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Mwea Classic Marathon 2012 - HM

Monday, September 10, 2012

Finally I can get into the creating bloggs, Let me copy and paster here what I wrote for teh Galloway Team Mates:

I was an awesome experience once again.

When I woke up this morning (got up at 4:45am) it was cold and when I came out of the shower it was pouring. My hope was that that would only be in Nairobi.

Then I got ready and collected my friend.
We reached the start just in the nick of time, but then the announcement came that the starts are postponed, since several groups also coming from Nairobi were still en route.
I guess they also had problems getting going. Traffic had been very thin. IN Mwea it was overcast, but warmer than in Nairobi, actually ideal running temperatures.
When we started I had set the timer on my usual 5:1 intervalls. Yeah I know I had wanted to do 4:1....LOL - well it went ok and I kept the intervalls pretty much, only in the last 5km I walked a bit more, especially in the slight uphills.
We started off from a different place than the last 2 years, but only around the corner. The guy starting us off was a Kenyan Olympic Champion in 1968 Robert Ouko. He is a vewry nice guy and has a big heart for the youth.
We were all made to dip our left fingertips in some ink before the start. Reason: To ensure that those who cross the finish line really did take of from the start. We are in Kenya after all and this small marathon can not afford the electronic chip system. I have also taken part in races in the past were at the farthest point you were given a business card or something like that to prove at the finish you have been there.
I took off at a slow pace and resisted the urge to run faster. After about 2km we already had a casuality. A young Lady collapsed about 100m in front of me. Not sure exactly what happened. I stayed with her until I saw the ambulance coming and ensure the guys who were with her lifted her legs for the blood to return to the head. She seemed awake and conscious, just borderline hyperventilating. I tried to get her to breath normal but she was not answering and not doing what I tried to get her to do. Tried both in English & Swaheli. I suspect she was one of the local girls who come all excited for the race and then have not prepared properly. I stayed about 2 minutes with her. When I asked afterwards I was told she is fine.

I had been very dry out there in Mwea, so the dust was pathetic and the motorcycle taxis (a big nuisance here) were a pain in the behind..... They kept on crisscrossing the dirt road we were racing on. Here it is not that easy to get roads closed completely. Last byear they had it better under controll. BUt at least the 3km you run along the main road at the end were well controlled and I felt save there, well apart from that woman who insisted on crossing the road right in front of me and then wanted to talk to me (yeah in those village we white people are still a sensation), but some guys told her off and i gave her a piece of my mind. She was so shocked to hear me talk Kiswaheli, she took off.... Ok got ahead of myself. long before this interlude at about 12km I stumbled and fell. Must have got my foot stck on a rock, most of the race trail is on dirt roads, and they are not always the smoothest. Off course I fell in a heap of dust (trust me to find the dustiest place). Result: scrapes on both hands, a large one on the right elbow and a small one on my right knee. A Lady near me helped me wash it off with her drinking water. (HOw sweet) BUt the one of the knee I could not wash, since I was wearing long running tights and in Kenya you can not just start roling up your trouser without causing a fracas......But through the hole in my tights I saw that one wasn't bad.
Luckily, as much as my hands burned a bit, there wasn't much pain. Almost started laughing when some Ladies, who were on the way to there rice fields saw me and made typical Kenyan sounds to show their empathy, it sounded like they are feeling pain I wasn't having.
I was alos getting a lot of comments along the way (Kenyans keep forgetting some white people also speek Kiswaheli) about this old woman who is running so well. One suspected I must be a former champion LOL
Yep we do have lots of entertainment on the way - totally different from races in US and Europe.....LOL

When I finished I went to the First Aide tent and had the wounds disinfected properly. They are just superficial and should heal soon.

I finished (pure runnning time, I subtracted the 2 breaks when I helped the Lady and when I fell & cleaned my wounds) in 2 hrs 18 minutes and am very happy with the time, for the little training I have done.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRINK_U 10/3/2012 3:18PM

    That is so wonderful :) Way to go! Sounds like quite an adventure.


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STEPHLOKI 9/11/2012 4:19AM

    Thanks for all your support guys, I am overwhelmed.

this was the first HM this year, but have done many, have done a Full as well on 2004

Just come over here, this month we have 3 major marathons to choose one. The one I miss, since I am traveling and it must be fun, is the one in the Maasai Mara - a fund raiser.

Next one I will do will be Standard & Chartered Nairobi Marathon. Will do the HM again. in it's 10 years of existance I have only missed 3.

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STRIVER57 9/11/2012 1:57AM

    yay Steph! sounds fun!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/10/2012 7:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JASMINELOU 9/10/2012 2:41PM


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JASMINELOU 9/10/2012 2:40PM


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CAMELSAMBA 9/10/2012 1:26PM

    Congrats and way to go! Sounds like an enjoyable time, except for the fall. Glad it was only superficial wounds. Like Mirage727, I enjoyed reading about a race in a different part of the world.

