Getting back on my bike

I have always enjoyed cycling, saving up my pennies from a paper round so that I could up grade my bike to a new racer. I would get out and about on my bike both as a mode of transport with the independance to get to band practice in the summer but also just to enjoy the freedom to explore and yes when younger bike tig was also a favourite game. Then I found the joy of driving and although this took over I would still get out from time to time.

After moving to the Isle of Wight I started working within walking distance from home and would walk to work but then I decided to get back on my bike, my shiny racer from days gone by was long gone so I headed down to a well known car and bike shop to pick up a bargain, an ex-display mountain bike. I just wanted to get something cheep and cheerfull to get going again and this was just the ticket, it did take a while to get used to the wider arm span than the tuck of a racer. After some time and enjoying being mobile on two wheels again it was time for a new bike and to revert back to a racer, something lighter and with narrow tyres. My company participated in a ride to work scheme giving me the opportunity to purchase a new bike. I certainly noticed the difference cycling to work up the hill on a lighter road bike with much less friction. I cycled to work in all weathers, well almost all weathers, high winds and snow and ice were the only exceptions. Waterproof trousers and jacket allowed cycling in the worst rain and there were definately some occasions that some down hills were hard going against a head wind but with the commute being about five minutes this was a breaze and a pleasure in the good weather. It was also a pleasure to get out and about on longer runs around the local area and used it to nip up to the local shop, much better than jumping in the car for short trip.

On moving back to Scotland I am just a wee bit too far to cycle into work, I did think about it but it would probably be about an hour to cycle in, which wouldn’t be too bad but then another hour to get home, taking up too much time when Emma and I are looking to get on with other activities in the evenings. There is also the added issue of the Stirling bypass, that I would have to join for a short part then cross over to get into Stirling. There are some people that cycle on this road but those that know it will understand when I say that it is one better to avoid, there can be some crazy driving. Since moving back my bike has therefore gathered dust in the garage feeling a bit unloved. Time to change this again.

I still do not plan to cycle into work but now that I am in the way of exercising in the morning before work, I have started mixing it up a bit and going out for a walk some mornings rather than the gym, so I have decided to also go out for a cycle some mornings. I have thought about this for a while and not got round to it, time to change that. Emma and I have been walking along an old road that is now closed to traffic for most of the way and I realised that this would also be a good place for a morning cycle. When walking we drive to a car park a third of a way along the route but I could cycle out there from the house. Now that I have decided to get back on my bike I better give it some TLC.
Today I got my bike out and gave it a clean and a check over, the tyres need pumping up they were a wee tad deflated. All ready to go now for my first cycle in a couple of years. I am looking forward to getting back out and hopefully will manage to get out in the morning, today we had other plans as we were also getting the garden tidied as we head into Autum.

Some further updates to follow on how I get on when I get back on my bike and further training for our dog sledding challenge, please see our JustGiving page for further details. ReleasetheDream JustGiving.

Continuing to live the dream
Bren x

Training on full speed ahead for a 5k……

After all the excitement of last week Brenda and I have come back down to earth and got on with our daily tasks of trying to get fit and achieve our weight-loss goals.

We have got so much going on in our minds with thinking about the £12,000 we need to raise but cannot avoid the fact that we have a 5k to run in less than 2 months.

We have managed to get a few walks in but I have been battling with a viral infection in my chest and throat which has been holding me back and totally getting me down.

Brenda had been looking at the Supernova website and came across the times for the runners last years, she saw that the time for the last place runner was 1 hour and 10 minutes and we decided that this will be our target to beat.  It feels achievable and not too scary for me!

As it happens we were out last weekend and walked across the new Queensferry crossing, we were two of the lucky 50,000 that got to walk across it, and as well as enjoying the view and experience we thought it would be good to gauge how our walking is going.  The distance marked out on the bridge was 2.74km so we took this as the distance to time ourselves, but obviously we didn’t think about the fact that we would be stopping and taking pictures every 5 minutes and zig zagging across to see the different views!  Our time to cross was 1 hour…..oops!  We came away feeling a bit pants and thinking that we will never manage the 5k in 1 hour 10 minutes.

During the week we went for another walk on a straight path to see how we do without the zig zagging, we were a lot happier with our time this time.  We walked 3.05km in 43minutes and did not feel too bad.  This worked out at 14.3 minutes a kilometre which puts us on track for 1 hour 10 minutes for our 5k in November.

We felt so much better knowing that our goal is achievable that we have decided that we want to push it a little bit more and do our 5k in less than an hour.

So this week we will be out walking and aiming to get a 5k done in the 1 hour 10 minutes and then we will know that we only have to increase our speed to achieve our goal… if you see us out walking and we don’t stop to say hello please do not take offence!

Here’s to living the dream,

Emms x

P.S. if you would like to donate any pennies to our cause here is a link to our Just giving page.….


All set for a challenge

Today it becomes very real as we start the official count down to our charity challenge, dog sledding in the Arctic Circle with only 516 days to go, we will be heading off on the 2nd February 2019.

When we started going to the gym to get fit and lose weight we thought that having a challenge would help us stay focused and that is where it all started. Our blog name Release the Dream stemmed from us deciding that we wanted to achieve something that we have always wanted to do. Searching for a challenge we found a Dog Sledding challenge, dog sledding and traveling to the Arctic circle is something that we have been wanting to do for some time but just not had the opportunity. One of the good things about this challenge for us is that it is an open charity challenge, that is we could nominate any charity and we wanted to raise funds for a local charity – Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.

Eilidh Brown was a local girl who sadly passed away far too young after losing her battle with cancer, Eilidh had a dream to build a respite holiday home in the Stirling area for young people and their families. Eilidh’s parents have created the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund to raise money so that Eilidh’s dreams could be realised. It will be a great honour for us to be able to contribute to Eilidh’s dream.

It may seem a long time to go but we want to raise as much money as possible for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund between now and then, aiming to raise a minimum of £12,000

Now to the challenge that we have set ourselves – Dog Sledding in Sweden, below is some details of what we will endure on our challenge;

The Dog Sledding challenge is graded as “Moderate”. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, but perhaps haven’t taken on a strenuous challenge event previously and are hoping to put themselves out of their comfort zone!

The Dog Sledding Challenge you will be:

  • Sledding for around 5-7 hours per day
  • Covering approximately 180km across 5 days of hiking
  • Using your core strength to control the sled
  • Sleeping in temperatures that can reach -40 Celsius
  • Over-nighting in very basic wilderness cabins, where the toilets are outside and you will room together in one room
  • Taking charge of and looking after your own set of dogs. You will see to their needs before yours

Check out some footage from the challenge here .

This is getting all a bit real and scary now, what have we done?

In January, we set our goals for our personal challenge to lose four stone between us and get fitter, to date we have lost two and a half stone between us and we have definitely improved our fitness levels. Now that the challenge is real it is time to reset our goals ready to achieve the 180km dog sledding across the snow.

Our new goals are to lose one and a half stone each between now and the 1st May 2018, we want this to be achievable taking into consideration Emma’s condition and my love of food. Our fitness levels are harder to quantify but in January there is no way we would have considered entering a 5k run but here we are signed up for the Supernova 5k at the Kelpies in November. Click here for details of the run. Training for the 5k is going well  but we have still got a bit to go, we have got two months left and feeling positive we will make it across the line.

We have lots of plans for fundraising over the coming year, all events will be announced on our social media pages and we will keep you updated on our blog.

If you would like to donate some money please click here to find our Just Giving page. If you would like to help or support us in any other way then please contact us at

Continuing to live the dream.

Emms and Bren x