Week 46 – Aaaaaaannnnd FAIL!

I’ve just checked – it’s been about 5 months since I was unable to complete something new for the week. I think that’s a pretty good innings… and therefore, I don’t have to feel too bad about having done NOTHING new this past week 😦

And so, in order for me to fill up some space and attempt having a say about something, here’s a bit of an update on where I’m at in my running, and what’s ahead for the last few weeks of 2017:

  • I smashed out a brilliant 19.5 km training run on the weekend
  • Creek half marathon is in 3 week’s time
  • I’m off home for Christmas – one month today and I’ll be in South Africa for the holidays!
  • Studying is much harder than I anticipated… but I’m slogging away at it, putting in the hours and doing what I can
  • RAK half marathon will be the second week of February – and I plan on breaking the 2-hour barrier in that one…. eeeeekkkk
  • I’ll be back to doing something new next week 😉

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Company race day!

I managed to convince 14 of my colleagues to enter a race with me this past weekend 🙂

There were options on what distance to run – a few people choosing to run 3km’s, but most of them opting for the 5km’s… and me all on my own in the 16km option.

I arrived bright and early to pick up everyone’s race numbers and meet them away from the madness of the other runners collecting their numbers. Once we were all bibbed up and ready to go, we had a quick group photo and then off to the start line.

Unfortunately since I was the first to head off, and would be out there a lot longer than everyone else, I didn’t get to see any of them running, or finishing, or join in some of the photos after the race, but a few of them stayed behind and cheered me on across the finish line, which is always a great feeling!

And what a great race it was for me!!!

I ran this race about a month ago – the temperatures were still high, the humidity was high, it was a foggy start to the day with the sun coming out in full force about halfway into the race. It wasn’t the most race-friendly weather 😦 But, this time the temperatures and humidity had dropped a fair bit so I knew that I would be having a better run no matter what.

I had one goal in mind – stick to the average pace that I’d set for myself. About 3km’s into the race, a pair of runners came up next to me, and then went just ahead of me. I stayed behind them for a bit and when I realised that they were doing a few seconds faster per km than my initial planned pace, I decided to stick with them.

At about 8km’s I came up next to them as I noticed that they’d dropped by a couple of seconds per km and were now running slightly slower than my planned pace… but I decided to not get too full of myself and surge on ahead. Instead I kept them just behind me, keeping an eye on their shadow in my peripheral vision. And then at about 11km’s they came up next to me once again, and then just slightly in front 🙂 Once again, I fell in behind them and kept up with their now slightly increased pace.

We continued like this once again until at about 14km’s – only 2 to go! – and I realised that they were once again dropping by a few seconds so I decided to just surge on… it’s the home stretch! And so I opened up my run and crossed the finish line feeling extremely strong, knocking about 6 minutes off the race a month ago – and placing fourth in my age group!!!

I could not believe my eyes when I saw this! So I immediately clicked on my name to have a look at my race breakdown:

I absolutely smashed this run! I was in second place at 11.5km’s!! If only I’d surged on ahead at 8km’s a bit more… but being only halfway into the race I made the (probably wise) decision to not overdo things and preserve my energy for the end. But maybe a bit too preserved?!

Regardless, it was a great race. I’m supremely chuffed with myself as I’ve never come that close to a podium finish! And I definitely would have had enough juice in the legs to keep me going for another 5km’s at that pace when it’s half marathon time… which is a good sign for breaking the 2 hour barrier this season!

Coming in strong 🙂

I’m now looking into the next company run – likely to be February 2018 – and the staff are all rather excited about it! I’ve converted them! 🙂

Week 45 – Al Qudra Lakes camping site

At last! The temperatures in the UAE are dropping to below boiling, which means that we get to sit outside, enjoy more outdoor activities, not melt in your car… and go CAMPING!

I’ve camped plenty times in the UAE – mostly out in Fujairah – and it’s always a fabulous night out, sitting around the fire, music playing, drinks flowing, laughter a-plenty. So, this time we decided to try out a new-ish area, Al Qudra Lakes… an entirely man-made lake area, complete with wildlife, and it’s only approximately 30 minutes drive out from Mall of Emirates area. Winning!

(Taken off a Google search)

We loaded the cars with food, tents, sleeping things, drinks and people, and off we went. 6 of us girls were spending the night, and we had some friends joining just for the afternoon / dinner part of the fun… it’s so easy when it’s so close to home!

When we arrived we drove around the entire lakes area to find a spot – man is this place HUGE! We eventually settled on a spot and got sorted with unloading our goods and setting up camp… and then the serious business of making fire and stuffing our faces 🙂

It’s absolutely pitch black out there once the sun goes down; a real treat to be away from the lights and madness of Dubai for one night… which also means that the stars are AMAZING! Unfortunately no shooting stars for us though 😦

Sunset over the water

But that was not to spoil our night. We had a great time playing games, talking nonsense, having a giggle and enjoying a night out in the desert – to be woken up to the sounds of birds chirping. Fabulous!