂
Favorite Race Shirt (tech tee or reg)
I’ve not received many tshirts from races this year. I quite liked the Wiggle Spring Sportive tshirt, but the one that I’ve worn the most is the  Gu Energy Classic tshirt from Bustinskin. It’s a wicking cotton tshirt that was produced in both men’s and women’s sizes 🙂
GU tshirt
Favorite Overall Race
I really enjoyed taking part in Weymouth Half. An advantage of taking part in triathlons is that the order of the disciplines is the same as my confidence levels. I started the day feeling nervous, but my confidence soared when I was on the bike and although my run didn’t go quite as I’d hoped, the crowds were brilliant. The whole event was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.
Tamsyn running in Weymouth

It was such a relief to see the finish arch © Katherine Anteney

Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc)
I loved the crowd support at Weymouth Half… but there wasn’t a huge amount of support out on the bike course. I’m awarding this one to Brighton Marathon as I desperately needed the crowd support during this race and it didn’t let me down!
14 miles © Emily Smith

14 miles © Emily Smith

Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing
This has to be Weymouth Half – as someone who couldn’t swim 18 months before the race, it has taken a lot of hard work and determination to get to a stage where I could take part in this race. I also had various health battles this year, so I was proud to make the start line and even prouder to finish!
Lap 3 © Marathon-photos

Lap 3 © Marathon-photos

I’d recommend checking out which races my fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadors have presented their awards to:
Which events that you took part in this year would you give prizes to?

Weekend round up

2 Mar

It’s been another hectic weekend, where I’ve managed to cram in an awful lot and have no idea how I’ve managed it. I’ll try to keep this post briefer than the last one, but brevity is not my forte!

A while back, I answered a Triathlon Industry Association survey and was informed this week that I had won a pair of tickets to the Triathlon Show. As I already had quite a lot of activities planned and booked, I decided to go on Friday evening after I had finished work, as it was on until quite late. I was concerned that the traffic might be bad, but I thought the show was likely to be quieter than at the weekend. Fortunately, I was proved correct as there were very few people there by the time that Stuart and I arrived.

On arrival, we were given a goody bag with various samples in it including some Powerbar gel shots that I like, a nuun hydration tablet and some men’s shower gel


There were a lot of wetsuits and swimwear on sale. I’ve only ever worn my own 2XU wetsuit, but I’m perfectly happy with it, so I didn’t spend long looking at wetsuits. Stuart bought a new pair of goggles as he only owns one pair. I would have liked to look at goggles, but as I wear prescription ones, there would be no point. Maybe one day I’ll have laser surgery.


The Zoggs stand was in a prominent position near to the entrance and there were a couple of endless pools. I would love to have one (especially if I could have it set up with video cameras, so that I could analyse my technique). These were being used for demonstrations when we arrived, which was quite interesting, but as I already have many technique points to work on, I don’t think there are many other things that I could pick up on right now!

I was surprised at how few bikes were on display. We went to a local triathlon show in Bournemouth a few months ago (organised by Primera, a local bike store) and there were more bikes on display there. Stuart would love to have a new bike, but none of the ones that caught his eye had prices on display, which is never a good sign!


We hadn’t been at the show for long before we were accosted by a company called ‘Sport Stiks’ who sell number transfers, which are apparently ‘classier’ than a number written on with a marker pen. I agreed to have a number put on me in return for the chance to win a watch. I didn’t win and I learnt that the transfers are just as difficult to remove as pen (I had to do parkrun with mine on as I couldn’t scrub it off). The transfer didn’t work on Stu as his forearms are too hairy – within an hour it was impossible to read the number!


After we browsed some of the unusual swimwear that was on offer (do adult men really wear multicoloured holographic swimming trunks?!) I said to Stu that I’d really like the BlueSeventy swimming costume that I saw at the London Triathlon Expo. We found where the BlueSeventy stand was and I was pleased to see that the swimming costume was in stock.


It’s really striking and attractive, although it has a much lower back than any of the other swimsuits that I own. I think I may lose a few pounds before I wear it in public!

