Thursday, October 27, 2011

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris 

My life is more than just running.... But I do admit that, I'm very picky on movie.  You may have heard how good this movie is. But I can't help to say that again for myself... IT IS A VERY GOOD MOVIE!

Paris is always my favorite city. I did dream about moving there, like Gil in the movie.  It has its magic, the charm that you want to stay there longer.  Woody Allen has done a fantastic job in showing Paris in a different way.   You still can see the romance that you dream about Paris in the movie; and yet you can have some Woody Allen sense of humor in it.  Paris is still beautiful and romantic, the story has just added another layer onto it.

I love the screen-write.  It is very witty, funny, light and yet poetic with all different 'celebrities' putting together in a 2 hour movie. I was just laughing all the way.  The clever part is how you do know each 'celebrity' in the movie by the dialogue even though you are not a Wikipedia to know all 'celebrities' lives and their works.  To be honest, it would be my dream too, if I can meet all these great writers and painters in one world.  I don't mind to stay in this dream a little bit longer.

Having a beauty in a movie always adds some more favor in a movie.  For me, Marion Cotillard is the beauty in this one.  Needlessly to say how pretty she is already; in those 20's dresses, she just looked even more stunning and elegant.  Alice, my ex-houseband from my old flat watching the movie with me last night, and I love her last white dress...

Not the best photo to show the dress,
 but it's the best  it can  get!
Alice doesn't really like Owen Wilson, in general.  But I found that he is the best person to play Gil in the movie, the character that is indulging in the past with confusions.  He obviously not that clever looking as Michael Sheen, but those confusing and 'not-so-sure' looks do make you laugh and sympathize with him. Only thing for me, that irritates me slight from Wilson, is his broken nose... I just feel 'Ouch!' everytime when there is a closed up...Ouch!

I love the music, as I'm soundtrack person. Love Cole Porter music... I could just sing and dance along with the music when I was watching the movie (but the cinema was almost full!).  
Love the the dress in 20's.  Vintage!

For me.. it is the best of everything I love in one movie.  So.. I love this movie!

I don't want to put too many movie photos in my blog,
but I just like Adrien in it as .......

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hilly and wet half Eden Project marathon

It's actually my long run for this week training. But I have soon realised that it is more than I hope for.

Why did I go all the way to Cornwall to do this race?
Simple. I like Cornwall, since my last visit. And I like Eden project. In my last visit here, I found out about the half marathon run. Since I have this weekend off by chance, so I decided to book a spot for myself. Then, I found out that running by myself probably isn't that much fun, I was able to pull my new running friend from NZ, Jessica, last minute.

But before to talk about the run, Jess and I had a very remarkable experience in our stay in Cornwall. Even though it was my 2nd visit in Cornwall, finding a cheap accommodation, like hostel, is impossible in St Austell area. In the Cornwall official tourism website, I managed to find a place, which was written as a place for backpackers, and it only costs £10 a night. We have had a few email corresponding, she sounds very nice person. I gave it a go....

Jess actually got there first and she found out that it was actually a caravan that we were to stay. I didn't know about it at all till she texted me and asked me about a sleeping bag as the caravan actually was quite cold. I never had stayed in a caravan before. There were actually no electricity and water in there, but there was a lamp that is lightened up by manual generated power. It is unbelievable. I truly didn't prepare for that. But I guess, costing £10 for a night. It is kinda reasonable. But the owner of the house, Linz, is a very lovely and friendly landlady. She is actually renovating her house (that's why her place looks quite messy everywhere) and has just returned from a road trip from Portugal. She knew that we didn't have a sleeping bag, so she lend us blankets and duvet to keep us nice and warm. With a wet and gary weather outside, staying in a caravan was less ideal. But at least, Jess and I had a good night sleep as we needed for the half marathon.

Back to the race, it is official to Jess and me that it is one of the hard half marathons. My PB in half was 1 hours and 46 mins, but it was on the flat surface. It isn't a flat surface marathon. It has hills.... LOTS of them. Some were small but some were quite steep. You can say that, there are ups, there must be downs. But running up and downs one after another is tiring. And there was a significant length on off road trail... With the rainy and grey Cornish weather, those off roads have become a muddy roads, which made my run even harder. My Eco Brooks trainers were covered with mud, so as my calf as well.
The Muddy Brooks trainers....

