Monday, 5 December 2011

Guilty as charged

Well, it's been far too long since the last post. A lot has happened and not much has happened - it depends how you look at things. But I will keep this "come back" post short so perhaps some bullet points are in order:

- - At the beginning of September I did Ireland 70.3 and I loved it so much I think I will go back next year: The swim was shortened due to some strong winds and during that 750m swim in the seas I seriously thought I was going to die. The race was really well organised and the Irish now how to have fun. The best part of it though is that I got to spend some cool time with Charisa and her Mum, and also with Caroline and her lovely husband Mark. Charisa got 3rd overall and Caroline bagged her Vegas slot so I was surrounded by some kick-ass ladies.

- - Then I went back to work for few days before I got to spend some more time with Charisa. She was racing Challenge Henley and stayed with us for 10 days or so. We had lots of fun spectating at IM Wales and then I had fun cheering her on at Henley. I was lacking with my culinary skills though so for next visit I need to sharpen up a bit in the kitchen.

-- I've got a slot for London Marathon 2012 and I am very excited about it. It is very hard to get hold of one of those slots (unless you are super-fast, which I am not) so I am determined to train hard and do well in April.

-- I am loving living back in London again. It means I don't get to see hubby as much as I would like to but our lives are much easier. On the negative side, it seems that he will be deploying again very soon - we should know for certain this week.

-- Work has been crazy, crazy, crazy. I have never worked this hard and such long hours before. Even my boss told me that I have been putting in more hours than anyone else. I have been working on a really long and complicated transaction for over 6 months now and since mid-September my usual hours have been 9 am - midnight. Not fun. Naturally, training suffered - I was fighting to get any sleep. Luckily, it seems that we are nearly there with this transaction and today has been a first day in a very long time that I hope I would leave the office around 6 pm. Woohooo!!!

- - Can't believe it's less than three weeks until Christmas. I will be off work for about 10 days and I can't wait. There are a lot of parties going on at the moment as well - next week alone I have four parties/dinners in four days. Uh-oh/

Well, there you go - not much has really happened, at least recently. It will be nice to get some rest over Christmas holiday and re-group.

Monday, 1 August 2011

I am back...I think

It has been far too long since I actually wrote anything meaningful on here. I wonder if I ever did. Well lots of things have happened since my last post.

In the first week of June I ran a very hilly half-marathon in Wales. It probably was the hilliest road race I ever done. Those people doing IM Wales, beware, it is super hilly. My time was not a PR but I was pleased with it. It was not a PR course by any stretch of imagination (the first lady came in 1:40 something). In the evening after the race my foot started hurting and by Monday morning I was limping around. To cut long and boring story short I ended up injured and not running for pretty much last 7 weeks. IM UK 70.3 was out and then when things were not getting any better IM Germany was out. It is amazing how much you take your health for granted, right? I have only just started running again - some short 20, 30 mins runs. It is a slow way back. I did 35 mins on Saturday and that was my longest run in the last 8 weeks. But we play with the cards we are dealt so there is not going to be much complaining. IM Ireland 70.3 at the beginning of September is still on the cards so hopefully things will be fine by then.

In other news, work has been crazy. I have never been so stressed in my life. My department is terribly overstretched - we are so busy and lacking human resources. I am working on a deal at the moment that is leaving me in despair at the end of a day. But hopefully it will be over soon and things will calm down a bit.

Couple of weeks ago I also moved into an apartment in London. I am back to bike commuting to work and seeing more of my friends and love it. The reason for it is that Shaun's next job is taking us to Wales (and then him on a deployment). So I will be spending Monday to Friday in London and weekends in Wales. Actually as I write thin we have people packing downstairs - we are moving today. Can you tell the reason I am writing is because I needed to let them do their job and I was clearly in their way. ;(

Anyway, those are the news. Hope everyone is having a great season even if mine was not meant to be.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Happy birthday Prince Philip

Today is 90th birthday of the Duke of Edinburg, Prince Philip. His amazing 63-year marriage to the Queen is very inspiring. But what I really like about Prince Philip is how politically incorrect he is and has been over the years. And being married to the Queen he can get away with it.

I laughed outloud reading this article which lists his famous "gaffes". Hope you enjoy it and don't get offended.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

USA trip

OK guilty as charged - no blogging for what seems forever (and it IS forever) but I promise I started this blog post over a month ago!!!!

At the end of March I flew to the US to attend one of Jen's training camps in Tucson, AZ. The long trip was definitely worth it. I had great time.

