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Jay's Friday Morning Running Blog
Written by Jay Fares   
Saturday, 09 July 2011 05:25

Friday Morning Run - May 31, 2013

This week I lost my wife's eldest brother in a tragic bicycle accident in New Mexico. He had skidded off the road on some dirt while turning a corner and fell in a ravine. He broke almost all his ribs, his back, his two arms, his two hands and although he was wearing a helmet he also injured his head requiring 21 stitches. They operated on him on Tuesday and two days later he succumbed to his injuries. Just minutes before I started my morning run, I was speaking with all the family members who have gathered to remember him and celebrate his life.

So you can only imagine the mental and emotional state I was in. I needed to run badly. I needed to coast along on autopilot where nothing in the world matters. Where I feel strong enough to handle anything. Where I feel like I am living to my fullest potential. Where the gentle desert wind carcasses my face and with every breath I take I am reminded of the fact that I am still living. Isn't it better to live one's life, then die regretting never have lived it.

When I look at our young runners, I say mashallah, they have their life in front of them and may they live it abundantly. I don't say it with envy but with love. I consider each one of them as one of my children. When I go to the track to watch them run, I feel connected with the world through them. Watching them run fulfils a deep thirst within me for life and makes me appreciate their potential.

Before the run this morning, when I arrived at the meeting place only Marweh was there, then other runners started steadily arriving. I was slowly loosing hope of having a partner to run with, until the last minute when Carl Montera showed up. We ended up running together. He appeared to be suffering from a cold and his breathing was taxed. In spite of that we completed four miles together. I was feeling in much better shape than him, but I slowed down and kept his pace. To me his companionship, his friendship and his well being were more important to me than having an optimal workout. I ended up having a good workout anyway plus enjoying his stories and conversations. At the end of our run and before we departed ways, he thanked me and I reciprocated. What a joy it is to run with others and support them when they need it, as Carl has supported me so many times before.

I love running...

Tour Of Dhahran December 13 - 19, 2012

The Tour of Dhahran (TOD) first started in 1987 and is considered the toughest race in the Middle East. It is a series of six races to be performed within seven days. It starts on Thursday and ends on Wednesday with Sunday being a rest day. This year I earned first place in the Most Improved Runners (MIR) Category, improving by 1:03:24 over last year's time.

Day

Description

Comments

My Times

1

5.2 miles desert cross-country

Tough hilly and rocky terrain with some stretches through sand embankments

0:59:18

2

12 miles road race

Normal road conditions

2:19:21

3

1 mile downhill race

Normal road conditions

08:25.4

4

Rest

5

8 miles king-of-the-hills race

Nice, liked uphill more than downhill

1:24:07

6

5 miles road race

Normal road conditions

0:49:56

7

5000m track race

The weather was cold, but not rainy.

0:32:50

Total:

5:41:04



The pictures of my races and my medal are below to prove it. Happy running and stay fit!


1. Won First Place In
2. Lebanese Runners
3. Lebanese Other
4. Lebanese Other
5. Lebanese Other
6. Lebanese Other
7. Lebanese Other
8. Awards Ceremony
9. Awards Ceremony
10. Awards Ceremony
11. Receiving Most
12. Receiving Most
13. Receiving Most
14. Mir Award Winners
15. Mir Award Winners
16. Mir Award Winners
17. Jihad Mekhael Fares
18. Tod Participants
19. Tod Participants
20. Xc Desert Race
21. Xc Desert Race
22. Xc Desert Race
23. Xc Desert Race
24. Xc Desert Race
25. Xc Desert Race
26. 12 Mile Road Race
27. 12 Mile Road Race
28. 12 Mile Road Race
29. 12 Mile Road Race
30. King Of Hill 8 Mile
31. 5 Mile Road Race
32. 5 Mile Road Race
33. 5 Mile Road Race
34. 5 Mile Road Race
35. 5 Mile Road Race
36. 5 Mile Road Race
37. 5 Mile Road Race
38. 5 Mile Road Race
39. 5 Mile Road Race
40. 5 Mile Road Race
41. 5000m Track Race
42. 5000m Track Race
43. 5000m Track Race
44. 5000m Track Race
45. 5000m Track Race
46. 5000m Track Race
47. 5000m Track Race
48. 5000m Track Race
49. 5000m Track Race
50. 5000m Track Race
51. 5000m Track Race
52. 5000m Track Race
53. 5000m Track Race
54. 5000m Track Race
55. 5000m Track Race
56. 5000m Track Race
57. 5000m Track Race
58. 5000m Track Race
59. 5000m Track Race

Running Into My Father - October 29, 2012

With my hip condition finally being diagnosed as a FAI (Femoral Acetabular Impingement), bicycling and the elliptical machines at the gym have been my refuge in the past several weeks. These low impact exercises have helped me to keep my fitness level up and assisted me in easing my way back into running.

One day, at the 3ed Street Gym, I was on the elliptical machine doing my routine and saying to myself:

"You know what - I can live without running...
It is not the end of the world if I don't run...
The elliptical is good enough...
I am getting old for running... that's what the doctor said...
Perhaps I should do the honorable thing and tell the coach - I can't run anymore...
I don't want to be one of these time wasters that he keeps on talking about...
I should have the courage to do that...
Who cares what others think...
I am going to do it..."

With these thoughts swirling in my head, I started going on my machine slower and slower - my arms and legs barely moving. I was greatly leaning forward and about to fall off when a voice in the room calls me: "Jayman" . I quickly gained my composure and tried to ascertain where the voice is coming from. I looked around me but I couldn't see anyone I know in these faces. Has someone quickly passed by and left?

I labored on, when all of a sudden there comes into focus in the mirror in front of me the faces of two young Saudi guys running on two adjacent treadmills in the row in front of me and slightly to my right. They looked very similar in facial features and age which made me think they must be brothers. The older one was the better athlete and he could go, the younger one looked more athletic but did not push as hard. I could tell that from the lack of observable strain on his face as it was reflected in the mirror. I kept on observing them for a while thinking...

"these guys are young, they should be a able to run faster....
they should be more fit...
I wish I was as young as them - I could show them..."

All of a sudden they stopped and got off the treadmills --- my dream of being young and reliving my youth in them abruptly came to an end.

I glance at the monitor of my machine and realize that my exercise time is about to come to an end. As the buzzer sounded, I skipped the cool down and immediately jumped on the treadmill in front of me. I subconsciously cranked up the speed to a comfortable but brisk pace and started going. My face melted into my reflection in the mirror facing me. As I went on, features of the face of my dead father started blending into my face in the mirror. His features and my features started oscillating in a magical rhythmic dance of life.

I was running with my father...
I was running into my father...
I was becoming my father...

It was magical!

I realized I don't want to be young any more. I am happy where I am - I am younger than the young can be.

I am going to run, because running is my life...

I love running...

Dublin marathoners, good luck and we will be watching for you...

Dublin Marathon Results

Tip
  • Pierre Breuer completed the Dublin Marathon at 11:53:42 am with a time of 02:51:29 and 06:33 min/mi avg pace.
  • Matt Newman ran it in 3:10:01, John Fleming in 3:12:58 and Henry Dressler in 3:13:44.

Letter from Rome - Monday June 4, 2012

Yesterday while on vacation in Rome my wife and I visited the Borghese Palace which houses a great collection of art from the Renascence and Baroque period. We had visited the same palace five years ago, but this time we wanted to focus on the works of two geniuses of their time Caravaggio and Bernini.

In our previous visit I was struck by Bernini's sculpture depicting the Rape (or abduction) of Proserpina by the master of the underworld Pluto. Bernini was only 23 when he completed this sculpture and it brings to life the moment of the abduction and struggle between the two of them. Proserpina's hand pushing against Pluto's face, creasing his skin, while Pluto's fingers sink into the flesh of her thigh.

This time I was more struck by the sculpture depicting the story of Apollo and Daphne with Apollo chasing after Daphne and Daphne calling on her father to save her from Apollo by transforming her into a laurel tree. The sculpture depicts this exact moment of metamorphosis with Apollo's hand touching Daphne in the area already covered by tree bark and leaves growing from her fingers and roots extending from her toes into the marble base. Notice from the picture that Apollo is running and this is the first time you see a marble sculpture depicting motion to such a degree. Notice that Apollo's leg is just hanging there free from any support. I stared and stared at his leg with the sandals he wore which were perfectly fitting and would have been great for running.

I came back to my hotel with the image of Apollo's foot as masterfully depicted by Bernini accompanying me. It came with me to dinner, it climbed up the stairs with me and haunted me in my dreams. I woke up early this morning ready for the chase but in reality on the treadmill in the hotel gym at level -2.

Teresa went to the pool and I headed to the gym. When I arrived all the treadmills were occupied, so I went on the orbital machine for 45 minutes which gave me a good workout, but I was still dissatisfied.

Then one of the treadmills became available, so I immediately went on it. No sooner than five minutes while on it, then the most amazing experience happened to me. There it was on the flat screen TV in front of me a Marathon being carried on Euro Sport from Stockholm, Sweden.

The Camera man must have been on a motorcycle, as he was ahead of the lead athlete by just feet tracking his every move. What a superb runner he must have been and he looked Kenyan to me. He was ahead of everyone and running in the rain. I cranked my treadmill speed up and decided to run with him. He was going and I was going - I was becoming him.

Oh what an exciting race, and I was participating in it. I could go for hours like this and not get tired. He was going with still no one in sight. He was wearing a red T-shirt and pinkish shoes, not very coordinated I thought. As usual, the toilet bowel commercial comes on and I had to drop back to reality. As soon as it was over, the chase was on again and I carried on with him.

