Tuesday, 24 March 2009

20 week plan, 1 week in

I have to admit, I'm not off to the most brilliant of starts for my 20 week triathlon plan. There was the unfortunately coincidence of St. Paddy's day falling on day 2. Whoops. Cue 2 day recovery, which of course equates to zero exercise.

I think I'm off to a bit of a better start for week 2. Ronan and I went for a 40 minute run on Saturday, felt okay, but I keep getting pain in my left foot, around the arch, as well as my left knee. As I'm not a runner, it's hard to tell what's a 'normal' running pain, and what I need to watch out for.

I did a 52 minute bike ride yesterday at the gym, that felt pretty good, and I got in some crunches and weights. Unfortunately, my double workouts are on Mondays, but it's impossible to get a swim in. I'll have to start going for a swim before work, but this week, I'll just make it up on my 'off day'.

So, what do we have left for the week? I've got a 26 minute run today, I'll do my 26 minute swim tomorrow, the horrific 88 minute bike ride on Thursday, and get in a nice long 44 minute swim for Friday. I'll go off track on Saturday, and try to get in a nice long run with Ronan, I'll be aiming for 6.5 miles. Whew, Sunday will be a well deserved rest day!

On a side note, I'm looking to get my hair cut before I go to LA, hopefully early April. I'll definitely being going blonde blonde blonde for the summer, and I think I'll just go for a nice short bob, with a short fringe, something easy to straighten and easy to muss up with some wax. Perhaps a bit 'Katie':

but without Mr Cruise

Monday, 9 March 2009


photo by Lara May.

I'm trying to decide if I miss smoking or not. I don't crave cigarettes, per se, but I often miss the experience of smoking. I miss the act of deciding 'yes, I would like a cigarette now', whether it was to relax, or take a break, or chat up a cute boy. I miss pulling out a cigarette from my amazing silver jolly roger cigarette case. I miss coyly asking a young man for a light, even with my lighter buried in my bag. I miss the first, brilliant, deep breath, and the smoke filling my lungs, the nicotine coursing through my blood. I miss exhaling through my nose, and attempting (and failing) to make smoke rings. I miss the social aspect of smoking with mates, having special 'smokers' conversations, as you obviously can't smoke indoors where the rest of your non-smoking mates are. I miss accidentally lighting a cigarette backwards because I'm too drunk to realise otherwise. I miss going onto a balcony, or courtyard, or backyard, to have to light up. I miss smacking a new pack against my palm, and opening up the packaging. I miss laughing at the messages and pictures on the packs to convince us why we shouldn't smoke. I miss being a smoker, what that entails, how that identifies you.

But all in all, I don't miss smoking one bit. The whole concept of paying a company I despise to poison my own body really does just seem mad. You are truly powerless to the control it has over you. I decided, after 2 and a bit years of smoking, that I no longer wanted to be a smoker. And I better quit while I still had the power to do so. All of my parents smoked when I was a child. And despite numerous (innumerable in fact) attempts to quit, they all still smoke. I didn't want that to be me. I didn't want to set that example for my kids, and I didn't want to punish my body like that. I am learning to take pride in my body, and what it can do for me, and smoking is one of the most disrespectful things you can do to it. So yes, I do still crave cigarettes, I do miss the comfortable routine of smoking, how it relaxes me, how it helps me in social situations, but everyday, I thank myself for not punishing my body like that anymore.

But man oh man, a fag sure does taste bloody fantastic!

Friday, 6 March 2009

10 reasons I can't wait for summer...

I was born and raised in LA. I've been a swimmer since age 8, and a certified beach bum. My summers were spent either at the beach or at the pool, or going between the two. My swimming tan was so dark and so pronounced as a teenager, I thought it was permanently ingrained in my skin. I've snorkled, surfed, boogie boarded, and everything in between. I am also part Arab, and therefore have a deep glorious affinity for the sun. (I know, why do I live in England?)

As the days get longer and the weather warmer, I cannot wait for summer to actually arrive! Living by the beach does have its perks, and Brighton during the summer is lovely (if not hot...). So to celebrate its impending arrival, I give you my top ten reasons I love summer!

