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I managed a sprint tri in the space of a week

13 Nov Fitness instructor course materials

I really thought that I was going to get back into a routine of work, training and blogging with M starting nursery… but three weeks in and her attendance is 25% 😦 The poor thing has picked up every illness going and shared it with the household, so I’ve not had a lot of free time.

One thing I have been doing is getting out on my bike. I’m really enjoying my cycle commute – I had forgotten how much I love my quick trip to work, although it’s definitely more challenging with a trailer – and the logistics of adding it on and removing it have taken a bit of getting used to.

I’ve got back to doing a bit of swimming, starting off with a lunchtime swimming session with Liz and then a week later, I did a 1 hour swim set on my own. I really need to plan my swimming sessions more carefully (and ideally swim more than once a week). Hopefully, I’ll soon be able to swim at the weekend as Stu and I are planning to take M to the pool on Sundays. It would be good to also schedule a midweek swim session.

Last week we went to Southampton parkrun, where I had a steady run. I spoke to a few people on the way around and was pleased that my time wasn’t terrible.

parkrun 04 Nov 2017

This week it was my turn to run with the buggy, so I joined Rachel, Phil and Felix. We started off at a slow pace because of the congestion, but definitely picked it up by the end of the run. I’m not as fit as I was, so it felt really difficult.

parkrun results 11 Nov 2017

I love the chance to talk to so many friends at parkrun. I had a quick catch up with my friend, Teri, and we agreed that we need to schedule in some social runs. We discussed perhaps going for a run on Sunday morning, but I decided to have a lie in instead. It was the right decision as I felt shattered.

On Saturday afternoon, we drove down to Bournemouth to go to the Primera Cycle Expo at the BIC. I’ve been a couple of times before and have picked up some real bargains. This time, there was a lot of Sugoi kit for sale at bargain prices (£5 per cycle jersey and £10 for shorts!)… but everything was in enormous sizes, which was disappointing. Maybe we needed to go earlier in the day. After checking out the reduced kit, Stu, M and I walked around and had a look at the bikes. I still really like the look of Kuota bikes and the paintwork on some of the Specialized bikes was gorgeous… but what really caught my eye were the adorable Cannondale Lefty balance bikes. A sales assistant kindly got out an Allen key and put the saddle down so that M could have a go. She is still a tiny bit short, but I think by Easter, it may be possible for her to have a balance bike. (However, I can’t afford to fork out £200, so it’s more likely to be a bike from Decathlon than a new Cannondale!)

Cannondale Lefty balance bike

One of the most exciting parts of my weekend was visiting Bournemouth University to pick up some course materials. Next weekend, I  take the first step on a new career path (although I love my job as a learning designer and can’t see me quitting that any time soon!) I’m going to be doing a course to become a Fitness Instructor, so I’ve been busy studying anatomy and physiology in preparation for the course. It’s a bit challenging as I haven’t studied any biology since the age of 13, but I’m really motivated and excited to be learning.

Fitness instructor course materials

On Sunday afternoon, Reena and Mike came over to collect the Mountain Buggy running buggy that we took to Australia. I hope they enjoy running with it as much as we did. Like me, Reena has a place in London Landmarks Half.

Afterwards, we went and watched some of the cyclocross at Southampton Outdoor Sports Centre. I had planned to watch the event a year ago, but ended up back in hospital that afternoon instead, so I was pleased that I got to see some of the action as well as meeting friends.

In the evening, I read that there will be a new route for Southampton 10k, half marathon and marathon in 2018, which sounds exciting. I loved running the marathon this year, but I think I’ll drop back to the half in 2018 as I’ll be running a marathon in July and don’t want to have to sustain the training for that long.

Hopefully, things will settle down a bit for me in the new few weeks and I’ll be able to get into the swing of regular swimming, cycling and running with a yoga class thrown in for good measure. It’s not going to be easy fitting in blogging and studying, but I’m sure I’ll find a way!

Because of baby M’s illness, I’ve not been online much this week, so I was late to visit Rafflecopter to draw the winners of Haseeb Ahmad’s book From Blind Man to Ironman – apologies! The lucky winners who will each receive a copy of the book are:

Sarah Wakely

Michelle Dorrington

Congratulations, ladies! The books will be in the post to you very soon 🙂


Please vote for me…

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

Fat Girl to Ironman has been nominated in The 2018 Running Awards and I’d love it if you would vote for me.

