A Better Recovery

This is what happened after the 16K trail run. In comparison to the week before 14.5k, I finished this run stronger. I relate this to better eating the night before. Many athletes talked about Carb Loading, which is basically eating a lot of carbs the week or at least the night before your long run, mainly pasta. Other athletes revoked such an idea and talked about just having their regular healthy dinner and avoiding and spices or extra fibers.

I chose to eat a lot of pasta the night before the long runs, and to hydrate good while running and to be mentally prepared for the run, and the latter from my point of view is more important than sleeping well, as one night restless sleep will not ruin your run.

After finishing the run and driving back home I immersed my legs into cold water for 5 minutes, again there are different opinions regarding this technique of recovery, some say drinking and eating right and wearing compression stockings is just enough. I did all of this.

The next day, I felt pain in the upper back, maybe due to bad running form or weak muscles or maybe I am not yet accustomed to such long runs, anyways it just felt better than the week before. Which means your body can get accustomed to anything with training and following the proper techniques.

The following day I did a nice 5k recovery run, which also went better than the previous recovery runs of the past weeks, and it felt good.

Today I took a rest, ate good and preparing for my next challenge tomorrow isa, 21k as advised by my friend Salah. Pray for me.

 

 

Trail Running

One great thing about being and newbie runner is that many experiences are a first timer. Yesterday was my first trail running.

The plan was to meet my friend Hesham and run 16k in Wadi Degla, I woke up 6:30 am on Friday, which is by it self a great achievement. There was a light rain while driving and I discovered that I got 25% only of my phone battery left. No problem, I’ll put it into airplane mode to save battery and be able to listen to music while running.

Hesham invited his freind Salah an ultramarathoner to join the run. We started around 8am.

I ran beside Salah who kept nicely giving me instructions on running form,tip and tricks and I kept asking and listening like a sponge.

The trail had many uphills and downhills and I even fell while going down one but thank god I did not hit a stone of which the ground is full off.

Hesham gave me a nutrition gel to try while running, I think it gave me a nice placebo energy boost.

There is a nice scenery while running, it’s basically a desert for people who like to mediate while running or even walking. I met one of my relatives on a bike in the middle of the trail.

Last 4k I started to gain pace and thank god I finished strong better that the 14.5k of the last week.

We made some stretches, took a selfie and that’s it, another day on my way to El Gouna half marathon.

 

A Week of Recovery

Last Friday I ran 14.5k, well as I said before it was tough, espeially if you are doing it for the first time.

After running I felt sleepy and tired, the next two days I sometimes felt a strange feeling in my head “lightness” some sort of headache can’t explain, wasn’t bad but strange, at night I felt that my head was cold so I wore my beanie at home.

After 72h I felt normal again, I guess it was the asphalt pounding through the spine into the head that made me feel this way the days before.

The 4th day I ran 6k which consisted of 2k warm up and 4 x 800 short tempo and 200 walking.

On the 5th day I ran and walked with my kids for 4-5 k, and it was a very nice experience, I wish they start to love running like I do.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to hit a new mark in Wadi Degla, pray for me.

It’s Tough

Although I woke up a little bit late I had to do what I had to do and run 14-15k. Wore my compression stocks, took for the first time a bottle of water in my hand and a small pack of nuts in my pocket.

After 3 k entered downtown Cairo and as usual was ecstatic gazing at the buildings while listening to music.

I needed to finish at least 8k inside downtown to head back home for another 3k, I followed more or less a random route guided by the random pedestrians  green traffic lights and it went fine.

Every one kilometer I took a small sip of water and at 5 and 10 k I ate my nuts bar. Eating and drinking during running went just fine and I guess its better in recovery.

The last 4 k were really difficult, heart rate kept in oscillating to zone 5 although I took notice and kept my pace much slower.

Finally, I finished my first 14.5k at my home.

Classically you shouldn’t add more than 10% of mileage per week, I have to admit I really did over do it in the last couple of weeks to enter the half marathon held in El Gouna next February, well don’t do this to yourself. This run was tough and afterwards I felt “I don’t recommend J”.

Downtown Here I Come Again

A couple of weeks ago I ran my first 10k and accomplished one of my dreams by running downtown Cairo, I went through Tahrir Sqaure passing through Talaat Harb Street than the 26 of July Street turning right into Mohamed Farid and out through Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

Last week I made my first 12k and instead of getting back through Mohamed Farid, I extended to Opera Square and back through El Sheikh Rihan Street. Actually I was planing 11k but while I am preparing to go down and run my wife told me didn’t you say you should do 12k today ? I said, well I didn’t say this but will see and I did finish the 12k.

