Outdoor, walking, hiking and camping blogs

4 Feb Winfields Best Outdoor Blogs 2018

Thank you to Winfields Outdoors for listing Fat Girl to Ironman as one of “the best outdoor, walking, hiking and camping bloggers you need to follow in 2018.”

Winfields Best Outdoor Blogs 2018

There are some fantastic blogs and bloggers in the list, so it’s worth checking out if you want to find some new reading material 🙂

Monday Morning Motivation: Colin McCourt and goal-setting

29 Jan Colin McCourt in his prime and in early 2017

So we’re nearly a month into 2018 and many people who subscribe to the ‘New year, new you!’ philosophy, but simply wish for change aren’t making it happen.

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? How are they going? Did you plan ahead and have a clear goal? Depending on your long-term goal, you may need to break it into a series of short-term goals to make it achievable. You should also make your goals SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achieveable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

A great example of someone who set a SMART goal and followed it through in 2017 is the former GB 1500m international runner Colin McCourt.

McCourt had retired after failing to make the London Olympics in 2012. In the intervening period, he put on weight, rising to almost 15 stone (210lbs/95kg).

After seeing an old photo of himself in his international vest, he couldn’t believe how much he had changed. It prompted discussion with some of his old running buddies and he took a bet in 2017 that he could run under 16 minutes for 5k within a year. The forfeit would be to tattoo the names of his 17 friends who laid the bet on his body. Or if he accomplished the feat he would collect a tidy £100 from each. This was no easy feat. His last recorded run had been a 24 minute parkrun in early 2016.

With the added pressure of his journey being documented through social media and an on-line blog, there was no escape. Yet, on Saturday 18 November, Colin McCourt did it. He clocked 15:38 at a race in Burnley to bring a happy ending to the tale.

After reaching his goal, he told Athletics Weekly: “In eight months I’ve gone from a 24-minute 5km runner to a 15:38 5km runner. It has been a mental year. It just shows that if you can just run and do little sessions and tempos, you can take it to the next level if you want to. It’s just believing in yourself and doing it.”

Colin McCourt

McCourt’s next challenge is to try to break 2:30 for the marathon – follow his progress on Instagram.



To read more, visit:

Prize draw…

27 Jan Haseeb Ahmad running with a guide

You might remember that I posted a review of Haseeb Ahmad’s autobiography a short while ago.

Haseeb is running a fantastic prize draw on his blog, so if you want to be in with the change of winning an amazing goody bag, make sure you visit: https://haseebblindironman.com/blogs/prizedraw/

Swimathon 2018 – #SwimForAll

25 Jan Swimathon ambassadors

After my morning at Tilgate parkrun, I took a train to London Bridge and then got on the underground to Stratford – destination: the London Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park!

ArcelorMittal Orbit day time

I was going to meet most of the other Swimathon Ambassadors and some very special guests.

London Aquatic Centre

The London Aquatics Centre is an amazing place to swim – I just wish it were my local pool!

I arrived just in time for the start of the ambassadors session and was introduced to the host team, which consisted of staff from Limelight Sports, Freestak and Marie Curie as well as the media team and some special guests. The different agencies explained their roles and then we had some time to mingle before being taken off with the media team in pairs.

Each of us recorded some short pieces to camera about why we wanted to be involved in Swimathon. I think that swimming is a great form of exercise for everyone as well as being a potentially life-saving skill. Swimathon is a great organisation and I’m committed to the charities which it is supporting: Marie Curie and Cancer Research… my father passed away from oesophageal cancer when I was 24, so it is something that made a great mark on my life.

Selfie at Aquatic Centre

A quick selfie… I wish I’d had time to do my hair properly after parkrun!!!

Swimathon ambassadors

Posing with Fiona and Wanda.

After my interview, there was a bit more time for chatting and learning about each others’ stories over a cuppa. We also got to see Duncan’s Olympic medal… it might be nearly 38 years old but neither the achievement nor the medal are tarnished!

Duncan Goodhew's gold medal

Next up was a master class on swimming technique with legendary open water swimmer Keri-anne Payne. Keri-anne and her husband teach what they call ‘straight line swimming‘.

