Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday is Prayer Day

Now itr is Friday in Gaza and no one has ever had a better excuse for notr running than I have this week, with two nations teetering on the brink of war and spending hours running around in an armored car thru areas that any sane person would not go , and instead of running gear in true "Gaza Running" fashion I have been wearing my bullet proof jacket in lieu of my running singlet and Heart rate monitor
And now that the hotel has internet here, more later with photos
Just wish I had bought my heart rate monitor with me , see its the little things in war you miss ... like running

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Reasons not to run

I woke up this morning at 5 am and had all intentions to go out and run as I have done twice this week, and yet i stopped and thought , listing reason why not to train. It seems so silly to go out and run when the comments you get from friends is " Be safe" and do I really want to run when at the back of my mind with every step I take is the risk I am taking for what take the time off use it as a rest period and not have to wory that a car will pull up next to me and throw me inside.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Four Legs good - Two legs faster

I decided that it would be ok to run again this morning down here in Gaza , there are things that you have to do to keep yourself sane in zones like this and running truly is my way to relieve the stress.
It was dark when I woke up and I decided that the best time to run would be a first light, that way the only people up are the Hamas Militia guarding the Fish Market and the traders on their donkey carts going to the fish market. Now the fish market is not a standard warehouse , but a roadside sit with fish kept definetely not in the cleanest standards that would pass many health and safety inspectors.

I had decided to do the same run as the other morning, but with a morning off in between in case anyone was watching me with bad intentions, in fact there was only one old beaten up car this morning with a few men that made me quicken my step, but they turned up and into Gaza City.

I still keep the no eye contact rule with anyone, like a racehorse with blinkers as I see anyone or hear anything my eyes focus on the road ahead and nothing else

So back to the training schedule - I wanted to push a little harder and make this more of a tempo run - so mile splits were as follows -
#1 8:38
#2 8:22
#3 8:12
#4 7:57 - now very happy with that split for a mile , not sure how this translates to km/min pace - a sub 8:00 min/mile

The reason I went under 8 is definetely my pacing partner for the last 500m , I turned at the roundabout at the same time as a horse (yes a horse not a donkey) was on its way to the fish market and moving along at a fair clip pulling its cart with owner and friend and thus the race was on back to the gate , the only eye contact I had was to glance into the eyes of the horse as I finished , the winner no photo finished required was yours truly.

Now that is a running story you do not hear every day

Gaza City

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Reflections on yesterday

Was I smart to run yesterday down here in Gaza, I kept thinking about all day, one bullet, one angry militant, a drive by kidnap who knows. But I decided not to run this morning even though I work early with the plan to run, maybe just a sixth sense who knows. Maybe tomorrow
Gaza City

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The burnt out dumpster

I could not bear it anymore, I have been down in Gaza on assignment for 9 days and have tried to avoid even thinking about running , as I have said previously for this reason and that reason I have not run. I even did not bring running clothes or trainers down here. However there was an opportunity to get some clothes down from Jerusalem (60 miles away) during a staffing crossover and I put the word out bring my kit down.
So I figured if I got up at 5am and was out the door by 5:30 there would be no one on the main road out the front of the hotel and if I avoided the fish market I should really not have any problems, figuring bad boys do not get up at 5:30.
You should of seen the look on poor guy on reception when I came down and went out the door.
Out from the hotel , past the Hamas Militia on the street corner up to the burnt out dumpster , turn before the Fish market, back past the Hamas boys and on past my hotel to the rotting dumpster, man this really smelt bad, and onto the roundabout where there had been a really good shoot out a fortnight ago and back to the hotel as my circuit , I actually measured it out in my armored car later in the day and it was exactly a mile.
I did four circuits - 4 miles - 34:42 minutes best split an 8:09 , 8:30 , 8:30 and a 8:39. so i was happy with my times given the location.
Somedays you just feel the need , today was one. I like to run it makes me feel good in a place that at times has no reason to be positive.

