And there is no marathon.

Well, technically there’s still a marathon, I just no longer will be running it.

Yes, it makes me feel like an absolute and complete failure and it makes me wonder if I’ll ever get to run another marathon, ever, but this year I will be running none. After such a hassle to register for the marine corps marathon it also feels like such a waste.

I thought that easing myself back into running that I could be back in shape, running the whole thing by September, but here we are at mid-August and most days I still can’t even run a 5k non-stop.

Yep, I had an amazing 9 miler a few weeks ago with Jen, but that was the exception. I usually have no one to run with me, which makes the long runs very long, or as it happens, makes me cut them short so I have company for them.

I am slower than ever. My body still feels odd after childbirth, don’t know if things really are off, if it’s because of breastfeeding (Ellie is a little over 5 months now and still exclusively on breast milk), if it’s because I’m so out of shape, or because I am still hanging on to so much of my pregnancy weight, but nothing feels right when I run anymore. And running is just no longer fun. It has been miserable.

I also thought I would have at least 3 of my former running buddies to train with, I warned everyone I was out of shape and needed patience, everyone was ok with it, until I got here, of course. I think they thought I was kidding. Or fishing for compliments. Because one of them ran once with me then never again. The other one? Same. And the third got to run with me twice.

I can’t possibly expect any of them to run with me every single run when they have goals of their own, but I’m not going to lie, I expected a bit of support, I expected more than just one run. Instead, due to lack of company (if you’re a long time reader you know I was never one to enjoy solo runs — that was the exact reason I stopped running when we moved to Manila), I ended up cutting my long runs short so I’d have company for those miles. And short runs get no one across the finish line.

My feet also bother me on and off. I went to the doctor, going to PT, and got news I might even need surgery (my arches are just too damn high). I just have to schedule an appointment with a specialist. Who is in Baltimore. And I’m scared shitless to call, even though I’ve been hanging to his number for 3 weeks now.

Anyway, I type this in the dark, on my iPhone, as I nurse Ellie at 5:20am to get out in a few minutes for a run. I signed up for a half marathon in a month, and to be honest I don’t even know if I can do *that* but now I’m officially training for a half, not a full. I thought selling my marathon bib would make me relieved, but it doesn’t. I still feel like I failed. And I still hope running will be enjoyable again some day. Because right now I dread lacing up my shoes and heading out the door. But I haven’t given up on running just yet.


Filed under Runs

Leaving Manila…

A very rare moment here in our place:  Ellie is asleep, during the day, in her crib (!!!) and I have two (TWO!) free hands.  Have I mentioned how much I miss typing with two hands?

So despite being late in updating a lot of things (like trips from almost a freaking year ago, how home leave in OBX was awesome, how my running is going badly, how the podiatrist said I will need surgery in both feet, etc, etc), I figured now it’s a good time as any to update on the last few weeks in the Philippines.

It was tough leaving Manila, I left a lot of amazing friends behind that I miss dearly.  As much as being back in the US of A is awesome (awesome!), I wish I could have packed up all my friends with me.

Before leaving Manila, I got to do a lot on that last month…  I said goodbye to my Brazilian friend and her twin girls (cannot believe they’re a year old now!).


I went to Puerto Galera for the first time and got to pack my diving stuff after a year away…  And yes, I got a couple of last dives in!  Yay!  Never got my 50th dive, but I did leave the Philippines with 49 dives under my belt – which is pretty good, considering there was a 9 month pregnancy in the midst of that.


We stayed in Buri Resort, and it was lovely…


Yep, we had our own plunge pool, and it was a two bedroom/2 bath/2 stories villa – which we shared with friends – with an amazing view!


Then 6 moms, 7 babies, one yaya all took a flight then a boat over to Siquijor Island…


And aside from a stomach bug I caught at the last night, it was lovely to spend a couple of days with them and to just relax and hang out with this view… 


And with this pool.  We got two villas in Coco Grove, each with two floors and two full bathrooms, and it was perfect!


