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Back to "real" running?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Having been a long-distance runner most of my adult life, not being able to do long runs has been a real problem for me.
2004 I was out from runnning for many months when I first developed RA and it took me more then 6 motnhs to even have a painfree day. Then I recovered slowly and was back to doing Halfmarathons. A bit slower, then before but at least running.
2007 I developed knee problems and could not run as I wanted, but somehow managed to continue.
Then last year I was getting fit again and I developed a back injury. It took me all of last year wiht many ups and downs to learn to manage my back and still run. Turned out even the knee problem had been casued by the back problem, which is a postural problem. Now I can maintain my back if I do my back exercise religiously 3 times a week.
Early this year I did a 16km run and was so happy thinking I am back to "real" running, but 10 days later I got another RA flare-up which has been slow to recover and new joints affected. This had also affected me badly psychologically.
But now it looks like I am back to "real" running.
I still skipped the inaugural Sotokoto Halfmarathon here in nairobi, knowing I would be pushing it.
But when we had the annual Ngongathon I took part. This is one of the toughest fun races that exist. It is high altitude and goes right across the Ngong Hills (famous from the movie "Out of Africa"). about 16km either steep uphill or steep down hill.
My official goal was to prooof to myself that i can still do it which ever was, even if crawling. The secret, but seemingly unatainable goal was to do it in 2 hrs. My personal best some years ago had been 1hr 24minutes.
And I did it! I felt like I am just crawling up the hills, didn`t do much running uphill....Lol I had not been training uphill, to minimise the strain on my back.
But I managed to run in the flatter areas and downhill. I finished in 2hrs 3 minutes! Almost didn`t believe it when I was told my time.
The next 3 days I was not as sore as I thought I would be.
And the normal Hashruns I have done sine I have been doing good times. Last Monday I felt like I am not really running, but dragging my feet. And after the run a couple of people came up to me and commented that i am back to running fast! Wow this is sounding like music in my ears!
Now I need to slowly increase distance again. Because my next goals are the Halfmarathon of the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon and next years Sotokoto Halfmarathon.
I know I have to take it very slowly and listen to my body, but I am sure now that it is do-able.

I want to try the Galloway method for training, where you run 5 minutes and walk 1.

Wish my success!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROLLAND 8/3/2009 9:40PM

    hey steph.. how goes it?

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ASHERAH38 6/24/2009 1:10PM

    Hey Steph: Keep it up indeed! I can imagine how running the Ngongathon must be with those steep hills in Ngong. You have done a truly great job and have overcome a lot to get back out there again. Kudos to you. I agree though about taking it easy and listening to your body so as not to overdo it too soon.

I have only started getting back to running since my days in Primary school--too long ago:-) And have been doing wogging--not quite the Galloway method since mine is more walking that running but I do enjoy it.

Kudos again. And best wishes with training.

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KENDRACARROLL 6/24/2009 10:18AM

    Steffi, this is huge!!! Congratulations.
I'm not a runner, barely make it to the corner... (but I can do 2 hrs of cardio at the gym no problem). Think it's in my head. Think I might check out this "Galloway" thing!

Keep up the good work!

Kricket/CA




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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 6/24/2009 6:40AM

    WOW what a story of determination. If you are interested, there are 2 Galloway groups here on Spark. One is for marathon training and the other is for any length race. Come on over. You will find lots of support. Search for Galloway under teams.

Good Luck on all future endeavors.

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A small success!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Yes the scale has started moving again! When I stepped on it yesterday and realized I have lost 1 pount (.5kg) since last week I celebrated (get out the red carpet and the traditional dancing girls!!). I had been so frustrated to be stuck on a plateau again, that i was even not really happy about losing 1kg over the last month. I wanted so desperately to get beyond that wall of 80kg.
Last year I had been stuck on the same weight adn then i finally broke through the wall and went all the way down to 76kg. So being there agian was hard!
But now I have broken that wall and see hope to go down further.
furthermore I have learned in the last 1 year that weight can also be lost with less vigorous exercise. Staying within my caloric limit has become easier and I manage to stick to the lower range more often. I still miss being able to do really long runs and vigorous gym exercise, but I am more relaxed about it. I exercise when I can and do what I can. Since I ran Saturday and want to run today I had to make do with a long walk yesterday. that way my back agrees with it.

Hope to get some hiking done when i go on Holiday in July. So hopefully the scale will keep moving. Or at least stay put while I am visiting Mum with all those sweet temptations Switzerland has to offer..... Lol

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIENKE 6/22/2009 1:44PM

    Steffi,
you are on the right track. Keep on going! I envy you because I've been stuck for a long time.

