Thursday, 30 April 2009

Flying away

Not much to say. I am just about to escape the office (after some really really long days this week) and go to the airport to catch my flight to NYC. Meet Shaun tonight, and get a flight to St. Croix early tomorrow morning. So excited now about the race and really looking forward to it.

Back to West Point on Monday for a whole week of chilling and not doing much but spending time with my husband, woo hoo.


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

What to say

There is not really much for me to say as life has been ticking along as usual. But I thought I would blog anyway and bore you with my not-so-exciting life.

After that spell of sickness last week I was back on track training wise on Saturday and it felt like a very hard weekend. But I was loving it. I have been coached by Jen for almost a month now and I am loving every minute of it.

We've been having great weather (*touch wood*) here in London and it is absolutely amazing how people's moods change with the weather. Everyone seems much happier these days. The training feels better, the commute is great and even the work doesn't seem to bad (apart from being stuck in the office bit). I went for a long walk with a friend on Saturday afternoon and it was beautiful - along High Street Kensington, through Holland Park and off to Notting Hill for some coffee. I loooove Notting Hill and after our walk I am thinking that if I stay and live in London I would love to move over there (*time for a chat with the husband*). Have you seen the film Notting Hill? I have. Three times.... in the cinema. And numerous times on DVD and TV. I love it and pretty much know every line of the script. I know, I know, I am a bit weird.

So St. Croix is next week and I can't wait. Everything is pretty much done: my flight to NYC- check; our flights from NYC to ST. Croix - check; hire car booked - check; hotel booked - check. And today I am getting my bike checked and serviced so I should be ready to go. On the note of servicing the bike - OMG, the prices are extortionate. I am having both my commute bike and my racing bike serviced today and whilst one is getting basic service the other one is getting full one. It will cost me £££££. Over £200 for two bikes - that is over USD300 for my American friends. And I do that at least twice a year. Ouch!!! But I will not complain as long as everything is OK and working on the day. Unlike at my last ironman but that is a story for some other time.

Well I better actually go and do some work. It's 1 pm already and all I've done is one conference call.... and of course some all important internet time. Have a good one.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Easter weekend

So this past weekend I was at West Point for Easter weekend. What I didn't realise was how lucky we Brits are as we get both Friday and Monday off work so every year there is a nice long Easter weekend. It appears that my American friends are not so lucky. I flew over on Thursday night after work and the flight was, as every year for Easter, really busy.

Shaun had to work on Friday so I just did my workouts and chilled at home. Ah, yes and pretended to be a taxi-driver for my husband. I don't like being there when he is working because it just puts added pressure on him to come home early and not let me feel neglected. And he really is a huge workaholic. My boss would really like him.

On Saturday the plan called for a long brick session. It was the first time riding with Shaun since some time last year and I was really looking forward to it. As soon as we set off the rain started. Argh!!!! We rode over to the bottom of Bear Mountain and started climbing. Climbing in the rain wasn't too bad, it was warm and because I was working hard the rain didn't really bother me. After about 4-5 miles, near the top suddenly we hit this fog or cloud or whatever it was. It was really spooky. I loved the climb and I was so pleased that my usual mental attitude of "I can't do this" did not prevail. Going down was different. There is one word for it -FREEZING!!!!! And this is what should have made us think to go back home. But oh, no, we thought we would be OK and carried on climbing towards Seven Lakes. But then going down was so cold that I couldn't feel my feet or my fingers. So after about 2.5 hours we decided to call it a day and ride home. I looked at Shaun and I have never ever seen him that miserable. All I could do was just laugh. But seriously his choice of clothing was poor and his gloves were so thin. So when we thought that the things couldn't get any worse, I got a flat... 8 miles from home. Shaun was shivering and he couldn't keep his hands still so I had to change it... in a pouring rain.. on a side of a quite a busy road. It was bad, really really bad.

All we wanted was to get back home. We got so cold that at one point that I didn't think we would make it back home. But we did, finally. And I couldn't stop laughing. I thought it was hilarious, whilst Shaun was sitting at the bottom of the stairs, still looking miserable, trying to get the wet clothes off. Our clothes was completely wet. If I squeezed my socks, water would pour out of them. I still thought it was really funny. Nothing a nice warm shower and a hot cup of tea could not sort out. The funny thing is that when we got out of the shower and looked outside the rain had stopped. Seriously???? Two hours later there were hardly any signs of the rain, even on the roads.

