January 2012 Archives

in how the day went |

2012hk040homeview

Stayed home, didn’t want to go out. Chatted with mm on whatsapp but mainly packed, played on the mba and did nothing. Lunch and dinner of some leftovers but Mum also opened a can of abalone, yummy.

The residential blocks in front of us have been demolished and the view for once is clear. Next time, there will likely be tall buildings blocking our view. Sigh, such is the way of modern life.

Taxi at 9pm and I was all checked in quickly. Got settled at the lounge, waiting to board. Flight at 23:55.

in eating and drinking |

2012hkamowine02

My parents invited mm to hotel icon for buffet lunch (my second icon buffet). I can’t say they took her, because although it was their intention, she trumped them by sneakily paying in the middle of lunch, how naughty! I was much more selective this time round, and we all agreed that this is one of the best buffet places, even better than café too yesterday.

Spent the afternoon with mm, just ambling. Looked at mba vs mbp for her. And then it was time to say goodbye. ::cry:: She went with me on the train, and we have to console ourselves that we’ll see each other in August.

Met up with Sis for drinks at a new wine bar. Its selling gimmick is a touchscreen bar table where customers can get wine recommendations. Unfortunately it wasn’t working. The wine came in 3 sizes: tasting, medium and regular. I thought the place is on the expensive side, the wine selection seems to be uneven.

2012hkgreyspringroll 2012hkgreycomplicated 2012hkgreymango

Dinner at a Vietnamese fusion type of place. Spring rolls and chicken wings. Something called complicated noodles which was a plate of plain noodle sheets, meat and sauce so we made our own noodle package. Dessert I had mango sticky rice with mango and mango ice cream.

in eating and drinking , on the relationship front |

2012hktooappe01 2012hktooprawn 2012hktooappe02 2012hktoosoup

Lunch buffet at Café Too at the Island Shangri-la. When mm rang up to book, they told us that the table would be in a high traffic area and do we mind? She asked them to move us to a better table if one is available, and when got there they took me to one next to the window and definitely low traffic, so good for them.

What can I say about that buffet? I’ve always liked it, many different stations: Japanese, salad, seafood, cold meats, dim sum, hot dishes, roasts, noodle bar, curry station and lots of dessert. I started with salad, sashimi and seafood, hot appetisers including dim sum, and a couple of bowls of chicken soup. The soup was made individually and steamed in this giant vat, when it was ready they rang this bell and people rushed to get the fresh soup.

2012hktoomeat01 2012hktoovegsimple 2012hktoodessert 2012hktooicecream

Didn’t have too much main course, they had these freshly grilled sliders and I had a slice of the roast beef. I was pretty full by then, so had the noodle station make me some vegetables (no noodles). Had a plate of colourful desserts and a waffle cone of mango and green tea ice cream. Stuffed!

The quality seems to have diminished a little though, no oyster, no lobster, and the desserts are either small bowls, the standard cake or mousses. Still a very nice lunch, especially since it was with mm.

Did a little more shopping, but not much. I don’t have a lot to buy this time round. Early evening we made it back to her place for a rest — I tackled playing on her pb2 and she practiced piano. Dinner wasn’t really dinner, we went to a tapas place, had some wine and a few tapas. She has to go to work tomorrow morning, so not a late night.

in eating and drinking , family first |

2012hkjapall05salad 2012hkjapall03beef

My niece was already up when I woke up. We had lunch at home (ahhhh, so great to eat some simple home cooked food) and then spent the afternoon playing on the wii. Mostly, she played and I joined in a little, in between uploading pics.

They had to go home for dinner so it was just me and my parents. We went to another all-you-can-eat Japanese place. Sat at the sushi bar and ordered our little hearts out. Soft drinks and beer were free. We ended up having a ton of sashimi, a handroll each, some beef sushi, tempura, grilled vegetables, salad and ice cream. My favourites were sashimi and the whole sweet beef tomato. Not a lot of meat, just fish and vegetables.

