Friday, August 9, 2013

Operatic running

Start time: 6.36am

Temperature at finish: 36.5C

Current temperature 42.5C

Distance covered: 6.47km in 43mins46 seconds. Not VG, but give me a break, it's flippin' hot and I'm feeling a bit unnecessary.

Distance covered this week: 14.53km

Today's inspirational running music: Tre Sbirri, Una Carrozza.. from Puccini's Tosca

You might be slightly bemused by today's orange picture. No, I haven't gone all corporate, well, only to the tiniest of degrees. This is a close up of the box my new trainers came in. I am buying more Nike products than I might once have done for two reasons:

1. The sportswear giant runs a free running club in Dubai and which involves not just running circuits for hours on end but a bit of strength and agility training and it is safe to say that without it, my running would not have improved nearly as much in the past couple of years. and

2. It seems to be the only brand currently in Dubai that has facilities (at Dubai Festival City) to test your gait to make sure you are wearing the right shoes. This is invaluable to someone like me who has suffered with bad knees in the past. I run a bit like Charlie Chaplin with my feet turned out, partly due to 10 years or so of studying ballet, partly because I am just a little bit strange. My dad always says I run like I have my knees tied together, which is, after all, what fathers are for, but, it's safe to say that having good shoes to run in so I don't put strain on my knees is pretty important. So far so good, no dreaded, sickening, squeaky internal pop of tendons or ligaments doing what they are not meant to. You will know exactly what I am talking about if you have ever had problem with your knees because it is a feeling that stays with you for quite some time.

We are a day late doing our long run of the week because we had a party on Thursday night which left us feeling all a bit unnecessary for the larger part of yesterday. Still, back on track now. The slight unnecessaryness that segued somewhat unpleasantly into early this morning is probably the reason for today's inspirational running music, a somewhat dirge-like excerpt from Tosca. At this point in the opera, the scheming Baron Scarpia orders men to follow Tosca, because he thinks she is about to lead them to her lover Cavaradossi, who he suspects of having rebel Republican sympathies. He then sings his plan to have Cavaradossi executed and have Tosca for himself. All the while, the chapel choir sings the Te Deum, reminding him of the conflict between his passion for Tosca and his faith in God.

It is not exactly uplifting stuff but I find the swelling music and the repeated alternating notes in the lower register instruments are actually quite conducive to distracting you from the heat and the sweat running into your eyes. Dramatic crescendos don't half help you get up the (admittedly piddling) hills around Downtown Dubai as well.

In the mean-time, it is useful to keep reminding myself why the heck I am doing this. It is only recently that I started following developments in the treatment of Myeloma and it does seem that, as relatively rare as the disease may be, there are fairly regular developments in the drugs used to treat it, as you can see from this link here.

I have also embedded a short film (ahem, have only just realised how to do that) on Myeloma and why it is important to raise awareness and funds.

And click here for our fundraising page. It has gone somewhat quiet on the donation front recently but Dubai folks, watch this space for an amusing evening of fundraising frivolity coming your way soon.

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