2015 – a wrap up

Everyone seems to be doing a wrap up of what took place this year…so thought I would follow suit, especially seeing as we are nearing These Girls Do’s first birthday!

It’s been a great journey so far – met some awesome people, taken part in some awesome activities and I don’t think we ever appreciated that people would actually enjoy reading what we wrote…

So without further ado, here are a few highlights!

January. 

Tackled dry January for the third year under much duress from everyone else for being boring. Did not give in. Decided to write a blog whilst Kate was a few drinks down and I was not. Held her accountable. Struggled for blog name. Launch of This Girl Can. Found name for blog! Kicked things off with some thoughts around women’s sport not being that exciting, heavily prompted by some interactions with a fairly high profile rugby coach who thought that as girls, we wouldn’t be interested in rugby, despite attending a talk specifically on rugby. Followed by a similar view on women’s cycling, including pink clothes, fixing punctures and overtaking men. Kate attracted some attention chatting about the use of plus size models. 

February

Ran the Watford Half Marathon in 1.46 and cried at the end because my dad caught up with me. Then did a sprint finish. This is not good daughter behaviour.

I also interestingly talked about not using my Sports Science degree.  In a complete 180, now working in the sports industry and it’s the best decision I ever made. So ha to everyone who told me otherwise.

Covered one of my favourite topics about which I can continually wax lyrical – exercise obsession vs exercise addiction.

March

Second ski trip of the year. Discussed how to fuel for it (cheese and potatoes, if you are wondering) and then shared a week in eats and was brutally honest about my wine consumption.

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We both said thank you to our mothers – who have done a cracking job of raising us to be the active beings we are, and continue to inspire us on a daily basis.

Kate published an excellent listicle – 10 Problems Sporty Girls will Understand, which went totally viral. Well more viral than we ever expected to be. Realised that this blog business is quite good fun when people seem to appreciate it.

We went on the rebound with Rebounce London (no, not the dating kind) – the latest craze to sweep London, and learnt that even if you think you have coordination on the floor, you definitely will struggle to coordinate dance moves whilst bouncing. And you will need a wee.

April

Touch rugby season started again! Kate and I got slightly shouty on the pitch, with Kate taking a few steps back to understand what was bugging her and the balance between competitiveness and aggression. And where we draw the line.

I moved back home for a few months. Ran the London Marathon with a 3.33.24 PB, despite taking a few weeks out for a seriously sore Achilles that culminated with crying on the phone to my mum on a bench on Putney Embankment.

My mum also stalked Jenson Button around the course (note, she is happy now that he is back on the market…)

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May

Started this month with one of my favourite local races – the Pednor 5, a 7pm, Bank Holiday Monday evening cruise.  But there are a couple of hills that will get in your way…ate some flies, chatted to some old club mates –  a real traditional club race with a small entrance fee and some great marshals. My kind of race.

Attended our FIRST thing as a blog duo, Run or Dye in Trent Park. Kate still not a fan of running. Realised that powder paint in your mouth doesn’t taste great!

post-run paint colour

Fell in love with City Strongman. Now very big advocate of tyre flipping and one of my highlights of the year – they’ve got some exciting news ahead in the new year so we will keep you posted on how they develop.

First triathlon! Had mild pre-triathlon panic (see here for 10 questions everyone should ask before a triathlon) but just about survived a Thames Turbo Sprin in 1.16.41. (ps it’s only a 425m swim if you are keen to use this as your first tri. And it’s in a pool. A heated outdoor one)  I also won a prize for best novice for Sigma Sport! (Which I haven’t spent yet)

Did the Chiltern 100. In pouring rain. It’s also more like the Chiltern 110. Just about managed to avoid any blazing rows with my father due to our sheer grumpiness throughout. Finished at the pub where it was not raining and made my mum pick us up rather than cycle home. Vowed never to do the Chiltern 100 again.

Oh, and we also became Record Holders. For squat jumps. Ow.

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Our BMF instructor, Harry

June

First ever 2 mile race in 13.29, despite not having any idea how to pace or approach it.

