Egyptian Women Thank You

Back home after a long work day, opened the door and found my lovely wife waiting for me and suddenly I found out that I did not buy her birthday present yet. In a quick move I put my laptop on the table and told her I forgot something downstairs.
Twenty minutes later I came back with the present and teased her that she will get it only on her birthday, tomorrow morning when the kids wake up.
That night I slept a little bit late and I couldn’t imagine how will I be able to wake up for tomorrow’s run at 5:30 in the morning. However as usual I had a light sleep, anxious so not to miss the run.
At 5:15 am I was standing in Zamalek waiting for the run to start. We took a different route this time, passed 15th of May bridge, through Maspero corniche to downtown and back to Zamalek through the famous Kasr El Nile bridge.
The streets were a little bit filled with people compared to our usual morning runs, especially the Maspero area. I noticed how sometime men gaze or take a lough when they see a running woman.
I admit, it’s unusual to see women running in the streets of Cairo 5 am in the morning and it is this unfamiliarity that make these women brave and courageous.
We finished 6:30 am and I was in hurry to see the kids before going to school and witness the moment of giving their mom her birthday present, which I left in my daughter’s room.
Sadly, I came back a couple of minutes late, they were already left and the ceremony ended, however my wife was very happy.
At this moment, I had great admiration for my wife and all the moms out their looking for their kids, fighting to keep everybody around them satisfied. My wife who’s pregnant, had to wake up early as usual, even on her birthday, to wake up the kids and make sure everything is running smooth and in order and that all their needs are fulfilled despite her neediness to rest and celebrate. And just as my wife was so beautifully doing her mom’s role beside her work, in my mind I saluted the early morning running moms, who are trying desperately to fit their running schedule in their usual work-mom routine.
Women in Egypt are doing an extra work load, fighting the cultural norms, avoiding gazing and harassing men in the streets and work environment, raising their demanding children and taking care for their sometimes-selfish husbands in addition to their work.
If I can say a word to them, Thank you.

When your Heart follows Your Mind

Today was our weekly run date, 5:30 am “Sharp” said Amany the team leader last night before we went to sleep.

5:33 am we stared our way to downtown Cairo, showed my Garmin wrist watch.

I tried to catch up with the group pushing my usual pace, witnessing the rising sun while crossing the kasr el Nile bridge is a moment not to be missed. Passing through bab el Louq square you can spot the renovated old buildings with gold paint decorations. Finally I arrived with last few runners at Abdin Palace. Egypt was ruled from this palace starting from 1872 to 1952 and was built by AlKhedwi Ismail Pasha.

We had to take our famous running group selfie before we start our way back to Zamalek.

I usually try to train below zone 5 heart rate training zone which is below 90% of my maximum heart rate, unless I am finishing or in a race, as it is much safer for your heart, muscles and joints.

Today on my way back I found Ibrahim and Safi waiting for me and told me “Today you should finish with us”. At that moment I took the decision and didn’t care much about the heart rate training zones and kept in pace until we reached our starting point. And guess what ? Although I ran at a higher pace my heart rate did not get higher.

While stretching I had a small talk with Ramy, who turned out to be a young doctor and will soon be leaving Egypt to start a residency program in the USA. 

I guess ramy did not want to leave Egypt and probably had another future planned when he entered medical school 8 years ago, but sometimes you have to change the mental state and the heart will follow.