10K Training

With about three weeks to go before returning to Canada for summer vacation, my mind is on the New Brunswick Day 10K Road Race in Chipman, New Brunswick. In previous years, I have taken part in the 5K event but to celebrate three years of running and the 25th anniversary of the event I am participating in the 10K race this year.

Two weeks ago, I started preparing by following a new 8 Week 10K training Plan that I developed based on time rather than distance. Running in the scorching heat in Oman is almost impossible, so in order to deal with this, I scheduled some walking pauses and gradually increased the running intervals hoping that this will get me ready for running in Canada.  Additionally, as the running intervals increase, the walking pauses become shorter, as can be seen in the plan below.

8week10kweeks 1to48week10kweeks5to8pool 15For the first four and a half weeks my cross training will be 40 minutes of swimming at the Golden Tulip pool. I usually go directly after work before the families with children arrive so that I have the pool to myself.  When I return to Canada this will be replaced with 40 to 60 minutes of biking on the trails near my home which I will share with the local wildlife.

In my last 10K race I finished in 1:06:46, but is was actually 10.3K, so with 300 meters less to run in Chipman my goal is to finish in less that 1 hour and 5 minutes.

A Bad Driver Ruined my Run

This morning I headed out for a run with Florian, who is visiting for a month. He came along to  carry my water bottle and camera so that I could concentrate on my run. I rarely take a camera with me but I asked Florian to bring it just in case he saw something interesting to photograph. We left the flat at 6, walked across the wadi, arriving at the start of Nizwa Exercise Trail shortly before 7.

The temperature was rather cool at 27 degrees Celsius (81 F) so I decided to attempt four miles in 40 to 42 minutes. In order to accomplish this I needed to maintain a pace of 10:00 to 10:30 per mile without walking on the hills. The first two miles went as planned with 10:20 and 10:04 splits. The toughest part of the route was behind me.  I still felt strong and started to think that I could finish in a little under 40 if I picked up the pace on the straight part of the trail. This was a dumb strategy because this flat section covers about a half a mile and then the trail becomes hilly again on my way back. How could I forget? I slowed down and tried to get back to my original plan which was soon interrupted by a bad driver on the street that runs parallel to the exercise trail.

Instead of concentrating on the road this driver tooted his horn and greeted me with some dumb comments. Within seconds, the car skidded into the loose gravel, causing it to spin around in a circle and fly backwards into a support cable on a hydro pole. The impact of the vehicle broke the cable and snapped the center support of the pole, sending the overhead transmission lines crashing down on the running path. I sprinted to the road, terrified that I was about to be electrocuted by falling wires.

I was safe and pace no longer mattered. I tried to regain my composure and figure out what to do about the accident. Thank goodness, a more sensible driver arrived on the scene and called the police. The local police were on the scene within a couple of minutes. I stopped my Garmin at 2.5 miles and walked past. The driver and passengers were all safe.

I tried to resume my run but I couldn’t concentrate on running. So, I walked back to meet Florian who had my water and camera. After a few photos and some water, I ran another mile and called it a day.

Danger! Stop Running!

Danger! Stop Running!

The police were on the scene within minutes.

The police were on the scene within minutes.

Call the tow truck.....

Call the tow truck…..

Lots of damage but luckily no injuries.

Lots of damage but luckily no injuries.

 

Wadi Tanuf

Two weeks ago, I met Mr. Hilal for the second time when he came to the college to discuss his son’s progress. He immediately recognized me. It took me a couple of seconds to recall our first encounter which was over two years ago when he gave me a lift from Lulu Hypermarket to the Ibri taxi stand in Nizwa Souq. Anyhow, we started chatting as if we were long-lost friends. We exchanged numbers and he promised to invite me to his village to meet his wife and children.

After the last rain in Nizwa and surrounding areas Mr. Hilal invited me to his home for dinner and then a tour of his neighborhood and a visit to Wadi Tanuf. For the first stop, we visited the Falaj Daris, one of five aflaj (canals) irrigation systems in Oman designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is the largest falaj in the country and supplies water to the city of Nizwa and the smaller communities nearby.

After this we headed to Tanuf Wadi, passing by the ruins of Old Tanuf, which I would like to visit on another occasion.  About fifteen minutes later we arrived at Tanuf Dam which was full of water from the recent rains.

Fence and gate protecting Tanuf Dam.

Fence and gate protecting Tanuf Dam.

Tanuf Dam filled with water.

Tanuf Dam filled with water.

TW1This dam collects rain water to recharge wells, aquifers, and the Tanuf water bottling plant. I assume that the muddy water goes through some type of filtering system before it is distributed across the country for drinking. After stopping for some photos of the dam we forged on ahead through the water deeper into the wadi.

On entering the wadi, we met some traffic.

On entering the wadi, we met some traffic.

Eventually, we made our way through to some dryer land and continued along a road next to the wadi. We stopped for some photos of the wadi that now looked like a river making its way through the mountains.

I am glad we didn't have to drive through this part of the wadi.

I am glad we didn’t have to drive through this part of the wadi.

A few more kilometers and the road was flooded  and we were forced to ford the wadi again. 

Luckily, we didn’t get stuck like this guy.

Some families decided to park their vehicles and make their way across the wadi on foot.

Some families decided to park their vehicles and make their way across the wadi on foot.

Others parked their vehicles and prepared for a picnic.

Others parked their vehicles and prepared for a picnic.

We continued down the wadi until we came to some waterfalls. Well, this is how my friends described the water sprouting from the wadi walls.

Some mini waterfalls.

Some mini waterfalls.

Finally, we came to an area with a lot of people wading and enjoying the water. By now, I was feeling tired and thankful that my friends didn’t want to go wadi-wading.  Instead, we turned and headed back to Nizwa.