Masterclass with Kerianne Payne 1

The first point that Keri-anne discussed is the importance of avoiding drag/resistance. One of the main ways to achieve this is to look directly down in the pool. Human instinct is to see where you are going, so you need to resist this. Duncan acknowledged that this is a swimming technique that has changed since the 1970s/80s. He said he thinks he would have gone faster if he had been looking down instead of at the end of the pool!

Masterclass with Kerianne Payne 2

Keri-anne also explained that the pivot point of your body is your lungs, not your hips. I had never thought of this before, but it makes sense.

Masterclass with Kerianne Payne 3

Keri-anne explained that the session would focus on front crawl as it is the quickest and most efficient stroke. There are three aspects to work on:

  • breathing
  • body position
  • propulsion

We did an exercise that involved jogging on the spot. We had to take a deep breath and hold it before exhaling. It makes you feel light-headed as you are hyperventilating. This is the most common problem that people have when swimming. In no other sport do you hold your breath in this way, except for maybe yoga or kabaddi. We were advised to try to breathe as normally as possible. I remember that this was the biggest challenge when I was learning to swim. I had a real fear that I would be unable to get enough oxygen in, so I used to gasp for air; as soon as I relaxed, I was able to breathe more comfortably.

Keri-anne recommended breathing out through your nose to stop water going in. Breathing out underwater gives you a bit more time to exhale and therefore increases the amount of time that you have to inhale as well.

An important message was not to panic about swallowing water. I think that’s one of the hardest things for a novice swimmer. I remember panicking when I first started learning and it makes everything worse, so that you end up choking and spluttering in the middle of the pool. Now if I accidentally inhale some water, I might have a slight cough, but I can usually continue with my length and I know that I will be able to breathe again. It was reassuring to learn that breathing and swimming simultaneously is something that many people find hard.

The next thing that we discussed is the importance of whole body rotation (rather than just rotating your shoulders). I think this is something that I’ve always struggled with and definitely needs more work. I worry that if I rotate my hips too much then I’ll end up with flappy corkscrew legs (like some people that I see at the pool).

Keri-anne explained that to achieve your goal, your training schedule should have three elements:

  • speed
  • distance
  • strength endurance

My goal is to complete the 2.5km swim in under an hour. This should be possible, but with the amount of swimming that I’ve been doing recently, it will require commitment and dedication.

These were the 3-4 sessions a week that Keri-anne recommended for me:

  1. Speed. 2-4 x 25m at maximum effort. Time yourself.
  2. Distance – build it up over the 14 weeks. This will depend on your starting point. Plan for 4 week cycles where every 4th week is a rest week.
  3. Strength endurance. Get used to swimming at the pace you need to maintain. For me this is 2:20/100m.
  4. If you have time for a 4th session, just enjoy it 🙂

Swimathon Training Plan

Duncan Goodhew

Duncan’s tip was to have a specific aspect of your technique to think about each length. This is important for me as after I’ve been swimming for a while, my mind starts wandering. Last year towards the end of my 5km, I felt so bored. I was playing all sort of mind games to try to keep me going.

Duncan also pointed out that tightness in your body shows in your technique – that’s all the excuse I need to book in for a massage!

Zoggs swimming costume

It was on to a pool session with Keri-anne and Duncan.

Swimathon Ambassadors with Keri-anne

The first exercises were about breathing. Apparently the correct technique is to take a gentle breath in through your mouth and then to exhale through your nose. It took me a long time to learn not to gasp in a huge lungful of air, but I don’t recall being told to exhale through my nose, so that’s something I’m getting wrong and am struggling to correct.

How do I stop feeling out of breath when swimming front crawl

We then worked on our rotation and did alternate lengths focusing on breathing or rotation.

In the pool with Kerianne Payne

Keri-anne then worked with us in pairs. I was told that I’m crossing my arms over, so I needed to practice swimming up and down on the line ensuring that my hands stayed either side of it.

We spent some time giving our partner feedback on what we thought they could do to improve which was a useful exercise.

Then we finished with a bit of fun… Keri-anne and Duncan took part in a handstand competition, so we all had a go. Some members of the group were really good. I know that my handstands on dry land are OK thanks to doing gymnastics for years, but in a pool, I’m terrible. It took me lots of attempts before I even managed to get my hands on the bottom of the pool, let alone get my legs out of the water. I think there might be video evidence of my attempt!

