Hot work!

It’s hard work running in this heat (especially when you forget your sunglasses!). Just done about 6 miles training for 14 challenges for 2014. It was very warm, and I have managed to give myself blisters in such an awkward place that no shoes are going to be comfortable for a few days ūüė¶

The next challenge is the day after my birthday (!!) Running the “Beast of Bryn” race – almost 7 miles across pretty challenging terrain, unlike nice, flat Cardiff. That marks the start of 4 consecutive weekends of challenges! Scotty’s Little Soldiers is an awesome charity though,  and well worth the blisters, so if you can please think about donating to out page justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2

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Pen-Y-Fan training walk

We used the lovely bank holiday weather to get out for a training run today. Our next challenge is to get up and down Pen-Y-Fan in less than an hour, so we decided to go for a trial run.

Despite both if us feeling really groggy and having had a bad couple of weeks due to illness & being out of the country we managed a fairly successful run. 1.02 mins round trip wss something to be proud about!

Thanks to Dad for the company & run4all for the cheering on our way back down!

The official challenge is Sunday 4th May. We will be setting off from the base of Pen-Y-Fan at 9am (car park by Storey Arms on the A470) so get there a little earlier if you’d like to join us!

A busy couple of weeks!

Well, we have had a busy few weeks.

We have continued fundraising to cover the costs of our activities. We spent hours individually labelling clothes and jewelry, and took our supplies and cakes to the Cardiff University Students’ Union SVC Spring Market. It was a much more subdued event in comparison to the Bessimer Road Car Boot, but we managed to raise approximately ¬£45 – it definitely is a case of every little helps!
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On a rare sunny day a couple of weekends ago we also headed on a training walk in preparation for the Welsh 3 Peaks Challenge on March 28th. We met on a Sunday morning with our boots on and walked up the Taf Trail to Castel Coch and back – about 13 miles round trip! Obviously, the Taf Trail is not equivalent to the mountains we are going to be climbing next weekend, but it was great to be outside and enjoying the sun, as opposed to in the pool. It’s so much more sociable too and I think we have a great team for next weekend.
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Speaking of next weekend, it’s going to be a big one! We are aiming to start walking about half 4 in the morning from the base of Snowdon, followed by Cader Idris and Pen-Y-Fan last. We are really fortunate to have a dedicated driver (Dad to the rescue once again!) which means we will be travelling up through the night on Friday as the journey from Cardiff to Snowdon is not a quick one in itself! There have been arguments about the target for this one, as the general aim for groups is 12 hours walking time (not allowing for travelling) but knowing the comptetive group we have we will most likely smash it! If you know someone who is walking with us next weekend, please consider donating to our great cause – it’s so easy, either go to our fundraising page:
http://www.justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2
Or text
“GWSW98 ¬£any amount” to 70070

We were also fortunate enough to speak about Scotty’s Little Soldiers and our challenges on a local radio station, radio Cardiff. We went into their studio in the Bay to talk to Georgina (Triple G) on her breakfast show – we were on live webcam too. If you missed it, don’t worry as we have a recording we will be putting up soon. It’s a fab set up down there, and all the presenters are volunteers too! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us Georgina, and for letting us pick your competition winner! We really hope to keep in touch throughout the year.

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Gemma, Georgina, and Sophie at the Radio Cardiff Studio

As always, thanks to the people who have helped us already, either by baking or giving us your words of wisdom, and thanks to the people who have already donated. Wish us luck for next weekend, and we will be back soon!

Nerves are kicking in!

Only one week to go until our second challenge!

Only one week to go until our second challenge!

Well this is a bit scary. Only one week to go until (probably) our hardest challenge!Sophie and I are swimming 20 miles as part of our 14 Challenges for 2014 quest. There are so many difficult things about this challenge; anyone who knows us will agree that our strength is in our legs so swimming really has been a change of tack! Secondly, the planning going into this one challenge has been immense: we have had to decide how we will actually swim 10 miles (we have  been toying between 3 x 3 mile blocks with a one mile block at the end OR 6 x 100 lengths + 1 x 40 lengths); and how do we make sure we actually have enough food and water to last at least 5 hours swimming?! We have had some great advice along the way, although I have to admit that being told we can eat the equivalent of 3 Mars Bars an hour made my stomach flip! There are so many other questions too Рhow do we stop ourselves becoming too stiff between sets, how do we keep track of how many lengths we have done, will we be able to move the next day (on a side note, we are actually going paintballing the next day so I really hope the answer to that is yes!).
On the day we will be starting at 8 am sharp, and going non stop between the two of us until we are finished – there may be some periods where we will swim at the same time as the pool shuts at 6pm so we do have an ultimate deadline! We’re desperate for support, smiling faces will keep us going towards the end, and donations will obviously spur us on, knowing what a good cause we are raising money for!

