Run, run as fast as you can

One of the few things my father left as a legacy was the love of running. I can’t remember what age we were made to start running but I remember being in middle school. I never entered competitions except for the Round The Bays in 1983, just after my father died.

I’m not a fast runner, now I do what I call a ‘granny shuffle’.

But I do like to run. At 46 though, the body doesn’t quite bounce back like it used to.

We’ve lived in Kenya since 2012 and I pretty much decided that running would go on the back burner. While we lived in Sydney I could jog along the streets and then the beach, it was great. I entered the City to Surf, the biggest funrun in the world where 80,000 people run the 14km trek up Heartbreak Hill to Bondi Beach. I ran it years ago.

My finish wasn't so enthusiastic.

My finish wasn’t so enthusiastic.

Nairobi is a little (okay a lot) different to run in. I can’t go for a run before 6.45am as it’s just getting light. At that time of the morning there are footpaths full of people making their way to work. There’s no ‘keeping to the left’ you just have to squeeze in between the crowds. I actually like to go later when there’s less people but it’s way too hot.

One of the biggest obstacles for safely running here is the footpaths, or lack of them. Around where we live there are a few footpaths but they have holes in them or are broken up in places. When you’re running you kind of feel like you’re in a cross country event. About 200 metres from our place you turn a corner to go down and up a hill. You would have to be insane to try and even run over that spot. A few times I’ve nearly twisted my ankle on loose rocks.

And then there are the trucks.

I don’t know what it is about trucks here but they are way overloaded and go slower than a snail up hill. They puff out this thick, dark smoke that doesn’t go in the air but out at face level. It’s gross.

This photo doesn't even show how bad the smoke from the trucks are.

This photo doesn’t even show how bad the smoke from the trucks are.

So for the first few years I didn’t bother running. I set up a home gym area but once you get up to 100 squats, situps, pushups and the like, what’s next?

We returned back from our overseas trip a month ago and I decided ‘what the heck, why not give running another go’. So I have.

I’m only a couple of weeks into it, and amping up the anti to see if my foot can handle a run three times a week. I’ve a Morton’s Neuroma under my right foot which plays up whenever it feels like it. It’s like having a hot, sharp poker up through your foot. In 2011 and 2012 I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In 2012 the last day was excruciating because my foot played up so much. I just couldn’t wait to get down.

My faithful runners.

My faithful runners.

On March 8th, Lizzie and I will be running 10km’s in ‘The First Lady’s Half Marathon’ around Nairobi. I really want to get up to a half marathon status but not sure if my foot would make it. One of my dreams is to run in the Lewa Marathon through an animal conservancy. Here’s hoping I can do it by next year.

So why do I run?

I run because I like getting out there with my headphones on and not worry about all of the world’s problems. I need to run to keep myself fit. When I run I drink a lot more water than if I sit in front of a computer all day. I run because I can’t afford to go to a gym.

And I run because I like it.

So, Where Are Those Passports?

It’s always an interesting time when you move house. Some things magically disappear no matter how organised you are.

It happened this week at a really important time. Someone posted on Facebook that they had their ESTA (US) visa to go to the States on holiday. It suddenly hit me that we hadn’t applied for ours yet. Liz, our oldest daughter is paying for the whole family to go to the US for a holiday on the way to moving to Kenya. It’s our 25th wedding anniversary soon, so we’re heading to Disneyland, San Diego Seaworld, Houston, NYC and Washington. While it’s done on a shoestring it will be an absolute blast.

We’d moved out of our apartment in Dee Why by the beach to Turramurra, in the bush a couple of weeks ago. Our good friend Jill allowed the three of us to move in so we could save some money and wrap up a few loose ends. From there, we were repacking before sending off a shipment of our stuff to Kenya.

While it’s easy to loose a hairbrush, how does one loose and important document like a passport, in fact, three of them!!  It seems that the complexities of being on the road are just beginning. By the time we get to Kenya we would’ve not been in a real home for 2 months.  Suitcases just don’t replace a set of drawers. I like to be super organised, everything has a place, so this is driving me crazy!

Thankfully Pete found them, in the very last box we used when leaving our home, which is great because they’re all new. Replacing 3 passports would’ve cost us around $700.

ESTA visa has been applied for, boxes are ready to send, passports are securely in the bedroom – all is well once again.

While our beloved passports have been found, I don’t know where the hairdryer has been left in our travels.