Posts Tagged ‘Inter-Lebanon Road Running and Athletic Club’

I heard the first wail of “Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas and I was off.  The hardest part was managing the bursts of adrenaline my body was shooting uncontrollably into my bloodstream.  This issue of adrenaline might be one of the biggest challenges I face during such events.  Don’t get me wrong, I need the adrenaline; I just wish my body would learn to pump it into my blood near the 75% finished mark instead of the 2% finished mark.

After a few minutes my body began to regulate itself and found a pace it could maintain throughout the race.  I carefully tuned into the playlist I put together the night before; each song was designed to pump me up and energize me to finish the race.  The songs ran the gamut from Bambaleo by the Gipsy Kings to Ring the Alarm by Beyonce to Canibal by Ivente Sangalo, a Brazilian artist.

I ventured out in this playlist to include Ivete’s Samba hit, Canibal, but going forward, I don’t think I’ll create a running playlist without it – and surely it will be strategically placed towards the end of the list.  The super double-time rhythm transported me into the middle of Carnival with the heavily decked out women in tall feather headdresses moving their hips and feet at an ungodly pace.  In the end it inspired me to move my bunda to finish the race.

Though I ran a 1/2 marathon last year, I basically stopped running since my arrival here in Lebanon.  It wasn’t until about 2 or 3 weeks ago I committed to myself that I would workout at least 20 minutes per day for 6 days a week, if for nothing else than my health.  From there I found the Inter-Lebanon Road Running & Athletics Club and they informed me of the Bickfaya Flowers 7k Race and the rest is history!

One explanation in the slowdown of my running schedule is my location.  Sidewalks are a novelty in Lebanon, and our school is currently working to construct in indoor gymnasium.  To combat this, I’ve taken to waking up early to run before the daring traffic and oogling gawkers come out.

In running outside, I’ve had to face one of my biggest running fears: hills.  Bickfaya loomed like a giant in my mind because I heard it would be a hilly course.  Given that I’m from Chicago, a place notorious for being slope-impaired, I felt as though I wasn’t trained properly to run a course with hills.  So this past week, and a bit before, I began to run hills, almost every day.  At first I ran them 6 times, with walks in between.  Then I took on a bigger hill.  Each day I added a set to the hill or I added slope to the hills I was running.  By the time I got to Bickfaya today, I was thinking, these hills ain’t got nothing on my Sabtieh (a place where the hills are quite steep and the incline to reach the school rises for almost a kilometer or more.

In the end, I’m more than happy that I participated and have begun to carve a semblance of a life out for myself.  I’m happy for the new running friends I’m making (especially my new friend Farah) and I hope to run more races in Lebanon.

To all the runners out there, no matter where you are, Happy Running!

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Since I’ve recently settled on staying in Lebanon for another year, I’ve decided to get in where I fit in. In other words, I gotta figure out how I fit in here. While I’m often reminded that this is the Paris of the Middle East with an incomparable nightlife, I’m not much of a club head. If I’m honest with myself, it’s not really my scene. So, I gotta get in where I fit in.

Last year, around this time, I was training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Chicago. I was so amped after the race that I decided I would try to train for the Beirut Marathon. Upon my arrival, I was a little disappointed to discover that there’s not much of a running scene – at least not an apparent one. Whereas in Chicago, I could easily find my way to Lake Shore Drive and find a bevy of runners, bikers and roller bladers, here, I struggle just to safely walk up and down the hill in my neighborhood to run necessary errands, let alone jog as a leisure activity. It’s kindof like running in the hood. You don’t ever see anyone doing it, unless it’s out of necessity.

Lately I’ve been on a hunt to find the running scene, and now I think I’m happening upon it. I’ve recently found the Inter-Lebanon Road Running and Athletic Club. So far, the organizers have been quite helpful in showing me the ropes. They’ve even told me about Bickfaya Flowers Race, a 7k on a hilly course, that’s coming up in about 10 days or so. While the hills sound a bit intimidating, considering I’m from a flat state, I might just whip up the courage to participate if I can manage my schedule.

For now, I’m excited to see where I fit in