Blog 24….

End of season? Already?! How on earth is it this time already! They say time flies when you’re having fun… but I’m convinced that 6 months of racing goes way faster than 6 of winter training. Just like that first run session back of a minute on, minute off… we all know which 60 seconds takes longer!

Back in July we went up to Livigno for some altitude training, this was meant to set up the remainder of my season and really get me into shape for the world champs. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, an achilles was the first thing to put a downer on things but after a few days it settled enough to crack on with training. All was going well until the last day, then, hip pain…. bugger! I had been in this situation before, different hip, a lot of pain and resulted in surgery – and obviously being an athlete, I feared the worst and was convinced I would be meeting up with the surgeon on my return! An MRI cleared up all doubts I had and the good news (if you can call it that) was the cartilage was fine and it was just the small matter of a tendon tare – CRACKING! At this point I wasn’t sure if I was going to have anymore races left. It was touch and go whether I would be racing in the Mixed Relay Cup as no one was sure if my hip would hold up – I took the gamble and thought if it wasn’t making it round a super super sprint there was no way it was making it around an olympic distance triathlon just two weeks later! It was definitely a risk worth taking because it was an incredible event to be apart of, (and no, I’m not biased because it was in my home town!) the crowds lined the course, Loughborough bagged a silver medal and I managed to get round pain free!21192067_1981642715440049_7177183190971025539_n

A couple of weeks later, and after 2 cancelled and 1 delayed flight we finally made it to Rotterdam for the world championships – reason for the disruption was the weather and I would be lying if I wasn’t slightly pleased for the forecasted rain all week. A solid swim put myself at the front of the race alongside the other Brit girls – myself, GTB and a couple of others kept the pace of the bike on and the gap kept going out to the chasers. T2 was a timely affair with cold hands and feet making things a bit more difficult – thankfully I managed to ram my feet in my shoes and left transition. Gorman and Santos caught me a couple of laps in but I held on to the bronze medal!21586602_1441802885939033_1999842177058184004_o

Just over a week ago I headed out to Jersey for the Super League triathlon – the first one to include women. I was so thankful for the opportunity to race as only 25 women were invited. The weekend consisted of 6 events, 3 on each day with day one being the triple mix and day 2 the eliminator. I won’t bore you will all the details but I will say that 10 minutes between races is definitely not enough and trying to swim after running and cycling really isn’t easy! This style of racing was brutal but really honed in on the importance of having a good race ‘craft’, something which we try to develop all the time. I finished up 5th overall which exceeded my expectations and getting to know the other girls on the circuit during the week was lovely too. I definitely want to go back to finish off seeing the island! 21764953_1990980607839593_2863493226348030300_n

As for now I’m at home chilling with the pooches (another foster is on her way as we speak!), learning new DIY skills (this time its laying a patio!), and catching up with friends (I hope everyone is aware Bicester Village has an extra 20% off outlet prices…!).

And on one last note, many would have seen David Bishop was hit by a car last week and ended up going through the window – its a sharp reminder that things can take a turn for the worst in an instance so, please stay safe (wear a helmet) and drivers please respect cyclist, I promise we’re not out on the roads just to annoying you and make your journey take that 30 seconds longer…



Blog 23…

A lot has happened since my last blog 8 months back…. The 2016 season finished, a
holiday was taken, excessive consumption of mince pies occurred, cross country season came and went, a house was brought, a dissertation was handed in, a new fur baby arrived and most importantly the 2017 triathlon season began!18155846_10154845877684160_3826357603413664223_o16997841_10154650436759160_7095416074200796586_n






For me, the winter just gone was my best block of training I’d done, personally I don’t need the big top end PB sessions (although the odd one is always welcomed!). I need the consistency of training and this was the first time I had managed to stay injury and illness free to be able to do this. Well, as long as you don’t count the time when I had to get pulled out the pool because my whole neck went into spasm and I couldn’t move… Who knew a tumble turn could be so dangerous and result in a very embarrassing situation

My tri season kicked off with Quarteira European Cup back on 1st April. I chose this race sophieETU_quarteira_2017-19mainly because it would be a sea swim and potentially quite warm, two things that I am not a great fan of and put me a little bit outside my comfort zone! But the swim went well and quickly formed a little break out of the water, this however wouldn’t stick and we were joined by a larger group just after a lap. Once I knew a breakaway was off the cards I just wanted to stay out of trouble and save my legs for the run – something I don’t normally do! It paid off however
and I delivered probably my best run to date and took the win. It was great having my 17758659_10155206072294413_1737608498944764448_omum come out to watch, she hasn’t watched me race abroad since 2012 so glad I could win her some flowers!

