Tag Archives: Blogging

Missing in Action

11 Jun Drowning

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.

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Blogging Edge 2015 UK Blog Awards

8 Oct
Blogging Edge UK Blog Awards 2015

Blogging Edge UK Blog Awards 2015

I had the most amazing email today:

You were nominated by readers in the Blogging Edge 2015 UK Blog Awards and we’ve selected you as one of the 5 finalists in the Sport category. Congratulations!

People can vote for you at http://bloggingedge.com/blogging-edge-2015-uk-blog-awards/ until 29th October. You just need to click Sport on the right and then find yourself on the map.

Isn’t that awesome? Thank you so much to whoever nominated me! It is such an honour. It would really make my day month year, if you would vote for me. Thank you x

Blurring advertising and blogs

26 Nov

Those of you in the UK may be aware of today’s news story regarding vloggers who have been paid for promotion. In the hours of the day when I’m not attempting to be an elite athlete, I have a job in technology enhanced learning, so I spend a lot of time discussing issues around what people do online. My colleagues are aware of my blogging activities, so they started asking how the ruling would affect me.

Here’s a BBC news article, explaining the furore: Vloggers paid for promotions ‘need clearer labelling’.

The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) is the UK’s independent regulator for advertising across all media. Here is their summary of the ruling against Mondelez Ltd.:

Making ads clear: the challenge for advertisers and vloggers.

So… how does this affect me?

Well, it doesn’t. First of all, I’m a blogger, not a vlogger. I don’t like the sound of my own voice and it is far easier for me to edit what I’ve typed than it would be for me to edit a video. I specialised in cinematography and editing at university, so it would be very difficult for me to regularly post videos that meet my high standards. Secondly, a key part of the ruling is about advertisers paying for and having editorial control over content. I’ve never been paid for anything that has appeared on my blog (if you do want to pay me, feel free to get in touch and maybe we can work out a deal!)

Last year the ASA ruled on Blurring advertising and blogs – why it pays to know the ad rules. The key information was similar:

  • “bloggers who are paid to write positive reviews or comments about a product or service that they must be up-front with their followers by making clear that it’s advertising.”
  • “the rules don’t prohibit PR companies sending free gifts or samples to bloggers in the hope of receiving a positive review.”
  • “A blogger can of course give their view on any topic and, if it’s an opinion, then we have no remit or interest in regulating that space. If, however, they are paid to say something positive then it becomes an advertisement and they must disclose it.”

Although I have NEVER been paid to write a positive review, I have previously been sent free samples or been given discount on certain brands. However, I believe that I have always been honest about this. I only accept samples of items that I would have considered buying – in terms of nutrition items, that means that the product must be vegetarian and something that I feel fits with my attempt at a healthy lifestyle… if I were offered something full of scary additives then I would turn it down. If an item passes through my initial criteria, then I will eat it and give an honest report on my thoughts.

Where I have been given an item, I hope that I have always made this clear by stating that I was sent the item by a specific company (e.g. Nuun or myprotein.com). I also want to reiterate what I said in yesterday’s post – my opinions are always genuine. I hope this comes across in my posts – if I like a product, I will endorse it; if I don’t like it, I will also say that. Of course, any review of a product will be subjective – tropical nuun wasn’t the flavour for me, but some people may love it as their tastes will be different from mine. I LOVE Kona Cola Nuun; my husband thinks it’s too sweet. Likewise, I enjoyed the myprotein maple protein pancakes, but my husband refused to try them as he doesn’t even like pancakes!

Finally, I am a brand ambassador for several brands, most notably Soas Racing. I applied to be a brand ambassador as I genuinely love the clothing and I think that the company’s brand values align closely with my own views on encouraging women of all ages, sizes and abilities to participate in sport. There is a code of conduct that I am expected to adhere to, but I am allowed to voice my own opinion. Yes, I prefer some of the kits to others, but in terms of fit and comfort, I’ve never found another brand that I like better. If you’ve managed to find a picture of me on my bike with something other than Soas shorts on, it’s either one that was taken before I bought anything from Soas or it was laundry day (with the possible exception of it being a cold day as Soas don’t currently make cycling tights or knee warmers).

