Selfish blogger

Oh boy, I'm selfish.  I know there's at least one person that randomly checks this in hopes of catching up/entertainment/a cure for insomnia.

It's hard for me to open up and share.  I've been busy, so one would think I would have tons to write about.  And I might, but I never know what exactly to share.

With everyone around us over sharing:

  -let's post a picture of this grilled cheese we made so that we can get accolades!
  -look! I'm at the gym!
  -my feet are at the beach!
  -Ugly baby
  -weird baby
  -cute baby
  -it's another meal! At a restaurant!

We are inundated with sharing.  And when asked how I am or what's new, I just smile and say "Oh I'm great! Everything is the same, no changes" but sometimes every thing is spectacular and I just want to keep that little bubble of fireworks all to myself.  But really my question to my friends that get on my case for not writing is always the same -who would really want to know what I'm up to? And what exactly do I share?

If bogging were a dessert, I would glare at you and tell you through gritted teeth to Get.Your.Own.
That's how selfish I am.  Yet I have a blog.  Oh I've been writing you, by the way.  I just don't hit publish.  Lovely, huh?

I'm getting my hair cut tomorrow. I'll share a before and after image.  Since I have naturally curly hair, it's been rather rambunctious lately.
That should give someone out there a good laugh. Hopefully it'll be the before and not the after.

I bet you want a picture right now.  Well, too bad.  I'll add one later. It's late and I should be asleep.
Oh I know. Here's an idea for a future post:
The Best Hen (Bachelorette) Weekend party ever!  I'll even share pictures with helpful tips.

Hugs, kisses and Shoes (let's hope I remember to hit the 'publish' button


Turkey: Antalya and Cirali

The Mongolian and I headed to the beach after a few days in Istanbul.  

Our first stop was Antalya.  We stayed at a nice hotel, but all of the beaches in our area were off cliffs.  It made for a fun party, where every day there were dj's and partying on this huge massive deck where we could dive into the ocean and swim.  
I have to confess, though, the water was too cold for me there.  It was the perfect excuse to rent a scooter and go in search of the other beaches.   Anything under boiling is too cold for me.
The view from our balcony

As we drove to explore other beaches, we discovered an amusement park! We just had to go back to it that night.  And it was the worst thing we could have done.  The Mongolian rode the tall tower zipper hammer ride -I don't really know it's name.  It was great to see him fly up there.  Then came the mistake: that pirate boat ride. We were the only people on that ride and the operator let the ride go FOREVER.  We stumbled off the boat of death and I was sick for two days. Gross.  I would go back today if I could. 

Another place we discovered while looking for other beaches: 
Duden Waterfalls

Which had yet another surprise for us.

Sometimes it pays off to jump on a scooter, get lost and discover your new surroundings.  (If the town is safe for tourists to explore, that is)

After a few days in Antalya we headed south west to Cirali, a tiny village next to Olimpus with inns, or pensions as they prefer to call them.  While it got a little more crowded on the weekend, the beaches were practically empty during the week.  
I called it pebble beach.  

We took a boat ride, snorkelled, (the Mongolian spotted some sea turtles) and had lunch on the boat.

Most of the pensions, or pansiyons had relaxing courtyards like this.  Some had chickens running around. We had ducks. Pebbles and Marble as another couple staying there with us names them.

I'm torn with wanting to tell everyone about Cirali and wanting to keep it all to myself.

Hugs, Kisses and Shoes,
Rocio Ildemaro


No Stag Parties While Training

Lesson learned.
This weekend was my friend Jen's hen night and three glasses of champagne mean I had not my best run so far.  While I did not have the hangover of drinking a lot, I had that drag-like tiredness all weekend.  I'm officially old.

But I did run on a trail in my neighbourhood.

Istanbul Part 2 Good Answers to some Headaches and Heartaches

I was in Turkey during the months of June, July and part of August, the hottest time.  

I love the heat, but I always feel badly for the stray dogs and cats out there.  Not for Turkish dogs, cats and birds though.  These sweet loving creatures are not forgotten by Istanbul's citizens. I noticed everywhere I walked were the bowls of water and food left for dogs and cats.
Waiting for dinner

The cats were waiting for him.

