I am out of the habit of posting running stats within my blogs as often the story is more interesting than the science. But this time, the science will help me to illustrate the toughness of this particular running journey, the journey home – or at least back to the hotel.
I run from work to the hotel at least twice during a shift block. My preferred route is down Khalifa Street and past QPost before heading towards West Bay along the Corniche. This is probably one of my favorite places to run in Doha.
I am not entirely sure what prompted me to trash my usual 3-4 mile route for a longer 7’ish mile run. Probably my recent spate of tready miles and the refreshing run with the Doha Bay Runners. I suspect though, that I just wanted to run long.
My heart sank, along with my 4KG backpack, a little when I reached my turnaround point and looked across the bay to the Sheraton Hotel, my 1 mile to go mark, it’s a long way away from this end. But I had done the first 5 and a bit kilometers in about 30 minutes so I was making good time. I expected that the most mentally challenging part of this run would be when I hit the Corniche for the first time, this was still true. Now, some 2K’s away from that moment, feeling like a noob, I had a physical flashbacks to North London in the single digit noughties; when I was 15kg heavier and 1km loops were my limit.
I wanted to stop, let the Corniche pass me by but I wasn’t going too, this was tough but my needs were simple, to finish and the path was obvious, 7km in a northerly direction. The air is thick with moisture, the flat promenade feels like a mountain. I think accuweather lied about the humidity.
An eternity later, I reach the zero point marker; a water station and the home stretch, one mile to go. Just. Need. To. Keep. Going.
This is the furthest I have run outside in Doha and I feel like I earned the high this time. I know this will get easier the more i do it and with marathon training beginning a little over a week away, adaptation is an inevitable.