He was my hero, then the camera zoomed out and there was another man behind him (and me), he was European looking with blue shirt and yellow-green shoes. He was gaining fast on the black man and he overtook him by about 20 meters. All of a sudden my hero was not my hero, I was questioning his determination. That other Euro guy did not look as fit, but was tougher mentally. All of a sudden the European man goes under an arched large entrance and the camera comes from the other side uncovering a large stadium where spectators are watching over the finish line. This guy comes in to the finish line and is met by two women in traditional outfits holding the wreath of victory. They place it around his neck and he kneels down and kisses the ground. He must have been running for the glory of his country.

The camera zooms out and focuses on the strong black man who was my hero for the majority of the race - his face looked shattered and his spirit broken, although he came second.

By this time I could not run any more and my muscles were hurting everywhere.

I thank the Roman God Apollo (Greek Phoebus) "the radiant one" for shining on me this morning.

Keep on running....

Miss you guys!

Thursday Morning Run - March 22, 2012

This morning, at about 5:15, I went on an early morning run for eight miles covering the Peninsula and Golf Course loops. Yesterday evening I was unable to run with the group, so I had to go on my own this morning to satisfy the weekly mileage target set for me by the coach. Now that he has promoted me to the "3 minute pack", I hope he doesn't increase this target.

In the morning the weather was perfect for running with sporadic light drizzle of rain/mud from the sky accompanied with cool breathes blowing from the desert. I completed the Peninsula loop but was still not satisfied. So I had to continue on to the Golf Course loop just for one reason and one reason only. I had to pass by the 4K XC course, which I am starting to fall in love with! Yes, this is the place where I received my first medal for placement, not just for completing a race. Before last Tuesday and receiveing a medal for finishing third in the 4K XC race, I used to vehemently hate the place. I always walked slowly from the parking lot crossing the road to the race starting point, with my stomach tied in knots with worry and apprehension.

Now I am in love with the place!

I am seriously considering leaving my Marjan dwelling and pitching a tent on the rocky outcrops above the course and living there. Yes - If you see a gray tent pitched there while driving on Golf Course Road, it will be my tent. Don't hesitate to pass by for some Arabic coffee and dates, but off course you have to run at least one loop of the course before you will be served.

It seems we can't bond with a place without sweat and tears, and this course has given me plenty. Perhaps this is why we love our children so much? Is it that we love them only because we work so hard to raise them? I do terribly miss mine but I know they are ready for life. I have prepared them well! Coach I am ready for stage two, but I am scared. Have you prepared me well? Fellow runners of the "3 minute pack" are you willing to take me in?

I love running!

I love this group!

Photographs from Wellness Running 4K Cross Country - March 20, 2012

1. Jihad Mekhael Fares
2. Jihad Mekhael Fares

Data for this Friday morning run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/160295258

Friday Morning 10 Miles Run - February 3, 2012

"You are nearer to my heart than my smile to my lips", so goes the song of Umm Kulthum. Umm Kulthum (أم كلثوم), known as the Star of the East was unarguably the Diva of Arabic Song during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and until her death on February 3, 1975 (36 years to the day). How wonderful it is to listen to such expression of love in the Arabic Language delivered by Umm Kulthum's angelic voice!

Why am I writing about Umm Kulthum? I was reminded of her by Mike Henley during our long run together this morning. Mike lived in the Middle East for a long time and he knows a great deal about the Arab World and its contemporary history. One of the fables he told me this morning was about Umm Kulthum. It goes as follows:

Umm Kulthum used to sing for King Farouk of Egypt before he was deposed by a military coup staged by Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1952. Because of her relationship with King Farouk, Umm Kulthum was afterwards ostracized by some of the ruling military officers at the time. Gamal Abdel Nasser loved Umm Kulthum, as he grew up listening to her songs. So one day he heard that one specific high ranking officer was harassing her. He called him and told him that he wants him to destroy the Pyramids of Giza. The Officer was very surprised and refused. He then told him that Umm Kulthum is one of these pyramids and he should treat her as such.

It is a well known fact that Nasser adored Umm Kulthum and often attended her premier concert performances in Caro.

Another story that Mike shared with me this morning was that he taught at Baghdad College in Iraq where Ahmed Chalabi went to school. I told him that Ahmed Chalabi taught me Calculus in 1971 at American University of Beirut (AUB). Chalabi was a nice young man, as I remember, and he drove a very nice white Jaguar E-type car. What a small world we live in? It is amazing what unexpected subjects come up in conversations during these long runs! it seams that working the muscles frees the mind. Mikey - I enjoy running with you.

Let me go back to Arabic song and poetry. Arabic is such a wonderful and rich language for expressing matters of the heart - If only the world knew?

Recently it was in the news that a Texas school district has canceled Arabic classes after complaints from parents about Islam. Apparently, parents were afraid that if their children learn Arabic they will become Muslim. I posted the news on my facebook page and it was read by a distinguished Arabic teacher in Lebanon, teaching for over 40 yeas at the "Collège Protestant", one of the most prominent schools in Beirut. Her comment was "These people are ignorant! It's a shame that some human beings still live in the Middle ages". My son Michael who had originally brought the news to my attention and who is presently working on his masters in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at UT Austin, commented by saying: "there are millions of people in the Middle East who speak Arabic and are not Muslim, what are these people talking about?"

I love these Friday morning runs, as I learn so much form all of you. I am always amazed to realize how much people around me know and how enriching the communication experience can be with them.

When I was younger, that is a year ago, before running, I used to think I knew so much and never paid attention to others. In other words, I was full of myself. Now after running with others, I realize how much better they are than me. It is a humbling experience. It enabled me to listen more to others and learn from them. Also it made me think that every individual has strong characteristics that can benefit others, if only they could discover them in time.

I love running....

Photographs from Wellness Running 3K Race/RAK Trials - Jan 31, 2012

1. Jihad Mekhael Fares
2. Jihad Mekhael Fares
3. Jihad Mekhael Fares
4. Sulaiman Binmalik
5. Jihad Mekhael Fares
6. Jihad Mekhael Fares
7. Jihad Mekhael Fares
8. Jihad Mekhael Fares
9. Waleed Modra
10. Hamad Balhareth
11. Coach Ian Wilson At
12. Race Winners - Men
13. Before Race Satrt
14. Getting Ready To
15. Start Of Race
16. Jihad Mekhael Fares

More on the news story referenced: Texas schools nix Arabic classes over fears of Islam

Data for this Friday morning run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/146738773

Comments:

Michael L Hanley - Beautiful story Jay. Very enjoyable to read. Only one small correction. I did not teach Ahmed Chalabi. He attended Baghdad College where I taught. You therefore cannot attribute your knowledge and skills in calculus to me in anyway. Very enjoyable morning. Will start working on next weeks story right away.

Pete Crisi - Jay Fares, you have an amazing mind!

 

Friday Morning 10 Miles Run - January 27, 2012

This week I missed the Sunday track session because my wife was coming out of the hospital. In spite of that my total miles for the week were 27.29 miles.

I am having a problem with loosing steam on long runs after the 5-mile mark. The first five miles of the 10-mile run this morning I ran in 51 minutes @ 5.88 mph. The second five miles I ran in 61 minutes, a lag of 11 minutes. I don't know what to do about this problem? Is this normal? Do you guys have any advice for me? I know this is nor happening to Rommleigh, as for the past two runs we were neck to neck up to 4.5 mile mark, then she started gaining on me. Should I care or just run without notice of other runners?

"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature." - Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD

Love running...

Data for this Friday morning run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/144889355

Photographs from Wellness Running Friday Morning 10 Miles Run - January 27, 2012

1. Jihad Mekhael Fares
2. Jihad Mekhael Fares
3. Jihad Mekhael Fares
4. Jihad Mekhael Fares

Comments:

 

Ian Wilson - Start a little slower!

Lorna Bradford - Power Bar Energy Gel would help at the halfway point ($1 a pop from Amazon).

Mark Richard Kennedy - Hi Jay!
You're still relatively new to running. You'll build strength and get better at pacing yourself. Keep on following the program and keep your thoughts in line with the Emperor's philosophy and you will get there. Think about far you have come and then think about far you will go yet!
I look forward to your missives and wish I could be back running!
Keep running
Mark.

 

Friday Morning Run - January 13, 2012

This week I ran six times with a total distance of 25.39 miles. My week started with the stressful news of the illness of the Coach's brother and ended with the tragic news of the death of Yusef Fadlalla (RIP), one of our group early runners. Yusef apparently collapsed about 50 meters from his house after going for a jog. Although the death of any loved one is so devastating to the ones left behind, I think it is even worse seeing our loved ones sick and suffering without any possibility of recovery and us helpless to do anything about it. Perhaps Yusef was blessed to die such a death without pain and suffering? Although I don’t know his family, I really feel for them and I wish I could do something to ease their pain. I know Mayssaa and Ahmed are both very sad about it and I offer them my sincere condolences.

The death of anyone we know should remind us of how blessed we are. We are still alive! God is blessing us with his grace every day and is giving us health and the ability to run and be happy. Let’s celebrate our fortunes and work to increase goodness on this earth. How? Each one has to find his way and have impact on others such as the coach is doing with us. Remember that the attitude of one individual rubs on others around him, so as author Paulo Coelho says, you should avoid these words: "Someday", "may be", "I will try", and "if". Just do it!

Live your life so it would have meaning after you are gone.

God bless our coach and his family...

Love you all! Love running...

Data for this Friday morning run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/141204636

Photographs from Wellness Running Friday Morning 10 Miles Run - January 13, 2012

1. Jihad Mekhael Fares
2. Jihad Mekhael Fares
3. Jihad Mekhael Fares

 

Friday Morning Run - January 6, 2012

I just returned to Dhahran after having vacation with my family in the United States. While I was there, I ran on my own encountering many other runners who were also running on their own. I often felt like calling on them to join me on the run, as I was missing running with others like we do in Dhahran. What held me back was my feeling that Americans are increasingly living their lives in isolation and are characteristically loners. So they would perhaps reject my offer.....

