Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for January, 2013

No rest for the warriors…

Not yet setting myself in the warriors Parthenon! Although I wish I could… Back to normal ain’t easy. In my mind time has stopped last Tuesday when leaving and back now should be as I left, right? Unfortunately Chronos, God of the time, does not obey to my command! So lots of catching up and getting along for past two days.

Jetlag or what it is made me really tired this afternoon, headache-like. Ate with GT but by the time back home and picked up E, it was not feeling good… Similar symptoms as last Monday evening before the race… And me that wanted to take an easy run tomorrow! Will sleep early and aim for fruits and light meals tomorrow. Hopefully will help.
Probably having a croissant and a vanilla bun was not the best afternoon move today… Did help though for the low blood sugar thing! Still cold outside so not optimal without energy in the body.

No visit to the naturopath this morning as my booking was fine a bit to late (our early depends how you see it!). Hopefully can have my thigh checked on Friday before a long day of workshop at work… Let’s hope it IS a bone or such which is misplaced and that he can put it back correctly…

Ok, time for bed now! More of interest tomorrow – hopefully!

Back home… Finally?

From Arrakis to frozen/snowy Caladan (thanks for the reference, you know who you are!). Brrr, really tough start this morning.

Body feels fine apart from the thigh. Had to stand quite often during today’s meeting as sitting position made my legs becoming stiff. Drank water as usual, got my tea cups quota back to before the marathon week and fruits during the day as recommended!

Mind feels that it will take a bit of time to get back to normal. Once again after such runs a clear void takes place. Two solutions: go down in depression and hope for the best (!) or -I choose this latter one!- get on with daily activities and ACCEPT the emptiness it feels during a week and start a new challenge right after… Does not need to be a big challenge but something worth doing that will make one proud and happy when completed.

Below are what welcome me on the way back home this evening (could not take a pic this morning, rain outside…) so the question is: remind me why I even come back here?!?!


Evening now with colleagues so work it is for a little longer… So good to be back! 🙂

Recovery day 3…

Ok, tried to rest but by 2:30am I had been listening to music, walking around singing in my head, otherwise could not sleep correctly. A bit mad at seeing the first flight to Istanbul leaving at 3:35am and not being in it! No reading as it should be sleepy-time…

Woke up at 3-ish, uncomfortable and bad rested. Noticing no one is left almost, I take the 3 seats on the outside of a row and lay down as I should have done from the start. Freezing cold here, air conditioner blowing cold exactly on the waiting seats… Smart!

By 5:40am, check-in is done and aiming to the gate. Stop at Costa Coffee for a warm chocolate and a turkey/omelette hot roll. As good to get some energy now as unsure what food will be served in the plane. 2hrs left to the take-off. Really want to leave now. Despite the terrible cold at home, can’t wait to be there. Hopefully can rest in either flight so to be fresh and rested tomorrow at work!

About Costa Coffee: discovered them in Budapest while travelling there for work. Their ice tea is great. Highly recommended!

The body and mind continue to amaze me. The former one goes on with its recovery. Have walked at steady pace under the sun for over 7km yesterday and today it does not feel that a marathon was run recently not a long walk done… Still taking it easy not to trouble the necessary rest after the race. The latter one, i.e. the mind, is a strong thing… Not yet fully understanding/registering what was completed on Friday, it does start to think about what tactic to use for Boston in April, knowing that the Semi de Paris stands a month from now… It takes some strengths for not letting go yo such thoughts and jumping hastily in my running shoes (btw my ASICS GT-2160 “Pink” have now officially a hole in both of them. So must buy new ones shortly!)

Flight no 1 going fine. Ate partially the served breakfast, watched the end of “Thor” and “X-Men first class” (love the Thunder God in the first movie and the music and actors for Magneto & Charles in the second). Then set a playlist of music and slept, lucky me having three seats to lay down! So fine fine for this flight.

Break at Istanbul, ice-cream break as well and reading. Second flight looked trouble-free and it was. Slept for a good while.

Home at last: dirty snow on the side of the road, wet for the rest and a temperature of +3. Ok, back to reality!

Recovery day 2…

Day 2 after Dubai marathon. Starting to sink in, but not quite. Woke up early this morning – again. Started a bit if packing before breakfast. No pic of the breakfast as quite similar to yesterday. As I plan a whole morning at the beach, it is as good to eat right and skip the struggle of finding something decent (i.e. not fried or burger-like). Almost everything is inside the suitcase and I got a later check-out at 2:00pm (would have wished one hour more but give and take!)

