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Four things I’ve learned from my first triathlon

A triathlon is such a great way to get fit. It is also so easy to train on holiday. I love swimming in the ocean, running across the mountains and exploring a city by bike. I’m so proud and happy to have completed my first tri taking part in the sprint challenge in London. Here are some tips if you’re thinking of signing up..

The swim is a different kind of beast

 

As runner and a cyclist the swim was always going to be my toughest challenge. It differs to the other disciplines because to me it felt like a real test of mental strength, me against the elements, the beast of the open water. And technique is absolutely crucial for efficiency! I realise now that I should’ve got to the lake more for training as there really is no other way to get to grips with the murky waters, the claustrophobic rubbery wetsuit, the crowded free for all and the lack of any ledges to catch your breath.

 

It’s really difficult to hydrate 

 

After the swim, I struggled out of my wetsuit feeling lightheaded and flustered. There’s a lot to think about and it’s hard to adjust your mindset. I find it difficult to grab my water bottle on the bike and it’s difficult to hydrate sufficiently during those manic transitions. I already want to sign up to another one so I intend to spend a day on my bike with the sole purpose to practice a cycle – grab water bottle – drink – put water bottle back routine

 

The run feels kind of strange..

 

It’s something every expert warns you about but it’s really easy to underestimate how different your run is compared to a normal training run. The cycle can lead you into a false sense of security. You’ve got your rhythm and just the run left to tackle. After dropping off your bike you notice a feeling of slow motion, it’s takes a while for your legs to respond, like running through treacle, slow and sluggish. I noticed that my muscles eventually got back into the swing of things and I could’ve tested the waters a little earlier! I intend to try a spin class next week and run home afterwards to get used to the sensation and to know my limits.

 

And one last tip for us ladies.. 

 

After spending the day amongst a range of ladies of different ages, shapes and levels of fitness I noticed a pattern when it came to hair style. There were a lot of plaits! Let’s be honest it’s really not an attractive look, the rubbery wetsuit that you can never quite get on properly, the butt padding, the goggle marks (say goodbye to waterproof mascara in these conditions!) and the compulsory helmet! How are we supposed to feel feminine and confident. It was great to see so many ladies with different styles of plaited hair. It’s very versatile for a post swim and it doesn’t interfere with head gear. I now feel like I’ve ‘got the note’ regarding triathlon uniform and will be embracing this feminine touch. After all, we should all be very proud to be female triathletes

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Nepal Packing List

Packing for Nepal is not an easy task. I started months in advance and was determined to be as cost efficient as possible. I borrowed some pieces from my auntie, trawled through summer sales and took advantage of having Amazon Prime.

After camping for 14 days and trekking across completely different terrain there are a few items I really couldn’t have enjoyed the trip without.

⁃ Merino wool layers – I’m so impressed with how well suited merino wool is for hiking. It wicks away sweat to keep you warm and the more layers the better as Everest base camp approaches!

⁃ Trekking trousers – the ones with the ability to un-zip into shorts! It can be surprisingly warm at times, especially once you reach mid-morning so it’s great to quickly change them into shorts. Within the team they were quite an enviable part of my wardrobe.

⁃ Buff Neck Warmer – the dust is quite intolerable at times, and it’s important to try to avoid the infamous ‘Khumba cough’. If I could do it again I’d buy a patterned one as I noticed lots along the way that were much nicer than my plain one!

⁃ Hats – there seemed to be a constant need for different hats. Whether it’s hot, whether it’s cold or whether you just want to cover up unwashed hair. Bring a few for all weather conditions! I bought a cheap baseball cap at the Thamel market in Kathmandu.

⁃ Sunglasses – the sun combined with the thing air calls for sunglasses! Think of skiing and keep sun lotion on to avoid sunburn!

⁃ Hand Sanitiser – the most useful item. A necessity in this region! There’s rarely any running water for washing.

⁃ Lip balm – my lips were very dry along the trip. And dare I say it so was my nose when we reached the colder parts. I’d probably take one with SPF and some Vaseline or tea tree products for that too!

⁃ Bpa free water bottle – our tour provider gave us boiled water each day and it’s essential the bottles are BPA free when you use the warmer water. I bought one out there but I’d argue if it was BPA free even though there was a label on it.

⁃ Battery pack – it gets very expensive to charge your phones in the remote regions. And they limit the usage to an hour. They didn’t always allow camera chargers either so it’s great to have extra battery packs!

And also some home comforts I really wish I brought with me..

Herbal Tea Bags – although plenty of coffee and tea on offer we wanted to avoid caffeine at high altitudes. A camomile tea would have been perfect!

Granola Energy Bars – as much as were so incredibly grateful for the chef’s cooking on our trek it would have been so nice to have a fruit and nut granola bar to replace the odd out-of-date date snickers bar in between meals!

Mini Face Cream – it’s fantastic to be make up free and give the skin a much needed break from city living. Vitamin D and no alcohol really gave my skin a glow but the high UV levels and dusty paths took their toll too. I really wanted to have a decent eye cream to hydrate!

I’ve handpicked some particular brands that I think would be ideal. I’ll have this with you all next week.

CityGirl Xx

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Nepal – 8th wonder

On 27th May 2017 I marked the end of my twenties and joined the ’30’ club. Instead of giving into society’s pressure I asked myself how I would like to remember this milestone and with that I decided to follow my dreams. I love being outdoors, I love a fitness challenge and I felt an urge to travel somewhere different, somewhere epic. That’s where the idea came from to travel to Nepal and trek to Everest Base Camp.

I didn’t know it at the time but I think I might have made the best decision of my life! I want to share with you my adventures and hopefully inspire you to visit this beautiful country.

To start with I want to share with you some photos. Enjoy, CityGirl

I have never felt so beautiful, sitting amongst the stunning scenery make up free and care free.

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As much as I hate to admit it, I hadn’t used a shower for a week in this picture. I have never been so grateful for a fleeced headband. Look at these mountains and the blue skies. So beautiful.

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These trekking shorts were the most useful item I purchased for this trip. Although not the most fashionable!

I have lots more to share so keep checking back!

Xx