Hello from Dubai! It's been several weeks since I've written one of these posts but I haven't really had many workouts to share lately but this week kicked off my first week of training for the Ottawa Marathon so it's time to resurrect these posts!
Now, Dubai. I arrived late last night for another mini vacation with The Pilot. After we barely skimmed the surface the last time we were here, I was itching to come back and, when The Pilot found himself with some time off work during a relatively quiet time for me at the office, we made plans.
Now I have a confession to make. Despite the name of my blog, I've always had a hard time balancing training and traveling. The most noted examples are our recent vacations to Australia, Paris, Hawaii, Portugal, and even Dubai, where I ran once or twice, if at all. The Pilot doesn't love running, and while he's always up for sneaking in some miles on a trip, I always feel bad about the idea of ditching him for a few hours to get in a long, double-digit training run and then being toast for the rest of the day.
After an unusually difficult February and a late start to marathon training that turned my 16-week plan into 12, I knew that kicking off training the week I would be taking off on a 13 hour international flight would be rough but this time around, I'm determined to get my training in while still having fun with The Pilot. Here's a look at how my training went this week. We'll see how well I manage things next week when I'm back in DC!
Currently Training For:
Ottawa Marathon, May 28
Monday: 4 miles (9:06 pace)
Day 1 of Ottawa Marathon training! I had 4 easy miles planned but kept my pace just below the 9:09 I need for a sub-4 marathon and it did feel easy! I had run only once the week before following Disney and was grateful that I skipped the long run I planned for the day before, opting to start a 12-week training plan on Monday rather than try to make up for miles and turn the training plan into something longer for the sake of adding in one more long run. I felt great and was thrilled with my pace.
Tuesday: 5-mile progression run (9:17 pace)
I had 5 miles of hills planned for today and, when a trip by the VP to the Capitol (my favorite place to do hill workouts) left me unable to access the country's most notorious hill, I switched gears and ran a progression run instead (9:51, 9:23, 9:19, 9:18, 8:32). Given that the Ottawa Marathon is completely flat, I was ok with this but I've always felt that hill training on a flat course makes me feel stronger on Race Day.
Wednesday: Yoga (75 minutes)
After already running more miles in one week (9) than I had in months (ouch!), I was ready for a rest day. I opted fo75-minutenute yoga class at a studio nearby for active rest, which, as a result of being the first person in class, the instructor dedicated to hip openers, hamstring stretches, and basically everything I needed to ease back into my first double digit training week in months.
Thursday: 10 miles (9:21 pace)
I was up bright and early for a surprisingly warm 10 miles along the Mall. I was a little sore from the previous night's yoga class and was struggling in the first two miles. Ever since I caught the flu last month, I've had a hard time breathing comfortably while I run, my chest still feeling tight in the early miles. By the time I settled into my third mile, I was feeling better and was thrilled to finish the run at a relatively speedy pace. With an evening flight out on Friday that wouldn't get me to Dubai until late Saturday, I knew I would run for that long once I got here and was nervous what a 10-mile run would do to me if I did it the day I flew out so I was glad to have gotten the miles in early.
Friday: Yoga (30 minutes)
I had thought I might be up for a 4 mile recovery run but I was pretty sore from my long run and the week to date. I had already run 19 miles for the week by this point, a significant number compared to the 26 I ran in the entire month of February. I opted for a 30-minute yoga practice at home before heading for the airport.
Saturday: 5 miles (9:13 pace)
I had originally planned to run the Rock 'n' Roll DC Half but when our plans to head to Dubai came through, that went out the window. Luckily I hadn't signed up yet! While I was bummed to miss my favorite DC race, I'm not bummed I missed the temperature drop and winter deciding to reappear back in DC. My flight landed in Dubai at 9pm and I was surprisingly awake and energized after such a long flight. By the time I cleared customs and checked into my hotel, it was 11pm. I was wide awake and knew I needed to try to adjust to the time zone, so I headed to the hotel gym for 5 miles on the treadmill before a light dinner and finally heading to bed shortly before 2am.
Sunday: 4 miles (9:08 pace)
My plans to adjust to time zone didn't go quite as planned and I was up at 5:30 this morning. I tried falling back asleep but at 6:30, turned on the lights, read in bed for awhile, and headed to breakfast. I thought about getting my run in but realized I had only run a few hours before and decided against it. The Pilot and I went out and spent the day with some friends of his and, by the time we got back to our hotel around 7, I was exhausted but so determined to get my run in. We ate dinner and I begrudgingly dragged myself to the hotel gym for a slow and steady 4. I say slow and steady because I'm almost positive the treadmill I was on (different from yesterday's) was faulty and I barely broke a sweat. I know I was on the treadmill for around 40 minutes but this pace may not be entirely accurate.
Total Miles Run: 28
Total Minutes of Yoga: 105
Total Miles Traveled: 7,063
So there you have it. Week 1 of Ottawa Marathon training is in the books! I'm glad I planned ahead this week and was able to fit in all of my workouts. This next week will be a little bit more challenging but at least I can plan my long run for when we're back home in DC. I'm proud of my effort this week. Not only did I get all of my runs in but I used my off days for active rest AND worked in some dynamic stretching before each run, something that I have to be diligent about to keep myself injury free while racking up miles with a minimal base but I'm excited for what this training plan will bring and I'm ready for the challenge!
How do you balance working out with travel?
Have you been to Dubai? What are some of your favorite things to do here?
What are you currently training for?