I hope that’s cleared everything up, but if you have any further questions, please feel free to ask me 🙂

Outside it might be raining, but I’ve just seen a ray of sunshine

6 Feb

After having a tough week, it has been really exciting to be nominated for the Sunshine Award by Running to her Dreams – please take some time to check out her fantastic blog. It includes some really beautiful photographs. I know some of you will be asking what the Sunshine Award is:

The Sunshine award represents positivity, inspiration and creativity.

sunshine-award

The rules for accepting the Sunshine Award are:

  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers who you think are positive, inspirational and creative…….

11 random facts about me…..

  1. I managed to get an RLSS lifesaving award in primary school despite the fact that I was terrible at swimming and only learned how to swim properly in 2013!
  2. I love languages – I used to be an English teacher and have studied French, German, Latin, Ancient Greek, Spanish and Japanese.
  3. I have syndactyly (webbed feet)… but it doesn’t make me a better swimmer!
  4. 95% of the flowers in my garden are pink oriental lilies as I love the smell.
    oriental lilies
  5. I never drink coffee – I can’t stand the smell
    no coffee
  6. I miss the sports I used to do and if I could go back to doing gymnastics, karate and ballet, I would, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

    Black belt

    Getting my black belt back in 2011

  7. I struggle with perfectionism, which I think is a contributor to the depression that I battle.
  8. A wasp flew into my crash helmet when I was riding a motorbike on A-level results day. I blacked out and crashed and have a badly scarred left arm as a consequence.
  9. I’m happier wearing a dress/skirt than trousers, but as I cycle to work every day, I rarely get to wear them. I also LOVE cowboy boots, and my sister has helped to feed this addiction
    Cowboy boots
  10. I’m incredibly proud of being Cornish.
  11. I started going out with my husband the day after we moved in together!

The next part of these awards is the most difficult and thought-provoking. I love reading blogs and all of the ones that I follow are positive, inspirational and thought-provoking. I’m just glad that I’m not limited to only selecting blogs by women this time! Here are my 11 nominees:

1. Damn Girl, That’s a Lot of Fattitude.
Danielle is a hugely inspirational triathlete whose honesty about her struggles in life as well as her positivity mean that her blog is always a great read.

2. Sneaker Therapy
Dawn’s blog is another one of my favourites. She’s a fellow #SweatPink Ambassador and she posts pictures of amazing food.

3. Or Die Trying
I’ve not been following Chris’ blog for long, but he stopped by and posted a comment, so I visited his blog and was interested in what I read. He’s a persistent guy, so I hope he achieves his goals!

4. Transventure
If you love cycling, adventures and great photos then you’ll love Andrew’s blog. He posts regularly and always responds to comments.

5. NZ Multisports
I recently interviewed Chris – he’s an awesome guy who’s overcome some huge obstacles to get to where he is today.

6. Sweet Sweat Life
Erin’s blog is super-stylish, just like her. I don’t believe that a bad photo of her exists!

7. Davetriing
Dave is another relatively new 30-something triathlete who wants to lose weight, so we have a lot in common!

8. Operation Fit and Healthy
If asked to describe Liz’s blogging style, I’d describe it as ‘jolly’. She is hugely positive and always looks on the bright side of life.

9. The Half Ass Bad Ass
Kathleen’s blog has one of the best tag-lines that I’ve ever read: “She turned her cant’s into can’s & her dreams into plans…”

10. Dry to Tri
Chris is fairly new to blogging, but he’s someone who is incredibly positive who has encouraged me in my triathlon dreams.

11. Ginger Girl Running
Teri’s blog is chronicling her journey to the start line of London Marathon 2014. She’s raising money for a great charity that is close to her heart.

Please make sure that you visit these blogs – even if you only have time to bookmark them now and need to pop back later for a longer read. Thank you again Running to her Dreams 🙂

Happy reading and blogging everyone!