Downtown Cairo early morning is one of the most beautiful places to run in Egypt, as it’s one of the fewest neighborhoods in Cairo that actually has pavements for pedestrians. Listening to Bob Marley, Nirvana and all your nostalgic songs gives the run a great mood and a very different perspective on the old streets names background, which are full of historic events and stories.

Tomorrow is another big day for me inshallah, I need to make  14 or 15k, as I am training for my first half marathon in El Gouna on the 10th of February.

I will need to make a 9k spin in downtown and 3k back and forth in and out of tahrir.

Honey Should I bring a Lubricant?

Yes, dear you should. You will read about it in running magazines and wonder, what are they talking about? Why should I buy a “Vaseline” box for lubrication ?

If you have a high BMI or when you start to increase your mileage you will definitely need one. You will start to feel burning sensation in areas where frictions is at most and you might get some foot blisters as well. It’s different from person to person and from foot to foot, I usually get in my right foot, probably because its larger than the left so its fits the shoe in a more or less tight way.

So, when you feel the burn, next time know the areas that hurt most and lubricate before you go for the run, it’s going to hit you in the perineum, feet and the nipples, yes you read it right, its nipples, and god know where else. Enjoy the ride.

Oh, Dear God Give Me that Drug IV

2 weeks ago, I took a life course changing decision, I attended one of those last meetings where you want to finish it and just go. Wasn’t quite an easy decision, wasn’t the end I expected, I guess it happens many times that you take unexpected turn into a path that your never thought you have taken. To be honest to yourself too, most of the times it is those unexplained decisions that turns out to be right at the end. When you follow your gut, it is usually based on days or even months of brain calculations that happens without you even noticing.

At this moment of my life critical path I felt I just wanted to run and celebrate, run and feel sorrow, run and think ahead and run from the past to the future. There is nothing on earth that stays still, everything is moving, people, money, emotions etc. and you shouldn’t also stand still for too long, move forward.

I sought therapy in running, running as a drug for hope and despair, drug for stress and weeping a drug that gives joy, pleasure, and hope.

Afternoon Run ?

FYI if you are preparing for a race or not preparing and willing to take your fitness seriously you need to be on a schedule and not to miss a run.

If you have a busy day you need to try to fit a run at any time, prepare your running stuff at night in a bag to grab it in the morning on the go.

But be prepared, afternoons runs are usually not fun atleast for me, you are usually tired from work and your eating schedule is messed up.

However if it doesn’t pay an immediate reward it will definitely pay later on, when you sit at night and remember that you did it despite everything, this will give you mental power that you need.

And remember in order to get the runners high you need to pay some bad runs sometimes.

Yes it’s Official, I am a 10k Finisher !

Yes it’s official now, I am a 10k Finisher !

Yesterday I couldn’t sleep well, I kept waking up in the middle of the night having mixed feeling of excitement and fear of the 10k. Finally at 7:15 woke up got my coffee checked the news wore my shorts and long sleeve t-shirt  and went down for my challenge.

I was well prepared with my music playlist and started my watch and went down for a slow tempo pace.

After one song I heard the voice in my earphones “Battery Low”, OOOPS.

It means that my blue-tooth earphones will switch off in a couple of minutes, what will I do ? 10k without any music ?! It’s gonna be hard!

Anyways let us continue the run maybe its a sign to listen to your body while running, maybe its better to hear the car sounds for safety, its gonna be better “inshaallah”.

3rd song and the voice came this time “recharge your battery” and silence..

No problem I will remove the earphone put the music on the phone’s speaker as I carry the phone in my running belt.

While crossing Kasr el Nile bridge I heard someone’s steps behind me, I looked back I found a veiled women running.

I kept running very comfortable not really listening to the music as it came from around my waste but gave me the feeling that everything is still okay.

Passing through the famous “Tahrir Square” then into “Talaat Harb” street, I am now seeing a dream coming true, me running in downtown Cairo.

The women behind me approached me asking me where is my destination as she needs to finish her last couple of miles, I told her my route she asked if she can join, I said of course no problem.

We went through downtown together exchanging some running experience and she said good bye once she finished her 10 mile mark.

After looping back again to “kasr el Nile” bridge I still had 3k to finish my 10k challenge, I still felt strong and and started to aim for some negative splits.

A pain started in my right foot arch “always giving me problems”, I said “oh this might be the end ?” However I had this idea of changing my foot strike from midfoot to heel, done the pain went off!

Again I gained power and momentum and finished my last 2k extra strong!

Wow, this is it ! I am now a 10k finisher, I accomplished one of my 2016 goals and 2 long time dreams, running through downtown and finishing a 10k.

Reflections:

Yes you can run without music and it’s nice

Having a company while running makes running easier

Anything is possible !