Sunday, 15 August 2010


It's been great to take a week off after the triathlon.  I don't think I needed it physically, but I definitely did mentally.  I went for a swim on Monday and the gym on Thursday for a new weight training plan, but other than that I did nada!

Wednesday, I took a couple hours off work and went to get my hair cut and coloured.  I found a great deal on the Brighton Groupon site, for £33 instead of normally about £90.  Woot woot!  Afterwards, R and I went for a nice Thai meal in the Lanes and I enjoyed a Chang beer!  Oh how I've missed you, you delicious amber nectar you!

This weekend has been equally lazy (only temporarily interrupted with a 3 mile run this morning).  While there was talk of camping on Saturday, it rained and rained and rained on Friday/Saturday morning so we decided to give it a miss.  Instead we went into town and:

had MORE beer (yay for Guinness!)

 got new (matching) phones

 picked up some fabric for skirts to make for France

 and bought season one of

So the rest of the weekend is going to be spent crocheting, watching TV, eating and looking for local Speech and Language therapists (not to visit but to shadow!)

How was your weekend?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

London Triathlon Race Report

Woot woot, I had a great day on Sunday! How could I not when I had these guys cheering me on?

Epic support team

Team Kira

Just as a recap, last year I did the triathlon in 3:29.07, and was 114/122 in my age group (ouch). I was really uphappy with my time, but I don't think I realised what a big impact being sick made on me, it really made me lose my edge. This year, I dropped a whopping 18 minutes off my time (okay, I'm rounding!) for a 3:11.55! And I was 87/133 (there were 140, but 7 DNF). I'd like to be in the top half, but I definite improvement over last year!

Itching to start!


Last year: 29.39

Um, how did that happen? The one leg I certainly WASN'T working on was my swimming leg! But this year, I decided to hire a proper swimming wetsuit and what a difference it made! Last year, I was so exhausted after the swim, I barely had the arm strength to unzip myself. This year, I felt just amazing on the swim, I could have gone on forever. In fact, about 2/3 in , I remember thinking, 'Boy, I really don't want the swim to end because then I have to cycle and run.' I just kept everything nice and smooth, breathing every 3rd and sighting every 8-10 strokes. I wore a watch this year, and caught a glimpse coming into T1 and saw I swum sub 27, and it felt awesome! I think if I worked on my swimming, I could definitely knock a couple more minutes off, but I was so chuffed to knock 4 full minutes off my time from last year!  And I'm pretty sure I finished in the top 15 in my age group.

And they're off!

Last year: 7.24

Like I said, I felt great after the swim, and really wanted to push it through to the bike. Last year, I was so miserable at this point, but I felt really optimistic this year that I could hit 3 hours. Side note, I'm really disappointed SportCam doesn't have the women's swimming photos up! Who can I complain to???

Last year: 1:39.27

Last year, I had almost zero on-bike training.  I literally bought a bike with less than a month to go, and had maybe an hour total time on the saddle before the big day.  And boy did it show.  I was so stiff and achy and sore on the day because I just wasn't used to it.  And I was being passed by everyone and their mother and their dog.  This year, I made sure to put in the hours on the bike.  And it really helped.  I only got passed by everyone and their dog.  After the first lap, I was a few minutes under 1:30, so I really thought I was on course to go sub 3 hours.  But coming off the bike, I saw that I was already over 2 hours at that point and wasn't going to sub an hour on the run.  Looking over other people's times, I can see that the 14km/26km laps they said just weren't the case, as I split 25.31 and 1:05.58, and others were similar to that (with the second lap being a good 10 - 15 minutes slower than a double first lap).  Oh well.  I felt strong on the bike, took in plenty of water, and thought I would be good going into the run.  R suggested I might need new/more gears though, because I definitely maxed out a lot where I didn't have any range left to power through flats/downhills.  Is it time to invest in a proper bike?

whizzing past

Too fast for the camera man!

Last year: 5.18

Wow.  Spot the difference!  I think this goes to show just how incredibly knackered I was last year, I had NOTHING left in me.  This year, I wanted to hustle hustle hustle.  I literally just dropped my bike and helmet and head for the run.  My time is faster than some of the top ten girls in my AG!

Last year: 1:07.20

This is definitely the most baffling part of the triathlon.  I checked my watch on the start of the run, and I was at 10.35, so I would have needed a 55 minute run to hit my 3 hour mark and I knew that just wasn't going to happen.  So my adjusted goal was to hit 3:09, so I could say I cut a full 20 minutes off my time.  But the power just wasn't there.  I hit the jelly legs definitely, and after a km or two, I started to feel a bit more normal.  But I just didn't have the speed.  It was really frustrating because I focused on brick sessions a lot this year.  I had in a good 3-4 sessions in July, including 17 mile bike ride with a 4.75 mile run (which I did in 45 minutes!!!)  And I ran the whole 6.2 miles this year.  Which is why it's so disappointing to see me drop less than a minute off my time from last year.  I honestly think I would have gone faster if I had walked a bit, but I'm proud of myself for charging through the whole thing.  And the worst bit? 4 short laps instead of 2 longer ones.  Mentally, 4 laps is just a nightmare.  UGH!  But check out that finish:

So so so glad to be done!

