35 BEFORE 35 http://35before35.co.uk MAKING A DIFFERENCE, ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME Mon, 16 Mar 2020 20:37:48 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.20 CHALLENGE 35 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-35/ Mon, 16 Mar 2020 20:37:48 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3874 The post CHALLENGE 35 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 35

My life's journey - 07.03.20 - 14.03.20

I can’t believe it’s already my final challenge, where has the time gone?! I thought up this challenge fairly early on and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. It’s quite a fitting end to my last 20 months of challenge life and fundraising for Leeds Mind and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

My final challenge will see me travel my life’s journey so far. I’ll be completing the 263 (correction – 270) miles by running, swimming and cycling.

I will start on Saturday 7th March on the street where my twin sister and I were born in Chatham, Kent. Unfortunately the hospital is no longer there. The finish line on Day 1 will be at Charlton Athletic. My sister and I have supported Charlton for 22 years and my Dad, over 50, so it’s only right to include them on my journey!

Day 2 will see us run from Charlton to Chelmsford, Essex. We moved to Essex when we were three so I don’t remember too much of it but we spent the next 15 years growing up in Chelmsford and I’m looking forward to going back there as I do miss my home town! We’ll have to cross the River Thames on Sunday. I’ve already swam the width of the Thames where we’ll be crossing. It’s approximately 508 metres at the crossing so I swam 21 lengths. On the day itself, we’ll be walking UNDER the Thames via the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. I mean, who even knew!

Day 3 – 5, we’ll be cycling through Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.

Day 6 – I’ll be running from Nottinghamshire to South Yorkshire. Day 7 will be a mixture of running and cycling to my house in Wakefield culminating on Day 8 where I will run the final 10 miles from Wakefield, finishing on the steps outside Leeds Town Hall!

I’m nervous as I haven’t put much time into the bike or gone on long runs but I’ve got to put trust in the other work I’ve put in to training for this. I’ve got myself a PT and have been in the gym consistently since September building my strength up and I’ve been increasing my general fitness with swimming (challenge 34).

With all the rain and flooding we’ve had, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the weather improves. Wish me luck!

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CHALLENGE 34 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-34/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 17:18:25 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3872 The post CHALLENGE 34 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 34

Aquathon and Triathlon training - events May 2020

This marks the beginning of post 35 challenge life, 🙁 The last two years have taught me so much and there is just absolutely no way I’m going back to ‘not living’ or living to work once 35 life has finished. So last November, I signed up to both an Aquathon AND Triathlon which both take place in May.

However the training for these has already begun and that’s the twist. This time, the challenge will be the training. It’s not always about the destination, it’s all about the journey to the start line!

I’ve never contemplated events like these let along sign up to them before 35 life but now I’m going all in with OPEN WATER events! I am terrified!

Aquathon – 750m Swim, 5km Run (roughly 30 lengths of a 25m pool and a 3.10 mile run)

Triathlon – 750m Swim, 22.5km Bike, 5km Run (roughly 30 lengths of a 25m pool, followed by just over 13 miles on the bike and 3.10 mile run)

I haven’t swam front crawl since my GCSE PE days, 18 years ago…oh I feel old! I was told at the time I had quite a good technique. But that was then and this is now. So, the main part of the aquathon and triathlon challenge is most definitely the training and the journey that I’ve started on…

Swimming is definitely my weakest discipline, so while I was away in Hawaii I booked myself onto a four week block of front crawl swimming lessons which I’ve completed two weeks so far. To say I was nervous before the start of the first session was a MASSIVE understatement. I was petrified. Learning something new after 18 years, to be in the pool which isn’t a regular hang out for me, putting my flaws on show and meeting new people really got to me. However, the people are lovely and we’re all learning together.

I’m getting frustrated as I can’t get my side breathing technique down but I don’t have an issue with my head being in the water so I’m hoping it’ll just be practice, practice, practice.

Once the first four weeks have been completed I’m going to book onto another seven week course of swimming lessons. I have also booked onto an open water beginner’s session too.

I’m trying to train for these at the same time as my finale challenge but I’m hoping that the training with complement each other.

I’ll be spending a LOT of time in the pool over the coming months so fingers crossed the training and practice comes together for when I get to the start lines come May! I’ll be sure to document my thoughts along the way!

