Abu Dhabi Striders

Did my first interval training with the Abu Dhabi Striders. It was a nice 7-8K run. We did 2K+ warm-up then a 400m and 1K. Repeated 3 times. We then jogged back 1-2K.

I did it with a co-worker, Jeff Patrasso. The competition got us both working out harder than I think we would have otherwise.

After the workout had some time to get some dinner and found out that I missed both Glenn Close and Tony Blair who were across the street at the Emirates Palace Hotel this past week.

Saturday Workout

I rode 6km from my apartment to the beach. At the beach I met up with 4 other Abu Dhabi Tri Club members. We did a 2.4k swim, followed by a 24k bike, and a 3k run. The group was a bit smaller than normal as most of the club was in Dubai yesterday for the Mina Mile and decided to just do a long bike ride today. ADTC member Martin Hodge won his age group at the Mina Mile…congrats Martin!

During the bike and run, I got a chance to learn more about the nice people I work out with. I am convinced that swimmers/triathletes are the nicest people in the world. I can say that with confidence because they are literally from all over the world: England, Germany, Palestine, Scotland, Australia, the USA…. I got to share the run with Moataz, a Palestinian from Gaza told me about his incredible comeback from an injury in 2007. Great stories, great workout, great weather.

Next week we’re going to start the swim a little earlier as the sun is starting to make the latter half of our workout quite warm. It is frequently 90+ degrees now in Abu Dhabi. We’ll see how the upcoming Andrea Bocelli and Cold Play concerts affect next week’s workout as well. We are essentially doing laps around the Emirates Palace’s parking lot for concerts.

St. George Ironman

On Wednesday night I got an email announcing the inaugural St. George Ironman.

I followed the link and signed up right away. Ironman races sell out fast, sometimes in just hours-especially full Ironmans held in the USA and Canada.

I’m still excited to see a full Ironman back in one of my favorite cities, a city where I used to live. I have a lot of my relatives there too.

Look for Christopher Roberts to complete 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and 26.2 miles of running on May 1, 2010.

Bike Training and Yacht Show in Abu Dhabi

On March 9th I arrived in Dubai after spending 14 hours on a non-stop Emirates flight from LAX. (BTW, If you have to fly halfway around the world non-stop, Emirates is a nice way to do it.) Among my luggage was a box containing my road bike. On Thursday night I ran to Tamreen Sports Abu Dhabi (aka the CANNONDALE shop across from the cannon on Airport Road (2nd) and Khalifa Street (3rd)). They were great. They assembled and tuned the bike for a reasonable price. They had a few accessories that I needed as well: the quick release axles that weren’t packed with my bike (EDGE Mechanics- that’s where those extra axles came from sitting there in the assembly area ;), an emergency pump, CO2 cartridges, and reflectors.

The shop’s 2 Emirati owners were really nice. They stayed open for almost an extra hour to help me get set up. During our chat, I found out that they had attended school at UCI and UC Riverside so they knew the Orange County rides. It is a small world. It was a nice, albeit scary ride home in the dark. Cars in Abu Dhabi drive fast and aren’t used to sharing the road with bicycles.
On Saturday, I rode the bike to Ladies Beach, did a 4k swim with the Abu Dhabi Tri Club, followed it up with a 6K jog, and then rode back. My first “brick” workout in months. The distances weren’t anything to write home about, but it was nice to be doing all 3 again.

After getting home and doing some chores, I visited the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show. It was fun to see the miniture cruise ships, but purchasing multi-million dollar boats is still a little out of my price range. The Kuwaiti, Qatari and Abu Dhabi Royal families present probably found it more relevant. The Rolls Royce display on the shore was another nice diversion.

Abu Dhabi Tri Club Workout

Rode my newly assembled bike to the beach this morning where we had a large group for today’s 7:30 swim. The Cannondale shop on Airport Road (2nd) and (3rd) did a bang up job of reassembling and fitting my bike on Thursday night. It was especially great since they stayed open late to do and and had the needed parts to get me fully operational. Unfortunately, the folks at Edge Cycle Sports who packed my bike for shipping decided not to put all the pieces in the box. Edge Cycle Guy…those extra two quick release axles you have…well that’s where they came from…

Back in the States

Got back to Southern California on Saturday afternoon and I was anxious to get the heart pumping on Monday morning. I did the 5:45am workout at Soka with Novaquatics. Coach Kaitlin called the set of descending 200s, 150s and 100s with a double yardage at the end of each set. The workout was under 3,000 yards, but it was faster than I’ve gone in a while.

My old poolmates Bill and Emily made me realize that how much a lack of good interval training since July had affected my speed and endurance in the pool. My shoulders are still a little sore 2 days later.

On Tuesday morning Shane Fishbein and I did a ride to Santiago Canyon and back. My tire felt flat, but I discovered it was my legs, not the tires. Shane graciously slowed his pace to accommodate my out-of-shape bike legs. My bum is still hurting today.

Bottom line: it doesn’t take long for muscles to atrophy and weight to reappear. Though a year ago I did the California Ironman and in September I swam the Catalina channel, the last 5 months of 1 or 2 light workout sessions a week have left me in less than ideal shape. I’m taking my bike back to Abu Dhabi and getting serious again.