Monthly Archives: September 2010

20 Miles

Completed. Done. Diddit. Yesterday I ran 20 miles, my longest ever run, and the farthest I will attempt before the marathon. It took 3 hours, and it wasn’t as tough as I imagined.

Right now I’m having a minor crisis of confidence so don’t want to dwell to much. But I’ll give a snapshot of how I’m feeling, as it’s important to get a true flavour of this marathon ‘journey’ I’m on.

Right now, my legs feel like concrete after I failed to ice-bath and thus warm down effectively. Having not drunk any fluid on the way round my reserves were also low. While this didn’t seem to affect my speed or ability to complete, I fully slumped post run – I was down, grumpy and irritable. The weather didn’t help.

A slap up dinner at my friends house with close pals did well to raise spirits and a wise chum pointed out that it would be odd not to be feeling a bit deflated – running 20 miles on a grey Sunday morning isn’t exactly going to be a transcendental experience. When in San Fran, there’ll be people cheering, firemen handing out Tiffany necklaces (NB. this is not some fantasy I’ve cooked up, the firemen and jewells bit is true), the sun will be shining and I’ll have succeeded (hopefully) in the single greatest sporting challenge I’ve ever set myself.

Sunday was pretty much all the bad bits about the marathon, with none of its highs. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the run, had superb company by the way of Nike’s gorgeous PR, and felt proud of what we both achieved. But afterwards sitting in my room listening to the rain and looking at my sorry blistered feet, I felt very flat. I know next time I run that far I’ll be in San Fran and I imagine the feeling will be very different. I bloody hope so anyway.

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The Fear

Gearing up for a 20 mile run. The longest I will do before the actual Marathon in three weeks time. I’m buzzing – the sort of nerves you get before a job interview; fear, excitement, butterflies and just wanting it to be over. Have mapped my route on mymyrun and will take my Nike Sportsband to keep track of time. Wish me luck (telepathically natch).

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Krizia Robustella – London Fashion Week Spring Summer 11

Nautical means a striped top and a dash of red, right? Oh and an anchor thrown in for good measure. Well, yes nautical dressing these days does tend to refer loosely to any outfit that involves red, white and blue regardless of whether clothes could actually be worn anywhere near a boat deck, or bear any relevance to the water. Which is why I’m excited about Krizia Robustella’s Spring Summer collection and the way it remixes nautical for S/S 11.

I blogged last month about her S/S 10 offering – all luxurious, youthful, sports meets style wear and next season’s range triumphs with similar qualities.

Here’s what to expect.

Pale yellow, white and red make the unlikely combination of sports centre meets Honolulu chic – fresh, functional and fun. Swimsuits were printed with binoculars and jumpsuits stamped with bold red life-saving devices; blowing the humble anchor out of the water (excuse the pun). I love the play on proportions here: mini umbrella, chunky chain and over-blown print. I’d wear this outfit on holiday.

Grass-skirt-style ruffles swished and shook giving a nod to traditional Hawaiian dress or just Club Tropicana good times.

And models looked every inch a bunch of Baywatch babes strutting down the catwalk in yellow spray-on swimsuits with Robustella’s name scrawled across their chests.

We like an upfront girl. A collection that’s confident, playful and lifts that Boden-appropriated nautical trend out of its own cliché and bang up to date. Hot.

Life’s a beach.

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Waxing – A Beginners Guide

I went for my first ever bikini wax last year, fed up with the poor results of every other marketed method available (aside from laser, which I’m yet to try). I was absolutely terrified and yelped like a puppy but left happy with the neat results. I’d asked a few close friends what to expect, but still nothing prepared me and I wished that I’d read a step-by-step guide so that I didn’t get my hot wax confused with my strip wax, my Hollywood with my Brazilian and that I hadn’t worn a playsuit (we’ll come to that). So for anyone who is thinking about getting their lady garden waxed for the first time, this is for you.

Pick your style

1. Decide what ‘style’ you’re going to have before you book your appointment. The receptionist will want to know, as different ‘looks’ take varying amounts of time. The general options are:

High Leg: This means any stray hairs that lie outside your swimsuit line will be nipped away. Where the top of your bikini would sit, below your naval, you can also opt to remove a strip here, perfect for hipster swimwear .

Extended High Leg: As above, but your therapist will also wax a thin strip following the line of your bikini right underneath you towards where the line of your bottom starts.

Brazilian: There are variations on this, but generally it means taking off all hair aside from a little ‘landing strip’ at the front. You can opt for a triangle of hair to be left but you’ll need to state this. If you’re opting for a Brazilian, some therapists will also remove any extra hair that might exist all the way up to your tail. Tail is a nice way of saying, they’ll remove any extra hair that lies between your fifi and the top of your bottom. Lovely stuff this waxing lark.

Hollywood: This ones easy. The whole lot is going.

Once you’ve decided what ‘haircut’ you’re getting you should bear in mind what wax you’d like to use. Some receptionists will ask you the question ‘strip wax?’ or ‘hot wax?’

What wax?

Strip wax is hot wax that’s spread on the offending area, left for a few seconds then covered with a strip of material and ripped off with haste, lifting out hairs as it does so.

Hot wax is smoothed on the offending area in a heavier consistency. The wax is then left until almost hard, which takes about 30 seconds, then gently lifted off, pulling out the hairs as it’s peeled away.

