I'm a mum of two who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. I initially had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy. While receiving treatment I decided I would like to give back to MacMillan for the great care they gave me so I signed up for a charity cycle hoping to raise money for them. I took part in the cycle 25 days after my radiotherapy finished, cycling 25 miles in my first ever road event with a bicycle I acquired on eBay. I fell in love with road cycling and carried on training and signed up for my first Cycletta in 2012 again raising money for Macmillan.
At the end of the year I found out that I had to have a mastectomy and this was performed in January 2013. I had to take a short break from cycling but was back on my bike as soon as I could be. I entered Cycletta again but before it came around my son was admitted to hospital to have his appendix out. Unfortunately it had already ruptured and he became very ill with septicaemia. He had several operations and was in and out of intensive care, staying a total of 21 days in hospital. He was home bound for a further month missing more than 2 months of school. So I missed out on my 2nd Cycletta which is why I was more determined to do it this year.
Up till now I have always entered events on my own and the thought of being on a Team is even more inspiring. Being chosen to be part of Team Spatone then is just a great opportunity and something I'm really looking forward to. Being part of a team is great motivation to get training!
My favourite things are spending time with my two lovely children Marlie and Mark and our mini schnauzer Bertie. I have a great cycle buddy in my partner Neil who although is new to cycling is already putting me through my paces...a little healthy competition. I have a passion for travelling, art and nature and enjoy being outdoors.
As far as sporting achievements go, I have taken part in several charity cycle sportives. The longest being 50 miles. I have also ran in Race for Life. I'm not much of a runner but hope to do a duathlon at the end of the year too.
NEW! Melanie's August Update
So August has been a bit of a non-cycling month for me
with kids off school and juggling work. We had a great road trip to Ireland,
where I'm from, to see my parents and family. Despite the long drive of 5 hours
to Pembroke, it's always an adventure we love and it means we can take Bertie
our miniature schnauzer with us. We spent just over a week, but visiting home
is never long enough for me!
Back in the UK I was straight away off to work. I am
cabin crew who flies long haul routes from Heathrow airport. I've been to
Atlanta, Boston and Mexico this month and was very lucky to be able to take my
children to Mexico with me. They are big enough to find their way through
airports and travel alone now, which helps.
As for the cycling...it's been non existent. I think most
working mums will identify with the difficulty of finding time when the kids
are at home and I wouldn't change the times we have together. I'm hoping my
fitness levels won't have dropped too much as September starts and I take back
up training in earnest.
I have continued taking Spatone and believe it is helping maintain my energy levels which usually hit a low during the busy summer months. I'm
still finding it easy to take and actually really like the taste too!
I now find myself with just over a month to go! I've
taken part in a Cycletta event before so I am getting very excited about the
day itself. I'm hoping to do the 60k which will be a challenge but a distance I
have covered before. Now to get on my bike and restart my training...bring on
Melanie's July Update
July has been a busy month for me, with settling into the new house and trying to unpack. On the upside we now have a sizeable shed to house 5 bikes (2 are mine). I've spent some lovely evenings mountain biking with my 12 year old son and not so much time on the road. It's been a great month for travelling though both with work and holidays too. My work has taken me to San Francisco where I hired a lovely full carbon specialised ruby elite bike and cycled through the Golden Gate Park and up Mount Bruno with a local girl from an all girl cycling group called SheSpoke. Even partly in the rain it was most enjoyable!
I've also been on a fabulous holiday to Vancouver and Whistler enjoying the cycling there too. I have many bruises to prove just how tricky some of the single tracks in Whistler are...but so much fun plus the scenery is amazing. So to round up my update I've had many outdoor adventures both here and abroad on many different bikes and loving every minute of it!
It was just over a month ago when I met the rest of Team Spatone and started my countdown to October's Cycletta Surrey. The spin session with Johanna Rowsell was a fantastic way to kick off my training and get me motivated to get out on my bike. So how has my training been going? Well I've managed to get out on my bike and cycle some really decent distances, generally over 20 miles and one outing of 30 miles. I have been cycling with my boyfriend around the lovely Sussex and Surrey countryside enjoying the scenery and stopping for the odd cake and coffee. Cycling with Neil has helped immensely. Initially I was cautious about cycling with him as boys like to go much faster and have that competitive edge, however my pace has increased because I am constantly being pushed to keep up! My legs are holding out and apart from my knees aching a little I seem to be coping well. So all in all it's a definite plus having a training partner.
As for my Spatone intake, I have got into a routine now. My miniature schnauzer wakes me up sometime between 0500 and 0600. I let him out in the garden, I take one sachet of my Apple flavour Spatone, he comes in and we both go back to bed until my alarm at 0700 when it's time to get my children up for school. This means I am taking it on an empty tummy and without food to aid absorption. I have had no ill effects taking it like this and compared to other iron supplements I have taken in the past I have no side effects whatsoever. The taste is not unpleasant but I liken it to licking a metal spoon!
I've just moved house this weekend, it's been very stressful and busy! So I'm really looking forward to cycling this week to clear the cobwebs. We have a planned a 50 mile cycle on Sunday which should be interesting as right now every muscle in my body is aching from lifting boxes, loading and unloading the van and climbing up and down stairs all day. Bath time followed by some Arnica Cooling Gel for my poor legs I think!