All dogs I saw out were tagged. At first it made me very sad but then I realised, these dogs have been fixed and they all get very clean water and food.  
 I constantly saw people pouring their water from their water bottles into these public, home made water bowls for the city's pets.  

The other thing that I loved was the parking lot lights.
This is so helpful.

If you see a green light on top it means that parking spot is free.  Blue light means it's a free handicap spot and red means they're taken, keep looking.

How about that? Perfect!
Hugs Kisses and Shoes,
Rocio Ildemaro


Turkey: Istanbul Part 1

Last summer I had the pleasure of spending two months in Turkey.  The reason: shoes, of course. Haha, I'm a dork, I know, but it's true, it was for shoes.

While there are many tough aspects to creating a shoe line (the waiting. Oh the waiting) the silver lining to that are the places I travel to in search of factories, work shops and materials to finally end up with the final product, my shoes.

Two months in Turkey meant many different trips around the country.  I will explain each one in its own post as they were all so different.

I'll start with Istanbul.  
One of the views from Galata Tower

It's such a large city, I feel it has several city sky lines. It's the only city in the world to lie on two continents.  The European side felt more Asian, and the Asian side had neighbourhoods that reminded me of some neighbourhoods in Milan.

You get around the city in taxis, trains, buses, trolleys, trams and ferries -for public transport. And yet I felt it was so crowded we could have used another mode of transportation to get around.  I love busy crowded cities.  I love the energy the crowds bring.
Spice Bazaar
Outside at Grand Bazaar
I like going to places that are new to me. Istanbul felt that way. When I lived in Italy it didn't feel like a new place, I say this in a very good way: it felt like Venezuela; it felt like home.  But Thailand and Turkey are entirely different from home for me and that was exciting.

A very crowded Monday night out.
This taxi driver had a collection of model cars on his dash.  Also, notice all of the traffic. This was 2am on a week night. Tuesday morning to be exact.  I would hate to see what Friday night looks like.

Istanbul is such a large city that I will have to write more about it in another post tomorrow.  In tomorrow's post I'll show some things I wish America would hurry up and copy.  Some very civilised answers to some everyday headaches and heartaches.  

Hugs Kisses and travel Shoes,
ps I will update on my marathon training later this afternoon.  I learned a very rich lesson this weekend about training for a marathon.  


Team Running Late Update 2

Guess what? I can run.  I've been running.  I can do 2 miles and feel great. I can even do 2 miles and do an hour of hot yoga later on and still feel great. This is weird.  It still feels weird to see other real runners out there with me. Weird like I'm crashing someone's wedding weird.

I'm planning my future training and will visit a dear friend that moved Colorado.  I'm planning my visit around one of two marathons that way I can get some miles under me by running at altitude.

One is the Color Run and the other is the Colfax Marathon.

 Happy Image from http://thecolorrun.com/denver/  

The Color Run seems playful and fun while the Colfax is a little more real and their half Marathon goes  through the Denver Zoo.  That sounds like literal practice for my Kenya trip, Elephants + Running!

So, get hit in the face with colours or practice a halfie through the zoo?  I will talk it through with my dear friend and see which she prefers.

My average now:

The numbers:
Miles run: 2.24 Miles
Average Pace: 14:29 Min/Mile
On the playlist: This American Life
(it was Surrogates episode 485 for my fellow TAL nerds)
Tracked by RunKeeper app

Ps I went with my mom and did an hour of a Hot Yoga class a couple of hours after running as well.

Hugs kisses and Shoes,


Team Running Late! Training update 1

First time to run

As I walked then sped up gradually to a trot, I made it about ten or so houses before my lungs started  to feel a little warm. I continued past a few more houses when my lungs started to burn. I slowed to a good walk and tried to calm down my lungs, reassuring them that we we not inside a burning building, but outdoors, with fresh (city) air and doing something really good for them/me.

I pride myself  in being an excellent breather. In every yoga class I've taken, I'm the one that's doing the proper breathing. Iyengar. Bikram. Hatha. Power. All of them, I'm that jerk in class the teachers always compliment.  I'm good at yoga and great at breathing.
So I read Hal Higdon's tips. I read Jeff Galloway's tips. But my lungs didn't get the memo.

I don't feel spent and I could have probably pushed myself to do more, but my dad said start with a kilometer and Hal Higdon says start with 1.5 miles. And Jeff Galloway says a lot of things! Too many for my first timer's ass to follow, but I think he's got some good stuff in there. Run/walk, which is what I did.

