It has been quite some time since the last post….which I guess makes sense since I haven’t run internationally since then! Well, that sure has changed!
Time for me to get caught up a bit…..
In November, I traveled to Cairo for a support visit to our office. Going to Egypt has been a lifelong dream of mine, and the fact that I was able to go for work is truly amazing! And even more amazing is that I was able to work in what just may be the best vacation ever around it (more on that to come….).
When I arrived to Cairo, turns out I had a fever 😦 I spent the first few days struggling and feeling all around pretty awful. I had a fever over 101 for the first 3 days I was here. Not exactly how I pictured the trip going!
I was able to get some medicine from the pharmacy (there are some advantages to being in a country where you don’t need prescriptions! especially when you have a fantastic aunt who is available to provide medical advice via email!!!) After the first 2 doses I started feeling like myself again. Thank goodness.
So as the weekend was approaching (Friday – Saturday here), and with feeling better, I started thinking about what I wanted to do. Of course, going for a run was one of them! I asked one of my coworkers if she knew any good running routes and she mentioned that she’s seen a running group around the neighborhood a few times. So using the wonderful internet, I googled “running in Zamalek (the neighborhood where our office and my hotel is)…..and up pops Zamalek Runners, a running group that had their next run scheduled Friday morning at 7am.
So Thursday night (well technically Friday morning since I didn’t get home until after midnight!) after a lovely Italian dinner and seeing a film at the Cairo Opera house as part of the Cairo International Film Festival, I set my alarm for 6am so that I could get up and have some time before I needed to leave around 6:30am to get to the place by 7am.
So I woke up, put my gear on and headed out……(my gear being capris with the attached skirt and a long sleeve shirt….trying to dress modestly…even though with the temperature being in the low 70s, I would have preferred to be wearing a tank top and my running skirt!!!)
I made it to the place with no problem (just a few strange looks from people trying to figure out what the heck I was doing that early and probably being a foreigner as well). There was already a bunch of people gather when I arrived. I found a spot to sit next to a young girl while we waited for the run to start.
While sitting, the girl next to me started a conversation. Luckily she knew more English than I do Arabic (I’m at about 10 words now…..) so we were able to have a somewhat complete conversation! We did keep it to basics though, but she was super sweet.
The run finally started just after 8am! Apparently timeliness is not a very Egyptian trait. I was trying to explain to the girl how in America things are usually very punctual.
The run ended up being more of a run a few blocks, stop and walk, talk to a few other people, start running again…..Which was fine. I definitely wasn’t expecting to go out and have a full speed run after being sick! Also, it was more fun enjoying the social aspect of it (I know….shocking right? For anyone who has known me for any amount of time will know that I am much more of a social runner than a competitive one!!!)
All in all, the route we ran (we opted for the shorter route) was about 3 miles or so. I got to see more of the Zamalek neighborhood which was nice. And I can say that I’ve now run with an Egyptian running club!!! Pretty cool 🙂
Unfortunately I didn’t end up making it out for any more runs while I was in Egypt, but spent an amazing week with my boyfriend, Michael, playing at the pyramids and cruising down the Nile