Shifting Fire

Remember when my Run-A-Mile-A-Day-For-A-Year originally failed? Well, it happened again. The only place I can run around where I live is on the treadmill that was across the street. We’re moving the gym somewhere else and now my treadmill is a couple of miles away, a few miles that I’m not allowed to traverse without another person accompanying me…and the treadmill is in pieces anyway.

So maybe taking on a goal like that was never such a good idea anyway. There’s so many variables outside of my control with having my equipment in a different physical location and with how things can change so quickly.

Instead, I’m focusing on things within my control. I’m working on learning the local language here and working my way through the Bible. I’m still lifting, and there’s hope that at our new location there will be the opportunity to run outside, although I will likely have to wear long pants and a long-sleeves shirt.

These Are a Few of my (Least) Favorite Things

Now that I’ve been here almost a month (really, how did that happen so quickly?) I was thinking of a few things that I wish I hadn’t brought with me.

Doxycycline. I really don’t like this stuff. It makes my skin more sensitive to the sun, reduces the effectiveness of my birth control, which although is not a priority out here, I use to keep me regular, and it gives me really scary dreams if I take it anywhere close to bed. It makes me queasy in the morning which is when I take my birth control and vitamin and I don’t come back here during the day. Also, I haven’t seen a single mosquito here.

What I wish I’d brought instead: Ibuprofen. I had to order some online. Meanwhile, for headaches and muscle aches I had to ask around for some pain relievers. I’m usually really good about bringing Vitamin I with me, I just forgot this time.

NoRinse Shampoo. I loved this stuff and the body wash when I was at NTC. However, I really don’t need it out here. I have a shower maybe 20 feet from my room and it’s inside. I think I used this once in traveling here to freshen up, but I could have just as easily taken a full shower.

What I wish I’d brought instead: Some sort of hair mask. It’s dry out here and my hair is falling out like I’m starting chemo. It’s depressing. 

Baby Wipes. Again, not sure where I thought I was going. I haven’t touched these at all. They’re currently living in a bag under my bed. I guess I’ll use them to help clean the dust that accumulates inside my weapons?

What I wish I’d brought instead: Some sort of exfoliating scrub. I don’t like loofahs but my skin was pretty itchy for a while, especially on my feet. 

Mascara. For real. Why on earth did I bring this? I think I wore it twice. I forgot it was on, I rubbed my eyes at some point during the day, probably to get the sweat and sunscreen out of them, and when I got back at night I looked like Raccoon Girl.

What I wish I’d brought instead: Queen Helen’s Mint Julep Mask for deep cleaning beyond my CeraVe daily cleansing formula. 

Danish Contingent March 2015

The week I got here a coworker invited me to do the Danish Contingent March here. It’s 25 kilometers with at least 10 kilograms of weight. My LT decided to do it with me, so on the day of the march we woke up at 0345 and met at 0415 to drive over and get our marching numbers.


The start, at 0500.

There was a lot of people there. To accomplish 25 kilometers we did 12 laps around the post. It was all pavement and I think that helped a little. The last long march I did was the Bataan Memorial Death March in 2012 in White Sands, New Mexico and that was all sandy trails. My weight there was heavier, too, and the overall route was about 15 kilometers longer.


We ended up doing a little over 25 kilometers and switched to running stretches in the last two laps to help break it up.

I finished in just under four hours, which I was happy with since I hadn’t gotten to train as fully as other people.


Sausage fingers from the blood pooling in them.

We picked up our certificates and will pick up our DanCon medals in a few weeks when they come in. I had a blister on my heel that was nearly healed that is now back with a vengeance and a blood blister on the bottom of my foot. I had a limp for the rest of the day since we got to shower quickly and then head straight back to work for the rest of the day and night.


Gladys and I glad to be done with the march

Today I’m still sore in my lower back from the weight, but my limp is gone (thankfully).

Next up, a possible half marathon in a few months on another base, attempting to keep what sanity I have, and continuing to work out.