Before leaving I ordered a Filipino quilt for Ellie at the AWCP Bazaar, since I wanted her to leave with something from the country she was born in.


After almost 2 years, Karl finally got his braces removed!


In the midst of moving madness, I thought it was a good idea to pull out this broken plug from our wireless router and electrocuted myself (I do not handle sleep deprivation well and make stupid decisions…).


I took more cute pictures of Lily and Ellie…


Our place got packed up and all we had left was ugly embassy furniture – and we won’t see our stuff for another year, until after we get to Brazil.


I got one last shopping trip done in Greenhills.


And had one last meal at my favorite restaurant in Manila, Alba.


The pets hung out on our ugly now-uncovered embassy furniture…


We went a few more times to Salcedo Market across the street from us.


Had more amazing ice cream at Merry Moo (Salted Caramel, Honeycomb and Cookies & Brownies are our favorite flavors).


Got more of the amazing fruit only found in Asia, like mangosteen…




Dragon Fruit…




I will NOT miss seeing the cow lechon every Saturday! (I’m a very much hypocrite carnivore – don’t show me the animal!)


I had the worst haircut of my life by the same stylist who had given me the best haircut of my life…  This was my 4th time with the same stylist at Hair Philosophie.  I left in tears (then took scissors to it myself a couple of days later so I could wear it down again).


Went to Legaspi market…


Ellie wore her Department of State onesie (that Karl’s coworkers gifted him) to represent!


I had a great goodbye party thrown by Una (sadly we didn’t get a picture with everyone later, we were too busy eating and chatting!).


Una also gave us this super cool Filipino painting.  I will not miss the jeepneys!


Una and Naomi came over on my very last day, and Naomi went all general on me and got me to get on to packing, and weighing every single piece of luggage I had, which means Karl and I actually had free time later for a foot massage and dinner.


We woke up at 3am and left to the airport to what was (and hopefully will always be) our worse travel experience ever.  Cely, our helper and yaya to our pets, said goodbye to Lily and Lucas through many tears.


Turns out what we were dreading the most, going through NAIA, was the easiest.  We were very mistreated in Japan, and kicked out of the Delta lounge because we had pets (even though they were quiet, and we were allowed to be there with pets as long as they were in their carrier), Lucas broke out of his carrier and almost escaped, and I had to McGyver the thing mid-flight…


And this is how the inside looked like.  Somehow no one noticed and we went 7 more hours in flight with the carrier looking like this, got through a connection in Detroit and boarded our next plane with no issues.  He also pooped himself because he was so freaked out (Lily’s blanket that she had since the day she came home to us was sacrificed), broke his claw and had multiple cuts to his little nose.  I had to spend the rest of the time with a hand inside the carrier petting him.  It got very tricky when I had to hold Ellie with one hand to nurse her and had my other hand petting Lucas, with both Ellie and the carrier on my lap. 


Then we finally arrived in DC, bought a brand new car which we love, and headed to the start of our much needed rest in the Outer Banks, NC.

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Pictures from our home leave at the beach to come…

(And for the record, the last half of this post was typed mostly one handed.  This chick will not sleep for long during the day.  *sigh*)


Filed under Foreign Service, Manila, Philippines, Travel

I’m Still Here!

Smack into marathon training as soon as I stepped foot back in DC.  Taking it easy, of course, since I don’t want to get injured, so lots of walking with running for now, until I get my running legs back. 

My troublesome feet?  Have definitely been complaining…  Hoping to snag an appointment with a podiatrist this week and find out why have they been giving me trouble for the last two years.  We will see what happens.

It’s been nice to be back on my beloved trails and see these views once again…


I’ll be back soon to share more about what we’ve been doing since we left Manila, and to hopefully catch up with all the trips that are left to blog about…  Turns out life with a baby?  Much harder to get two free hands than I expected, but I miss writing, and I miss this space.


Filed under Marathon Training, MCM, Runs

10 Days…

And so it begins…


While this chapter of our lives comes to an end…


And I’m still not ready to say my goodbyes.



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Filed under Foreign Service, Philippines