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.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Biggest Loser, Marathon Training, and...Pinkberry!

Post 10K Wadi run this past week.  Before the sunburn set in.
I'm not gonna lie - I'm totally exhausted in this photo!
Cairo's Biggest Loser came to an end this week.  Seventeen weeks long, my minimum goal had been a weight loss of 12 pounds, my mid-goal was 16 pounds, and my it'll-probably-never-happen goal was 20 pounds.

I stepped on the scale this week, and was 15.5 pounds lighter than I was in February.  Soooo close to the mid-goal (!!), but very pleased with my results.  8 inches off my hips, 5 inches smaller in the waist.  I can now open my closet and wear anything my heart desires.  It all fits.  In fact, some of it is too big.  Not a bad excuse for some retail therapy!

And a NEW countdown commences.  I have 20 weeks until my marathon.  20 weeks!  I started a sorta-training three weeks ago, but didn't really focus too heavily since I was still so far out from the marathon.  But now it has to begin in earnest.  I'm honestly a bit frustrated that I most of my training will be on a treadmill.  I am able to do my weekly long run on Friday/Saturday in the Wadi, but dang.  EGYPT IS HOT.  Like it's already hitting 100 degrees Fahrenheit hot.  And dry.  And that sun!  While I looooove the sun, it doesn't love my very pale, very European heritage skin.  But I'll deal, one way or another.

*I have nothing to prove.  I've never run a marathon before, so just finishing it will be good enough.
*I have one hour at lunch everyday at work that I can hit the gym.  My co-workers are really supportive. The fab hubby works out with me, so I have nowhere to hide when I start thinking "I don't want to workout today."
*The fab hubby also hounds me at home about running, so on the weekends he's the one pushing me out the door.  
*I have two good friends who like to run with me.  In the Wadi.  Crazy supports crazy.
*I have a running group that meets every weekend.  If only they didn't meet at 6:15AM!  But I'll be running with them from time to time when they are doing longer distance days.

*It's hot.  I can't say it enough.  I feel crispy already.  I forgot my sunblock yesterday and my back is fried.  I'm getting too old for sunburn.  Not to mention I'm like the worst nurse example of healthy sun use.  Note to self:  sunscreen and a hat.
*The long distance (14 miles +) runs for training are going to be hard to do here.  The fab hubby says he'll follow behind me in the SUV when it comes time for those distances at the Wadi.  To beat the heat, we'll have to go early.  And I don't do early well.
*I'm NOT a natural runner. Not by any stretch of the imagination.  Now, I feel incredibly powerful when I run.  But I certainly don't look it!  And my knees and my hips are a constant reminder that I'm getting a wee bit older (notice I did NOT say OLD).

*We'll be in the U.S. for 4 weeks, mid-July through mid-August.  I'll hit the bike/hike trail near our home in Ohio and push for some long distance runs for my training.  It's a bit early on the training schedule, but I really think it will help me.
*I'll be at Ft. Carson, CO (Colorado Springs) for 2 of those weeks during our R&R for my annual Army Reserve duty time.  There will be a couple of days I can do some running, and the high altitude (6500 feet) will help with my training.  I just won't be able to do any really long distances while there.  I'll shoot for 8 miles at the most.
*The heat here will taper a little bit in September, allowing me to put a in couple of long distance training runs before my marathon.
*I'm committed to the marathon.  I fact, my airline ticket is non-refundable.  There's no turning back now!

And, oh.  On a really positive note.  Pinkberry came to Cairo.  Pinkberry!  My beloved frozen yogurt from Los Angeles.  What does this have to do with my weight loss and marathon training?  Absolutely nothing.  But it sure does make me happy.  A friend flew in and visited us this past week and we went to the movies and then Pinkberry.  It was totally divine.






  1. That's spectacular, Heather! Good job!

    As for marathon training, I'm sure you heard of the Hal Higdon plan before, but if not, I can't recommend it enough -- I use it, and everyone I know does as well. http://www.halhigdon.com

    I did the Novice 2, but really only got 3 runs a week, I rarely fit in 4, and that worked for me (I crossed the finish line with no injuries and very close to my goal despite the heat). As for the run vs pace, I just did all my runs the same because I'm too lazy to worry about pace in training for a marathon. Definitely recommend the plan and just do what works for you (and remember, if you miss a training run, don't worry, your whole training is not lost, just pick up where you left off).

    And make sure to do a 5k when you're in peak marathon training -- say the week after you run a 20 miler. Amazing how much faster you can get when it's "only 3 miles"

    Good luck!

  2. So, so awesome! What an incredible feeling that is to be able to wear anything in your closet! So proud of you! I'm so motivated to be able to do the same thing again dammit!!!

    You are ROCKING your training. Can't wait to hear how it goes all summer!

    Love all the pictures too! Fun post to read!

  3. Great job! I am still on the fence about whether to go for it and sign up for a marathon this fall even though my husband and I are heading to out first post and are in for a lot of adjustment/uncertainty. And here I am worrying about the heat in El Salvador -- Cairo sounds much worse (albeit dry heat)!

    I second Carla's recommendation for Hal Higdon's training plans -- he has gotten me through two halfs and three fulls.

    I'm looking forward to reading more about your training! Another thing you have going for you: virtual support (and accountability) from the FS blogosphere!

  4. Pinkberry came to Amman too! Such excitement!