Is running an individual sport or a team sport? I think it is a little bit of both.

My morning run with Vera confirmed my belief in running with a group. When I run with others especially on long runs I get to know so much about them. Their childhood stories, their habits, their likes and dislikes, their husbands, wives, kids, and parents. They also get to know so much about me. All of this is communicated with the knowledge that "what is said on the road, stays on the road."

When I run with others, the run is often faster and feels much easier.

This morning so many runners were participating in the Bahrain race, so few athletes showed up for the Friday morning run.

When I arrived to the meeting place, I was happy to see Vera drive up - we ended up running together. At the start of the run we both wondered whether we are going to complete the entire 6-miles.

I said to her: "It will be easy."

She said "You always say that."

We ended up finishing the 6-miles and had barely noticed the time and effort.

I love running with others in our group because they always support me and lift my spirits up when needed. Also they are not shy to tell me to stop whining when I complain about pain. They say "this is the nature of the sport - no pain, no gain."

Thank you Vera for a wonderful run this morning! Next time we are going to push ourselves a little bit harder.

I love this group! I love running...

Congratulations to everyone for the outstanding performance of our athletes in the Bahrain races this morning!

Data for this Friday morning run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/139226622

 

Friday Morning Run - December 16, 2011

This week I ran six times covering a total of 21.51 miles in 4:08 hours at an average pace of 5.19 miles per hour. The "Feel the Burn" event held in collaboration with the firemen, was certainly the highlight of this week. It was great running with the community! My colleague and next door neighbor in the office, Shiraz Mushtaq, a 39 year old man, ran the 3K in 16:09, a very respectable time for someone who is a casual runner. As for me, just before reaching the finish line I could hear the loud shouts of "Jayman" from the group members gathered around. This made me feel so special! Thank you all very much for without your encouragement I would have never come as far as I have in this short time.

I always loved in people the extreme, never tolerating the in-between. Unfortunately, presently I am one of these in-between people. I am in-between the starter pack and the next level one. When I run on the track the starter pack is starting to reject me. They say: you are faster than us, go on to the second pack. The second pack is not aware of what is happening and they go on their merry way without noticing me. I tried one time to run with them, but could barely keep up. The same happed to Sulaiman when he was promoted by the coach. We told him to buss off and go with the other pack. Most probably he felt rejected. He ended up running in-between the two packs on his own. As I improve, I am having difficulty leaving my pack. I love my pack; I grew up with them. What am I to do?

I am heading on the 20th to Virginia to have Christmas with my family. I will run with my eldest son who is training for the Austin TX half marathon. I can't wait to run with him. My running is starting to influence my family, they are all starting to exercise more and get fitter. I never tell them anymore to lose weight and get fit, I just do it myself and they follow my example.

I love this group! I love running! Thank you coach!

Data for this Friday morning run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/134728937

Photos from "Feel The Burn" 3K race

1. Jihad Mekhael Fares
2. Photo With Some
3. Sulaiman Bin-malik
4. Jihad Mekhael Fares
5. Sulaiman Bin-malik
6. Carie Rico Moosa
7. Linette Koopman
8. Shiraz Mushtaq

 

Friday Morning Run - December 9, 2011

This week I ran six times, covering a total distance of 21.3 miles in a 4:03:00 hours and an average pace of 5.26 miles per hour.

Sat Dec 3 – Ran with the group to AAA and back to parking lot. It was the first time I do the full loop. From AAA up the hill and back to the parking lot, I ran with Sulaiman Bin Malik and we challenged each other. He is the one to watch for golden ones...

Sun Dec 4 – I loved the 1:30 on, :30 jog pattern and I was challenged by everyone in pack.

Mon Dec 5 – Did not run, only aqua running.

Tue Sec 6, Regular 6x800m session, I was getting slower as time went on, 4.36, 5.02, 5.11, 5.23, 5.42, 5.47.

Wed Dec 7 - Ran down peninsula to Hobby Farm and up Riyadh Blvd with Sulaiman. Good pace and good run in 32:55 minutes.

Thur Dec 8 – Did the fitness mile at 7:00 am with Sulaiman, Shiraz and Joey (all colleagues of mine). I came forth completing the mile in 8:53 min. Sulaiman and Shiraz got medals. Joey put in a great effort!

Fri Dec 9 – Ran with Tanner, Mike and George. Goerge and I completed 6 mile, although George is suffering from an injury. He pushed me so hard, I felt that he was St George slaying the JAYMAN dragon. I will get him for this sometime in the future....

On Thursday after the Wellness Mile race at 7:00 am, I had to go on a bus trip to Al Hassa hosted by the department I used to work in about 16 months ago. It was good to see everyone, and they all noticed my transformation into a fit individual, for they had not seen me in a long time. I told them about our group. It was exciting for them to listen to my story and those of them that were on the heavy side wanted to know how they can start in the program.

I felt guilty however leaving the group on an important day such as the “Wellness Mile” day and not helping. Next time I hope to be with all of you and do a better job at helping. The TOD helped me get stronger and made me realize how important it is to have support. Three cheers to all of you guys who stood in the rain and the cold weather to light the road for us and to cheer us on.

Thank you coaches Ian, Teresa, and Mark (pool)! Welcome to all the new group members!

I love running! Stay fit!

Data for this run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/player/133455144

 

Tour Of Dhahran November 24 - 30, 2011

The Tour of Dhahran (TOD) is considered the toughest race in the Middle East. It is a series of six races to be performed within seven days. It starts on Thursday and ends on Wednesday with Sunday being a rest day. Since it first started in 1987, only 304 athletes were able to finish it. Not bad for the JAYMAN to be one of these three-hundred and four! Thank you all for your support! My greatest thanks to the “CS Wellness Running” group outstanding coach and leader Ian Wilson!

 

Day

Description

Comments

My Times

1

5.2 miles desert cross-country

Tough hilly and rocky terrain with some stretches through sand embankments

1:00:18

2

12 miles road race

Normal road conditions

2:29:26

3

1 mile downhill race

Rainy, cold and slippery

08:49.7

4

Rest

5

8 miles king-of-the-hills race

Nice, liked uphill more than downhill

1:31:56

6

5 miles road race

Ran in triennial rain and cold weather conditions with temperature 11 C. I could not see through my glasses with the rain and darkness. At times I ran in ankles-deep water. I overcame my phobia of running in the rain.

1:01:08

7

5K track race

The weather was cold, but not rainy. I felt that I should quit because the track loops looked endless. What helped me was that during the last four laps I thought of one of my family members.  Each lap I dedicated it to one of them with the last lap dedicated to my Dad's soul, who trained in his youth, at AUB, to represent Lebanon in the 100m race at the London Olympic Games in 1948, but was unable to participate.

0:32:50

Total:

6:44:28

 

The pictures of my races and my medal are below to prove it. Happy running and stay fit!


 

1. Jihad Mekhael Fares
2. Jihad Mekhael Fares
3. Jihad Mekhael Fares
4. Tod Day-1 Jihad
5. Tod Race
6. Tod Day-1 Jihad
7. Tod Day-2 Completed
8. Tod Day-6 5 Miler
9. Tod Day-6 5 Miler
10. Tod Day-7 5k Race
11. Tod Day-7 5k Race
12. Tod Day-7 5k Race
13. Tod Day-7 5k Race
14. Tod Day-7 5k Race
15. Tod 2011 Awards
16. Tod 2011 Awards
17. Jihad\'s Medal
18. Jihad Mekhael Fares
19. Jihad Mekhael Fares

 

Friday Morning Run - November 18, 2011

Ran 12.63 miles including initial warm up from Hills track to starting point to try day-2 of the Tour of Dhahran (TOD). I ran the first 6-miles with Dr. Michael L Hanley and Mischelle Rivera. I turned around and completed the other 6-miles on my own. It is amazing how much different the course feels when traversed in the reverse direction. The stretch by the parameter fence felt endless on the way back.

My advice for the TOD 12 mi, is to use Vaseline also for the underarms beside the usual places. Also use a hat if you are going to run it slowly, as the sun will get you on the way back. Also spray the hat with OFF to keep the bugs away from your face.

During the run I kept on thinking of our outstanding Athens-5 athletes and their victory Nike (Greek: Νίκη, "Victory"), which kept me on going. I am so proud of them and admire their effort and dedication in training for the event. Brett Jones' photo at the Olympic Stadium is great especially with the CS Wellness Singlet and Logo.

This week I ran six times (Sat, Sun, Tue, Wed, Thur, and Fri) and three times water running. I was very happy with my 4K time of 25:55 on Tuesday, a 4-minute improvement over my previous PB of 30:02.

Sulaiman Bin Malik the new guy I introduced to the group beat me by 17 seconds, his time was 25:36. I hate you Sulaiman for beating me and I love you Sulaiman for making me improve my PB by 4 minutes. This is the advantage of having friendly competition within the group.

Good luck to everyone with the TOD and I leave you with this quote from Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last):

"You have to die a few times before you can really live."

I love running.......

Data for this run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/129530766

Liked by:

Jamal Al-Enazy, Ibe Abu Bakr, Eduardo Portento, Matt Neuman, Waleed Semaih, Melicar Ancheta, Tony El Khoury, Carie Rico, Mischelle Rivera, Ruth McAfee, Carlito Catapang

Comments:

Eduardo Portento - well done Jayman...you improve a lot... keep it up..

Raymond Krygsman - Excellent!

Brett Jones - Bravo Jay! - that TOD 12miler is a tough run...

Waleed Semaih - You're amzing runner!

Mark Richard Kennedy - I am a big fan of Bukowski. I love the 2 films about his troubled life: Barfly and Factotum. There is also a very good if disturbing documentary about him.

I am also fan of your posts....
Keep running.
Mark.