Massively creaming myself again before taking a cab to the beach. Don’t mention being lazy here: my day will be filled with walking later on so can spare my feet for now! The burning sores look better, but still… 3.5hrs of sun to regenerate the batteries, highly recommended! Not even reading much, just enjoying and resting. Lunch was simple: 2 wholeweat half baguettes with small chicken sausages, 2 bananas, 1 apple and 2 oranges. On the top of drinking water. Eating was done in small portions throughout the beach visit as wanted to ensure my stomach would keep it all.

The body feels much better, almost back to “normal”. Writing almost because I can feel if I do a wrong movement or so that it can be painful. Ya, I know, I can be careful and NOT doing wrong movement, this would ease for me, right?!? Back of left thigh is close to fine, although I do no running. But during the walking or light light jogging, it feels fine. Blister on left foot looks well…like a blister! On its way to be better (with the correct shoes not rubbing on it!).

14:30 – check-out completed and left all bags at the hotel. Walked at good pace to Dubai Mall: 2.5km (to the marathon start sign)- shorter than the way I found on Wednesday. But quite glad I took a taxi in the morning of the marathon and skipped walking int the construction areas.

At the Dubai fountain, see below the interesting sign: which one to follow? 8 or 5km speed???


Picked up my ticket to “At the Top”. Was suggested (ok, highly recommended!) by my friend so booked this in advance. If you do so, the ticket is less than half the price than if bought at the desk same day and you are guaranteed a spot in the elevator! Walked a bit in the mall, got 2 pains au chocolat and 0.5l carrots/orange juice and now enjoy the sun before going to the top.

Sunset from Burj Khalifa’s 124th floor: factors out of max 10:
– impressive factor: 9 (pretty high!),
– romantic factor: 1 (sat alone watching the sun sloooooowly going down, so no sharing = no romantic factor!),
– worth to go up factor: 7.5 out of 10 (a bit like going up the Eiffel Tower 2nd floor in more impressive. But some other place are more worth to do. Once fond is fine)
Btw for romantic factor to the max, aim for the beach close to Burj Al Arab at sunset. You won’t regret it. Will post photos taken last year so you can judge by yourself!

“At the Top”: check! Lost in Dubai Mall: check! Watch fountain show twice: check! Watch “water, fire” show outdoor: check! My feet do wish to rest so got my bags at the hotel and took the metro to the airport. Ya, pretty early but nothing to be done and tired. So now will get my nap waiting for the check in…

Recovery day 1…

In bed at 2am, up at 7:30 am, off bed 7:41am… Slept tight though! Not much to do so went for breakfast… a REAL one!
Thought my hip had been hurting all along since yesterday but the more the day went the more it felt back as earlier: back side of left thigh just under the bum. No picture as nothing to see really! 🙂

Woke up with this today...

Woke up with this today…

Correct breakfast. right?

Decent breakfast. right?

As soon as up from the bed, did mail the Boston marathon about my new time (had received en email the day before Dubai marathon, that if wished to seed with a better time, the deadline was soon… Great as I already updated this seeding time after Berlin and now after Dubai (and no, there won’t be another update before the deadline!)

Chilling in front of my laptop after breakfast and then aiming to the supermarket before beach time. Not much happening there neither. “Creaming” up the body, carefully, especially on the burnt zone (which I cover to avoid direct sun), turning every hour… Read only little, ate 2 half baguettes with chocolate with hazelnuts (not to smart when sunny and warm to have chocolate in the bag…), drank also iced tea and water. Between two turns, did try myself to the sea… Brrr, so cold (really!). But once in the water, took some length and trained the legs. So nice not to feel the ground and being so light!Soooo rested when the afternoon finished. Quick shower at the beach and then feeling the legs, feet and thighs were fine, decide to walk back home. Easy pace but quite tactful. Barefoot after 1 km as my blister behind left foot was no longer protected and the shoe made it painful. Once again my estimations were erroneous and had to walk more than planned. Body fine anyway.

Carefully cleaned my sores, and now resting. Was a but hungry but not wanting to go to the mall so checked the restaurant but a but early so was empty. Ate my cereals instead for dinner. Now feeling pretty tired surely due to the sun. So bedtime it is really soon(7:40pm!).
Tomorrow have to leave my room at noon so have to fix some stuff before the beach and visit to Burk Khalifa (end afternoon). Probably will spend my evening in the Mall (they close at 1:00am if recalling right!)

Summary first day of recovery: does feel that I ran yesterday. Would have been home, would have gone got a foot & body massage. To be booked right upon my arrival home! Feet ok, body ok apart from left thigh and blister left foot. Seriously, could be so much worst! Rest it is for a week at least… Training will resume after that, will see how the mind reacts. Feels empty after the race and being alone ain’t helping, therefore the beach! So still incredible what happened yesterday… Looked twice at my medal after getting up and yes, still engraved: 3:11:55

Highly appreciated all the support and nice words of both encouragements and congratulation. Cannot wait to come back home and show to the small ones, although for the rest of the world life has being going in as usual during my stay here… Work, school, cold… What I leave here on Monday is not easy to replace! Maybe I should just stay…

Bedtime now!

