STEPHLOKI   149,944
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My thought for the day!

Monday, January 07, 2013

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RONNIEHUEY 1/10/2013 1:38PM

    How true~! emoticon

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KRICKET4 1/7/2013 2:12PM

    Love it!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 1/7/2013 12:00PM

    Good thought!

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NATPLUMMER 1/7/2013 10:35AM

    Yes, they certainly are!!

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SEABREEZE64 1/7/2013 10:09AM


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LAURIE5658 1/7/2013 9:39AM

    Love this, Steph!


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Sewing again

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It has been years since I last really used the sewing machine. Mine old one was spoiled by my ex and I left it behind.
Then I bought a used one from a family that was leaving Kenya. Unfortunately it wasn't working (had not tried it out, since I trusted the family). I just couldn't get the tension adjusted. Then I couldn't find a place to have the machine serviced. So ti just sat there for a few years. Then one day I decided to go again to the haberdashery in a near-by mall. They sell one brand of machines, and had at one point told me they only service that brand. But now the Lady told me that they service all machines.
So I took mine and after service it worked well. Problem was cobwebs tangled up in the system... LOL
Anyway after doiong some repair work to get myself used to this machine (after all it is new to me...), I took the plunge and bought 2 kinds of material to make some trousers for myself.
One material was long enough to make a long trouser and a short for myself, those 2 are ready! Only need to sew the buttons on. I used an old trouser I loved, but it wore out as pattern.
For the other (a nice linen material) I am using a pattern from a magazine. I have already cut the material, but since it is a bit see-through I need to get some lining as well.

It is exciting to see I haven;t lost the skills, Zips and other things I was struglling with before are still a struggle, but overall I am proud of what I did.

1/1/2013 update: hers of are picture of my first attempt. I used an old trouser as a sample forgetting that that material was more stretchy than what I bought..... Now it is a bit tight, but I can close it....... Hmmmm, maybe my new skinny "jeans" - When I get below that crazy 80kg barrier it should be ok.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEABREEZE64 1/1/2013 7:11AM

    I love to sew and am very impressed with your trousers. I have often sewn quilts, but clothes are "scary." I need a new fun hobby... maybe I'll try my hand at this again.

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IGSBETH 12/31/2012 11:33AM

    Yay! Sewing is great therapy! I have had so much fun sewing doll dresses lately.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 12/31/2012 11:25AM

    You know, sewing again is on my list for the coming year!
Good for you. emoticon

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STEPHLOKI 12/31/2012 11:23AM

    Thanks for all these comments.
Striver, Monty,
I am so glad Mom insisted on taking me for sewing classes when I was in my early teens.

that must be fun, making clothes for your grandkids. I remember I used to knit so much for my youngest sister (I raised her until she was 4 & I went to college). NOw I can't knit anymore because of RA, but I enjoy the sewing.
Funny enough I always sewed more for myself

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KKKAREN 12/31/2012 8:34AM

    I'm a big sewer too. I hadn't made much for several years until I got Grandkids, now I sew clothes for them all the time. I have also made a lot of quilts lately, they are really challenging but rewarding too.

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STRIVER57 12/30/2012 4:48PM

    something i wish i had learned early ... yay for you!!

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MIRAGE727 12/30/2012 10:06AM

    I was always impressed with those who had the talent to sew. My mom would do it regularly at home. All the best and can't wait to hear about your finished products!

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STEPHLOKI 12/30/2012 5:57AM

    Thanks for all your comments. Catherine I used to make 80% of my clothes myself when I was in college.

the bobbin in this machien also puzzled me..... I went and googled the model. You will get some helpful you-tube videos and also places where you can order (=buy) the manual for your machine.

I had a totally different model before so threading both the normal thread and the bobbin (my first experience with a bobbin you insert from the top) took me a while. The you-tube videos helped a lot, even if they were not for my exact model

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NATPLUMMER 12/29/2012 2:31PM

    You are a brave woman. I haven't used my sewing machine in quite some time and have actually only used it to hem jeans. I have to look at the instructions to figure out how to thread it every time.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/29/2012 12:22PM

    Way to go! I use to make all of my clothes. A friend and I referred to it as "fiber therapy."

