Tuesday, 25 August 2009

LA Movie time!

A couple years ago, R and I watched a documentary at the Tate Modern about Los Angeles, and the movie industry. While many films are shot in Los Angeles, there aren't actually very many films about the city. Many of my british friends have noted that there aren't many landmarks in LA - that is to say nothing particular distinct or distinguishing. New York has the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and that very lovely skyline. London has Westminster, Big Ben, the Eye and the Thames. Even San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. But Los Angeles is just street after street, lined with palm trees. Perhaps it's that bland, general feel that works so well as a backdrop for movies. I happen to disagree, but I also realise I'm very biased! I absolutely love the views from the Hollywood Hills at night, homes sparkling in the flat sprawl of the vast city. And did I mention, we have the most beautiful sunsets?

Well, I've been pretty homesick this summer, so R and I decided to do a 'themed' video rental week. This week: Los Angeles. We rented:


LA Confidential

Laurel Canyon

We finished Chinatown last night, and I really enjoyed it! Being as young as I am, I only remember Jack Nicholson as being 50+, so it's great to see him in the heyday. And my lord, is Faye Dunaway gorgeous! I'd also like to read more about the history of the city. Great noir mystery, though, with beautiful costumes and scenery. The only thing that turned me off was Roman Polanski. Not a fan of statutory rapists who flee their sentencings. Tempted to not watch, but glad I did. I just hate giving money to that jerk.

I saw LA Confidential years and years ago, and don't remember much at all, so I'm really looking forward to re-watching it (and understanding it a bit better!)

I remember Laurel Canyon coming out, but I don't know much about the premise. That was our wild card, as we needed a third film!

What's your favourite film about Los Angeles?

Monday, 17 August 2009

been pretty un-busy

I haven't been up to much recently. The weekend of the 8-9 was spent doing nothing, and boy was it lovely. We were both recovering from the lurgie, so I finally ventured out of the house on Saturday and walked along the beach (coughing the whole way).

As I had taken 2 days off work (for being sick), I was so so rammed when I got back. And it didn't help that I was going on a trip to our printers for a tour for a couple days. Eep! But it was beautiful! A few of us from work left Tuesday afternoon, and drove up to Shaftesbury to our little BnB, and a curry. We spent the day touring the printers and learning a bit about print production. It was great to be out of the office for a few days (and all on expenses, you really can't complain!) A few little pics of the trip - we were in proper English countryside!

view from the pub

Golden Hill, where they apparently filmed the famous Hovis advert in the 70s

gorgeous English countryside

On the weekend, we took a trip to Westcliff in Essex to visit our friends Glenda and Dave and their little boy, James. We haven't seen them since March, and James is now 9 months old! It's amazing how fast they grow - he even has little teeth now! His hair was much darker when he was born, but it's turned pretty blond, and is super fluffy like a little bird!

doesn't that make you go, 'oooh I want one of those?'

James n' me, chillaxing at the beach

Babies, when they're newborn, are terrifying, but at this age, they develop such a sense of personality and curiousity about the world. I can definitely feel the broody factor growing after trips like this, but I also know we're just not in any financial position to consider kids right now. In the meantime, I love our friends having babies!

This week is pretty relaxed - but I need to get back into the exercise groove. I have done zero exercise since the triathlon, and it's starting to get a bit pathetic. I'm going for a swim tomorrow after work, and now that I have my bike back, I'll go for a little ride on Wednesday before my guitar class. And maybe, just maybe, we'll even go to the pub quiz that night! Oooh the exciting life of a married 20-something :)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

sick again!

So by Wednesday after the triathlon, all my aches and soreness were gone, but were replaced by headaches, coughs and sneezes. By Wednesday night, I felt worse than I have in years. My pre-tri cold has most definitely come back bigger and badder.

So today I've stayed home, sleeping and trying to recover. Looks like I'll do the same tomorrow.

Maybe one day I'll feel normal again :(

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Mazda London Triathlon 2009 race report

First, the stats:

Swim: 29:39

I felt pretty good for the swim, but the wetsuit made a big difference, methinks. I used my brother-in-laws surfie hand-me-down and it just didn't fit properly. There was A LOT of water getting caught in the arms, and it had a big effect on my pull. But I felt fine in the open water - the docklands were pretty good because although it has the mad rush of an open water swim, it's effective a giant swimming pool, so there wasn't too much impact from currents, etc. I finished about 20-30 in my wave out of over 200 so not too bad!

T1: 7:24

I couldn't get my wetsuit off! It was actually a bit comical. I was yanking on the strap but nothing was happening. The actual transition was pretty on par with the rest of the ladies. I could have been a bit faster wheeling my bike, but overall, it went okay.

Bike: 1:39:27

My big downfall. I felt pretty strong on the ride, to be fair, but I just didn't have the speed I needed. Considering I was hoping to go around 1:20, this is obviously where the majority of my added time came from. I wasn't prepared for the hills, drinking from my bottle, racing with others, etc. This was the leg I was least prepared for and it really showed. However, that also means it's the leg I can make big improvements on and really drop some time! Both my laps were pretty much evenly split, as well, so I kept it consistent.

T2: 5:18

I was just so knackered at this point, I really felt like I couldn't have run with my bike. This was much slower than most people, and I could feel it at the time. Hopefully, as I get better on my bike, I won't be so tired for the transistions.

Run: 1:07:20

I was hoping to run around 10 minute miles, so this wasn't too bad (considering I was absolutely dead coming out of the transition!). I averaged just over an 11 minute mile, so I know I can bring this down a good 10 minutes or so. I also walked (much more than I should have!), so that's another area I can shave time. It was two 5km laps, so I just kept imagining I was running to the King Alfred Centre and back, which really helped. As did seeing my cheer squad! I still managed a sprint at the end, too.

Total: 3:29:07

My goal had been to beat 3 hours and I was obviously no where near that. I also knew during the race that I was going much slower than I should have. I kept thinking, as long as I finish, that's okay. And I felt like that afterwards for a bit. But I just couldn't help but be disappointed.

A few days on, I think I'm feeling a bit better.

On the actual day, I was amazed how tough it was, and how much my body just couldn't cope. At the time, I thought, oh my gosh, I'm never doing this again! The days following (Monday, Tuesday), I was really upset about my time, and lack of strength, and really felt like I hadn't put in the effort I should have. But in hind-sight, I realised a few things.

1. Being sick took a major toll on me. In fact, I don't think I was fully recovered, because following the Triathlon, it's come back with a vengence. I also only trained about 3 times in the 2 weeks leading up to the race.

2. I really need to get a swimming wetsuit! While I did fine on the swim, carrying the extra water in my suit really dragged me down, and knackered my arms. I was surprisingly tired after the swim, and that shouldn't have happened.

3. Waiting until less than a month before the race to get a bike, and then only doing 1 proper run on it = super bad idea. It was the cycle that killed me, for sure. I just kept getting passed, first by my wave, and then by the wave of big blokes that started 30 mins after us!!!

So I'm feeling better about myself, and I'm looking foward to getting stuck into the next one.

Here's my glorious (stolen - but will purchase soon) picture following the race: