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All about Lizzie

Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Location: Reading
Occupation: HR Manager
Interests: Triathlon, nice wine (ok, any wine), Southampton FC (accident of birth)

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Just checking in!
Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:37 pm Lizzie
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It's been over a year since I last blogged here, and a lot has happened since then!

Work continued to be a nightmare over the end of last year and start of this. It was extremely stressful and I was treated very badly by a company that I'd been at for 10 years. In April I finally decided to cut my losses and agreed an exit with them, which was a very good decision. I stayed on until mid-June, then took 2 months off. Fortunately I was offered a new role on the day I left my old job, so I was able to relax and enjoy myself for a few weeks! I did lots of exercise, caught up with friends and even went to a spa for a few days, which was bliss Very Happy After Daisy broke up from school we went on a few day trips and then had a family holiday in France (including Disneyland Paris!) before I started my new job in mid-August.

So far the job is going well, the pace is a lot less frantic than the last place which is great and the company is a lot less mature, so there is lot of opportunity to get things done which I'm really enjoying. I also spent a bit of time re-evaluating things and finally got off my @rse and enrolled on a 3 year course to become a nutritional therapist. It's something I've been thinking about for a while, but it was never a good time, so I decided that I just need to go for it - I don't want to look back in 3 years and wish I'd started sooner! It's quite full on - 10 weekends of lectures a year, plus quite a lot of home study and assignments, but it's fascinating and I'm really glad I've taken the plunge.

So I'm pretty busy currently! Daisy has settled well into school and I've just applied for Poppy for next year, which is nuts. They won't know what's hit them!

I managed one tri this year (Blenheim) - didn't really train so didn't have a very good race. In the spring I should be able to start cycling to work again as I don't have to take the girls with me any more, and I'm fitting in a couple of runs a weeks, so I might do one or two tris next year - a couple of (relatively) inexpensive local sprints. I don't want to put more pressure on myself though!

I've also started blogging on my own site, which is (I've got a facebook page of the same name) - as the name suggests I'm rambling on various topics about nutrition, exercise and parenting. Would love any feedback as I only went live last week Smile

Hope everyone in blogland is doing well, I do drop in from time to time to see what everyone is up to, but it seems quiet in here these days...

It's a bit quiet in here...
Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:10 pm Lizzie
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I haven't blogged in nearly a year and I'm still on page 1! Lots been going on and life has got in the way a bit, but given I've actually raced this week I thought I might update...

Quick summary of the last 12 months:

Work: has been a nightmare. No one really knew what was going on when I came back from mat leave which has left me really in limbo, as well as reporting to a very difficult manager. Working 4 days a week (correction: getting paid for 4 days a week) but doing a lot more than that. Things are hopefully turning the corner now, will see how the next couple of months go

Family - all good. Girls are getting big, Daisy starts school in September which seems unbelievable! Just got back from a break in NYC with Mr Lizzie (it's our 15th wedding anniversary next month) which was fab and have a week in Dorset next week with the extended family, so hoping for good weather!

Exercise/racing - I did one more tri last year, a sprint organised by my old club. Did 1.29 which I was really pleased with. Have done a lot of running and strength training over the winter and had a reasonably good outing at the Reading HM (1.57 Very Happy ) which I was really happy with. Entered Blenheim a few months back. Didn't get round to getting my bike serviced until about 3 weeks ago and only did 2 rides before the race (although I have done a fair amount of spinning over the winter). My only swimming since October was 4 lengths last week when I took the girls swimming. Oops.


Back to where it all began, scene of my first tri back in 2006! I managed 1.44 there on the back of some pretty good training, but also riding a hybrid... On the way, Mr Lizzie promises that he'll take me to the Hand and Flowers if I can beat that time Twisted Evil

Hadn't tried on my wetsuit in 5 years, but managed to struggle into it ok and had a pretty decent swim at 15.43 Very Happy . T1 is a 400m slog up a steep hill, which all in all took over 5 minutes Embarassed .

Bike was fast, quite hilly but I felt pretty strong throughout. It was 3 laps and getting pretty hot by that point (about 1pm on Sunday afternoon). Actually felt like I was overtaking quite a few people. Back in 44:25, very happy with that Very Happy Very Happy

Quick T2 and then the run - 2 loops of a pretty undulating course. Had the family cheering me on which helped (sort of) but was struggling by lap 2. The course was a bit over 5k (nearer 5.5 I think) but only managed 32:05 - rubbish Sad

But overall, a time of 1:39:19 sees me well inside my previous time and pretty happy overall. Clearly my strategy of doing b@gger all swim and bike training paid off. Looks like I need to ease up on the run training a bit in order to improve Razz Sadly, Tom Kerridge can't fit us in this side of Christmas (really!), but I am holding Mr Lizzie to it.