Race Report – Dubai Marathon 2013/01/25

Planned: Nothing really apart from completing and under 3:40 (due to last days and weeks of troubling body!)

Actual: official 3:11:55 (corrected from Garmin:3:11:58) – new PR by 10min 35sec from Berlin 4-months ago (Sep-2012)! More than very satisfied of the result especially due to 1) health pre-race and 2) body pain now and then spookying the whole training. No world record this year on the marathon, but a great performance for little me (!) Obviously could qualified as MORE-THAN-GREAT RACE, enjoyed the company of runners throughout the race and afterwards. Great ending at the beach and evening. (For once, the marathon race distance was pretty much the same as my Garmin and close to 42.2km!). Rest for a few day now!

Race Results:
place (M/W) 20
place (ag) 2
age/grade: 72.35% (Dubai:66.6/ London:66.47/SF:65.66/Berlin:68.29)
time total (netto) 03:11:55
time total (brutto) 03:11:58

Splits (from Garmin watch):

km per 5K sum
5 0:22:47 0:22:47
10 0:22:14 0:45:01
15 0:22:28 1:07:28
20 0:22:22 1:29:51
25 0:22:36 1:52:27
30 0:22:57 2:15:24
35 0:22:46 2:38:10
40 0:22:58 3:01:08
43 0:10:49 3:11:58

Official results: Splits

Split time diff min/km km/h
HALFWAY 01:35:15 01:35:15 04:31 13.29
netto 03:11:55 01:36:40 04:35 13.10


2:55am – pre-alarm clock – snoozing it as really the brain does not understand under which circumstances I would want to go up so early.

3:00am – same as earlier. Why one earth go up now? And slowly the brain awaken and time to prepare my porridge. Boiling water, pouring it on the porridge and let it like that a few minutes. Worked perfectly. Add banana, tran berries and oat milk. Taking as well regular iron and anti-allergy pill. Drinking 2dl of water (on the top of 1dl with vitamin C). And back to sleep (or kind of).

Too early to be true...

Too early to be true…

Breakfast - yummie!

Breakfast – yummie!

3:30am – same ritual as usual, but 2dl water is going down (and bed again)



4:00 and 4:30am – similar procedure J Cannot really sleep after that so up to the shower (thanks, there is hot water! Last year had to shower at 4:00am with freezing cold water…). Fixing my hair, getting sun cream on the body after massaging the thighs. They both feel fine this morning (Yippie?). Gear on and it is 4:50am and I am reading… A bit left before the marathon. Looking at my blog and read two more encouragements. Great to have, can tell you! Not believing that it is soon time to go.

5:20am – reception calls for my taxi arrived…20minutes in advance! But staying on the bed still and focused. Reviewing briefly (incorrect here: “longely”!) the route of the marathon, double checking my gear, number, gels and all is set.

Ready to go, for sure!

Ready to go, for sure!

5:40am – in the lobby finding a nice block to take a photo of me – still smiling. Always good for checking the before and after state 😉 The taxi brings me to the Dubai Mall metro station in a foggy road. Aaaaaannnd it is 5:48am and I am soon at the start! Still a bit to go. Enjoying the ambience, kind of cozy still. Few more pictures from fellow runners. Queuing to the loo, noticing after a few minutes that I am surrounded by guys only… wrong queue! Surprisingly the female toilets have no queue (that’s a first!). All good, looks like I have drunk good enough and “it “looks well and correctly hydrated. Outside it is kind of freezing – says the one coming from Sweden where the temperature when she left was below 8! But being in singlet and shorts at 6am ain’t something usual (as least for me at home!). Anyhow, by 6:20am cannot wait any longer, drop my bag at the marathon baggage, jog and go for a final visit to the ladies bathroom. So nice and warm inside 😉

Aiming then to the start. There are lots of people already lining up for the 10K but only few for the marathon. Took the opportunity to do some little warmup, back and forth, no pressure, listening to Queen and “The show must go on” on my mp3. Because I decided to have my mp3 in my back pocket, just in case. Last year from km30 it felt quite empty and some music would/might have helped. Anyhow, the marathoners are starting to fill the place, chatting a bit but seriously I keep myself turned inwards. Checking my watch once more, satellites found, multiple heart devices as well J Soon announced less than 5 minutes to go. Can see the elites runners in front of me (standing right at the line) warming up. Cannot see our Swedish star, but she must be there somewhere. Then we (common mortals) finally mix with the elite runners, ready – steady aaaaaaand GO! Fast start especially due (I think) to the bunch of male runners in this race! They want too much too fast. My strategy – by the way – was 1) complete the marathon and 2) finish it within 3:40 or such as this correspond to our Manhattathon time in NY! Cannot be that hard to beat right? Have my virtual trainer set on 4:44/km which corresponds to 3:20:00 time. In my dreams, yes!