Checkout my daily thoughts on working down here in my other blog

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Running in not so fun places

Down here in Gaza , where I cannot run . I like to think and reflect on bizaare places I have previously run in. And Ramadi Iraq at the Marines Camp "Hurricane Point" rates up there

Why no Posts if you blog & run

Well I have to admit that the last week has turned into a forced rest week, not due to injury that is a good reason, not because i could not be bothered and that is a bad reason not to train but because as much as I would love to run and go to the gym, do a spin class even an eliptical session and would bend over backwards for a good Yoga class. None of those are available because since last Tuesday morning I have been on assignment down in Gaza.
Yes Gaza that place you read about and see on Television and down here the only running you do is from bullets and hellfire missiles.
I used to run down here a year or so, I could do a nice 45 minutes run , but nowadays the risk of kidnap is to high , my old runniong trail to the gunmen at the compound and down thru the Beach Refugee Camp is also a popular kidnapping section of local militia.
I took the first few days as a positive that a few days off training would be good for me , after six days it is becoming a real drag . I miss so many things down here but on a personal level not being able to feel the euphoria of a good run does start to affect you mentally and the next few days are going to be even tougher as there appears no end to my out.
Gaza is a prison and for the moment I am a captive who just wants to run
Gaza City

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday Double

11 Jun, 2006
New York 2006
30 km
1:00:00 (2:00/km)
Avg. HR:122 Max HR:131
Specialised Spin Shoes (240.0 km)
This spin class goes from bad to worse , and if was not for the YOGA afterwards would not go, the routine is flat and mundane , the music today hit an all time bad selection to the point that a couple of times we had our fingers in the ears to protest. I estimate that 45 minute of the class was in Position One , just turning for no reason

New York 2006
Hp Gym
Rest HR:46 Avg. HR:59 Max HR:81
Really starting to get into this Yoga , thing hard to ascertain if I am becoming more flexible yet , but lets say no harm is taking place, only trouble being my black big toe

Saturday, June 10, 2006

End of another week

10 Jun, 2006

Temp: 28
New York 2006
Sat Long Yarkon Park
17 km
1:40:00 (5:52/km)
Rest HR 53
Avg. HR:122
Max HR:175

Asics Gel Kayano - March 06 (202.4 km)

New York Program , A little better than last week BUT still there are issues to be addressed within the group . I have stopped making excuses and have decided that if people want to train with me then train with me , do not expect me to train you. I like helping and assisting runners but have been burnt a few times and do not feel like going through that again. At the end of it you realised that you have made sacrifices for others and that up to know has never been repaid. As I have said on numerous occasions would love someone to ask me " How can I help you Mal "

New York 2006
30 km
1:00:00 (2:00/km)
Rest HR:63 Avg. HR:111 Max HR:140
Specialised Spin Shoes (210.0 km)
Saturday Spin Class - did the early class, totally full class - great music , great new instructor , good english all in all a great class Toe bloody sore

New York 2006
Hp Gym
0.60 km
15:22 (25:36/km)
Avg. HR:101 Max HR:106
Sat Morning Swim - 600 m Breaststroke , with my black toe very sore on turns

Friday, June 09, 2006

5225.2 km

Just finally caught up with my running logbook , the old type where you have to write in and never suffers a hard disk crash or is infected with virus whereby all your information just disappears into a world of 1s and 0s never to be found, the one great thing is that I have kept a complete record of how many km's I have run in the past three years , from memory I actually started running back in November 2003 , well thats when I started to run and keep records.
It is when I bought my first running shoes rather than just another pair of trainers, when i started getting up in the morning before the sun, trained my body to do its ablutions before I stepped out the door, learnt how to try and enjoy a banana at 5 in the morning knowing that I will need the energy in the hours to come, regardless of the weather (Glad I live somewhere where the weather is generally nice) I have run three marathons half a dozen halfs 10 km's and 5 km's.
Learnt how much it hurts to train on hills and that the track is a long 400m when you keep going around and around.
And after all that my logbook now read 5,225 km and that is a long way , so far this year I have run 867.4 km just fyi .
What is intresting about 5225 km -
Well that is total length of electrified railway lines in the entire UK ....
It is the distance from Strassburg to Jerusalem , if you want walk it
The US Warplane the Flying Fortress B29 the plane that dropped the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki had a range of ... you guessed it 5225 km