Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu?

I just haven't been able to recover since I got back. When I was in Dubai I was sleeping 4 hours a night and I felt great. Back home I've been sleeping 12 hours a night and feel horrible. I had a sore throat, stuffy nose, fever, and my stomach didn't feel great. I was hoping it would go away, but instead it's gotten worse. Today I had to leave work because I was so sick to my stomach. I've managed about 6 saltines and a few sips of water. And the marathon is 3 days away...... And of course this swine flu epidemic is making me nervous. I'm sure I don't have it, but I was a lot of airplanes and in a lot of strange places.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dubai day 2

Just a warning, this post has nothing to do with running. But my training this morning was cancelled, so I have a few extra minutes and I want to document this, if only for myself.

Yesterday was a long day at the hospital, 8:30-6, but actually pretty interesting. We went on a tour of the entire facility, and then the afternoon was meetings. But, luckily most of the meeting pertained to my module so I got to speak enough to keep myself awake. I was amazed at how receptive everyone is to my input. Basically the MT USA is like God to them, they'll listen to everything we say. I feel a little bad for the MT South Africa consultants because they get ignored. But they are amazingly knowledgable, and are very used to finding work-arounds for non standard situations. Obviously they have to be because their hospitals are so radically different, from rural barely functioning facilites in Botswana to state of the art facilties here in Dubai. I'd actually love to work for them for a year- but I'm not sure MT USA would let me go. And, I'm quickly setting into my spoiled comfortable life.

We had about 45 minutes after we finished and before we left for dinner, so I set out to find an alarm clock. The hotel is quite luxurious, but doesn't have alarm clocks and their sense of time is a little lax here for asking for a wake-up call at 6, means you'll get one sometime before 7. There was this really nice juice bar on the way to the shopping plaza, and I'm on a mission to have as much mango as possible so I stopped. It was delightfully cool inside, and they treated me like a princess. I was just going to get a smoothie to go, but they pulled up a soft stool for me, helped me go over the menu, and then brought me free samples, and a puzzle for while I waited. I feel a little wierd being served like that, but that's the way it is every where here. The smootie was amazing, big hunks of mango and berries.
We went to Jumeriah Madinat Souk for dinner, which is this fancy tourist souk over by the super expensive hotel. It was like being in a movie. It was canals and candle light and fancy shops. I convinced everyone to go to the Persian restaurant instead of the steak house, and it was amazing. They brought pita bread, cheese, and all these fresh herbs (lemon basil, mint, chives, anise) for starter, and then I got this spinach with fried onions and dried yogurt as an appetizer. For my main course I got this stew with chicken, walnuts and pommegranite. It was so dark and rich and amazing on top of fluffy, light jasmine rice. I was tempted to go back to the hotel with the early crown, but I fought my loser intincts and stayed late. We wandered the stalls, and then went to the center open bar for drinks and a hooka. I actually liked the hooka, it's not like a cigarette at all, it's light and smoky. But, to preserve my lungs I only had a couple puffs. It was warm and lovely, and great people watching. There's no typical person here, it really is a global city and you hear hundreds of languages. You see burkas and traditional dress next to mini-skirts and high heels.

Monday, April 20, 2009


So I survived the 14 hour plan ride, but just barely. I think I slept for maybe 3 hours, and the rest of time I tried to watch movies and read. But I couldn't get into either. Mostly I sat and worried about what this was doing to my body. At one point my left quad really started to hurt and I was sure I had a blood clot. The guy in the isle seat was passed out the whole time, so every time I wanted to get up I either had to jump over him or wake him up. Neither was pleasant, I limited myself to 4 outings. I did some yoga in the bathroom (not an easy feat) and walked the length of the plane a few times.
I brought my running shoes, and thought that I might get in a few early morning runs before it gets too hot. However, there is no such thing as not too hot here. It was still 95 at 8 pm last night. Plus, even though people say this is an extremely safe city, I don't feel comfortable running alone, especially in little shorts and a tank top. Compared to other Middle Eastern countries this is pretty Westernized, but women should still dress conservatively. This presents a problem, when it's a 100 degrees out. I am dripping sweat after a 5 minute walk, much less after a run.
So the elliptical it is for me, which I suppose is probably good for my shins, but it's not so good for the mind.... I get so bored! Oh well, I need some way to burn off all the curry I'm eating!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ready or not?

I'm at the point in my training where I'm starting to worry that I haven't done enough, but it's too late to do anything about it. On Saturday I did a 2.5 hour run. I was at home, on Southport, which is much hillier than where I run in MA during the week. I really don't think there is any stretch longer than 1/8 that is flat. I barely made the 2.5 hours. In the marathon I'd still have at least an hour and half to go. I know Providence won't be as hilly, but it might be hot, which scares me even more.
Sunday, I was feeling guility after eating massive amounts of Easter candy and treats, so I went out on my bike for about an hour and half. Again, in Maine there's no such thing as an easy ride because of the hills.
Subsequently, my legs have felt dead all week. Monday, I chugged through 5.5 miles; Tuesday I pretended to squat and lunge my way through kickboxing; and today I pushed out another 6 miles. Am I trying to do too much? I just really feel like I need to get in as much as possible this week, because starting Saturday I'll be in the desert of the Middle East. The heat, and a very busy work schedule, will severely limit my running. Then, I'm back and it's just a few days till the race. Clearly, I am not good at letting go and trusting that things will be okay.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

this thing called life

Life needs to slow down. All of a sudden I feel like I'm being pulled in a thousand directions, but none of them is helping me prepare for my marathon. A friend was looking to move and asked if I'd be interested in sharing a house for her. I said yes, and boom, all of sudden my nights are taken up with looking at houses. Finally last night we found the perfect house. Now, I'm rushing around like crazy trying to get it. I have a feeling they're going to want me to move in for May, aka the same weekend as my marathon. I don't exactly consider moving a taper, more like a mad sprint. And I can't wait and move after the race, because I have back to back work trips.
So that's the moving problem.
Then there's work. Somehow the way my travel schedule worked out, I've been sitting in the office for the last couple months, and now I'm basically gone for the next 3 months. When I'm on the road, things just pile up. Plus, it usually involves me running in the dark in some strange place, not sleeping much, and eating a lot of crap. Also not the best taper.
And then there's grad school, I'm taking an epidemiology class this spring and it just started getting hard. It's not that hard, but I just dont have a lot of time and energy to devote to it.
I could go on, but I'm sure you don't want to hear it. Plus, I'm kind of bumming myself out, so I'll try to end on a positive note. I tried the 6 am spin class this morning and it was actually fun. I had this idea that I totally hated spinning, but I didn't today. So that will be a good low impact, early morning alternative.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

me + steven runner = perfectly timed marathon

I was listening to Pheddipidations yesterday morning when I was running and Steve was talking about how he now has 5 weeks to train for Boston. Basically he has to cram for his marathon. I have the opposite problem. I did my 20 miler, and now I have a whole month before my marathon! If you averaged the two of us out, you'd have a perfectly timed marathon.

I'm not sure what to do with myself in these weeks before. I don't want to run too much, because I know my body can't take it, or my mind for that matter. The idea of running 16-20 miles by myself for the next few weeks is not a happy one. Everyone else is doing Boston, so I've lost all my running buddies. Plus, I've got a trip to Dubai thrown into the mix, which I'm sure will do a number on my body. It's going to be a long plan ride, not much sleep, and probably a lot of eating and not much running. I hate treadmills and I hate the heat, so that doesn't give me a lot of running options in a desert.

I'm going to stop now, because this post doesn't have much of a point, much like my running these days.