Running seems to be work without progress at the moment. Almost every day in May, including the weekends, I wanted to skip my morning run. Yet, most days I stumbled out of bed at 5 in the morning, got dressed and made my way through the construction site that surrounds my home. Road construction projects have been part of the landscape in Nizwa since I arrived here in October 2013.
Sometimes I have the impression that roads are built, dismantled and built again. Incidentally, Oman appears to have an endless supply of money in the budget for road construction.
Every workout in May was 5K (3.1 miles) on the same route. Here is a brief description, along with some photos. I walked ten minutes to warm up and then I had to deal with a mini-obstacle course, jumping over rocks, garbage, shovels and various other objects for about a half mile before eventually finding myself on a service road that is no longer busy in the morning because all the traffic is speeding down the completed part of the new highway.
It never ceases to amaze me how the locals always spot me running, or more accurately waddling down the service road, in spite of their speed. Many of them even take the time to greet me with a long obnoxious toot of the vehicle horn. I ignored this and continued on my way wondering if I would collapse from heat exhaustion or die trying not to inhale the filthy dust that constantly lingers in the air from construction and summer sand storms.
Some days I slowed to a walk and on others I would walk thirty seconds after a few minutes and as a result my time ranged from 33 to 36 minutes on most outings.
Overall, May was not exactly a great month for running due to the construction, dust and unbearable heat. Several days in May the midday temperature approached 50 C and to make life really miserable water and electricity services were also interrupted.
I am glad May is finished, but I know that June will be a challenge to force myself out the door for some exercise. According to the Times of Oman the country will experience a long and hot summer. The good news is I have five weeks left before heading home. If the weather and my body cooperate then I will aim for 3 or 4 comfortable 5K runs per week.
My running days in the desert are drawing to a close and I am looking forward to running along the rural roads of my homeland, away from all the distractions and inconveniences of the Middle East.