It was then home for a couple of weeks training and finishing off my dissertation: thanks to everyone who filled in my questionnaire, it is very much appreciated and if anyone wants to broaden their knowledge on birth weight and gestational length in triathletes I have a 30 page document you can read ;).

Before I knew it my bike was being packed again, and it was time to head off to Asia for a fortnight of racing! First up was Chengdu World Cup, with a heat and final format contested on consecutive days. I was in the first heat, which seemed to have most of the stronger swimmers; a group of 6 was quickly formed on the bike and after a tempo effort by us all we jumped off the bike with a 90 second lead. This enabled us to have a chat on the run and hopefully save our legs for the next day! With the final being raced over super sprint it was going to be super fast and all the little bits had to be perfectly executed! Everything was going well until the two packs joined right at the end of the bike, this led to carnage in T2 with another athlete falling on my bike and taking my shoes off too – nightmare! With only 2.5km to run, exiting transition pretty much last out of 30 was not in the game plan! I kept my cool and managed to run up to 6th. The Brit Tri team then headed over to Japan – we spent a couple of days in a beautiful training venue in Chiba before driving across to Yokohama.

After checking the weather forecast daily it was evident it was going to be a wet day! I’m not too bothered about racing in the wet, but with a technical bike course covered in white lines I was concerned about crashing! I had a pretty much perfect swim, exiting 4th after being on feet for the whole 1500m trying to conserve as much energy as possible. I jumped on the bike and got my head down as quickly as possible to try and help the race ET_00758split and before I knew it I was sitting on the current world champ, Flora Duffy’s wheel… 40km later and we jumped off the bike 70 seconds up the road but with some fast runners in the group behind. I just tried to keep relaxed and run my own race, I managed to hold off the Americans until the last lap, but ultimately meant I just miss out on a podium and finished up in 4th. I couldn’t ask for more than that, especially as my previous WTS results haven’t been higher than 25th!

I’m now spending some time down in Kent seeing the family before heading home, sanding down some floorboards and finishing off my university degree!

Thanks to everyone for the messages and support – it was lovely reading them all!

Blog 22…

13680488_10154055487954160_5620006289248264417_oCan’t quite believe I’m sat here writing a blog with only one more (triathlon) race left in
2016! It’s scary how fast the season goes, it seems only five minutes ago I was sitting down planning goals and races for the year and now I’m getting ready to find the waterproof jackets, fleece lined bib tights and neoprene overshoes!