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CHALLENGE 33 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-33/ Wed, 01 Jan 2020 14:58:01 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3870 The post CHALLENGE 33 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 33

Scuba Dive lesson - 11.01.20

This challenge came about as a suggestion from my friend. I’m already nervous as hell so it’s obviously a good one. Thank you for taking the time to organise this one for me, it’s very much appreciated!

On Saturday 11th January I will be taking part in a learn to scuba dive course. I’m not one to swim on a regular basis so the thought of entering water with a tank on my back leaves me seriously questioning what I’ll be doing!

I have always been scared of scuba diving. Watching scuba diving in movies and seeing how far divers can go makes me feel so uneasy and almost claustrophobic for some reason. Also, I’m sure it’s as safe as anything but if you need an oxygen tank in order to take part in an activity, then this is just something that I would never normally entertain! ?

I’ve been told that the session will be taking place in a swimming pool which makes me feel slightly better. When I was 23 I was lucky enough to snorkel at Hanauma Bay on the southeast coast of Oah’u. It was amazing to snorkel for the first time out there but although it was a great experience, it did freak me out. Not only because I couldn’t get used to hearing myself breathe, but the constant flapping of my legs to make sure I didn’t hit any coral with my feet took it out of me. You should have seen me, such a graceful creature in the water for sure!

But knowing I won’t have any of that to contend with next week is already calming me down and in true 35 Before 35 style, I will take this challenge on, regardless of my nerves and the inevitable anxiety beforehand.

Wish me luck and send on positive vibes, I’ll definitely need it!

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CHALLENGE 32 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-32/ Sun, 01 Dec 2019 17:35:46 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3868 The post CHALLENGE 32 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 32

Surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach! 10.12.19

We spent a lot of summer holidays on the beaches of Cornwall. There are pictures of my sisters and me in wetsuits with our bodyboards (how cute!) on Perranporth beach. We must have been ten or 11, I think?!

I’ve mentioned before that when I was younger, I loved being in the sea, either with our bodyboards, or just swimming and ever since our beach holidays all those years ago, I have wanted to learn how to surf.

We’ve been lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Cornwall, but also Hawaii and Australia but every single time we’ve chickened out of learning as we’ve become too scared in our older age. I am scared of water these days which is a shame as I have no idea why. Maybe thoughts of jellyfish and sharks?!

Another reason is that I’ll probably be the worst surfer ever. I won’t have the coordination or strength. I won’t be able to stand up etc and I’ll give surfers a bad name! But these negative nancy thoughts will have to stop now!

To make sure we don’t bail out on the idea again, my sister and I have proactively (pats on the back please!) pre-booked a surf lesson while we’re out in Honolulu! I am genuinely looking forward to finally giving surfing a go after nearly 25 years of wanting to try it. But I am scared that I won’t be any good and again my irrational fear of what lurks beneath?!

The weather forecast isn’t looking great in O’ahu while we’ll be there unfortunately. Not so bad for the Marathon but we’ll have to keep an eye on the rain and thunder for this challenge. Fingers crossed the weather clears and we get our chance of riding the waves on Waikiki beach!

Wish us luck!

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CHALLENGE 31 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-31/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 20:28:07 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3866 The post CHALLENGE 31 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 31

Honolulu Marathon - 08.12.19

This challenge has been in the making for three years, before 35 Before 35 was even an idea!

Challenge number 31 will see my sister and I run the Honolulu Marathon in O’ahu on Sunday 8th December but this isn’t our first time attempting this particular race.

We first ran the Honolulu Marathon back in 2016. Unfortunately we were both unwell (and when I say unwell, I don’t just mean the sniffles, we were both really unwell) when we got to the start line so it probably wasn’t sensible to even start. Mistake number 1 perhaps?!

It was a great start to the marathon. It started at 5am with some fireworks. I was also coming back from a knee injury so we took it very steady. Everything was going well, until we literally hit the half marathon stage (13.1 miles in). I suddenly had a funny turn (which I also experienced again on the second day of my 127 canal run this August, which freaked me out as it brought back horrible memories of O’ahu 2016). I managed to walk the next eight miles, with my sister who was also ill, looking after me. It took longer and longer for me to walk and I couldn’t take on liquids or food (serious danger zone!!)

I was literally trying to walk from aid station to aid station, so when we saw an ambulance at 21 miles in, I got checked out and were told that our marathon was over!! The cause? A serious case of heat exhaustion. As a result, we got our first and only ever DNF. We were absolutely gutted and so ever since, we vowed that we would go back one day to get the race finished. We definitely have unfinished business!

