Chris with camel at Abu Dhabi Half Marathon

One of those days

You may be expecting that with a title like that this may be a blog post about a shitty day at work, or some other slightly melancholy topic. Well no. This one is actually about one of those AWESOME days. The kind of day when things just seem to click, flow and, well, work out for the best.

When the alarm went off at silly o’clock this morning it marked the start of my day in Abu Dhabi running the Abu Dhabi Striders Half Marathon, being held on Yas Island and both starting and ending at Yas Waterworld, the big waterpark that I have been wanting to go to for ages but never gotten round to doing so. Well, today was the day.

Chris with camel at Abu Dhabi Half MarathonThe last, and only other, half marathon I have run was actually a couple of years ago when I was visiting some friends in New York. I was very fortunate to be able to blag myself a place in the Brooklyn Half Marathon and had a really good race, in spite of virtually no sleep and a skin full of Manhattan cocktails the night before as way of (poor) preparation. Still, the race went swimmingly and I finished feeling really good. This time around there were no cocktails and a little more sleep, but that was was where the serious preparation ended. There have been no huge distance runs in the preceding weeks and I must confess that I have been somewhat less active than normal on the training front for the past fortnight. As such, I had no firm time targets; just a willingness to turn up and give it my best.

So, the starting klaxon went and we were off. Within the first kilometer one of the members of the tri club here in Dubai, who I know is a very strong athlete and competes at a high level in half Ironman distance triathlons, passed me with another friend. Now I thought at that point, ” ah well, off he goes. I hope he has a good race,” but I kept them in my sights relatively comfortably and so figured I would stick with them for as long as I was able and try out the pace. Well I did and comfortably for about 16km, during which I was asked what time I was going for. “Err, sub two hours would be nice,” was my answer, to which I was advised that I could probably stop if that was my aim as I was well on track. They were going for sub 1 hour 45 minutes and so I figured why not try for that then?

At 16km I was still feeling really good so I extended my pace and pulled away. I made the decision to effectively push really hard and sprint the last 2 km, and crossed the line in a time of 1 hour 37 mins 48 seconds, coming well under the initial vague target of 2 hours. And I still felt good! Who’d have thunk it?! Truly one of those times when things just seem to click and go really well.

The day then got better as I spent it hanging out with a beautiful girl at the waterpark. A great day indeed. In fact, one of those days!

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