Posts Tagged: embracing life

TOUR DE LAUDER

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Ben completed the 50 miles around the demonically agressive hills and single track roads that made up the Tour de Lauder this weekend. He was joined by James and Simon who are friends since their days growing up in Haddington. The trio did remarkably well considering their group training had been sporadic- Ben and James squeezed in two training rides before the event and we only met Simon for the pre-race strategy beer on Thursday.

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The story of the Tour de Lauder is a teary yet inspirational one, I only learned the history by listening to Rosy Cully’s pre-ride speech. Steve Cully was an amazingly fit man who was police officer and was on the Royal Protection detail, to give you an idea of his fitness, he competed in the Marathon des Sables which is  ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (254km) miles and he finished. He died of a sudden heart attack at just 41. Leaving Rosy and two young children.

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Two of his friends decided to organise a small cycle ride in his honour and donate any proceeds to the Steve Cully Tribute fund at Chest Heart Stroke Scotland, before they knew it word had spread and almost 100 cyclists wanted to take part in the 2012 ride. It was a smashing success and they raised 17,000 pounds in Steve Cully’s honour.

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This was year two of the Tour de Lauder and there were 270 registered riders who had the choice between 50 miles or 86 miles ending on the Col de Stow- a hill with a 15% grade.

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It was an especially nice day sunshine and blue skies. There was a bit of wind, but according to Ben, it did not bother them too much. Ben, Simon and James completed the 50 mile ride in 3 hours 51 minutes, with an average pace of 13.5 miles per hour and a top speed of 40 mph.

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I went as a volunteer and had the pleasure of meeting many of the cyclists at the check-in table- I will always be strong support of anyone with numbers 1-70! Sarah joined me out on the course where we helped at the first water stop- they do it right, the Lady Bakers of Lauder- I am unsure if this is a real organisation, but in my opinion they should band together, all the refuelling snacks were homemade and donated for this event- I have never seen such baked-goods variety. For a healthier option there were 600 bananas and orange wedges. Sarah and I opted for the bananas.

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The people of Lauder were unbelievable- Sarah and I were driven around by Carol the event organiser and she was funny and friendly. There were some scary moments on the narrow roads, but we made it back to the ‘chateau’, unfortunately, we missed the finish or our team- they were too fast. There has already been chatter about trying it again next spring and maybe even tackling the 86 miles.

Tour de Lauder- we will be back!

Complete photo set can be found here.

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LISTEN UP… This week’s theme is inspired by Ben. He is competing in his first-ever cycle race this Saturday. The distance is 50 miles and he is ready! I will be return the favour of being an awesome support crew member, hopefully will get some great race snaps for next week.

More of our cycling adventures can be found, here, here and here.

Ben’s inspiration can be found here and here.

Have a great weekend and enjoy this week’s mix- on Spotify.

THE HANDSOME EXPLORER

                   

The Business School had its Alumni Reunion this past weekend

Events started on Thursday with the key-note address from Justin Packshaw or as we referred to him in the weeks leading up to his talk, The Handsome Explorer, I think this was mostly me.

He has a fascinating profile, here are some of the most interesting:

- Fought in Gulf War I with the British Army

- Driven a motorbike through East Africa 

- Represented Britain in the Whitbread Round-the-World Yacht race.

- Took part and won a 450 mile un-supported man-hauling international race to the Magnetic North Pole

and now the most impressive:

- He summited Mount Everest

And I got to shake his hand.

Justin talked about how corporations could/should be led like extreme sport challenges and many of the attributes people need in these high-altitude, close-quarter situations are identical to those required to have a successful workplace team and company (team work, communication, drive, leadership and inspiration).

In addition to his exploring, he and his wife have a luxury cashmere goods business with a shop in London, called DeRoemer

My two take aways: EFFORT + DISCIPLINE= I FEEL GREAT and we all need to get up an hour earlier to pack-life-in!

HEADING TO INDIA

Good morning from Amsterdam. 

I leave today for my three city, six-day tour of the sub-conitent. I arrive tonight in New Delhi, where I will spend a day sight seeing tomorrow, unless the hotel spa and pool have more appeal. Monday begins the- all work, all the time, I move on to Bangalore, followed by Mumbai. 

