Scottish Sprint Champion 2017

I have never been called a chameleon before…! Haha winning the Outlaw middle distance triathlon last week, followed by winning the Scottish Sprint Championships one week later was certainly not expected!

Driving up the road on Sunday, we were exhausted! A whole day in the sun before presentations, the long drives, being busy at work etc etc made us unable to drive the full way on Sunday from Holkham (ok ok we were planning on stopping in Edinburgh to visit friends but close enough) but we gave up and booked a hotel in Sheffield last minute, thinking at least it’s early enough to get a nice dinner and celebrate ourselves.

Wrong. Everywhere was shut and Nandos had to do.

When we finally got up the road and prepped for work again, Kyle was starting to come down with something. I have never seen him that ill before! He suffers migraines, and the occasional manflu/CBA syndrome(!), but he was floored and in bed for 3 days straight with a virus.

I think I caught a little of it because I just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t just fatigue and muscle soreness. I physically couldn’t do anything in the morning but drive to work (not like me if you follow me on strava!) and everything, even typing, felt like an effort.

I developed cold sores, sore heads, and basically was forced to rest. Which probably did me some good.

On Saturday, Kyle’s best man Matt was planning on staying and Kyle persuaded him to join us the following day to watch my race (I think he REALLY wants to enter a triathlon now which is so cool!). But he was coughing and spluttering too! Needless to say race morning I didn’t have the usual pre-race nerves and jitters. I just kinda though, meh.

As in, it would be nice to see if I have any speed in my legs, there’s no pressure considering I am still recovering from a distance 4x as long, and it will be nice to see people.

The race was in Monikie, about 90mins from us (finally a race near-ish by!) so we left around 8am on Sunday with the hungover man-flu lads, stopped at McDonalds in Forfar for our usual required caffeine fix, and got to the race about 10am. It was SO BUSY. I thought I was early! But the car park was full and I may or may not have been last to rack my bike (sorry, Mum. I was organised last week!).

The women’s race was at 11.20am, so I did a WU (ie 5min run in a wetsuit, realised running in a wetsuit isn’t comfortable, so stopped and did 5mins stretch cords instead), then caught up with Sophia and just chilled with Kyle and Matt.


(Sophia was 1st junior and 3rd overall…I like to think it was because I sorted her strap that she smashed it 😉 !)

I wasn’t “pumped” at all! I needed the swim to wake me up! I felt heavy, slow and fatigued. But I WAS looking forward to the cycle. I LOVED the bike element last weekend and just thought “get through the swim and enjoy the challenge of cycling hard in the wind” (it’s a renowned windy bike course!).


I toed the line next to Sophia (she is a PHENOMENAL swimmer) thinking I could at least hold on to her feet. Nope. The gun went off and off she went. I found someone’s feet (afterwards I realised the field was stacked with swimmers…a few youngsters could break a minute for 100fc!) and hoped for the best. I exited the water 15secs down on the leader (Soph) in a group of 4 girls and just tried to run up the hill and into transition ahead of the other girls in my chase pack.


No issues this time and off I pedaled. Because we were the last wave, it was amazing because there was always someone in front to try and pick off! A HUGE contrast to last weekend, where I started with the leading men, only to go backwards as the cycle went on (and might as well have literally ran backwards on that run.).

About a mile in, I saw Sophia at the side of the road – her chain came off! I shouted something I hoped would keep her spirits up, and felt good so upped the pace to try and get the lead.

I passed last year’s winner after about 3 miles and never looked back.

There was a dodgy patch right at the finish, where the parked cars were that were too late for the over flow car park. cars were coming in the opposite direction, so I had to slow down a few times and let them pass. I was just hoping everyone behind me would have to do the same!


(coming into transition)

I enjoy the bike course at Monikie – you can’t hide in it! It’s an honest course, with decent undulations and super brutal weather. I’ve never had a calm day there! It had about a third of the elevation of Holkham last weekend, but no steep inclines so it keeps it fun 😉

My cycle time was 2 minutes quicker than last year over the 13.3mile course, so that was promising!

