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!

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RAK 2017 in the bag

Another RAK half marathon is done and dusted… but this time I was not able to get a PB on the run. I’m a little upset at myself for not getting it, but I know that I have not put in the proper training and amount of mileage needed in order to get that PB, so considering that I at least managed to finish faster than my half in November, I’m satisfied with the outcome.

As always, I spent Thursday night in RAK (this time with Nat) and got a good night’s sleep in a comfy hotel bed before the big day!

We were up bright and early, eating our oats for breakfast and then met up with friends who were running in their first half marathon! Exciting!!!

Our hotel was only 1.1 km’s from the start / finish line so we walked across, and headed straight for our start chute, and waited for the gun to go off and set us all on our way.

My plan was to aim for 5:30 – 5:40 km pace, for as much as possible, knowing that at that pace I was certain to get a sub-2 hour finish time. And my first 10 km’s were bang on!

But once I was just past 10 km’s I felt uneasy in my breathing and had to take a short walk break. I picked it up again after only a few meters, but by the time I got to 12 km’s, based on how I’d slowed down in that time, I knew I was not likely to get under 2 hours…. but if I could just stick to under 6 minutes per km, I was sure that I would still be in line for a PB.

I kept at it, but once again somewhere after 13 km’s I had to stop and walk again. I grew frustrated at myself here but knew that I had a very long way to go, and I was not going to let this race get the better of me. All I had to do was make sure I slowed down and kept to a steady pace… slow and steady.

With the new layout of the course, the 15 km mark is on the opposite side of the road to the start / finish line, so as I was coming up to that mark there were tons of spectators around, giving off such a fantastic vibe (even though it was mostly for the runners on the other side of the road who were crossing the finish line), but I then heard my name and turned to see a friend standing there, cheering for me 🙂 What a way to give a girl her second wind! I immediately felt strength surge through my legs and lungs and off I went.

I got to about 17 km’s and felt the wheels loosen a bit again… another small walk break was needed. And then I was off again, turning the corner, only 3 km’s to go. You’ve got this!

Er, no you don’t. Only a few hundred meters along and yet another walk break was needed 😦

This was just before 19 km’s and I then told myself that it’s just 2 km’s to go – you can run the rest of the way! Go girl!

But once again a tiny walk break was needed while I still could not see the finish line, but then, not far ahead of me I could see the 20 km mark – I was not going to be walking when I reached that, and there was no way that I would walk within this last km!

I shoved out all bad thoughts and put one foot in front of the other, gave the 20 km mark a high five as I ran past – once again hearing my friend cheer me on from the side line 🙂 – and pushed my way over that finish line, managing a strong (almost) sprint for the last hundred meters or so, and finished in a time of 2:05:15 🙂

About to cross the finish line

About to cross the finish line

Done and dusted!

Done and dusted!

5 Neighbourhoods. 1 Run

Last night was my last long run scheduled before the big race in 10 days time… the RAK Half Marathon has once again arrived!

Another thing that’s arrived is my race pack for the half marathon – that arrived today finally 🙂 Excited! New start / finish point, new route, hopefully new PB (fingers crossed!)

All the goodies :)

All the goodies 🙂

So, about last night’s run…

Well, I decided to try out a new route that would incorporate 5 neighbourhoods. I had a rough idea of the route mapped out in my head, I packed my gu’s, laced up, and headed out the door – not entirely certain if this was logistically possible, but I had to knock out 16 km’s somewhere.

JVC → Sports City → Motor City → Studio City → Arabian Ranches (and back).

And you know what?! It was awesome! It involved a couple of times having to stop at traffic lights, once for a very long time as it’s a huge intersection, and I probably shouldn’t have been running around the massive round-about across Umm Suqeim Street, but other than that it was a fabulous run!

My aim was to have a slow and steady, long distance run – more about the length of time and distance on my feet than the time I was able to complete the run in… and I perfectly accomplished what I was after 🙂

I felt strong practically the whole way – had a bit of a struggle at about 12 km’s but it disappeared once my gu sweet kicked in, and I was strong right to the finish!

It reminded me that I am strong enough to crack through the half marathon next weekend… but will I be able to break my previous PB?! Only time will tell, I guess!

I just have Wadi Bih this weekend to get through and then it’s clear sailing until the half…

So, until then, never stop running!