Why I should NOT be running the 5K

A month ago, I signed up for a local 5K race. It sounded quite fun – a friend is doing it, you run along Dubai’s Palm with the sea on one side, and I imagined that with all the training I’d do beforehand, it surely couldn’t be that hard?

I mean, it’s not exactly a marathon, is it? And it’s at 7am in the morning so not too hot. There’d be a nice sea breeze, perhaps some seagulls circling and I’d get carried along by the atmosphere, I thought to myself.

I told all my friends, I tweeted about it, and left myself with little choice but to register.

“You’ll be fine! You could even wear your bikini and go for a dip in the sea afterwards,” someone VERY kindly tweeted back. “It’ll all be over in half an hour,” she added, optimistically.

5 kilometres by the sea at 7am – I won’t be wishing I was still in bed, noooo
With a goal to aim towards, I’d even be motivated to spend hours pounding away on the treadmill and, on the day, I’d be home in time for a slap-up breakfast, I decided!

The race is on the 9th November – or in other words, in two weeks’ time, and, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that, despite the purchase of some brightly coloured Reebok gym wear, the training schedule I’d imagined hasn’t exactly worked out.

I’ve never done anything like this before (read: I am not a runner. It would take my legs suddenly sprouting another six inches and my shins becoming a little less knock-kneed to turn me into one). I’ve been going to the gym (three times a week), but not exactly putting in the required intensity – then, last week, I didn’t go at all due to work.

Also worrying me is the fact my mother-in-law is coming along – not to watch, but to take part. A fit, petite and very slim lady, she may well be faster than me. And look less like she’s been on the receiving end of the Heimlich manoeuvre.

But, perhaps my biggest concern is something a good friend, who’s been pootling off on 35K bike rides recently, pointed out: the fact that running outdoors is quite different from jogging on the treadmill in a climate-controlled gym.

So this week, I’ve been trying to imagine my legs slamming into concrete instead of the soft, conveyor belt. I’ve thought about the jarring effect reverberating through my body, the sun on my back, and wondered if my knees know what they’re in for.

I’m determined to give it a go, though, and now it’s so much cooler in the evenings, I’m planning on doing a few outside jogs before the big day.

Even if I walk some of it, it really doesn’t matter. I’ll get there in the end. Just not in my bikini.

11 thoughts on “Why I should NOT be running the 5K

  1. Well if you run it, jog it, walk it or not even do it it’s all good! But, yes I’m sure many will walk it. These events are more to raise money for charity and to have fun. Remember me? I tweeted you about the bikini 😉 I have had friends run 5k’s in flamingo outfits in Miami and they had the best time ever. This is actually motivating me to see what run is next up here in Florence-I haven’t done one in years. Good luck, smile and bring a water bottle. Just have a nice small breakfast…ouch…at 6am.

  2. My advice is to run as slowly as possible. Just above walking speed.
    That way you shouldn’t get too out of breath and you may manage to run it all. It worked for my first 5k.
    The big temptation is run off at the start at a good speed with all the “professional” runners. Ignore them and do it at your own pace. Best of luck with it!!!
    If all else fails, fake at injury at 2k and say “And I was doing so well, I would have run it inside my personal best!” 😉

  3. Ellie’s right: being with all those other runners does spur you on to run faster than your normal pace and end up burning out. On the other had, maybe you’ll get a little boost from the adrenaline! Either way, I have no doubt you will finish much better than you think you will! At least it’s unlikely you’ll do what I did in my last bike ride in the US, where I caught my wheel on the edge of a gravel road and flipped over the handlebars at mile #12 with 13 still to go. (yes, I finished, but it was humiliating to ride the rest of the race with mud all over my jersey – not hard for everyone to see that I’d fallen!)

  4. Best of luck. And let us know if a jogging race in Dubai would be alot different than in North America. I mean will you see local women jogging in this?

    • Thank you Jean! And that’s a good question! As it’s my first ever race, I don’t know what mix of runners there will be – I will report back! I’m guessing races in N.America don’t have to start so early to get cooler temps – it’s a 6.30am line-up here, ouch!

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