In T2 I got my shoes on no problem (hooray!) and off I ran. Now, before the race I was SUPER nervous for the run. What if my training sessions were just a fluke? What if I am just slow now? I hope I have enough of a lead on the bike to hold off any super fast runners (think Beth Potter at Blenheim!).

Well, when it actually came to the run (2 laps around a couple lochs) my mindset completely switched and I just thought to extend the lead and keep pushing, rather than pray that noone catches me. I ended up having the fastest run of the day by 25 seconds and winning the race by over a minute, which was EXACTLY what I needed given my injuries and poor performance last weekend in the run part!


When I crossed the line, I was happy I managed to pull off a good performance given my prep. Now I can say I’m Scottish champion at all sprint and the standard distances, which is promising for Commonwealth selection.

What was horrendous was at the finish area. I waited around for the next finishers to come in to catch up with them about the race. I went up to shake the girl who came in 2nd’s hand (she won it last year). She tapped my hand, turned her back, and left me in no mans land. I have NEVER in any race I have ever done (including primary school sports day) seen a sheer lack of sporting camaraderie. I’m glad a lot of people saw, including head of performance, Fiona Lothian. I hope she gets an attitude adjustment because we ultimately do sport because we enjoy it and people should be happy they are able to race.

2 years ago I didn’t think I’d ever be walking again, never mind racing again! Geez, people need to chill out.

Oo and just to compare from when I did it last year (albeit with food poisoning)

Swim: 10.58 (2016), 11.01 (2017) (oops, last year I even went the wrong way!)

Bike: 38.43 (2016),  36.07 (2017) (nice one!)

Run: 20.41 (2016), 19.17 (2017) (don’t judge – it’s cross country!)

Overall: 1.10.22 (2016), 1.07.21 (2017) (last year’s winner did 1.08.04 so I have to be happy with that time!)


Next up: London Triathlon in a couple weeks 🙂


Scottish Sprint Champs – 2nd

It wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t a drama.

The previous day, we were up in Forres for the Highland Games. Kyle was ON FIRE (not literally; the torrential downpour would have prevented that) having come 2nd in the grass track 3k race as a warm up, then 3-4 MINUTES later was called up to the 10k start (a hilly one too!) which he won in 32 minutes!

(looking strong, KB!)

Snowdon won’t know what hit them when he races there this weekend! Yep, he was picked for the 3rd time to wear a Scotland vest and is feeling better than ever for it 🙂

(the 1st time he raced it I wasn’t allowed to stay with him, so I got a room on my own and made a new friend instead!)

Anyway back to me.

The morning of the Games, I thought it would be a great idea to swim in the sea at Findhorn. It was really a delusional “uh oh I haven’t done any open water swimming since Strathclyde and it’s relatively warm so I need to go in”. Anyhoo, DOLPHINS JOINED ME!!!!!!! No pics but Kyle said they were really close and looked huge!!


It was either the sea water or the Stovies I had with the fam (plus the Metros on Tour!), but by Saturday night I was hugging the toilet.

After peuking a few times, then checking the clock, it was 6am and time to get ready as Craig (my little brother in triathlon, despite him keeping me right most of the time) was picking me up from Mummy’s at 7am. Other than feeling a little light headed, I put that down to lack of sleep (told you I was delusional) and thought it was nothing a couple of cups of coffee wouldn’t fix.

The car journey was so much fun (I don’t think we stopped speaking both there and back?) and we got there in plenty time to manage a drive of the course. I have done the cycle route before when I 1st started triathlon in the Monikie duathlon series, and the conditions were not too dissimilar (think mental winds and heavy rain), albeit 10 degrees warmer so I didn’t mind too much!


(Sophia and her “cool aunt” at the start)

The girls set off in Wave 3 (beach start), which in one sense I don’t like because I normally just want it over with. I don’t like using up an entire day for a 1 hour race with all the hanging around before and afterwards, but I also liked it because it means you are constantly chasing people (which I didn’t get at Strathclyde).


