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.
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.