I am leaving behind 40 degree, rain and clouds to arrive to 90 degree sunshine. Due to mosquitos and respect of the Indian culture, one needs to remain covered. A real packing challenge, not the remaining covered part (I am part Smyth after all), especially given how much I love tropical temperatures. 

I have granola bars, trail mix, bug spray and Pepto Bismol tabs. I have been vaccinated and warned about rabies, the Japanese mosquito/pig disease that turns your brain to mush. I am so excited! 

The highlight: In Mumbai I will meet Rahul, Rahul was a classmate of Ben’s and has moved back from Europe. We will have an afternoon of visiting the former Bombay and seeing the sights with a native.

I land in Edinburgh next Sunday morning at 10.00 a.m.

The people who have been to India either love the experience or hate it, I will report back and if I do not have my fill of India this week, another trip is scheduled for May, when it will be even hotter.

DINNER PARTY

       

We had our first friends for dinner this weekend. It was great fun. Enjoyable company. 

We voted the menu as one of our best. We are very biased.

Starter: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms

Maincourse: Eggplant Lasagna with Parsley Pesto and Baked Meatballs in Sauce

Green Salad

Desert: Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting

I found the perfect cake pan for making six inch layer cakes. I did a test and now I am prepared to bake a delicious birthday cake in two weeks time. 

PIROUETTING INTO 2012

                              

My quest for grace (of movement, to be clear) continues.  I started my next set of ballet classes. Same company, Dancebase, different location and most importantly, a new teacher; she is so great. Lauren was a professional dancer before working as a teacher for clumsy adults (me). She makes sense of ballet. Explaining every part of each step as we went along, I understood the whole hour, a new ballet record. I parted knowing exactly what I need to work on for next week. Watch out world, I am spinning!

CHRISTMAS AROUND EDINBURGH… 

  • ENJOYING JARDIN DES PLANTES-GRENOBLE
    ENJOYING JARDIN DES PLANTES-GRENOBLE
  • MY MONOGRAMMED COOKING SHIRT
    MY MONOGRAMMED COOKING SHIRT
  • FUN IN COPENHAGEN
    FUN IN COPENHAGEN
  • AHHH, FEET
    AHHH, FEET
  • SO THE MOVERS DID NOT GET CONFUSED
    SO THE MOVERS DID NOT GET CONFUSED
  • EDINBURGH
    EDINBURGH
  • CYCLING AND COFFEE
    CYCLING AND COFFEE
  • EXPLORING THE WATER OF LEITH
    EXPLORING THE WATER OF LEITH

TOP PHOTOS OF 2011… The jury of one (Ben) is in and these are some of his favorite shots of us from last year.

Here’s hoping 2012 is filled with as much fun as 2011.

Have a great start to the year!

BEST YET… Last night, best ballet class since I started! No special attention needed, remembered about 75% of the steps without watching my neighbor (I was at the end of the barre, again). I did decide I will not join the recital in early December, but I am considering registering for the next round of classes beginning in January. Have to give my shoes some more wear. I might be ready for a spring performance.

Have a great day.

SEMI-MARATHON DE PARIS, J’ ARRIVE

                                              

My Grenoble running buddy Reia and I registered for the Paris Half Marathon on March 4, 2012! Whoop-whoop! There is no turning back, I have booked my ticket and everything. We are up for the challenge of long distance training from a long distance.

I have tried to find a motivating training program, something betweenRunner’s World, Get You Round where day one is a 15 minutes of jogging and the Sweat Shop:We Know Running’s schedule that begins with a morning run of 40 minutes followed by an evening work out 4 x 6 minutes at Threshold with 1 minute jog recovery, I do not know what threshold is.

Do any of you have any suggestions for a great half-marathon training program?

This will be my first long distance ‘race’ in 6 years. The last considerable distance event I did was the Dublin Marathon in 2005, it rained almost the entire race, to stay ‘dry’ I ran in a garbage bag for about 15 miles. I was ready to give up, but I really wanted the t-shirt, I don’t really remember what it looked like, but I am sure it was 100% cotton and worth it.

Since then Ben and I have done several short charity runs in Grenoble and were persuaded to run for Grenoble Ecole de Management last year in a profile-raising event. I did my first (mini)triathlon with my tri-buddy, Sarah in September 2010, so I have remained competitive!

I want to challenge myself, maybe even try for a personal best. I think my best half marathon time was 1:47, I was 20. Fifteen years later will I be able to compete with my younger me?

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