(laughing at how rainy it is)

It started raining with about 3 minutes until our wave set off ie it was too late for me to run back to transition and put my shoe covers on my bike shoes 😦 I tried to put it to the back of my mind and set off pretty well when the horn sounded. Natalie, who is super fast and rocked the Commonwealth Games in 2014, started off fast so I just tried to jump onto her feet. Sophia (the phenomenal talent of a teenager who came to Aguilas with us in Feb) came with us…the wrong way. Oops. Back we go (no idea how much extra we did but there was a lot of changes in direction for what was essentially an out and back course) and trying to overtake the swimmers going the right way. Somehow, the 3 of us still managed to get out of the water over a minute advantage (yay to finally learning how to swim again!).


(I didn’t say it was pretty; I just said it was decent – check out the gap we had though!)

Into transition and shock horror, I couldn’t get my wetsuit off. Before you start, I have practiced loads BUT not with a chip on my ankle and surprise surprise that was where the issue was. Lesson learned.

I get on my bike and am about 40 seconds down on Nat and Sophia, and it takes me a good 3 or 4 minutes before I catch Soph. I asked her who was ahead (I never thought we were 1st  pack out of the swim considering we did extra) and told her to stay with me after I’d passed her (within the legal limits of a non-drafting race of course!). She rocked it and ended up 3rd overall!! It was pouring at this point, so I watched my cornering, and there was not one flat bit of road, so that passed the time quickly having to constantly think about gearing! It was fun picking people off in front (note: men. Nat was gone and got a minute on me!).

At the top of the final hill, my sick bug reminded me it was still there, and I was sick in my mouth (TMI?). I thought about pulling over but it was too cold so I just powered through. Coming off the bike I couldn’t feel my toes (I shouted this at cheerleader Rhona, who was an awesome spectator – she is so motivating and inspiring!) due to my horrendous Raynaud’s, so I was looking for both my circulation AND my bike when I came into transition (another lesson learned: find something that stands out near your bike so you don’t stand shrugging your shoulders for the 30 additional seconds you needed to stay ahead on the run).

As I headed out, I just kept my head down and just hoped the 5k was short like most triathlons (nope) so that I could be done. Coach Fiona was there shouting support but I don’t remember much and don’t think I even looked up (sorry!). I was just in get-to-the-finish mode. Picking off more of the guys from the previous wave helped my mental state, but I was beginning to tire too and I still couldn’t feel my feet. In the 2nd lap, the feeling started to come back but I had had no food (my gel fell off my bike in T1 and I was too cold/wet to drink much on the bike) so I just focussed on keeping my cadence up and thinking about what food I’ll have 1st once I crossed the line.

I was fully expecting a couple of girls to pass me like I was standing still but when I looked behind with about 400m to go and couldn’t see any females, I really slowed down so I wouldn’t faint before the finish. Miraculously I had the 2nd fastest run of the day (behind Nat again!), so that was a bit of a confidence booster. I walked across the line and was happy to come 2nd in the Scottish champs, behind Natalie and in front of Sophia 🙂


(a very wet podium)

Afterwards, you’d better believe I refuelled well in the food tent, then went back to Craig’s house to watch the tennis (he didn’t have the best race so let’s not talk about that) and Kyle took me home for the football – he was at work again so couldn’t come!

13626554_10153954735497479_135206807603974128_n.jpg(this wasn’t ALL mine…)

Finishing the night off with Stephen’s HOMEMADE beer (phenomenal stuff!) ended the night perfectly!

Well done to everyone competing, Aqua Sphere for the amazing kit, and an extra shout out to the spectators (Craig and Sophia’s Mummies – who SHOULD have DONE the race – in particular!) for continue to cheer despite getting drenched! Next big race is the British in August 🙂




Sick Bunny :(

This is how I feel right now:


How do I feel better!? I NEVER get ill 😦

I haven’t been able to train since I did some grass work with Freyja on Tuesday, and the thought of anything sport related makes me feel even sicker!

Lots of baths and hot chocs have been had but nothing is helping… I hope I’m ok for Monikie Round 2 (1st round here) on Sunday…! If anyone wants to bring me warm freshly baked cookies or some peanut butter ice cream, it would be MUCH appreciated #highmaintenancemuch?

sick a45128c63f2a4cccb9c094bee6191455