Official Istanbul Marathon Training Begins Today

Today is the day that I have anxiously looked forward to. Not because it’s a holiday, birthday, or a no-school day, but rather it is the day that my training for the Istanbul Marathon commences!!!

I’ve been running when I’ve wanted to knowing that the more I get in the mode of running before my official training the better off I will be. But now I actually have a training plan to stick to – a challenge of self perseverance.  This will be my first marathon and I am super excited to embark on this running adventure. Now, I predict I may have a few hiccups along the way in my training due to travels, but I really will be putting my best foot forward during my training endeavors (:

I plan on following Hal Higdon’s Novice Marathon Plan since his half-marathon training plans have brought me success in the past.

Follow me on my journey of training that will be sure to include the most cities and countries that I have ever run in before in training for a race – shall make things quite entertaining (:

Looking forward to making big X marks on my calendar in the count down to my event.

It rained in Ankara – like torrential pour down right at 6:00pm when I was gonna leave – thus when I ran it was nice and cool for temp but super humid – strange combo – biggest sweat session yet. I love the smell of rain – it also meant the smell of wet dog with all the homeless ones in the park ): –> but nothing beats the smell of fresh rain!

Post my run – super sweaty

Are you training for an up and coming race?

Have you run a marathon before – any advice?

Cheers to a great start to marathon training!


The Importance of the Turkish Lira

When I run in Turkey I must first walk twenty minutes to a safe/somewhat normal running park. Every time I go for a run I remember to bring money with (1-2 liras) in case I need a bathroom or need to quench my thirst post my run. Well, of course the day when you really need that 1 lira is the day that your 1 lira.

Today my run was cut super short (too embarrassed to say how short) because I drank way too much coffee nescafe and I forgot my lira at home that would of bought my way into the public park restroom. NEVER before in my month in Turkey have I needed to resort to my 1 lira and NEVER before have I forgotten my 1 lira. That all changed today.

At least I got a good 40 min walk in – although the last 5 minutes the “I gotta go, I gotta go, I gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now” was on repeat in my head. I was barely able to greet my host mom when I came home because I was so focused on not peeing my running tights.

Live and learn and never forget your lira at home – otherwise it might be a long ways home.

Cheers to needing a bathroom at the most inopportune times.


Turkish Measurements

Today I decided to venture out to the big grocery store to see if I could find flax – sadly that quest is still not over ):

However, my spirits were changed when I got a Turkish cooking magazine and a complimentary summer desserts book for 6 TL – such a steal! I definitely wanted to see what the Turks read about in their food magazines and of course wanted some of their delish recipes. The pictures alone were drool worthy. Not to mention the magazine is great Turkish reading material since it expands my vocabulary (food vocabulary is super important) and its another way to see grammar in action.

Now the one thing I started to notice when reading through all the enticing recipes was that they label the measurements “turkish tea cup” and “water cup”. I was thinking – do they mean this literally??? And you bet they do and for no other good reason than the fact that every Turkish household has these two items without fail. I emailed a lady I work with for confirmation and found this fun little article as well that explains it all very well.

Different ingredients with precise gram measurements in a tea cup and water cup – too bad my host family doesn’t have a digital scale…

I marked a few recipes that I want to try out – whether I get the chance here or will wait till I go back home for a visit in about a month is to be determined but no fret when I do get around to making some new recipes I will be sure to share.

I went for a nice 5 mile evening run. For the most part it was a good run – I tend to zone out when I run and thankfully I snapped out of it right when a little knee-biter on a scooter was aimed right for me. I swerved but so did he so we were literally 1 second away from crashing – pretty sure he was a fifth the size of me – one collision I think I would have won but I am so glad we didn’t because explaining my apologies to the family would of been stress inducing.

Also, by the end of my run my head was spinning because the whole time I just convert miles to kilometers and to meters and back and forth for no reason at all except to count in my head. It makes absolutely no sense but ever since I was little I have had this thing with counting and I just can’t seem to kick it…especially when running. ARRRRRRGGGGG – I guess things could be worse though. Really the US needs to join the rest of the world – it would make everything a tad easier. Don’t even get me started on Celsius and Fahrenheit. That’s making my counting and mathematical equation problem pop up more throughout the day since everything here is C and I have to convert to F. Really 30 C does not seem nearly as hot as 90 F – man oh man. Head is spinning.

Favorite song while running these days

Ohh and on my walk home there was music blasting in the street and then there were HUGE Flower Girl Mobiles. Here are some pics with my iphone – kinda blurry but they were huge moving float things in the shapes of flowers with girls sticking out of the tops. Reminded me of the Barbie Cakes my mums made for my sis and I when we were little tikes.

When I came home my host mom heated dinner up for me – I don’t know how she does it but she makes the simplest things taste amazing. Tonight was a yogurt and rice diet soup, a bean salad and a vegetable omelette – but not an american style omelette. Wish I would have taken pictures but I devoured it. Running is so necessary here.

Prepped cherry overnight oats for tomorrow – host mom went to the market and she bought more cherries. The cherries here make you want to eat a whole kilo – they are that pristine and way cheaper than in the US. In fact, all the produce here seems to be much cheaper than the US – good for healthy eating.

Cheers to measurements and miles…kilometers