Swimathon ambassadors group pose

In the pool with Duncan Goodhew

Overall, it was an absolutely fantastic day. I learnt so much and was shattered by the time I left. I’m definitely much more inspired to get on with my training.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

Have you entered Swimathon yet?

Swimathon 25% discount

If you enjoyed reading this, why not check out some of the other ambassadors’ posts:

Monday Morning Motivation: One is more than none

22 Jan This Girl Can photo

It’s January, so you may have set some New Year’s resolutions to be fitter and healthier in 2018. Don’t push yourself to do too much too soon. Remember that it’s best to aim for a sustainable level of activity and don’t forget:

One is more than none

Tilgate parkrun with parkrun ambassadors

21 Jan Tilgate parkrun

OMG! What an amazing but completely exhausting day yesterday was. It started at about 2am when M decided it was time for a party. I tried to encourage her to ‘lie down and cuddle mummy’, but somehow that was interpreted as ‘why not use Mummy’s bed as a trampoline?’ so we ended up going downstairs until about 4:30am. I was so grateful when she went back to sleep, but was not happy when the alarm went off just after 6am!

I rushed around sorting out my porridge, getting dressed and repacking everything into a larger rucksack and had just got it all sorted when Malcolm, Jill and Gil arrived to pick me up. We were heading off to Tilgate parkrun for a parkrun Ambassadors meet up… which made me feel slightly guilty as I was abandoning Stu with M to Run Direct at Southampton. Last week Southampton had a record-breaking attendance of over 1000 runners and as Eastleigh was cancelled, I was worried that Stu would have to deal with huge numbers on his own. (Fortunately, the rain meant ‘only’ 960 runners were at Southampton.

volunteering at Southampton parkrun

It was then a nice drive to Tilgate. I have to admit that the route to the park was through a number of housing estates, so I mistakenly thought we would be in a small, modern park with a bit of play equipment and no distinguishing features, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Tilgate parkrun

We parked in a large car park and saw someone wearing running kit, so Malcolm checked that we were going in the right direction for the start. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time, so we didn’t have much of a warm up and there was no time for a ‘comfort break’, which I really needed. I also realised that we had a chaotic day yesterday and this morning’s early start, I have failed to use my preventer inhaler for two days in a row (I’m usually very good with it) and I had left my reliever inhaler in my bag in the boot of the car.

We climbed some steps out of the car park and I was surprised to see a wide path running around a large lake and woodland on the other three sides.

At the start we met some fellow parkrun ambassadors, including Dave. Tilgate has around 500 runners, so they have now implemented a split start. Runners who expect to finish within 21-27 minutes go to one side and everyone else goes to the other. The mid group of runners ‘takes the high road’ and the rest of us took the path on the level of the lake. After a short distance of about 200 metres the paths converged, but it made it a safer start for everyone.

It’s a picturesque route that goes around the lake, then does a loop of the park before doing another loop of the lake.

I was disheartened to realise that I was behind the 30 minute pacer at about 800m/1k, but then I realised that our average pace was 5:30/km, so he was either going too quickly or was pacing according to the terrain as just after 1km there was a relatively steep hill.

I’m not running well at the moment and with my lack of sleep and asthma, I found the run really tough. I saw the 28-minute pacer and assumed that I would be able to leave him behind, but it was not to be.

I battled on and tried to appreciate the beautiful scenery, before hauling myself over the line in 27:40. I’m definitely going to have to get on top of my diet, my asthma, my sleep and my training if I’m to achieve a Half Marathon PB this year.

Tilbury parkrun

After the run, we headed over to the golf centre where there was a café. There weren’t many people there, so we worried that we had gone to the wrong location, but before too long we were joined by a throng of parkrun ambassadors (is that the right collective noun?)

I had enough time to chat with a few people and to meet Kerri, the amazing SE parkrun ambassador coordinator, but I had to miss the main part of the session, which was a shame.

Jill was kind enough to drop me off at Crawley Station so that I could embark on the second part of the day’s adventure…

Did you parkrun yesterday?

A fortnight of exercising

19 Jan Running track

After the Reading Half Marathon workshop, I was determined to start my training for this year’s races. I still need to sort out a proper half marathon training schedule, but at least I’m making a move in the right direction.

