Tuesday, December 6, 2016

My first 10km

I don't know if you remember this but on July 25th this year, I wrote a blog post that I wanted to attempt a 10km run at least once before I die. And if you know hubs, he signed me up for Standard Chartered 2016 10km run immediately.

Well, that was before my gallbladder got busted and I had it removed via keyhole surgery in August. Which kinda spoilt my plan of slowly training for it. I had to take it slow for a month and then when I started running again, I felt really unfit. The surgery really knocked a lot of energy out of me. Finally in November I managed to do 10km one time. So I knew I could do it but it was exhausting.

Well, the Standard Chartered run happened on Sunday. Since it came so close after the One North run last Sunday, I never even got around to do any practice run. As usual, the 5:30am wake up, and since the trains run late on Sundays, we had to take a taxi to as close to the starting point as possible.

I wore my purple running tee so it's easier to spot me in photos.

There were a lot of runners in the 10km category. Most runs we joined in the past were moderate in size. We were so far away from the start line that it took a few "waves" before it was our turn.

Hubs and I didn't run together. We started off together but he was such a fast runner that I told him not to wait for me. He even managed to take photos along the way. I could barely think.

He finished half an hour earlier and went back to catch me in action.

As expected, it was exhausting but I managed to finish it. My right leg hurt a bit right from the start probably due to a lack of warming up. My toes hurt like hell from the 6th km.

My goal was to complete the 10km in under 2 hours and I managed it in 1 hour 34 min. Ha ha, maybe next time I should set a higher goal. I came in 7,854th out of 12,234 finishers. Among women, I came in 2,799 out of 5,328 finishers. I am very satisfied with my result! If you're wondering if I'm going for half-marathon next, I can tell you very firmly it's a 'no'. I'm physically and mentally not fit enough for that kind of endurance.

Sadly, a 29 year old runner in the half-marathon died. He collapsed just 1km before the finish line.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pullman Loaf

I have a new kitchen mixer, a Kenwood KM636. It's way better than my wimpy Phillips HR1565. It costs a lot more but it's by no means a rolls royce in the kitchen appliance world. More like a entry level straight forward kind of appliance. It's also very heavy. When I first used it, I tilted the head to remove the bowl and I almost sent the whole machine crashing to the floor!

My first bake using the mixer was of course bread. I was dying to try out the dough hook and it was not bad at all.

This was after mixing in the machine for 4 min at the slowest speed. See how clean the side of the bowl is?

And this was after adding butter and mixing for 5 min at medium speed. I only had to coax the butter into the dough using a spatula twice.

The machine is super noisy and my dining table vibrated crazily. Because the machine is heavy, I don't like the idea of putting it away in the box and taking it out whenever I want to use it. So I left it on the dining table. Permanently. Unfortunately it's in the way.

The recipe I used is similar to this one. There's another version for a smaller scale. Next time I want to try the whole wheat version here.

So what I baked is called Pain de Mie which is a sandwich loaf.

And here's my mise en place.

My dough waiting to be transported to the baking pan.

The magic happens when you bake in a pullman loaf tin. See all that corrugated metal?

lt translates to this. I'm so fascinated by how perfect the shape is.

I did not watch the proofing too carefully and it reached the top of the lid. That's why you see some ugliness.

Before I used the pullman loaf tin, I googled for a way to calculate how much dough my tin could bake but came up empty. Does anyone know? I wonder if I should just pour water into the tin until 3/4 and weigh that amount of water. Does that sound logical?

The bread was a tiny bit dense but tastes ok.

We made luncheon meat sandwich and I want to declare it's as good as any bread from a bakery.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

One North Run

On Sunday, we dragged our ass out of bed at 5:30 am to go for One North Run. It's a run which raises money for charity. It's a road run mostly around the buildings at one north.

We called for a taxi and at first I was very happy because we got a Mercedes. But I got pissed off real fast because the driver was smoking while waiting for us. After we got into the taxi, he continued standing outside trying to squeeze out the remaining puffs. Since I have a super sensitive nose, I get annoyed being around 2nd hand smoke. After the driver started driving, he said he needed to pump air into his car tyre because they weren't balanced. So he drove to a nearby petrol station to do it. I think ensuring your taxi is in good condition before you take any phone booking is the decent thing to do. Still hubs was pretty zen about it and let me tell you, he can get ragey sometimes. Finally, we were on our way. It was raining quite heavily by the way but we decided to go anyway. Then the driver took us to the wrong location. In the end we had to google map for him so he could make his way there. It cost us $25! It was actually $26.xx but he gave us a discount. Amazingly, we did not get super angry about it. Maybe we were still in sleep mode. Meanwhile, the rain had become a light drizzle.

The start point was at Mediapolis which is where the local broadcasting station is located.

Although it was just a light drizzle, on and off, the organizer couldn't make up its mind whether to cancel the 10km run which hubs had signed up for. Mine was 5km.

So we waited and waited. Around 7:45am, it was finally cancelled. But my 5km run was on. Around 8:15am, the first wave was flagged off. I was in the second wave, at the back of the pack. Many 10km runners joined the 5km runners. So did hubs. Half a route is better than none, right?

We saw a few interesting buildings along the way. The photo above - I noticed 3 buildings were joined by bridges. I wonder why that's necessary. The event organizer didn't bother to put up any signs indicating remaining distance to run. It was a run until you see the finish line kind of run.

Hubs finished way faster and came back to take photos of my dash to the finish line except he missed it. (because I ran too fast)

Officially my timing based on the chip I wore on my shoe was 42 min 43 secs.

Despite the wet ground and lack of practice runs, I did very well.  By the way, for once, I wore the t-shirt provided. It was cold and I needed sleeves.

Another medal to throw in my "medal cabinet".  I have 2 more runs to go for 2016!
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