Adjusting to the new normal.

It’s been six weeks since I completed my 2200km run from Hanoi to HCMC.

Just over a week after I arrived in the city, we went into full lockdown. Not an ideal way to finish six months of my own company! But with the help of the zoom app, I managed to mainly stay positive.

Adjusting to my new normal has been strange. Somedays it feels as if the run never happened and other times I wake up and am surprised that I’m in the same place again and don’t have to cover 25kms.

Since my return to Saigon, in a socially responsible way, I’ve managed to catch up with everyone who supported me throughout my challenge. It’s been lovely having face-to-face conversations rather than over messages. I’ve definately eaten too much junk food and drunk too much booze but it’s been fun.

As the schools were closed, on my return to the city, I was unable to get supply work. Fortunately, a friend put me in touch with a family who wanted to support their 14 year old son with his online learning. As primary school teacher, this was pretty daunting. But I absolutely loved it and having to use my brain again. I’ve not done statistics in maths since I was at school, and I wasnt very good at it then! I learnt that students are expected to do so much more than I ever did and the level of work is hard! After a month of intense tuition, my student was caught up on all subjects and I could see a weight of worry had been lifted from his shoulders. He’s now gone back to school full time and is going to smash it! And I’m also sure he’s super glad to have gotten rid of me! 

After 13 weeks of school closures here in Vietnam, schools are gradually beginning to reopen. Sadly, one of the teachers at my old school here is stuck in Australia and is unable to return to work. This means that until he can, I am looking after his Year 5 class. I’ve only worked for 3 days and I am absolutely knackered! Although, tired I am loving being back in the classroom and will hopefully get used to the early mornings again soon.

Talking of early mornings, I’ve been setting my alarm for 4am on a Saturday to get up and do a long run. Yesterday I covered 34kms with my mate Pete, who is training for a marathon. Whilst on the road during namrunsnam, 34km would involve many Vietnamese coffees whilst lying in hammocks and a lunch stop. However, 34km here means actually running it and only quick breaks to grab a bottle of water. Yesterday almost broke me! I now have my sights set on my first official marathon and will sign up to one as soon as race life returns to normal.

As you may have gathered, I’ve not been put off running and am still covering about 30kms a week (this was just over my daily average a couple of months ago!). I’ve signed up for two trail races over the summer, one in Dalat and another in the mountains outside of Danang. I am also planning on running from Saigon down the the southern most point of Vietnam over the course of a few weeks too.

Since returning to the city, I’ve become very aware of my lack of strength and super slow running pace, so am using these races as a motivation to get stronger, fitter, faster and back into decent shape. I’ve signed up to a gym as well as a personal trainer and doesn’t my body know it! I’ve not had DOMS (muscle aches) like this in years! Bring it on!

I’ve begun the process of connecting with charities to find out how the namrunsnam money will be used to help the kids and women. My next blog post will update you more on this. What I do know is that this money will be life changing for so many Vietnamese, as sadly life has got even harder due to the virus outbreak.

The total now stands at an incredible £23126.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Love Naomi (aka Nam)

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