Take care,
Sabine

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The end of a dream, or is there another chance coming?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Having worked so hard throughout the last year to finally get the degree I had dreamt of for so long, it is so hard to now have it look like there is nothing coming out of it.

While working 1.25jobs (=55hours a week) I did a distance learning program at the same time to get a degree. 2008 I spend studying every day diligently. And I did finish my BBA in Healthcare Management with straight As. I was so proud of myself.
Then I got a few verbal job offers, but several were already with the caveat, they do not have the funds at the moment. But since my contract with the school was still running for another 7 months I was so sure I would find something concrete by then.
I interviewed with an insurance company, who sounded so interrested, but I never got an answer even though they promised to call me back several times.
I had many meetings and brain storming sessions with a peadiatrician, who wanted to employ me. Big plans, but now that I am running out of time I still do not have a contract offer.
The school also did not come with any offer to renew the contract and rumours went round that there is a young male nurse who is really lobbying for getting my job.
I was getting frustrated. Working in a foreign country I do not only need a contract, but also a valid work permit, which each employer has to apply for (they can not be transfered from one job to the other).
In July I am travleing to Europe to see my family after 5 years. So I have to be sorted out before I leave. I was a nervous wreck. Due to some problems within our school and our community I really wanted to leave there. Also I do not really like being a school nurse (I know I am good at it, but I still do not like it), I now had to prepare myself mentally to maybe have to stay there. First I needed to be sure they still want me. Apart from some vague verbal promises I had nothing to go by. So I went and asked the Administrator. She did not really answer that but on my second question of a payrise due to the new degree, I got a clear "NO". Reason: Degree is not directly related to what I am doing.
So I decided to go to the head of the personell comittee of the school board. There I got a clear "yes we renew your contract" ( a relief), and a more vague "payrise only if the rules allow and funds are available, general payraise (we have an inflation rate of 18%) for all can only be discussed in the next school year" (shock and disbelieve). With the assurance of a job at school I now had to take the hard step of writing to the paediatrician to tell him I am unable to continue negotiating with him for a job at this point since I need job security and am only left with 2 weeks.
That hurt! It was a punch under the belt I did not need at this time in life! I am already struggeling to accept that I had to bury lots of other dreams. Now I really feel like a failure. I know in my head that when I come back from my holiday in August i should start again to try and look for a job and that right now the economy is down etc. But in my heart I am feeling so low and like such a failure.
I had hoped that at least the school would give me a raise, so that I can afford to reduce my hours to a normal rate of 44hrs per week.

Now so many other plans will have to wait AGAIN!

Will it ever look up????



  


The end of a dream, or is there another chance coming?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Having worked so hard throughout the last year to finally get the degree I had dreamt of for so long, it is so hard to now have it look like there is nothing coming out of it.

While working 1.25jobs (=55hours a week) I did a distance learning program at the same time to get a degree. 2008 I spend studying every day diligently. And I did finish my BBA in Healthcare Management with straight As. I was so proud of myself.
Then I got a few verbal job offers, but several were already with the caveat, they do not have the funds at the moment. But since my contract with the school was still running for another 7 months I was so sure I would find something concrete by then.
I interviewed with an insurance company, who sounded so interrested, but I never got an answer even though they promised to call me back several times.
I had many meetings and brain storming sessions with a peadiatrician, who wanted to employ me. Big plans, but now that I am running out of time I still do not have a contract offer.
The school also did not come with any offer to renew the contract and rumours went round that there is a young male nurse who is really lobbying for getting my job.
I was getting frustrated. Working in a foreign country I do not only need a contract, but also a valid work permit, which each employer has to apply for (they can not be transfered from one job to the other).
In July I am travleing to Europe to see my family after 5 years. So I have to be sorted out before I leave. I was a nervous wreck. Due to some problems within our school and our community I really wanted to leave there. Also I do not really like being a school nurse (I know I am good at it, but I still do not like it), I now had to prepare myself mentally to maybe have to stay there. First I needed to be sure they still want me. Apart from some vague verbal promises I had nothing to go by. So I went and asked the Administrator. She did not really answer that but on my second question of a payrise due to the new degree, I got a clear "NO". Reason: Degree is not directly related to what I am doing.
So I decided to go to the head of the personell comittee of the school board. There I got a clear "yes we renew your contract" ( a relief), and a more vague "payrise only if the rules allow and funds are available, general payraise (we have an inflation rate of 18%) for all can only be discussed in the next school year" (shock and disbelieve). With the assurance of a job at school I now had to take the hard step of writing to the paediatrician to tell him I am unable to continue negotiating with him for a job at this point since I need job security and am only left with 2 weeks.
That hurt! It was a punch under the belt I did not need at this time in life! I am already struggeling to accept that I had to bury lots of other dreams. Now I really feel like a failure. I know in my head that when I come back from my holiday in August i should start again to try and look for a job and that right now the economy is down etc. But in my heart I am feeling so low and like such a failure.
I had hoped that at least the school would give me a raise, so that I can afford to reduce my hours to a normal rate of 44hrs per week.