After dinner, Mum and I went to the computer centre to get some flashdrives. We also went to the “sneaker street” but I was so disappointed. Nike Free 2.0 and Lunarglide 3 were more expensive than if I used a coupon at runningwarehouse. No Sauconys in sight whatsoever. Of course it means I have to be in the US to pick up the delivered shoes.

in eating and drinking |

2012hkicon005crableg 2012hkicon011yusheng
2012hkicon015ribs 2012hkicon017noodles

Lunch buffet at hotel icon which is part of the tourism and hotel management school at one of the universities. The hotel is staffed by students at the school, nice concept. The buffet has one of the biggest spreads we’ve ever tried, and we’ve tried many many hotel buffets. There were: all sorts of freshly made bread, salad, parma ham, singaporean yu sheng, alaskan king crab legs, prawns, lobster, sushi station, noodles station, grilled steak, lamb chop, sausages, salmon head, ribs, duck breast, ribs, too many hot food to mention.

2012hkicon028macaroons 2012hkicon035ice

There were 2 dessert stations. One with the more traditional cny type desserts, plus ice kacang; the other had cakes, cheesecakes, macaroons, ice cream and bread & butter pudding. We left there, impossibly full.

Then we tried to walk the food off at the science museum. Had to avoid the trick mirror that gave us all additional 300 pounds and doubled our waistline! My niece had taekwondo practice at 6pm so we went to see that. Amazing that the master and his 2 assistants can fit a class of 12 kids in a squash court. There were toddlers who had just started, intermediates like my niece and a couple of older kids with black belts. Very impressive.

2012hkpeking01 2012hkpeking03duck

And to top it off, my sis had reservations at peking garden for peking duck dinner. The rest we stuck to vegetables, but we were too full to finish. Took 3 containers’ worth of food home, plus the duck carcass. They had spares so they gave us one more carcass too. Luckily, my mum has 3 fridges.

in how the day went , money business |

2012hkbbpavement

Joined my ex-team members for lunch, then went back to the office with them. Chatted with my friend I for about 1.5 hours. Our financial advisor came over and went over my stuff, then went over bbmm stuff. Drinks with mm at the Marriott, a couple of glasses of wine, buffalo wings and a small baked camembert. I think I’m switching to Italian wines, I had something from Masi which was very good.

in eating and drinking , family first |

2012hknha02roll 2012hkpaisano03godfather

Lunch with my own family, vietnamese food: beef pho for me, and we shared some crab rolls, prawns on sugar cane and pork chop. Then it was up to Sis’ home, I played on the wii with my niece while the adults watched tv, went for a walk or did their own thing. Dinner was pizza which we heated at home. I had a godfather’s pizza, which was pepperoni, ham and sausage. A little bit too meaty for me, but still good. Nice chat, a little bit of wine and lots of chocolate that I brought back.

in eating and drinking , on the relationship front |

2012hkbbmmcny02prawn

Had lunch with mm’s family at the usual restaurant. Lots of food, and I got to take some of the sago tart away with me. Had to carry it with me all day though, small price to pay for good food. After lunch mm and I walked to all the nearby computer malls to search for a wiimote and some flashdrives for mum. Normally these things are easy to get, but during the holidays almost all the shops were closed.

She wanted to look at some watches but when we got to the shop none of the models appealed. We ended up at the top floor bar of the excelsior where we had a glass of wine each (she had a gewurtz and I had a valpolicella) and then headed to her home. Went to the market nearby and got fresh prawns and some fish; at the supermarket we got vegetables and tofu. She made 2 simple and delicious dishes for dinner — cooked prawns and a quick soup with the fish, veg and tofu. After dinner we went to a nearby dessert place, just 10mins walk. It’s cold, she needs to break out extra duvets for us tonight.

in outside interests |

2012hkredpacket

It’s traditional to give red packets for luck. Growing up, it was only my parents so we missed out on a lot of money-gathering opportunities lol. It’s given by the older generation to the younger generation, but in practice it’s married people to single people. Since I’m technically single, I get given them too. It’s a little embarrassing, I accept because it’s polite to do so. If the giver has children, I make sure I give one to their kids.