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

Vote for Fat Girl to Ironman.

If you vote in 5 different categories you’ll receive a 10% discount with the top Online Running Retailer of 2017!

Thank you 🙂

Lee on Solent parkrun and some info about Hants Run Blogs

17 Jun The sea at Lee on Solent

Southampton parkrun was cancelled today because a large event (Gung Ho!) was taking place right across the Common, so this gave Stuart and I the chance to do a bit of parkrun tourism. I’d like to try the new(ish) event at Whiteley, but I knew that would be busy, then I got an invitation that I couldn’t refuse…

Fellow blogger Roger from I Run Off Road put out a call on Twitter inviting Hampshire running and tri bloggers to a meet up at Lee on the Solent parkrun – perfect timing!

Stuart, M and I drove to my friend Sarah’s house before parkrun and then we all walked to the start of the event together. I had no idea that Sarah lives so close to the beach – that’s definitely something that I miss about where I live now. We had time for a bit of a chat before Roger arrived to meet us. It was a bit like a blind date situation – I’d explained that I would be wearing a purple parkrun t-shirt and would have a red running buggy and Roger described his white North Devon marathon t-shirt.

Roger found me before the start of the run and we had a brief chat before the run started.

Sarah and I had positioned ourselves terribly – we were trapped at the back and could not run around anyone – so we took the opportunity to chat.

I think Lee on Solent parkrun has doubled in size since I last ran there, so it felt extremely congested. I was also feeling congested (thanks hay fever!), so a slow run was probably a sensible option.

After the first turnaround, the path didn’t feel as busy, so we were able to pick up the pace a bit. We were right by the sea and the water looked stunning, but there really wasn’t a breeze, which surprised me.

Tamsyn and SarahTamsyn and Sarah

Towards the end, Sarah started picking up the pace, so I felt that I should keep pace with her. I’m glad it was only a 5k and not a 10k, otherwise she might have killed me!

The sea at Lee on Solent

I really wanted to go for a paddle or a swim.

Selfie with Sarah

I take the worst selfies!

Overall, it wasn’t one of my speediest runs, but it was definitely fun.

Lee on Solent parkrun 17 June 2017

Afterwards, we met up with Roger and went to the cafe for some well-earned refreshments and the chance to talk about blogging. If you are a running or triathlon blogger in Hampshire, please get in touch with @hantsrunblogs on Twitter. Roger and I would love to link up with more like-minded local bloggers and try to organise some blogging meet ups, perhaps with guest speakers.

Did you know that it’s Women’s Sports Week from 19th-25th June? I’ve pledged to take part in a variety of activities:

My pledge for women's sports week

If you’re female, are you going to pledge to get involved? (If you’re male, maybe you could agree to exercise with a female friend or relative).

Missing in Action

11 Jun Drowning


Hi! I’ve not been blogging much recently for a variety of actions. I’ve been desperately trying to stay afloat and I’m not managing it very well.

I really appreciate everyone who reads my blog and especially those of you who take the time to comment, but I need to acknowledge why I started this blog – as a way to keep myself accountable. I’ve also found it therapeutic to be able to write things down, but I’m struggling to find the time at the moment.

I articulated my goal in February 2013 as being to complete an Iron distance triathlon within 5 years. At the moment I feel like I’m a long way away from that, but perhaps I need to ‘big myself up a bit’:

  • Swimming: I completed a 17.5km swim in 2015 and even managed a 5km pool swim this year off the back of next to no training. When I started this challenge, I couldn’t even swim 25m crawl
  • Cycling: At the start of this challenge, I hadn’t cycled much and had never ridden a road bike. I’ve only cycled outside 5 times this year (a gentle ride to parkrun, a 10 mile TT, a triathlon and two short rides with friends), so I need to get on top of this if I’m going to complete RideLondon this year.
  • Running: This feels like my biggest success. In the past month, I’ve set new PBs at a number of distances, including 1 mile (7:10); 5km (23:40) and marathon (4:14:44).
  • Triathlon: I’ve managed to get a PB in a sprint triathlon so far this year and am still hopeful that I can take part in a longer distance event in the autumn.