Played full contact rugby for the first time EVER. Seriously, I’d give this a read if you have ever been tempted by rugby but put off by the tackling part. It’s not that bad. Also went sub 22 for the first time ever at Tilgate Park Run on the same day (21.30 if you cared)

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It was Father’s Day! So we paid homage to the main men in our lives, who are equally as crazy as our mothers (and that is probably the reason why they work well together)

We won the Corporate Games Touch tournament at the end of the month, after a 2nd place finish the year before.

July

Went to the states for a few days for a wedding. Went running and took my sister to the gym for a super circuit. I *think* she enjoyed it…

Had one of the best/worst running weekends in my life – Adidas TR24.  My team of 5 ran a lot of laps, placed higher than we expected and consumed a vast amount of flapjack. Contemplated exactly how much I like running. Especially at 3am.

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August

Went on holiday. Ran up the Madeloc and really enjoyed getting back into some tough trail running.

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Bought MY NEW BIKE!

September

Finally got my sub 21! Headed to Brockwell Park with some Chaser buddies and managed a 20.40. Ecstatic.

Brockwell

RUGBY WORLD CUP!

Kate upped and left for Cornwall, quickly finding her feet with a new rugby club, new touch team and a host of seaside based activities that weren’t possible in Clapham.

RUGBY WORLD CUP!

Aldershot Road Relays. We came 8th. My team were all very fast except for me.

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Hever Castle Triathlon. 2:49:07. 20/145 in my category. Big thumbs up. Literally.

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Hever Fever. Thumbs down. Drinking Coke did not solve all the problems.

RUGBY WORLD CUP!

October

Started October with a double race weekend with my crazy mother. Ran a massive 10k PB in a dead flat Battersea Park on the Saturday (42.32) and then hit the trails for the Ley Hill Challenge 10k on the Sunday morning where I came in 3rd woman. Legs were battered after this.

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MORE RUGBY WORLD CUP!

Headed up to St James’ Park with my family to watch Scotland luckily beat Samoa. Of course, a family weekend isn’t complete without a parkrun, so we went to Sedgefield and I got my first ever 1st lady, and realised I can run sub 21 on more than one occasion!

I then started a new job. Officially a sports geek. Now able to go running at lunchtime, go cycling before work, wear running stuff in the office and talk about sport on a regular basis. Best.decision.ever.

Was also devastated by Scotland’s last minute exit from the quarters. So much so that I didn’t really talk for about an hour afterwards. However, not entirely certain about World Rugby’s approach to Craig Joubert. 

RUGBY WORLD CUP!

Wrapped up October with the Jekyll and Hyde duathlon, where I knocked a good 7 minutes off my time from last year – proof that my running has massively improved and my new bike made a slight difference.

November

Went to about 5 rugby matches in a row at the weekends between October and November (Quins, Sarries, Twickenham, Twickenham, Bath) and had a GREAT time!

My first race of the Surrey League XC season got off to a bang! 75th out of 404. New spikes. Bit muddy. Lots of cake. Perfect.

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Went to St Albans parkrun in the rain just to see if I could PB. And I did! 20.18.

Women’s Velopark duathlon.Came 4th overall and 3rd AG. It was very windy. I do not like wind. Wanted to get off the bike after lap 2….perseverance is key.

Organised multiple entries into the Serpentine Last Friday of the Month 5k at work. Came in at 20.19…and got beaten by two colleagues. Gutted.

Realised now that November was a pretty hectic month from a race perspective and no wonder my friends thought I was a nightmare to get hold of…

December 

Ran in the rain quite a lot. Don’t quite understand why it isn’t cold and I’m still running in a t shirt. Didn’t race. Enjoyed a fairly chilled out month…that involved a fair amount of chocolate and Christmassy activities. Played touch rugby for my work Christmas party – probably the best Christmas party idea EVER. About to go off skiing.

Well, it’s been busy. I’ve raced a lot, smashed several PBs, met some fabulous people and genuinely really enjoyed 2015. And to that….MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope you all have a fabulous time, switch off the social media and enjoy some quality time with your families and friends.

A quick thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout the year, whether it’s blog related, or in my case, my family, boyfriend and friends who are pretty good supporters and don’t complain about watching in the rain. Every week. You’re good. Like, really good.

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