Now so many other plans will have to wait AGAIN!

Will it ever look up????



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAREFREEME 7/21/2009 5:02AM

    Just remember Steph we only see the picture in front of us, GOD see's the big picture. It'll all work out to the good. Never feel like a failure, I know easier said than done. Try to picture yourself as your friends or as GOD see's you, you are a wonderful, special, truly awesome person. I love to read your blogs & your messages you are such an inspiration to me & I'm sure to anyone in your life. Look up my friend.

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KENDRACARROLL 6/17/2009 11:18AM

    Steffi, so sorry that things don't seem to work out for you right now.

Hier ist meine Lebensweisheit und die meiner Mutter. Folgendes hat sie mir in mein Poesie Album geschrieben als ich in der dritten Klasse war:

Schlaegt dir die Hoffnung fehle,
nie fehle dir das Hoffen.
Ein Tor ist zugetan,
doch tausend steh'n noch offen.

In diesem Sinne....

Kricket/CA

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Another long frustrating day and then good news at the end of it!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This was another frustrating day in many ways.
Dragged myself out of bed and to work, where I have so much to do and then on top of it to deal with flu season which has just started. Am just glad this is normal flu, since we still do not have any cases of swineflu here in Kenya. But the numbers of sick kids are rising and many parents send them to school when they are sick.
We had some change-overs in our IT system and I realized my office email, which looked like it was working, was actually not working. So no wonder I got no answers from the Administrator on any of the mails I thought I had send her...... in one of them I was asking her whether the school is even contemplating offering me a new contract. Since time is running out and I havent heard anything. She did not really answer this, but when I asked her whether they would give me a payrise for the degree I now have, her answer was a clear NO! What a punch in the stomach!
Negotiations with the Paediatrician have not gone much further even though we had another 3 hour meeting last Friday. During the meetings we seem so much in agreement, so I do not really understand why he is not moving towards actually making a contract.
It is really getting me down.
Then I have not been able to exercise much last week. Usually exercise helps me to destress.
But the weather has been so dreadful, that I cant go swimming much and when there are my usual groups running I end up in meetings or otherwise busy. Since I have also been overeating I have regained 1kg. I hate it! I have been undisciplined and have been craving sweet things and then my bets friend used to come by my office to share her cakes and chocolates with me. It is sweet of her, but she is in her twenties and can still take these calories with less damage... I asked her on friday not to be bringing me anything to eat since I am gaining again,
This week I have done better. Since Sunday I have been within my caloric limits and I have run on Sunday and yesterday and swum a bit today. So I am burning calories.
But the swimming pool was only 22C, so it was actually a bit cold for my joints adn I only swum 20 laps. Then I had to get dresed quickly and bundle up since my joints started complaining. I guess swim season is over for now. July is the coldest month of the year here.
Also a parcel my Mum send me for my birthday has not reached even though it is registered mail. I will not get time to go to the POst office and start enquiries about it until Friday afternoon. But I was waiting for it so urgently. On the one hand Mum had put a woolen sleeve in it, which I coudl use for my painful ellbow at night. On the other hand she had put something else I really need.

Anyway i rambling.
By the time I went home I was still very down. And BF has not called in days, he had promised to call Sunday. I know he is so busy with Central Bank business with the budget coming up this week, but I would need him.... I was too low to call him myself.

But then I got some good news.
First a colleague called and we talked for long, she suggested I should approach the head of the personal committe in the school board directly and ask her privately about chances for a raise. I hadnt thought of that and had actually forgotten that it was that Lady now who is the head of the personal committee. I thought it was still the difficult who was there last year.
Then I opened Spark people and I found Idas Blogg that she is free of cancer!
Ida that honestly made my day! I am so proud of you and the fight you fought. And I feel priviledge to know you and have been able to follow you through your experience.

Well at least the day ends in a high note.
Lets hope tomorrow is better.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHERAH38 6/12/2009 10:58AM

    Its a good feeling when horrible days end on a positive note. Hope the week has been more pleasant. How was the negotiation with the head of the personnel committee?

My mom in Nairobi has been telling me how cold it is getting and finally some rain. When I was home in December, it was so dry. Mom says they have planted maindi, terere, spinach and sukumas. The garden seems to be fairing well. Still there is water shortage though in Nairobi.

Anyway, hope your package arrives soon and you don't have to go hassle with the posta people.



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