However, even with those achievements, I’m feeling a bit lost at the moment and as if my identity is fracturing. I’m trying to fulfil all of the following roles:

  • mother
  • wife
  • learning designer
  • parkrun Run Director
  • Tri Club member and press officer
  • blogger
  • running coach

I feel that I’m just about managing to be a wife and mother and I manage to fit in being a Run Director, but the rest of it is all falling apart, so I need to come up with some strategies to get it back together again. One idea I have is to try to do one thing a day on my blog. It might not be writing a full blogpost, but I need to get back on top of things.

Sorry if I’ve let anyone down – onwards and upwards.


158 Best Outdoor Blogs, Instagram and Twitter Accounts in 2017 (as chosen by Winfields Outdoors)

3 Feb

Winfields Best Outdoors Blogs 2017

Winfields Outdoors recently published the 158 Best Outdoors Blogs, Instagram & Twitter Accounts to follow in 2017. It was lovely to learn that Fat Girl to Ironman has been included on this list as there are some blogs that I realy admire there.

If you’re looking for some new inspiration, please check out the lists and some of the other blogs.






Do you want to be a SOAS Ambassador?

27 Sep

I’ve been a SOAS Ambassador since 2014, and have loved being on the team. The brand is led by strong female triathletes, who really know what women want from their kit (comfort AND style), and the other ambassadors (who are spread around the world) have some great stories. If you’d like to join us for 2017, why not apply? You have until the end of October to get your application in.


If you’re male and want some of the action, then you could apply to join the first ever Hansym Racing Ambassador team.



Another award – thank you :-)

31 Aug

Running 200

Thanks to the feedspot panel for including Fat Girl to Ironman in their list of Top 200 Running Blogs. These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Yet again, my blog is in great company. If you’re searching for running inspiration, make sure that you check out some of the other blogs on the list!


Excitement on Social Media

11 Aug

The last three weeks have been pretty exciting for me on social media. First of all, at the end of July I learnt that Fat Girl to Ironman had been added to the Vuelio Top 10 UK Sports Blogs, which was a big surprise, especially given the prestigious company I was in. Please check out the blogs on that list.

Vuelio Sports Blogs UK Top 10 Vuelio Top 10 screenshot of FGTI

Then this week, I heard from WIMI Sports and Fitness who gave included this blog on their 50 Best Women’s Running Blogs to Start Reading Now.

WIMI 50 Best Women's Running Blogs

29: Fat Girl to Ironman

Look at that – sandwiched between a couple of amazing blogs! 🙂

I was familiar with a lot of blogs on this list, but have enjoyed spending the last couple of evenings going through the list and subscribing to lots amazing running blogs.

Which blogs are your favourites and why?



The Bloggers’ Lounge Awards

30 Jan

On Wednesday, I had a day off work. I planned to have a nice lie in before catching up with my blog and having a restful morning, but things never seem to work out the way I plan them.

I managed to sleep in… but was so tired that by the time I had showered and eaten breakfast, I had to rush to the hairdressers. After I’d had my hair done, I decided to pop into town to try to buy some new shoes to go with my new top and jeans. I don’t often wear heels, so I didn’t want to spend a lot, but I was quite specific about what I wanted. Fortunately, I managed to find exactly what I wanted and even better they were in the sale.

Next stop was the phone shop. I’ve been paying a ridiculous amount for my old phone that is out of contract, so I picked up a nice sparkly new phone 😀 I then treated myself to cauliflower cheese in Pret a Manger (* it’s a treat as I still don’t have an oven!) before rushing home.

Unfortunately, by the time I got back and hung up the laundry, it was time for me to get changed, so the blogging had to be postponed 😦 (I don’t think that Bloggers’ Lounge advises you to prioritise laundry over blogging, but I’m sure they appreciate people with clean clothes! On a serious note, if you are a blogger and want some really helpful advise, please visit the site as it has so many fantastic tips!)

Stu arrived home and we both got changed. I spent a while putting on my make up (a hateful task – I can’t believe so many people do it every day!) and then we set off.

I’d wanted to go by train, but there were rail replacement buses to Basingstoke, so we decided to drive there before getting the train to Waterloo. I spent the entire journey trying to get my new phone set up, but failed miserably, which is why I took so few photos on the night.

After arriving at Waterloo, Stu and I got the tube to Piccadilly and had a quick meal in Jamie’s Diner before heading to the Grace Bar. It was a moment of novelty for both of us when we were asked to produce ID – I can’t imagine it’s because we looked too young to enter the venue!