Oh and I have finally learned to run across the street.

The numbers:
Miles run: 1.14 Miles
Average Pace: 14:46 Min/Mile
Current Pace: 11:55 Min/Mile
On the playlist: This American Life
(it was the Valentine's Day episode 486 for my fellow TAL nerds)
Tracked by RunKeeper app

I did an hour of a Vinyasa Flow class a little after running as well.

*another update on the update, no soreness the next day. Yoga?



As I learn about running, I mean, I'm even learning how to "Run across the street," I read everywhere the importance of the right gear.

Wear the right running shoes. -Obviously I agree, SHOES are of the upmost importance!

Camel pack, back? You know it? The back pack you fill with vodka to get the party going? Well, you have to run with one because you will dehydrate and you need to hydrate (see how that works?) as you run. Alcohol free vodka, check. Ok ok, water, or sports drink. Check.

Food belt! I can't argue with that one. I just don't know how I'll pack my fried chicken in it and keep it warm and crispy.

Watch out for chafing! Uh, the only chafing I ever knew of was chafing dishes, you know, used for FOOD. Not the 'my clothes rub and it hurts my skin' chafing.
Band-Aids for men, chafing creams, or Glides, which to me wake up my inner 13 year old boy and make me laugh hysterically at the thought of buying some Body Glide -Hee hee hee.

Which is another thing, NO Cotton! Everywhere, you are told, and in some forums people even got offended when a certain city marathon (I'm in the city now) passed out cotton marathon tee shirts! I get it, it's a marathon, the organisers should have really known better.  Maybe the manufacturer promised Runnerslyester and delivered cotton, as someone who depends on raw material providers, I can see this happening. It happens all of the time.

"Hello, I'm putting on a very large Marathon to showcase my great city. I'd like some shirts for the event please. Oh, let's do 25,000 shirts. Yes, may I please get them made out of Runnerslyester, as you know, we need the proper fabric for our event"
"Yes ma'am, of course we have plenty of bolts of Runerslyester!" They have no idea what Runnerslyester is...  but they'll say anything to make the sale.

Oh I digress, anyway, I've read plenty plenty plenty and I think I have it down: No wearing cotton for marathon. Check.
Now let me show you what else I found on my quest for learning about running in Kenya. Please take a close look at the image below:
Perfectly outfitted to beat my ass!  Image from http://www.amazingmaasaiultra.org/

This is an image for the very marathon I will be participating in. 

I will run (WAY BEHIND) (I mean way way way way behind)  these excellent runners, where I will be:
in my Japanese running shoes
with my water back pack
Food or snack belt 
Runnerslyester socks, 
Runnerslyester tights or shorts, 
and my sports bra, made of lycra and spandex, just kidding, it's also made of Runnerslyester. 

I'll go ahead and wear Band-Aids, just in case, although I don't think I want them over my nipples (can I say that here?) I'll just wear them on my elbows, just for good measure.

Runnerslyerster wicks away the sweat, keeps you dry and keeps your body happy.  I'm impressed, no, I'm beyond impressed that while I will need everything mentioned above just to be able to crawl to the finish line, the locals can run in sandals, cute skirts (I have something just like that in my closet) any tee shirt they own or are given, no Body Glide hee hee hee, and probably, no, definitely no Band-Aids. -I'm sure of this one because there are a couple of clinics that list needing Band-Aids as part of their wish list.  

Ok, I'm off to learn how to run. Decked out in my Runnerslyester.
Hugs, Kisses and running Shoes,
Rocio crawling to the finish line Ildemaro
ps please know this is only MY POINT OF VIEW, meaning I completely RESPECT all runners, even the ones that know how to run to cross the street.  This is the equivalent to people telling me "I just don't see how you can walk in those. They're so high. I would break an ankle in those shoes"
My shoes = My Own Image!


Makes you want to squeeze a panda!

So how did I hear about this marathon?
I was supposed to visit the Mongolian* in (where else) Mongolia this summer, and from there we were to fly down to China to visit his brother**.  

I was all set to plan a side trip and wear a panda costume to help with that group that works with pandas and releases them to the wild, when the Mongolian told me he heard from his brother and  would I be interested in skipping China instead to go meet his brother and their cousin in Kenya as they are going to run a marathon.  

