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This is my first Dirt de Femme, and whilst as a Nutritionist I am no stranger to sports nutrition, I have only been riding for 12 months so it has been a steep learning curve as far as what does and does not work for me. However, good race nutrition is the difference between getting out there and having fun, or spending the entire event in the hurt locker, so its worth putting a bit of time into planning your ride.

I have joined forces with an awesome company who share the same values and goals as I do. As of this week I am a Brand Ambassador for Mountain Bikes Direct - your one stop shop for all the gear you and your family need to hit the trails. We want to see more people out there, getting their bodies moving, and better yet, riding some dirt!

Without looking at my calendar, I can predict when my period is due based solely on my capacity to exercise. I was out mountain biking with my husband a few weeks ago and my whole body felt off. Not only was I feeling exhausted, but I lacked my usual confidence on the tougher sections that typically give me thrills. A week later, my body felt better than ever. It wasn't what I had eaten during the day, nor was it a difference in my sleep or my body being run down. It was my hormones. Sound familiar?

Our attitudes to our bodies and the world around us are very much formed in those early years of life, where some of our biggest influencers are our parents. This parenting gig is hard- we are literally responsible for creating human beings, keeping them safe and shaping them into healthy, kind and socially aware human beings. And they do not make it easy for us. In fact I was lamenting just that, earlier today with a colleague and the vast array of expletives we both wanted to use with our kids this morning just trying to get out of the house.

Nothing prepares you for motherhood. Not the overdramatised TV shows, or your friends' horror stories or the cautionary tales from your own mother. There have been days I have wished away, moments I'd questioned what on earth I'd done to myself and periods of time where I've just wished everyone would go away and leave me alone. They are completely normal feelings that every mother has at some point.

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