Freezing cold, but smiling and ready to rock!

Freezing cold, but smiling and ready to rock!

Inspiring... Which one should I go for today?

Inspiring… Which one should I go for today?

First half:

It is so extremely foggy, cannot recall I am in Dubai (apart from my running apparel, reminding that I am not home!). By km1 I decide to put on the music in my ears as the groups of runners are too disparate and cannot drag me well. Passing first km at 4:37 (pace for a 3:15 marathon) – the sign is exactly when my watch pips. Perfect, finally a marathon agreeing with my Garmin! Still too fast as planned to have my 1st km between 4:50 and 5:00. Decides quickly after having the music on that I go for it, keeping the pace as I feel good but keeping careful and listening to the body (which is magically working after those last few days of troubling stomach and weeks of troubling thighs and calf…). Continuing to check on the km-pace and when passing km4 @4:26, I think that there is something strange happening here. Had checked yesterday my race from Dubai 2012 and Berlin 2012 and I am far faster than both of them… But still smiling and enjoying. Meeting French guys from the Djibouti Foreign Army. Cool as I met some of their colleagues last year! A bit of French in the ears on the top of my music is helping! Km5 feeling outstanding and km6 is down to 4:22!!!Am I doing intervals, here? Did not my brain realize it is a 42.2km to do? Still foggy, skipping the water at km5 but taking a bottle at km7.5 to take my first gel at km9 (Staffan’s strategy from Berlin: gel at km 9 – 18 – 27 – 36 : which I am going to follow instead of starting my gel with same km-marks but having always skipped the one at km9/10). Passing the 10km sign in 45:01 according to my Garmin. Feeling good after taking first gel. The French guys are keeping in troup and steady pace. By km12/13, my watch is indicating a pace of 4:30, which sounds impossible. This is for 3:10-marathon!!! Not even in my dreams… OK maybe in my dreams I had seen it, but not 1) with today’s conditions and 2) my preparation for the past weeks (and yes, Staffan, you incidentally name it a few times, but hard to believe right?) . One French guy talks to me and he tells they are several aiming for a 3:15, which suits me very well so tell him to keep me by their side, kind of “no matter what” ;). So much for the asocial woman I feel I am being with my mp3 music in the ear. Seriously, hearing in my head constantly almost what I read in the race-day strategy of Pfitzinger: “First half is for cruising… do not use mental strength yet…” (kind of Obi-Wan voice in the head at this moment…suiting well the DJ Eclipse mix from Maj 2012!). Cruising at 4:30/km pace… ARE YOU NUTS?!?!?! Strategy was also to keep myself 1) well-hydrated and 2)well-fuled with carbs. So every 5km took 2 dextrosol with little water. Recognizing the km18 where Jumeira Beach Park is (where I sun bathed yesterday!) and it is sooooo foggy really that my sunglasses are not leaving the top of my skull. Music on, keeping pace with either the French guys or two ladies from the Dubai creek striders. Feeling good, not really understanding where the strength is coming from: 4:29/km pace when I arrive close to mid-race… Looking quickly on my home-made pace bracelet: Great at least I have some minutes in advance in case… well just “in case”. Can finish under 3:20 if something may happen by the end. The distance between km12 and 21 is pretty empty of people, no one really passing me which I not pass shortly after (and back & forth). Feeling good with personal pacer in front of me – they just do not know it! Km18+ taking my second gel with water. Working better this time as it is orange taste and not filled with “pieces” as the first lemon gel I took earlier. Finally see the elites men passing on the other side of the road – COOOOL, kind of short after followed by the women (including Isabella Andersson, looking strong but after the female pack though). Does not matter really, would gladly trade my current place with hers! A few more km to go, one more destrosol and… the km21-sign shows itself…

Passing half way in 1:35:15 (New PB!!!) And it is soon time to turn back on Jumeira Road. Enjoying so much the turn that I smile and sounds like a wolf in a full moon night.

