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.

Runner’s High – Give it to Me

I am not sure if I read about it somewhere, but when I felt it I searched for it. It’s a state of euphoric mind, a state of happiness that cannot be explained, a state of euphoric relaxed body. It is called “Runner’s High”.

It is different from the sense of accomplishment you get when you stick to schedule or overachieve.

When does it kick in ? Not sure, in my case I usually feel it at the end of the run and afterwards. One day it lasted for hours.

Remember not all runs will give you this state of euphoria, but you need to push in your run routine in order to someday it’s gonna hit you and blow your mind.

 

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 !