Life is a rollercoaster – you just gotta ride it.

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It was a weekend of high and lows, of appreciating your health, family and friends, and of remembering the fragility of the human body, but also our strength to endure and recover.

I had a great training week, and starting to feel really strong, particularly on the bike and the run.  For the swim I haven’t noticed any great improvements but I am sure I am getting stronger.  Friday morning was the Abu Dhabi Striders half marathon race at Yas Island.  I wasn’t sure how my legs where going to fair after all the hills on Tuesday nights ride and then more Power intervals on the stationary bike on Wednesday night.  However after a nice recovery swim on Thursday evening I felt pretty good by Friday morning.  Started off with a nice steady pace for the first 15mins then decided to see how long I could hold a 5min/km or slightly below pace…managed it for the rest of the race and finished in 1hour and 43mins.  This is only my third half marathon and I managed to shave 17 minutes of my last time set at the RAK marathon in March this year. Couldn’t believe it and has given me some great confidence going in to Phuket.

Operation Smile - miles for smiles shot
Operation Smile – miles for smiles shot

On Saturday it was planned for a 3 and half hour ride in Al Qudra, but by Friday night I was feeling pretty exhausted after a 4.30am start the day before, and also a day full of packing ready to move out of our house this week.  I decided to give it a miss and ride on Saturday afternoon instead.  A small group went to Exit 390, as place we have been a few times before, for long rides. Tragedy struck at around 8am when one of the riders was struck from behind by a speeding car.  He is still in a critical condition in hospital with breaks and fractures and unfortunately a severe head injury.  It is the low side of the sport, and a growing reality and concern not only in the UAE, but also globally.  It seems that drivers and cyclists don’t mix that well- but it’s always the cyclist that comes off worse out of any contact.  The human body is an amazing thing, and so is hope, so for now I believe he will come through this and re-join us again in the sport we love.

For now I will keep training and moving towards Phuket. I will no longer ride on the open roads here, and will find another way to keep doing the sport I love – cause that’s what we do – we keep going, we keep moving  –  we endure.

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