I finally mustered up the courage to do it. I signed up to the 2015 Dubai Marathon last week. If I’m able to complete it, it will be my first “full” marathon.
The race happens to take place on my birthday, January 23rd, which was a little added incentive to sign up. Who doesn’t want to do something memorable on their birthday, right? Plus we’ll get to visit Dubai, which should be interesting. Unfortunately I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for sightseeing while I’m there. I suppose if nothing else, I’ll get a decent snapshot of the city as I’m running the course. And it looks like the route essentially runs along the coastline so the scenery should be good.
This will be my second attempt at running a marathon. A few years ago I had planned on running the Vancouver Marathon in early May, but had to withdraw after injuring myself halfway through training. The long distances and icy winter pathways in Edmonton were just too much for my left knee to handle.
I knew that if I ever wanted to try again, it would have to mean that I could train under move favorable weather conditions. Now that I’m living in Cairo, where the weather is sunny and hot everyday, I’m pretty much set in that regard. It’s also a big bonus that my job at CSA gives me easy and free access to a fully equipped gym. I’ve always found that running injuries crop up if I let my resistance training start to slide as the mileage increases. No excuses for that now.
The training outlook isn’t entirely roses though. I’ve previously blogged about some of the challenges associated with running in Cairo, principally the lack of pathways, high traffic volumes, poor air quality and harassment (at least for my wife). For the most part I can avoid these problems by running early in the morning, so at least right now that will be the plan.
Probably the biggest barrier I’ll encounter with training is the time commitment. Despite working only 30 hrs/week and not having many responsibilities besides that, I’ll have to be pretty disciplined to stay on track. So far it’s been pretty good, but as the mileage increases it will become more of a challenge.
And the training will really cut into my travelling this Fall. Not sure what it means for our plans at Christmas, but at the very least we’ll probably have to choose a more running friendly destination. I know, #firstworldproblems, right? But it’s a concern nonetheless.
I will say that I’m kind of excited to test out the nutrition advice I’ve been giving out to marathoners over the years. Not that nutrition isn’t completely irrelevant when training or running the half distance, it’s just a lot less important than the full. Hydration will be key, at least until it cools down a little bit. And then there’s the Carbs. Fettucini alfredo here I come!
Anyways, I’ll try to post the occasional update over the upcoming months. Wish me luck!