I flew into Los Angeles and drove to Carlsbad that afternoon. I was staying the night with the most awesome hosts Charisa and her husband Steven. They looked after me so well that I cannot wait to return the hospitality soon. That evening Charisa and I had a dinner in a great Mexican in Carlsbad with Marit. Even though by then I was exhausted with a huge jetlag I had great time with the ladies. Also the following morning I had lovely breakfast with Marit - I loved spending time with her - she is so amazing.

The Tuscon camp was great. I finally got to meet a lot of blog friends and also some new friends. Also I was really looking forward to meeting my coach Jen The camp was tough for me. I've been quite sick in March and without too much training done I was not sure how prepared i was for it. But the camp was awesome. Climbing Mt. Lemmon was absolutely amazing and I cannot believe I got all the way to the top. The running routes were also amazing and swimming in the open air pool was such a treat in early April.

Since coming back from Arizona my training has been going OK (although as I write this I have skipped couple of workouts due to sore throat/slightly high temperature, ugh). Couple of weeks ago I raced my first triathlon of the year called the Swashbuckler. The race takes plane in the New Forest, the beautiful English national park. Even though New Forest is pretty close to us I have never been there and it is so beautiful. The race organisation was second to none and the field was pretty strong. Quite a few of my friends were racing (the male winner in fact) and it was great to catch up pre and post race with them. The race distance is "half-ironman-ish". The difference is that bike is shorter - 50 miles and run is longer - 14 miles. Run is quite lumpy as well. Because of the odd distance it is difficult to compare it to other races but my bike average speed is definitely a PR and run was close to PR. You really do feel that extra mile on the run. The swim was in a very tidal river with strong current and so although my swim time was nowhere near my PR it was bang on what I was expecting. So I was really pleased with the race although such strong field made me hungry to work more and harder and start being competitive in my age gr op. That is something new to me as up until now I just wanted a PR. Now I want to race well and compete.

So that's the news - you haven't really missed much. This weekend Shaun and I are off to Wales. Shaun is doing inaugural Ironman Wales in September and this weekend the organisers have put on an open water swim, bike SAG rides of different distances and marathon and half-marathon, all on the course of IM race. So for Shaun it is a great opportunity to recce the courses and for me a perfect way to do my long weekend workouts in a good company.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, 25 March 2011


Last few weeks have been somewhat hard on me. Just as I started to get back into some training three weeks ago I was struck by very bad tonsillitis. I was on antibiotics for 10 days and felt quite ill. I cannot remember the last time I felt that sick. Needless to say no training was done. I was really annoyed with it. I didn't go to work for couple of days and I was fed up with daytime tv. I was not fun to be around. Finally after couple of weeks and finishing the course of antibiotics I started training again. And I have been trying to do as many scheduled workouts as I could but work picked up and I am so busy every day. It is very annoying because I see most progress and feel best about the sporting goals when I train consistently. My parents are in town for a week and whilst I took couple of days off work to spend with them, the rest of the time I had to work. I think they were shocked on Wednesday when they did not see me the whole day. I left home at 7 am and came back around 10.30 pm when they were already in bed and then carried on working at home until 2 am. I felt so bad for abandoning them like that but there was not much I could do. I don't think they knew before how busy and stressful my job can be and this was a real eye-opener for them.

The problem I have when I work a lot is my food. I tend to eat rubbish food, raiding the office vending machine late at night for some sugar fix. It is atrocious. What do people do (and eat) when they work late. So after few weeks of late nights I feel terribly fat and unfit (probably because I am). Ugh.

On a more positive note I am off to Tucson next week for Jen's training camp and I cannot wait. Yes I will suffer and all that (Jen. please go easy on me) but it will be great to get some good workouts in and finally meet few people in person. Yay!!! I am flying into LAX and will then drive down to San Diego to see some fun people. So so looking forward to that.

OK and finally a paragraph which is really what this title is about. I am very proud of my husband today who has been awarded Mention in Dispatches for his service in Afghanistan last year. You can read about the awards here. Mention in Dispatches is the British Armed Forces oldest gallantry in combat award awarded to those who distinguished themselves by exceptional heroism, service or achievement. I am so very proud.

Monday, 7 March 2011


Yes I know, I am copying you all but I don't feel like writing a proper blog so here it is:

A. Age: 32, very soon to be 33 :(((

B. Bed size: Queen, but am thinking of getting super king. Queen was always fine for me but after Shaun being away last year for 7 months I kind of got used to more space.