We absolutely love it out there and after a lot of saving, we can’t wait to go back to Hawaii! But I am really apprehensive in case the same thing happens again. So although we’ll be taking part in a physical challenge, this one is definitely going be more of a mental challenge for us. Even though three years have passed, I keep re-playing the whole 2016 run in my head, especially at the half marathon point where it all started to go wrong so I’m really nervous! We won’t be running for a time. We just want to enjoy it and get to the finish line safely. It’s also going to probably be our last marathon (having already run around 20 marathons between us and two Ultras each) so we’re hoping for a great marathon send off!

Please send on positive vibes and wish us luck!!

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CHALLENGE 30 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-30/ Sat, 23 Nov 2019 19:41:03 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3864 The post CHALLENGE 30 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 30

Beginner's Climbing Course - 24.11.19

When I started 35 Before 35, the idea was to make sure I complete activities that will take me completely out of my comfort zone on a more regular basis. But I also wanted to make sure that I would give myself the opportunity to learn new skills along the way.

When I was trying to think up my next challenge, I realised that I hadn’t really learnt a new skill since I gave Fitness Pole a go at Aerial Empire last September! Being very conscious of this, I can announce that challenge 30 will see me learn a new skill by taking part in a one day beginner’s indoor climbing course this Sunday!

I can honestly say that climbing has never been on my bucket list, I feel awful saying this but it has never interested me. However, as a result of walking the Via Ferrata as part of challenge 26, climbing has definitely spiked my interest. It’s also another great alternative to strength training my upper body!

I am nervous about the course…I mean, there will be loads of equipment to get used to, I have zero upper body strength and the most mortifying thing of all, what happens if I can’t get myself up the wall over the six hour course?!

I’m also looking forward to the mental side of this challenge, and I don’t mean just shushing my inner voice, but I think I’ll really enjoy learning the techniques of climbing.

Who knows, I may well just fall in love with climbing?! Wish me luck!

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CHALLENGE 29 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-29/ Sat, 05 Oct 2019 08:14:27 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3862 The post CHALLENGE 29 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 29

Haunted Escape Room - 05.10.19

Scary Escape Room – tonight!

After a few anxiety filled months with work, the pressure I’ve put myself under over the last few challenges such as the Leeds Liverpool Canal Run, abseil and via ferrata as examples and a few behind the scenes mini projects, I wanted my next challenge to be as fun as possible without having to over think everything. I also didn’t want another physical challenge as my ankle is drastically getting worse to the point of pounding pain last night, eek *goes off to ring the physio*

So, tonight, yes tonight, will see me exercise my mind. How I hear you ask? Well, my friend and I will be doing an escape room! I’ve done one of these before but there was a bigger crowd and that room was a very unscary American diner. This time, there will only be two of us trying to escape the room within the hour so to me that’s hard enough already. But to make it even more of a mental challenge, I wanted to up the fear level by booking on to a scary theme to celebrate Halloween (a bit early I know but I seem to have an incredibly busy October ahead!) The Escape Room is called Haunted…I’m terrified already!

I honestly scare SO easily. I can’t watch horror films anymore. I’m alright with blood and gore but it’s those films that mess with your mind which freak me right out and then I can’t sleep for days, or I have to go to sleep with the light on! How I managed to sit through The Blair Witch Project at the cinema when I was younger I have no idea!!

I’m also not the best at problem solving, especially in a time pressured situation. So to add my constant fear of what the worst possible scenario could be in that room while trying to navigate clues, I really do think that this is the perfect challenge to stretch me mentally. Although I’ll be well and truly scared, I’m hoping I can get my head around the fact that it isn’t real so I can concentrate on the clues to help us escape!

The challenge starts at 8.15pm tonight, so if you haven’t heard from me by 9.30pm, well, then send HELP!!!

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CHALLENGE 28 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-28/ Sun, 08 Sep 2019 08:23:24 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3860 The post CHALLENGE 28 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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Challenge 28

Yorkshire Cancer Research, Selby Three Swans Sportive 01.09.19

Even though I’ve been a novice cyclist over the last seven years, I feel like I’ve done some awesome rides. Two cross-country charity bike rides, from Yeovil to Huddersfield one year, and then Arsenal to Huddersfield another year. I have also recently cycled up Ventoux and the Coll de Canes, which completed a mountain for each Grand Tour, having already cycled up Stelvio in 2016.

