Showing posts from May, 2015


Before leaving, and again once in Morocco, we tried to organize a guided tour but never got a response from any of the tour companies. So Sunday we decided just to take our chances and venture into Casablanca ourselves.

I really enjoyed the cab ride on the back road into the city because it was a chance to see more of the countryside. We saw a little of everything. There were expanses of dry grasslands stretching off into the distance, some with cows, goats, and sheep. There were little shanty towns. There were dirt areas with kids playing soccer. Everywhere, there were people walking. We also went through several small beach towns with restaurants and beach clubs. I was really surprised by the amount of bushiness and industry on the outskirts of Casablanca (referred to from now on as Casa, as the locals call it). There were all kinds of factories, big stores, and car dealerships. It was a lot more like the US than Ghana.

There was apparently a big soccer game that day, as the roads wer…

A Marathon in Morocco

I usually write my race recaps as soon as possible after the race before I forget too many of the details. However with this one, I just kept feeling like I wasn't ready to write it. I was still trying to process so many conflicting emotions. I'm hoping that maybe writing this will help me process it and move on to the most important thing- celebrating the fact I have now run 26.2 miles on all 7 continents. 
So I was flying (literally) totally blind on this one. I got on a plane to Morocco with no idea where exactly I'd be running, since for the first time on this journey I was not running an official race. We got to our hotel in Mohammedia, which turned out to be a small city 30 minutes outside Casablanca, around noon on Friday. After we got some lunch I started scoping out the situation. There was good news and bad news. On the good side was the fact that there was a pedestrian only path running along the waterfront. On the negative side, it was less than a mile long, m…

Urgent and Important

I've been up since 4 am. I leave for Morocco today and I am this crazy, excited, stressed mess. For the first 4 hours of my morning I ran around like a maniac. I'd start doing homework and then remember something I forgot to pack. So I'd go back to packing and then remember something else I needed to do for school. I drank about 6 cups of coffee.

Finally around 8 I realized I was not helping myself. I was doing a lot of things, but none of them well. So I took a break and went for a bike ride. (p.s. if only I could run as quickly as I bike. I knocked off 20 miles in like an hour and 20 mins). Once I had some of the energy and caffeine out of my system, I was able to tackle things more strategically.

I thought about what my professor said on the first day of nursing school. She said that in nursing school, and as a nurse, there will always be way more to do than you are possibly capable of doing. The trick is to categorize things by urgency and importance. Do the things tha…

Morocco Training: The End!

Here was my 6 week training plan:
Week Of Long Run Weekly Total 4/13 12-14 20-25 4/20 8+8 25-30 4/27 16-18 30-35 5/4 12-14 25-30 5/11 8 20 5/18 Race
Since my first 3 weeks went exactly as planned, and I was still feeling good. I didn't need to make any changes for my last couple weeks. With just 6 weeks to train, I tried to strike a balance between building enough fitness and not over-training. So although I did taper, it was a bit higher mileage than what I've done in the past. 
The week of 5/4 my long run was 13.1 (I had to run that extra .1 at the end just to make it half marathon distance) and I had a weekly total of 28.8 miles.
The week of 5/11 my long run was exactly 8.0 and I ran 23.4 total miles.
Both weeks I went slightly over my planned total miles because it was just so darn nice out that I wanted to be outside, but the extra miles were just easy miles. 
So am I ready to run a marathon?

I'm Alive

Sorry it's been quiet in here this week. I've been totally wrapped up with my first official week of nursing school.

It was a whirlwind week. It was nice to start to get to know the other students that I'll be spending the next 15 months with. This is a program for people who already have a degree in another subject and have worked in non medical fields, so it is a really diverse and interesting group. I got a lot more details about what the next year and a half of my life will be like. Because this is an accelerated program, there was no nice easy introductory first week. We jumped right into lectures, reading, quizzes, and labs. And labs mean scrubs! So official.

I've also had to readjust to getting up early. Back to sunrise runs. At least it will help me beat the heat.

Speaking of heat, I've been so wrapped up in school that I completely forgot that I am going to Morocco next week. My husband asked me yesterday if I was starting to get excited for next week and …

It's Getting Real

Today I am taking my last final of my first semester of nursing school. And Monday I start my new semester! No rest for the weary.

This summer is when I get to start doing "real nurse stuff." It is also when I get to start wearing scrubs. Yeah! I think maybe I subconsciously chose to go back to school to be a nurse just so I could wear scrubs.

I might have bought Gray's Anatomy brand scrubs. But only because they were by far the most comfortable and flattering. I swear that is the only reason!

It was when I went to buy my scrubs and looked at myself in the mirror in my scrubs and white coat that it felt real. I am going to be a nurse!

Anyway, I am really excited to start labs and practical hands on stuff. I am also nervous about it though, because I always tend to doubt myself. I just keep trying to remind myself though that I can do it. I was so scared going into this first semester because I felt like I was at such a disadvantage because I had no background in anythin…

On my Bike Again

I was planning to go to a spin class this morning, but when I got up it was just SO nice out that all I wanted was to be outside. It was the perfect morning to go for my first bike ride outside. The only problem was this.

My husband nicely tucked my road bike way up in the back of basement, where it would be safe and dry all winter. Easy enough for him at 6' 3", but not so easy for me at 5'2" to get down. I was determined though, and I eventually got that bike down!

The hassle was worth it- I had such a nice ride! I did my favorite ride along the coast in Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, and South Portland. It was like revisiting an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. It was familiar, but I also rediscovered some things I had forgotten as well as found a few new things.

I can't imagine living someplace without seasons. I get such joy out of the weather change in each season- the first warm, sunny days in spring; the first cool, crisp days of fall; the fir…

Morocco Training: Week 3

The thing about a 6 week training cycle is that by week 3 I am already in my peak week! Here is what my training looked like this week:

Week Of Long Run Weekly Total 3-May Planned 16-18 30-35 Actual 17 33.4 Again, I'm right where I planned to be, but it was a bit of a struggle this week. 
The bright spot in my week was my track workout on Tuesday. I did 6 x 800, and an 8 min/mile pace felt nice and easy.
I did my long run on the Eastern Trail on Thursday, hoping the dirt would be easier on my tired body. It was beautiful, and I loved being off road, but my legs were completely done by the end of the run. My hips were aching and I was really working just to keep moving forward. 
My long run didn't do much to inspire confidence that I can run a marathon in 3 weeks. But, I am going to resist the urge to try to cram in more training. It might built mental confidence, but it will just break me physically. 
I've really been trying to be good to my body. I've been taking a re…


As I logged my long run today, I realized that I ran 125 miles this month. Anything near or over 100 is high for me.

With the new Runner's World dashboard, my month miles aren't as apparent, so I've stopped noticing them as much. But, given April's mileage, I was curious to see my previous months. In March I ran 101, in February 111, and in January I ran 127.

Holy smokes- I've run 100+ miles every single month this year! An unintentional streak.

I feel both strong and exhausted.

I've been hitting really fast paces on the track and loving it. I was able to jump right into training for a marathon in Morocco.

But at the same time, the cumulative fatigue is hitting me. My legs felt so heavy on my long run today. My IT band, hip flexors, and hamstrings are tighter than they've ever felt.

Even though it wasn't intentional, I am really going to hate to end this streak. I know my body though, and it can't handle a year straight of 100+ miles. Will May be th…