Catching up!

I am sooooo far behind on a ton of race recaps….it’s pretty sad.  There’s just been so much going on it’s been hard to keep up.

So, I’m going to take advantage of the fact that I’m in Nigeria for work, it’s the weekend, and there are limited options of what I can do and catch up. So get ready for a bunch of short and sweet race/run recaps!

Before I do that….a little bit more of why I’m in Nigeria at the moment:

I’ve been very fortunate to have had 4 really amazing jobs since college, all with amazing companies. They all had two things in common: 1) a great mission and 2) allowed me to travel the world.  For the past (almost) 4 years, I’ve worked for Mercy Corps, an organization working to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

We work in some really difficult places, but as a result I’ve been able to travel to many places that the majority of people will never go to:  Iraq, Yemen, Liberia, Nigeria, Gaza.  But every now and then there’s the chance for a visit to somewhere amazing: Egypt, Scotland and Jerusalem.  And in the coming year there will likely be a trip to Colombia, Guatemala, Ukraine and/or possibly Georgia (the country, not the state!).  I’m actually looking forward to going back to Latin America for work, it will be interesting to see how much has changed!

But for now, I’m here in Abuja for about two weeks meeting with our finance team and the donors for one of our big programs supporting girls education.  It’s the rainy season here, so it’s been quite warm and there have been some pretty impressive downpours and thunderstorms. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll be able to get out for a run while I’m here…although I did bring my stuff just in case!  I guess marathon training will have to start when I get back.

Wow…..it’s been a while

So I realized that I haven’t posted anything in forever, and I am WAY behind in posting recaps from a ton of races.  I’m not sure when I’ll get around to doing that, so I figured I would just start from now, and try to keep up with things. And then….if I can find the time, I’ll go back and post at least a brief recap of the past races and running adventures!

But the most recent adventure….running in Iraq. Yes, Iraq. I’ve been here for just about 2 weeks now, and have one more to go. So far I’ve  been able to squeeze in two runs. Unfortunately, both were very boring runs. Given the security situation, we’re not really allowed to just go out and run wherever we want.  So, my two runs were both running “laps” around the apartment complex where I’m staying. Each lap is about 1k.  Today I was able to manage 5k.  It wasn’t so much that I was tired or my legs couldn’t take it….it was more that it was just so boring. And with it being such a short loop I never felt like I was able to get into a groove. Oh well. But….it’s better than nothing!  Especially since I have 3 half marathons coming up in the next two months (so much for my New Year resolution of not signing up for a lot of races this year!  In the past week I’ve signed up for 3 new ones! Oops).

Here are some pictures of the route here in Iraq.

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March Madness (and not the basketball kind!)

March has turned out to be quite an action packed month. So far I’m signed up for 3 official races: Little Rock Marathon, Shamrock Run 15k and Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon.  I may possibly be doing an “unofficial” half marathon (which is huge for me – as my running friends know – since there is no medal!).  And then I am toying with the idea of signing up for another half in Portland (against my better judgment).

Although, all of this could go down the drain depending on how this weekend goes. This weekend being the Little Rock Marathon which I apparently forgot to train for. Granted, my two week trip to Nigeria didn’t help at all, but still I am feeling completely unprepared for this race.  My longest run has only been 14 miles.  And after the race in Nice and the long run last weekend my shins and ankles have been giving me serious worry.  I keep trying to go into the race with no expectations and to just enjoy it.  But that is crazy hard to do when all I can think about is the first half I ran with no training and how badly it hurt during the race and even more so how much pain it caused afterwards (remember the boot?)  I have come a long way since then, and feel that I’m smart enough to know when to stop pushing myself, but still, I can’t help but worry.

I think the next few days I need to start focusing on the positive. It is going to be a great weekend after all. The weather is supposed to be fantastic (sunny and a high of 54 degrees!) It’ll also be a fun weekend getaway with a great friend. And an added bonus, a friend from way back, who I haven’t seen in years will also be there.

So, the goal for the next few days: start thinking positive about the marathon.

The goal for Sunday: finish without injuries and have fun.

The goal for the rest of March: resist signing up for any more races this month!!!