Working and Training in Nigeria

Ready or not I'll be running around the city within a week's time.  I can't say that I'm completely ready, but who ever is for a 100 mile+ run.  Our team is getting very excited as am I, and can't wait to get this thing done.  

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Last week I was in Nigeria working on a community development project, and got to run in Africa for the first time in my life, despite the fact that I've been many times.  When I first started traveling there, I wasn't a runner or wasn't training for a race, so the challenges of training while in Nigeria never hit me.

It's hard to stick to a daily training program when you spend days in airports and driving.  The security issues in the Niger-Delta region also present challenges for a runner from the USA.  I can't just go out and run on the street in a city like Aba or Lagos, and there isn't really anywhere to run anyway as the streets are filled with people and vehicles.  If I'm staying in a hotel, it's unlikely that there will be a treadmill to run on, unless it's a larger city Abuja and decent hotel.

This is what most streets are like in southern Nigerian cities, not exactly run-friendly, especially in the rainy season.

This is what most streets are like in southern Nigerian cities, not exactly run-friendly, especially in the rainy season.

My first run was in the village of Asaga Ohafia where I finally convinced my hosts that I needed to go run on the road.  They didn't really understand what I was asking to do, but we finally decided on a road run out of town.  It was kind of funny because I had a SUV full of people following me the whole way who couldn't believe that someone would run that far, even though it was only just over 8 miles. 

Needless to say, I had one of the most fun training runs that I've ever had.  I ran past villages, children, women washing clothes in the river, etc.  I'm definitely doing this again next time I come.  In fact, we have already started coming up with ideas for organizing a race, which would be a blast, and also probably a first.

All in all, I was able to get about 50 miles this week with only 1 road run.  Not exactly what my training plan called for, but good enough. The rest was treadmill and loops on a 100 meter path (good mental training.)

 

Only 5 weeks to go

After a couple weeks of little or no running since Ironman Louisville, I'm starting to build my mileage up again.  I'm glad my coach let me have two weeks to recover, but it also means I only have 4 weeks of real training time before the week of R4TC.  While I put in lots of hours on the bike this summer, my running was way down.  I'm hoping that my run fitness will catch up quick, or it's going to be a long 24 hours.  

It's all worth it, though, so that more of this can happen.

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Motivation

If this doesn't motivate someone to finish a race when everything goes downhill, I don't know what would.  

My daughters sent me an awesome picture after I crossed the finish line at Ironman Louisville.  I'll keep this picture in my mind at around mile 80.

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2013 Run 4 The City Route

Click Here for the Proposed 2013 Route Map

Stops Along the Route
(estimated times could all change depending on pace, Please check GPS and twitter for location)

  • St. Timothy Lutheran (2:00pm Oct. 12) 8.2 mi
  • St. John Cypress (eta: 3:30pm Oct. 12) 8.7 mi
  • Family of Faith (eta: 5:00pm Oct. 12) 12.2 mi
  • Christ Memorial (eta: 7:15pm Oct. 12) 16.1
  • Faith Lutheran (eta: 10:12pm Oct. 12) 2.9 mi
  • Fishers of Men (eta: 10:51pm Oct. 12) 10.5
  • Epiphany - Missouri City (eta: 12:48am Oct. 13) 21.1 mi
  • Hope Friendswood (eta: 5:10am Oct. 13) 7.6 mi
  • Gloria Dei (eta: 6:35am Oct. 13) 10.3 mi
  • Zion Pasadena (eta: 8:28am Oct. 13) 12.9 mi
  • Comunidad de Gracia (est. arrival time: 10:47pm Oct. 13) 4.4 mi or as many as possible
  • Trinity Lutheran (est. arrival time: 2:00pm Oct. 13)