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Day 260 – 266 – Well Needed Rest!

March 18th, 2014 by

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Over the last 8 months I have put in an obscene amount of hard work and dedication to get myself into a position to run the London Marathon, so with just over 4 weeks to go I decided to get some sun and visit some old friends in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  I flew out on Tuesday evening and headed straight out for dinner with my friend Tim whom I worked with in Libya and his wife Yulia. It was great to catch up with them and talk about the change in my life and how it has affected me. They both knew me as a wild party man who liked a good time and I think it took them a bit of time to get used to the new improved, quieter David Donnelly!

I headed out to a clinic in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to meet with an Orthopedic Specialist about my running injuries. It was funny that the first thing the Doctor asked me to tell him was a story! I replied ‘I have one hell of a story for you!’ After a long chat about my weight loss and training progress, the Doctor suggested that I take an array of vitamins and supplements and that I should have a cortisone injection in my hip. From what I had read online I was expecting it to be quite painful but actually it was pretty quick and painless. After seeing the Doctor I made my way to the spa for a deep tissue massage which was fantastic! After my run the previous day I was pretty sore and stiff so I felt really relaxed afterwards which was exactly the affect that I was looking for.

On Thursday I got a taxi over to Dubai to meet an old friend from University for a game of golf, the weather was pretty overcast with a sand storm coming in but it held off long enough for us to get 18 holes in. Now I love playing golf but the weight loss has caused a major problem, my swing is all over the place because the size of my belly has reduced significantly which means I have less weight to swing and there I need to alter it accordingly – I played awful but the score card didn’t matter, catching up with my friend and enjoying the peace and quiet did!

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I was quite disappointed with the weather on Friday as it wiped out the day I had planned sitting on the

beach, but in true tourist style I headed to the mall. It was good to have a walk around and loosen my legs up in preparation for the 18 miler I had planned for Saturday. I went onto Google maps and planned out a 6 mile route along the Corniche, I was excited as I would be running a long distance for the first time outside…I then found out that the Adu Dhabi Triathlon was being held in the exact same location! I thought to myself that I would head down and see the extent to which the route had been closed off. In the end there was a 2 mile stretch that remained open but ran alongside the event, it was fantastic to run alongside some of the best tri-athletes in the world, it was such an inspiration for me and I would love to train for one in the future. I got plenty of support from the crowd and volunteers which really helped me in the baking sun!

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I ran 6 miles, my shins were hurting from pounding the pavement and the heat was really getting to me.I haven’t experienced running long distance in the heat before and I was worried I would end up with heat stroke. So I made a good decision and cooled off in the pool with my friends until the heat of the day subsided. It was fantastic relaxing and laughing in the sun; I don’t get to do it often so it was a real treat especially with all the stress with work and training.

After I had cooled off, refueled and rehydrated I set off to complete the outstanding 12 miles. My problem was that I was not only tired coming into the evening but my body had started to seize up making it really painful to run. I pushed myself though and saw this great sign outside of the Triathlon, pain is definitely temporary and the pride I will experience when I cross that finish line will be with me forever. I managed to complete a half marathon, so I was 5 miles short. My hip was in agony and I really didn’t want to push myself to the brink of serious injury.

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I flew back into a cold and grey Kazakhstan on Sunday, some of the snow had cleared but not enough for my liking. I had a great few days rest which came at a time when I was really struggling with work, training and operating ‘The Feeling of Success.’ Sometimes you need to sit back and have a breather to really appreciate how far you have come. Training hard and pushing yourself is imperative to success but so is a well timed rest.

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