Running Break

Life is unpredictable and unforeseen obstacles can appear out of thin air to put a damper on the best plans. I returned home to Canada for the summer with great expectations of improving my 10K time, getting lots of exercise, working in the garden, and completing several unfinished projects. The biggest roadblock was time – just not enough to do all the things on my “to-do” list.

My plan to do two 10Ks over the summer break did not happen due to a couple of unexpected events due to carelessness on my part. First, while cleaning the garage walls, I stepped up on a steel cabinet with small wheels on the bottom. The tiny, cheap wheels were not made to support a heavy load. They broke and I took a nasty tumble to the cement floor, bruising my arm and shoulder, resulting in a week of no training.

It should be easy to remove this.

Then, on August the fourth, the day before the New Brunswick Day 10K Race, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and tear off the ugly platform that was on the side of the house and replace it with a small, neat step with a railing.

The job is almost done.

This seemed like an easy job that could be done in a day or two. It may be possible for a strong, skilled carpenter to remove this in a day but it proved a challenge for me. It was a much bigger job than anticipated and in a rush to get it done I dropped a 14 foot 6×2 plank with a spike that slashed open my lower leg, just missing my foot, as it slammed to the ground.

Nothing serious!

Nothing serious!

It didn’t really hurt or bleed a lot so it seemed like just a minor scratch. (I was even able to take a photograph.) I stopped working and called for Florian who helped me put a bandage on the wound. Then, I went to bed, optimistic that by morning, it would be fine and I would be able to take part in the New Brunswick Day race.

When I woke up my bandage was soaked with blood and my leg ached as I hobbled to the kitchen for breakfast. I could barely walk. I was disappointed that I could not participate in the race but hopeful that it was just a minor setback and that I would be able to enter a different event in a week or two.

Thanks Florian.

Thanks Florian.

A few days later, Florian finished removing the platform and helped me complete the job. Although my leg was sore I could walk and do some small jobs as long as I didn’t put too much pressure on it. It was also painfully clear that I would not be running in any summer races.

After seven weeks of limited movement the wound is healed and I have an unsightly scar as a reminder of my mishap. (I hope it fades over time.) The break from running has been tough but I am determined to rebuild slowly. I will start by walking, building up to three miles, and then move on to light jogging, working up to a mile,  before I start running again in a few weeks.

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.