10. Summer fashion
I love ditching the jumpers and boots for the summer! Give me tank tops, short skirts, summer dresses, I love them all! There's nothing better than getting your skin out to soak that lovely summer sun! I especially love have a bit of a tan and looking fantastic in white!

9. Ice cream
I didn't realise how much I'd miss ice cream when I came to Britain. Of course they have ice cream here, and Ben and Jerrys is ALWAYS amazing. But they don't have the same outdoor ice cream culture here, ie, the ice cream truck! I miss the slightly tinny, definitely creepy music that you could hear down the street. I remember it getting louder and louder, and running inside to get a dollar for an ice cream, and getting it all over my hands and face! Nothing cools you off better than a lovely fresh ice cream during the summer!

8. Swimming pools
Growing up, the local swimming pool (Mar Vista) was my second home. My mom would take me at 9am and pick me up 8 hours later at 5pm - I was a certifiable pool rat! I learned how to swim, dive, play water polo, do synchronized swimming and even started going junior lifeguards, all at my local pool. I always looked forward to the first day the pool opened, saying hi to all my lifeguard coaches, and doing my first canonball off the diving board!

7. Flip flops
If I could, I would live in flipflops. In fact, while I lived in LA, I did. I had pairs and pairs and pairs, and would wear them in until nothing was left. I wore them with shorts, skirts, dresses, even jeans. And while I have a lovely pair here in Brighton, they just don't get the same kind of mileage - it's just far too cold. Luckily, it does get warm enough during the summer to wear them, so I'm going to stock up when I go to LA in April!

6. BBQs
The best summer parties are always the ones that centered around barbecues. Hamburgers, sausages, peppers, everything is yummy charbroiled over a flame! Throw in some beers and tunes and you have an awesome evening, watching the sun go down! We'll get our little disposable one for the summer, and take it down to Brighton beach (can't forget our gay frisbee, either!)

5. Surfing
I was never much of a surfer growing up, I always preferred to be swimming. But as I did more beach Jr. Guards, and got more confident with paddling, I enjoyed venturing out on my board more. I haven't been in at least 10 years, but as I'm married to a surfer, I better get my butt out there! I don't know if I can handle the British water temperature, so it might have to be a trip down to Portugal, but I'd love to get out there this summer. Either way, I love being at the beach!

4. Summer Holidays
The best summer vacation I ever went on was our girls trip to Oahu the summer we graduated from high school. There was something so freeing about a proper girls holiday, just us kids waiting to have a great time. I've had so many great summer holidays, including Dublin with Claudia and France with Ronan, and I can't wait to go someplace this summer!

3. Sunglasses
I love my shades! There's nothing worse than being out and about and squinting in the sunlight (talk about premature wrinkles!) As a lifeguard, I had to make sure my eyes were protected and that I could see clearly, especially against the reflection of the water. Now, my sunnies are more for aesthetic reasons, but that's just as important! A great pair of shades can totally make an outfit. I'm looking forward to getting myself a pair of lolitas this summer!

2. Tanning
We all know the perils of sunbeds and smoking and booze and everything else under the sun. That doesn't mean tanning doesn't feel amazing. Nothing feels nicer than baking under the sun, feeling its warmth all over your skin and getting the finished product of a fantastic tan. And tans make everyone look great. As Lauren says, tan fat ALWAYS looks better than white fat. I'll definitely be baking while I can during my lunch breaks.

1. Summer drinking
Nothing in the world beats drinks in the sun, getting slowly pissed as the sun sets. My poison of choice is a corona (with lime, of course), but your summer drink choices are endless! Cider, rose, pimms, anything goes! The summer I lived in London, my absolute favourite thing to do was walk down to the southbank and have a nice cold pint on the river front in the sun. This of course is everyone's favourite thing to do, but I think the more the merrier! As the weekends get warmer down here, Ronan and I are finally starting to venture out of the flat and enjoy our sunny Saturdays at the pub. Bring on summer!!!!!!!!!

What are your fave things about summer?