Although most envelopes are red, there are also gold ones. SC gave me this cute one with a cartoon dragon, it being the year of the dragon. Quite festive.

in eating and drinking |

2012hktaipococomilk

Too much eating out is beginning to catch up on me, and I’m missing my own cooking. It’s all excellent food though, don’t get me wrong.

Met SC and AK for lunch at an all-you-can-eat Japanese place. It’s not a buffet, the food is made to order. The ordering sheets are stacked together into a 3 inch thick stack, there are sheets for 8 categories, from A to H. A is sashimi, B is sushi and so on covering tempura, yakitori, noodles, salad and everything one would expect from a Japanese place. It was good food.

Early dinner with parents at the market place we went to on Friday. Same slow cooked pork ribs and vegetables, but this time we added black bean steamed eels (delicious, so fresh) and curry mixed mushrooms (oh my, the curry sauce so yummy). For dessert we had steamed milk pudding made inside a young coconut. No sweetener, the sweetness of the coconut juice was enough. Silky smooth, almost decadent (even though at a local eatery on the top floor of a wet market is anything but decadent.)

I was feeling full, but okay. Mum gave me a tangerine when we got home and that was when the problem started. I got hit by this painful indigestion attack. I haven’t had one for years, and this one took an hour to go away. Argh.


in family first , on the relationship front |

nz1190christchurch

Dragged Mum to the glasses shop to get a replacement sunglasses attachment for the one I lost during the chicago marathon. Ended up ordering two, just in case, and getting a new pair of glasses with polarising lenses.

Met mm for drinks. We’re luckier than a lot of people who live in different countries that we don’t have to worry about long distance call charges so we do talk on the phone a lot. Plus whatsapp and we play words with friends. But it’s nothing, absolutely nothing like seeing her in person. I miss her so much. She suggested going to one of the hotel bars, but I saw that the French bistro place had 2-for-1 happy hour so we went there and had a couple of glasses of wine. Oh how we’ve grown up from those early days when we were trying out wine — this was a pic from December 2005 during our trip to New Zealand, at this fabulous winery we found. Time flies.

Dinner with her family was great, as usual. Played with her niece and nephew, rather, they played on our iphones. A four year old playing angry birds is no longer an unusual sight. I came away with goodies that her Mum ordered from the restaurant, all my favourites. Sigh.

I miss having family around. I miss mm. It has been lonely in London, where I really only have 2 friends (3, including SM’s wife I guess). And as much as I like hanging with them, it’s different from family, and mm’s family is as much mine, after all these years. By the time I come back, probably around Q3 this year, I would have been away almost 4 years. Time flies.

in going places |

2012hktaipoprawns 2012hktaipoporkrib

The flight was very full, haven’t been on one this full for a while. (No whining about business class, nope.) I watched Moneyball and 8 episodes of Entourage. Slept for about 3-4 hours total, may be. By the time I got to the conveyor belt my bag was already out. There was a huge long queue for taxis, ended up waiting almost half an hour, ugh.

First thing Mum said when I walked in, “we’re going out for dinner.” Nice, although I was tired. They took me to one of those busy places hidden inside a market. Had golden prawns (sautéed in salty egg yolk), a most succulent boneless pork rib that had been braised and served in a sweet sour sauce, pigeon and vegetables. I really was very tired, almost fell asleep on the train back. Felt better after unpacking and a shower. Bed soon.


in going places |

Flight out today 10.05pm, so I left work at 4.30pm, took a shower, finished packing, took care of rubbish and everything else. Got to LHR on time, checked in, through immigration quickly. Got some chocolate for mm, then got settled in the lounge. Had some noodles and some wine. Now just waiting for boarding.


in being healthy |

nike

I registered for the nikeplus virtual women’s half marathon challenge, where participants run a HM in their own time during the weekend of 14-15 Jan. For some reason, my HM never showed up in the challenge, sigh. Flagged it as a problem on their fb page and they had been very helpful, even adjusting the time of my run to fit into the criteria. Didn’t work. Just as well I hadn’t paid $40 for the souvenir finisher’s braclet.

