A Mudless Life: Back To The Dusty Place

So my short trip home, to Australia, ended and I have returned to the sandy skyscrapers on the edge of the Arabian Gulf. The weather is a lot cooler than it was at the end of October, which is making exercising out here (and outside) a lot easier than it was over those hot and humid summer months. If you would like a reminder of those days then read this.

I have been in Doha for a week. Now that I am over my jet lag, I am beginning to get some sense of a running and exercise routine back. My next major running goal will be the Great Ocean Road Marathon in May, in Oz. I ran the half last year and not only loved it but set a new half marathon PB.

So I can probably sit back and take it easy for a few months before I jump back into marathon training.

WRONG

My race schedule in November meant that I couldn’t really stop through November. So, post-Marysville, I just sort of kept going. Now that I am back in the land of fast cars, hotel bars and crazy expat runners – just keeping going has a weird sort of appeal.

Plans

My running club have a social race series called the ‘Ultra Trail (Qatar)’ which is a series of trail runs around Zekreet over the Winter.

zekreet

Each race has 2 distances. Through the luck of people dropping out I have managed to secure a spot on the 20K run this coming Friday.

In January is the Doha Marathon. If my contract extension/renewal goes through I am planning to run the full 42K distance.

Beyond that, I am just keeping my legs ticking over and working on my strength until my partner visa comes through or I need to start training for the GORM.

Plans: 20K Trail

With a total vertical ascent of about 15 meters and hard packed sand for the bulk of the course I am planning to get around the 20K at about 10K per hours, maybe picking up the pace on the second half of the course to try to get my time down. Looking at times for the other trail events I think I will finish in the top half of the field.

Ideally I would run the whole thing at about 5:30/K which would get me round on track for setting a new PB for my half marathon distance – but THIS IS a trail race and I am not exactly in peak race condition at the moment. It will be fun though!

Plans: Doha Marathon

Deadline for entry is the 31st December. DBRC running and fitness buddy Simon is training for the Dubai Marathon at the end of January so I am doing long runs with him which will mean I should have the miles in my legs for Doha on Jan 8th. Although it will be my second marathon distance – I am more interested in setting a time on the flat, something to aim for a GORM and an exercise in perfecting my race feeling strategy or general pacing strategy.* 4 ½ hours would be good.

*I now appear to be running marathons as training exercises. Scared now!

Plans: Bootcamp

With much more clement weather, doing the evening bootcamp session on the Corniche have become so much more pleasant. I have done 2 sessions this week and am feeling it as I type this post, but I need to increase my limb and core strength – especially if I am going to run up and down hills for the next few years.

With no major training goals on my immediate horizon, doing a bootcamp 3 nights a week (work permitting) will be a good way to do it. Plus the bootcamper expats are as mad as the DBRC expats and the sense of community is infectious.

To add some colour to this post, this is the view from my hotel room.

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