Saturday, February 20, 2010

There,There,There and Back Again the Hams Tale!

Strangely enough the subject line could mean more than one thing.  First, it could be for the crazy Luxor Full Marathon we ran last Friday, OR, it could stand for how many times we keep coming back to Cairo.

Well...............last weekend Norris and I and two of our friends flew down to Luxor, Egypt to run a marathon.  It was a lot of fun.  We were excited to get started with it because after months and months of running and training we were ready to be done with it!  It turned out to be fantastic.  I know this is hard to believe coming from me, but I really did love it!  I did not like training for it that is for sure but on the day of the run it was so much fun!
It was difficult to train here in Egypt.  There are not a lot of places that have a good flat ground to run on, plus being a female makes it all the more challenging.  Well we did end up finding this great place to train.  There is this club that has a gate around the outside.  You could get through the gate but not have to go into the club.  The only problem with it was the mile and a half giant hill at the end of the run.   The whole loop around the club was 5k or 3.1 miles.  Well after about 18 miles and having to run up the giant hill 5 times I never thought I would make it through.  I think that it why my goal for the marathon was 6 hours.
As it turns out the hill was just what we all needed to help us get great times for our runs.  Norris finished in 4 hours and I finished in 5!!!!!!  For my first time I was pretty satisfied!  Norris took a little break to wait for me, so had he not done that he would have finished under 4!  That is ok though 4 hours is pretty amazing.  That is until we realized he would have to cut off an hour just to qualify for the Boston Marathon!!!!!!!!  CRAZY!  We met this guy who is in the Marathon Maniacs club.  He has run 137 marathons in the last 4 years!  His goal now is to run a marathon in 20 different countries!  I am not sure I want to do that but I do think I would like to run another one just to see how it compares to this one!

There were a couple of obstacles we had to get through on the day of the marathon.  There happened to be big groups of children that were hanging out.  They just wanted to touch you and talk to you as you ran by.  I tried to be nice to them and speak to them in Arabic and give them a little fist dap when they wanted to high-five me!  I think they just wanted attention from the foreigners.  Well that was all great and dandy until kilometer 38.  Up to this point they did nothing but want to give me a high-five.  But all of a sudden these 3 little boys got around me and thought I had money in my pocket.  So the next thing I know the littlest boy was reaching his hand in my pocket.  I started yelling at him and saying the strictest things I knew in Arabic.  Little did the boy know the only thing in my pocket was a used tissue.  He was not to excited when he realized what it was!  He tried to reach in again and I realized he was not going to leave me alone.  I had to stop and yell at him and after a few moments he ran away.

Then when I was about to turn to the last little bit to the finish line this man walked up to me.  He was in a button up shirt and I thought he was part of the marathon crew.  He started talking to me and asking me where I was from.  I told him and then he decided that I must look like someone who wanted to buy his post cards!  At this point I got a little upset!  I looked at him and said: "what about my appearance right now makes you think I want a post card?"  "Do I really look like I care about anything you have to offer?"  Well he did not like that very much and he stormed off!  This was just what I needed because it made me laugh almost all the way to the finish line!
It was quite a moment when I crossed the line!  I realized I had finished in 5 hours and I knew it was all over!  It was an incredible accomplishment!  I never thought I could have done it but it was fun to have a husband who would support me and friends who would always help me when I wanted to give up!   I now can't wait to run another one!

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