Destination desert

Mid February and it’s usually starting to warm up in Qatar’s deserts – 2016 however has been following a slightly different pattern and I, for one, am glad about that.

For us desert dwellers, now is the time of the year, when the fear starts to creep up on us, asking…”how hot will it get this summer?” as we desperately cling to the final few days of winter, hoping that they will eek out a little longer yet.

It was cold, okay?!

It was cold, okay?!

Last weekend was one of those. The wind blew off the Arabian Gulf, which after quite literally boiling fish alive last August in record breaking temperatures, and it was cold. I suspect this may be due to Iran’s snow-capped mountains, but not being an expert in meteorology I cannot really comment.

With an end-of-season jolly planned, we camped out on Thursday night. Camping, however, was more challenging that we expected and after battling 50 mph winds with a tent, we gave up and decided to sleep in the car. Not the comfiest choice, my back and hammies weren’t thanking me, but probably the best night’s sleep I’ve had in the desert.

After two weeks walking, I am back running…slowly. Eight weeks and pretty much all base training has been scheduled. There are a few twinges, and I have by chance discovered that I am not moving straight through my right knee. A chance discovery as I happened to do my physio exercises in the gym, glance in a mirror and spot what I thought felt like a straight leg, shooting out the side at right angles! (How long has that one being going on for?).

Spot the runners.

Spot the runners.

Wanting to get some night trail running in (I’ve signed up for a crazy 100km mountain race in July which starts at 10 pm), one of the other dedicated campers and I, decided to go out for a short, easy, evening off-road jaunt. We headed out along a pipeline (impossible to get lost 😉 ) which runs parallel to a road. If the worst came the worst, we could therefore bale and just run along the road. An hour and half later, we were back in camp, nicely warmed up from our run and ready to feast on the food which had been barbecued in our absence. Nice timing!

The following morning dawned bright and windy as other runners rolled in from town, surprised at how windy it was

on the peninsula. The plan was to run for a couple of hours, and taking the opportunity of the cooler weather we

BRUnch on the the desert.

BRUnch on the beach…in the desert.

stayed inland – to try to avoid the strength of the wind too – and generally roamed around.

Following a run, congregate together, run congregate together, we started heading back to rekindle the barbecue and munch on a shared meal. Of course everyone brought far too much food, and it was mighty chilly – more akin to breakfasting on Skegness beach (for those GB readers among us) – but we had fun, sharing stories, training tales and injury woes.

Here’s hoping we get another jaunt in before the summer heat rolls in!

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