On Sunday I woke up feeling a bit feverish so following Jen's orders I took a day off training. I didn't want to because I was planning on going for a long run with Shaun but orders have to be obeyed ;-)

Monday morning and flight back home. I again managed to get a first class flight (courtesy of my frequent flyer miles) and I wish I hadn't. Having flown first class few times now, going back to economy, or even business class, seems like torture. What have I done to myself???

I have been doing training on and off this week. Still not feeling well. Yesterday afternoon was worst so far so I had to skip the run. Today not feeling great so I've decided to take time to get better so I can resume proper training this weekend. It is just over two weeks before St. Croix and it is scary. I need to get better real FAST.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Energy aware

I have seen this sign on my run at West Point couple of days and I've never seen it before. I love it.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Living together, living apart!!

I often get odd comments and questions from people (including friends) about me and Shaun not living together these last couple of years. The truth is that when he got posted to West Point we were planning for me to move there couple of months after he left. But somehow it never happened. First I was worried of putting my notice in (have no idea why), then we figured that we could afford more things and a lot more travel (which is what we wanted to do these past two years) with me working. The fact is that I have always been a main "earner" in our marriage and even though most of the time I hate that extra pressure, I am now totally used to it and it works well for us.

Of course we would love to spend all the time with each other but we were always quite independent and worked with the circumstances the best we could. So for example, when few years ago he went on operations to Bosnia for 6 months, I went and worked for our office in Dubai. Most people thought we were odd but we found the whole arrangement perfect.

So I was chatting to my best friend yesterday whose daughter is my Goddaughter and she was saying how she was talking to her 4-year old son Timmy the other day about Shaun and me. And so she was telling him how "Auntie Angelina lives in London" and "Uncle Shaun lives in America". And apparently he just looked at her and said "Don't they like each other??" Priceless!!!!

Monday, 6 April 2009

What a weekend

First I have to say well done to all those racing at Oceanside this weekend, in particular Charisa and Marit for getting their Kona slots :-) , Jen Harrison for getting Clearwater spot and Rachel and Courtney for having amazing races. Also well done to Maggs for an amazing race in NOLA - Maggs, that bike time rocks!!!

This was probably one of the rare weekends where I was quite grateful for the time difference between London and the US, which meant that I could get all my workouts out of the way before the races even started.

On Saturday plan called for 4 hours hilly bike ride (thanks Jen ;)) and luckily I knew a group of guys who were going out for a hilly ride in Surrey. I have never met most of these guys but through friends etc have been saying that I would join them and after bailing out few times, they kind of stop believing me. So when I turned up on Saturday morning (in the horrible rain, may I add) they were like "You actually exist". :-)))
It was a TOUGH ride - there was a hill after hill after hill. I swear I haven't seen a decent flat section in those 4 hours. And as soon as we hit the hills - a familiar site -they all take off in their macho attempts to get to the top first and I am left there dragging my sorry (and nowadays fat) a$$ up the hills. After a while I kind of got used to it and even though I am not on good terms with hills, I kept saying to myself that they would make me stronger. The first and only time we hit a flat section (5-ish miles) I did my pull at the front and I am glad to say that one of the guys fell of the back :))))))) I would like to take the credit for pushing the pace, still he was having trouble with his helmet strap and fell off whilst fiddling with it. Still I will take the credit! It must have been my pace.

I loved every minute of that ride (apart from the rain) and will definitely be joining them again soon. One of the guys even brought the cakes made by his wife and they were delicious. Yum!!

On Saturday I went for a run in glorious weather. When we have nice sunny weather here in London, it is the best place to be. I ran along Thames and there were so many runners, walkers, rowers (love the sight of rowers :))) and people just chilling in the sunshine. It was a perfect day. And then I had my first ever ice-bath. Jen's put it in my training plan and I was reading it thinking "yeah, right". But I thought to myself "stop being a wimp and at least try". Ouch, ouch, ouch!!! It was freezing but once you are in there you kind of get used to it and it is not too bad. I am not a wimp after all! At least not a big one.

Easter week is here so for us here it means Friday and Monday off, woo hoo.