We also spent a while at the Alton Sports stand. You may have noticed that in many of my running photos (and all of my cycling pics) I have one of a selection of headbands on. Almost all of them are made by Bondi bands. I find them very comfortable and like the fact that they keep my ears warm, as I am prone to earache. The slogan below caught my eye, so I decided to treat myself to a new one:


Katherine had given Stuart and I stern instructions that w were to bring her back a present. I dithered about buying her a swimming hat with a Portuguese flag on it, but then thought a Bondi band would be a good choice. I couldn’t find one that said ‘Will run for CAKE’, but I thought that the one below perfectly demonstrated that Katherine isn’t picky as long as there’s some reward in it for her!


(I gave the headband to Katherine at parkrun, where she declared it as perfect for keeping her hair off her face when running. Unfortunately, by the time I saw her after the run she had already lost her gift. She had taken it off after running and thought she might have dropped it. She rummaged in her tights (where she stores her gloves), but couldn’t find it there, so we assumed that someone must have picked it up. Fortunately, when Katherine got home she found it in the sleeve of her jacket!)

The next item that I selected at Alton Sports was a new running belt. My belt is a couple of years old now and has a few problems – the only pocket that my phone will fit in is ripped and one zip won’t open, so it’s not much use. My friend Teri highly recommended her iFitness belt, so I thought I would get one of those. It has toggles for a race number, 6 loops for gels and a stretchy neoprene pocket that will fit my phone. (I never used to run with my phone, but now that I’m blogging, I’m trying to take a few more photos to make my posts more interesting).


I also bought a couple of bottles that fit onto my belt. This will make it more flexible than my current belt which has four hard plastic bottle holders.


I’ve tried running with an adidas race belt that Stuart has, but it hasn’t worked very well for me – I found that it was difficult for me to drink from the bottles, so I didn’t drink enough. I tried the new belt today whilst trying to do a long run and it seemed perfect. I carried one bottle and found that it was comfortable didn’t rub me at all (I had bad friction burns from Stu’s belt).

After we had finished investigating the main hall, we went upstairs and found out about a few triathlon holidays and races. There was one that caught my eye – the Midnight Wo/Man Long Distance Tri that takes place at night. It appeals to me as it’s on closed roads and it’s unlikely to be hot at night, so I’m less likely to overheat… but I’ve signed up for enough this year, so I’ll put it on my list of races for future years.

The last stop was the basement where the masseurs and nutrition products could be found.

Tucked away in a back corner was a shiny silver stand of Jack Oatbars.I tried a piece of a cranberry one and thought it was delicious. I then started chatting to the rep on the stand, who was impressed that I had already heard of the brand and followed them on Twitter. I then mentioned Chris Collins, which got me a free bar – thanks, Chris 🙂


The next stop was at the ShotBlok stand where I tried a few samples and then selected three packs of cherry with caffeine, one of tropical fruit and one of strawberry. That should be enough to get me through my training and marathon!


I was then lured in by the High5 stand as I like High5 gels. I bought a goody box with £23 of products in it for £5 – not a bad deal!


Finally, just before I left, I made a bit of an impulse purchase of a bike box. It had an impressive review in 220 Triathlon and was reasonably priced, so I decided that it would be a good buy. (I’m hoping to take two triathlon holidays this year, so it will be used twice).

Originally, I intended to do my long run on Saturday, but I was tired after my late night, so I decide to run for fun for a change.  It was a beautifully crisp and clear day with just a hint of frost.

IMG_1972  IMG_1974

As I’ve been overheating whilst running, I just wore shorts and a t-shirt, which was comfortable. As you can see, it wasn’t a fast run, but the lack of pressure meant that I enjoyed the run far more than most of the runs I’ve done recently:


It took me nearly 30 minutes to do 5km, but I enjoyed a chat with Teri. Despite finishing in position 392, there were over 100 people behind me!


In the afternoon, I used a voucher that I had for Sweatshop to buy a new t-shirt.


It fits well and is really comfortable. A bonus is that it matches a pair of purple shorts that I have but don’t wear very often!

I also managed to fit in an opticians appointment, where I was pleased to learn that my eyes are healthy and my eyesight hasn’t changed and I finally managed to get my hair cut. I’ve gone for a slightly different style, although as most people only ever see me with my hair tied up (or I’ve got on a swimming hat/bike helmet) I don’t expect many people will notice. Now I just need to hear back from my doctor.

