Maybe it’s the fatigue, maybe it’s the night shifts (there is a difference between the two), maybe it’s the March Equinox. Whatever it is, the light in Doha is particularly special at the moment. As the (not so) cold winter sun filters through the dusty dusk, it illuminates the gleaming glass buildings that populate the West Bay metacity. In the distance, the Torch hotel dissolves into the evening dust, reminding me of scenes from Star Trek movies.
*Hard to see I know, but in the evening, the Torch hotel dissolves into the horizon just like the shadowy monoliths of the Iowa starship yard in Star Trek.
It is on days like this, when the hot-but-not-too hot weather draws everyone outside. Expats, locals and tourists all mixing together in various clothing styles and group sizes, making the metacity feel truly futuristic with its ‘build it and they will come’ city planning and multicultural promenade demographic. With all the craziness going on in the world; mad weather, American politics and a series of proxy wars – both real and sociological – being fought – what feels – globally at themoment. This little bubble of society in Qatar feels extraterrestrial right now, even peaceful, heck – optimistic – especially with the new campaign by the ministry of public health which is encouraging people to get out and exercise. It is on days like this that I don’t mind settling for being a road runner for the next 3 months. I do miss the tracks and trails of the Yarra Valley though.
Which brings me nicely to the crux of my piece
Friday just gone I managed to get along to the DBRC club run, something I have not been able to do for a while. Since…erm, October according to Garmin Connect.
So after almost 2 weeks of not running, it was nice to get out on streets once again, especially with the club. The bulk of us ended up doing two loops; a 5K loop, then another extended loop which ended up being 7/8K long. A nice way to do it actually, one small, one medium… If I had the energy I would have done another 5K loop after, but after 2 weeks my legs were complaining about hitting double figure k’age. So I stopped at 12.
I was considering doing a 111K Ultra in June. But after looking at the amount of training I will need to do between now and then, and my recent experience with a very unpredictable work roster, I cannot guarantee that I can maintain the 100K/Week training regimen that I was hoping to hit and thusly give the event the respectable amount of training needed to tackle the distance confidently.
So I am still planning on hitting 100K a week and I will do one or two 50K training runs between now and June, but I will not be running my first official ultra this year. Which means I WILL be doing Marysville again this year (Visa’s and family permitting). So my training will not be without goal and hopefully the long and high heat runs will allow me to build a nice base before official training for the marathon starts in September. This year, I will have access to some decent hills and maybe even actually be able to do a couple of practice runs on the course. Last year’s route is still burned into my frontal lobe so I should be able to break down some of the more technically challenging sections as part of my prep.
So my task over the next 3 1/2 months is to build up my base fitness to make me a strong marathoner/mini-ultra-marathoner – which means consistent training plans – something which has always been an issue with the type of shift work I do. But I think I have found a way, a simple 7 day training plan with options defined by whether I am on Days, Nights or am actually Off Work.
I am going to try it out this week. I think I can make it work.
Oh and on a lighter note, treadmill running means I am back on the Run Zombies! missions again. Nothing quite gets one through a treadmill session than the distraction of survival during a zombie apocalypse.