(I ran 11.1 miles for my long run on Sunday and the last mile was SO hard. I can't imagine doing 2 more! So now I'm even more impressed with half-marathoners :^)

Comment edited on: 9/10/2012 1:27:02 PM

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DDOORN 9/10/2012 11:07AM

    Wow...! An H/M...?!?! Not anywhere NEAR on *MY* horizon! Hat's off to you with great respect! Especially as the conditions under which you traveled sound WAY less than ideal!


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SEABREEZE65 9/10/2012 10:15AM

    Awesome run Steph!

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MIRAGE727 9/10/2012 8:13AM

    Most excellent. As a former world traveler, I truly enjoy reading about races and experiences abroad. I would have loved to do a race overseas now. Thanks for sharing.

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No Perimenopause you are not going to win!!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oh the joys of being a woman in middle age.... Just 10 days after I wrote my last Blog I stepped on the scale and "waaaaaahhhhh" I was up 2 kg. Can't be true..... tried again, still the same. Then I stopped to think:
Moody - tick
swollen feet - tick
bloated stomach - tick
water retention - tick
chocolate craving - tick
Hotflashes - mild but tick

So here we go again. After a few months of being back to regular and little sypmtoms, here we go again. I hate it, I hated myself and felt fat & ugly once again....... Convinced I never will loose this weight and get down to the lower 70s in weight.
After 2 days of feeling sorry for myself and craving chocolate like crazy I decided to fight it:
* No chocolate in the house
* No unneccessary trips to the supermarket (there are shelves with chocolate)
* lots of oat meal and porridge to drain the exess fluid
* lots of grapes
* walks on eveyr day i don't go to the gym
* lots of water & herbal teas to flush out toxines
* Lots of talks with BF, who is so understanding and ready to sit & rub my feet when I feel moody, cranky and down

Now I definitely feel better, have run quite a bit - did 14km run today for the first time in over a year - and have shed 1kg of that water retention. I am trying to stay off any medication as much as possible, since I am not ready for HRT. But if it gets worse I will go back on Estovon. Took it last year for 6 months when the symptoms were worse.

This time round having BF around definitely helps


We only started dating end of last year, so he wasn't there when I was really suffering.

What I think also helps is that this time round I knew immediately what was going on and was able to counteract quickly. You can do so much with a positive attitude, nutrition and lots of exercise.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 6/25/2012 8:40AM

    Super job of SPARKIN' when the going gets tough...and look at those results! :-)

Kudos on those long runs...whew, could never consider such a feat!


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STEPHLOKI 6/25/2012 1:27AM

    Thanks Guys

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LAURIE5658 6/24/2012 4:09PM

    Ah yes, how well I remember. The GREAT NEWS is that menopause ROCKS and these nuisances will be a thing of the past. Hang in there!!!!!


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SHRINK_U 6/24/2012 12:55PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan and a nice supportive BF. That's great!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 6/24/2012 11:36AM


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Finally the scale moved again!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

It took me 4 months, but I finally made the scale move again in the right direction! Looks like maybe I have busted the plateau. When I weighed myself yesterday I didn't really believe it since it had taken so long. But this morning the scale showed the same! I have lost1kg. Time to celebrate! Hopefull I will be back in the 70s soon in terms of kilograms.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 6/7/2012 2:31PM

    Kudos to your persistence & perseverance! :-)


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STEPHLOKI 6/7/2012 8:57AM

    JT, Ngongathon is usually in June, so just come over for it.... Ok I know there is the slight issue of the ticket. It is an awesome race. I have some pictures on my page.

JT & Mary,
thanks for the encouragement. I had been stuck on a plateau at the same weight before and was really getting frustrated, since this time it was taking so long

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JTAYLOR2011 6/7/2012 8:26AM

    Yay! I know how this feels. Good for you! emoticon
I'd love to do the Ngongathon some day! Sounds like an awesome race!

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MARYINMAINE 6/3/2012 5:49PM

    Congratulations! I sure know that feeling of being stuck on a plateau! Good for you for sticking with it!