Have another sprint planned for August, but will try and blog again before then....

Henley Triathlon Race Report
Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:05 am Lizzie
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Yay, I did it! Funnily enough, despite the lack of preparation, I felt quite relaxed about the whole thing, didn't even get my kit together until the morning and didn't feel too many nerves before the off.

Queued up on the poolside between 2 newbies who looked a lot more nervous than I was! I'd put 8 mins as my swim time, so was surprised to see the pool was still full of breaststrokers, especially given there were about 80 women off before me.

Started off ok. It was 400m - 4 lengths in each lane before ducking under the rope to the next one. Realised I'm made a poor choice of clothing. I have a 2 piece tri suit but when I tried it on I realised it left an unpleasant roll of "mummy tummy" hanging out, so I'd worn the shorts with a tight fitting top. However, the fabric wasn't right, it got really waterlogged and I could feel the drag straight away. Anyway, overtook a few people in lane 1, had a reasonably clear run in lane 2, got stuck behind a slow swimmer in lane 3 and had a quicker lane 4. All in all not too bad - 8.20

Quick dash out of the leisure centre, socks, shoes and helmet on and onto the bike. 1.14

Two laps totalling 25k. The wind was quite blustery at times. Felt like I was overtaking quite a lot of people to start with (there were a lot of people on mountain bikes!). There are a couple of hills, one back up to the leisure centre at the end of the lap which is quite tough, especially 2nd time round! At times it felt like into wind the whole time. Not particularly speedy - 1.03

T2 is in a different place from T1 so you have to remember 2 different locations for your stuff. Luckily that didn't prove too much of a problem, I was in and out! 0.52

The run consists of 4 laps around the school field totalling 5k. At this point I really wished I'd done a couple of bricks in training. My legs felt leaden for the first two laps. The wind was really strong and as the field is quite exposed, it was pretty hard going down the last straight, headlong into it! I felt better on the 2nd two laps and Mr Lizzie and the girls were there to cheer me on so 4 laps was good in that I got to see them lots! Saved a little for a sprint finish - 29.01

So, overall my time was 1.42.49. Was pretty pleased with that as I'd be aiming for 1.45. It's a bit slower than when I did it 5 years ago (1.33) but I think generally it was a bit slower thanks to the wind and I'd done a lot more training then! I was 37/140 so fairly respectable.

I did enjoy it though, which is the main thing, just need to find a couple more to do this season now. Oh, here we go again... Very Happy Very Happy

Off to France for a couple of weeks tomorrow, but I shall be packing my trainers Smile

KP Nut - Thanks! Hope you find the house you really want, it's very frustrating.

Found then lost
Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:40 am Lizzie
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30 secs a min. After the 10k I seemed to be maintaining my quicker pace, I ran a 5k fun run at work in a good time and had a few good training runs. Then, struck down with the lurgy. Had a nasty chesty cough that made me decide not to run for over a week, and still lingered around longer than that Sad Ever since, running has just felt like a real struggle, and my average times have been slower than they were before I found that extra 30 secs.

Things have been a bit busy so I didn't get to bootcamp for over a month either, and I don't think that's helped either as I've definitely lost some strength and fitness from there.

Anyway, first triathlon in 4 years on Sunday (Henley Sprint) and I feel woefully underprepared. I've only done 2 training swims, I've managed once a week on the bike and running feels like wading through treacle. Weather forecast is for rain all day Sunday. Not off until 11.35 which is annoying as it means I have to rethink my breakfast strategy and the roads will be much busier by then. Can you tell I'm really looking forward to it? Razz

I'm sure it'll be fine, this one is just about getting round and easing myself back into it, we'll see how it goes and then maybe I'll look at doing another a bit later in the year and really trying to train properly.

In other news, we've taken the house of the market which I'm disappointed about, but it is what it is and I didn't get the new job I applied for at work.

Blimey, this is a really uplifting post! Actually, I feel a lot happier in the last few days than I have over the last few months, the sun is out and I'm working from home today which means I should get at least 4 loads of washing dry on the line today, happy days Very Happy

Will report back on the race next week (if you can contain your suspense until then....)