Two months ago a group of us from Loughborough headed up a mountain in Italy to enjoy the high life for a few weeks. It was the first time I’ve been to altitude 13669444_10154055484124160_6820644832143011875_oand as I’ve never been skiing the whole ski lifts and chalets were a novelty to me (despite,
thankfully, not having any snow!). I wont bore you with a detailed explanation of camp but highlights included seeing a cow do a roly poly down a mountain (it wasn’t harmed in the process), hitting 90kph on the descents, having a ridiculous selection of gelato about 100 metres from the apartments and running higher than the ski lifts!14242400_10154144525674160_6438362338515257614_o
After getting back home, the next few weeks were all about setting up the world champs in Cozumel. We headed out to Clermont for 10 days in advance to do some heat prep (and shopping in the outlet mall…!), it served the purpose of being extremely hot however places to bike and run were limited; I’d seen enough of the famous ‘clay trail’ after the first five minutes! Race week came and it was time to grab a plane and a ferry over to Cozumel, then race day came, along with a 4.30 am alarm. I had never had a race time of 7.30, cycling down to the race required a light as it was pitch black!  I was however quite glad to setting off that early, less time to get nervous and hopefully a much cooler race! 14368858_10154160664714160_3276973112956519905_n
I took a chance in the race, I wanted a medal and the only way I was going to get one was from a swim/bike
breakaway. 50 seconds out the swim and 75 seconds at the end of lap 1, I
thought we had it nailed until a crash
took out half the breakaway. I decided to get my 14390775_1258026644250266_8802097684428937044_nhead down and try to hold the gap but didn’t quite manage it. 30km in and I was caught… bugger. I sat in and tried my best to ‘chill’ out (hard to do in 94% humidity and 30+ degrees!) for the remaining 10km. Run time came and I wasn’t expecting anything pretty so I set out steady and tried to build through – magically with 2.5km left I managed to run myself from 10th to 6th (pacing has never been a strong point of mine!).
14355741_10154160664609160_3872385206084181959_nAfter my hip operation eleven months ago and going through what seemed like an endless trudge of a journey back towards fitness, having had hardly any winter training and no early season I can honestly say that I am more than happy with what has been achieved in 2016 – thanks to everyone for their patience and support – especially the Brit Tri team around me in Loughborough, Sponsors (Raleigh, Huub, Pedal Cover and Asics) and friends & family (I’m well aware I was/still am, a bit of a nightmare!).
I must admit I’ve missed the cross country season – can’t wait to dig out the running shoes (only to find that I probably forgot to take out the spikes and now they’ve rusted in solid) and run around fields getting all muddy!

Hope everyone is bracing themselves for the cold!14440693_10154179414929160_8083340900605134223_n

Blog 21…

It seems I haven’t written a blog for nearly five months, it’s probably a good sign really as I have actually been doing things other than just sitting and watching back to back episodes on Netflix with it constantly asking ‘are you still watching?’. Since my last post a lot has IMG_20160319_142202happened – I’ve turned 21, finished another year at uni, fostered a dog which we ended up
adopting, got back racing and picked up my first individual championship medal.

My race season started back in May with the BUCS sprint champs. It’s such a good event and Loughborough always have so many racing. For me BUCS was really important, as it would be my only chance to qualify for Europeans so I needed a good performance. Thankfully it all went to plan and I came away with the win and team silver, but I still had to wait to find out if that would be enough for selection.IMG_20160606_114720

Next up was FGP in Dunkirk, I love doing this race and even more so as I always manage to tie it in with seeing family down in Kent (although I’m not sure what was more tiring – the race or being kept on my toes by a toddler). The race seemed to be a shock to the system, the swim wasn’t great and ended up losing loads of places on the way back which meant I was a fair way off the front out of T1 but thankfully Chloe Cook and myself biked our way back up to the front to join the Holland/Hewitt train for the rest of the bike. There was only 12 or so of us in the front pack so a decent run saw me hold onto 4th, which was my highest FGP finish and helped Team Metz to 3rd overall.

Two weeks later and it was the annual trip down to Blenheim (it was actually my 7th time back!) but this time mum and myself were accompanied by Poppy our new dog! The race itself ended up panning out exactly the same as last year, a break away with the newly crowned European champ India Lee (who is a demon on the bike) gave us a big lead into T2 but she is just too quick for me on foot so I followed her home in second.


A couple more weeks training and it was time to head off racing again! After a 2.45am alarm it was time to grab a flight out to Bulgaria for the U23 European Champs – It was such a good group of us that went out, we all got on and had some real good laughs! The race was changed from an Olympic to a sprint, they tried to blame the heat however the main reason was for a Bulgarian holiday which translates to something along the lines of ‘day of the dead’…. We were told the mayor didn’t want the roads shut so 24 hours before the race it didn’t look like it would go ahead however a compromise was made and the roads would be shut but only for enough time for 20km.


