Memories made in the mountains stay in our hearts forever.

Mi55d Scafell Pike

Today I climbed a mountain.. :o)

I was on the river Tyne at 8am Saturday morning training with Rachael for our rowing marathon.  As soon as I finished at 11am I headed off on my journey to the Lake District to get to my last minute B&B booking in Nether Wasdale.  The journey took just over 2 hours and I was very happy with my booking :o) When I arrived I went for a little walk around the village on my own and was completely alone with my thoughts and without phone signal.. it was absolute bliss!  Later in the afternoon David arrived who drove up from London to join me in my challenge of hiking up Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England!).

mi55d saddle & beauty

The weather was absolutely beautiful and just before sunset we took a walk to Wasdale Lake which was unbeleivably beautiful.  There was nobody around but us and I was certainly in my new happy place!  I learnt to skim stones (badly),  I really need to work on my throwing technique.. it’s pretty embarrassing!!

We then visited the local pubs in Nether Wasdale and retired to bed so that we were as fresh as daisy’s for our morning hike!  And that we were…

We filled our belly’s with a good english breakfast and then took a 20 minute journey to Wasdale Head where we abandoned our cars and met a bunch of people from the Pituitary Foundation at 9am.

Once everybody arrived we headed off on our journey up the mountain, there was a mixed bunch of people, from children as young as 12 through to ladies and gents in their 50s, and  we all had one thing in common; we are all either a member of the Pituitary Foundation or we’ve been affected by Pituitary diseases in some way or other!  On our way up the mountain there was a clear mix of abilities from overall fitness to general determination to get to the top! My guest walker David is the Head of Human Performance Coaching at Red Bull F1 Racing so I had a coach by my side, not forgetting my own ego and trying to impress him with my impressive fitness ;o) So, we headed off with a couple of other walkers ahead of the pack. We headed through a gate and followed the path up the northern side of Lingmell Gill where I met the cutest cow EVER and even managed to get a selfie with it (i mean who wouldn’t!?)..

The path got steeper and we crossed Lingmell Gill and made our way up the much steeper Brown Tongue.  At times we all went incredibly quiet but in all honestly it was because we were out of breath! ;o)

Finally we reached the section above Brown Tongue where the path finally flattened out for a while as we crossed the tricky boulders at Hollow Stones. The path disappeared a few times over Hollow Stones which is probably why a few inexperienced people  get caught out here on the steep climb up to Mickledore.

About 10 minutes before we made it to the summit I lost count of how many times I said “I wonder how many people fall and die here!” and that’s because it’s bloody dangerous! You are walking over nothing but rocks.

Anyways we made it to the top, did the tourist thing of taking a photo, ate a sandwich and decided to head back to safety at the bottom!

Who knew going down a mountain would be harder than going up!? Well I certainly didn’t!

 

Scafell Pike is 3,209 feet high and bloody steep. You have to be incredibly careful heading down as it’s so easy to slip or go over on your ankle.  This is where good footwear is a MUST!

Thinking of trying this challenge for yourself? These are my tips for you…

1. Take layers.  It might be hot at the bottom but it gets VERY cold towards the top.

2. Hydrate.  You are going to sweat ALOT

3. Take snacks.  You burn a shit load of calories doing this challenge so make sure you’re re-fuelling.

4. BUY COMFORTABLE, WATERPROOF FOOTWEAR.

 

I took a MASSIVE risk and purchased some Berghaus Women’s Expeditor Active AQ Tech Shoes, Multicolor (Grey/Wine Ah8), 4 UK walking boots just days before the challenge;  I didn’t even have time to wear them in to prevent blisters.

Anyways, if you’re female and reading this with a walk in mind I really recommend these shoes.  They feel like trainers, (super comfortable) they prevent you from skidding and they’re waterproof (perfect for crossing the stream as you begin your journey up Scafell!)

Time to rest and wrap this blog up.. I can’t put my finger on it but I haven’t stopped smiling since taking on this challenge with an amazing bunch of people and a special someone :o)

Today I hiked Scafell Pike and I LOVED it.

Kate

x

 

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We’re going to row a marathon!

Saddle&Beauty

We’re going to row a marathon and yes, it’s pretty far!
But we’re trying to give more support than we get from our sports bras!!
We’re looking for your love and a generous donation,
To support our amazing friends at the Pituitary Foundation!
We’re training really hard and hope to stay afloat
So please show some love for #2girls1boat

Love Kate & Rachael X

Background story..

Kate has been at war with her pituitary gland since she was 15 years old which began with a large tumour on the stem of her brain (macro adenoma for the medics out there) which she got the all clear from at 21 years old! The story didn’t stop there; she’s on life long medication and still has to attend frequent hospital appointments for blood tests, MRI brain scans and catch-ups with her consultant.

