Days until Wadi Bih: 19
With the Wadi Bih run looming ever-closer, I decide I need to step up my training, so head out for an evening run round Downtown Dubai to give my legs a good workout. I plot out a route in my head: round Emaar Boulevard, cutting down through Burj Park, out near The Palace, repeat until exhausted – I’m aiming to run for at least half an hour – 5km or so – or until my legs give out.
This time I have my iPod loaded up with fast-paced songs. Topping my running soundtrack at the moment are ‘Paranoid’ by Black Sabbath, and ‘Black and White Town’ by Doves – both have a solid, banging beat that ties in with my stride and pace, providing a much-needed motivation boost when my energy starts to dip.
As I navigate the wide roads of Downtown, the preparations for the Dubai Marathon and 10k on January 27 are in full swing: along much of Emaar Boulevard I have to dodge scaffolding poles, piles of wood and workmen busy erecting the grandstands that will flank the start/finish like outside The Pavilion. I also pass hordes of other runners, many of whom I assume are completing their final training runs before the weekend. Some of them catch my eye and give a reassuring smile as I jog past, and as I start my second lap of Downtown I begin to recognise the same faces I passed on my previous leg. It feels as though we share an unspoken camaraderie, although many of them look in far better shape than me: by now I’m wheezing heavily, my aching limbs flailing clumsily as I try to stop the sweat dripping into my eyes.
As my stopwatch ticks towards 40 minutes, I decide to call it a night. But my fellow runners have inspired me: on a whim, before I can change my mind, I head home, fire up my laptop and sign up as a last-minute runner for the Dubai 10k. I convince myself it’ll be useful training for Wadi Bih: at best I’ll beat my personal best time (55:50, for the record, although that was way back in 2009); at worst it’ll show me exactly how far I still have to go before tackling the wadis of Musandam.
For those of you who are also running on Friday, good luck: I’ll hopefully see you at the finish line. I’ll be the one humming along to Black Sabbath.
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon , 10k and 3k road races take place on Friday January 27, starting outside The Pavilion in Downtown from 7am. Registration has now closed. Free for spectators. www.dubaimarathon.org. For last-minute 10k training tips, see www.timeoutdubai.com/sportandoutdoor/features/29489-dubai-10k-training
Catch up with Rebecca’s progress by clicking here.