October 24, 2023

Trip to London

As a Platinum Product Expert for Play Developer (Play Console), I was invited to the PE Summit 2023 in London, England. It was our first time in London (and in Europe!) so we decided to stay a few days before the summit to tour around London.

The Product Experts (PE) Summit was held in Hilton London Metropole from October 16 to 18. That was my first time to attend this event. I met fellow product experts, community managers, and Googlers. It was a great experience and I learned more about the PE program, Play Console, and other Google products.

One of the few places I wanted to vist is the Prime Meridian in Greenwhich. The prime meridian indicates 0 degree longitude and separates the east and the west hemispheres of the Earth. We went inside the Royal Observatory and learned about the longitude and time. Afterwards, we took photos in the prime meridian line.

Me in the Prime Meridian

Since my three co-authors for the two editions of our Android Kotlin book are all based in England, I sent them a message so we can finally meet up in person. It was the first time all of us met after we started working late 2019.

Celine and me meeting with my co-authors

We were able to do a lot of things and visited many places despite the short time in London. I was finally able to try full English Breakfast in England (after ordering one last year via delivery and not getting the full breakfast). We rode the red double-decker bus. On our way from Greenwich, we also took the riverboat on the Thames.

We went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum (in 221b Baker Street) on our first day. Celine and I also visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. We also went to the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels. The day before the summit, we went to the British Museum (and saw the Rosetta Stone, Easter Island Moai among many other things). The PE Summit closing was at Madame Tusssauds so I was able to roam inside and take photos.

There are still many more places that I haven't visited and food we haven't tried. We would love to go back there soon!

September 25, 2023

Under Armour Eastside 10k 2023

After running two half marathons this year (BMO Vancouver Marathon and Vancouver Half Marathon), I decided to do a 10k for my last run of 2023.

I registered for the Under Armour Eastside 10K because they are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year. Under Armour Eastside 10K is a race through the historic east side of Vancouver (Gastown, Chinatown, and East Vancouver).

It was my first run in the Eastside and the route is totally different from what I am used to. I managed to finish the 10 km run in 01:01:17, which is a little better than my last 10k result at the Vancouver Sun Run. It would also be my fastest 10k since I started running in 2011.

The record for the run according to the Strava app was 10.28 km in 1:01:32.

This was a good experience but I am not sure if I would make it an annual thing. I'm thinking of doing the Sun Run for my next 10k as they will be celebrating their 40th next year.

June 26, 2023

Vancouver Half Marathon 2023

After running a half marathon at the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2023 last month, I ran another one at the Vancouver Half Marathon 2023.

It was my first time at the Vancouver Half Marathon and their route from UBC to Museum of Vancouver is new to me. I finished the 21.1 km run in 02:16:41, which is now my fastest half marathon. Losing a pound compared to last month's run probably helped.

The record for the run according to the Strava app was 21.49 km in 02:17:38. It also said I got a few best efforts, including 15k, 10 mile, 20k, and half-marathon.

After the run, I drank a lot and ate some food and a freezie. I queued in the Asics booth where they give out a poster with your finish time.

It's a great experience for me to run two half marathons again this year. I'm not sure when I'll run another half marathon but hopefully, I can run at least one every year.