Rachael has been through some of the highs and lows with Kate and came up with the idea to row a marathon together to really challenge themselves whilst raising some much needed funds for a foundation which provides a fantastic support network for Kate.

So dig deep, they’re rowing a hand blistering and back breaking 50km race along the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston representing Tyne United Rowing Club, fighting this Pituitary Condition together!

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Soak your troubles away..

Cycle coast to coast they said, it’ll be easy they said!

I promise to remain optamistic having exactly 2 months of training left before I set off on my ass torturing 140 mile cycle from Whitehaven (west coast of UK) to Tynemouth (east coast of UK).  I’m a -tough girl (I keep telling myself this!!) I was diagnosed with a Pituitary Macro Adenoma (brain tumor) when I was 17 and I’ve been symptomatic ever since, mainly in the form of tiredness!

I’ve always had particularly sporty genes and I refuse to let my pituitary problems stop me! I used to do martial arts when I was younger and developed an addiction to rowing in my late 20’s where i’d dedicate all of my evenings and weekends to blood, sweat and tears.. LITERALLY! I “retired” from rowing in July 2016 and have some how found myself in yet another time consuming and challenging hobby that keeps me active and allows me to escape the everyday stresses of life!

Kate Saddle & Beauty

Many people question why I do such challenging hobbies and even more so when they find out how my Pituitary condition affects me – I usually tell them that my brain is broken so my sanity is questionable 😉 but truthfully, I do it because I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone and in a weird way – this gives me energy!! These days I have regular blood tests and reviews with my endocrinologist (every 3 months) in Newcastle Upon Tyne and attend local meetings with the Pituitary Foundation where I meet and chat to others suffering from Pituitary disorders.

Relaxation is something I struggle with, I’d love to be the kind of person who switches off with a film or gets lost in a novel, but I cant!  I get distracted by social media and silly YouTube videos and end up feeling guilty for wasting my time!  If like me you struggle to relax, I’d recommend taking a nice soak in a bath tub! This is a bit of a joke with my friends and family, if they can’t get in touch with me they automatically assume i’m taking a bath!  Baths are so underrated, a warm bath before bed really helps my muscles relax and I find that I sleep much better!  BubbleTI usually just add bath salts to my water but I was recently recommended Bubble T, Melting Marble Oil Pearls (Mint Tea) and I was really impressed by the beautiful aroma they release.  They also left my skin feeling beautiful, similar to how it feels after a professional aromatherapy massage!  Unfortunately the scent doesn’t last for the duration of my soak but at this point I tend to be wrinkling and this is usually a sign for me to get out! 🙂  This brand doesn’t test on animals and they’re inspired by tea, so if like me you love animals and tea, check their range out, i’ll report back on a few of their other products soon!

I’m off for a soak in my tub now!

Kate
X

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These boots are made for riding…

 

Last year definitely had its ups and downs for me, the biggest downs occurred in the summer, where I took a couple of tumbles, firstly breaking my wrist and then a mere 4 weeks later breaking my leg… Unlucky I know!!!! Following this, I decided to take a look at the equipment I was using to see what I could change to improve my performance.

The first thing I looked at was my boots, and after owning a very reliable pair of Regali Ricci long leather riding boots for around 10 years, I decided this was definitely a place to start. They have been an incredible asset but I realised that over time, they had potentially stretched and weren’t as fitted to my leg as I would have liked them to be.

The next problem I had was where to start looking for boots as there are so many different brands to choose from. With the added complication that I am not exactly a standard size leg, with common jokes as I was growing up of “last time I saw legs like those, they were coming out of a nest” and despite all of my early mornings in the gym, this is something I have never been able to change… my ankles are actually the size of most people’s wrists!

Thankfully I was lucky enough to be attending the Scope Festival later in the summer and knew there would be a number of merchant stands there, dedicated solely to riding boots. This is where I came across Joshua Jones, they had a very professional upmarket looking stand with an array of boots to die for! They literally had every colour and style imaginable on display.

The staff at Joshua Jones instantly put me at ease and told me that they had fitted people a lot more awkwardly shaped than me, and proceeded to take measurements of my scrawny legs. We started trying on boots and with the second pair they had absolutely nailed the fit, the leather was so soft and the boot was incredibly flexible for being brand new.

So, which make of boots did I go for I hear you ask… Well, after looking through the various style and colour options and discussing my budget, the Di Niro Salentino in Greta Grey were definitely the ones for me.