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Life with exercise induced asthma

Monday, April 23, 2012

When I was first diagnosed with exercise induced asthma I was shocked. It had started like a joke, with a bad flu and coughing fits every evening. Then I realized I get coughing fits after about 20 minutes of running. First I was in deep denial, after all I wasn’t wheezing, and then am I not a bit old for getting exercise induced asthma? I have exercised most of my life and about 10 years ago I was exercising a lot more than now…… After all that’s the time I was doing most of my halfmarathons and the full marathon. Well I guess this is a practical lesson in what I had learned in Nursing school: Asthma can occur at any age, even though it is less likely once you are beyond a certain age (forgot what is was).
When I started exercising again in January, having recovered from the cataract surgeries and having come to terms with the fact I have to deal with exercised asthma now, I was really nervous. Will I manage? Will I be able to control it enough to continue long-distance running? Will I be able to do half-marathons again? Will I have to carry the inhaler on every run. I opted to start training on the treadmill, even though I usually prefer outside. I thought it was saver this way, then I could stop any time and get the inhaler or take a break. I know myself, if I get into problems during an outside run, I would probably try and push to get home……
This strategy worked well for me and slowly I was able to increase the time I ran on the treadmill, now I do 30 minutes regularly and on weekends I either do 45-60 minutes on the treadmill or if the weather is good run outside. The first outside run I was also really nervous, since I live on a hill, runs are always downhill first and back home is uphill all the way. I psyched myself that it is ok to walk and chose a 10km route, where I can do a shortcut if I have to and also feel comfortable walking. I ran about 2/3 of the stretch and mainly walked in the different uphill parts and was so proud that I finished without a wheeze and only coughed a little bit. Since then I have done several outside runs and even managed one last week without taking the inhaler before. Actually I forgot and realized when I had gone 4km already, then I decided to just continue and if I start coughing or wheezing I will walk. The run went well and I did 12km in a reasonable time, without pushing it.
When I was first put on treatment for this exercise induced asthma I started out with daily tablets, a preventor inhaler (Foracort) twice daily and the emergency inhaler (Salbotamol = Ventolin). I was instructed to use the emergency inhaler before exercise and carry it along. So far I have done well and never had to use the emergency inhaler during a run. I sometimes do not use it when going to the gym (though it is in my bag), if I know I will only do about 30 minutes of cardio. Now my Doctor stopped the tablets as well and I am doing fine.
Funny enough I also have not had any problems when swimming. I only go a couple of times a month, since I don’t have enough time and the pool I use is far. But I was worried, that the cold water would trigger an attack. I have never even felt any discomfort in my chest!
Lesson learned: Exercise filled life is possible with exercise induced asthma!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHLOKI 4/24/2012 12:40AM

    Ida & Don,
thanks for your sweet words!


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OUTDOORGIRL70 4/23/2012 3:50PM

    That is emoticon. I am so glad that things are working out for you.


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DDOORN 4/23/2012 10:40AM

    Whew! What a challenge! Kudos on being flexible, re: walking if need be doesn't have to be a *crime!* :-)

Spark ON!


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Back to the gym

Sunday, January 22, 2012

With the payrise I got end of last year I finally am able to afford the gym again. Looked for a new one near my office and have found one I like. When I went to look at it they gave me 2 vouchers to go for free. So now that the eye Doctor has given me green light to start exercising, I used the vouchers and enjoyed myself. The gym opens early enough that i can go before work - that is if I get out of bed in time.... :), but also from work I can be there in 5 minutes. It has a nice mixed crowd there, but not so many that you have to line up for cardio like in my old gym. The instructors in the weights room are also fun guys, who know how much they can give you to do.
So I used my 2 vouchers in the first week and now have paid for the monthly membership. I want to go 2-3 times a week.
With this newly diagnosed exercise induced asthma, I have to take it slow when it comes to long-distance running, so I want to increase slowly on the treadmill. If I do it when running outside, i might find myself too far from home, when I get an attack and then strain to get back.
Today I did 30 minutes, but slowing down inbetween, and it went well. I think I am learning how and when to use the inhalors.
Now I only need to start losing pounds again.... But I know that will come.
I know I am on the right track!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 2/26/2012 10:38AM

    Super to hear you're back at the gym! It's so easy to mix it up and feel so fine after one's workout! :-)


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STEPHLOKI 1/28/2012 1:20AM

    HI Tetich,

I am going to Naliando, it is on Raphta Road opposite the entrance to St. Marys, in an apartment block. Most affordable one in Westlands and I like the guys there. Also has good equipment and good opening hours.

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TETICH 1/27/2012 6:25PM

    Yay, girl. So which gym is it? 1Kg already! That's great, have fun:)

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STEPHLOKI 1/27/2012 1:41PM

    I have lost 1kg!!!! It feels nice to be active again and am slowly finding the timings that are fitting in my crazy busy office life.

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NYARAMULA 1/23/2012 2:19AM

    Great! Enjoy the gym and when you have time we can start walking again.

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OUTDOORGIRL70 1/22/2012 5:18PM

    You will start losing the weight. emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 1/22/2012 2:06PM

    I love going to the gym. The treadmill not so much, though. I get bored really easily. :)

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