Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Still Got It

One of the things I love about being in the Army Reserves is that it pretty much forces me to stay fit.  Because every year, I'm required to participate in the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).  Oh, and I have to pass the test.  Which always makes my palms sweat.  This year?  It was even worse, because it's been three years (yes, three!) since my last APFT.


Let's see...last year during annual training at Ft. Carson, Colorado, I wasn't permitted to do my APFT test because of the 6500 feet above sea level issue.  Apparently, when you go from sea level to an altitude of 6500 feet, it's harder to breathe.  NO KIDDING.  I personally found this out when I was poo-pooing the "you're not gonna do a PT test because you don't have enough time to acclimate to the altitude" when I ran for the first time there.  On the day I flew in and thought a run sounded like a good idea.  I found my heart thumping out of my chest, and me desperately trying to take in air.  Yes, if you're not acclimated to the altitude, it's not a good idea to run.

The year before that?  I was pregnant with Kellen. I call that a fine excuse for a no-APTF year.  He was, after all,  8 lbs, 8oz at birth, and even though I ran until I was 7 months preggo (when I could no longer lace up my own sneakers), I can't say it was efficient running.  I still, however, give myself street cred for running while knocked-up. 

So my last APFT test was in summer 2009 when I was in Officer's Basic at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.  We were living in L.A. at the time, and I had been running 4-5 times per week, training for a 1/2 marathon.  Only two kids under my belt (Owen was 6 and Abby was 4), I was feeling good and prepared for the test.  I ran my 2-miler in 18:20, did 20 push-ups, and 50 sit-ups.  All within the requirements of the Army.

And here were are.  2012.  At 0600 Monday morning, latte in hand, I arrived at the track where the test was held.  Four people from the Navy and four of us from the Army, although I was the only Reservist.  I've been preparing for this test for the past few months, but running with active duty soldiers is a bit unnerving.  These people are fit.  As in uber fit, young and old[er] alike.

However, my worries proved unfounded. Turns out, I still got it.  Well, whatever 'it' is!  I finished my 2-miles in 18:40, did 48 sit-ups (which turned out to be my worst area, but dude!  I have popped THREE kids outta this body.  My abs simply ain't what they used to be!), and 30 push-ups.  All far surpassing the minimum requirements for my age group.  Which, while I complain bitterly about my aging knees and hips, at least the Army cuts you a break for being (*ahem*) older.  The Army standards for required time for the run and number of sit-ups/push-ups are significantly less for my old[er] age group than that of an 18-year-old soldier.  Finally, a benefit of age!

And speaking of running, I recently knocked out an 8-mile run with a running group that I've been swearing for MONTHS that I'd run with. Please, don't judge me!  Thee peeps meet up at 6AM every Friday, which is really way too early for me.  But now that I'm training for a marathon, it's time to suck it up and get up EARLY because the Egyptian sun shows no mercy in the summer!

Anyway, the run was awesome.  We ran Saqqara to Dashur, finishing at the pyramids at Dashur.  It was absolutely amazing.  We ran through a few small villages, an agricultural area, and finished in the desert.  I made some new friends, and have promised to run with them frequently.  This group is definitely going to help me prepare for my marathon!

Finally, and this is the last of the week's brag.  I'm now down 15 pounds!  Biggest Loser is coming to an end next week, and I have but 1 single, itty bitty, little pound to go to get to my goal.  Oh, painful!  I'm so close...we'll see what happens on Wednesday's weigh-in day.  Stay tuned...

And now, a new countdown begins.  21 weeks until my marathon in San Francisco!

The runner's group enjoying the agriculture area.

Camel guard.  The beginning of the desert.

Up-hill run with the Red Pyramid in the distance.

View to the end of the race!  So close...
At the Bent Pyramid in Dashur.  End of the race!


  1. You need a button for WAY AWESOME COOL! Congrats on making so many of your fitness goals!! The running group sounds like a really fun adventure to join in on. And at the rate of movement you've been clockin' -- that last pound has no chance of hanging on!

  2. So cool!!! Way to go you! Nomads is right - that pound is already on its way out. What a beautiful run, but I can only imagine how hot it gets... I empathize entirely. Even at 10pm it has been way too hot to walk/jog here lately - well over 100 degrees still.

  3. Holy moly! YOU ROCK! May I ask - what are the minimums for someone your/my age?

    These pictures are gorgeous. Frame them!

    Sounds like an AWESOME group to run with! GO HEATHER GO!!!

  4. So awesome and very inspirational...a certain someone needs to get herself going! Way to go!