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ORIGINALCLARA 12/29/2012 12:17PM

    Hi, my name is Clara! I have a sewing machine that was given to me some years ago. I don't have the manual to show me some things of " how to" . I know some basics of sewing and desire to do more with the machine. I don't remember how to thread the It's a Dressmaker sewing machine. Guess I'll just have to sit and work with it a little more to jog my memory. Have any sewing tips to share let me know!

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Pictures of Nairobi Marathon 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just a few impressions

The big screen, something new in this part of the world:

The crowd:

The guy who did the HM with a crutch on the right on the finish stretch:

Side entertainment:

Last but not least, the band walking straight into the runners path...... Yep we are in Africa, we don't think about everything we do.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 10/31/2012 12:29PM

    Late to the party, but WOW! great pics for a great time! Thx for sharing! Always curious to know more about other parts of the globe. While there are always things in common between various marathons there are often unique aspects which make an event stand out.

Appreciating the little dose of armchair traveling! :-)


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STEPHLOKI 10/31/2012 5:52AM

    Thanks everyone!

Yep this is a very official Race! LOL

Anyone interested, it always is the last weekend of October, Registration starts about 2 months before and now (what development!!!!) can even be done online.

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JUNEPA 10/30/2012 9:18PM

    Nice photos !!
Looks like it could be any where in the western world, a very modern stadium

Comment edited on: 10/30/2012 11:30:27 PM

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NATPLUMMER 10/30/2012 4:03PM

    Thanks!! Great pictures...that is funny about the band.

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SMOOCHIESMOMMY2 10/30/2012 2:27PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 10/30/2012 1:45PM

    Great pictures! And how cool to finish on a track -- it looks so official!

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TRILLIUM22 10/30/2012 1:40PM

    Love the pictures. emoticon

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MIRAGE727 10/30/2012 10:12AM

    Thanks for sharing! What a unique experience. I've traveled all over the world and never get tired of photos from different countries!

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SHRINK_U 10/30/2012 9:12AM

    Thanks for sharing the pics :) lol @ the band marching into the runner's path. I am sure that was frustrating.. but it is funny :)

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KANDOLAKER 10/30/2012 9:07AM

    Great photos - thank you so much for sharing!!! Congrats again on your run - way to go!!

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Standard & Chartered Nairobi Marathon

Monday, October 29, 2012

What a start to a marathon:
The Night before it was pouring proper tropical rainfalls. In fact the noise of every new down-pour woke me up, so I didn't get all that much sleep.
When I finally got up at 5am, it was still raining heavily. Dragged myselve out of bed and kept wondering how this will go. I don;t run in rain any more because of the RA, joints hurt too much if I do.
But then I said the weather in town can be different from where I live, so I went.
When I reached town the rain there had stopped and the roads where drying up.

I is amazing how many people there are these days. 10 years ago during the 1st Standard & Chartered Nairobi Marathon I think we were less than 5000 people. Now it is near to 20,000. Also the HM has gained popularity. People do not feel shy any more to walk it. So it was the race with the most people.

It took us a while to get over that starting line..... LOL
Then the race started with some obstacles. First one of the helicopters with TV crew was flying so low, that all our hats threatened to fly off. Some people had to dash back to retrieve theirs, but I managed to hold onto mine. Then 300m down the road I saw people running to the side of teh highway we were running on. The whole highway was flooded with water and we had to squeeze by on the sides.

The first 10km is a loop meandering through down-town with a lot of running back & forth, which is actually fun, since you see who else is running.

Doing my run-walk-run intervalls off course I heard a lot of typical Kenyan rude commments (of course they assume as a white person you don't understand Kiswaheli) like, "this white woman is already tired, how will she finish" etc.
I smiled to myself, knowing very well I will overtake those guys in the end.... LOL
The first 10km went VERY well and I actually felt like the 1min walk intervals were too long. But I continued with 4:30 min run, 1min walk, since I knew I was not fit enough to do shorted walk intervals.

