Friday, August 16, 2013

Lessons learned

Distance covered today: 8.07km (Him indoors did 7km because he got confused due to heat) in 1hr, 1min and 35secs. Yes, that really is a pathetic time but I had to walk 1700m of it because of, er, adverse conditions. Read on to find out more.

Today's orange picture: orange straws donated for a recent party by our excellent upstairs neighbours.

Distance covered this week: 17km

Run start time: 6.50am

Current temperature 38degrees in the shade, but feels a lot worse due to vile humidity of up to 95 per cent in coastal areas.

Inspirational running tune of the day: You know I'm no good, by Amy Winehouse

This is not exactly a particularly cheery track but it has an insistent beat that helps keep the legs going, and, it reminds me of this track that always reminds me of me Ma, who, this is all about after all:

I think she will probably go ballistic when she sees I have recounted this story, but it made a big impression on me at the time, and, is in a very small way, part of the reason why I exist, so it is worth sharing temporarily even if she tells me to take the story down.

It relates to a time it must have been the early 90s, there was a cover of Baby, you're no good was in the charts and I think I must have been singing it and mum overheard me. At which point, mum recounted a story of her own teenage years when the song was in the charts the first time around, saying she had been singing it a lot then as it had a particularly catchy chorus: "You're no good, you're no good, you're no good, baby you're no good." Unfortunately, her boyfriend of the time took it somewhat personally and decided that, despite her protests, she was, as the modern-day parlance goes, "not that into him" and broke it off with her before she could do the same to him.

This comedic deadpan genius with which my mum said: "I didn't mean anything by it, I just thought it was a catchy song", is difficult to get across on the page, but trust me, it was pretty funny. Who knows, if she had stayed with this somewhat over-sensitive chap she might never have married my father, and my sister and brother and I would not exist, and then where would the world be?

Anyway, back to the running. This morning, we headed to the Jumeirah Open Beach running track which looks a little bit, well, a lot like this:

It's 1.5km long, so we ran the length of it four times, then tacked an extra 2km on top of that, well, I did, him indoors got confused because of the absolutely revolting heat and humidity. I am laughing as I write this, now, because, for some reason, we thought there would be a "pleasant breeze" because of the proximity to the sea. Oh, how wrong we were.

The "lessons learned" I'm referring to on the title of this post are as follows:

1. We REALLY have to get up early than 6.15am if we are going to avoid the worst of the heat on these longer runs.
2. Running with no shade whatsoever in the current weather conditions is a terrible, terrible idea.
3. Pleasant breeze by the sea? Ha and a thousand times, ha! In one direction, yes, in the other, crippling humidity and baking sun with no trees or buildings to shade under, more like.
4. It grieves me to say this, considering the line of work of him indoors, but I may have to desist from tipping my usual bucket of New Zealand Sauv Blanc down my neck of a Thursday night if our Friday morning runs are going to get any less painful.
5. While I have previously claimed that I can listen to any music when I run, in actual fact, in these conditions, the wrong kind of music can be the last psychological step you need to make you slow down to a stop.
Case in point today: This track got me going again today after having to slow to a walk thinking I was going to faint:

Job done, one of the all time brilliant inspiration running songs, along with the theme from Chariots of Fire. Perfect. Unfortunately, this came on next:

It's a great piece, which I love to play as much as I love to listen to it. Unfortunately, it is 10 minutes of slow, melancholy, soul-searching misery, and, it's safe to say that it's not conducive to keeping on running. So, along with properly early starts from now on (And I mean it this time. No, really I do) an upbeat running playlist for the iPod is another must.

So, we survived the run, just, and then, hooray, we were at the beach, so off we went for a swim and a muscle loosen in the tepid waters of the Arabian Sea. Unfortunately, a jellyfish had other ideas and stung me as I was performing a leg stretch in chest deep water. Off to the lifeguard we went. Thankfully, he didn't offer to wee on me, as I understand that the usefulness of urine on jellyfish stings is an urban myth perpetuated by Monica and Chandler in Friends, rather, he went to get a spray bottle of vinegar from the beach office and treated it that way. It ruddy well hurt at the time, but the vinegar seemed to do the trick, and in order to salvage a somewhat stressful outing, we went here for breakfast:

A, ahem, mature-looking biker did indeed turn up while we were there, but it's not just bikers that go there. Him indoors had a pepperoni omelette, which was really a mess of eggs, sausage and green pepper in a scalding hot iron pot, but it was tasty enough, and I had eggs benedict.

Today's run was not entirely a failure as I am choosing to treat it as a learning experience. And, when I turned to social media for solace, I discovered that Dubai Creek Striders who are really quite serious runners, had described today's conditions as Humidity 1, Dubai Striders 0, so I felt slightly less bad about having to give up and walk on a run that is a long way less than half of what we have to do on 18th October.

Most of you know why we have apparently lost our minds and decided to train for a half marathon in one of the hottest places on earth during the hottest part of the year, but in case you don't, click here. Any donations would be most gratefully received. 

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