in being healthy |

running20120117

Ran around Regent’s Park on the way home from work. That takes care of the 10k mid-week run this week. And now I’m going to take a 2 week break, going on vacation from Thursday. Good timing, because my left knee is starting to act up — on Saturday’s HM, I felt it snap with about 4k left. It’s not bad ITBS, I think, just pinching at the bottom of the patella that causes a sudden loss of control. Flared up again on today’s run. Ordinarily I don’t like taking such a long break in the middle of the training cycle, but I’ve had breaks before, so hopefully it should be okay. I’m not bringing any running stuff on vacation; I suppose I could go buy some shoes if I really really feel the urge.

in random words |

sonyereader

Bought 6 new books just now. Still have a few unread from the 8 I bought in December. All set for vacation next week.

p.s. the image is from the very old palm ereader software, what memories, eh?

in eating and drinking |

ldnkhansvegthali

There was this saying, I can’t remember where it came from, that if you haven’t been to Khan’s you haven’t been to London. It’s not as if they serve high end food; or have great service; or there is a special dish. Khan’s is just one of those London institutions that like Wong Kee or the bagel place on Brick Lane that, yes, if you haven’t been, you haven’t been to London. We used to like it because it was nearby, and we hadn’t ventured so far away to Brick Lane yet. It used to be always busy, and sometimes the queue was so long we went to another eat-as-much-as-you-like Indian place a couple of doors down.

I hadn’t been to walk around Bayswater since I’ve been back, although it’s on my run route to Hyde Park, and I went with Mum to the Nando’s at Westbourne Grove. Queensway proper, this is the first time in a while. Heh. There are even more tacky souvenir shops than before. More Chinese restaurants. The place where we had hot chocolate is gone. Whitley’s is still there but pretty quiet and desolate. The ice skating place is still there; as is the casino. Khan’s is still there, but not that other place a few doors down.

Sunday at 1pm and there were only 2 or 3 tables occupied when I walked in. By the time I finished, there were all told, 6 tables. Not the heaving place I remembered. The thali came quickly (from left of pic) — daal, vegetable curry, sag, aloo gobi, raita; plus poppadom, naan and rice. I also ordered a salty lassi. If I had the presence of mind, I would have eaten more neatly and take the leftovers away, but I finished it mostly. It was pretty good, but not piping hot and definitely not as mindblowing as I remembered. £10.95, plus lassi and the bill came to £15. Or 1/3 of the Goodman’s steak last night.

in eating and drinking |

ldngoodman015sirloin

The best steakhouse in London, many say it’s Hawksmoor, which is where we went last week. Seems that the other #1 steakhouse is Goodman’s, so we felt we should also try it.

There are 3 branches, and we picked the Canary Wharf location as it’s close to RM’s place. Not too far of a commute for me. Again an early booking of 5pm. Decoration-wise, it’s even more traditional and macho than Hawksmoor. We ordered a St Emilion to be decanted and waited for it to become drinkable. In the meantime, we dawdled over the menu.

ldngoodman005ageroom ldngoodman018mac

They had an ageing cabinet for display next to the kitchen, where steaks were let to dry age for anything up to 50 days. Big, big cuts. Very impressive. The menu had rib-eye, sirloin and filet. The chalkboard had porterhouse, t-bone, chateaubriand, bone-in rib-eye and bone-in sirloin. The beef is sourced from US (USDA grade), Ireland and Scotland and were corn, grass or partially grain fed. We had a small lesson in farming. We didn’t share this time; RM picked a 800g (28oz) bone-in rib-eye from Ireland and I had a 650g (23oz) bone-in sirloin from the US (Nebraska, we were told by the website) which on the board was described as Kansas cut.

We skipped starters as frankly, nothing stood out. Then our steaks arrived. Wow. Talk about charcoal grilled. The outside was crunchy, almost crackling like. The inside was perfectly cooked. Very perfect. Our lovely server gave us all 3 sauces: peppercorn, bearnaise and stilton. Didn’t need any sauce. As if I wasn’t greedy enough, I had a truffle mac and cheese, which must have been doused in truffle oil because I could really taste it. I asked why mac and cheese was on the menu as a side and the response was that steakhouses are American and mac & cheese is American, so that’s why. Hee.