Maysaa Khalil - Wowowow jay , good job!!! I run 6 miles and I can barley walk .

Carie Rico - Congratulations Jay Fares, great job!

Ian Wilson - The goal FINISH THE TOUR!

Waleed Modra Alqahtani - Great job my friend. You are my role model.

Laura Celis - Awesome job, Jay! You looked strong when I saw you.

 

Thursday Morning Desert Run - November 17, 2011

Ran Thursday Morning in the desert to try out the Tour of Dhahran (TOD) day-1 course. Completed the required three laps (5.18 mi) at a slow pace. My advice wear a supporting shoe (mine is almost destroyed from this one run) and go on your toes in deep sandy stretches. Be careful not to sprain your ankles as you move forward. Keep the focus and it will be easy to complete.

Tomorrow I will try the 12 mi day-2 course and do perhaps 9 or 10 miles. Where are you Tracy? Let me know if you are running and I will bring the Gatorade.

I love running....

Data for this run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/129183760

Comments:

Robbie Mashiter - Good Job Jay, I have not stopped just been sick this week. HOpe to be back at it next week. I guess I have to start all over again. November 17 at 8:46am · Like

Jay Fares - I was just wondering myself - Get well soon... November 17 at 9:37am

Ian Wilson - You need either a cross country shoe or a sturdy model. November 17 at 10:38am via mobile

Tracy Olckers - Jay, I have been out with a chest infection. I have not been able to run for 10 days. I will not be able to do the TOD but will be cheering for you all the way! November 17 at 4:35pm via mobile

Jay Fares - Tracy sorry to hear that. Watch out for allergens in your house. You have had this for a while, I hope you will get over it very soon..... Take care of your self!

 

Lebanon - Run Kaftoun-Mejdel-Jouz River, November 9, 2011

Lebanon Morning Run - from Kaftoun to el Mejdel Mountain down to el-Jouz (Walnut) River and back to Kaftoun. Covered 5.90 mi in 1:21 minutes with a total assent of 753ft from el-Jouz river at 684ft to Mejdel Mountain at 1437ft. After this run I think I can conquer any Dhahran hill easy-breathy.

Data for this run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/127493560

Comments:

Ian Wilson - You can take me on these runs one day! November 9 at 10:53am

Jay Fares - Coach - you are always welcome as our special honored guest! November 9 at 10:54am

Jamal Al-Enazy - Can I join? November 9 at 12:08pm via mobile

Robbie Mashiter - Good job Jay- enjoy it ! November 9 at 12:20pm

 

Lebanon - Run from Kaftoun uphill to Mejdel el Koura - November 8, 2011

Finally the weather got better. I did my first run this morning since last Tuesday. A straight uphill run up the Mejdel Mountain starting at an elevation of 936 ft and maxing at an elevation of 1442 ft in 36 minutes. Total distance covered in the run was 4.46 mi in one hour. Beautiful scenery! Can't wait to get back to Saudi!

Data for this run is at the URL: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/127319739

Comments:

Jay Fares - Also, we received our virgin cold-pressed olive oil harvest from our olive grove just before the Eid, so if I am 5lb heavier coach you would know why. I have been sampling it with mountain (Sajj) bread. It is as addictive as running! Ha ha ha.. November 8 at 3:06pm.

Maysaa Khalil - Enjoy Lebanon Jay .. November 8 at 3:52pm via mobile·

Ian Wilson - ‎5Kg!!! As soon as you return you will need get back the focus! You are one of the ones I want to help present the program about and have you on stage showing how much you have reduced, that will take place first week of December. November 8 at 3:55pm·

Jay Fares - Coach - I am just teasing, your investment in me is not lost. See you soon.... November 8 at 4:14pm via mobile.

Robbie Mashiter - Great job Jay will see you soon, enjoy! November 8 at 6:19pm.

 

Friday Morning Five Miles Race - October 28, 2011

This week I was doing fine until Wednesday when I had a scary encounter with my previous self!

Coach asked me to run with a newcomer to our group, Robbie Mashiter. Before we started he reminded me of the level of fitness I was in when I first joined the group and asked me to take it easy with her.

This was Robbie's second run with the group and her objective was to run continuously for seven minutes, as she was only able to run for five minutes on her first run. I took Robbie up in the direction of the R-field on a very slow jog/run making sure we slow down when her breathing gets strained. With every step I took with her I was reminded of how I was when I went on my first run with the group. I was huffing but not puffing. My heart and lungs were overworked although my leg muscles could still go.

We were able to make it past the Golf Course road signal and continue to the next street. Then we passed across to the R-field. We ran three laps around the field parameter and she did great in terms of breathing and endurance. We talked about many things and got to know each other a bit more. She was repeatedly apologetic about wasting my time. I told her not to worry and that she is priority one for me like I was to many group members who helped me and encouraged me when I first started. I remember Noor and Rafah wasting their run to stay with me and never letting me feel bad at all. I want her to succeed so badly!

For other runners that are so blessed with strength and health – appreciate what you have and thank God for his gift! Remember the disadvantaged and the sick. Visit them and console them.

My Love to all of you! Happy running!

This week's recap:

I ran six times, with Friday's 5-mile race being my 120th run this year.

  1. Saturday, I ran the AAA run and was paced by Teresa Wilson on the way to the water stop. On the way back I was challenged by the soon to be grandmother, long-legged Molly. We completed the run in 38:80 minutes at an average pace of 5.15 miles per hour.
  2. Sunday, I did the 3x(400m,800m,300m) interval training session at the Sod Farm with the following times: 400(2.33,2.29,2.11), 800(5.07,4.53,5.32), 300(1.52,1.38,1.39) and average pace of 6.22 miles per hour.
  3. Tuesday, I did 4x800m on the track with times: 4.53, 5.13, 5.25, 5.04 and average pace of 5:80 miles per hour
  4. .
  5. Wednesday, I ran with Robbie, a determined newcomer to the group. Then did 2 miles on my own.
  6. Thursday, I ran by myself on the track and on the grass to calibrate my times for the 5-mile race.
  7. Friday, I ran the 5-mile race in 54:50 at an average pace of 5.47 miles per hour. I am happy with this result.

Comments:

Ian Wilson - Everyone starts somewhere, and giving back to others in the group is reward enough, well done indeed. Your 5 miler was well ran, sub 60 minutes, well done indeed.

Tracy Olckers - Well done Jayman. You are an inspiration to us all. Never give up, never surrender!

Jay Fares - I missed you Tracy! Next time...

Martha Dudu Makgetsi Maluleka - Jayman and Tracy, can I join you next week Friday for the morning run, whatever the distance I will run with you Guys......

Jay Fares - I am going out for the Eid. I will miss running with you two!

Steve Kean - You are blessed Jay, way to go!

Matt Neuman - Thanks for reminding and inspiring us Jay!

Charles Bradford - great week of running Jay!

Teresa Wilson - Jay, thank you for looking after Robbie! And......you were fantastic today! Amazing to see you move through the pack, you are making your way up there. Everyone had better watch out, there is more to come!!!!!!

Mischelle Rivera - Well done Jay! Keep it up...

 

Friday Morning Run 8 Miles – October 21, 2011

This week I ran a total of five times. On Saturday I ran the AAA run with the group paced by Teresa Wilson. On Sunday I ran on my own at 5:30 am on the soccer field grass for 45 minutes and followed that up in the evening by joining the group for the regularly scheduled interval training of three sets of 400, 800, and 300 meters. I missed the Tuesday 800m race as I had to undergo a medical procedure under sedation the same day in the afternoon and was told by the doctor to rest and not to run. To make up for the missed 800m session, I joined the group on Thursday morning and ran with Tracy Olckers 2x1k warm up laps and 4x1k regular laps around the Hills sport complex.

I had ran with Tracy the 6-miles loop last Friday and we had agreed to run this Friday together for eight miles in preparation for the upcoming Tour Of Dhahran. So when I woke up this morning and headed to the meeting place by the Hills Track steps, I walked very slowly contemplating the run - two steps forward and one step backward.

At 6:00 am we started the warm-up run up the hill to the starting position where Tracy was waiting. Tracy, Michelle, Martha and I started the run together ahead of the group, as Tracy had to get back home early to celebrate her son's seventh birthday. Michelle fell by the wayside very soon, as she was starting to feel sick. By the BMX track Tomo and Maher joined us and we ran together until the intersection of Canyon and Perimeter Road, where they moved on.

Maher looked very strong and he had lost weight by following a strict diet. He is getting back in shape and looking strong! I feel that Ghada and Maher have put a great deal of effort recently into improving their fitness, considering the demands put on them by their two young children. Bravo!

Martha struggled through the Hospital hill, so Tracy and I moved on after urging her to continue and not to stop. After we reached the top of the Hill by Holmes we realized there weren't any water bottles there and the recreation supplied watering station was completely dry. We labored on, and I felt strong going up the hill to King's Road. I had thought that I could any time challenge Tracy uphill. However, this women is starting to prove me wrong, for during this run she was as tough as nails and extremely disciplined. She kept the pace up the hill and forced me to trail behind her by a few meters. Iron-man Jacques - I feel for you, for she is the steel-woman! I want to learn as much as I can from her to prepare for the 12-mile run.

We did eventually get water from the watering station on Golf Course road, after which we coasted slowly to the starting point where two iced bottles of Gatorade were waiting for us. It was a short stop and we continued down the hill to the BMX track and than back up the hill following the same route and thus completing the additional two miles.

Michelle joined us for the two miles and Tracy and her coupled with the additional distance covered gave me a real challenge - I trailed well behind them.

This was the longest distance I have ever ran - 8 miles. Not bad – I will aim for nine next week.

I am happy to report that I am over the shin-splint problem in my right leg. Although it took a long time to heal, I learned how to cope with injury and that running on the grass strengthens leg muscles.