We were given a lovely glass of bubbles and then it was time to start mingling – aarrgghh! I love chatting to people when I know what we have in common, but I’m really bad at striking up conversations for the first time. I kept looking for a moment to start talking to someone, but suddenly felt completely tongue-tied, so I was relieved when we were asked to take out seats.

Bloggers' Lounge Awards 2015

After a couple of minutes, I managed to strike up a conversation with the couple next to us – I think he was the blogger behind ‘Gadgety News’, but I’m so terrible at networking that I didn’t make a note :’-( [If you’re a blogger who introduces yourself to me, please do give me your card so that I don’t forget who you are!]

It was then onto the awards.

I suddenly realised just how nervous I was feeling when the Health and Fitness finalists were listed on screen:

Health and Fitness nominees

Then the winner was announced – ME! I got up and tried to stride to the front of the room with confidence (whilst not falling over in my heels or flashing my new blue undies). I was so shocked that I was shaking.

Rebecca presented me with my trophy and then asked me if I wanted to say a few words – I can now think of a thousand things that I would like to say, but at the time nothing sprang to mind except fear, which is odd as I enjoy public speaking when I’m prepared – my ungracious response was, “No!” If I could change one moment of the evening, that would be it!

A few photographs were then taken and I sat back to enjoy the rest of the awards ceremony.

Receiving my award

When I got back to my seat, I managed to take a single rubbish photo to share on Facebook before my phone died 😦

First glimpse of my trophy

Since getting home, I’ve read some stats about the awards: “…we had over 750 entrants, and 10,000 votes (!!) and only 70 finalists…” OMG! There were 14 winners out of 750 nominees and I was one of them!

Afterwards it was time to mingle. I really enjoyed chatting to Liz O’Riordan who presented the award for best charity blog. Liz herself is a blogger (Breast Surgeon with Breast Cancer) and she’s also a triathlete, so we definitely had something in common. I really appreciate the fact that Liz came over and talked to me as I was feeling a little lost and she really made me feel more at ease.

Then I met Catherine (Not Dressed as Lamb) and Mirka (Fitness 4 Mamas). They both looked absolutely gorgeous and did make me think that I need to work on looking a bit more polished this year!

Next up Stu and I had a fantastic conversation with interior design blogger Doris Lee from Laidback Living. She was so funny and refreshing… and when I finally get onto home renovations, I’ll be taking some style advice from her blog (as a side note, I’m hoping that in a month’s time I’ll have a functioning kitchen, but I’ll be so broke that I’ll have no money for decorating and no time with triathlon training).

I also managed a few words with Natalie from Fit and Gluten Free, but didn’t manage to catch up with her again, which was a shame. Natalie has written a great blogpost about her day at the awards.

Finally it was time to leave. Each finalist was given an amazing bag packed with fantastic goodies from the sponsors:

My trophy

IMG_6696I can’t wait to try everything and know that the Dryu bag will be particularly useful for me 🙂

So, all that remains for me to say in this post is


without your votes, this would never have happened. It has been a completely amazing (and slightly overwhelming) experience for me and I’m truly grateful to everyone who voted for me.


Read the official post about the Bloggers’ Lounge Awards 2015.

OMG! Thank you supporters :-D

17 Nov

It’s been a couple of weeks since I heard this news, but so much has been happening (the little matter of moving house immediately followed by a holiday/training camp) that I’ve not had much time to blog.


2015 UK Blog Awards Sports Blog Winner

I am immensely grateful to everyone who voted for me, and even more so to all of the people who endure my blogging addiction – in particular my partner, Stu, who is neglected whilst I type on our sofa, and my running and cycling friends who have to endure multiple selfies on each excursion ‘for my blog’ (the swimmers are spared that torture!) It really is an honour that so many of you cared enough to vote for me 😀

This news has just been topped off by finding out that I am one of five finalists in another Blogging Award:

Bloggers’ Lounge Blogger of the Year 2015 Awards: Health and Fitness Blogger of the Year

Bloggers' Lounge Finalist - Health and Fitness

Bloggers’ Lounge Finalist – Health and Fitness

I know I’ve spent the last few weeks asking for your support, but I’m hoping that you will support me once again – every click counts!

It feels like so much is falling into place at the moment, and I’ve so many exciting plans for 2016 (which will all be shared on here very soon!) As I believe that good things come in threes, I’ve decided to push my luck just a little bit further…

I've just entered the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16

Don’t worry – if anything comes of it, I won’t be asking for your votes until at least next year 😉