I did enjoy my steak. RM liked his better than Hawksmoor but I preferred the Hawksmoor one. It is truly a case of YMMV. We skipped dessert too, again because the choices were not outstanding. And this is probably where, if we only had one day and one meal available, both of us would go to Hawksmoor. The steaks at both places are outstanding, but what Hawksmoor was better was the menu selection for the non-steak items; as well as that fabulous cocktail bar experience. I’ll still put Goodman’s on my list of places to take people, no question.

p.s. not cheap, 2 huge steaks, 2 sides and a bottle of admittedly very fine wine came to £150.

in eating and drinking |

belgokwak

I had a 2-for-1 main course voucher for Belgo so RM and I had dinner there. The mussels were a bit small today, but the sauce was good as always. I had a Kwak beer where the glass came in an unusual wooden stand. RM had the waffle and I had the pavlova for dessert. Belgo is normally reliable, but I’m now I’m putting them on the “may be not” list because of those tiny mussels.


in arts and media |

bobafett

Something different, that is not running or food or macs. Spotted via flavorwire, very interesting twisted mashup by illustrator John Woo, of Star Wars characters in modern hipster outfits. Padme looks no different, and Darth Vader looks oh so coquettish in a Band of Outsiders suit. But my absolute favourite, is Boba Fett in Comme des Garçons. So fetcing. So dreamy. Even after all these years, I still hanker after his helmet and flight jacket.


in being healthy |

running20120111

10.03km 1:16:28hr 7.37min/km (12.15 pace)

6 miles or 10k on the training plan today. This medium run is always the problem, because it’s in the middle of the work week and I don’t exactly live next door to the office. Last marathon training cycle I ran the midweek 8-miler from work to home, so for this cycle I thought I’d do the 6-miler the same way. Instead of starting from the office, I took the tube to Great Portland Street with the intention of avoiding the heaviest traffic and running through Regent’s Park. Yikes, I should have remembered, it’s dark and there are no lights inside the park which meant it was closed. So I ended up doing 3 circuits around Inner Circle, headed home and did the last 2km on the track. I was home by 7pm, which means I saved about 45mins or more.

I had my backpack, which was a hindrance and slowed me down. The other factor was that it was very dark, and I was extremely grateful for my reflective vest. Other people who weren’t in fluorescent or light coloured clothing were pretty much completely invisible, so I can’t imagine it is safe. My time ended up being slow, but at least I got this run out of the way.

in being healthy |

xmas11010stollen

It feels decadent eating cake and drinking wine while watching the biggest loser. But hey, I run a lot of miles and I try to eat healthily normally. I firmly believe in calories in vs calories out. I mean, no, I don’t stick to it every day, but over the long run I think I’ve managed to maintain. When people say “you’re so thin” I find it both offensive and hilarious. Why do you think I run? It is not a chicken and egg situation, it is very clearly: I run, therefore I am at a healthy weight.


in being healthy |

mvpark005

What the hell is up with stupid idiot running groups? This coach brings his teams for training on the track around the same time as I go for runs. The track has 6 lanes and these idiots think they own the entire track. They do warm ups, run in the opposite direction and STOP suddenly with no regard for other runners. The coach yells a half-hearted “look out for others” but these idiots are oblivious.