I was nervous for the swim – we live in Loughborough, it’s landlocked so no opportunity to swim in the sea, but Zoe helped out loads by giving me some tips for the beach start and coping with the waves! The bike was ridiculously easy, as no one wanted to work so a group of 43 came in to T2. I managed to get on the front into transition which turned out to be the reason I got on the podium as it gave me a head start on the run and made the other girls chase back to me. In the end it all came down to a sprint finish, I kicked early and thought I’d had it but Angi kicked again and I didn’t have another gear! Going into the race I really wanted a medal, I’d been 4th a couple of times at championships and not managed to get on the podium so to grab one from a run race for me was great! I know there is still loads of work for me to do on the run but it’s starting to go in the right direction which is promising. A quick mention to Katie Synge who has been keeping me company for run sessions and pushing me on – makes it a little easier!


There was no time celebrate afterwards though as we were back the next day for the relay, GB has a great track record with relays so the pressure was on! The race quickly broke up and by the time it was my leg there were only 3 teams at the front of the race, I managed to drop the Russians but in the end the Italians were too strong and we took silver. Post race celebrations kicked off with some pier diving, I jumped but screamed the whole way down – good fun though!

I’m now sat on the train back from London after being involved in designing the Commonwealth kit for 2018, I cant give anything away but I did put forward some pink and glittery designs!

Training properly commences next week after an easy few days before racing Hamburg WTS next month, after which I’ll be heading up to altitude for the first time to hopefully prepare for the World Championships in Cozumel!

Just a quick thanks to those supporting me this year: Huub, Pedal Cover, Asics and Raleigh (I love my new bike!).


Blog 20…

Since my operation I was really happy with the progress I was making.  I was up to aScreen Shot 2016-02-06 at 19.01.41
full swim programme pretty quickly – knocking out a very very small 1500m PB.  Running is progressing too, slower than I would like but I feel like I’ve hit some milestones which are always good to remind myself that things are definitely moving forward.  I had my first run outside on Christmas day (good job too because I absolutely demolished all my grandma’s homemade mince pies!) and also first time hitting double figures (in kilometres not miles – I definitely haven’t got there quite yet) and also running for an hour (nearly killed me thought!).  The icing on the cake was running in the Lake District with Georgia TB – something we haven’t been able to do in a long time; it was also probably one of the funniest 20 minute runs ever courtesy of Jess Learmonth losing half her leg in very boggy marshland (think Vicar of Dibley and the puddle – you’ll get the idea!).

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 19.01.53


Biking hasn’t been so good, anything over about 90 minutes just really aggravates my hip and has a knock on effect to other sessions so we decided to tone down on the  riding a bit and I’ve just been doing a couple of hours with a session at altitude every week.  I am slightly nervous for racing this year, my worst fear is being in a bike pack and being the one who ‘can’t pull turns’ or whose turns are so bad I’d be better off being at the back’Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 19.01.16.


Not being able to fully ride led to the decision to go down the route of another steroid injection (number 4 in 6 months… sorry hip!). So yesterday was a trip back down to Oxford to see the surgeon and also have the injection, before going down I was under the impression that this would be it, one more injection, one more trip to see the surgeon and only one more trip to Bicester Village outlet – not sure my debit card could take a trip but thankfully the Kate Spade bag I was going to treat myself to wasn’t in black… shame!

After seeing the Doc he said that I could be needing a few more injections over the next 9 – 12 months due to the level of inflammation and synovitis present but he said I shouldn’t be concerned especially remembering the level of training us triathletes like doing!

On a slightly different note, a year ago today I took the very brave decision to get a tattoo… very painful (can’t say I’ll be going back for another one) – quite a few people ask me what my little arrow means; well, the reason I choose it was because of what it signifies – the meaning behind it is one I follow and often remind myself of:

An arrow can only fly by pulling it backwards. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties just focus and keep aiming – soon enough you will launching towards your target.

It’s safe to say my arrow has been drawn back quite a bit lately so hopefully sometime soon I can let it go, but to those having difficulties, keeping focussed and keep aiming – you’ll get there soon!