Five Things for Friday

It’s Friday morning here and I’ve been running since I got here (literally and figuratively).

1. Lee Labrada’s 12-Week Lean Body Daily Trainer

I’ve always been intimidated by lifting. I don’t know what I’m doing, how much I should do, or for how long. It’s imposter syndrome with weights.

Our “gym” is really small and mostly free weights so I wanted to learn how to lift and get stronger. I found the Lee Labrada plan on and so far, I’m in love.

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2. Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF 50 PA++++

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This sunscreen is pretty much my holy grail. It has broad spectrum, doesn’t leave a white cast, absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy. I order mine on Amazon and with rushed shipping it gets here fairly quickly, otherwise it can take about a month. It’s a physical sunscreen rather than a chemical one so it also doesn’t sting my eyes when I sweat.

3. Raw Threads

I don’t remember where I first saw these, but they’re made of bamboo and have awesome designs on them, including a lot of Disney-specific ones.

I have a few tank tops that I love, but I’m not allowed to wear those out here so I need some new t-shirts.

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4. Planning for the future

I’m a big planner and right now when my days are so stressful and long and I don’t know how I’m going to get through this one, much less the ones after it, sometimes planning for the future helps me feel more in control of my life. Whether I actually have any control or not in reality…

5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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I love this show. I love how upbeat it is, how hilarious it is, and how Kimmy Schmidt isn’t going to let anything break her. One of my favorite quotes is “You can do anything for 10 seconds, and when you’re done with that 10 seconds, you just start on a  new 10 seconds.” That is how I feel most of the time right now.

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Happy ‘Merica Day

Even though ‘Merica Day was yesterday over here.

I realized quickly yesterday just how much I truly hate running on the treadmill. Our gym is pretty small and we’re “expeditionary” now so that means no TVs in the gym, no music, pretty much the only thing in there that’s automated is the fan (and thank goodness for that). I think I will be able to keep up my run streak, but finding the willpower to do anything much longer is going to be really, really difficult.

Fortunately, the gym is the only place I can go around here without needed a battle buddy. To go to the DFAC (dining facility) or even work I have to travel with at least one other person. All. The. Time.

I was feeling really down about all this until a coworker asked me if I’d be interested in doing a Danish Contingent March with her. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to have something to train for out here, and supposedly there’s a half marathon in the fall at a base nearby that some of us will go to as well. It’s going to be difficult to train with the restrictions placed on us, I can’t even run outside by myself, not that there’s anywhere for me to run, but I’m so thankful to have something to look forward to.

Failure isn’t an Ending, Unless You Make it One

Running is sometimes an exercise is adaptability and patience. You set a goal, you work towards the goal, and then sometimes, still, your goal eludes you. Life is like that, too so I’ve always felt like running just fit so well with everything else.


First look at my new country

I have a confession to make: I’ve already failed at my run streak.

Why? Lots of reasons: I lost a day traveling across the globe, I haven’t been able to use GPS tracking so I have had no idea how far I was running, and recently, I am not entirely sure of all the rules of where I am and because some areas around me are unsecure, I ultimately chose to fail my running streak last night in order to avoid ending up on the wrong side in culturally inappropriate clothing.

So what now?

Well, I’ve never been one for quitting something after just one go so I’m going to try again. And again and again if necessary.

Other than that, it’s been pretty decent. I’m finally at my base where I should spend most of the year and it’s not too bad. There are many, many worse places I could be so while it’s tempting to be jealous of others nearby who have a better gig, I’m choosing to focus on the good things around me.


My other goal of reading the Bible in a year has been coming along just fine. Before I left the States I bought a Bible that has devotionals for women and also has a year-long reading plan. It’s kind of fun to read the Old Testament as I’m in the Middle East and it gives me something to mull over.


Sorry for the bad picture quality, it was really neat to see in person.

I think one of the most difficult things for me will be the lack of races here (there are none), possible inability of running outside, and just staying motivated for a whole year.


One of the better pictures I took of the city