CC6 at Wilverley Plain

CC6 at Wilverley Plain

Today I knew I had to fit in a long run and I also wanted to do the final cross-country race of the season. In the end, I compromised. I picked up my friend Tim who I haven’t seen much recently, but who got me through the toughest parts of my first marathon. We then ran the CC6 at our own paces before meeting up afterwards with Sarah (another club runner) for a ‘long run’.

Tim, Sarah and I after our run

Tim, Sarah and I after our run

Originally, I wanted to do 20 miles, but I’m trying to be realistic about what I can do when I’m not 100%. I also know that it’s harder to run long after racing and the terrain for the cross-country race was tough – not only was it very hilly, but it was also muddy and slippery almost all of the way around. In the end, our run totalled about 12 miles. In the past, I might have been disappointed with that, but I need to be kinder to myself.

IMG_1989 IMG_1988 IMG_1987

So, overall, it’s been a busy weekend, but I feel much more motivated that I’ll be able to get back on track this week with both training and blogging 🙂

One year in and the momentum has stalled

1 Mar

I had hoped that I was back to blogging, but I’ve not been well recently, which has had a couple of knock on effects – firstly, I’ve not had the energy to do much exercise and secondly, I’ve been too tired to blog. I’ve been to see my doctor for some blood tests and will be discussing the results with her next week. I suspect that it may be anaemia that has left me feeling listless (although glandular fever [mononucleosis] is another possibility). In turn, this has led me to making a lot of unhealthy choices. I’m hoping that I will feel better soon and make the right choices. I’m now 1.5lbs away from being as heavy as I was when I first joined Weight Watchers at 29 years old. I need to get back to being 30lbs lighter!

Krispy Kreme

I ‘treated’ myself to a Krispy Kreme doughnut and hot chocolate after I went for a blood test as I had been fasting for over 12 hours

As I’m trying to get back up to date, I’m going to break this post into short sections, so apologies if it doesn’t read well.

Valentine’s Day

Graduation Ball 1998

Graduation Ball 1998

I wasn’t well for Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t really get into the spirit of things. I had bought Stu a small gift, but I failed to buy a card. Hopefully, he knows how much I love him anyway. I shared the photo from my graduation ball on Facebook and was surprised that it received 84 likes, which is probably more than almost anything else I’ve ever posted. I’ve changed shape since then and gained a few wrinkles… and Stu and I have both had quite a few inches cut off our hair!!!

Virtual Running UK Blog Hop

Earlier this week, Virtual Running UK tweeted to let me know about their Run Blog Hop. I’d never heard of a Blog Hop before, so I had to google what it meant. Essentially, a blog hop is when a group of bloggers post about a topic and share links to the other blogs so readers can go to them. It usually takes place in a set time frame.

Virtual Running UK

I’d forgotten that yesterday was the end of the month. I think my fastest 5km has probably been 27:44, which was my time for the first 5km of Bramley 20 (which you can read about later in this post!). Is anyone else joining in with this blog hop? Please post a comment if that’s why you’ve stopped by here today 🙂

IDEA Inspired Blogger

I’m also delighted to have been chosen as an IDEA Inspired Blogger. There is now an IDEA Inspired Blogger page with my photo and link to my blog here: http://www.ideafit.com/inspired-bloggers. It’s really exciting to be part of this network:

The IDEA Inspired Blogger program is designed to recognize bloggers who inspire and motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Around the World Running Blog Relay

A while back I signed up to take part in an Around the World Running Blog Relay. We’re trying to see how many miles/kms running bloggers can log in March and April. Are you in?


Although I’ve not had enough time (or energy) to get back to lunchtime yoga sessions at work, I finally went back to one of Wai’s ‘Yoga for Runners’ classes on Friday. It wasn’t a particularly demanding class, which was brilliant as I needed a gentle reintroduction!


I’ve been really struggling with my swimming recently. I’ve been able to battle on with my running whilst being unwell, but I’ve not got the swimming background to enable me to do that. I’ve finding it really hard to breathe, which has meant that doing more than 25m at a time has been really hard. I left one training session halfway through, which made me feel like I was letting myself and my coach down, I missed another session and although I trained on Monday this week, I took lots of rest. I really hope that I get well soon as I hate finding swimming this difficult.