KP Nut - I'm hoping you're having more luck with the viewings than we are, the upside of not actually having any was not having to keep the house presentable Laughing
pip/Carlito - Thanks!

First Race of the Year
Mon May 13, 2013 9:01 am Lizzie
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Done Smile . It's been a while since I blogged (again!), but I did enter the Lymington Lifeboat 10k and ran it yesterday morning. Had a great race. It was really well organised and the route was fab, the first few K were down a fairly sheltered and very quiet lane, then out on to the sea wall where you had the wind behind you for most of the rest of the race Laughing I've still be averaging about 9.15 mins/mile in training, but pushed a bit harder yesterday and finished in 53.49 (8.47 av pace according to the Garmin). Really pleased with that, now just need to start pushing myself a bit harder in training Rolling Eyes

I also got the bike out finally. I did a couple of pootles on my hybrid as I literally hadn't ridden a bike in more or less 4 years, but the baby seat on the back wasn't very aero Very Happy so I quickly upgraded to my road bike. Seems to be going ok, not very fast but I'm getting out once a week for 12-20 miles so comfortable that the distance at least won't be a problem in the race.

Still haven't been swimming much but am ok with that, it's only 16 lengths, right?

Not much else happening. No movement on the house at all, 2 viewings in the first week then diddly squat since. The agent claims to be "baffled" and thinks it's priced right, I'm not so sure. We'll leave it a couple more weeks and see what happens, we can't drop that much or it won't make it worthwhile to move. Mr Lizzie isn't actually that fussed about moving, but I really want to. We've given ourselves until the end of July, if it hasn't sold for a sensible price by then, we'll take if off the market and think again in another 3 years or so. We have to apply for schools for Daisy in the autumn so we need to know where we're going to be then (not that we're looking to move far, but it's going to have an impact on school catchments).

The girls both had their birthdays in April too, can't believe I have a 3 and a 1 year old! Growing up far too fast. Had lovely days though and a joint party which went well. Here's Poppy enjoying some birthday cake!

Pip - not moving far, hopefully in the same postcode area!
KP Nut - it's slightly warmer, but our heating has gone back on this week!

Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:37 pm Lizzie
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God, I HATE this weather. I am struggling so much at the moment, I feel somehow diminished by it like I've shrunk into myself. It feels like the cold is in my bones and I just can't get warm, except at night where I sweat profusely. Nice.

I haven't let it stop me running, I'm working 3 days a week at the moment and have been getting out twice a week before work which is good. It actually makes life a bit easier in the morning, nursery is on site at work and opens at 7.30am, so there's quite a big incentive to roll out of bed, stick on my running stuff and enjoy a nice peaceful shower at work after my run without two small ones running round my ankles Smile

My speed is picking up a bit too, I've come down from 9.30 mins/mile to closer to 9, so good to see the progress of some regular running. I think I'm going to enter the Lymington 10k on the 12th May to give me something to aim for.

I still haven't got the bike out, I just don't want to cycle in the cold, so assuming the forecast is right and it warms up a bit next week, I'll get it out then.

House went on the market last week, had a viewing today so fingers crossed we'll get some firm interest soon!

Best laid plans...
Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:40 pm Lizzie
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Gosh, another 2 months have flown by without blogging! I'm back to work tomorrow after more or less a year of maternity leave. I can't believe it's come round so quickly. Last time it wasn't too bad as we'd always planned another, but this time it's like the end of an era, that's it now until I retire Surprised .

I'm phasing my return using keep in touch days and holiday, so I'm only working 2 days this week and next and then I've got a few weeks of 3 days, then 4 days. I'm hoping to go properly part time Mon-Thurs, I've got enough holiday accumulated to take every Friday off until mid-Nov and then hopefully formalise it then. Means that I at least get full pay for a few more months before taking the hit later in the year. Poppy's settled well into nursery which is great, I think it helps having Daisy there too, albeit in a different room.

Training has been ticking over. I decided to withdraw from Reading HM. I just haven't been able to fit in the long runs and I decided that I want exercise/training to be fun rather than stressful! I've been trying to get out twice a week, running will be easier after going back to work, I'm going to aim to run at least twice a week before work plus once at the weekend. I still haven't got my bike out of the garage, really need to get on to that.... Smile

There's lots of other stuff going on too. We were planning to extend our house. We had some plans drawn up which were rejected by the planning officers, they suggested some amendments which actually made the extension bigger (and therefore more expensive!). We had the house valued and ultimately decided just to move, even with the extension there are other things about the house that don't work for us and we wouldn't recoup the cost of the extension unless we're here for the long haul, which we won't be.

