Showing posts from June, 2015

7 Continents: What's Next?

So I accomplished a major life goal. I took some time to reflect and celebrate. In fact I had a big party this weekend.

Now I am left to ask myself what is next?

Honestly, I don't know. I know more what I don't want to do more than I know what I do what.

I don't want:

I don't want to run a marathon. My body and my mind are burned out on marathons. In fact, I really don't want to do any sort of distance running races for awhile. I have a hip injury that I need to let heal. Plus, I don't ever like to train for long distances in the summer. I don't want to commit to anything that involves time intensive training. I'm in the middle of an intensive nursing program and I know I just won't have the time to dedicate to training for the next year. So no half iron mans (which is something I would like to do at some point). 

What might I want to do:

Bike! I've already started biking a lot more. I want to try and get in 1,000 miles this year. Try new classes at…

7 Continents: Final Reflections

Even now that it's been almost a month since Morocco, it still doesn't seem like it is real. I can't quite believe that I am done with my 7 continents. I ran my first marathon in 2009- so that's 8 years I have been working on this goal.

I can't think of anything else in my life that I have worked towards for that amount of time. That's twice as long as college! I have that post marathon letdown, only multiplied. On the one hand, I am so glad that it is over. But I am left feeling aimless and wondering what is next for me.

What have I learned from the experience?

As cheesy as it sound, you really can do anything you put your mind to. I am not a natural runner. Running is so hard for me. I am not rich. Yet, I managed to run 8 marathons in 8 years on 7 different continents.

Having long term goals is so important. It is the big picture that keeps you going. There were so many times when I wanted to quit. In fact, I announced publicly that I was quitting two differe…

7 Continents: Running Culture Around the World

One of the neat things about running marathons while travelling is that I got to be a part of the local culture in each country during the race. The anthropologist in me loves getting the real experience when I travel, not just the tourist highlights. Running let me do just that. I was just another runner in the crowd and I got to experience the unique running culture of that country. While I found many similarities, I also found quite a few differences.

Rome, Italy

The marathon is culture in Italy was very male dominated. It was all about the machismo. This was evident from the moment I picked up my number at the expo. There were tables and tables for the male runners to pick up their numbers, but just one little table over in the back corner for the women. At the start, the men were walking around like they owned the place. They destroyed the inside of the porta-potties, peed all over the sidewalks, and were yanking down their shorts to apply lube right in front of me! It was pretty …

7 Continents: How my Training Evolved

In training to run a marathon on all seven continents, I've run thousands of miles and used a variety of methods and plans. My training has definitely evolved over time

Here's What My Training Looked Like:

For my first 3 marathons (Providence, Virginia Beach, and Antarctica), I trained using a straight run training plan. For the first 2, I used the Runner's World beginner training plan and then jumped up to the Runner's World intermediate training plan for the third. These had me running 3-4 days a week, with weekly mileage of 18-36, and a longest run of 20 miles.

For my next 3 marathons (Europe, South America, and Asia) I switched over to theJeff Galloway run/walk method. I used his beginner plan for Europe and the intermediate plan for South America and Asia. These plans had me running 3-4 days a week, with weekly mileage of 15-35, and a longest run of 26 miles.

For my final 2 marathons (New Zealand and Africa), I used the Doug Kurtis intermediate training plan. My (…

Girls on the Run 5k

Last weekend was the Girls on the Run 5k. This was my first season as a Girls on the Run coach and I was so excited to see my girls experience the 5k. It's been amazing to watch them grow and develop as runners, and as people, over the season.

From the moment I arrived, I knew this was going to be a very special event. They had loaner tutus for all the coaches and the middle of the track was a giant fun zone. Girls could get their hair colored, their faces painted, and temporary tattoos. There were hula hoops, a selfie station with fun props, and the music was blasting.

We encouraged the girls to come in fun outfits, and they didn't disappoint. We had girls in tutus, fun socks, capes, sunglasses, and all kinds of things

Our team gathered for a team picture and an energy cheer before we headed to the Zumba warm-up.
Every girl gets a running buddy to help them through the 5k. It was so heartwarming to see dads and brothers in tutus, with their hair sprayed pink, running with the…

7 Continents: The Highs and Lows

Best Start: Rome

As I waited to start, I was standing right next to the Colosseum and "That's Amore" was blasting over the loud speakers. After spending my junior year of college in Italy, it will always have a special place in my heart. I was just so happy to be back there and sitting in such an amazing historic place waiting to start a race. Although all the men just peeing on the sidewalk instead of waiting for a porta-potty did kill some of the romance.

Worst Start: Antarctica
In the early years of the Antarctica Marathon, runners were allowed inside the Russian base before the race. They brought gifts of fresh produce to the scientists stationed there, and the mostly male scientists were thrilled to have some women to talk to. One downside to the Antarctic Treaty is that it disallowed this practice. Tourists are no longer allowed in the science bases. So we were standing around on the exposed beach, trying to stay warm and dry. The worst part was the "bathroom.&q…

7 Continents By the Numbers


The Massage

After my marathon, I thought it would be a nice treat to get a massage at the hotel spa. It was quite the experience, and so funny that I just had to share.
My massage therapist came to get me in the waiting room and introduced herself. I replied "Je suis désolé , je ne parle pas Fench" (I'm sorry, I don't speak French). So she grabbed me by the arm, led me into a room, said something very quickly in French and then left. The only word I understood was "slipper."
I looked down and there was a pair of slippers. Usually, when I get a massage I chat with the massage therapist before (while still clothed). But if she just wanted me to take off my shoes and put on the slippers so we could talk, she wouldn't have left the room. And if she wanted me to get undressed and lie on the table, then why did I need slippers? I debated this for a few minutes, and then decided to just take off my clothes and get on the table. I did not wear the slippers.
As I got to the t…

Mohammedia Morocco

While we were in Morocco, we stayed in Mohammedia, which is a small port city about half an hour outside Casablanca. While Mohammedia is a popular seaside resort for many Moroccans, it isn't as popular with foreigners. This was both part of its charm and what made it slightly difficult!

We stayed at the Hotel Avanti which is right on "La Corniche," or the the beach.

The facilities at the hotel were really nice. It was beautiful and comfortable inside. There was a well equipped, modern gym and a beautiful swimming pool. The was even free wifi (most of the time!).

Our one complaint was that the staff (the front desk staff that is) was not particularly welcoming or helpful. When we first arrived, tired and starving, they would not let us check in and didn't offer directions to any of the onsite restaurants. In fact, we never found the restaurants, and so we never ate at the hotel! Granted we were in a foreign country and shouldn't just expect that everyone should sp…


The other city we hoped to visit while in Morocco was Rabat, the capital city which is about an hour from Casablanca. After our success getting to and navigating Casa, we decided to up the ante and try to take the train to Rabat. We were pleasantly surprised- the train was efficient, clean, comfortable, and so inexpensive. It seriously put public transportation in the US to shame.

Luckily the booklet with the Casa map the girl had given us the day before also had a map of Rabat. However, it was even smaller and less detailed. The train station wasn't on the map so when we got off the train we had no idea where in the city we were! We asked a few people and thought we got our bearings. However 10 minutes into our walk we realized we were going completely the wrong way. No problem! We just changed the order of our itinerary, changing our first destination to the Mohammed V Mausoleum. 

Like the mosque in Casa, the building and whole plaza were made of this pure white marble. The outsid…