Brighton Marathon

As I’ve been ill and my training has suffered, I’ve started to worry about Brighton Marathon. Originally, I had hoped that I would be able to complete it in 4:15, but I’ve now had to wave goodbye to that as being unrealistic. I’m still going to do the race and have every intention of finishing it, but should probably be happy with anything under 5 hours now.

Bramley 20 Mile

The night before Bramley 20 mile, I had the opportunity to catch up with two friends who I haven’t seen for a long time. This meant that I had to get my stuff ready before I went out.

Bramley 20 preparation

Bramley 20 preparation

I picked up all sorts of gels and drinks as well as making peanut butter sandwiches on granary bread and buying chocolate milk for afterwards.

I drove up to the race quite early. It was strange being on my own in the car as usually Stu comes to races with me and we often car share with other runners. After I arrived at the venue, I met up with a few other Lordshillers and was able to meet up with Teri as we had agreed to run together. We had enough time for a selfie before we had to line up. Teri was originally wearing a long-sleeved top under her charity vest as well as long tights and a buff, whereas I just had on a t-shirt and shorts, so Teri decided to remove her long-sleeved top at the last minute. Although it was quite cool, the sun was out and I’ve had problems with overheating recently, so I wanted to wear as little as possible.

Before the start of Bramley 20

Unfortunately, the race did not go as planned. I decided to go out strong from the start as that technique had served me well two years ago when I got a massive PB, but it wasn’t long before I started to feel warm. By 5 miles I was overheating, which is a bit worrying only a quarter of the way into a race, especially as it was below 7 degrees (<45 F). I decided to see how I felt when I got to 10 miles as I could drop out at that point if necessary.

By the time I got to 10 miles I was struggling, but I was also determined… I knew I had to do a 20 mile run as part of my marathon training and it would be easier to keep going than try to do it on another day. By 13 miles, I felt really sick. I managed to get Teri and Luana to go on without me, so that I was able to slow down and drink more.

I drank a lot of water as well as taking on energy gels, so I don’t think I was dehydrated, but by 16 miles, my fingers were so badly swollen that I was unable to curl them. I felt rough, but was still hoping that I could beat my time from last year (3:27). By 18 miles, I realised that I wasn’t going to beat 3:27, but I didn’t want to keep my friends waiting for too long as I had promised Teri a lift home.

I finally finished the race in 3:30, which was a big disappointment for me, but at least it had fulfilled it’s purpose, which was as a training run.

After Bramley 20

After Bramley 20

After the race, I had a stretch, got changed and drank some of my milk. I also tried to eat my sandwiches, but I just didn’t want them.

Overall, Bramley 20 is a great race, with lots of snacks in the goody bag and an attractive medal. It is also well-signposted and has some great marshals… although it’s sad that these signs were required after some people’s actions last year:

Signs at Bramley 20

Signs at Bramley 20

Bramley 20 race medal

Bramley 20 race medal

Last weekend’s long run

Despite not feeling up to it, I forced myself to go out for a long run with Teri on Saturday. I needed to do 15 miles and I wanted to include parkrun as it was Stuart’s 100th run. Teri blogged about the run here: http://gingergirlrunning.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/a-week-off-training-week-10/

Stretching on my long run with Teri

Stretching on my long run with Teri ©Teri Pragnell

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan our route well and wasn’t moving very quickly, so we didn’t manage to run 12 miles before parkrun. After we had finished parkrun, we needed to do another loop, so we picked up Steve and then continued on our run.

Teri and I after parkrun

Teri and I after parkrun © Teri Pragnell

Teri was on great form and managed a blistering pace at parkrun, but I ran significantly more slowly and struggled with it. I was glad that we had some extra company for the final loop, so that I didn’t have to talk as I was so out of breath. I was also starting to feel uncomfortable… fortunately, for you, the image above is quite dim as my shorts were very short. They look lovely, but the lack of fabric meant that I had a bit of chafing 😦

My birthday

It was my birthday last week, so I originally planned to spend the weekend celebrating, however, as I was feeling ill, we kept it low key.

I tried some lovely Brooks Pureflow shoes a few weeks ago and really liked them, but when I went to buy them, I found that I could only get them in black. Fortunately, after a bit of pleading Alton Sports managed to get me a pair in a beautiful shade of turquoise. I really hope that they look good with my Team SOAS kit… I know that the fit is more important than the colour, but I love it when my clothes match and nothing’s going to change that!!!