I’ve been out running with Sarah for the past two Wednesdays. We did just over 5km the first week and 6.5km this week. I’m starting to feel a bit more comfortable again, but I definitely need to start doing some speedwork.

Running track

Photo by Austris Augusts on Unsplash

I’ve also been out running with Rachel and Felix, then on Saturday I took part in Southampton parkrun, so I ran three times in a week for the first time in a long time. I found parkrun really challenging, partly because of my fitness levels, but also because it was so busy. I had M in her buggy, so it was really hard for me to pass slower runners. I started off with Inez who was doing her 100th parkrun, but I couldn’t run alongside her, so I slowed down a bit. Then Linda and her baby caught up with me, so we had a lovely chatty run. There are a lot of stressful things going on for me at the moment, so I’m really enjoying the chance to clear my head either by running on my own or by chatting to friends whilst running. I also loved seeing Tuba Libres at parkrun, there to celebrate Laura’s 250th parkrun.

Southampton parkrun Jan 13 2018

Of course the other big challenge that I’m training for is Swimathon. I’m so excited to be an ambassador again this year – check out my profile. Last week I swam with Stuart on Monday. My arms were aching in the first few hundred metres, but  kept going and managed 1000m. I would have swum more, but I didn’t have enough time. Then this week, I swam on Tuesday and did 1200m. I’m determined to keep building up my strength, speed and distance until I’m back to comfortably doing 2km in an hour… by which  stage I should be ready to start my proper training programme.

Swimmers doing front crawl during Swimathon

Swimmers doing front crawl during Swimathon

I’ve been cycling to work (as usual), but I don’t have any cycling challenges at the moment, which is probably just as well as I’m still getting to grips with balancing work, training and family life.

I’ve also been doing a lot of gardening as it’s finally a bit drier. I spent 2.5 hours raking my garden two weeks ago and last week I spent another 2.5 hours raking. I would have continued with the theme, but there’s no room left in my garden waste bin and it’s wet and cold here. Hopefully, I’ll manage to do some more gardening next week.

Have you got a detailed training schedule for this year?



Monday Morning Motivation – Skid Row Marathon

15 Jan Skid Row Marathon

I recently saw this trailer and was really inspired by it. I hope that I’ll get a chance to see to see this film.

When a criminal court judge starts a running club on LA’s notorious skid row and begins training a motley group of addicts and criminals to run marathons, lives begin to change.

SKID ROW MARATHON follows four runners as they rise from the mean streets of LA to run marathons around the world, fighting the pull of homelessness and addiction at every turn.

Their story is one of hope, friendship, and dignity.

One of the defendants whom Judge Mitchell sentenced to prison approached him after his release. He asked the Judge to visit him at the Midnight Mission homeless shelter where he was living. After the visit, the Judge decided to start a running club. He thought that if he could get few of these men and women into shape and run marathons, the benefits would cross over into their personal lives. He promises those who stick with the program and stay clean, a free trip to run in an international marathon.

The Judge, who suffers from a painful spinal condition, has been told by his doctors to stop running. He chooses to ignore their advice. He needs the club and the balance it provides in his life. It gives him the opportunity to change the world in a way that he can’t in his own courtroom.


Training day for Reading Half Marathon

13 Jan Reading Half training day run

Last Saturday morning, I missed another parkrun… but for good reason. I was off to Reading to take part in a training day in preparation for Reading Half Marathon. I wondered whether I’d be able to fit in a parkrun as there is one nearby, but unfortunately, it was cancelled on Saturday, so I didn’t need to worry about being late to the training day.

I arrived fairly early, so there was plenty of time to meet others who were a mix of newbies, experienced runners and bloggers. I ended up sitting next to Anna, the fab blogger behind Anna The Apple. I also met Tess from The Fit Bits and Katie & Kate from These Girls Do.

Whilst we were waiting for others to arrive we saw a montage of images from previous races. My favourite images were ones of a group of friends who had dressed up as Mario Cart characters. I’ve never properly done a race in fancy dress – I ran a parkrun in a Minions outfit, but I was wearing a running t-shirt and shorts, so I don’t think that really counts. Have you ever raced in fancy dress?

The first activity of the day was a workout with Francesca and Chloe, the Townsend Twins.

