It’s a bit of a blogger tradition to share a yearly round-up, so I’m following suit and looking back over everything I’ve achieved this year. I already re-capped my Year of Running, but there has been so many more highlights. Personally, 2016 has been an epic year- it’s been an incredibly busy time with lots of opportunities, travel, racing and growth.
The year got off to an amazing start with a blogger trip to Nice, France for the Prom Classic 10k. I couldn’t actually take part in the race as I was still recovering from injury, but I met lots of lovely bloggers from across Europe and learnt more about the Kalenji brand. In January, I also began working with a triathlon coach towards my goal race for the year. I had a swimming assessment with Swim for Tri, to get some technique tips on improving my stroke.
In February, I found out I got into Ride London through the ballot. I took part in another cycling sportive and put in the miles on my BKOOL turbo trainer at home. Towards the end of the month, I got ill with a virus so it was a little quieter in terms of training.
I took part in my second Swimathon getting a PB- the advice from Duncan Goodhew must have really helped! I organised a pop-up smoothie station at Cycle Rhythm with Elle from Borrow My Blender. I shared some ideas on triathlon training camps, podcasts and cycling routes on the blog and attended a talk with legendary triathlon coach Brett Sutton.
April was a busy month! It started with another cycling event which was my longest ride at that point- 100km at the Spring Lambs sportive. I also climbed the O2 and visited the Triathlon Show in London. I celebrated my 32nd birthday by going for a ride inspired by the awesome Billie Fleming. This month was the official launch event for the This Girl Can Essex ambassadors where I met lots of other inspirational sporty ladies from my county. Later that month, I returned to my university town to run the Southampton 10k.
The triathlon season started with the Grafham Water Standard Distance– a bit of a disaster as I forgot my trainers! Training for my A race reached it’s peak with the ‘big training weekend’ set by my coach and then Cotswold course familiarisation day. In May, I also finally took the plunge and re-branded my blog from ‘Lucy Lunges’ to ‘Paddle Pedal Pace’- it was a bit of a labour of love re-directing everything but really revived my blogging mojo.
June was game-time: the Cotswold 113 Middle Distance Triathlon! I loved every minute of my half-ironman especially racing alongside my husband and brother. We spent three days in the Cotswolds after the race relaxing in the spa and visiting a farm. Getting back into training after my race, I went wild running in Bedgebury Forest. Glen raced at the National Championships at Leeds Castle, placing 5th in his age group. I marshalled at a duathlon hosted by my club at the Velopark.
Glen and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with a trip to Broadstairs. I took part in the Lee Valley Aquathlon and rode a few more sportives gradually increasing my mileage. Swimming became a big focus in July- I began attending 5.30am masters sessions and went to a talk by Beth French who is planning to swim the 7 most deadly Oceans in the world. The Club to Pub swim was one of the most enjoyable events I’ve taken part in, spending a summer’s evening swimming and relaxing in the pub with friends. Unfortunately, anxiety got the better of me and I didn’t start Ride London at the end of the month which in hindsight was the right decision.
My second time taking part in the London Triathlon and once again a super hot day for it! The Olympics got underway and I reflected on how I’ve changed since the 2012 games. I took part in a 24 hour relay run with a huge group of friends from my triathlon club, one of the laps was in fancy dress! Our club hosted our successful annual Aquathlon and I marshaled on the pool side counting laps. I had the chance to swim with professional triathlete Richard Stannard at a masterclass hosted by Fitness First.
More fun races and medals to round of the season in September- I took part in the Victoria Park 10k, Thorpe Park Triathlon and Serpentine Swim. I joined a new running club and began attending a track session at the end of the month to work on improving my speed. I shared my favourite open-water swimming venues on the blog.
I had the chance to spend four days cycling and hiking in Tenerife with a group of bloggers organised by Thomas Cook Airlines. It really was a fantastic trip and reminded me how lucky I am to receive these opportunities through my blog- the hard work does pay off! Glen raced at the Royal Parks Half Marathon earning a PB and I watched from the side lines hoping to run this race in future. Later that month, another break with another group of bloggers- this time climbing Snowdon in Wales. I tried out a new parkrun course and a new gym. I began planning my 2017 race calendar and shared the reasons why I won’t be doing an Ironman.
The month started with a short break to Bournemouth to celebrate a friend’s 40th. We were off again a few days later to Berlin where we cycling, walked, ran and explored the city. Towards the end of the month, I took part in a vision boarding workshop with A Lifetime Unlimited, which really helped to set my intentions and goals for the following year. I stepped down from my role as Communications Officer with Havering Tri after two years.
The festive season started with the Havering Tri awards night, which is always a great chance to get dressed up and celebrate our achievements. I had a much-needed Retul bike fit with Fit Your Bike– more on that later. I also found out I was shortlisted as a finalist in the Motion Nutrition Health and Fitness Influencer Awards.
How was your 2016?