Second half:

Now it is according to Pfitzinger’s words, the “no-man’s-land” of the marathon until km32. Recalling the advices: keep myself well-hydrated and well-fuelled in carbs. Recalling this, I note as well that I cannot see my French bodyguards any longer, nor my female pacers, so keeping up with the good feeling (yes, I can assure you that I was feeling good!). I get along with one and other runners with similar pace, b t a bit tricky to keep up as they are too long and have bigger strides than me…until I found MY ULTIMATE PACE-BODY! Unsure whether he liked it or not, but I remain by his side from km23 to 32! My aim was keeping up with him until km32 mark and see that after that either go for it – kind-of or continue to follow. Similar length and strides, he suited me well. Km27 taking my third gel (orange). Between km22 and 32, I took 1 or 2 dextrosol tablets + little water when available each km (apart from when taking the gel+1km after that). Feeling fine, not high, just fine. The body still is making itself reminded that 42.2 IS a long distance to cover! The sun makes its appearance around km28/30 and it starts to get pretty sweaty (well, might have been probably so before, but not with the warmth as it was foggy). Km32 is reached and I do not fear it like last year where my brain stopped working really! This time and with the help of my personal pacer, it went fine. So I could go through the “no-man’s-land” without dying or stopping, so just 10km to go!!!

I noticed by km25 that my pace was no longer under 4:30/km but above. But once again, I had some minutes over thanks to the first half. Kept an eye on my watch and noticed I had moved to 4:30/31 by this km-mark. Noooo worries, body feeling good and after all “all under 3:20 mara is just ALL BONUS” (kind of motto during Berlin marathon which was working fine here as well!).

From km32, it really is different. I could recall that when 30km were left I reminded myself what distance it was at home, then when 25 was left, then 20… But from “it-is-only-a-10K-left-to-go” though and making the brain understand what to do, it IS a challenge! Keeping up with the music (had to restart the “October 2012 – mix” as it last only for 1hour 30+ or so… it does keep up the pace. Each time we received sponges, I carefully wet my left thigh (especially the back), and from km32, just use the water bottle first half to drain my legs under cold water…. LOVELY!!! I ran into a French trooper again but he seemed in pain, so went along for a short while and then moved on. Saw in front of me the Dubai Creek Striders kind of 200-300m in front of me. Still fine, I guess! Some of the elite runners had dropped off the race by now. Feeling good that I am still in the run! Have definitely stopped looking at my bracelet as it is no longer accurate and I do not want my brain to work too hard (!) on calculation when I needed it for focusing on the road and keeping my eyes… well, yes: OPENED! Strangely those last 10km felt not too bad (under the circumstances), recalled the one from Dubai 2012 and Berlin 2012 and really put them in another place of my mind. I just felt good (well, not physically – pain was there, but really the mental was strong to continue).

Reaching km36 – I think, I walk for TEN-LONG-SECONDS. And it took some strength to start again, but it worked. This km is ran in 4min 35sec!!! including the 10seconds walk… Taking my last gel at this mark: Cola-taste: never had it before and indeed as suggested somewhere I cannot recall, having this new unknown taste in the mouth make my brain waking up! Water again when available and dextrosol (new taste as well from mid-second half) every km when no gel is taken. Gosh! What the last km are long. I recall last year hating (really!) the people from km36 onwards to km40 as they were cheering kindly but the pain did not take it in. This time, I might even have smiled actually at this part as well. Not many people anymore at this time. On my own until the end. Km38-mark: French guy in trouble, trying to help a bit, cheering, but it is too tough. Promising him a kiss at the finish line, but he seemed to have a really painful calf cramp. Cannot do more really so off I went. Km 39… ALREADY?!?!? Seeing km40 but not Burj Khalifa… Have they moved it while I was running I am thinking? (Yes, by this time the brain is not ALWAYS thinking clearly!!!). More people on the side, cheering and finally another French trooper. This one I take him along for the last push. I need some energy and yelling at him is actually helping me! We are side-by-side from km41 to the end. Promising once more a kiss on the finish line would he pass at the same time as me! Cannot really understand what I am saying by now. Just seeing the yellow sign and thinking like in London: “800m left to go” Yeeeeeee!…. BUT NO! It is only 400m to go! So reaching in the last strength I have and pushing my body to the maximum I can for the last km and those last long (no actually this time I found them short!) 400m. Brain calculating quickly how fast I can do a 400m in my intervals training…STOP IT! Focus on the race, you iiiidiiot brain! AND I look at the clock 3:11:XX, could not make the 3:10, I think and WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, REALLY?!?!?! Got my kiss from the French guy, so nice and sweaty (blääääärk! But do I really care by now?!?!?). Just want to jump and cry and shout (the first one I really cannot as my legs may still have strength to carry me along, they cannot do the jumping part!). Stopping my watch: 3:11… For just a second, I cannot believe it…

After the Finish Line:

Walking to get my goodie bag, my banana and direction to the massage area, with a great welcome from the French troopers J One recognize me from last year (what an impression I must have made…. Oh ya, I remember: last thing he saw of me was when I fainted in front of them and was carried to the doc tent!). We have a nice French chat, and it felt sooooooo great. Now I can actually calculate a bit: 10minutes and 35sec improvement from Berlin in September… What about the “take it slow and make small steps improvements”-plan? Who cares? Right now I am happy, I am in pain, I speak French and suddenly Swedish is talked to me. Runner-body from jog has recognize me (how?) and congratulated me: I knew one was registered but unsure how to recognize him! Massage felt good (had drunk my water bottle, my energy drink and eaten a small crisp bag and my banana while waiting). Walking barefoot to the marathon baggage tent. Getting a Swede (among all other guys here running, have to pick up one from a group of Swedes!) to take my finish photo (still smiling!) a bit of Swedish chat with him and his mates and aiming to the marathon village for medal engraving. While waiting, texting to 1) my best supporter for the last week (you know who you are…), 2) my coach (thanks for the support!) and 3) my Greek mate living now in Dubai. Wait for the medal is killing me. I want to shower, to eat, to cry, to do something, whatever but waiting! Finally I get it, as well as my official time: 3:11:55! Yippie! Made it through. Got a first text informing I have improved my placement by 2 compared to last year: 20th of female runners (2ns in my category – first one is under 3hours…).

Still smiling!

Still smiling! What else?

On the clock!

On the clock!

Weather: chilly in the morning, foggy until km28 or so and sunny afterwards. Windy (slightly) at some places though

> carbo-loading on natural food – not working due to stomach not keeping it. Day before race last meal: chicken + rice. Morning before race eating oat porridge/oat milk/banana/cranberries @3am
> during the race: 1 vitargo @km 9, 18.5, 27, 36. Dextrosol tablets: 1 every km (almost) from km22 (except when gel taken)
> just after race: all that was given in the bag!
> later on: 3 hours after arrival: burger/fries+ Coca cola / tea and dinner later in the day (+ lukum in the afternoon) :)

Gear: ASICS Vesta shorts/UNICEF singlet – super-flying-lightSkyspeed perfect shoes for this race (once again they DELIVERED!)


Then everything became a big blur: showering in the ladies bathroom, noticing that once again I burned my breast when carrying my gels in my bra… have to find another technique really! Getting dressed, walking around the village and then aiming back to the hotel for changing. Walking a while to find the metro station, for finally hear that they would not open until 1:00pm (it is Friday). So cross the motorway and start walking to my hotel, after 400m take a cab as I really cannot endure it any longer. Hotel, unpack, pack again for afternoon at the beach, taxi to Barasti beach. Then enjoying good company and eating a great burger. Rest of the afternoon under the sun, then back home to my friend before we left again to take a tea (they smoked sisha – not me!) and then time for dinner. Restaurant might be 20minutes walk from the apartment, but cannot really feel my left hip is with me tonight, so we take the car there. Well arrived at the Mall, I almost fell on my left foot, leaving a pretty bad feeling in the left hip, which will remain all evening. Eating at an Italian restaurant, meeting with a former colleague who also moved last year to Dubai with his wife. Really great evening. Then time to go back home and ultimately sleep (not before mailing a last one about the day experience…)

NOTE: Kept myself well-hydrated throughout the day after the race. Not only with the just-after-finish-line drinks but also, water, 2 cokes at the beach, marrocan teas, and more water 🙂 Food to replenish the empty batteries as well 🙂

ALL-in-ALL my friend: This day was GREAT. Not one but two PB, a thigh feeling good (i.e. “normal”), a burnt chest and a hip in pain. For the small price of 3 HOURS 11 MINUTES and 55 SECONDS!!!

Well-deserved medal

Well-deserved medal

Well-deserved lunch

Well-deserved lunch

Well deserved dinner (not showing the chocolate fondant for dessert...)

Well deserved dinner (not showing the chocolate fondant for dessert…)

Dubai – M Day: 3:11:55!!!!

Ok, already received comments without publishing this post!

3:11:55!!! Incredible but true. Still hard to realise (apart from burn on the chest and pain in the hip making it soooo very real!)

Very tired now so writing more later during the day!

Thanks a lot for all comments of encouragement and congrats!

Dubai – M-Day less than 24 hrs

Good to great night’s sleep! Eyes closed quite early, for a normal day would be but even more strange for days before a run! Slept like a stone until 10:50pm (kids playing in the corridor woke me up). Did some mail reading and little chat and fell asleep like stone again until the clock rang at 6:30am. Up to fix my hair (so dry in one day in Dubai!), on with my running gear (hesitated between singlet and t-shirt and took the wrong alternative> the tshirt!). Ran from my hotel direction Jumeira Road, hoping to see a bit of the race route.