Happy running!

Data for this run is available at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/123156606.

 

Friday Morning Run – October 14, 2011

This morning run was so far my hundred and eleventh run his year! I can't believe that I had already ran that many times! I still can't comprehend what I did with my time before I started running?.

Since I joined this group in July 2010, I have learned so much from the Coach and everyone else. I also learned from my own high and low moments which offered me quite invaluable experience..

Still suffering from shin-splints pain, I started this week with the 4K XC race on Sunday. I was 1 min and 30 seconds slower than my PB time and thus was quite disappointed. After completion I had a joint photo with the Philippine Mafia gang, which made me feel much better. I was also so happy to see Waleed Modara finish just one minute after me – he had put such great effort into the race!.

I knew the 400 meter race was coming up on Tuesday, so I rested Monday to nurse my shin-splints and did not join the group for the easy AAA run. On Tuesday, I headed to the Sod Farm instead of the Hills Track because somehow I had misread the coach's email. Fortunately, Faiz was warming up there and told me that I was in the wrong place. I ran back up to the Hills Track to join the group and was able to be there in time. I did the usual three warm-up laps around the track, after I was already warmed up from my Sod Farm run. I thought that the coach will set the starter pack to go first as he had done before, but fortunately he had the fastest runners go first. This was great because myself and other starter pack runners had the opportunity to observe the first class runners in action. WOW! What an excitement was it to watch and cheer all of them! It was like I was at the races! By the time my turn came my palms were getting sore from clapping. The first round I saw Christian lead with Ibe trailing behind up to the 300 meter mark. Although I like Ibe so much, I was cheering for Christian. I wanted him to win over Ibe - I still feel guilty about it! Ibe, I have such high hopes for you, and as a young athlete you have many more wins to experience. I also enjoyed watching Mike Hulver run and I was cheering for him. It appears that he has benefited from all the coaching he did while coach Ian was on vacation. He is a super fast athlete for a gray-haired fellow!.

Just before my turn came, the coach pointed his finger at me and said “I need to see effort”. This guy is like a mini god for me, so when my turn came I went as fast as I can. I thought I could continue like this for ever, but it was not to be. I had to slow down at the turn after the 200m mark. There comes Noor behind me and takes me over to finish in 1:37 – great time! I myself finished in 1:42 which is really good considering that my previous 400m time was 2:12 on May 22, 2011..

At the 400m race I saw Abdallah and I told him about my shin-splint problem. He advised me to run on the grass because it strengthens the leg muscles. Coach had advised me the same before, but he did not explain why? So I did not follow his advice. It was a big mistake, for I learned that this is the best thing you can do for shin-splints. On Wednesday I ran with Waleed Modara on the grass at the Sod Farm for 35 minutes. On Thursday morning I ran by myself on the grass for 50 minutes, and now my shin-splints problem is almost gone! After I was through running on the grass my legs felt like jelly. My thighs as well as my calves got a jarring workout. I intend to run on the grass again to strengthen my muscles and reduce injury. So far it appears to have helped me more than water running. While running on the grass I used the “pose” method which requires that you pull your foot straight up beneath you and let the gravity push you forward. This method somehow minimizes shin-splint pain while running. It is supposed to be an efficient method for long-distance running..

This morning I was supposed to run 8 miles, but ended up doing only 6 miles . I ran with a petite girl named Michelle from the Philippine Mafia. She recently joined the group and this run was only her fourth run with the group. Tracey joined us by the Dock Pond after her group decided not to continue. I enjoyed running with both of them and Tracey lead us. Michelle did extremely well for someone new to the group. Next week on Friday I am going to attempt the 8-miles with Tracy..

In the weigh in I lost 9.2 kg in 16 weeks which is about half a kilogram a week. I am disappointed because the previous period I had lost 7 kg in 8 weeks. I definitely have to control my food intake for the current period..

I love everyone in this group! Happy running!.

Data for this run is available at http://connect.garmin.com/player/121394178.

 

Friday 3K Road Race - October 7, 2011

What a great 3K race we had today!

The coach kept the hype and excitement going for this 3K race all week long - it worked! The atmosphere after completion of the event was charged with excitement! Runners gathered in groups congratulating each other and reflecting on their own performances. People hugged and chatted with each other discussing how they prepared for the race and how they can improve for next time. The young runners kicked a football to ease the tension of waiting for the results to be announced. It was funny observing them at first attempt to dislodge the football from the top net of the Cricket bating cage so they could kick it. They looked like a bunch of kittens aimlessly jumping for a string ball.

Because of the persistent dull pain in my right leg shin splints, I prepared for this race very well. Yesterday evening Christian and I split from the group and went for a 47-minute run towards AAA and rejoined the group towards the end of the run on the way back to the Hills Park. However, after I returned home and reviewed my watch data I was surprised that Christian did not push me a bit more for the first part of the run. He is presently suffering from a cold and that's why he was not in the race this morning. However, he has lost about 16 kg and is looking better than ever. What a natural fast runner and a superbly disciplined individual as well! Get well soon Christian! Also, I prepared this morning by going to the pool at 5:00 am for about half an hour of water running. Than I ran to the venue and warmed up for about one mile with Marie Macgabhann who did excellent in the race itself. Congratulations to her, Patrick and Jack, on receiving medals!

My time was 18:40 which is a bit more than Coach had estimated of 18:33, but I am still happy with it!

What a great group! Congratulations to all participants! I love running!

Data for preparation run with Christian is available at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/119509873.

Some feedback from the CS Wellness Running Blog

Michael Hulver - Let me note an AMAZING improvement. In Feb 2011, Jay Fares ran a 3k road race in 24:52. Today he finished in 18:40! A 12% performance increase!

Jay Fares - Thanks Mike! Somehow I did not have this earlier figure!

Doug Weber - Many more PB's in this guy.

Lindy Ntilane - Well done Jay!

Nada Alkhalifa - Wow Jayman a 6 min PB!!!!! That is so impressive.

Raymond Krygsman - Cool.

Amani Alkhatib Haikal - Great Job Jay!

Tracy Olckers - Well deserved Jayman, you inspire us.....

Ian Wilson - Six minutes is pretty impressive, but you know the key to take more time off.

Jay Fares - Yes Coach! Thank you for always looking after me...

Carie Rico - you deserve it Jay Fares... congrats!

 

Friday Morning Run at Marathon Pace - Sept 16, 2011

This morning I literally applied Ibn al-Rumi's saying "treat the disease with what caused it" داوني بالتي كانت هي الداء لابن الرومي

Ibn al-Rumi was a famous Arab poet who was born in Baghdad in 836, and died in 896, he was son of a Persian mother and a half-Greek father.

Running caused my shin splints pain, so I used running to cure it. And it worked!

This morning I started in the pool at 5:05. I did water running 8x (1 min @80, 30 sec @ 50, 30 sec rest). Then I headed to the shower and after that to the Hills Track Steps to join the group. So I was already primed for this run. I did not at first think that I could complete the run, but the Jayman in me forced me to finish. A total of 6.46 mi in 1:30:25. While running, I was extremely careful with how my right foot hit the ground. I made sure that it always landed on the paw (mid-foot) and not the toes. This eliminated the stress on the shin splints. After I finished I felt that I was really the Jayman as the Coach calls me! Having this name is continuously driving my performance and I always have to live up to it.

Thanks Coach! You have a way to get milk out of a rock!

Afterwards I walked back to starting point and got into the Hills Pool to cool off.

What wonderful runners we have?

I love running!

Data for this run is available at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/118028364.

 

Runners - you have no idea how lucky you are - Sept 24, 2011

This long weekend was bad for me. First my injury, second I overate and gained weight. Yes all week long I was eating bread and all sorts of carbohydrates and now I am 1.5 kg more than before. See, if you don't run you get depressed and you compensate by eating and other indulgences. Yes – I went to the pool, but it is not the same as running. By the end of today after doing all the house work, TV watching, knife sharpening, cooking, and the like, I couldn't take it any more – I had to go out for a run.

About 4:40 pm, I put my running attire on and went on a very slow jog/walk starting at the Hills Track steps through the R-field and down Peninsula Blvd to the Hobby Farm entrance. Not only I wanted to regain my sanity, but more importantly I wanted to asses my injury to determine whether I could run tomorrow. I used a more supportive shoe this time which helped, but did not eliminate the pain altogether. My shin splints continued to hurt until the end of the run by the Hobby Farm entrance. However, when I started walking back to the Hills Track steps, the pain was almost gone. Does it mean I can run tomorrow? I don't know? Perhaps the problem is stemming from laziness more than anything else? Could it be that I need to run through it? I am not sure.

I arrived to the Hills Track steps at about 5:55. I saw people coming in and heading towards the track. I went up the steps to have some water, then I remembered that one of my colleges at work told me that he is participating in a running course which meets twice a week on Saturday and Monday at 6:00 pm at the Hills Track. The objective of the course is to enable new runners to run continuously for a period of 30 minutes by the end of the 8-week training period. I thought well, I will go up and see him run. I headed to the track where people and children were gathering, but could not see him. So I sat down on the bleachers and took off my shoes and socks to rest my feet and waited observing other people on the track. I thought I will see how they are training in comparison to us? What a disappointment! First the coach blew his whistle and told people to walk around the track. Then he blew his whistle again and told them to gather. They all headed directly towards him from all corners stepping on the grass like a herd of wildebeest. I was shocked! When they got nearer I could observe that so many of them had headsets on, including kids perhaps eight or nine years of age. It is so dangerous! Very few of them had on proper running clothe. The rest looked like that they were dressed for a picnic in the park. The coach gathered them at one end of the field for warm-up. They stood in one place with movement appearing to me to be as sort of uncoordinated butt shaking. Three minutes later the coach left them to run on the track and came towards the stands with his timer. Evidently they can run any way they want, in and out of lanes, with or without their kids, as long they run for a specified period of time. While they were running I observed kids less than five years of age going on the track wanting to run with their mommy. I couldn't watch any more – I was so disgusted with the indiscipline and incompetence – I had to leave.