We’d really appreciate your donations – just go to¬†http://www.justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2/¬†to donate online.

Thanks to everyone who has already supported us – we are at 8% of our target!

 

 

Swim Training

This is what Scotty’s Little Soldiers is all about. We’re sure that you agree it’s a great charity!

We have less than two weeks to go until our channel swim – preparations are going well, although I am fed up of permanently smelling like chlorine (apparently swimming 5 days a week will do that to you!). Make all the hard work worth by making a donation (however small) on our Just Giving page! https://www.justgiving.com/14challengeswheeler2/

Don’t forget, if you are in Cardiff, please pop in to give us some support on the day!!
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Holiday Time!!

So it’s holiday time for the Wheelers. We are currently on holiday in Abu Dhabi, staying with our uncle on Saadiyat Island. Fear not though, as training is still on! We have been working hard in the gym and enjoying swimming in the outdoor pool – the only problem is the tan lines!

Gemma's tan lines after six days and 3 swims whilst on holiday in Abu Dhabi!

Gemma’s tan lines after six days and 3 swims whilst on holiday in Abu Dhabi!

Sophie's tan lines after 6 days on holiday in Abu Dhabi, and 3 swims and a total of 4 and a half miles
Sophie’s tan lines after 6 days on holiday in Abu Dhabi, and 3 swims and a total of 4 and a half miles

 

An adventure at Parc Cefn Onn

So today I decided to go somewhere different for a run. And it was a bit of a (nice) mare.

Let me start by explaining that I originally woke up to hailstones, so I dropped back off, and by the time I woke up it was glorious sunshine. Brilliant, I thought – I will go out for a nice long run somewhere new. I spent a bit of time looking up nice walks and runs around Cardiff and decided upon Parc Cefn Onn. By the time I had decided it was hailing again. And so it went on all day. I was sat ready, in my sports kit, until half 3 when it finally looked completely clear (rain I don’t mind…hail, on the other hand, not so much).

Got there in one piece – Parc Cefn Onn is only 10 minutes from my house. I parked up (free) and got on with it. My plan was to do route recommended by Cardiff Ramblers (great site if you are looking for some walking routes local to Cardiff) which took in some beatiful sites, and I figured that by the time I got to the top the sun would be about to set. Not all went to plan;

  1. firstly, it rained from the moment I got out the car. The park is mostly protected by trees so not such a problem.
  2. I got lost, took a wrong turning and ended up in the golf course car park. I swiftly turned back around.
  3. It hailed, numerous times, resulting in me hiding in the bushed to protect myself.
  4. I learned that running down hill is almost as time consuming as running uphill for fear of tripping!

I eventually worked myself up to the top of a ridge, took a couple of pictures which really didn’t do the view justice. I could see all the way down to the Bristol channel (as promised) and could see streaks in the distance where it was raining (yes, it did temporarily stop where I was!). This was far enough for me as I figured I should run back before it got too dark. I ran through a stream, took another wrong turning, and ended up tracing the outer fence of the golf course, which appeared to have once been a footpath, but some of the signs had been removed. I rand ankle deep in water and mud, stacked it going round a corner, splattering my hand in the mud in the meantime before eventually hitting a road.

This road proved the ultimate dilemma. My phone’s GPS said there were no roads, and either way I could see only a couple of houses. I aimed for the way I thought the entrance to the golf club would be (as least on the road I figured it would lead either to the dead end of a house/golf club or to a main road). I hit the M4, turned a couple of corners and found myself, 4 miles, and the best part of hour later, back at the car.

I am definitely going to go back as the park was stunning, and felt like it should have been somewhere exotic (if only it hadn’t been raining). Next time, I think I shall keep to the proper footpath and wait until it stops raining.

Caught in a hailstone storm mid run!

Caught in a hailstone storm mid run!

The view from a ridgeline

The view from a ridgeline

Drenched and tired at the top of the ridge

Drenched and tired at the top of the ridge

View of Cardiff  Parc Cefn OnnParc Cefn Onn

For more information:

My expected run route (courtesy of Cardiff Ramblers) http://www.cardifframblers.org.uk/routes/walklfltos.php?walkref=cwl04

Friends of Parc Cefn Onn http://www.friendsofcefnonn.org.uk/wp/