Got a beautiful sunrise in the buildings on the other side of the motorway. After a lot of turning around, finally got to Jumeira Road. Quiet surprinsingly, with signs of the future event of tomorrow (Route closed). Sunrise behind one of the several mosques close to Jamaica Road was really breathtaking (although not translating fairly into picture from my phone 😦 )

Sunrise between the towers

Sunrise between the towers

Jamaica Road - almost quiet

Jamaica Road – almost quiet

Gonna be quiet anyway on a Friday

Gonna be quiet anyway on a Friday

Sunrise behind a mosque

Sunrise behind a mosque

Back home, shower 1/3 of gatorade blue and direction breakfast room. Quite busy with lots of kids being here for an sport event I would guess. Was actually a bit hungry so fill in my plate with quite a lot (not for being at a hotel breakfast, but considering my stomach feeling for food lately…). Still did not chance on the milk and cereal so grab my cereals from home with my oat milk from home. So all-in-all it became: 2 glass of orange juice, one cup of tea, one orange in pieces, cereals+chocolate+oatmilk+banana, 2 small beef sausages, little scramble eggs (this might have been not too smart), a brown bread slice, one mini croissant and three mini-pains aux raisins.

Breakfast at the hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

Having a bit of time to kill, decided the plan for the day. Skipped to go to Dubai Mall (the pasta experience from yesterday was not that memory I wish to have from this Mall, but it will do for now… Have a few days left to get along with the Dubai Mall again 🙂 ). A bit of work (although most of the answers would be received probably later during the day as there are time differences to take into account!). Prepared my bag to go to the beach, planning to stay there all afternoon (well leaving at 11-ish to be back around 15-ish, as promised not to sunbath too much!). Took a cab to get there, not due to laziness (I did run to there earlier in the morning) but to save my legs. Get inside and found a nice spot on the sand. 1hour reading in front of the sea, busy beach but still quite comfortable for relaxing. Drank Gatorade orange during the day + water of course. Had 2 bananas on the beach as well as an apple and some crisps left from yesterday little bag.

Feet in the sand, eyes to the horizon :)

Feet in the sand, eyes to the horizon 🙂

At 12:45pm time to find a place for eating some rice: just on the other side of the Jamaica Beach Park was a restaurant called “Chilli”, where I found what I was looking for. It became chicken marinated in Margarita (!) with kind-of brown rice. Seemed quite a lot in the plate so definitely not doing the same as yesterday with the pasta, listening to the body when it felt full!

Last meal before the marathon

Last meal before the marathon

Margarita grilled chicken with rice

Margarita grilled chicken with rice

Margarita Chicken with rice - finished!

Margarita Chicken with rice – finished!

Then direction the beach again. Still drinking water and gatorade. Last banana eaten at 2:30-ish. Will be last food before tomorrow. Now focusing on water (I know, S, not too much!) and relaxing. Walked back to the hotel (loosing my way once more, making the walk a bit longer than expected… the day before a marathon!).Found the following article at the restaurant at lunch, talking about Dubai marathon:


Apparently should not change anything before a marathon…

and the “All-in” from Adidas (no ad in this post, just liking it):

Am I all in for the Dubai marathon? Am I?:::

Am I all in for the Dubai marathon? Am I?…

And of course ending with a nice panorama of the buildings on the way to my hotel:

20130124-165114.jpgNow back at the hotel, chilling a bit. Will go for some more water bottles in a short while and thereafter no more news from me until after the race. Planning for the rest of the day is pretty simple: finalize the prep of my gear, check once more the marathon route, a bit of water drinking, a bit of reading and when feeling llike it a bit of sleeping. Tomorrow up planned for 3:00am for light breakfast.  Will see how the whole thing goes. Having no real expectation now due to this dull past three days. Definitely no PB tomorrow. Hopefully completed marathon, in a correct time range AND not fainting of de-hydration after the race.

It will be a fast race tomorrow, both male and female athletes from the elite are very loaded and eager. Hopefully can see their back before we start 😉 You can follow the marathon in live streaming from the Dubai marathon website, from one hour before the start (i.e. streaming from 6:00am Dubai time = CET+3).

Dubai marathon: 13 hours left to go (when I press the button “publish”)…

Dubai M-Day -1

Start of a new day? Well, still the afternoon here. Have picked up my BIB (#1169). A bit disappointed by the pick-up place. Pretty emtpy at this time (but this cannot be compared with London or Berlin, right? Moreover, who really is coming to pick up his/her BIB at 12:30pm of the first day of pick up… apart from me!). Missed the conference with the Elite by an hour, so no autograph this year. Next opportunity is to run faster than them on Friday and wait for them at the Finish Line (he he he!).

