Resolutions – February 2009

So, I’ve been living in Dubai for three years now and I’m trying to tie a lot of my New Year’s Resolutions into things in Dubai that I’ve not done.

Although this isn’t an entirely thrilling or exciting activity for this month, yesterday I did do something for the first time in Dubai. I walked home from work. After waiting 1.5hrs for a taxi (car still being held hostage in the garage for its repairs after the crash), I decided that it was time to take action and, happy in the knowledge I was wearing comfy combat trousers and trainers to work yesterday, I put one foot in front of the other and walked home.

It was a bit tough at first, but once I got used to the car fumes, it was fine as the weather at this time of year is perfect for walking. So, I adopted a good pace and headed home. It took me 70mins. I’ve gone on to Map My Run (www.mapmyrun.com) and found out that I walked about 6km. I’m going to use this website to log my running, walking and hiking training this year as I’m determined to cover some serious kms this year.

Today I walked home from work again. Well, I was more prepared this time with a proper back pack and proper exercise gear on so it ended up being half of the journey was walking and half of it was jogging. I managed it in 40mins 🙂 I did take a shorter journey, however, and with the imapmyrun application running on my iPhone (with a GPS tracker to track my exact journey, working out my distance and pace and total time etc) I found out that the shorter journey was 5.2km. Still I decent effort. 

I even went to the gym in my office building to find out their opening hours. Turns out it only opens 1pm – 3pm and 5pm – 9pm. If it did open up first in the morning (so that I had shower facilities to freshen up before starting the day at work), I’d have started walking to and from work one or two times a week then gradually build up to running to and from work. But what I might start doing is go to the gym for a work out then walk home as my cool down before stretching about twice a week.

Back home in Scotland I used to walk the 9 miles each way to and from work in spring and summer months in 2005. The first time I walked it in 90mins. After a few months of doing this every other day when the weather was clear enough, I could run it in under 45mins with a backpack. It’s been a long time since I did that and it’s a different climate in Dubai, but I do hope to be able to get back into that kind of fitness level as soon as possible. All things being equal, that will mean that I should be able to do the run home from work in Dubai in under 20mins. I wonder that almost 4yrs on in a hotter climate and several kgs heavier whether it is a realistic possibility or not. Especially as we start approaching the months when things really start heating up in Dubai. At least I’ve got my platypus so I can walk/run and keep hydrated on the more sweltering days.

I’ve also been in contact with Dubai Road Runners who run round Safa Park every Saturday evening and I’m hoping to be able to join them this Saturday (especially as I currently have a hire car to get me there which is just a little too far to walk before training!). They run round the park once or twice (you decide!) and you get timed every time you go so that you can track your progress. It’s just over 3km around Safa Park so I hope to have a good opportunity to see how I get on (and to use my iMapMyRun application on my iPhone again!). They seem like a great group of people so I’m looking forward to meeting them! In fact, I will probably meet a few of them the day before as I’ve volunteered as a marshall for the RAK half-marathon. Well, if I’m not fit enough to run in it, I might as well volunteer to help out to make the race go as smoothly as possible! It will be my first time in RAK, so that’s another ‘thing’ for February!

I do hope to do something a little more exciting and entertaining as my February activity, but I wanted to post about this as I’m quite proud that I’ve done this and am starting getting into keeping fit.