Friday, 31 July 2009


This is what appeared on my desk yesterday morning together with a nice box of chocolates. OK, the chocolates are gone but I am still admiring the flowers. They were from Shaun for our 7th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe that we have been married for 7 years. Unfortunately he wasn't here to celebrate but considering that out of seven we've only spent one anniversary together, we are keeping in line with the tradition...or the Army life. But guess what, in 4 hours time I will be at the airport waiting for him to arrive and I am really really excited. I cannot believe that we are actually going to be living in the same country. Life is good.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


This is one of the pictures I've found when I googled the word "motivation" and it actually really resembles the state of my mind as far as motivation was concerned recently.

Last couple of months I have been struggling to motivate myself to train properly. I lost focus and I am yet to find out why. It's not as if I've stopped enjoying and loving the training - I still do, but something was missing. Something that is now back (YAY!!!!) but I still cannot define that "something". Perhaps it's my failure at Coeur d'Alene, I don't know. I hope one day soon I will figure out what it was so that I make sure "it" does not come back again.

But with Jen's huge help, I think I am now back on track and I am loving the training. I have re-evaluated my goals for Silverman and I think that the ones I set for myself are realistic but still require a lot of work. And I cannot wait to do the work.

The build for Silverman starts next week and I am really really looking forward to it. There are few things that I would like to stick to from 1 August and the main ones are:

1. Train consistently and push myself hard in training

2. Take care of my nutrition - I think that nutrition is one of my huge limiters as I am kind of blase about it - I really really need to pay more attention to it

3. Rest - get at least 56 hours of sleep a week - with my job and long hours sometimes I cannot get 8 hours a day of sleep but I can try to maintain 56 hours of sleep during any one week period

4. Loose weight - and that is a BIG one. I have allowed myself to eat whatever I want (and since I am vegetarian and my regular meals are good - I eat a lot of snacking crap). And Silverman is HILLY and I do not want to be dragging all that weight up the hills so from 1 August I need to be more disciplined as far as food is concerned.

So that is it. I do not want to put too many restrictions and goals because I may just end up thinking it's all too much and just go back to my old ways. But I think these four will make a huge difference in my life and training.

So few more days of easy training but come 1st August the game is ON!!!

Friday, 24 July 2009

My bike commute

Every day when I ride to and from work I get reminded of how lucky I am to be living in such a great city. London is such a historic and cultural hub and my bike commute takes me next to many wonderful sites of this city. So as I ride by the Westminster or some other similar site and see all the tourists who pay a lot of money to be here, I realise every day that sometimes I take it for granted. And I do complain about the weather a lot but sun or rain it truly is one of the most amazing cities in the world.

So here are few pictures which will show you my everyday bike commute.

As I leave my office and head home, few minutes into my ride I get amazing views like these ones:

Of course I do get stuck in the traffic sometimes but that is usually along the Embankment and I know to expect it so it doesn't bother me very much. Plus the later you leave work the better the traffic is. My most favourite commute rides are around midnight (after some late nights in the office) - i LOVE them.

But then I start getting closer to the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and I LOVE being "stuck" there at the traffic lights - the architecture never ceases to amaze me.

Then I ride along the St. James' Park and cycle right in front of the Buckingham palace, waving to Her Majesty every day :)))

Cross the lights by the Buckingham Palace and I enter the cycle route of the Green Park. It is usually quite busy but I love it:

Next, Hyde Park corner - the riders are allowed to go through the roundabout rather than around it and at any time I was there there are usually at least 15-20 riders on their commute. It is like a little peloton going through the gates and I find the faces of tourists when they see us most amusing.

And then enter and ride through Hyde Park. In the morning the park is usually full of horse-riders but on any summer afternoon you will find heaps of people doing all sorts of sports and fun events and I love it.

Once I leave the Hyde Park I turn into High Street Kensington passing Royal Albert Hall and the Kensington gardens (pictured below)

And then, less than 5 minutes to home, one of my favourite stops - Whole Foods.

I really believe that I live in one of the best parts of London and I am very very grateful for it. Any visitors, very welcome :)))

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A race to do

Having seen this video and heard a lot about this race from quite a few of mine friends who have done it I have decided that this is a race I must do someday, hopefully quite soon. The atmosphere is amazing, kind of like Tour de France. I LOVE it.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


OK, so here is where I need your help dear readers. I've always had trouble with being comfortable on the saddle of my bike and have changed it few times and whilst the things have improved I am kind of thinking that it can get better. Either that or I am living in a dream. But I really really think that I can be far more comfortable on my bike.

