Nov. 18, 2008 - Time to go

Well, it's been a great two and half weeks here in Ethiopia. I've gained a lot of experience both athletically and culturally. I would have liked to stay about one more week more because I'm just started to feel comfortable at this altitude and it would have been nice to get a few more sessions in here. In 19 days, I had seven hard days (up to 35 min tempos or 25 mins worth of shorter fartleks such as 1-2min. repeats)) and ran 70 miles the first week and 76 the second week (so about 120km average a week). My long runs were 90 mins, but felt similar to if I ran 1hr45 at home.

Despite wanting more time here, I am excited to compete at the Chiba Ekiden in Japan in a few days (Nov. 24). I guess I'll see how fast I adapt back to sealevel for a competition; it will be a good test for future reference. Some people think they compete best just two days after coming down from altitude, while others swear by between 6-10 days. A lot of people say they feel the worst about 4 days after returning to sealevel. I will be competing 6 days later.

Maryam and I after a fartlek.

There will be some things I'll miss here, such as the great training group we've had, the wonderful people who have taken care of everything from our meals to cleaning our shoes, the simplicity of life and the challenging training. But, the things I won't miss are cold showers, near-death driving experiences, altitude headaches and the fear of what will come the next day after eating or drinking anything outside the Guest House.










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