Weekly Recap 9/27-10/4 + A Few Miles for my Coach

I had a pretty good week of training this week. I’ve been having some gut issues on my longer runs but I think that’s mostly because I’ve been experimenting with when and what I eat before I run and how far in advance I eat. Some things are out of my control since I can’t cook out here, but I think I’ve realized that my supplements need to either be well before I work out or after, not right before or during.

I’m also using cycling to help supplement my running. It’s a nice change of pace. I may pay for it later during the races, but I think my goal is really just to finish and to do that I need to get to the starting line healthy and unhurt.

Part of staying healthy means taking the time to stretch, which I can be bad at.

This next week is a lower mileage week so I’m going to work on speedwork (which my computer is convinced should be “spadework”) and inclines/declines as well as focus more on lifting in my step-back weeks. On days where I know I have a lot to fit in, I just skip the lifting so I can get the miles in.

Lastly, a few days ago my college cross-country coach revealed that she is fighting another relapse of breast cancer. This woman is SO incredibly hardcore and super strong and I know that she will kick this recurrence of cancer out of the park. She is also unbelievably humble and caring. I was so fortunate to have her as my coach in college and she has helped me and so many others find joy through running.

Today is also the birthday of the woman whom my undergraduate college was named for, Mary Julia Baldwin. In honor of two strong, savvy women, I wanted to dedicate my run this morning to them.

I wore my new pink Raw Threads shirt, my Road Runner Sports shorts, my trusty Brooks Ghosts, and my new Stride Box socks I just got in yesterday. I ran the typical cross-country distance we raced in college and thought about all the early morning practices and the two-a-days and the thrill of racing the course. I love running and I am so thankful for those who have shared with me their time and experience.

Just. Keep. Running

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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One of the better pictures I took of the city

Running Streak Week 1

As I mentioned before, I’m attempting a running streak over this next year-ish to keep me occupied.

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This week I ran pretty minimal every day, and only a mile today because today was a busy and long day. We went to the range at 0445, which meant that I was upĀ before that and I had to qualify on two weapons systems, one of which I’ve never shot before. It was hot, I sweat through my sports bra, my t-shirt, and my uniform top and I’ve never experienced getting gunpowder residue in my eyes while shooting before.

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But there were definitely some nice points. My favorite discovery this week was the Old Fort Bliss Replica and running on the sand path around the parade field in the evening with the sprinklers misting me.

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It also helped me acclimate easier, I think. By the end of the week I no longer felt like I was melting in the sun. It wasn’t pleasant and I was definitely sweating more than at home in Alaska, but I didn’t feel as miserable.

The rest of this week we did some computer-based training, I got some new shots, including anthrax (yay?), malaria pills which have a whole host of gnarly side effects including nightmares and vivid dreams (so of course I’m taking it at bedtime), and my personal favorite – gear draw. It gave me flashbacks to my first days in college opening up my uniform box and wondering what all the items were, how they were worn, and wanting to wear them all. Now I mostly know what they are, but there were still a few surprises.

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This is Gladys. She’s my trusty squirrel sidekick who goes everywhere with me. She really likes how all the green goes with her green MBC sweater and yellow ribbon scarf.

Running Streak Week 1 down, fiftyish more weeks to go.