Track etiquette is common sense and easily googled:

  • run anti-clockwise — I’ve done clockwise on a long run just to break up the monotony, I ran on the outermost lane and watched out for other runners
  • the fastest lane is on the inside — omg these stupid middle-eastern women who walk three abreast on the inside lane breaks me
  • never block the track, ie stand around chatting or doing pushups or talking on the phone
  • never stop suddenly, move to the side and stop
  • no bikes, dogs (fucking dogs), skateboards, rollerblades, kids or people who are not running on the track
  • no kicking a football around or playing basketball or other sports that are inappropriate on the track
  • be aware of others

Sadly, only the very few will do this. I bought a sonic dog repeller, I so wish there is a human equivalent.

in how the day went |

I had plans to relax, read, do filing or even write a little. But the day ended up being: skype, photoshop, make dinner, make lunch for the week. And then all of a sudden, I turned around, and it was time for bed already! Where did my Sunday go?

in eating and drinking |

ldnhawks022steak ldnhawks024steak

RM and I were talking about steak and were looking into good steakhouses in london. Everywhere we looked, it seemed that Hawksmoor comes up top. I can’t find a bad review, and the price though expensive, people are saying it’s worth it. We rang up yesterday and managed to get a very early dinner reservation, which suits us fine because both of us like to eat dinner early.

I did my weekend long run today, 11 miles. He did a long gym session, so we both banked calories for the feast. Good planning.

We went to the Seven Dials branch, hidden in a tiny side street in Covent Garden. The imposing heavy wood front door seems intimidating, but once inside it’s all very different. The decoration — dark lighting, dark wood, leather banquettes — suggest stuffiness, but it’s the opposite. People were in jeans, and it’s almost diner-like in its casualness. Like very much.

The menu is, well, steak steak and more steak. Aside from the filet, sirloin and rib-eye on the main menu, they also had specific cuts of chateaubriand, porterhouse, bone-in prime rib and filet mignon, all chalked up on a board. So basically you order the particular piece of steak by weight. At our server’s suggestion, we had the bone-in prime rib. The smallest piece was 900g, almost 32oz; the largest over 1kg.

To start, we shared a crab on toast. After our great st john experience, we have great expectations of crab. This wasn’t st john level in terms of sea-freshness, but it was nevertheless very delicious. A small heap of white and brown meat on sourdough toast, perfect starter really.

The steak soon arrived, unpretentiously bursting out of an oval cast iron pan. As the restaurant described, dictionary thick. RM had the bone, and I was soon tucking into a couple of thick, chunky, juicy, meaty, absolutely heavenly slices. It was prime-rib, so there was a thick ribbon of fat. I normally won’t touch fat with a 10ft pole, but this was different. Just a small portion with some of the meat, and oh wow. The beef is sourced from longhorn cattle at the ginger pig farm in Yorkshire, and it is as good as it can get. I wanted chips, so we ordered triple cooked fat chips, could have also gone for the chips cooked in beef dripping — next time.

ldnhawks035stickytoffee ldnhawks008applebrandy

Pretty soon, all the steak was gone. We had room for pudding, so we had sticky toffee pudding and chocolate & rum pudding. Good stuff.

It wasn’t even 8pm, so we got the bill and moved to the bar area for cocktails. They have a glorious cocktail menu and our server recommended some good ones. Apple brandy cocktails, and then I had a treacle PX with rum. All in all, an extremely satisfying dinner. With 3 courses, wine and 2 cocktails the bill came to something like £90 per person. This is one restaurant I can’t wait to go back.


in objects of desire |

A few things came today from amazon, that I ordered for myself. My sis had given me gift certificates that will expire in april, so I made some inroads into that balance.

sennheiser MX75 earphones

sennheisermx75

Only £9.99, cheaper than the US, I think it’s because there is a new model out. These are my regular non-running earphones. I haven’t been listening to my iphone on the tube, but I might start again soon. Of course, the headphones I really want are the Bose QC3. Sigh.

reflective vest

vest

I’ll have to start on my run home from work soon; the training program calls for 8-miles mid-week. It’ll still be dark, and I thought it’s better safe than sorry. I saw some reflective vests for cycling and running at Lillywhites and the cycling shop for £25, but this one at £5.99 I like, because it’s light and can go over clothing and a small backpack.

sonic dog repeller

dogrepeller

This sonic dog repeller, together with pepper spray, I’ve wanted for a long long time. I probably won’t need it for running on my local track, but perhaps further afield and definitely when / if I go back to running in Chicago. There seems to be a problem with American dog owners not able to teach their things to stay away from humans. I certainly hope it works and it HURTS. Take that, bloody dogs.

