Monday, September 12, 2016

Athletic Adventures Part 1 : The Season Plan

After several bouts of serious life disruption from career moves and shifting living spaces, I think I may have finally settled down this year to ink some rough plans to get ready for the Emirates athletics menu.  (Spoiler alert : this is where I ignore the important things in my life and talk instead about exercise). 

My 2015/16 season had been more emptier than a Detroit night street. I had sunk into the glitzy (not) life of utter workaholism where I think my rear end got the better of the workout, if any. After watching Indian paralympians get gold at the Rio Olympics, I figured I've had it, that I deserve some modicum of change in life and I better get out there and check if the 'ol Indian diesel engine in me still purred.

My bike had been sitting in an old apartment gathering fine 24 karat Arabian crud - nasty stuff that gets lodged around bottom brackets and crevices in your brake shoes. What should have been a nice looking 20 kg carbon bike is now 100 kg and you're still not sitting on it. I took the bike into the shower and poured copies amounts of water on it, probably giving Dubai Water Authority a scare that day. 

I've wondered, in my humble middle class mind of second uses, whether bikes could double as dust-o-meters. The dust-o-meter works because it presents you the horror of all that you could be ingesting as well if you were in the same room. Could it be a new internet-of-things thing? Let's ask the right questions here.

A conundrum has been what to shoot for goals as I started thinking about training.  After a night of mental laboring on this issue and burning through midnight oil, I came out with a conclusion. I had two end points in my race calender and a whole lot of empty space in between. 

Point A - Duathlons : I missed the whole multisport mojo the past year so I figured I want to try the Giant Duathlon series this year again.  Things would be faster and fiercer with me slipping into the 30-39 age category and to be anywhere in the top 30 in a total field of 30 would, I imagine, be a great hurdle or I'd have to somehow re-write my passport. This is also the point in your life when you wish there was a category to race against the kiddies, but as all government regulations these days, even this one is banned.

Point B - A Half or Full Marathon : I have never ran the Dubai marathon against the Ethiopians before, so that I thought would be interesting to include as the highlight of this season. But the challenge was that it would conflict with the 4th Duathlon race on January 20th and if I was going to do Duathlons, I would be in it for the long haul. The other option would be to skip the Dubai marathon and focus instead on facing the half Ethiopians at the RAK Half Marathon in February. 

Decisions decisions. Taking a look at the two events above, both require different ingredients in training. The sprint Duathlon is fast and intense from the get go, favoring a strong gastrointestinal system for the puke-recover-puke style of workload. The marathon is a 3 hour jog calling for a disciplined 18-24 week phased approach where you the pretend Alberto Salazar run around the city so much that the local taxi drivers hold you in contempt. Plus when they shout behind your back demanding an explanation , you can't hear them anyway, you're plugged in.

Finally, it made sense I should just dump the full marathon (and associated prize monies) and focus instead on the half. So yeah, probably, most likely, no marathon even this season. That's one less medal I have to worry about finding space for. One less dust-o-meter.  

More soon.

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