I did not get a post out last week, since my life was just very busy with school, and I was at a women’s conference all last weekend, which is usually when I have time to write. These past 2 weeks have now been a complete whirlwind of emotion. Last weekend was an absolutely amazing, and spiritually uplifting experience. I joined with about 300 other women from the UAE churches for a conference that took place over the two days of the weekend. The first day we spent in the desert, doing the typical safari things, and then hearing a remarkable message from Mary Kassian (http://www.girlsgonewise.com , who visited us all the way from Canada!), and worshiped God out under the stars. The next day was full of seminars and more worship and it was just what I really needed spiritually. I met many new and inspiring women and was encouraged in my faith. That weekend when I ran, I felt so excited, so blessed and so thankful to serve a gracious, loving God… and to be able to enjoy so an amazing weekend!  We were encouraged by the main speaker, Mary, to remember to always worship in “desert times” in our lives. Nothing else will get us through them quite the same.

Then, a desert time hit my life in a way I have never known or experienced, in the form of a lost loved one. My sister called yesterday, as I was driving with some friends, which is not normal since it costs a pretty penny in long distance to call. I asked her how she was, and the response was not what I expected. “Not good…”, she said in a shakey voice. When I asked why, she said “Papa died last night”. It was uncontrollable the way I felt in the instant, and the tears were already pouring out. We didn’t say much just then, I had to wrap my head around it, but I promised to call her back.

I have never experienced loosing someone so close to me. My Papa is such an amazing man, and always an encouragement to me in everything going on in my life, and a prayer warrior for me and my family. He has lived on oxygen, due to emphesema, for the last 10+ years, and has much outlived his expected years when first diagnosed. He has hung on for my Nanny, who’s life centres around him. I has been very hard for me being so far away from my family during this time. All I want to do is jump on the next plane to Canada so I can hug them and tell them I love them. I want to be there for them, and help with the funeral and everything else they need to do. But, in the back on my mind I also hear my Papa saying to me, “You are crazy to spend that much money for an old fart like me!”. Even when you know it is someone’s time, and you know they are in a better place with a restored body, it is still hard to have them gone, and you grieve for those closest, and in this case it’s my Nanny.

So, my run this morning was not an excited one, like last saturday morning, but it was a time to think about my Papa, and the amazing memories I have of him. It was also a time to really thank God for giving me such a special man to grow up with as my Papa. I also praise God that he is in a better place, where he is no longer suffering. and is now with his Saviour. (Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Psalms 116:15)
 Of course, I had a big lump in my throat the whole time, which made it hard to breathe, but it felt good to be out on my own with time to let my mind go back. I felt like my Papa was probably doing the same thing, running with new legs and fresh lungs, in Heaven, along with me!

I run because it is always what I need at the time, whether excited and energetic, or I need to grieve, reflect, to pray, clear my head, to make plans, let off steam, release stress, feel free and enjoy the gift of a healthy and capable body. I have been more and more conscious of the fact that I need to be, and am, so thankful for each day I can go out for a run and enjoy that freedom.

My last two weeks of running I have been able to hit my weekly Km-age goals, and increase the second week by 10km, still keeping within 5 days of running. My foot is still continuing to get better, and some days it doesn’t bother me at all.

April 25-May 1

Sunday- Ryan’s Birthday! We had a special dinner planned today, so I just biked for 30min so I had time to get it ready.

Monday- Track workout – 2km workout (I kept it short to save some of my legs for the workout… it was also hot and I didn’t want to fade too early) 10 x 300m (60sec rest) @3000m pace/effort, 6 km cooldown.  = 12km total

Tuesday – no run, foot hurting after track session – 60min bike

Wednesday – 12km in am. Knee bugging me (still part of my body getting the kink’s out I think!)

Thursday – 10km (ran later at night, which I never do because it’s dark and there are not always streets light everywhere, AND alot of traffic and people out, which is the opposite of the morning when there is no light, but also no one out so I can run anywhere!).

Friday – My first attempt since being back at a steady state run. I was not sure what to expect for pace, so I just went for it and saw what time I could run consistent, but still pushing at. 2km w/u, 12km steady (ran 5:00/km… happy with it for now!), 1km c/d. = 15km total 

Saturday- 8km in morning (I was out late last night at the women’s event, and had to get to the women’s conference early to help with registration, so I didn’t have a lot of time). I planned to run another 3-5km after the conference, but instead I got stuck to the couch and didn’t move far from it after! SO TIRED!

Weekly Total= 57km  (wanted to hit 60, but I’m not far off)

Sunday- I was still feeling the steady state from friday, and today I biked 60min

Monday – Track workout – 2km w/u, 15min tempo (avr. 4:20s… a bit pathetic considering this was the pace of my steady states before I got injured!), 10 x 150m @1500m pace/effort, 50sec rest, 5km c/d, drills/strides. Total – 12km

Tuesday – 15.5km. Started at 5pm and still a bit hot, my legs were feeling really heavy, both from the heat, and the track session in them yesterday, I wanted to be done at about 9km. My feet felt on fire, and I immediately put them in ice when I got back.

Wednesday – 12.5km in am. Ran the last 5km with Erin, and going up-tempo for a few hundred repeats for about 1.5km around the park. I rained this morning!!! It was just drizzly for part of it, but it felt great! It never rains here at this time of year!

Thursday – Tired today! Ryan and I both came home from school and fell asleep! Went out for dinner to a great hidden gem of a thai restaurant.

Friday – Second attempt at a steady state. I woke up feeling tired and unmotivated, not a great feeling when you have to do a steady run on your own. My legs felt heavy and sluggish, it could have been my diet the day before – pizza day for lunch (it was free, how can you say no!), chocolate cupcakes for a students birthday, out for dinner = sluggish the next morning!     I decided to just “let the run come to me” in coach Steve’s words. So, after my 2km warmup, I started to try to pick up the pace. It didn’t pick up very quickly, and I wouldn’t say the run really “came to me” until about 7km into the 13km steady! Eventually I was down around 5km/km again, and my last 2km were under. I finished with running 18km total,  (with no foot pain… until later in the day!) which is a good run for me these days!

Saturday- Last night was the night I got the phone call about my Papa, so I didn’t really sleep last night, maybe 3 hours, but it was restless. I ran 13km, although I thought I was suppose to run 14km to hit my 70km this week, but running this long with a big lump in your throat, and really sore legs from a long run the previous day and then not sleeping was enough for me to cut off early. Then, when I wasn’t trying to do calculations in my head while running in 35 degree heat, I realized I actually went over my weekly goal by 1km! HA! Every kilometre counts right now!

Weekly total (still keeping within 5days) = 71km