Sunday, June 2, 2013

Back to (ultra) business

Not much to share this week, with my round trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as I did spend more time on a plane than running. Or even sleeping for the matter! 23 hours door to door, each way, that's a lot of wasted time in checking-in, passing security, waiting to board then on the tarmac, disembarking, clearing immigration and custom, airport transfers. The irony is that, with their business week starting on Saturday, I forfeited my Memorial Day Weekend to be there on Saturday night but the customers meetings got all postponed to my last day there, Wednesday. At least I could catch-up with previous work commitments and even do some running while there. And I even managed to log 106 miles this week, the second week over 100 miles this year. At last...!

On Sunday morning, I ran 14 miles in Riyah, by 102F (39C)! And 10% "humidity" that is super dry heat. I was carrying two water bottles but I had to stop on my way back to buy more water. Not only the temperature was insane but the dust too, the pollution and the heat of the cars and trucks I had to slalom through. As I was writing after my first visit there (Running in Arabia) in October 2011, if you want to run outside, the best is to catch a cab to the Wadu Hanifa oasis at the Southern end of the city.

The rest of my stay I ran on the treadmill which was safer anyway, and logged 35 miles while watching the French Tennis Open (Rolland Garros).

I landed at SFO at noon on Thursday, did two conf calls until 3 pm then enjoyed so much a run in much nicer temperatures, even if a heat wave had just hit the Bay Area (75-85F these past days). I was looking forward to a calm weekend after such travel but my second conf call on Friday at 6:30 am pulled me in a client escalation which made me work all Saturday afternoon to prepare for a conference call on Sunday at 5 am. That's ultra business, that never stops, the sun never sets on the IBM planet... Maybe that will make me appreciate the upcoming family vacations this month even more (Portugal then Corsica), with some feeling that I deserve them... ;-)

I went for a long run on Saturday morning over Black Mountain (29.5 miles) and 16 flat miles this Sunday. The toe is better, the hematoma is gone but the nail is going to be a mess for a while and painful at times, I'm hoping it will cope with the high mileage I hope to put in this month in Europe in particular before my upcoming race in the Alps in July (the super challenging Montagn'Hard) and of course Tahoe Rim Trail 100-mile when I'm back.

I'm so glad that my fall and injury at Ohlone two weeks ago only kept me off the trails for 2 days!

Last, don't forget to celebrate National Running Day this Wednesday, June 5th! I'm organizing a group run at the office, hoping I won't be on my own like the past two years...

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