Coach – You are a true professional! I saw you take off with your group this morning and they were a sight to behold – an army of Spartans! Not like the ragtag of rascals I observed this evening.

You are the best!

 

Friday Morning Run - Sept 23, 2011

After last week's Friday morning run I started feeling some shin splints pain in my right leg. The interval training on Sunday intensified the pain a great deal which made me consider not participating in the Tuesday 4K XC race. However, since I did not complete the last one, I felt obliged to participate. I ended up racing and shaving off 45 seconds from my personal best. I warmed up for the race with a slow jog from the Hills Track steps to the venue with a fair bit of stretching of calf muscles before the race. Oddly enough during the race my shin splints did not hurt.

On Wednesday I really felt the pain, so I did not run in the evening. Thursday morning I went to the pool on my own at 5:00 am and did half an hour of 1 minute at cadence of 80 and 30 sec sprints at cadence of 100 with 30 seconds of rest in between. After that I went to the steam room and stretched, which made my leg feel much better.

This morning I thought I will go to the pool at 5:00 in the morning and warm up with 30 minutes of aqua jogging prior to joining the group for the Friday morning run at 6:00 am. However, after completing the 30 minutes, I felt that my shin splints were still hurting, so I decided to do my Friday morning run entirely in the pool. I did an additional 30 minutes of continuous running at cadence of 80 with some sprints at the end followed by 5 minutes of kick boarding. By the end of the exercise my arms, hands and fingers were getting numb and tired, but my legs were still going. Thanks for all the track and trail running the couch puts us through, I think my legs could have gone for another hour without tiring.

I think my shin splints are aggravated because of something wrong with my running mechanics. Since I was a child I have always heard people tell me that I turn my foot out when walking. Now that I am running, I am stepping with my foot more in line with movement direction which is making the shin splint connective tissues pay the price. I am thinking of doing varied types of exercises to strengthen the leg muscles in general, such as kick boarding, cycling and calf raises. Any ideas?

While I was going out to have a hair cut this morning, at about 7:55 am, some runners were still returning from their run – almost two hours after the starting time – you guys are such an inspiration!

Sorry I missed the Friday Morning Run this morning. Hopefully, I will be joining you next week.

Happy Running....

 

Friday Morning Run at Marathon Pace - Sept 16, 2011

This Friday morning I headed to the gathering place by the Hills Track steps expecting the usual Friday Morning run and was totally unaware of the challenge that was soon to face me. I was surprised to see the coach and the advanced pack stop at the corner of the Hills park and cross to the other side of the road where water bottles were neatly set. What the heck is going on? Then the real shock came with the realization that we are expected to run a 6 (12) mile loop course at regular marathon pace each at their own level. “Does anyone know the course”? I asked – follow the crowd they said. Having only expected the regular Friday morning course with frequent watering stations, I did not wear my fuel (water) belt, but fortunately I had put on my Adizero XT running shoes, which are comfortable for long distances. I stayed at the tail end of the pack trying hard to keep up with the rest of the runners in order not to lose the trail. Next to me eases in a charming young lady runner who I am sure felt petty on me and stayed back from the pack pacing me and offering me regular encouragement. She turned out to be, I believe, Janita, a cheetah of a runner. She was a God's sent and she knew exactly what I was thinking at every stage of the run offering the right encouragement at every stage to quell the discouraging thoughts that were popping up in my mind. At every stage she made me focus on the next target while continuously regulating my pace. At first I did not realize how long and challenging this course would turn out to be? I am sure happy to have fished it with only one stop for water and a tiny bit of walking past the water station. Thanks to my angel of a cheetah!

Until two weeks ago, I held the belief that I have never ran before joining this group a year ago; This turned out not to be the case. What jogged my memory was the passing on of Kamal Salibi, the noted Lebanese historian and Professor Emeritus at the American University of Beirut (AUB). While studying at AUB, I came to know him as a friend and mentor and he was my running partner for a part of two summers. Our runs around the track were more like a jog than a run, but still he was the first person to introduce me to running. What a privilege it has been to have known him! He was not only a man of outstanding human qualities, a great historian of modern Lebanon, the Arab world, and the Bible, but also a noted authority on the Yemen, which I don't think many people know. He used to visit Yemen regularly to study Yemen history and culture.

His books are a must read for not only Arabs and scholars of the Arab World, but can also make an interesting read to anyone living in this region and wants to learn more about its history.

Happy Running....

Data on this run is available at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/114677193.

 

Friday Morning Run – August 5, 2011

I started this week with the disappointment of not completing the 4k XC race. I had completed the first 2K lap, 2.40 minutes ahead of what I had planned in my mind, but psyched myself out of completing the second lap and the race. There was nothing wrong with me, it was all mental. Since I joined the group on 14 Jul 2010, it was the first time I don't complete an event. I tell you - never do it as the disappointment with one self is very agonizing. I ran the loop on Monday and completed the interval training on Tuesday without a problem.

This morning, I showed up at the meeting place for the Friday Morning run. Coach said that the group will be doing only 30 minutes on the road and after that everyone should be heading to the Sod Farm for some interval training. I started the run at the tail of the pack as usual, but as I passed the Hills Park, I decided to diverge from the usual group route and head to the Sod Farm on my own. I continued strait ahead in the direction of the R-Field and down Peninsula to the venue. I knew from previous Monday runs that it took me about 26 minutes from the Hills Park parking lot to the Hobby Farm entrance, and therefore I should be able to make it to the venue within the allotted 30 minutes. Moreover, I have not run downhill for a while and I wanted to exercise the leg muscles that get engaged in downhill running for more balance and strength. I entered the Sod Farm from the Hobby Farm side and ran down the 600 meters to the starting point where everyone was there.

Special attention from the coach!

Coach Ian was kind enough to run with me and pace me three out of the four 400m sections. I was scared, but also felt privileged that he gave me his time and was happy for the encouragement I received from fellow runners. I still feel the excitement of the run up to now. It was wonderful to get in the cold refreshing water of the Hills pool afterwards for some gentle water running.

Leaving on vacation, Aug 10 – Sept 6

I am leaving on vacation on Wed August 10, and will be back after the Eid. I will be on a driving vacation with my wife and kids starting from Washington DC, to New York City, Portland-Maine and ending up in Ottawa-Canada and returning back to DC. I hope to run and keep my weight at the same level that it is now. I have already lost another 5.5 kg since last weighing with coach on June 20, 2011. So when I come back I should not be over 110kg. If you have advice on maintaining the exercise program while on vacation, please share it with me. I was thinking of running half an hour a day, but I am not sure if this would be enough? Should I run the same program as here? Any ideas?

I feel lucky and privileged to be part of this group! Happy Running!

Ramadan Mubark and Happy Eid to everyone.......

 

Friday Morning Run - July 29, 2011

It was quite humid this morning; I ran with Tony El Khoury, and although we ran for only 48 minutes, we had quite an enjoyable run, during which we got to know each other better. While running he tried to take it easy with me, but unconsciously kept on falling into his normal running rhythm which is much faster than mine. Although I am almost twice his age, I still enjoyed the fast pace with my heart rate reaching 183 at one time. Whenever we slowed down or stopped for water, we conversed - it turned out he comes from a village not far from mine in North Lebanon - only about 20 minutes by car.

You can really build good lasting friendships in this group, so capitalize on it. It is kind of hard to find friends these days in a world that is becoming exceedingly virtual.

This morning was the first time I run in such humid conditions and it was much more difficult for me than normal. In the middle of the run Tony and I both took off our shirts and rang them out to bring the water and sweat off - a great deal came off \u2013 believe you me. After I arrived home and took off my shorts, they weighed two or three kilos. After I hung up my shirt to dry, it started dripping water as if it had just came off the wash.

After the run, Tony and I both headed back to the gathering place at the Hills Track steps. I was so happy to see that Ebe was back with the group and that he had completed one hour of running! He is such a promising athlete! I remember when I first saw him run, a year ago, he had the greatest running form with his legs going up so high, propelling him like a machine. The climax of the run, however, was when I joined coach Ian, coach Teresa, Christian, Michelle and Ebe in the pool for some water running. The pool was very cold, but very refreshing. It felt harder than usual to exercise in the pool after running, but I think it was because I was going at a cadence of 90 to make up for my shorter running time.

This week coach Ian sent a note about the Athletic Body, here is an excerpt from it:

“Normally most athletes who come on the program never diet, they simply increase their workload, that means running more days and increasing the miles, the brain starts to work and advises you what food is not good for you, you automatically cut down quantities and you come out the other side with less weight.”

I can't agree more - the brain is so smart that when you change your lifestyle and physical activity levels, it instructs you to support it and maintain it. That's why running is so important, as it makes the brain instruct the body to eat the right food in the right quantity to support a runner's body. This results in an almost effortless weight loss, as the endorphins are given as a reward to you based on maintaining superior physical condition rather than on the instinctive and primitive hunger mitigation plan.

This week the Discovery Channel presented a program on the Human Body, in which they cited many examples supporting the above theory. One of them is the case of a man who built his own boat and sailed it, but it sank in the middle of the ocean away from any land. Fortunately, he had a good life raft, a fishing spear, and some food supplies to last him only 17 days. He was able to survive for 74 days before he was rescued. The first 17 days he used his supplies. After they ran out, he used his spear to catch fish. He ate the flesh of the fish raw and it gave him the protein he needed to survive for a while. However, towards the end of his ordeal he could not get the vitamins and minerals from the fish meat alone to keep himself going. He would have died, but his brain started instructing him ( through endorphin rewards) to like other parts of the fish such as the eyes and the liver which contain vitamins and minerals. He started ignoring the flesh and eating more of the eyes and liver, which to him tasted like dessert and he could not have enough of them. He survived because his brain did what it can to protect itself.