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning!!!

D. Dogs: Chocolate Labrador Millie, but considering that Shaun's parents fell in love with her and took her away for "couple of weeks" I am not sure we will get her back. We had a Dalmatian in the past called Rex who was the cutest and naughtiest dog in the world.

E. Essential start to your day: Cup of hot water with some lemon juice.

F. Favourite colour: Brown. I know, very exciting.

G. Gold or silver: Silver, actually platinum would be the best.

H. Height: 5'8"

I. Instruments you play(ed): None.

J. Job title: Associate. People think my job is like Ally McBeal set. It is so NOT.

K. Kids: None (yet).

L. Live: Marlborough, UK.

M. Mom's name: Mitra, but we have given her plenty of nicknames over the years.

N. Nicknames: Gina, Angie and a number of those given by Shaun which shall remain secret.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None.

P. Pet peeves: When people are inconsiderate to others on public transport.

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: Biljana, four years older who lives in New Zealand so I don't get to see her as often as I would like.

T. Time you wake up: Week-days between 4:30 and 6 am (depending on whether I'm training or not), weekends anything between 7 and 11 am (I love my lie-ins).

U. Underwear: Calvin Klein or Marks & Spencers

V. Vegetables you don't like: I love vegetables.

W. What makes you run late: Waiting for Shaun, getting the car defrosted in the morning, clients.

X. X-rays you've had: teeth, fingers.

Y. Yummy food you make: I am not a great chef but I do make a great salmon pasta.

Z. Zoo animal favourites: Bears and lemurs.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Funny stuff

Since I don't have anything interesting or clever to say and since I found this list in my inbox today, I thought I would share. Hope no one gets offended. Enjoy!

1) I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

2) Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

3) I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

4) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

5) The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

6) Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

7) If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

8) We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

9) War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

10) Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

11) The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

12) Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

13) To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

14) A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

15) How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

16) Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

17) Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

18) I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.

19) A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.

20) Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".

21) I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

22) Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

23) Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

24) Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

25) A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

26) You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

27) The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

28) Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

29) A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

30) Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.

31) Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

32) I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.

33) Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

34) I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

35) When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

36) You're never too old to learn something stupid.

37) To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

38) Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

39) Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

40) A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

41) Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Monday, 21 February 2011

I really need to be better at trying to keep this blog alive. I am slacking and I know it. But truth to be told there is really not much happening in our household. The week before last I first had an adductor injury which left me in pain and limping for couple of days. Then I got ill. I knew something was happening on Wednesday afternoon as I left work at 5.30 pm (very early for me) and went straight home and straight to bed. I kept waking up in the middle of the night with high temperature and a really really sore throat. I ended up not going to work on Thursday and Friday and by Monday I was feeling much better. Needless to say no training was done during that time but by Monday last week I was ready and motivated to get back into training. But those two days being at home and not working made me really appreciate my job. Gosh I would go mad if I had to stay at home the whole day - I am really bad at keeping myself entertained at times.

So last week it was back to work and back to training. The training part is going ok. I have managed to get most of my workouts in and that motivates me even more. I am beginning to like my new swim squad although the knowledge that we will live here only until July/August makes me not wanting to really get stuck into club life.

Work has been OK. I am still working on my never-ending transaction that has been going on since July last year. Last week I witnessed real incompetence shown by lawyers on the other side and it really made me wonder who gave them law degrees and practising certificates.

In other news Shaun and I are trying to get more sleep these days. We are both well known in our friends' circles for being notoriously bad at getting enough sleep. Part of it is because we are so busy all the time and just don't have enough time to do it all but also part of it is because we are just not disciplined enough to make ourselves go to bed early. So this weekend I was on a mission. I made us go to bed before 10 pm on Friday and on Saturday morning we were up early and done with our workouts by 10 am. Well, let me tell you, that is a first for us. We normally go to bed late on a Friday and then in an effort to catch up on some sleep do not normally get out of bed before 10 am. But this weekend we realised that if we are just a bit more disciplined we can have far more fun at weekends. By getting up early and getting our workouts out of the way we had time to go into town, enjoy the local market and sit in a coffee shop drinking coffee and reading paper for couple of hours. It was wonderful. And then we did a repeat on Sunday and by having our workouts done first thing in the morning we had time to go to a local bistro and have lovely lunch. So needless to say, our sleep pattern will be changing.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Medals, parades and other stuff

Well not much and at the same time a lot has been happening. Work is busy as usual. I have been working on a particular transaction for over six months now and every time we think we are near the end something else happens or the lawyers on the other side have more comments, blah, blah, blah. The lawyers on the other side have been driving me absolutely mad.

