Dubai Desert Road Run, September 2017

The first race of the season has taken place, and I am pretty happy with my results ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 cafรฉ / restaurant called Park Place…. very yummy fresh juices and basic, but delicious meals. Win Win ๐Ÿ˜€

Week 3 – IGNITEDUBAI Race at Meydan

This week saw another running first for me – a new race held out in the grounds of Meydan Golf Course, sponsored by Puma… the #IGNITEDUBAI Series.

Although this was the first race of the new series, I knew it was going to be a good race because I have been running in races done by the organisers (Super Sports) since I started running in Dubai, and I know that they know what they’re doing and always put on a good run.

#IGNITEDUBAI

#IGNITEDUBAI

Of course, this was no exception.

It was a night race, which felt really weird. I’ve done one night race before – the very first We Run Dubai – and still have no idea how to fuel / eat properly before the race.

And unfortunately this time it failed me completely… but I’ll get to that ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So, I arrived early at the event, heading over straight after work, and spent the time doing a few warm up runs and just generally pottering about a bit, until they called the racers to the start line for the countdown.

In the starting chute

In the starting chute

We headed off, and my first 4km’s felt great, getting them ticked off in just 21 minutes! In the 5th km I took a tiny walk break as had probably set out just a tad too quick, but was then back on it and again feeling pretty strong.

Until just before the 7th km mark. That’s where the wheels fell off. Quickly.

My gut decided that it was time to find a toilet. NOW. But unfortunately there are no porta-potties on this run because it’s just a 5km loop, out on the back roads of the golf course ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I had to stop and walk a bit, and then carried on again – it’s only 3 km’s to go! I kept chanting the distances to myself… getting closer with each step. I managed to find a batch of strength and took off with a shot, trying to get to that finish line the toilets as quickly as possible ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Running across the bridge - very blurry as taken while actually running ;)

Running across the bridge – very blurry as taken while actually running ๐Ÿ˜‰

The 9th km was a total fail (7:30 it took me to finish it!) and at one point, with probably only about 700m (yes, 700m!) to go, I actually sat on the ground and had a little cry, and had 2 people stop and ask if I was ok. “Yes”, I said, and waved them on – wasn’t going to go into the gruesome details ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Well, I eventually managed to stand up, pull myself towards myself and get to the finish line! I even managed to smile as I crossed that line in just 57:22 – and made a beeline for the toilets! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, what did I learn from all of this – well, to not eat chocolate before running!! That was the only thing that I had done differently to any other day when running in the evenings… not the right day to risk something like that, but honestly, I really did not think it would affect me like that. Lesson learned ๐Ÿ˜‰

All in all it was a good race – very well organised, as always, and we got to enjoy a post-race meal that was part of our race fee that we paid. The course was relatively simple, but a decent enough route, and had some corners, u-turns and 2 tiny little hills as we ranย up, over and down the bridge.

Set up for post-race dinner :)

Set up for post-race dinner ๐Ÿ™‚

The next race of this series is in February – unfortunately I’ll be on holiday at the time so I’ll miss it, but theย one after that is in April and I intend on going back, and more than making up for my fail of this one!

My next racesย coming up are Wadi Bih in 2 weeks, and RAK Half Marathon in 3 weeks! ๐Ÿ˜Ž Always running โค

Pre-race smiles

Pre-race smiles