So, I've been spending nap time over the last few weeks frantically decluttering and tidying ready for getting it on the market. It's hard work, I'm not a naturally tidy person and chuck in two young children - arghh! Keeping it reasonably tidy for viewings is going to be a nightmare! It's also a little bit pressured as we have a deadline, we'll need to apply for schools for Daisy in November, so we really need to crack on.

Anyway, I think that's plenty to be getting on with, I'm tired just thinking about it all!

KP Nut - goals are good, I do like them to be achievable though Wink
pip - I'm not fussed about a minute here or there with the swim, this race is just about getting back into it really. I could turbo, but I hate doing it and it doesn't really fit in with this year's ethos of fun!
Carlito - Very Happy

Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:29 am Lizzie
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Happy new year bloggers! Suddenly Christmas seems a very long time ago already. We had a good one though, lots of fun with friends and family the weekend before, followed by a very nasty hangover on Christmas Eve, oops . Luckily we were spending Christmas with my parents, so I wasn't required to do any of the cooking, although I did give my dad a hand!

Christmas itself was pretty quiet, Daisy really enjoyed it this year as she now "gets" the Father Christmas thing (although is a little bit scared of him!). The amount of presents they got was ridiculous though, we just about managed to get them in the car home!

I've had a touch of the lurgy over Christmas, nothing I can really put my finger on - a bit of a head cold that's not come to anything but more generally feeling run down, I've been in bed by 9pm most nights recently and haven't really done much exercise at all over Christmas. Starting to get back into it now, I did just a 2.5 mile run on the 30th and 4 miles on new year's day - start as I mean to go on and all that!

Anyway, my present from Mr Lizzie (in addition to a rather nice pair of diamond earrings I might add Smile ) was entry into the Henley Triathlon (sprint distance) in June. That's finally stopped me procrastinating, and is nice as I feel he's supportive of the training too (not that I didn't before, I think it's just easy to feel a bit guilty about doing things for me). I'd actually entered the Reading HM on Christmas Eve too as entries closed on Christmas day, so I now how have 2 races to think about.

I'm going to have to think about training as time is really a problem for me, with Mr Lizzie away in the week, swimming is going to be nigh on impossible. I usually do a long run at the weekends and a shorter one midweek whilst MIL babysits, but they've gone to Oz for a month so that's tricky too.

So the basic plan is to focus on general fitness at home, fit in as much running as I can before 17th March, then switch my focus to triathlon up until June. I go back to work in March and can join the work gym, which means that I can do spinning and go on the exercise bikes. Running will also be easier once I'm back at work.

I haven't actually done a proper swim in 3.5 years Exclamation but I went to the spa for the day on Friday and did a 400m time trial (Henley distance) and managed 8.14 - not bad given I was a bit under the weather and had already done Body Combat that morning, and wasn't really pushing it. My best times when I was training seriously were only about 7.20, so could have been much worse. So I don't think I'm going to worry too much about it, any time I can get in the pool is a bonus, but it makes up such a small part of the race, I'm not going to worry.

Anyway, it's exciting to have some stuff in the pipeline!

Pip - Thanks, hope you had a great Christmas too!
KP Nut - it's more the lack of opportunity than desire, but I did manage to totally overdress for NYE and get my spangly party dress on Laughing

Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:52 pm Lizzie
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Thought I should try and squeeze in one more blog post before the end of the world on Friday, have been spending a bit of time on the word association thread in an attempt to finally hit 1000 posts, can die happy then Laughing Wink

December has been typically busy, lots of Christmas parties (although they are now of the type which take place at Jungle Mania and other such soft play centres rather than the glamourous kind involving sequins and champagne, hey ho Rolling Eyes ). Finally finished my Christmas shopping today and it's all wrapped, so that's a bonus. Looking forward to Poppy's first Christmas, here is the tiddly reindeer herself:

She was 8 months yesterday, can hardly believe it's gone so quickly! She cut her first two teeth last weekend and has started commando crawling this week which means fun and games.

Nothing very exceptional happening from an exercise perspective, running is ticking over, although I've been feeling a bit under the weather this week and haven't made it out. I think it's all caught up with me a bit, I've been in bed by 9pm the last couple of nights and still feel tired. Hopefully a bit of rest will sort me out and I'll be raring to go again by the weekend. Still haven't entered any races, need to sort out when we're going on holiday next year, then it'll be easier to plan!