My thoughts on the Di Niro Salentino in Greta Grey

I am completely in love! I used them for the first time a couple of weeks ago at a local show and I have to say that they fit like a glove. The soft leather fits incredibly close to my leg, something I have never been able to achieve before. I think this is due to an elastic panel next to the zip fastening which allows a bit more flexibility. I was pre warned that they will drop in height roughly 1-2cms with wear, so they did dig into the back of my knee a little on the first wear, but it wasn’t uncomfortable and by the second wear, they had dropped and were perfect.

I am definitely looking forward to getting out and competing more in these boots and cannot wait for the summer season.

My Di Niro Salentino rating: 10/10

Thank you very much Joshua Jones for sorting these out for me.

Nicki
x

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My legs are hungover but i’m feeling great!

With spring officially underway i’m really looking forward to soaking up the so called health benefits that come along at this time of year! I think i’m solar powered 🙂  after a few minutes in the sun this weekend I felt my mood soar as I topped up my vitamin D levels! This was all great until it suddenly dawned on me that with the temperature rising I’m going to be wearing less layers over the next few months and this is not good for a girl who cycles! One word…LYCRA.

Of course I want to be super fit for my Coast to Coast cycle in October but i’d be lying if I wasn’t thinking of that bikini body! So right now, I’m making a commitment to be #BeachReady (as they say on Instagram!) by MAY 2017!
I’ve made a start to this commitment by chatting to an experienced trainer who is helping me make small changes to my diet and fitness routine. I’ve even managed to sneak in a couple of personal training sessions with him which consisted mainly of weight training and circuits! Here is a sneak peak of a teeny bit of the circuit training…


This work-out was a major eye opener for me, I can feel muscles that I didn’t know existed and my legs feel hungover after all of the squatting! I’m going to take his professional advise on board and see exactly what happens when I put my training schedule into the hands of a pro.. watch this space!!

After all of the working out and family visits this weekend I made some time to relax and unwind at The Botanist in Newcastle Upon Tyne. If you haven’t been there before, I’d highly recommend that you go and see this place for yourself – it’s a cool venue!  We were welcomed by two fantastic smiles at the front door and an extensive drinks menu serving over 50 different bottled beers and ciders, cask ales and a variety of amazing cocktails! We planned to sit outside on the roof terrace but the live music downstairs was too good to miss! Here are 3 snippets of the musician David playing on Sunday 26th March.

He’s great isn’t he?! Not only was he fantastic to listen to, he was incredibly lovely and even found time to chat to us at the end of the evening! Perfect end to a top notch weekend!

Kate

x

Final thought, I wonder if the food is as good as it smells at The Botanist?…

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I’ve stopped cycling from being a pain in the ass!

I do indoor cycling at 6:30 most mornings during the week and my butt REALLY suffers! My friends tell me i’ll get used to it and I have to admit i’m starting to feel some improvements but it still hurts! One person recommended that I purchased some padded shorts or a padded seat and I thanked them for their advice but completely ignored it. I mean, yes my ass and lady bits feel like a bruised peach as I bounce up and down like a maniac but I don’t want to be that girl that waddles into class in padded shorts with a seat cover in my hand!

I probably sound vain (i am!) but I’m not stupid! I understand that if i’m going to cycle 150 miles for charity i’m going to need some sort of padding down there and with that in mind, I logged onto my laptop and ordered the SCOTT RC Pro Bibshorts at an attractive price of £20.00 (RRP £84.99) from a local company Start Fitness. I have to admit I took a bit of a gamble and ordered them based on the way that they look rather than on their specification.  I’m sounding really vain again!!

My thoughts on the Scott RC Pro Bibshorts…

I don’t think that padded lycra shorts will ever look sexy, but I have to admit, the Scott RC Pros are pretty sleek and stylish. I’ve just completed a 30 mile cycle around Kielder Reservoir and I cannot praise these shorts enough! The weather couldn’t have been any worse, I faced torrential rain and high speed winds and was covered from head to toe in mud, but guess what? My ass felt amazing!! I honestly believed that I would start to feel some pain around 15 miles, but I didn’t.. In fact I didn’t even think about it as I was cycling. The padding wasn’t particularly thick so I was able to walk without looking like a penguin and the fabric was incredibly breathable and comfortable.  It’s no surprise that these shorts are the no.1 choice for most of the XC Racing team riders.  I’m going to persevere at the gym and hope that my friends are right when they say i’ll get used to the indoor cycling ass pain – but if I don’t,  i’ll wear these shorts at my class!

All in all I would highly recommend this one piece to any cycling lady out there, so much so I’ve just ordered a second pair!

My Scott RC Prob Bibshort rating: 10/10.

Do you have a pair that you think are better? Contact me and i’ll be happy to review them!

Kate
X

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