The workout was high energy and the twins were so much fun. I also loved their outfits and had to do a bit of online stalking to find out where there leggings were from (Bellum Active – starlight leggings)… if anyone has a bit of spare cash and wants to buy me a present for my birthday next month…

I’ve really not done enough exercise in the last few months, so I was a bit nervous about the workout, but it turned out to be a lot of fun (although I was seriously stiff on Sunday AND Monday!) The music was great and the Townsend Twins explained everything really well. If I learnt anything that I could take into my own fitness career, it was that smiling and being enthusiastic is really important… and that I need to duplicate myself so that one of us can talk and the other can demonstrate!

We did a good mix of exercises, including skaters, squats, jump squats and walking lunges.

We then had a quick refreshment break (water, lucozade and bananas).


It was then straight into a pacing workshop with Ali Galbraith, who leads the pacers at a number of events, including Reading Half. I’ve taken notes on all of Ali’s talk as I found it really helpful…

Good training runs lead to great pacing days:

  • Set realistic goals
  • Try to not move the goal posts
  • Practice your pace in training runs
  • You will have good days and bad days – roll with the punches
  • See long training runs as mini race days

I’m really bad at accepting that runs don’t always go to plan. I rarely cut runs short and I never do more than my plan says, so maybe I need to be more flexible.

The necessities of a great pacer

  • Good quality watch
  • Gear you can trust
  • Solid knowledge of the race
  • The ability to adapt

I’ve now got a fantastic watch and I’ll probably wear my favourite black shorts. I need to check out the route of Reading Half as I think it’s changed since I last ran it.

Pre-race preparation

  • Fuel intake – what shall I eat and drink?
  • Route planning
  • Race planning – what will I need?
  • Weather preparation

This was one of my favourite parts of Ali’s talk. When I last ran Reading Half, I tried to fuel up with a vanilla Gu, but it was too thick and my friend threw it in the gutter because she thought I was taking too long and I didn’t have time to waste. Ali said that when he is running he uses Ella’s Kitchen baby food pouches (with Spaghetti Bolognese being a favourite) and Mars bars. I don’t think I could eat something that requires that much chewing when I’m running!

The perfect race morning

  • Review your pre race preparation
  • Get to the race village nice and early
  • Warm up properly using that time to visualise the race
  • Get to your starting pen with plenty of time
  • Never lose a smile

I don’t like being stressed on race day, but I have to admit that even though I arrive early I don’t always do a proper warm up.

Race break down

  • Why break down a race?
  • How I break down a race:
    • Miles 1-3
    • Miles 3-11
    • Miles 11-13.1

Breaking down a race into segments is a good mental strategy – it’s something that I do already.

Miles 1-3

  • Holding back the adrenaline
  • Don’t weave
  • Be prepared for a slower pace
  • Just concentrate on you and getting to mile 3
  • Treat it similar to your warm up in training runs

Last time I ran this race, I definitely wasted time and energy by weaving around people. This time I aim to get myself into the right start pen to and take off at a steady pace. Starting too fast is one of my worst habits. At Gosport Half a few years back, I challenged myself not to look at my watch for the first three miles. I didn’t quite manage it, but it was helpful as it stopped me getting into a panic about going too fast or too slow.

Miles 3-11

  • Ask yourself some questions:
    • How am I feeling?
    • What is my fuel intake?
    • Do I need to slow down?
  • Join a group and interact
  • Settle into your race pace
  • Be prepared for things to get tough

I definitely think that running with others who are going at your pace helps. When I got my half marathon PB, I ran with a friend. We were both running faster than we had ever managed before, but we stuck with each other, which gave us both a mental boost.

Miles 11-13.1

  • Break down into bitesize pieces
  • If you’re looking for a PB, now is the time to start pushing the pace
  • Mental toughness is key in these final miles
  • Treat it as the party bus home

This bit always begins at mile 10 for me as then I repeat my mantra: “parkrun to go!”

After Ali’s talk there was time for a Q&A session before we went out for a warm up and a  5km run.

After a few stretches, we split into two groups. The faster group were going to go at 9-9:30 minute miles. I thought that should be OK as I can usually run parkrun at that pace with a buggy. However, I’ve really not run much since before Christmas, so I found it really hard going… also we started at a slightly quicker pace. I definitely think I needed to start more slowly and build up.