However, something I’ve never attempted before is a sportive. Again, I’ve always been put off by sportives because I’ve always felt that only cyclists matching the fitness levels of the elites enter these kinds of races. Plus I’m very much a cyclist who will be bike mad for a couple of months and who will then completely neglect it for another three. Also, worrying about things like punctures, navigating and oh, did I mention punctures?!

That’s why challenge 28 will see me take part in a sportive for the very first time, and what better way to take on my first sportive, than by choosing the Three Swans Selby Yorkshire Cancer Research Sportive!

I’ve decided to just take on the smallest mileage which will be 30 miles. I could do 60, but I just want to be able to enjoy the ride and not constantly worry about cut off times. Also, I’ve just realised that this sportive will be only two days after my epic 127 mile run so this is probably for the best!

My Dad will be taking part as well, but I’ve said that I’ll be in front and I’ll navigate the whole way. Normally I’m the one at the back just following so this will be a new experience for me. I’ll also have to make sure that I’m letting my Dad know of any issues with the road coming up.

I’m really looking forward to the ride and discovering a new route here in Yorkshire, which I believe is also fairly flat too (result!) I’m also looking forward to meeting fellow riders who are also fundraising for Yorkshire Cancer Research. It should be a great day!

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CHALLENGE 27 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-27/ Sun, 11 Aug 2019 19:22:06 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3858 The post CHALLENGE 27 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 27

Running the Leeds Liverpool Canal - 25.08.19 - 30.08.19

This is one of the challenges that I have been looking forward to ALL year! I just love the idea of knowing that my only focus this week, will be to wake up and just run, day after day, I cannot wait!

Again, I’m writing this at the end of July with deep heat thick on my ankle. I’m absolutely gutted that I’ve got something wrong at the moment, but I’ll be doing everything I can to get my ankle better before this challenge as I will be completing it no matter what, even if that means I have to walk/jog the entire distance.

The canal is 127 miles in total. I will be starting this epic run on Sunday 25 August over at Liverpool Docks. I’ve never been to Liverpool so it’ll be good to have a bit of a wander about before the challenge officially begins. I’m sort of going in blind, in terms of not knowing the nooks and crannies, or if there will be any detours etc. But I’m seeing this as an extra element to the challenge. I’m also looking forward to seeing the different scenery and the five locks at Bingley.

The idea is to run about 21 miles a day for six days. The accommodation is booked every night and I’ll be sure to pack my foam rollers (yes, plural) and those spiky balls for the evenings. Yet again, I need to say a massive thank you to my mum and dad for using a week of their annual leave to support me again. I couldn’t do it without you both!

I will definitely be documenting the run, probably to the point where it’ll get annoying. I’m hoping that the weather will be kind to me but either way, weather or ankle related issues, have no fear, I will be completing the challenge!

If you’re about on Friday 30 August at the end of the canal in Leeds, come along and say hi!

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CHALLENGE 26 http://35before35.co.uk/challenge-26/ Sat, 03 Aug 2019 10:53:16 +0000 http://35before35.co.uk/?p=3856 The post CHALLENGE 26 appeared first on 35 BEFORE 35.

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CHALLENGE 26

Via Ferrata, Abseil and Gorge Walk! 10.08.19

This challenge is another one of those activities that I have always been intrigued to try out but again, like challenge 24 (Aqua Park and Paddle boarding) there is no way I would even consider attempting this as I have always been too scared! However, that’s not 35 Before 35 is it!

That’s right; I am genuinely terrified of the four hour challenge that lies ahead of me but I know this feeling is worth it as I’ll be seriously stretching my comfort zone once more, and that’s the whole point.

The day will start with tackling one of only three Via Ferratas in the UK. The website (howstean.co.uk) states that this is a high-ropes style climbing adventure which crisscrosses their gorge and passes right under the glass-floored café (?!)

Once we’ve escaped the gorge, I’ll be heading back to base to get changed in to a super thick wetsuit (this doesn’t sound good?!) before I abseil 14 metres from a bridge to the ‘rushing waters beneath their Via Ferrata.’ An abseil has been on my list of challenges to do from the very beginning. Although this isn’t at a massive height, I’m pretty glad that I’m starting small!

When I’ve finally plucked up the courage to lower myself down in mid air (!), we’ll head off and explore How Stean Beck by ‘climbing and sliding down waterfalls, jumping into deep pools and swimming in fast currents!’

What have I signed myself up for?! Hopefully I’ll get through this unscathed as I have a massive challenge at the end of August. I’m sure I’ll be fine!

Wish me luck!!

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