My first encounter with Dubai was jaw-dropping, breathtaking to say the least and absolutely mesmerizing.
It should be a felony not to have some sort of architectural/design experience when visiting this grand landscape of epic proportions. It felt like a crime looking at the grand designs of the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa, The 7-star Hotel – The Baj Al Arab, The Jumeirah Beach Hotel amongst others with simple ignorance and little to no knowledge of the design genius having been created before us.
With each building thoughts of Mum and Dad came into play, how they would have appreciated the architectural structural brilliance that Dubai houses.
Okay, enough of that nostalgic tone, onto the race itself and the real reason we were in Dubai!
Challenge Family have joined forces with Prince Sheik of Bahrain and together with the Dubai Sports Council created a hunger for Swim, Bike, and Run in the UAE, along with a thirst to showcase the best of the best that Triathlon has to offer over the 1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.2km run distances.
The race course saw us swim at the famous Jumeirah beach, ride through the sand dunes of the Nazwa desert, and lastly run along the beach boardwalk which bizarrely featured an almost Manhattan Beach like feel.
Race morning saw sand lashings from every direction, a revised swim course due to safety and lots of nervous athletes. I put on a brave face for Pete as he started his race but secretly I was thinking “I have 45min until my wave starts, maybe with the hope they’ll declare it too windy on the bike and unsafe for age groupers” and I’ll make the breakfast buffet! haha.
Never having ridden in wind before it was a first. I was looking out for Pete on the bike secretly thinking he would have one of those magical rare stellar days where the planets align. When I saw him on the run taking it easy my heart skipped a beat. The first time in a race that an urge to stop and ‘do something more worthwhile” with no drive at all to finish swept over me.
Pete was jumping up and down shouting like he was out for a stroll, shouting all the supportive things that he could say, cheering me on even when I had run 100m past him.
Leading into this race, better said – leading into this ‘goal’ I had expectations for the first time in a long time of what I was able to achieve. I had a training program for the first time and countless training sessions with the most genuine, supportive, talented friends I can imagine who just happens to be the best of the best in the triathlon history. Yet when the day came all I felt was flatness, emptiness, and loneliness. I swam with no passion, rode fighting a mental battle to simply not get blown off the bike, and later ran like I was out for a stroll.
My heart rate didn’t raise once and I felt the freshest I have ever felt crossing the line with no aches or pains.
Usually for me, a race is the golden nugget, the adrenalin, the finale. I haven’t yet had a race where my heart rate rises and I finish feeling spent but I enjoy every second and revel in doing it, with gratitude., smiling from ear to ear all day and the following week! Haha
Dubai proved different. The golden nugget on reflection was my journey to race day, my ‘race day’ has been on this occasion the many training sessions with friends in Noosa, and more importantly the coffee session post training.
I’ve learned a great deal from this trip.
Disappointment in one self isn’t a bad thing, it’s learning. Learning what makes you tick – for me it’s the friendships, social and LOVE of exercise.
Learning what makes you simply YOU– seeing the love of your life totally selflessly cheering you on without a thought for himself was a highlight, albeit one I wish was at the finish lineJ lol
I once again didn’t show my A game, finishing on the podium but losing nearly 30minutes to the girls on the bike. There’s a lot more to give on race day and I feel I’m one step closer to bounding over that barrier.
Believe in yourself and your ability and the rest will be easy – I’m nearly there…….
Hope you are on you way to Living Your Own Fit tooJ
Happy, Health and FIT – with Love