27 November 2011

The Hyderabad 10K

This morning I ran my first race in years -- the Hyderabad 10K. My experiences in India over the last year led me to expect a lot of exuberance with much less attention to detail than there would be at a race in the United States. And I was pretty much right.

Chip timing was offered for the amateur ten-kilometer run, which impressed me at first. So did the online registration process. However, when I went to the Expo yesterday to pick up my bib and chip, even though I brought the printed-out registration confirmation, they had me fill out a new registration form -- with all the same information on it -- then they went onto the computer to check my online registration. They asked for my id card but didn't actually look at it. The online registration had said to be sure to bring the credit card you paid with as your proof-of-purchase, but they didn't ask to see it. Also, during the race, as a backup to the chip timing they were writing down bib numbers and times at the five-kilometer mark and at the finish line they stopped me to ask my name as well. If this is all computerized, all you need is my chip! And why the redundancy of filling out new registration forms by hand when I have my printout? They looked at it and threw it away!

The race only started five minutes late, which was earlier than my friend and I expected. We'd been running the course for the last few weekends so had an idea of how to pace ourselves for the times we wanted. I actually felt great and went a little faster than my training runs. I kept thinking that I couldn't keep it up, until I noticed that kilometer markers didn't quite match my Garmin and maybe the race would be finishing sooner than I expected. When a particularly chatty runner started bothering me with only two kilometers to go (even though my Garmin indicated a half-mile left), I used the upcoming finish line as an excuse to say "Great job, finish strong!" and zoomed ahead for a good finish. (If he was able to chat, he should have been going faster, too!)

My goal was to keep a ten-minute pace and my final time was fifty-seven minutes! My Garmin tracked the distance at 6.04 miles rather than 6.2 miles. I'm curious to see my official time once they get it posted. I didn't notice a finishing clock at the line. The 9K Corporate Fun Run/Walk was starting as I finished and the line was crowded. They didn't have great crowd control and eventually they gave up keeping a finishing chute open and free of walkers. When my friend crossed the line a few minutes after me, she said she'd been walking and pushing people out of her way to make it to the finish. She may have finished in under an hour, but the walking crowd at the line took her several minutes to get through before she actually crossed the finish line in about one hour and three minutes. Also, once we finished we had to cross the road in front of all the walkers to get over to the refreshments table. Sorry Hyderabad, even with chip timing and starting only a few minutes late, you lose points for a messy, crowded finish line.

Now I don't know what to do next. I'd like to tackle a half-marathon if I can find one. I may have to travel for that. The Bangkok marathon and half-marathon have been postponed to my birthday in February. I like Bangkok and I like my birthday...

24 November 2011

Travel Photo Friday: Old City Motorcycles, Hyderabad, India

My husband loves motorcycles and he recently bought his second Royal Enfield here in India. He bought an older one that will be easier to bring back to the United States with us (classic cars don't have the same safety and emissions standards), but it needs a lot of work. One day Muffin and I went with him on the tour of mechanic shops in the Old City he visits regularly to check on the progress of his new old bike.


Muffin loves motorcycles.

I have one of these old scooters, similar in color to the one on the left. I haven't driven it yet.

"Safety on roads is safe tea at home"

Mike's new old bike.

These ornamental handlebars are very popular in parts of the Old City.

Royal Enfield, India.

Photo Friday is hosted by DeliciousBaby.com.

This Week

This week I also posted at Gluten Free Works and What I Eat. Happy Thanksgiving!

17 November 2011

Travel Photo Friday: Livingstone-Stanley Monument, Bujumbura, Burundi

From the archives. Bujumbura, Burundi, March 2009.

A few kilometers outside of Bujumbura there's a large rock known as the Pierre Livingstone, the Livingstone Rock. It marks the spot where Livingstone and Stanley spent a few days in Burundi as they were passing through the region. It's not where the famous "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," was uttered; that took place in Tanzania a couple weeks earlier. But they both wrote in their journals about the hospitality of the local king and there's some speculation that they stayed for so long because Stanley was suffering from malaria. It's a highly contagious area, but also a nice view to sit and recover by.

View from the monument. We brought a cooler of beers and sodas and enjoyed a drink in the cool breeze.

If you enlarge the photo you can see where they carved their names and the date.

Photo Friday is hosted by DeliciousBaby.com.

This Week

This week I also posted at What I Eat. Chocolate pomegranate cookies and using flaxseed as an egg replacer.

14 November 2011

That Room

I wouldn't sign us up for Hoarders, but we collect stuff. Mike has his cameras and his bike parts. I have fabrics and bits of paper. We both have CDs and DVDs that have been listened to or watched once. We both have old clothes. Occasionally we do go through our stuff and pare it down a bit but we still end up with that room. That room where boxes remain unpacked and stuff that we need to keep but don't use ends up. All the moving around that we do hasn't cured us of our habit of collecting things and holding on to them forever. We moved in together about eight years ago and I'm afraid we might still have boxes from that first apartment stashed away somewhere.

We've lived in our current house for almost a year. We moved in just before Christmas and the last delivery of our household effects was on New Year's Eve. So I decided that before the end of the year, I want that room cleaned up and organized. I've had a junk room rather than a sewing room and office. It was a room that Muffin had never even seen because the mess was piled so high. Even when the mold hit, I braved the room long enough to rescue some fabric but we never go to the rest of the room.

When Mike had last Friday off and we had a full staff of housekeepers and nannies to keep Muffin busy, Mike and I went in and tackled that room.

It's still not perfect but it came a long way that morning. I've sketched out a couple little work tables to be made and I've figured out my storage needs. I've found homes for two sewing machines, the printer, and the scanner. All the fabric is on shelves. Our housekeeper gladly took some of the craft supplies that I felt I no longer needed. Her daughter and young cousins keep scrapbooks and love getting my crafting hand-me-downs. Muffin sneaks in there now and marvels at the fabrics, anxious to touch them all, making little "oh, oooh," sounds.

I can't wait to start using my new sewing room office.

P.S. We've been doing some big cleanups around the house, and one morning we put out several garbage bags, including one from the catbox, because, well, we have a cat who uses the catbox so we have to throw it away. Within an hour, every garbage bag was gone from in front of our house except the one full of kitty litter. It took several days for that one to disappear. The ups and downs of having a "private" garbage man. He doesn't really have to take anything he doesn't feel isn't worth sorting through to see what can be resold. Eventually it all disappears though.

11 November 2011

Travel Photo Friday: Mount Kilimanjaro

From the archives.

We climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2009.

Day 4 of the climb. Our destination, Uhuru Peak, is in the background.

Photo Friday is hosted by DeliciousBaby.com.

This Week

This week I also posted at What I Eat. I've been waging war against the humidity of India to make macarons.

03 November 2011

Travel Photo Friday: Pumpkin Shopping, Rythu Bazar, Hyderabad, India

We can't go to a pumpkin patch or an apple orchard here, so two weekends ago we went to one of the big produce markets, Rythu Bazar, in search of pumpkins for Halloween.

Photo Friday is hosted by DeliciousBaby.com

This Week

This week I also posted at What I Eat.
Muffin had her first taste of green jello this week.