(Image by Emirates 24/7)
Happy New Year! Hope you started off 2014 with a positive attitude and full of energy to stick to your resolutions this time. What did you think of my idea to focus each month on a different habit?
I must amid I already broke one of my resolutions. I told myself I would try to write a blog post at least once a week, but it has been 10 days since I last wrote something.
On the other hand, I did make a plan to concentrate on one or two (new) habits every month, and in January my focus is on running. Not exactly a new habit, but I will hopefully run my first marathon ever in two weeks in Dubai.
I wrote about this on my blog about one month ago, when I had just signed up for Dubai. However, I had already been thinking of running a marathon for a couple of years. After much deliberation, this autumn I decided to go for the one in Dubai. It’s not far from us, the weather is generally good in January, the timing was right (I would have to do my long runs in November and December, which are not very hot months here in Jeddah), and several of my running mates here were going as well.
It is difficult to say when exactly I started training for this specific race, as I was already doing long runs – up to 25 kilometers – almost weekly. However, the last four months have been quite crazy. I trained often six days a week, during which my mileage went up to 100 kilometers!
Apart from volume, I did a lot of interval runs, some hills, fartlek, and sprints at the end to learn how to finish fast. And this all on the treadmill! Or nearly all of it, as I met my Dubai partners-in-crime once a week early in the morning to go for a long weekend run outside.
Today was my last long run: 30 kilometers at a ‘leisurely’ pace of 5:25/km. It went well, but I cannot imagine having to run another 12k (at a much faster pace!) in two weeks. I am hoping to run the marathon sub-3:30 at a pace between 4:50-4:45. Although in the end, finishing the race is my only real goal, as this will be my first marathon.
Despite the mileage, so far I haven’t been plagued by injuries (touch wood!). The only thing that messed up my training was the chest and sinus infection I had in December (about which I wrote in this post). Luckily, I got quite well back on track during my holidays in The Netherlands and even did a 15-km race on December 31, in which I was only 21 seconds slower than my PB from December 6 2013 (see picture above).
So these last two weeks I will try to take it easy and especially decrease the volume of my runs. Of course I’ll keep you updated and let you know how my first marathon went!
P.S. Have you ever run a marathon? Do you have any tips for the last couple of weeks AND race day? Please let me know!
P.P.S In my next post, I will show some more pictures of my holiday, during which we also made a quick visit to Paris.