Blog 19…

Its safe to say the end of my season didn’t go as planned…

10 weeks ago I started to get some soreness in my hip, thought nothing of it and headed out to Hungary for a world cup. The day before the race I couldn’t even run 15 minutes, so that meant a DNS next to my name. Once I was home it was thought I had a stress fracture, I was put on crutches and sent off for a MRI, however that came back clear which meant it was back to the original diagnosis of some tightness.

After a week of physio I was meant to be good to go, but 15 minutes on the cross trainer and I was back to square one. So it was off for a MRA (MRI but with a dye injection) to see what was happening with my cartilage. It was torn, caused by extra bone growth on my femoral head, but it was still unknown if this was causing my ‘pain’ so I had a few more weeks of testing, injections and scans. Unfortunately my hip still wasn’t any better, which frustratingly meant it was the end to my season and would therefore miss out on worlds.12043043_1182623711764456_4695242022768717817_n

Once we knew there was nothing else that could be done to prevent surgery I met with Professor Glyn-Jones a orthopaedic specialist down in Oxford, he confirmed surgery was the next step. So in just over week I will be having cartilage stitched and bone shaved off (for anyone who is having surgery I would recommend not watching a video before hand…!).

I have made the most of my time away from triathlon, seeing family and trips away with friends but I am more than ready to get back to training properly and getting ready for what next year brings.

Although my season was cut short I would like to thank everyone for their support this year. Especially my sponsors Asics, Huub, Amanzi, Yellow Jersey and Raleigh who have been helping me out over the season.

Hope everyone makes the most of their break and enjoy the down time!12140005_10153359858129160_8881485880593057888_o

Blog 18…

It seems a while since I last wrote a blog so I thought I’d write a little update on what I’ve been up to recently. After London it 1779315_10153114568994160_7629091250064758607_nwas back to some training before Blenheim, one of my favourite domestic races, the day before was spent wondering round with my Mum and eating cream teas!  The race itself ended up being a breakaway with India Lee – it was good to get away with India and in the end finished 2nd overall.  It was also a great race because my lovely housemates came down to watch; however after a podium ‘beer shower’ I had to decline the trip to Bicester outlet (which was a tough decision as I LOVE shopping!).

Next up was Dunkerque FGP – it was a great weekend for my team ‘Metz’ as it was the first time they had ever got on the podium; individually I was 12th which I was pleased with too.  A couple of weeks later was the Jenson Button Triathlon – it was a fun race (despite the dreadful weather in the morning) and with it being in Derby was nice and local too!11699047_10207388294852612_1391682504685096770_o

I was then fortunate enough to get a start for Hamburg and was looking forward to another experience of WTS racing. The race was hard with the swim and bike being full on from the start, I was pleased with another front pack swim however found it tough to hold my position on the bike. I had some issues on the run with an inflamed foot joint and some ‘rib’ problems but was still a massive learning curve.

Some may know that I have been having those issues with my ribs/diaphragm especially when racing for quite a while now and it basically restricts my movement and breathing. Over the past few months a few different things had been tried but nothing really worked however, I was fortunate enough to see Ashleigh Wallace a physio specialising in the ‘thoracic ring approach’. After a very interesting appointment she seemed to find the answer – there was no ‘gap’ between my upper ribs on one side causing a restriction of movement and resulted in my diaphragm/intercostals trying to compensate but just causing pain. It was great to finally have some answers and hopefully will allow me to improve my race performances.triliverpool2015a

Last weekend was our national champs in Liverpool, I enjoyed the race last year and was excited to be back again but I wasn’t sure how the race would go being as this was my 3rd race in 3 weeks. I was hoping for a similar scenario to last year, a breakaway out the swim and then extend the lead on the bike (as the course was wet it would also keep the bike a bit safer). It was a bit like deja vu as Jess and I got away on the swim and did manage to increase our lead on the bike. Emma is a solid runner so knew I would need a good lead – fortunately we got one and I held on to take the national title.

After the race David and I went down to Wales for a few chiller days filled with beaches, castles, seals, surfing and, of course, fish and chips!  Now back in Loughborough it’s time for a few days training before heading out to Tizzy world cup next week. 11760251_10153217289919160_9033151627038951784_n