Hot wax is generally more expensive. It’s less painful. But it does take a bit longer. My therapist says it’s preferable for underarms and bikini lines as it is generally kinder to the skin, leaves less impression (no redness or raised bumps) and tends to discourage ingrown hairs – something that is symptomatic of continued strip wax use.

So. You’ve made your appointment, you’ve picked your look and you know which substance is your weapon of choice.

Now what?

Well all waxing sessions should take place in a private room. You’ll generally be asked to get unchanged. Different therapists suggest different states of undress, so it pays to communicate clearly with yours to avoid any embarrassing situations. The first Brazilian I went for, the lady wanted me naked from the waist down. The place I go now, I’m given a pair of paper knickers to put on instead of my own – so that they don’t get damaged by the wax. But some therapists will suggest you leave your own knickers on if you’re only wearing a small thong. If in doubt ask.

With the above in mind, if you’re in any way prudish it can be useful to dress appropriately. Playsuits mean you’ll end up totally naked on the therapists table, I’ve done this, it’s not one of my happier memories. Skinny jeans can be a bit unforgiving on tender skin. A skirt is always good as you can keep it on.

Once on the therapists bed, you’ll be asked to lie down, belly up and the therapist will manoeuver your legs so that she can get to intimate bits. She might ask you to hold certain bits of skin taught while she waxes. As far as waxing the undercarriage different therapists have different ways and means. Mine gets you to hold each knee up to your chest so she can get underneath, with both knees being held up to attack the tail area. I’ve also heard stories of therapists asking people to go on all fours, which sounds strange to me, but my friend assures me it sounds worse than the reality is.

Before applying wax, talcum powder is applied. After waxing an oil should be wiped over the newly hair free area to remove any wax residue and cool and calm skin.

After waxing you’re advised not to exercise, tan, swim or use any beauty products when showering for up to 24 hours. The skin is delicate, be kind to it.

Pain. Everyone has different thresholds. But the reality is yes it does hurt a little bit. Sometimes a lot – particularly if it’s your first time and you’ve been shaving before, as the hairs will be coarser and tougher. The more you wax, the less it hurts. Some people take a pain-killer half an hour before their session to reduce the sting, I can’t confirm nor deny weather this works. Also, the closer you are to that time of the month can have an effect on how much it hurts – you’re hormonal and more sensitive before you even get into the science of it. So avoid that if you can.

After effects. The first time I had a Brazilian I was dismayed to find that over the next 24 hours rather than a porn star polish my area went red, blotchy and bumpy. this is quite normal and all will disappear quite quickly, don’t be tempted to moistourise. If you’re getting waxed before a holiday/romantic break/porn film (!) then it’s advisable to book in a few days in advance so everything will be restored to soft, clear nude skin in time.

Braziliant!

Speaking From Experience…

O’Sullivans, 2 Milroy Walk, SE1 9LW 020 7261 9500

Prices from £16 to £36 with a 10% discount for people in the media. Professional, welcoming, low key.

Aveda, 74-177 High Holborn, London – 020 7759 7355

Gorgeous surroundings, spa like experience, professional and clearly communicated what I was to expect as a first timer.

Shine Holistic Stoke Newington, London N16 0NB

Lovely therapy room but the therapist I had was brusk and rushed the job, leaving me sore and with regrowth within a week. Wouldn’t recommend, particularly for the price – £35.

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Yoga For Runners

Spotted this on the cycle to work. Genius. Have enquired as to dates, times, places, whats and wheres. Will report back after my first session.

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My Worst Sporting Injury Yet

What a beauty. Caused by aggressive tambourine playing to ‘Valerie’ at a wedding last weekend. I can run 16 miles and be fine, but put me on stage with a glass of bubbly and a percussion instrument and this is what happens.

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High Tea For Boys

I’m a sucker for High Tea. I love tea dresses, have a penchant for all things English Heritage and have a sweet tooth to rival Willy Wonkers. My favourite High Tea experiences have included The Ritz, Claridges, Miller Harris Sensory High Tea and The Lanesborough.

I tend to get dresses up all twee, sit with a straight back and daintily nibble my way through acres of lofty sponge, crumbly scone and rich petit-four, gabbling away excessively with girlfriends aided by our sugar/caffeine overload. Then I go back home and complain to my boyfriend that I’ve eaten too much. What a charmer. All the while he’s rubbing the pot belly wishing I’d stowed a few cakes away in my handbag for him. Never the less, he’s rarely keen to don the smoking jacket and join me in the High Tea parlour.

High Tea tends to be for the ladies – think floral tea-cups, menus finished with flourishes and foil and prettily decorated dining rooms smelling of violet and rose. I say until now as The Sanctum Hotel Soho has designed a High Tea for Gentlemen starting on October 1.

Menfolk can expect three courses of hot and cold nibbles including rabbit and pancetta pie and oysters glazed with bloody mary relish with double baked hot chocolate fudge cake and whiskey ice-cream to finish. Instead of tea boys get a silver tankard of Jack Daniels and a cigar to enjoy in the roof garden apres. It doesn’t come in cheap mind, at £50 a pop or £80 if you’d like to upgrade to a Jack Daniels tasting series, but I imagine will prove a temptation for people seeking out fun business meeting ideas or girlfriends wanting to do something for their men.

Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea at The Sanctum Soho from October 1

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