Merry Christmas to everyone in blogland (assuming we don't get consumed by the flames of hell on Friday of course Razz )

theprawn - yes, quite a lot going on. And I didn't even mention the fact that we've just gone to planning on an extension for next year!
sooooooz - (sorry, never sure exactly how many "o"s there should be!) - tidying is taking a ridiculous amount of time Rolling Eyes
patriciaa - trying to be!
sue - it's really good, how are you getting on with it?
Carlito - not the most exciting thing, but worth spending a bit of time on
KP nut - glad I inspired you, although decluttering would be easier if I didn't keep on buying more stuff

I sometimes feel...
Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:39 pm Lizzie
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...that my life is flashing before my eyes! Halfway through November already. I had a grand plan that now Poppy is sleeping at lunchtime, I would spend an hour each week on one room in the house giving it a really good clean and tidy. I've realised though that there's quite a lot to do in each room and it's taking me much longer than an hour, several in fact. On the plus side, on round two, it should be much quicker as I'm doing lots of clearing, tidying and chucking out, but it feels like a bit of an uphill struggle at the moment! Plus the rooms I haven't got to yet are descending into chaos as I haven't even done the basics in there yet....

I have started doing my Christmas shopping though, I'm seeing quite a few people early in December so am aiming to get their presents to them by then. That's more stuff mounting up in the dining room! I should probably do some wrapping as I go along so that it's not one massive job to do come the end of the month.

The girls are keeping me busy too, Poppy is teething currently (I wish they'd just hurry up and come through already!) and Daisy is full of beans and bouncing everywhere. Poppy is also trying to crawl at the moment, I'm sure that she'll be on the move soon!

In amongst all of that, I am managing to squeeze in some exercise! The running is going well, I'm down to around 56 mins for my 6 mile run now, which is about 4 mins off where I was a couple of months back. I'm really enjoying it too! I'm still doing lots of walking and have been doing the 30 Day Shred DVD which has been really good for general fitness and strength. All in all I've lost 5lb in the last month and am now 4lb below my pre-pregnancy weight which I'm really happy with Very Happy Very Happy

I've definitely decided to enter a tri for next year. I was going to do Blenheim, but you don't find out until 4 weeks before apparently whether you're racing Sat or Sun and we are going to see the Stone Roses in Finsbury Park on the Friday, so I can't race on the Saturday. I'll have a look at some more local races, Hart or Henley maybe. Now just have to figure out how to fit in the training!

KP Nut & Carlito - Thanks!

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2010 Plans..................................................
April - Give birth
After that - let's see!
2009 Plans.................................................
29th March - Reading HM 2:00:52
4th May - Hart Sprint Triathlon (entered)
31st May - Ineos Swashbuckler Middle Distance (entered)
21st June - Henley Sprint Triathlon
19th July - Jordans Bedford Classic Oly (entered)
22nd August - National Sprint Relays
2008 Plans.................................................
2nd March - Reading HM 1.50.53
20th April - Winchester Fast Twitch 2.14.06
1st June - IMCH 70.3 (entered) 6.43.03
13th July - Henley Tri (entered) 1.33.39
2nd Aug - National Sprint Relays (entered)
10th Aug - London Tri (Oly - entered) 2.52.04
Olympic Distance (1500m/40k/10k) - 2.42.31 (Vietnam Triathlon 2007)
Sprint Distance (750m/20k/5k) - 1.29.30 (F3 Sprint Triathlon 2007)
Half Marathon - 1.50.53 (Reading 2008)
10k - 49.30 (O2O 10k 2007)
My 2007 Races & Results.................................
01.04.07 - Hungerford Fast Twitch (400m/16m/4m) - 2.02.39
29.04.07 - Lymington Triathlon (400m/27k/7k) - 1.46.15
29.07.07 - Singapore Triathlon (1500m/40k/10k), hmm, Singapore Duathlon? 400m run/20k bike/5k run - 1.08.35 3rd in AG
11.08.07 - Vietnam Triathlon (1500m/40k/10k) - 2.42.31 - PB & 2nd in AG Winner
02.09.07 - O2O 10k (er, 10k) - 49.30
23.09.07 - F3 Sprint (750m/20k/5k) 1.29.30 PB
25.11.07 - Seattle Half Marathon (13.1 miles) 1.51.19 - PB

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