The second 10km is a long striaght run down the Mombasa Road Highway and back. Here I slowed down very much, since I was getting tired.
at about 13km I realized I was starting to feel hungry and almost a bit faint. While I was wondering what to do, I came across a Lucozade waterstation. That cup of Lucozade (an isotonic drink) gave me the energy to continue.
This was amazing, since normally they only provide water on the marathon, but Lucozade had relaunched their sportsdrink, since it is now a proper isotonic drink (and no longer the sweet pap it was before) and decided to sponsor.
ON the last 3km I realized that I am really not as fit as I would want to be, since usually during the last 3km I would just run and not walk any more, slowly increasing pace. I still found myself doing a walk break during the second last km. But did manage to run the last 1km and to increase my pace on the loop inside the stadium
The stadium now has a big screen on one of the sides and you could see people finishing on it. Off course I did not appear, since just that was the time they were doing the presentation to the winners of the Half Marathon.

People were so many it was difficult to friend my running friends and I actually saw very few. Since most were going for a drink to a friends bar afterwards, I decided to head home. IN the afternoon I went for a sportsmassage and today I am feeling good.

Ok, somehow I do not manage to upload pictures.

Here are some observations:
- Real heros: I saw a young guy, who obviously had had a stroke, his left arm being crippled in the typical position and the left leg having hardly any muscles, overtake me on the last 4km at a good fast pace
Another one: a guy walking with a crutch, who was finishing the Halfmarathon

- typical Kenyan way:
Amazing how many people not only carried their cell phones on the run, but actually used them. Saw several making calls to tell their friends and relatives to tell them they are running in the Marathon right now. Later I saw one Lady, who slowed down 100m before the finish line, to call someone, probably to tell them she is finishing......
When the military band was finishing their entertainment they crossed the race track 20m before the finish line, never mind the tired runners coming in....... Someone almost collided with a big Tuba....

Sweet gestures:
Some of the Ladies in the wheelchair race where struggling, so runners sarted pushing their wheel chairs to ensure they reach the finish line.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIE5658 10/30/2012 1:41PM

    Oh Steph, THANK YOU for writing this blog and how very interesting. Catherine is do run very interesting races. I love your blogs like this because we get an idea of what Kenyan races are like. Thank you for that and CONGRATULATIONS on your finish!!

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STEPHLOKI 10/30/2012 4:53AM

    Thanks Guys. Marathons and other races here in Kenya are really interesting, but I also love the way people are getting a more realiztic attitude towards running. People are realizing that not everyone is a Paul Tergat and it is all about participating and finishing.

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JUNEPA 10/30/2012 12:45AM

    Interesting race and a nice finish time !! Awesome you feel fine post-race as well.
Your blog is well written, even without photos I can picture the race from your vignettes

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TRILLIUM22 10/29/2012 1:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon It sounds so different than a race her in the US. Quite an experience. Jeff recommends practicing running straight at the end of some of your weekday runs, if you want to do that in the race. I think its as much about fitness and getting the feel for running straight. I actually need to slow the run a little, even if the average pace with a straight run is faster.+

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SHRINK_U 10/29/2012 1:09PM

    That is awesome, Steph :) Way to go!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 10/29/2012 11:48AM

    Steph, you run in such interesting races! I'm surprised by the number of people who are using their cell phones in races here, too. Mostly to take pictures, but I've seen people make calls. I actually did it myself, just once, 2 years ago in the San Antonio Marathon. This was when I was having foot problems and I called DH to tell him not to worry when I didn't show up at the finish line at the expected time.

You did great! Hope you can get those pictures uploaded.

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NATPLUMMER 10/29/2012 11:11AM

    emoticon emoticon
Very sweet gesture.

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CBAILEYC 10/29/2012 11:05AM


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KANDOLAKER 10/29/2012 8:31AM

    Congratulations! Sounds like a very interesting marathon. Thanks for sharing your story!! Again, congratulations!! emoticon

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STEPHLOKI 10/29/2012 5:18AM

    Thanks Seabreeze,

I am actually really happy about how everything went.

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SEABREEZE64 10/29/2012 5:09AM

    You did great STEPH! Congratulations!
Sounds like a few obstacles (water and helicopters)!!!

And you feel pretty good today..... that is awesome!

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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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SEABREEZE64 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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