I'm sure he said many more important things but my mind was busy repacking my bags and telling my mom to hold off on making that panda suit for me because I was now super excited about visiting Kenya!
That's Bob in the back photo bombing us girls. He likes to drink too much.

I did tune in to hear more about this marathon and we had agreed to go as cheerleaders and participate from the sidelines. (I'm sure his brother is now relieved we are not his cheerleaders and my mom is now relieved she doesn't have to make the Mongolian and me cheerleading costumes) 

Once we went to the site and read all about the goal, it was easy come to the conclusion of running.

His brother won't be getting a Patriots Mongolian cheerleader after all

* The Mongolian is my boyfriend Spencer that lives in Mongolia. He's NOT Mongolian. He's white. American.  He's the type of white American that my people refer to as "Un Americano -MUY guapo"  
or maybe "Gringo Guapo"
Oh and that's a compliment, don't start your hate letters now. I've said and will say worse things.  
All it means is at 6'4" with green eyes, he gets attention.  The ladies in Thailand and Turkey loved him. And I love that.

**By now your Sherlock Holmes skills would be correct in deducing that his brother is not Chinese, but is another one of those "Gringos Guapos" 
I haven't met him yet, but standing at 6'5"and coming from a good looking family (their mom and sister are both gorgeous) he can't help but fall under the same offensive description.

And just to be fair, here's a picture of him when it's not football season:
That's us in Thailand, see what I mean? Gringo y muy Guapo.

For more Panda cuties go here and make sure to scroll to the bottom. 
And for a full on Panda Stalking experience go here and forget about work.
Oh and this one! ILOVETHEMSOMUCH!!!!! 

Hugs, kisses and panda squeezies,
Rocio Ildemaro


Some reactions to my decision to run this marathon

These are some reactions from a few of my friends and family after I told them of my plan:

My sister on her Facebook status "Pigs are flying in the sky" 

Another comment: "This is a sign of the Apocalypse"

When I told a coworker/friend: "You're going to lose."

Another two friends: "You would go all the way to Kenya."

When I told another friend: "You're going to lose."

When I told yet another guy friend: "Oh no."

And seriously, a third guy: "You're going to lose."

My conversation with a girlfriend on the phone:
Me: "Hey, I have something to tell you. You know how you're Miss Jock and you love to run and be at the gym?"

S.: "Yeah, yeah, I know, I won't make you come to the gym with me."   -SIDE NOTE, a couple of years ago she tried to set me up on a date with her trainer.  It was our first (only) fight. 

Me: "No, no, it's not that. I'm actually going to run a marath-"

S.: "Wait? What? You're going to run? Did you say run? I don't think I heard you."

Me: "Yes, but wait, let me tell you-"

S.: "You're going to run? What for?"

Me: "I'm going to run a marathon in Kenya fo-"

S.: "You're running a marathon in Virginia?! OMG are you serious? When? You have to start training now. I'll go run with you sometime this week. Why Virginia?"

It was the longest announcement of my week.

And finally when I told my dad a few minutes ago on the phone. All in Spanish, btw.

Me: "Hi dad, I have something very important to tell you. I'm going to run a marathon in Kenya.  The cause is for sending the Maasai girls to school..." I continue into detail "... and I was thinking I was going to train for the full marathon but I guess I'll do the half..."

His response, "No, no, no, you can do the full. I ran in university..." NEWS TO ME! "... look, you are fit, and start slow, do one kilometre, rest, next time do a little more, and by September you will be able to do the full marathon.  Just don't do a lot right now, build up to it. Also, you're little and light, it should be easy for you.  So, how's your sister?" 
Photo by Sarah Edson via http://www.amazingmaasaiultra.org/

All 3 times I heard "You're going to lose" was said in a straight face and that one makes me laugh a lot.
I have have a circle of beautiful friends and family that are so supportive and funny.  So many have called and messaged me with tips and words of encouragement.  Maybe I don't fully understand the seriousness of running a marathon, I think I'm in the Ignorance is Bliss part of my journey.

Have you ever run a marathon? If so, what made you want to run it? How was your first marathon?

Oh, and one more thing, I will only lose if I don't go.

Hugs, kisses and running shoes,
Rocio Ildemaro

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