Week 5 – Cross Country racing!

This ‘something new’ of mine was actually meant to have happened in November last year, but for various unfortunate reasons it did not happen (I arrived at the race, but did not finish it)… and so that means that it is still technically ‘something new’ and I get to share it with you this week instead 🙂

It’s not very often in Dubai that you get to take part in a race that is a) not flat, or b) not on the road. Until Super Sports decided to introduce us to Cross Country Racing out at Mushrif Park.

These races are run on approximately 70% soft sand, it includes one pretty steep (albeit short) hill at the end of each lap, and then a teeny weeny bit of road running to keep things interesting. And interesting it is. I loved every second of this race!

I entered the 10km route and didn’t want to get too ballsy with my expectations, so all I set out to do was get as close under 1 hour as I could. My training in January has been exceptional (140km’s covered for the month!) so I knew my legs had it in me; I just wasn’t so sure about the soft sand business.

Right from the start, I settled in just slightly behind a girl who looked very strong through the sand, but wasn’t going too fast that I couldn’t keep up… so I stuck by her. There were times I would have been able to overtake but I decided to hang back a bit as did not want to tire myself out too early on… and yes, I did eventually tire her out and was able to run past her and not look back 🙂

I finished the first lap (5km’s) and was feeling great… and so I decided to just keep at this pace for the rest of the race, and then really give it a push on the road bit at the end. And everything worked out perfectly!

I came into the last stretch, ran up that asshole hill, down the other side, and then gunned it for the finish line…. finishing in a time of 58 minutes 🙂 Happy Hazy! And the official results show that I placed 5th out of 20 females in the 10km race 🙂 🙂

Week 3 – Palm run

I probably shouldn’t have run this race 😥

A little over a week ago I got up early and went for a run before work. But I had to cut it short after only 5km’s as I experienced a sharp pain in my leg and had to hobble my way home. The next day at work my leg would ache every time I stood up. This was not looking good.

I phoned my sports massage therapist and made the earliest appointment I could: Sunday afternoon. He had a look at my leg, we chatted about the symptoms and surrounding aches and pains, but he could not give me a definitive answer as to what was causing the pain 😦 The plan was then to TAKE IT EASY for the week. I had to head out for 2 x run/walk sessions, the first one being just 20 mins and the second one being 40 minutes. Both of them brought about absolutely zero pain!

Green light to race – provided I don’t push it with any PB hopes in mind. Fine.

Up bright and early on Friday morning after a fabulously quiet and early night on Thursday, I headed off to the Palm Mono Rail to catch the metro across to Aquaventure to get to the start of the race.

I met up with a few of the other optimalFITNESS runners around and we all lined up for the start together, to then head out at our own pace for the race…. mine being ‘slow’!

I didn’t have anything other than feel to go on so I couldn’t accurately judge my pace – I just went at what felt like ‘slow’. By about 3km’s I was feeling great – no pains in the leg – so decided to pick up the pace ever-so-slightly. And by 5km’s that was a fool thing to have done 😦 I felt the niggle come on and by about 5.5km’s I stopped to walk for a bit. Then ran for a bit and was then forced to walk more by the time I reached 7km’s… I was SORE!

I contemplated pulling out of the race (I had told myself that if I got sore I would do so) but if you’re a runner out there reading this, you know how hard it is to do that! I just could not bring myself to sit out and wait for an ambulance to come fetch me and drive me the last 3 km’s back to the start/finish line… I would cross it, no matter how long it took, or how slow I had to go. But I would attempt a little hobble run as and when I could. So the last 3 km’s were very much walk/run, until the last few hundred meters that I ran to cross the finish line.

I don’t deserve this…

And then really felt the pain!

I could not put any pressure on my leg and walking was not really an option except for completely limping. NOT HAPPY!

So while the race was something new with these beautiful views of the Dubai skyline, it is a race that I really should not have done and I know that, but it’s just so hard to make that decision to not run… I now have to find out what’s causing this pain and hope that my chances at running RAK in 3 week’s time have not been ruined 😥

I went home after the race, had a lovely bubble bath and then lay on my bed with my feet in the air, while getting some study reading done… at least a good book and a cat cuddling me are two ways to put a smile on my face!

Unhappy Hazy 😦

I’ll be back with updates on my leg’s progress… fingers crossed for me please!

Dubai Desert Road Run, September 2017

The first race of the season has taken place, and I am pretty happy with my results 🙂

I knew it was going to be a bit tough on the day, what with temperatures still being a bit warm, and judging by how I’d battled in the 10km training run the week before, but I did what I could to alleviate any hassles and prepared myself properly the day before.

Lots and lots of hydrating, no alcohol, fooooood, a good night’s rest. Not much more you can do than that.

So, my alarm went off at 4:15am (ouch!), I was up, got ready, had my standard oats for breakfast and headed off. I also ate a ‘race food’ bar on arrival at the race while we were starting to warm up and hanging about, waiting for the start.

This was the first time that I’d run as part of a ‘team’, which was really good fun! A whack of the guys I do my interval training with were all running so we all donned our team shirts for the day 🙂 It looked really good out on the course!

optimalTEAM

Other than expecting an under-an-hour finish, I didn’t really have much of a plan in mind for this race. I ended up slotting behind one of the runners who I know is a little bit faster than me, but she was going at a really good pace for me at the beginning, and I managed to keep up with her without feeling like it was too much work. However, at halfway she all of a sudden shot off and that was me, now all on my own. But I kept going at the same pace as it had felt really good until I eventually found someone else that I kept pace with… until she too took off on a burst and left me in the dust 😉

But the km’s kept ticking down until it was less than 1 to go. I knew I’d pick it up as soon as we entered the final stretch and so when that last bit was upon me, I stretched the legs out a little until the last couple hundred meters when I then gunned it – to cheers from the coach on the sideline, having already finished his race – and crossed the line in 56:48!

Not a bad precedent for the start of the season 🙂