# 52 – Running into the new year

Well hello there! Yes, I am still alive and still blogging… I just had so much fun on holiday with my family that I didn’t go anywhere near a computer except to pay bills 😮

So, I’m now finally back in Dubai, back at work and trying to get back to blogging – I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do so please bear with me until I’m up to date…

What do you have to look forward to until I’m up to date?

  • Finishing off my 52 new things from 2015 – this post 🙂
  • Starting the 2016 version of 52 new things… I’m already 1 week behind, and it doesn’t look good for me getting week 2 out on time 😦
  • An overview of my fantastic holiday back home…. first Christmas with the family in SEVEN years!
  • I’ll be updating my ‘About me’ page with some exciting info and links – stay tuned!

Ok, so now that that’s out the way… the most important part of this particular post is Week 52 – Boxing day run with mom

Of course when I went on holiday I packed running shoes and clothes and fully intended on getting some training in… and I managed to stick to that, even though it was only 3 very short runs!

The first of those runs was a Boxing Day run with my mom – I’ve never gone out at 7:30am on Boxing Day for a run, and I’ve never gone on a run with my mom… so it was a big win-win 🙂

I do a lot more running than my mom so we’re not on the same level, but we decided it would be fun to try this together anyway.

We headed out nice and early – Christmas day was an early-ish finish so getting up early wasn’t too much of a problem. We ran for quite a long time together until eventually my mom told me to go on ahead without her. I decided to do a slightly longer route than she had planned, and on my way back I had this competitive voice in my head telling me that I had to catch her… unfortunately I only managed to see her as she was turning the last corner back at home and I still had to run along that bit of road to the end.

(However, in the next 2 runs that we did I managed to catch up to her both times 🙂 )

I hope everyone had a wonderful festive season and that 2016 has started out on a good foot for you!

I’m looking forward to what 2016 has to bring!

# 51 – Hill Repeats

To be a runner all you really need to do is get out there and run.

But to be a better runner, you should include various types of other workouts in your training to assist in speed, endurance, strength and all over body fitness… some of these workouts being HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), hills, cross training (swimming / cycling) etc.

In the last few months I’ve tried to include these other types of training into my workout schedule – I already do lots of strength training with my kickboxing and gym, so I’ve now tried to focus on more of the alternate ‘running’ workouts – intervals and hills.

I did hill training for the first time this past week and boy did I love it!

I went to the Dubai autodrome for my usual run there. I did one full lap and then doubled back on myself to get to the hill bit. I jogged down the hill, put my water bottle down and caught my breath a bit.

And then I gunned it up the hill!

And jogged back down.

I did this a bunch of times – maybe 8? I lost count. But all in all I did a little over 3km’s of running up and down the hill. I pretty much went until I was exhausted and then headed back to the pits at a very easy jog pace.

I will most definitely be including those more often in my training – maybe they should be my weekly Wednesday autodrome run?! Or at least every second week…

Unfortunately I forgot to take photos during my run to give you an idea of what the hill actually looks like so I outsourced some photos from a friend…. it’s quite difficult to show the elevation changes around a track like this, but trust me – it’s steep!

And now I leave you with this:

# 50 – Qatar

6 months ago I was asked to travel to Doha, Qatar for work because the company I work for has an office there.

Visa applications went in but got rejected for some reasons that I’m still unable to understand…. it was an awful feeling – I’ve been to 35 countries and NEVER had an issue with getting a visa (as a South African passport holder it is a pain in the backside, but we require visas prior to arrival for pretty much any country we visit 😡 )

Anyway, we were eventually told to apply again once the visa was out the system. This was meant to take 3 months. It took 5! But once it was out the system, applications were sent in again, and this time everything was accepted and tickets were finally booked for me to visit the Doha office!

It was only a short trip – fly in on Monday morning, fly back to Dubai on Tuesday evening. This meant that I didn’t have much time to do anything other than work during the day, and was taken for dinner by my colleague in the evening, but it was still an enjoyable bit of time away from Dubai, and I finally get to add Qatar to my list of countries visited (I’ve transited through Doha many times, but have never counted it).

Here are a few pictures I managed to snap in my short time outside of the office 🙂

Christmas at The W Hotel

Christmas at the Radisson Blu Hotel

Shoe shining at the Radisson Blu

Shoe shining at the Radisson Blu

Nougat covered in rose petals - smelled like roses! Was quite weird to eat...

Nougat covered in rose petals – smelled like roses! Was quite weird to eat…

Strange, yet almost ‘friendly’ statues all over Doha Airport