So as I mentioned, the plan was to run the Dubai Marathon on Jan 24th. I had been running quite a bit prior, and felt confident that I’ll have a positive experience running this marathon. I wanted to get the majority of my long runs out of the way before the birth of our newborn. Naila was born on the 13th of January, and as I had suspected, I had almost no runs from the 13 till marathon day. As soon as I was off work I was more interested in chilling with Naila than I was in running.
T-1 !!! Running 24.01.2014 07:03
We hear a lot about carb loading and ensuring you have enough carbs in your system to be able to avoid hitting the wall. Apparently carb loading needs to be happening for a few days prior to the run and not just the night before. Also if you are going to stuff your face with pasta and potatoes for a few days, it is probably best to make sure that it’s not the first time you do so. I personally opted against carb loading considering that I had not started to have carbs a few day prior to the run.
The day before to the marathon I was in a state of indifference. It may have been related to Naila being born and being a bit disconnected from running or the fact that I was worried since I had not been running for a couple of weeks.
Kyla decided to prepare a fantastic seafood dinner and told me to sleep in the guest bedroom so I didn’t have to worry about Naila waking up every few hours. Thank you Kyla!
Marathon Day!!! Running 24.01.2014 07:03
As you may know from my earlier post, I wanted to run the marathon with my brother. We decided to meet up on site before the race at 6:15 am (race started at 7). I woke up with no alarm at around 5 am but had a solid 6 hours of nonstop sleep.
The atmosphere was amazing as with any “big” marathon I assume. There were a ton of people. The energy was so strong it got you pumped up for the race more than anything. The baggage claim was very well organized, the washrooms were plentiful. The only pre-run issue was how unorganized the exit was to get to the actual start line. There seemed to be only one exit for all runners which made it very difficult to get to the start of the line in time.
We finally made it to where we were supposed to be and got there in time about 5 minutes before the gun.
The first 10K were a walk in the park. No issues, on pace, things were looking good. We felt super good and were able to contain our excitement and not run at a faster pace.
This is pretty much how the first 10K looked like; my brother and I running side by side (I’m the bald one):
At the 12K mark is when we saw the top runners make their turn back. This point of the marathon to me is the most inspiring and depressing at the same time. You look at these runners and you’re like; holy smokes these guys are insane, then you remember that you’re no where near the halfway point and it will take you over twice as long to finish this race.
The second 10K was even better than the first. We had found our groove. However, I foolishly decided to up the pace a bit thinking we can handle it. We actually shaved off 10min when compared to our first 10K time.
The third 10K went pretty well too. Steady pace. All was looking good.
At about the 29th K my brother started feeling fatigued. His legs had started to shut down. Not a good sign. We decided to go for a quick 500m walk followed by a jog again. This happened for the last 12 K of the race. At one point we walked for an entire K. I think we walked a total of 3K out of the final 12.2K. I was very impressed at how hard my brother pushed to finish that race. Obviously our time was worse than last year, but it was very interesting going through a tough race. Sometimes you just have a bad day. This is what my brothers foot looked like at the end of the race. This was not even where he felt the pain:
Favorite things about the race:
- Seeing my wife Kyla and our newborn Naila at the 36K mark!!! I didn’t think I it would make that big of a difference. It was sooo great seeing them both. Kyla had dried cherries for us, which were a great treat.
- The last 200 meters of the race along with the finish line
Worst things about the race:
- Similar to last year, there really wasn’t that big of a crowd
- There were no people handing out anything to eat like bananas or gummy bears
I look forward to going for my third Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon in 2015.