Anyway, I haven't been feeling that great last week. I don't like this time of the year because I always feel sick - mainly because I commute to work in a crammed train or underground and the germs are flying around. I am trying to take care of myself but when you are inches away from people and they are coughing, sneezing etc. it is just not that easy. My training of course suffered. I am finding it very difficult to get into grove of training when I don't feel well.

Last weekend we went down to our old neighbourhood because Shaun's unit was receiving their medals for the deployment in Afghanistan. It was a freezing day but it was lovely to see everyone. And HRH Prince Charles came and was awarding the medals. It was wonderful to catch up with some old friends but the time just went by far too quickly. We stayed the whole weekend since there was another party for us to go to - company that Shaun used to command was doing a welcome and farewell to few people, including us. Again, it was great to see them all but at the same time sad that we are not there any more. I miss living down there. I miss living by the sea. I miss my old running and cycling routes and my old masters swim squad. But most of all I miss all my friends. Life in the Army, eh!!!

On that note I am leaving you with couple of photos from the parade.

The company Shaun commanded in Aghanistan:

Prince Charles:

All together:

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Ultrarunner v Ironman

Not sure whether you've seen this clip before but I thought I would share. Very funny. Enjoy!

Friday, 21 January 2011

Life as usual

I haven't been writing much lately simply because there wasn't really that much to write about. Well, there still isn't but here I am writing and boring to death few of you that are actually reading this blog.

Thank God it's Friday!!! Work has not been crazy busy, but I am currently working on a deal which has been going on for what seems forever. I actually really like the partner in charge of this transaction and I like the client but the lawyers on the other side are DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!! Almost every day involves a conference call which lasts for hours where they would like to discuss issues that are not really issues. Or I have to go to Paris and sit in a room for hours negotiating the documents. Anyway, I don't really want to write about it because just thinking about it raises my blood pressure.

My new commute to work is OK-ish but not great. It takes me 2 hours to get to work. Those two hours involve a car drive, train journey and underground journey. I know for most of people this is crazy commute and I do agree with you but these are the only 7 months in my life where I know that Shaun is at home all the time and I get back home to him every evening. So there is absolutely no way that I am staying in London during the week. However, from August his job takes us to Wales which will mean that I will be in London Monday to Friday and then in Wales at weekends. His job will take him away fairly often as well. It will be hard but I know we can make it work. We have in the past. Since I haven't kept my old apartment in London I am currently looking at where I would like to live from the summer and I have narrowed it down to few places. Basically, I will want to be near one of the parks: Hyde Park, Regents Park or Richmond Park. My old apartment was very near Hyde Park and I am leaning that way just because I love that part of the city. And plus, guess where Triathlon race will be in 2012 Olympics??? The Olympics tickets go on sale in few weeks' time and I can't wait.

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Well I can't believe that the holidays are over. For months you build up to that time in December and you excitingly wait and then it is all over in what seemed like a second. Gosh, going back to work after the holidays is hard.

We had quiet Christmas at home, Shaun, me and Millie. My parents were planning to come over but because of lots of snow and a lot of flights being cancelled they postponed their trip over to some warmer days. We decided to stay at home because Millie was just settling in and we wanted to give her some time to get used to life at home.

For New Year's Eve we had lovely dinner with friends. One of the great things about living where we live now is that we are only 30 mins drive from our great friends and my Goddaughter so having dinner together was wonderful. There were only 6 of us (3 couples) there and we spent the New Year's Eve 6 years ago together so that was really nice.

Shaun has started work yesterday, following his post-deployment leave period. He is now at Staff College studying whatever all these Majors have to study until mid-August. Life as a student, hah! It is just so nice having him at home.

I have now started training, and wow am I out of shape. It is incredible how quickly fitness goes. So far running in the dark keeps me on my toes. I normally run before work and it is still very much dark outside. Where we lived before that was not much of a problem as it was a well lit, inhabited area and I would normally run in the town centre and back anyway. But now it is a totally different. We live in a road with 8 other houses and a lot of nothing around. There is no street light. So yesterday saw me running in the dark with the head torch on which was interesting. I can't say I enjoyed it very much but I guess I will get used to it. On a positive side, once the days get longer in few weeks running in that countryside during sunrise will be amazing.

Happy New Year!!!