So could you please let me know what saddle you use and whether you like it. Any information is very much appreciated.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Two years already

The picture above is of Devil's Tower taken during our recent road trip.

Two years ago Shaun has just returned from his deployment in Afghanistan and five days later we were on an airplane bound for Washington DC in order to start our two year adventure at West Point. I remember how excited we were and really looking forward to it. But I can't believe that it has been two years and it is now time to return home to our little island. We had amazing time in the US, met some great people and had fun all around.

Before that flight two years ago, I've never been to the US. Somehow nothing ever attracted me to it and I didn't really have any wishes to go for a visit. We always chose to travel east - to Asia and the Middle East and we both love Asia. So US was never really on any of our travel plans. Until two years ago when Shaun got posted to West Point. In these two years I absolutely fell in love with the country and have met some great people who will remain dear, dear friends. I am already missing my trips across the pond and our regular little breaks to different parts of the country. And we are already looking for an excuse to come for a visit.

Although I am already back in the UK, Shaun is over at West Point until the end of the month doing the hand-over of his job. The packers came yesterday and our belongings were packed and left the house. Hopefully we will see them in 4-5 weeks time. Apparently we had twice as much stuff than when we came. Oooops.

So although I am a little sad that our adventure has come to an end, I am positive that we will be back at least 2-3 times a year - there is so much of that country left to explore. And I truly hope that we will stay in touch with all the great people we've met.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


I came across this photo yesterday. It is the cycling club of the city where I grew up, formed in 1935. Love the look, especially the suits.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

First things first

Wow, has it been this long since the last time I've blogged... Many things have happened but in order not to make this post too long (and I am typing this at work, so I should really be doing some work ;)) I will only talk about the failed attempt at IM CDA.

Going into the race, I knew my heart wasn't really into it. For some reason, having a "not a great" race at St. Croix added to this, but I think the main reason is that for me Silverman was an A race this season and I really want to do well there. So it was decided that I would race CDA with no pressure which suited me well.

However, couple of days before the race, ever since I left London my stomach wasn't feeling great and I really don't think I ate as much as I should have had prior to the race.

The race day -swim was HORRIBLE. I am a slow swimmer but not such slow swimmer as CDA results show. The water wasn't too cold and because I have never done a mass start before I positioned myself well at the back. That is a decision I would probably change. I found myself caught behind a lot of really slow guys and had to get few kicks and work hard to get around them. On the second loop of the swim I just felt as if I was going backwards - it really wasn't pretty.

Finally out of the water and onto the bike. As soon as I got on the bike the stomach pain started. At times it was pretty unbearable. I couldn't eat or drink anything and unsurprisingly, slowly I started to bonk. At the end of the first lap I was clearly going backwards. I had no energy. I realised I only consumed couple of sips from one of my bottles and even though I tried to force myself to take calories in, my body said no. I felt awful, I knew I couldn't race like this. For about 20 mins the mental battle within me was just awful. I was thinking of so many reasons why I should go on and my heart was telling me that I should, but at the same time my body was saying no and my mind was telling me that it's just not safe to carry on. All I really wanted was to see someone I know out there on the course, like Shaun or Marit or D so that they can make the decision for me because I didn't want to be the one to quit. But I didn't see anyone and the decision had to be made. So I did it, I pulled over and rode to the transition. And that was it - the end of my race, one big fat DNF.

I felt a bit tearful in the tent, I was very disappointed with myself but decided to try and make the most of the day and try and be the best support for my husband and friends racing out there. It was great to see Shaun and Marit and Ian having amazing races and I was so so happy for them. But when Shaun crossed the finish line I found myself in tears. I felt like I have let myself and everyone else down. I know it was hard for Shaun to celebrate his race seeing me like this and I wish I can change that now. But that is how it all went.

I just wanted to say a huuuge thanks to Jen who was a great support before, during and after the race. And I am so pleased that she has accepted to coach Shaun as well. We love it.

It was also great to meet D who was a great spectathlete and also Marit and her great hubby and parents. We had so much fun with them. Shaun and Nate hit it off straight away talking about military stuff and I loved Marit's parents. We had some really interesting conversations. I hope you do come to visit us in the UK some time soon (Marit, are you reading this???).

Once the IM CDA was out of the way we did our litle road trip - USA style but more about that in the next post.