Tough Girl Podcast

The Tough Girl Podcast is all about inspiring and motivating YOU! I will be interviewing inspirational women from around the world, who’ve faced and overcome difficult challenges and situations, they will share their story, their knowledge and provide advice and essential tips for you to overcome your own personal challenges. Please check out the Tough Girl Challenges website - and follow on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts







All Episodes
Now displaying: November, 2018
Nov 27, 2018

Carolin is a 51-year-old ultra-runner and multi-day stage race specialist, however, this wasn’t always the case. When Caroline was 36 years old, she was a stay at home mum to three daughters. Wanting to feel better in herself, and wanting to get fitter and lose some weight, she started on a  journey which would ultimately lead to her becoming an ultra-runner….accidentally!! 

She didn’t tell anyone what she was doing, and it was tough going at the start, she started with walking, then gentle jogging and gradually build it up over time to running further and further distance, until she was training for her first marathon! She persevered with it, even through injury and kept on challenging herself more and more. Since then Carolin has gone on to participate in some of the toughest multi-day ultras on the planet, from running the Ice Ultra in the Arctic Circle to the Jungle marathon in Peru.

Show notes

  • Living in Calgary in Canada
  • Having 2 siblings and doing lots of sports growing up 
  • An ordinary person who just fell into ultra running and extreme distance sports
  • Why she decided to take up running
  • As a stay home mum, how she started running with 3 children
  • Not telling anyone she was running
  • Deciding to do a marathon as her first race
  • Dealing with injury and getting the bug for running
  • Starting to notice the benefits almost from the start
  • Not having any proper equipment 
  • Celebrating the mini victories along the way 
  • Never having good body image
  • How her confidence built over time as she got stronger
  • Not telling her friends
  • Running her first marathon at 39 and why it didn’t quite go to plan
  • Doing her first triathlon! 
  • How she trained for her first triathlon 
  • Why it’s all about the challenge
  • Where she gets her determination from?
  • Getting burnt out from triathlon 
  • Doing her first ultra race in California (50K) and coming in last and why it didn’t matter
  • The support she has received from the trail running community 
  • What she thinks about while running
  • What training is like
  • Training for the Ice Ultra organised by Beyond the Ultimate and why she wanted to do it
  • Her race training strategy
  • Why gear was so important and why her biggest challenge was keeping her water from freezing
  • How she protected her face with buffs
  • The high and low points from the race
  • The Peru Jungle Ultra - what it is and why she loves it 
  • Why she has run it 4x
  • Being terrified the first time she did the race
  • The mental preparation she does before a race
  • What she’s feeling on the start line and her race strategy for the Jungle Ultra
  • Why she has to break the long stage down into smaller sections
  • How she prepared for the heat!
  • Her mantra - “Just keep moving forward” and why got it tattooed on her arm
  • Her nutrition and diet
  • Managing your feet in wet jungle conditions 
  • Her 3 top tips for the Jungle Ultra
  • Wanting to go after a 100 mile race - the reasons why and why she keeps on trying
  • The Lost Soul Ultra (100 mile race)
  • Mental Health - and why its important to talk about it
  • How running has helped your mental health
  • Her self care routine 
  • Her running from home bag
  • Her next few races
  • Final words of advice


Social Media 

Facebook: @accidentalultrarunner  

Instagram: @carolinbotterill 



Nov 20, 2018

Growing up Janey spent the majority of time in wellies and a wax jacket covered in mud. When she wasn’t scooting round the fields bareback on her little Dartmoor pony she was playing in the woods with her brother and her dog. She then spent several childhood years in the bright lights of Las Vegas. Long summers were spent sneaking out while the folks were in bed. Exploring the desert and what the city had to offer. Swapping Geography degrees at the University of Exeter as a result of a more desirable field trip to the outback of New Zealand was a sign of things to come.

Janey’s heart lies in the military where she spent four fulfilling years as a soldier with the Honourable Artillery Company. In an unfortunate twist of fate she suffered a serious back injury while training for a military horse race, the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. This halted her plans of joining the Army Legal Service as an Officer. Now a qualified lawyer but unable to fulfil her ambition in military law she embarked on a new business venture; a travelling art gallery, which flowed naturally into life modelling, presenting, running a bar and starting a jazz night; amongst other things.

In December 2018, she will explore the female side of Oman with an all-female Anglo-Omani team. Together they will circumnavigate the country and attempt a first for female exploration; walking the length of Oman’s most formidable landscape, Rub’ Al Khali, The Empty Quarter.

She currently resides in rural SW France surrounded by dogs and horses.

Show notes

  • Living in rural SW France
  • trying to find her way 
  • Wanting to join the army as a lawyer
  • Breaking her back 
  • Setting up a travelling art gallery and doing it for 5 years
  • Becoming lost and not knowing what to do and which direction to travel in 
  • Growing up in the country side and Las Vegas!
  • Deciding to join the army reserves 
  • What it was like and wanting to ride in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup
  • Suffering a serious back injury
  • Adjusting to life after the army and her injury
  • Deciding to walk the South West Coastal Path
  • How much time she decided to give herself to plan and prepare for this trip
  • Starting the challenge in July 2015
  • Coping with her emotions while walking
  • Only wanting to look forward
  • Other issues while on the SW Coast Path
  • Dealing with her family while on the trip
  • Why she picked the sunflower to plant
  • Deciding what she wanted to next and why she wants to continue pushing herself physically
  • Post Traumatic Growth
  • Doing the Dartmoor Way - walking and raising money at the same time (90 miles in 39 hours)
  • The high points, the low points and what she learned
  • Wanting to stop because of the pain and how she kept on going
  • What she’s thinking about while on the challenge
  • What she got from the challenge
  • The next big walk/challenge
  • Why she picked Oman
  • The catalyst and why she needed to change
  • Why it’s about the conversations
  • Starting on the 1st December and finishing on the 1st January
  • How the journey is going to be documented
  • How’s she funding the trip
  • What she’s focusing on in the follow few months
  • Keeping her team together
  • The biggest challenge she thinks she will face while over in Oman
  • Team dynamics in extreme environments
  • Why patience is the hardest thing
  • Connecting with Felicity Aston
  • Final words of wisdom

Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @JaneyMcgill

Instagram - @gijaneyadventures  



Nov 13, 2018

Loretta had a normal life she was living in Canada with her boyfriend, she was building a house, a 10 year project in the making, but once the final nail had been hammered in, she knew she wanted to do something different with her life. On a whim, and after being inspiredly the Adventure Cycling Touring Handbook, she headed off to England on her first cycle adventure over to Ireland. This was the start, since then, she’s spent over 5 years on the road travelling across 5 continents and cycling through 41 countries as she travelled around the world.

During this podcast Loretta share more about how she came to be living this life, the challenges she has faced along the way and why she loves what she does. She also provided top tips and advice to motivate and inspire you to get on your bike and get peddling! 

Show notes

  • Run trekking in Nepal
  • Living in Canada, 36 years old, with a proper job and a boyfriend
  • The Adventure Cycling Touring Handbook
  • Deciding to leave her life behind to go and cycle from England to Ireland
  • Starting a community for women who travel by bicycle 
  • The Big WOW Book: 100 Women From Around The World Travel Solo Around The World
  • How her friends and family reacted to her wanting to cycle around the world
  • Her first 5 mile hill…
  • 100 km days - 6 days per week
  • Her daily routine while biking
  • The biggest challenge on her 5 year cycle adventure
  • 7 punctures in a day!
  • Maintaining her health while on the road
  • taking breaks to write her book
  • Eating while on the road
  • The Big Book of WOW and how it evolved over time
  • Advice for other women who want to get into cycle touring
  • Not having a map and getting lost in Bangkok 
  • How she’s funding the trip and how she saved up money
  • Personal safety and looking after your bike when you are solo
  • What are the great routes she has cycled and would love to cycle again
  • What bike she rides
  • Her next plans
  • Deciding to run across a country!
  • Her second book
  • Journaling and loving writing

Social Media 


Twitter @skalatitude 

Instagram  @solofemalecyclist   

Facebook @WomenOnWheelsWall 

Nov 6, 2018

Sophie is the 2017 New Explorer of the Year. Her expeditions have taken her to the streets of Managua to the mountains of Madagascar and everywhere in between.

She is the Founder of AquaAid International, Sophie works with some of Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa’s most remote villages establishing sustainable sources of clean drinking water and basic sanitation.

Sophie is a Health Security Specialist with a concentration on the civil military relations in infectious disease outbreaks and biodefense, for which she has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship from the US Department of State. Sophie holds a Bachelors in Environmental Science and Global Public Health from New York University and is currently working on a Master of Health Security at the University of Sydney. 

Sophie is an avid sailor, has sailed across the Pacific Ocean, and holds a 200-ton captains license. At the time of certification, she was the youngest female to ever obtain a 200-ton MCA Yachtmaster Captains License.

Her passion for adventure and discovering indigenous ways of life has led her undertake descents of uncharted rivers in Madagascar, desert transect treks in Namibia, and ethnographic research in the Republic of Vanuatu. Sophie’s work has been featured by National Geographic and the United Nations.  Sophie is a Fellow of The Explorers Club and Post-Graduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. 

When not exploring Sophie lives between New York City and Sydney. 

Show notes

  • Currently rriving a Land cruiser around the outback in Australia
  • Using exploration to help achieve a more sustainable future
  • Being a ballerina before taking a pivot into science, travel & exploration
  • Changing her life at 16 and starting to work on super yachts
  • Coming from a low income, single parent family
  • Being determined to travel from a young age
  • Working as an unpaid deck hand
  • Becoming the youngest female to ever obtain a 200-ton MCA Yachtmaster Captains License
  • Sailing across the Pacific Ocean
  • Studying Public Health at New York City University
  • Being shocked by the water crises she came across
  • Founding an NGO, the challenges she faced and what she learned along the way
  • Returning to NYC and finding the Explorers Club where she was able to connect with other like minded individuals.
  • Heading on an expedition to the Republic of Vanuatu to search for the ‘Tribe of Female Chiefs’
  • What she learned about female leadership while spending time with the female chiefs
  • Sharing her knowledge and research with others
  • What daily life was like while she was over there, where she stayed what she ate and how she handled the language challenges
  • Women and the practice of water music
  • Feeling lonely and isolated even though she was surrounded by people
  • Heading back to NYC and dealing with the culture shock 
  • Graduating from University and trying to decided what to do next
  • Booking a ticket to Madagascar and deciding to start the Sofia Log
  • Winning a scholarship to do an extended 2 year research program on water security in Central Africa 
  • The challenges she faced over there and why she is not a river person
  • What she’s learned from committing herself to projects
  • Deciding what to do next after she finishers her studies
  • Being a Youth Representative for the Explorers Club in the UN
  • The Sofia Log - what it is and why she started it
  • Why you have to find out what works best for you


Social Media

Website - 

Twitter - @TheSofiaLog

Instagram - @captsophie 

Blog -