I knew today would be a difficult day. My last Intermediate grammar class with (maybe I shouldn’t say, but..) my favourite class ever. They are always laughing and having fun. Today, we only went over a bit of grammar, played vocabulary games and talked. At the end of class, I asked a few questions like: what’s your favourite class/least favourite class, enjoyable activities, and if you could change anything, would you. They all agreed, telling me:  “Every class was great and special in its own way, and there weren’t any classes we disliked;” They even said that I’m the best teacher and ‘please don’t go…. or come back to us soon!!!’  Then they explained they had a gift for me and I can think of Ukraine every time I wear it. It’s the most beautiful traditional Ukrainian scarf (it’s 50 years old). I was really trying not to cry, but I couldn’t help it. Tears just streaming down my face and they are all hugging me, saying ‘please don’t cry, come back soon. We will see you soon.’ (Which maybe makes it that much more emotional.) Soooo…. the next two days, saying goodbye to my other classes will also be difficult I think (haha).

I am just so surprised that in 8 months in Ukraine, but just 4 months (or less) working at ELEKS, I have people treating me so nicely. After 7 years in London, I don’t think I ever felt so loved as I do here. It’s such a heart-warming feeling!!!! I will never forget this year. Really, best year of my life…….

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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5 more sleeps until I leave Ukraine and head to France)
After the last couple weeks of having ultimate panic attacks, recently I have been in such a calm mood. I would like to picture it like this (haha):

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While I’ve been sleeping, I’ve had all 3 windows and the door open, and waking up feeling this cool breeze, walking out on the balcony and watching people walk to work, then meeting up with friends, going to work; everything is so enjoyable. My backpack is almost completely packed now and everyone has been wishing me luck on my next ‘adventure.’ I spoke with my boss yesterday and she made me feel wonderful))) She wishes I didn’t have to leave because I am like a ray of sunshine to be around and people naturally like me. Awwwwwwwwwwwww….. just….. awwwwwwwww……….. Hearing people talk about me like this is really unexpected but so nice)))))

I really love Lviv, all of the buildings and the people. It’s been an amazing opportunity living here for so long. My birthday was estupendo!!! and it will be sad to leave such great people here. On Sunday we took a train to a small village an hour outside Lviv and sat by the lake for the afternoon. (Cue a beach calming picture – hahah)

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Anyways, I’m not really sure what my plans are for the future and I think it’s best this way. All I know is I am taking a car on Monday towards Lyon and after this, I will just see how it goes….


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♥ ♥ ♥

How to Train for a Half-Marathon

Here are some good tips I would like to share for your training and race day for a half marathon:

1. Run long-distances everyday, as long as possible. Mileage is key.

2. Rest days are for the weak.

3. Don’t worry about strength training, as running all the time will build muscle in your legs automatically.

4. Since you are burning off so many calories, I recommend eating lots of high calorie foods like sweets, chocolate, and drinking beer (it has a lot of nutritious carbs that are perfect for running.) As they say, a beer a day……

5. The longer you own a pair of running shoes, the more worn in they will be. (Preferably a few years old.) This will prevent any injuries that new shoes often cause. 

6. Set your training schedule to a couple weeks before the event. This will give you plenty of time to train.

7. At the start of the race, it’s most important to run as quickly as possible, to pass everyone straight away.

Okay, in reality, that’s the worst advice and I am so tired right now, I can’t think of any more sarcastic tips.

Anyways, today I have completed my first half marathon. To be honest at the moment, it is a bit of a daze and I can’t remember much. The start was difficult for me actually and for some reason, it was because I was having so many flashbacks of my past… but the very bad memories. When I finally started to feel better, at 5K there was the biggest hill that seemed to just never end. Then flat, downhills, more hills. It became more interesting when we reached the forest after 45 minutes, which was gorgeous and I didn’t think about anything but running. I tried to take in as much as possible, but by still going as fast as I could. From the rain the last few days it was just so muddy and going downhill was really difficult because I was sliding everywhere, but it made it more interesting (I guess). Only after 15K, my leg was really playing up. I was waiting for this moment because my left heel has been really hurting during the week but I thought by taking pain killers and putting numbing cream on it this morning, it would help)) With 6K of running left, on the most pain I have ever felt, I was determined not to give up, and once I knew I only had 2 kilometres left, I sprinted to the end with 4:20min/km, so I am overall happy with my race and time (2 Hours, 7 Minutes). I bought some new running shoes in celebration. Mike said there was a shop, you trade in your old shoes and get new ones for half off, so now I have super shiny new shoes, wahooooo)))))

But now I think my foot is broken and after trying to be social in the centre today after the race, I am limping very badly now and the pain is excruciating. Helen will call me tomorrow to see how I am because she is insisting that I need to go to the hospital.

 

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So after much thought and consideration….

I have decided to leave Ukraine. It’s been a very difficult decision but in reality I planned to stay here for only 2-3 weeks and by the time I leave (the end of May), it will have been over 8 months!

For now, all I have planned is to try to enjoy as much of Ukraine as possible before I leave. 

Last weekend, it was a long weekend and we went to the mountains for a music festival, which was just so great. I got to drive for a few hours there and back, and we camped right along the river, making our own fire and I had a bath in the mornings in the river. Saturday we went hiking and after an hour or two it was pouring with rain so we ran down the hill and came across a small house, where we asked if we could stay until the rain stopped. It was an old-fashioned house, traditional kitchen stove. There wasn’t much in the house, just the kitchen and bedroom, but the man, wife and two kids living there were just so amazing and very modest. The wife took our shoes and coats and hung them above the fire and cooked us some food, showed us old photos. I was just speechless and it was an indescribable feeling! But I am OVER THE MOON with excitement!!! As we were leaving, we gave them some money for their kindness and she gave the 3 of us each a bag of dried, but hand picked mushrooms from the mountains. Really, just amazing………