Oral B professional care 500 electric toothbrush

oral b

Replacement, at £18.50, price has since gone up already. Nothing much to say, just that it’s time to replace my one year old model.


in being healthy |

basketball02

Did a mediocre 5k in very strong winds around the track, then about 10mins’ worth of shooting the hoops. It was a fun and twisted sort of nightmare to keep track of the basketball while I was running — I’d stuck it underneath a bin, then in a gap in the roots of a tree, then at the corner of the gate — it insisted in escaping, cos of the wind. At one point I just carried it with me and did one lap.

Sigh, I’m so horribly out of practice. I still know how to shoot the ball, but most times it bounced off the board or the rim and I don’t get the basket. There is only one solution to this. Play more.


in how the day went , photography is life |

ldnsunrise20120104

This morning as I was walking to the tube station, the sky turned pink from the sunrise. The clouds were lined up in a pretty pattern and there was a crispness in the air. Took this on instagram, with the hefe filter. I have a normal pic on my camera that I haven’t bothered downloading yet.


in arts and media |



It’s Tuesday so it must be Biggest Loser. At last I find another of my favourite reality shows here. The contestants are not quite as large as the US group, most of them hovering under 20st (280lbs). (Love that weights are still in stone.) The biggest contestant was at 32st though, over 450lbs. The format is the same, but with a nicer presenter and 3 very tough-looking trainers. Looking forward…


in being healthy |

092:365 Basketball
image courtesy flickr user GonchoA

I was at Lillywhites getting a Man U shirt for my friend’s son, and at the till there was a bunch of basketballs for £2.99. So now after more than 20 years, I am once again the proud owner of a basketball. It has been so long since I played. Wow, the days when I played for the school team. Memories. Yes, I’m short and I wear glasses and I’m no longer fast. But I still love it, hopefully I get a chance to go out to the court and mess around a little.


in being healthy |

2012serpentine10kstart 2012serpentine10kfinish

chip time: 10.03km 1:04:11hr 6:25min/km 10:19min/mile
nike+ time: 10.03km 1:03:55hr 6:22min/km 10:15min/mile

overall: 391 / 463
gender division: 141 / 194
age division: 19 / 27

Race #1 of 2012, serpentine new year’s day 10k. A very reasonable start time of 11am, and a field full of what looked like dedicated and keen runners. Lots in club shirts too, clubs are big things here. A couple wearing a Racine Ironman cap recognised my Chicago marathon cap and we chatted for a bit. Heh, I should have worn my Chicago shirt. Ah, but luckily no. No with these times.

The course started at Hyde Park, went along the outer carriage drive then to the Serpentine, crossing to Kensington Gardens. Mostly it was run there. The paths were narrow, and even with a small field of 500 runners there were parts that could only allow 2 across. There was also a loop, so at one point both the frontrunners and slower people were on the same path. (Would have been so easy to cheat, calling Kip Litton.)

We had to share the course with the public, ack. Mostly, the public were alright, but there are always idiots. Families with buggies and old people walking 3 abreast. Tourists who never know how to walk in London anyway. One stupid woman had 3 dogs (black and white things) which she had off leash and they were running across the path and into the runners. Fucking dog owners. I hate dogs.

Chip, garmin and nike+ times were by and large close. I did better than I thought. With the narrow path, the multiple turns and short walking break at the water station (they gave us bottled water with no caps, had to drink it while walking), I’m pleasantly surprised I came under 1:05. 59:xx will come, one day, I know it.

Lots of volunteers on the course, and I tried to thank as many as I could. They seemed to appreciate a “thanks for coming out” and were all in good spirits. Volunteers make a race, any race. There was a souvenir running sock at the end, but that’s it. I’m so glad I brought my own water, otherwise would have had to buy it at the snack bar opposite. The good thing about Hyde Park, aside from it being my “home” course, is the quick hop on the bus home. I also ran this as part of the nikerunning hangover challenge. Hee.


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