Pasta Party in Eden Project
About 1400 local runners in this 3rd year running event. Supportive locals and marshals cheered us up whenever we passed by them. It was actually a good organised event. With all those ups and downs, the good news for us was that we were actually running downhill to the finishing line. As we were approaching the finishing line, the Eden Project was right in front of our eyes. It was actually quite a good view. I was clocked in 2 hours and 6 mins; Jess came just a few minutes after me (a very good effort for her as she didn't train at all prior to the race). I guess, it is hard from city runner since it is almost flat surface in the city. That's why I was quite ok with the result, even though I wasn't able to complete it under 2 hours as I hope for but considering the ups and downs I had run. I'm ok with the time. And I do think that it is a very good training for me for the last marathon as there is a hill at 30km mark, running up the hills does strengthen my leg and cardiac muscle.
A huge plate of pasta, salad and Yummy bread!
The best pasta party ever!
The organiser actually is quite well prepared, even though it was their 3rd year running. We had the best (in my eyes) pasta party the night before the race. It was held in the Eden Project, the Mediterranean Biome. I said it was the best, as I also went to a pasta party in my hostel in Berlin. It was €8 for unlimited pasta and sauce, just sauce, nothing else. But in this one, £7, a big plate of pasta, salad and yummy bread! It was massive and yummy. It was truly a great pasta for us, just before the race. I think, if I did the full marathon, I would be very happy about that.

Pre race pasta was nice. Post race, free Cornish pastry and a pint of ale (I don't drink, so gave the voucher to Jess) were just unbeatable. Sorry.... I have no photo of the pastry as I was very hungry! What else could we ask for. After a long hard run and then having a yummy, carb-rich pastry! It was very comforting. Sound a bit odd. Instead of those post race recovery drink, pastry just did the job.

Overall, it was a great run for me. Time may not be very impressive. But I do think, that it was a good training ground for me. At first, I do think that it was quite discouraging in terms of the wet and gary weather, with muddy off road. Indeed, it was outside of our comfort zone. But actually, now, I looked back to the race, I'm so pleased that I have done it. And now, actually, I want to do it again. This kind of run did train our mind to overcome the difficult course. I see this race, as a positive experience. I may return back next year to do the full one.
The Medal and the T-shirt..
I will be back again...

Monday, October 10, 2011

In or Out?!

I was one of 17000 people waiting for the results....

What was I waiting for? A guaranteed place in London marathon 2012.

After my experience in Berlin, I realise that I really want to run in a soil that I'm familiar with. 'It would be very nice, if there are people I know during the course. Cheers, hugs, and just a poster to keep you going have suddenly become valuable and exciting in a hard run. That's why I decided to try my best to get into London's marathon.

When I saw a lovely red jumper and then the rejected magazine, my heart was just can't help but sink.

Didn't get a spot!

What is next?

London marathon has about 25000 places for 125,000 to 170,000 applicants. So, the chance to get a spot is 1 in every 5 entries. There are about 35000 to 40000 people running every year. If you are good with math (unfortunately, not me), there are 10000 to 15000 places to be filled by charity places.

This is the Charity that I'm running..
what this Charity does, I will introduce you later!
As my desire to take part in the marathon so strong this time, and I do want to run this special marathon with a good course, I quickly ran through the magazine (that's what it is for) to look for a charity place to run. But fundraising isn't that easy. To find myself a spot to run in the Olympic city in 2012, the target is even harder to reach. Anything from £2000 to £3000 is normal. So, after all the searching and email correspondings, I have found a charity, VICTA, which a charity that helping visual impaired children and families. It is a local charity in Milton Keyes. And their major funding actually is from London marathon. So, I decided to run with this charity. Apart of running the race itself, I would love to run in a team, to build a strong team relationship with someone having a same goals and commitment together. I do believe that having training with others, it will help to keep running interesting and sharing with other running experience definitely is helpful.

So, I though I was out; but now, I'm in! Next, will be getting my fundraising activities started and most importantly, start thinking about training, even though I still have one to go..