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.


Impulse Buys, House Slippers and Oral Exams

Something has overcome me this week because I keep on making impulse buys. Tuesday it was fresh squeezed orange juice (get my vitamin c dose). Yesterday it was towels (important – right?) and today it was almonds (protein source). Now while none of these are a waste of money I realized that I can’t get too into impulse buying or I will start wasting money (no bueno). Not to mention I will have the impulse to buy baklava or dondurma (Turkish ice-cream) every time I walk buy a stand (and they are like every 20 ft) and not only can I literally not afford it money wise, but I would start putting on weight in a heartbeat (the 20 ft to the next stand is not nearly enough to burn off the honey saturated calories that make up baklava).

House slippers. House slippers. House slippers. The Turks love them, the Germans love them (family experience), but I do not love them. In fact there is nothing I love more than being able to walk around barefoot – inside and outside. Outside is not an option here, so I do inside but to the great dismay of the host family. It’s one thing we do not see eye to eye on – they are always concerned that my feet are cold – but really when it is so warm out, my feet are sweating – not freezing. If it were winter I’d be all about the house slippers (or at least my wool socks). I do try to wear my flip flops that I only where indoors when I am home – but I forget – it’s hard to change habits (especially ones that you don’t want to change). So for all you who are able to run around barefoot – I am super jealous.

Today I took the first of four of my exams to go on to the next Turkish course. It consisted of reading a passage, answering some questions that were on the passage and then answering some personal questions. Then the teacher went around and you had a nice five minute conversation with her about the passage, the answers you scribbled down and lastly it was a free flow convo that you would have with her. Pretty much throughout the past month she has been collecting information on us so asked random questions about what she did and didn’t already know about you – kinda cool. After you were done the teacher would just rip the passage up – so awesome! Nothing says finished like ripped and thrown in the garbage paper. Pretty sure I nailed the speaking – tomorrow is writing, reading and listening. The latter is what I am concerned with. Sometimes the listening exercises are super easy, while at other times I feel like I’m listening to a foreign language and not Turkish…catch my drift….

I stumbled upon this song in my outings – has a nice little ring to it – best part is that the Turkish singer’s name was translated into Tokio Hotel – super wrong since it is Fudan Ara. Yok Yok – No! No! – as in something can’t be found. Var is its opposite.

My host family has caught on to my love of bananas (I may have mentioned this) but it is super cute because the other day the dad went to the market and made sure to buy me bananas and he told me that he bought them for me. However, he ended up buy TWO bunches – like 20 bananas – haha. Needless to say the house is not short of bananas – and if I can’t eat them fast enough (on top of all the fruit they buy – it’s sooooo good though) then I’ll just make some banana bread again – since it went over so well the last time (:

Said good-bye to two of my students today because it is now crunch time for them and their exams. I learned quite a bit about the Turkish education system, Turkish culture and that gas in Turkey is either the first or second most expensive in the world – 20 TL a gallon – that’s almost $12 – complaining about $4 back in the US seems trivial to that. They got a great laugh from the expression of shock that canvassed my face when I heard that – almost choked. You can get a 5 kebaps for that price!!!!

Lastly, before I head to the park for my run – Germany vs. Italy Semi-Final soccer game tonight – O.M.G. –> Of course I am cheering for the motherland – Germany, but my heart aches for Italy too – my home for 5 months 2 years ago. Last night’s game (Spain v. Portugal) was quite the hanger – kept me up way past my bedtime – gotta get to bed at a decent hour tonight since I have exams tomorrow. Grrr to being an hour behind Europe.


Post run necessary inclusions for the day.

1) Record for run in Turkey 7.5 miles – host dad gave me a high five for this – and I wouldn’t have realized this if he didn’t ask me how far I ran

2) A boy hanging out in the park decided to run alongside me and try to strike up a conversation (mind you he was wearing jeans) – he last a good mile and a half before I tuckered him up – valiant effort but super awkward and I don’t wish that upon anyone – let a gal run in peace. Thanks for the security guard for saying something too (:

3) I saw a cat attack a bird – I was in shock

4) Besides jean boy (with a super loud step mind you) my other entertainment was the equivalent of Michael Jackson on roller blades – ohhh it was good.

5) Host mom invited myself and the other student to their summer house in Bodrum (on the sea) for the Bayram Holiday (in August, post Ramazan – Ramadan) – hoping I can make it work with my language courses (:

Happy Thursdays from Abroad