Monday, January 07, 2013
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.
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....
Some of the Ladies in the wheelchair race where struggling, so runners sarted pushing their wheel chairs to ensure they reach the finish line.
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.
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