Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seasoned Traveler

Since I still don't have a car, I've gotten pretty creative with how I run my errands and get around these days (mainly with my feet and bicycle)

So Tucker and I braved the bus when I had to take him to the vet! It's just one adventure after another in this country.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amsterdam Marathon

Apologies for the delay folks. I've actually had some technical difficulties with the photos - apparently my camera and home computer aren't playing nice. I'm still working on it but I did manage to get most of the photos so I'll post what I have.
Oh - so I ran the Amsterdam marathon. The site of the start and finish was at the Olympic stadium. I think we passed by it about four times during the race.

Here we are pre-race. Me, Jo and Ian C entered the full marathon (a few other BTS'ers were there including Sarah, Debs and Joe M) while Louise, Ian W and Zowie were there to run the half marathon. However, the marathon started at 9:30AM while the half marathon didn't start until 1:30PM so needless to say, the half marathoners were in bed while we were getting ready to run.

The weather turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day. The race was great - I must say - flat marathons are definitely the way to go. This race was packed though. I started a little too far back and have to say I was never clear of people. This is not a race for the claustrophobic. This picture is supposed to represent Jo Weatherall crossing the finish line. However, I can't find her anywhere in the photo.

I did find her here though! Jo did fantastic for her first marathon and finished in just under 4 hours. I also did really well with a personal best of 3:28:15. Actually, the race was a bit long too. I could tell at the end of the race that even though I know I was running faster (I'm pretty darn sure I was) the km markers were not appearing any sooner. The last few kms were definitely long according to my legs and according to a few Garmins. I guess what's a half mile more when you've already run 26.2?

This picture is realy blurry but you can just make out Jo in the middle with BTS on the back. Her black top stands out against the sea of red!

After the race, it is straight on to the reward! Yes, this is why we run.......

Later that night, we get cleaned up and celebrate a little more. Ian W did really well in his half marathon so smiles all around.

Louise and I are coordinated in our pink scarves.

Louise shows off the pink scarf the next day while we wait in line at the Van Gogh museum. We went first thing in the morning (as fast as my stiff legs could get us there) and our wait in line before the museum opened paid off. It was packed by the time we left!

Outside the Van Gogh museum is the National Art Museum. Just in case you forgot you were in Amsterdam.....

Wandering around Amsterdam, I found this very interesting. You can see at the top of the buildings, they iron girder with the hook on the end. You see these on farms, etc, so that you can lift the hay bales up to the top of the barn. Well, I thought these buildings were very old and that is how you used to get the furniture in through the windows... but... it turns out that this is still how they build it today. Apparently, they still prefer the classic 'haul the piano up through the window just in case some antics need to ensue beneath the dangling potential disaster'

This hook is only placed halfway up the building. Does that mean you aren't allowed to have furniture on the upper floors? So, not the most surprisingly architectural invention, but one that I find fascinating in this city.

Not necessarily architecture, but I loved this picture of all the bikes racked by the canal. Sadly, I can't get my other canal photo off my camera (stupid technology!) but you'll have to imagine all the lovely serene water and brick roadways.

I think I mentioned before (see the Carnival blog post), how the Dutch cycle everywhere. I love it! I want a Dutch commuter bike. Fenders, a basket, a chain guard - seriously people - this is absolutely the way to commute.

How can you not have a smile on your face if this is the way you are commuting to work?
And so ends my weekend in Amsterdam. I got to see more of the city this time - granted I was running giant laps around it - but it was a fun trip and hey, I did well. Can't complain now can I?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Castles on the Coast

I did a race along the coast and got to swim in the sea!
I liked this view between the houses with the pathway down to the water.

I have to admit, I was extremely freaked out that it was going to be a very cold swim. It was cold air! However, I was very surprised when the water turned out to be quite warm. Too bad the air wasn't as nice.

Had to take a picture of the lines (queues) coming out both doors of this fish and chip shop.

Part of the charm of this area is Corfe Castle. I LOVE how it just rises up at the end of the street. Not much has chanaged in a few hundred? thousand? years.

Nothing like hanging out at the pub with the ruins of a castle for a view.

I know, lots of pictures for something that looks a bit like Stonehenge. But it's history, and it is cool, and it is by the water. A good place to whiz by on your bike and have some fish and chips.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

German Tom Gets Married

Tom and Gemma got married!

the bride and groom on the Long Walk

Gemma and all the boys looking very dapper in front of the castle

Gemma's dad gets tired of carrying the flowers around so nips into the pub for a pint!

A bunch of triathletes all dressed up. You'd never recognize us without the lycra.

A lovely reception followed the photo shoot

Karla gets some attention from Guy and Michael!

Julien, Sarah and Michael celebrate the happy couple. Congratulations.