Dubai Marathon Route

Dubai Marathon Route


Feeling fine so ate 2 pears and continue drinking water. Decided to walk to the Dubai Mall to see how long it will be for Friday. Took longer than expected through ways I would not recommend! But here it is: the start entrance for the Marathon. On Friday it will be still dark and will not take picture then. So as good to have a “proof” I was there !

Start Entrance for Marathoners

Start Entrance for Marathoners

What would be Dubai without Burj Khalifa?

What would be Dubai without Burj Khalifa?

Decided to eat at the same restaurant as last year. Pasta with tuna fish, black olives, spinach and tomato sauce. Under hot hot sun and in front of the singing fountain. Went fine to eat until almost all was down. Unfortunately decided to get the whole plate in and it was not the best move, really. Stomach felt heavy, but still fine. Took not long before I walked and got some groceries for the evening and had to rush and empty my stomach again (sorry for the details!). SO much water out I had to compensate after that with drinking sport drink to ensure I would not completely be deshydrated tomorrow…

Pasta lunch

Pasta lunch

Unsure of what this means, I rushed again to buy alternative food as I AM GOING TO RUN THE MARATHON ON FRIDAY, NO MATTER WHAT!. Might not be the day to set a personal record (!) but will definitely complete it. So more shopping and I ended with sport drink, chips, banana and Haribo gold-bears (which apparently some runners are carbo-loading with…). I do have with me porridge and cereals from home, so can be as well an option for today. But DEFINITELY NOT pasta with sauce or anything else with sauce. Will go probably for rice or similar

Food supply for carbo-loading alternative...

Food supply for carbo-loading alternative…

Ended the day with an hour reading under the last rays of the sun (well, before it disappear behind the buildings close to my hotel). Find a perfect spot in front of the hotel to enjoy them. Rest of the day was quite dull. Double-checking my gear for the race, preparing my gear for tomorrow light run and a bit of writing. Until I almost fell asleep in front of my laptop.

Night night, it is soon 6:30pm and my eyes won’t keep themselves opened… More tomorrow!

Dubai, soon less than a day to go!

On its way… (Cont.’)

6:00pm + – finally boarding but not leaving yet. Sitting close to a sad old man telling me he is sick and on his way back to his home country where his son is no longer and he wants back to Sweden. Heartbreaking really, on one hand I focus on the word “sick” and wish to change place right away. On the other hand, feel compassion for him. Little chat & he seemed feeling better. Back to my book, then comes… the food tray. I choose the chicken and succeed to get it down, despite my stomach complaining. Thereafter ate a pear and the stomach definitely do NOT like this treatment. But surprisingly I am able to keep the food and read for a while. Then woke up when we are 40 minutes from Istanbul. Take a handful tram berries, ok, but still not perfect. Awful! Drinking that much might keep me hydrated but need to have to visit… the dreadful loo of the plane. Anyhow, apparently a few people are sick on thus plane. So really hope my body immunity is not down right now!



10:20pm – finally off the plane. Directly looking for my new gate to Dubai. New water bottle as not trusting other water sources. Passport check and waiting for next flight (leaving at 00:40am, i.e. tomorrow !) Am looking quite like a ghost at the moment, very pale face and tired eyes (despite the sleep in the plane…). Try getting a KitKat in my belly and read interestingly that ONE KitKat is providing 12% of GDA (@2000 kcal/day)… Astonishing really. Probably will stick to my bananas next time!


The positive in all that can be resume into this number: 20… This is the temperature in Dubai at 1:26am…


Nothing to be done but waiting, so resting a bit for today!

1:30am or so – “breakfast” – nothing appealing on the top of all alternatives having cheese in it. Got to eat my bulgur salad with tomatoes & cucumber. Went down but a but upset still. Not that much water drink, almost less than normal… Not good! Watched Eragon on tv and took a nap.




7:40am – Dubai time 1 banana / hazelnuts. Slept at least 2.5hrs listening to music. Nice and rested. Thirsty though.

No queue at the passport control (compared to the over-an-hour from last year!). But wait for my bag, although having turned above Dubai for over an hour before landing at 8:15am I do not feel on a rush…

Found the metro station, put money on last year card and… missed the metro by a few seconds… Got reminded not to eat in the cars under penalty of 100 AED. So I won’t eat there!


Feeling strange as it is really foggy, all grey but warm

-heavy in the air. Won’t complain… for today! Hope the skies clear up for Friday.

Little walk to the hotel, tea break + nyponsoppa to drink while my room is prepared. Now will chill a bit and aim to the JW Marriott Marquis to pick up my BIB. Now it feels real!20130123-174137.jpg

More later on…