Happy running!

 

Telomeres - July 22, 2011

Having been brought up in Lebanon for the first 21 years of my life, my education focus has always been on learning and understanding Western Culture. At university studying the classics was a requirement for the first two years of my undergraduate study. Now that I am 57, I realize this education /indoctrination/ has shielded me from understanding my own Arab Culture and to a greater extent Asian Cultures such as the Japanese and Indochinese. Now that I am directing my focus towards the East to bring some balance into my life - I find the Chinese culture quite fascinating and most challenging to understand. When I ride the work bus with Chinese co-workers I often hear them chatting and laughing, yet I can't find any Chinese jokes on the INTERNET. Do the Chinese have any Jokes? If anyone knows, please tell me. When I look at a Western painting, for example, I can clearly understand what the artist is expressing no matter how abstract of a subject. On the other hand, Chinese paintings with their surficial simplicity offer a challenge to me. Sure, I appreciate the simplicity of colors and the beauty of nature they express, but how about the stories they tell? They all seem to portray similar subjects. An old man sitting down with a fishing rod. A boy pointing at a red bird (bat) in the sky.

Recently, I did some studying and I learned that the objects portrayed in Chinese paintings offer a great deal of symbolism.

"The scene of the boy pointing to the red bat in the sky"

The bat is one of the top symbols for good luck in China. The word "bat" in the Chinese language sounds identical to the word for "Good Fortune." Often five bats are shown together to represent the Five Blessings; a long life, riches, health, love of virtue, and a natural death. The color red expresses double fortune.

"The scene of the old man fishing"

The word Fish in Chinese sounds like the word for "Abundance and Affluence" so the fish symbolizes wealth. Fish shown with a lotus blossom symbolize "Year after Year may you live in Affluence".

As you can ascertain from the preceding, studying any subject no matter how trivial it might seem, offers us better understanding of the subject itself and also opens for us new realms of knowledge and understanding.

This has been the case for me this week after I attended a presentation on Exercise and Fitness and learned about “Telomeres”.

Telomeres are “caps” at the ends of every cell’s DNA. They act like the plastic fittings on the ends of your shoelaces, and keep your DNA strands from fraying. For the cell, having a long telomere can be compared to having a full tank of gas in your automobile; having a short telomere is like running on empty. Each time a cell divides, its telomeres become a little shorter until the cells simply can no longer divide (e.g., it runs out of fuel).

The longer the telomeres the more youthful you are.

Recent study of 2,401 twins in England found that physical activity was related to telomere length. Moderate levels of activity created much longer telomeres than either zero exercise or too much exercise.

Exercising Keeps Your Cells Young

Note: I ran the regular Friday Morning Run and took it easy because my stomach was hurting. Time 1:10. I went to the barber after that, then took a nap before writing this.

Happy Running!

 

Are you are your best worst enemy? - July 15, 2011

This morning I got up from bed later than usual, at about 5:10, and was quite excited to go on the Friday Morning Run, as my friend Joey was also going to be there. Joey and I work together in the same group. I have been trying to spread my excitement about running to everyone I come across, including my colleagues at work and particularly Joey.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.” - Buddha

Joey is better than me in many respects. He is a better worker; He is more analytical; He is younger; He is more competitive and is definitely a better runner than I am. In January of this year, after I had done my first 4x800m run at the Sod Farm, I told him about it and he was excited to try it. Two days later we met there on our own and he did the full 4x800m, while I was only able to do 3x800m. This week he came for the Saturday Evening Run and was able to keep up with the group all the way to Ruba Al Khali water fountain. He is competitive and he pushed hard to keep up - I think especially to prove to the Jay-man that he still got it.

This morning after I showered and put on my comfortable padded shoes, that I use for road running, I headed to the gathering point at the Hills Track Steps. I was there at about 5:55. I looked in the crowd for his face, but could not find him anywhere. I checked the parking lot for his car, but it was not there. Could he have come earlier and found that I was not there and decided to leave? This is not like him? He always keeps his promises. As the group was given the signal to go, I resigned myself to the fact that Joey will not be running with me this morning.

Have you ever heard the expression “You are your worst enemy”. I think Joey you might be one of those. You have the greatest potential, only if you give yourself the opportunity to unleash it. If you do, perhaps you could change the course of history!

I can't wait for tomorrow to see what his excuse is going to be?

I think I am better than Joey in one way – I am not ashamed of being last! I keep on trying, even if others think it is futile or even stupid. Trying over and over again has been working for me.

You might all have heard of the story of Milo of Croton from Greek mythology. Milo raised a pet calf and lifted it every day above his head to strengthen himself. As the calf grew, Milo was challenged every day beyond the day before, until ultimately he was strong enough to lift a full grown ox. In running, or any other type of training, in order to improve, individuals need to challenge their bodies to do more, a bit at a time. This means a gradual increase in speed, frequency, or duration. I personally tried first to finish, then to improve time, then to improve duration then to increase frequency.

This morning, although I thought I was running strong, I did my usual Friday Morning Run (Hills-Duck Pond-AAA-Hills) in 68 minutes. One minute less then my best.

I love running! I love this Group! Happy running!

 

Running Impacts My Psyche - Friday July 7, 2011

People in our running group often comment on how well I am doing and on my weight loss, which is greatly appreciated and extremely encouraging! However, there is a part of me that they can't see except through a small window that is entirely controlled by me – it is my Psyche. I have to tell you that my Psyche and mental wellbeing has been affected by running even to a greater extent than my physical body. I am actually happy - I can taste the joy of life in every breath I take. Not that I was unhappy before, but it feels that I am appreciating more the little things in life. Instead of passing them by and never stopping to appreciate them; Now, I slow down, contemplate and enjoy them for what they are at the current moment.

What running enabled me to do is to interrupt my habits that took over my life a bit at a time without me noticing them. My sitting on the sofa and watching TV (what a waste of time), my overeating, my rudeness and impatience with others. Now, I appreciate other people more, and even enjoy their company and seek to learn and better understand them.

I noticed that when I am running on the road people acknowledge and greet me even from their cars. I think these people wish they were running themselves like I am doing. They are closeted runners that need to come out and unleash their potential. Outdoor workers smile when I greet them on my run and they often reciprocate the greeting more intensely. Do you acknowledge other runners or greet other people when you are running? If you don't you should. I think outdoor workers consider runners nearer to them than the rest of the population. When we run we are not shielded behind the metal of our cars and thus we are nearer to them. While running outside, we suffer from the heat and weather like the workers do. That brings us into some commonality with them. Perhaps they think that we are superior to them in every way – but are we really? Should human beings be valued by what they own or by who they are? Is Bill Gates of Microsoft more important than Jonas Salk who developed the Polio vaccine and refused to patent it? When asked about patenting, he said “Would anyone patent the sun?”

This week I was pressed at work and could not easily shed my stresses except towards the middle of my running sessions, after which the momentum enabled me to let go. I did the regular Sunday and Tuesday track sessions and the Thursday and Friday morning loop runs. This morning I went on the Hills-Dock Pond-AAA-Hills run and I took it easy. I did about 5.5 miles in 1 hour and 17 minutes. I usually make it in 1:10 or 1:07, but I didn't care. I just wanted to stay on my feet a little bit longer.

During my long Friday run I was thinking about the value of human beings and how each one of us should leave a legacy behind. You see, this week I lost a childhood friend of mine. He died from a massive heart attack while by himself at home in Doha, Qatar. He was from the same village I come from in Lebanon. We went to the village elementary school together. The school consisted of two rooms only. Instruction was done for grades 1-5 in one room. There were five rows of desks, one for each grade and the teacher taught the lessons alternating between each grade. If you were smart you could learn the lessons of other grades at the same time. It was so cold in the winter there, that each student brought his own lit oak wood charcoal in a tin to keep under his desk and to warm himself up. My friend taught me how to light the charcoal and keep it going. We used to put it in a discarded tin of (NIDO) powdered milk with holes in the bottom to keep the air flowing and a metal handle to hold the hot tin with. We also went together to the same intermediate, high school and college and were friends during all these years. His dad had an olive press in the village that he operated single handedly with the help of his horse. The horse went in a loop turning the large stone wheels that crush the olives. After the crushing the paste like substance was put in blankets woven from goat hair and pressed to release the oil. Goat hair does not absorb oil or water, that's why Bedouins use it also to weave their tents. Obviously, I am very saddened for his loss, but I am more saddened that his kids did not truly know him as I think they should have. He sacrificed himself working outside his country for them to prosper, not unlike many of the third-world workers we meet here.

I hope running is helping you give quality time to your families. I hope it is helping you listen better to he needs of your children, your spouses, and your friends.

Life is but a joy when you live it.

This Wednesday, I left the office late, and I was passing the Hills Park at about 5:40 heading home with my business attire on. When I was passing, I got the distinct urge to drive my car to the parking lot and see the runners gathered there take off. Such a site would have made me happy. Perhaps one day I will....

 

Not Running Makes Me Said - Friday July 1, 2011

I intended to run this Thursday morning, but the dust kept me indoors. Also, this morning I woke up excited to go on my regular Friday Morning Run, only to find out that the dust was much worse then before. So I decided to save my lungs and stay indoors. I don't know if this was a wise decision, as suffering the withdrawal symptoms from not running overshadowed my whole being and sucked the happiness out of my day. Whatever activity I tried to divert my mind away from my addiction failed. It appeared I badly needed to listen to the rhythmic pounding of my feet on the pavement in order to release my mind and free it from its anxiety. Now, I am getting myself ready to go on the Friday Evening Run and I can't wait! I have to feel the exhilaration that comes from the fluid movement of my body and the rhythmic beating of my heart that also frees my mind.

 

End Of Season Celebration - Bahrain, June 23, 2011

The phenomenal couple have done it again – off the track as well as on the track, the same exacting precision of execution! What a wonderful celebration! The worrier couple last night sat back for a little moment watching their family that they have built through hard work and perseverance enjoy themselves and have fun. Each one of us was at awe at their endless giving. The hall was filled with the overwhelming love and admiration we have for them. Teresa looked stunning! The only time we had a hint of the real Ian was when the awards ceremony was over and he opened the side doors to the buffet area and said: “are you ready boys”? The answer was yes. The answer of your troop is always yes to you both! We love and respect you very much!

Enjoy the photos in 1600px size.
Jay and Teresa

EOS_Bahrain_2011-06-23

picasaweb.google.com
Photos by Jay Fares, Jun 23, 2011 -
EOS Celibration at Deplomat Hotel in Bahrain - June 23, 2011

 

I am Getting Old - Friday June 17, 2011

I started the Friday Morning Run with the group this morning and as usual was soon trailing behind. This time I decided to push myself a bit harder in order to maintain a constant distance with them. I was able to do so up the hill until Riyadh Blvd. At the water fountain by the intersection of Riyadh and Rolling Hills Blvd. I watched them split into two groups, and lost hope of ever catching up with them.

They went, and I pushed on my own. My mind started to wonder when all of a sudden, I heard faint, but accelerating, foot steps behind me. I could see from the corner of my eye a shadow of a man trailing behind. I thought it might be George as when I saw him at the steps this morning, he told me that he is still recovering from his fall last week and he will see If he could run this morning. I looked behind and was surprised to see that it was Mike. He caught up with me and we ran together at a bit faster pace then I usually do on my own. By the time we reached the water fountain at the entrance of the Golf Course trail, I was seriously wondering whether I could keep up with this guy. We stopped for some water, and as we turned to go, Julia appeared panting. She apparently has been trying to catch up with us for some time. She told us that she is suffering from a leg injury and that she will be taking it easy. We waited for her to have some water and we continued together on our way picking up the pace even a little bit more. My heart rate was reaching 160. While I was busy breathing, these two were chatting! The running seamed effortless to them! Mike had told me earlier that he had a hip replacement a few years back, so I started to think – here we go, the bionic man has met the iron women. Here I am, the clay man, sandwiched between the two of them. One little click from here, one little clack from there, and I will be in pieces. Our pace was so fast compared to what I usually do on my own that we were at the BMX track in 21:30 minutes, shaving off 3:30 minutes from my best time. We were at the Dock Pond in 34:00 minutes. We continued on the road past AAA and to Rub' Al Khali water fountain in 57:00 minutes. We made it back to starting point through Al-Hassa and Arabian Gulf in one hour and 10 minutes. This is the best Friday Morning Run workout I have had so far. I learned so much about both of them. For example, did you know that Mike was in the first Dhahran Marathon in 1974? I wish someone had pictures of that for sharing.

This evening we are having some friends over for dinner and I am doing some of the cooking, so I have to go...

I Love this group! Happy Running!

Looking forward to EOS celebration!

Note: I am literally a Clay Man, as I used to do pottery. See my work here.

 

I missed the Friday Morning Run, but still enjoyed the relay - June 10, 2011

I had the best partner - Christian James! He combines strength and thoughtfulness – I did not know people like this still existed! I was very nervous on Thursday and this morning thinking about the relay. I did not want to disappoint him. As soon as he arrived on the track and spoke to me my nervousness eased! He said “we are going to have fun!”, and we did! Thank you partner! These Aussies are strong! Ace!

I was sorry to see George fall at the end of his run! I felt as if I was falling myself, but couldn't do anything about it. He taught me this week how to use my Timex laps watch. I had this watch since the beginning of the year, but was too afraid to have the coach find out that I still didn't know how to use it. So it was a relief to see that George had on Tuesday the same exact watch on; I asked him to help me. George was so patient and methodological in his instruction that I felt as if I was Hannibal of Carthage in the presence of his Greek touter Silenus of Caleacte. Silenus used to teach Hannibal philosophy and horsemanship from the works of Xenophon of Athens (c. 430 – 354 BC). Xenophon was a Greek historian, soldier, and a contemporary and admirer of Socrates. He wrote his horsemanship manual for the instruction of his own sons. The Greeks and the Lebanese have a long history together, as all of the Eastern Mediterranean was under Greek influence for a very long time. The Greeks were the philosophers and teachers and the Lebanese were the traders. When the Lebanese established Carthage, it was for the purpose of trading, but the Romans would not let them - they had to have it all! If Hannibal had won the war, perhaps we would have had the Greco-libano culture instead of the Greco-roman culture. The world would have been a different place! Mind you even during the height of roman empire, most of the culture was still Greek and the Lebanese did a great deal of the building such as the temples at Baalbek.

Thank you coach and all of you who timed, facilitated and supported this event!

Thank you Tony and Ray for running the warm up laps with me!

Thank you Vera for timing me and encouraging me!

Congratulations to everyone! I was watching and admiring everyone of you! What a great group!

jay

800 Meter Relay Challenge

 

Guys – I am in love! Can anyone help me? - Friday, June 3, 2011

I am in love with the whole area of the Hills Track. Before I joined the group, I used to drive by the Hills Track and look in from the road and say to myself – how depressing it is to see all these people waisting their time. Why can't they do productive work or be with their families? These days I look at it in a much different light. This morning for example, worried about missing the new starting time for the Friday Morning Run, I was there early. I stood by myself at the bottom of the granite stairs stretching. I looked up to see the iron gates closed. I wondered - why are these gates closed? Would anyone close the gates of paradise? Beyond these gates is where my friends gather – each in their own way delivering themselves through hellish effort from nothingness to glory. If a jasmine flower was to grow for each drop of sweat that flew from these athletes, the Hills Track will be white and overflowing with fragrance - spilling to cover all of Dhahran.

This morning I started with the group and was soon trailing behind. I said to myself – wow these people are strong. Hay wait a second! I am also strong - so I started pushing up the hill to the first watering station on the golf course path leading to Duck Pond. I made it in record time. Nothing was hurting and I felt I had springs beneath my feet. I made it to BMX track in 25 minutes (instead on 34 last week). I continued springing away, at about 155 HR, not aware of myself , until all of a sudden the mirage to the Duck Pond watering station appears before me. Am I there already? It can't be? It was too easy. I was only 39 minutes into my run. There I saw Fahad as I was turning back to the watering station for some water. This time the young women with the dog, of last week, was not there – I miss her.

After the brief re-hydration stop, I started on my way back on the golf course path. At 50 minutes into my run I passed the BMX station. There I had to compete with a bee for water – I won. I pushed up the hill maintaining 150-160 HR, and was back home in one hour and 07 minutes shaving 10 minutes off the same exact run as last week. Why couldn't I have done the same in this week's 800m or the 1500m? I think I did not psychic myself properly for these events.

Melting – melting – melting...

This week, my wife came back from the US and she brought me with her one of these tight compression shorts and some proper running socks. I wore the compression shorts on my run this morning, but was too shy to ware them by themselves. So I wore another shorts on top of them. During my run, the upper shorts kept on slipping off a little bit, making me feel that I am slimming down, which encouraged me. Also the socks were great, as the bottom of my feet were starting to hurt with ordinary socks, and these ones are okay. I recommend them to everyone.

Also this week, I went to the doctor. From September of last year up to now I have lost 6.5 kg measured on the clinic scale. This is good knowing that I did not reduce my food intake during this period. Also my good cholesterol ,which has been 35-36 for years , jumped up to 45. This is a very good sign. I am confident I will be loosing some more weight, now that I am also watching what I am eating. Keep on encouraging me...

Thank you Coach! Thank you group!

 

Friday Morning Run, push push push - May 27, 2011

Guys, I have a serious problem! I am getting really addicted to the Friday Morning Run. I don't know how to stop? Can anyone help me?

This morning I ran to the Duck Pond and back to starting point using the Golf Course path all the way and back on Riyadh and Arabian Gulf. The weather was good, so I did not need to shade under the trees. On the path you can observe other people and the time passes you by. On the way to the pond by the BMX track, at about 34 minutes into my run, I saw Vernon doing his Tai Chi and he looked strong. Just a bit after that, after I had some water, I saw George, an Irish man, who used to work with me and who I have not seen for a year – he did not recognize me, even after saying hello – that could only be a good sign - maybe it is the hat or even better may be I have slimmed down. At the Duck Pond, I stopped for water for a moment. A young women was there tending lovingly to her new desert dog puppy. She commented “you are having a good workout”. From the way she took care of the dog, she appeared very lonely to me. I said to her after I started back on my run - “run with the dog – it is good for him”. What I really meant is that it is good for her; Perhaps if she joins our group she will feel better and be less lonely. On the way back I stopped for water at the BMX track and went a bit faster after that pushing hard up the hill. Even with all this pushing, my heart rate did not go above 145. On the Track it goes up to 170-173.

On my run today I did 12128 steps of which 12024 were aerobic and completed in one hour and 16 minutes. According to my pedometer, I covered 3.82 miles and spent 515 kcal.

Thank you group!

 

Ah! Friday morning run, I love it! - May 20, 2011

I started with my upper thigh hurting, but soon everything was okay. Ran from start to duck pond and back to start in 1 hour 07 minutes. I had a good hat on and I shaded in the mesquite trees back and forth. Under the mesquite trees I could observe the symbiotic relationship between the ants and these trees. Also I came upon many Ant-lion death traps on the ground where I was stepping. I kept thinking that at least the ants will make the place inhospitable to snakes. I recommend this run to members of our group at my level.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2012 13:49
 
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