© Anna Smith-James

© Anna Smith-James

My stretch goal for Reading Half is 1:49:59, but I would be happy with anything under 1:52:19. At the moment, I think I’d be amazed if I could finish in under 2 hours, but I know that I was able to make a lot of progress in a short period of time last year, so as long as I’m focused, I should get there.

After another short refreshment break, it was on to the physio and injury prevention workshop, led by Jim Adkins from Berkshire Physiotherapy.

This was another interactive session with a combination of questions, answers, information and activity.

We learned how to warm up properly to help avoid injuries. We did lots of calf stretches, before we did some equipment work.

A common misconception is that running is a cheap sport as there is very little that is required. However, when you speak to someone who has become addicted to running they will explain that they have spent a fortune on the right shoes, socks, clothes, sports watch, other gadgets, nutrition and race entry fees. They may also have spent money on items such as foam rollers, massage balls and resistance bands. Jim introduced us to an innovative piece of equipment that I’ve never tried before…

A paper plate!

The aim of the paper plates was to place one under each foot and then do a bridge and slide your feet in and out. It’s much harder than it sounds and really works your core.

The most interesting stretch that I learnt was the ‘slump stretch’. I tried it out with my work colleagues who’ve renamed it as the bored sulky teenager stretch. It involved sitting on a firm surface with room to swing my legs. I had to slump my lumbar spine (chin to chest) and place my hands behind my back, before swinging alternate legs with my foot flexed. This exercise should ‘floss’ your sciatic nerve, which can help to relieve hamstring tightness.

Overall, this was such a helpful day that has made me feel ready to start tackling my training plan.

If you haven’t already signed up for Reading Half, why not enter now?

If you want to treat yourself, there’s a VIP package, which includes a range of ‘extras’.

There’s also the chance to enter the January competition if you sign up before January 31st.

Bubble, bubble, breathe – Swimathon 2018

12 Jan Swimathon 2018 logo

I’m so excited to be an ambassador for Swimathon 2018. I had a great time last year and it really pushed me to get back in the pool after having M. I had big plans for swimming more when I went back to work, but as M has been ill for most of the last 4 months, that didn’t really work out. She’s now seeming better, so I’m hoping to take her to the pool with me this weekend. She’s not really swimming yet, but who knows, maybe she’ll be ready to take part in the 400m challenge next year!

Last year I entered the 5km challenge, but that was a lot to take on, so I’ve entered the 2.5km Swimathon challenge this year. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to improve my speed this year. I want to do a 2.5km time trial as soon as possible, so that I know what time I’ve got to beat. 2.5km is 100 lengths, so it will still be hard work! By concentrating on a shorter distance than last year, I’ll be able to focus a bit more on my technique rather than just focusing on getting the distance in.

There are venues all over the country that are taking part in Swimathon. I’ve decided to swim at David Lloyd at Ringwood because I can do my swim there on a Friday morning. I no longer work on Fridays, so it will help to keep my weekend free so that I can spend more time with M.

If you’d like to join me, there’s a 50% discount until 21st January, so what are you waiting for?!

Did you know that Swimathon is the world’s biggest annual fundraising swim? So far it has raised £48 million which has benefitted 36 charities. It really doesn’t matter what your age or swimming ability is, there’s a challenge for everyone, including a new 400m event this year.

My motivation for taking part in this event is two-fold. Firstly, I need an event that will push me to get in the pool and train. I enjoy swimming, but as I’m so time-pressed that unless I have a reason to be in the pool, it is sometimes squeezed out of my schedule. Secondly, the charities associated with Swimathon (Marie Curie and Cancer Research) are ones that are meaningful for me as my father died of oesophageal cancer nearly 16 years ago.


I got in my first swim of 2018 yesterday. I could only fit in half an hour, which was a bit frustrating. I had hoped that I would be able to swim for an hour and that I would be able to see how far I could swim in that time. I managed to swim 1000m. I could tell that I haven’t swum for a while as it felt like so much hard work. My speed has definitely dropped and my arms were tired by 200m. If I can maintain yesterday’s pace then 2.5km will take me 90 minutes; if I were at my best, I know that I could do it in an hour, so that is my goal.

First swim of 2018

Have you entered Swimathon? Which distance?