I am so happy I dropped almost 18 minutes from last year's time.  I felt solid and strong throughout (except the run of course!)  And I know with the right training, I could easily break 3 hours.  Despite concentrating on my running and cycling, I dropped the most time from my swim and my transitions.  I think I could easily drop another 5-10 minutes on my cycle, too.  The demon?  That run.  I was dissapointed at the time, but can still appreciate that I had a great race overall.  I've learned that no matter how slow you train, you're gonna race even slower!  So, if I want to run 9.30-10 minute miles in a race, I need to be running faster than that in training.  I've got the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon in 2 months, and I'm hoping to run that in under 2:10, so I've got my speed and endurance to work on!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Cherry Treats

Last year, I thought it would be nice to make my friend Jen a bag for her birthday.  She love love loves cherries, in all their cuteness, so I decided to adapt a bag from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Happy Hooker and turn it into a little cherry bag for Jen.

Cherry treats bag

Here's the plain bag, in nice simple white.

Cherry treats bag

With some cutie cherries attached.

Cherry treats lining

And then finally lined, with a pocket!

I actually finished the bag part in time for her birthday last year, but it just took me FOREVER to get around to lining it.  And while I finally sent it to her for her birthday this year it was still late!  Whoops!  But I think she liked it :)

Now enough homemade pressies for others, I need to make something for myself for a change!

My running future

I haven't even done the triathlon yet, and I'm already onto my next big project - the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon on 10/10/10!

I had been contemplating a half marathon for awhile now, and wanted something to dive right into after the triathlon.  I've already pushed myself to 8 miles, so I feel like I could join into a 16 week plan at the half way point.  I looked at the Run to the Beat race, but it's the weekend before my *gasp* 26th birthday and I'd really rather relax that weekend :)  Then on Twitter, Zest Magazine tweeted that the Breast Cancer Campaign had two places left for the Royal Parks Foundation HM, so I got in contact with the BCC and two days later....Bob's your uncle!  With the triathlon on the 8th, and say 2 days off for good behaviour, that gives me officially 2 months (8 weeks and bit) to get myself into half-marathoning shape.  I'll scope out a few training plans, but I already have a workout strategy in mind to be honest.  I'd like to start doing yoga a bit more, and try to fit in some strength training.  My tentative post triathlon workout schedule looks a bit like this:

Gym - 30-60 minutes on the cross trainer with 30-45 minutes weight training

Run - 30-60 minutes, either intervals or hill runs

Yoga - my gym has a class from 5-6, plus some jacuzzi action afterwards

Run - 30-60 minutes, either intervals or hill runs

Gym - 30-60 minutes on the cross trainer with 30-45 minutes weight training

Run - long easy runs, working on increasing mileage


Most HM training plans have you do 3 mid-week runs, plus the longer Saturday runs.  However, I want to take that down to 2 mid-week runs, so I can give my legs a chance to recover and do some cross training as well.  And I've already managed to increase my distance to 8 miles with only 1-2 runs a week. 

I've finally reached the point where I (kinda, sorta, maybe) ... enjoy running.  I'm not sure how that happened, but I slowly started noticing things like, perferring a run to a bike ride, or pushing R to go out for a run (and not vice versa).  And then one Saturday morning, I said to R, 'I'm going to go a bit longer today, I'll meet you at home.'  I was actually enjoying myself and wanted to push myself further.  Well, K, you've got over 13 miles to push yourself, that's definitely further than you've done before!

Monday, 2 August 2010

sum sum summer time

I've been having a really awesome summer so far!  We've been really good about going out and seeing friends, soaking up the sun and doing fun outdoor activities.  And even better, we've had decent weather (sorry England, you never have better than 'decent' weather!)


kite flying!




puppy watching!



I've got the London Triathlon coming up this weekend, on Sunday, and my support team (R and Leashie) are getting ready!  I feel really good about my training this year, so I'm hoping to shave off quite a bit of time this year.  I've also given up The Booze since the end of June (with a few lapses, including a glass of champagne, and a half glass of Pimm's!), and have also lost 7lbs, too!  My outdoor runs and cycles have also helped me develop my tan (funny lines included).  And!  On Saturday, R and I went out for his boss' birthday and I fit into my skinny jeans.  I haven't been able to wear them since I first bought them in 2006, BEFORE I met R!  Woot woot to exercise, healthy eating and no booze :)

The weekend after the triathlon, we're hoping to do a little mini camping break, and then we're off to France on the 19th, yippee!  It's R's dad's 70th birthday, so all the kiddos, plus partners, plus babies, are heading off to France for the week.  I'm looking forward to red wine, tennis and swimming!  After we're back in the UK, we're off to Edinburgh for a wedding.  August is going to be amazing!

Do you have any fun plans in the works for August?