New Brooks shoes

I’m fortunate enough to have very kind and generous friends and relatives – here’s a snap of just a few of the cards and gifts that I received 🙂

My birthday presents and cards

My birthday presents and cards

One of the first presents that I opened was a lovely running top from my brother-in-law and his family:

New running top

New running top from Paul, Cheryl, Maya, Aaron and Nathan

Then I opened a present from Stu. It’s a lovely Castelli cycling top. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Castelli Flamma jersey

Castelli Flamma jersey from Stuart

One of the gifts from my in-laws was a pair of seal skinz socks. Stuart gave me a pair a while ago, but we can’t find them, so I’m very glad to have these as a replacement!

Some fasntastic sealskinz waterproof socks from Brian and Sally

Some fantastic sealskinz waterproof socks from Brian and Sally

I also received lots of presents that are not related to sports!

On Saturday afternoon, Stuart, Katherine and I went ice-skating. It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual as I felt really tired and was struggling to stay awake. It was also very busy as it was the end of half term week and people were also feeling inspired after the Winter Olympics in Sochi!

Embrace Sports

I’ve received lots of exciting parcels recently, one of which was my Embrace Sports kit that I ordered back in December. It’s a bit chilly here for me to wear the shorts on my bike, but I should be able to wear the top with my Wiggle bib tights and some black arm warmers until the weather gets better. (Although, I should be able to wear the shorts when I’m on the turbo trainer!)

IMG_1955 IMG_1956

World Book Night 2014

Ok, so this isn’t related to running, cycling, swimming or eating, but I thought I’d share it anyway. I’ve been selected as a World Book Night giver for 2014 🙂 I’ll be handing out copies of ‘Black Hills’ by Nora Roberts on 23rd April. I read it on holiday a few years ago and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a fun novel to distribute. If any of you are likely to see me between 23rd April and the start of May and would like to receive a copy, please let me know.

Charlton Duathlon and Winchester Duathlon

My first multisport event of the year was going to be Charlton Duathlon, but it was cancelled. It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as I’ve been so ill that I don’t think I would have been able to do it (or at least to perform well). I now have to hope that I’m well enough to do Winchester Duathlon later on this month. It was my first ever multisport event last year, so I’m hoping that I smash my time.

The guys at Try Tri challenged me to ‘trinominate’ some people to get involved in triathlons this year. I had to get into an unusual position and then ‘trinominate’ people to make a video. If you want to know what I sound like (and see the beautiful location where I was brought up), watch the video on Facebook.


Now that we’re into March, it’s getting tantalisingly close to my kit arriving – I can’t wait!

Team SOAS kit update

Team SOAS kit update – it will be arriving soon!

I just love the detail that has gone into every aspect of this kit. Look how gorgeous the arm warmers are!

SOAS arm warmers

I also had a moment of fame on the Team SOAS Racing Blog:

I've achieved fame on the Team SOAS website!

I’ve achieved fame on the Team SOAS website!

If you pop along and visit there, you might spot me: http://teamsoasracing.com/our-athletes.html

November Project

This is something really cool that I read about online this week. Have you heard of it before? It seems to have similar aspirations to parkrun:

November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability (verbal) to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. Our members vary from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, current and former collegiate athletes all the way to complete fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes just looking to kickstart their healthy life choices. If you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what the fuss is all about.

You can read more about it here: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/11/november-project-free-fitness

If anyone lives in the Southampton area and meets the criteria to set this up locally, then I’d love to join in!


I’ve had a few problems with my hybrid bike recently (which were exacerbated by the number of trees that I’ve had to carry it over… it’s been very windy here), so I’ve not been cycling to work every day. Anyway, I recently learned about two useful websites:

  • Veloviewer.com This website makes it easy to extract data from Strava.
  • Tapiriik.com This website syncs your data with Strava, GarminConnect, RunKeeper, DropBox, Training Peaks and Sport Tracks.

Breeze Bike Champion

I’ve signed up to become a Breeze Bike Champion, so that I can encourage other women to go out cycling. The training is in a couple of weeks’ time and I’m really looking forward to it.

Well, sorry that’s all a bit of a jumble. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post another update tomorrow!