Tag Archives: This Girl Ran

Book review: This Girl Ran – Tales of a Party Girl Turned Triathlete

20 Feb This Girl Ran
One of the things that I’ve been missing most about my pre-baby life is the ability to sit down and read a book when I need some down time. I’ve realised that I’m spending too much time staring at a screen, so I’ve been avoiding the TV in the evening and spending more time reading.
This Girl Ran
One of the books that I’ve just finished reading is This Girl Ran. This book was only released on February 8th, so it’s hot off the press! I was keen to read this memoir as parts of Helen Croydon‘s experiences resonated with me, in the sense that she went from a relatively sedentary life to becoming an athlete. However, one of the most impressive facet’s of Helen’s story is that she went from being somewhat of a socialite to an age group Team GB triathlete in just two years!
“Four years ago I was a glamorous city girl who wouldn’t even walk to the tube in the rain in case I ruined my hair. Two years later I’d qualified as a Team GB age-group triathlete and was fixing punctures in hailstorms.”
The writing style and narrative really drew me in. I was completely hooked and read the entire book in the space of 4 sittings (and would probably have devoured it whole if I didn’t have a tiny human to look after!)
Helen’s story starts when she joins a local running club after the end of a relationship. Previously, her social life had revolved around boozy nights out with friends, but she realised that something was missing from her life and set about trying to correct the balance. 
A key difference between my story and Helen’s narrative is that despite her initial propensity for late nights and alcohol, her journey started at a much fitter point than mine. She admits that although she’d never done cross country, she did frequent the gym… however, this brings its own challenges as she describes wearing her designer gym kit with gold quilted coat to her first mud-fest. Something that I could empathise with was Helen’s struggles as a novice cyclist – who hasn’t had to deal with a puncture in the rain, or getting lost on a long ride?
Helen tells her story with great humour. The speed with which she took on challenges is impressive with a huge range of single and multisport events in her first two years, culminating in the World Championships triathlon in Chicago.
Helen Croydon competing at London Triathlon

Helen Croydon competing at London Triathlon

The backdrop of Helen’s story is her encounters with other athletes and a ‘will they, won’t they?’ friendship. 

Until I read this book, I was unaware that Helen had written two other books:

I really enjoyed Helen’s witty style, so I think I’m likely to read these two books, even though they’re not the kind of thing that I would usually read.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice triathlete, if you’ve got any interest in multisport events then you are likely to enjoy this book.

I’ve got an exclusive article by Helen Croydon coming up very soon, so make sure you keep checking back (or subscribe), so that you don’t miss it.

A week where I managed to swim, cycle and run (at last!)

11 Feb

Wow – what a week!

On Monday, I wasn’t feeling motivated to get in the pool. I think M knew that Stu was out with his friends watching the Superbowl on Sunday night, so she decided that she’d also like to be up partying. I got very little sleep and did not feel like going swimming, but I know that ‘you only regret the workouts you didn’t do’, so I agreed with myself that I would go to the pool and then see how I felt.

Don't mistake my cutness for weakness. I will terrorise you and turn this house upside down like the tiny tornado that I am.

This perfectly describes M!

When I got in the pool, I decided to do a 20 minute time trial. I swam at a steady pace and was pleased to see that I covered 850m in that time. As long as I can sustain that pace then I should meet my goal of 2.5k in an hour 🙂

Strive for progress, not perfection

This sign on the gym wall seemed perfect

On Wednesday, I was going to run with a work colleague, but we both had a lot of meetings on, so it just didn’t work out in the end.

I’m so excited to have learnt that I’ve got a place in RideLondon again this year. It should tie in nicely with the other challenges that I’ve got lined up.

RideLondon 2018

I’ve also been trying out a few new products, so there will be some reviews posted soon.

I’ve received a couple of products from New Wave Swim Buoy – a supersoft towel and a ‘launchpad’ – a neoprene mat that can be used for triathlons and on pool changing room floors.

New wave products

I’ve also been trying to squeeze in some reading around the training that I’ve been doing…

This Girl Ran Run Mummy Run book

Plus I’ve been trying out some gorgeous new leggings from GearBunch

Gearbox leggings

On Friday, I went out for a run with Rachel and her baby. It was great to have a full day to myself. Whenever I get a day without M, I start getting on top of things, but she’s been ill so often that I never seem to catch up.

Trying out my new Gearbox leggings

I ran from my house to The Common and was disappointed by my pace, but I decided to ignore it as I know I’m not as fit as I’d like to be. My training for Reading Half definitely isn’t going the way that I’d planned. This time last year, I was so much fitter. I had originally hoped to be aiming for a PB (sub 1:52:19), but now I’m desperately hoping I’ll be fit enough to run sub 2:00.

I ran around The Common with Rachel and F. We went down every side path to try to make the distance as much as possible. When we stopped, I was horrified to find that I’d only run 5.5km in 55 minutes. I’ve never been that slow before. It just didn’t seem right as I’ve walked parkrun (5km) in 40 minutes.

I then ran home. When I got back, the final distance was 12.5km, which is the longest I’ve run for many months. I had a look at my Garmin data online and was relieved to find that somehow my watch settings had changed and the distance shown was miles, not km. Phew!

I’m now starting to feel like I can get myself back on track and can at least finish Reading Half.  Have you entered yet?

reading fc comp

There is currently a fantastic competition on:

Enter Reading Half before 13 Feb to win a great hospitality package for one of Reading FC’s remaining games this season:

Prize includes:

  • VIP match seating on the North West corner
  • One course gourmet burger menu
  • Cash bar facility available
  • Matchday programme and team sheet
  • Place at a shared table
  • Matchday entertainment

I didn’t manage to get a run in this weekend as I was Run Directing at parkrun again. It’s a role that I really enjoy, but I wish that I could be in two places at once as I also love running.

If you’ve ever wondered how difficult your nearest parkrun is, you might be interested to have a look at the Run Britain Rankings. Southampton is a relatively easy run at #38 and Penrose (my local run when I go home to Cornwall) is at #340. How does your local parkrun compare?

Stu and M watching the ducks

As I wasn’t able to go running today, I figured that time on my feet would be a good compromise. I had the most amazing lie in this morning (after several nights of very poor sleep), which has helped me to feel much better. In the afternoon, Stu, M and I went for a walk down to the university and around the campus. M was fascinated by the ducks.

Overall, this week started off badly, but I managed to turn it around an am now feeling totally inspired ready for a new week 🙂