Week 19 – Wings for Life!

On Sunday 7 May, I, along with 155,000-odd people took part in the Wings for Life charity run (for spinal cord research) which is held in approximately 100 different locations around the world.

It’s a simple concept. At exactly the same time all over the world, runners gather at the start line, be it day or night, rain or shine (and in our case extreme heat) at the start time. The whistle blows and everyone all over the world starts to run. There is no finish line though… 30 minutes after the start time, a ‘catcher car’ is set off at 15km/hour in each location and it has to catch the runners. Every 30 minutes it increases speed gradually; 16km/hour, 17km/hour, 18km/hour, and then it sits at 20km/hour for 2 hours. And the people are still running out ahead of it. Well, most of them anyway.

Under the UAE flag at the start line in Dubai

When the car eventually catches you, at whatever distance you have managed to reach, you have to stop running and you are recorded at that distance. Some people make only a few km’s – in Dubai specifically there were many people pulling out before the car even set off or managed to catch them, due to the heat.

Catcher Car

But soooo many runners are able to push the limits of running and keep going for hours as the car tries to catch them, and the last person standing – worldwide – is declared the overall winner. Of course, there are winners in each destination, but to be the last person standing is a massive accomplishment… and in this year’s case, the overall winner was not standing. Instead, he was in a wheelchair, and he pushed himself 92km’s before the car caught up with him!

And to top it off, he was in DUBAI! Where the temperature was approximately 41 °C at the start at 3pm!!!! An incredible accomplishment in so many ways!

I managed to round up 4 people, plus myself, from my work to get out there in the crazy heat and run for those who can’t, and I’m proud to say that we had 2 runners who did exceptionally! They made 16km’s and 11.5km’s…. I followed not too far behind at 8km’s, and then we had a 7km finisher and one runner, unfortunately, had to pull out at 5km’s, before the car even caught him. But an incredible run by everyone considering the extreme weather we endured for the run.

Me, at 6km’s… didn’t think I’d make 7km’s so took a photo at 6 🙂

I hope I am able to take part in this event next year (although it would be great to do it in slightly better weather!), and I urge everyone reading this to get involved too! It is a wonderful event for a great cause, and it is so inspiring to be part of this!

Run, walk or crawl – but do it for those who can’t!

April Challenge: Run Every Day

A while back I tried to complete a run-every-day challenge that I set myself, however I was unable to complete it… so I decided to try again, but this time instead of announcing it and then feeling foolish when not able to complete it, I kept it to myself except for telling a few running buddies.

And you know what?! I did it! I ran 30 times during the month of April. I had 2 slight ‘adjustments’ during the month 1) I actually started on 31st March & skipped 1st April for a bunch of reasons; 2) I was unable to run on 5th April due to time constraints so I ran twice on the 6th 🙂 So, a total of 30 runs, in 30 days, for a total of 140.06 km’s for the month!

I had 2 simple rules:

  1. Run every day, a minimum of 2km’s per day
  2. HAVE FUN!

And here’s how it went:

Obviously I started off all gung-ho and ready to go, and runs were easy-peasy. I had to really force myself to cut runs short knowing that this was going to be a big month in total.

I had a 10km race in the middle of the month, which ended up being a bit of a fail. My body was feeling fine but mentally I wasn’t ready for the race nor did I want to be racing, so I struggled for most of it, until about the 7th km where my body and mind decided to work together and I flew through the last 3 km’s. Go figure.

The rest of the time was pretty neutral – getting out there every day and doing my thing. Sometimes going a bit hard (especially when it was an interval training session!), sometimes just plodding through my 2 km’s, and sometimes enjoying a nice long, slow run at the track with friends.

The last 5 days were incredibly difficult to get motivated to run. Not that my legs were tired or sore or anything, just that mentally I had had enough. I was thankful that one of those days included a ‘long’ run with friends on the weekend which made that day much more bearable and enjoyable…. while the other days were simply awful and I only just managed the 2km minimum I’d set myself as a rule.

However, on one of those days in the last week, I had scheduled it to be a 5km run-day. I got changed after work to head over to the autodrome, but on my way there decided to head home and run within JVC instead. I made it home, but then only made it as far as lying on my bed for a while, while I argued with myself to get out there and RUN! I eventually convinced myself that I just need to do 2 km’s… not even 15 minutes of running… so get. out.there! And I ended up absolutely loving the run, and doing 4km’s by the end of it! What a great feeling it was 🙂

And then last night when I got home from work I laced up my shoes and headed out the door, with a 5km run in mind, as that would give me 140 km’s for the month.

Not even halfway into the run my body started telling me that it’s time to rest – 30 days of running is now enough. But I was determined to get my 140 km’s so I did around half of the ‘run’ as a walk, but the last km was thoroughly enjoyable as my legs opened up and I dashed home – looking forward to putting my legs up and NOT running.

140.06 km’s in the bag 🙂 The highest monthly mileage I have ever done – the next closest month was 101 km’s in November last year.

Running to breakfast – Kite Beach

With the temperatures starting to soar at the moment, the runs are potentially getting shorter, slower and less frequent.

However, I have really started loving my long(er) runs one morning of the weekend and I intend carrying them through, right until the end of summer…. and so this past weekend I rounded up a small group of 4 (including me) and we headed off to the kite beach running track where we could each do our own distance without worry of losing each other too much.

My goal was 10 km’s, and the others didn’t really have a distance in mind, so we all set off and then pulled off when they had had enough.

And after all of that, we headed to breakfast!

We decided on having breakfast just there at kite beach, at a café / restaurant called Park Place…. very yummy fresh juices and basic, but delicious meals. Win Win 😀