It's been a while… I have been so busy getting a new business venture started that the blog got no attention in the meantime. Since the March post, we have been busy. In late March, we traveled to Japan to attend my cousin's wedding and travel around the country a bit. Here is a beautiful shot of Amanohashidate.
Last weekend, we drove to Khasab, Oman for the night... It was absolutely beautiful.
We stayed at the Atana hotel, Khasab. The hotel has been improves since its Golden Tulip days and it was pleasant and the service was much better than expected. The view from the hotel is MAGNIFICENT.
We will definitely go back.
I finally registered for the Spring distance for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. Even though I am doing the Olympic distance for the Yas Tri, I cannot imagine cycling for 100 km in the midday heat in Abu Dhabi. Will require one more year of full training for that! Next year, I will do the "Short" distance (aka 100km cycle at Abu Dhabi).
My husband got me a new tribike! According to him, it is the combination of our 10th year wedding anniversary, my 2013 birthday and Christmas presents. Regardless of what it is, thank you. Since I am barely 5'1, we measured my body and send the measurements along pictures of me on my current road bike to the experts at Trisports.com in order for them to recommend me a bike. They came up with Quintanaroo. Since we bought the last year's model, we saved a lot of money. For the husband whose is body is the total opposite of me (at 6'7 around 202 cm), they recommended the brand Guru from Canada. They put together a custom bike for him.
This Friday, we are both doing the TriYas 2014 taken place in Yas Marina. Last year, my husband did it alone since I was heavily pregnant. This year, I am competing in the Olympic distance race where my husband was only able to register for the Sprint distance. I wanted to do the Sprint since this is my FIRST race in more than 2 years and since my last pregnancy!!! Oh, well. The key word here is "SURVIVAL".
うちに新しいトライアスロンのタイムトライアルバイクがやってきた。アメリカのブランドであるクゥイタナルー（QUINTANAROO)のカスタムバイク。去年のモデルであるため安くゲット。私は身長１５０cmのちっちゃい日本人なので、とにかく自分の体に合うバイクやらトライスーツやら靴やらを探すのが大変。ドバイに住んでいるとチョイスも限られてくるので、メジャーで足の長さやら、手の長さ、身長などを測り、自分が今持っているバイクに乗ってる写真をとり、Trisport.com のバイクエクスパーと話し合いどのブランドがいいか推薦してもらいました。ちなみに家の旦那は２メートル２センチという私と正反対の人なので、グル（Guru Cycle) というカナダの会社にカスタムオーダーでつくってもらいました。それでアラメックすショップアンドシップ（Aramex Shop and Ship）というサービスで送ってもらってもこっちで買うより安かったです。
We took my new bike for a 85km test run. No drafting for 85 km in the desert. Tough but felt good afterwords.
We tried this new restaurant called Tom & Serg next to Time Square, Dubai. The two guys that started this restaurant care about two things: Food and Coffee. Sounds good to me. The restaurant felt very Ausie/Melbourne-ish and the food and coffee were excellent.
We heard from our friends that Emirates Park Zoo was recently revamped and you can stay within the Zoo compound so that kids can wake up to zebras and giraffes. We booked a deluxe zoo view room at the Emirates Park Resort and headed to Abu Dhabi (well, not quite but about one hour from Arabian Ranches).
威厳のある白虎のペア、31歳で体重が300キロ以上あるシベリアンベア、ライオン、チーターの「野生の動物」のセクションが新しくできたのだそう。動物園に隣接のエミレーツ パーク リゾートに泊まったら部屋の大きい窓からキリンやシマウマが見えて、子供達も大喜び。夕飯も朝食も動物たちとともに頂きました。部屋も寝室とリビング（小さいキッチンがついているけどコンロなどはない）に分かれていて、とても家族ずれには便利でした。ルームサービスも２４時間だそうです。
The first Flag to Flag (hopefully, it will be an annual event) cycling "marathon" took place on the 41st UAE National Day on December 1st, 2013 and we of course wanted to be a part of it! Around 800 people took part in this historic event riding on major roads from the flag pole in Dubai to the flag pole in Abu Dhabi.
One of my favorite activities in Dubai is cycling. I have been cycling with Cycle Safe Dubai (CSD) since I moved here in November 2011 and cycled through Ramadan, Dubai summers and last year through my pregnancy up until I was 7 months pregnant*. With my first pregnancy, I also exercised through training for two triathlons and I ran and swam until the day of the birth. With this pregnancy, I felt bigger and I was more uncomfortable so swimming and biking felt so much better than running (due to weight distribution, I think). I am not recommending that pregnant women cycle because I believe (based on my own experience) that exercise during pregnancy depends on the 'baseline' (the level of fitness and activity pre-pregnancy) and whether or not the women have any complications or have risk pregnancy. but for me, cycling on a road bike felt comfortable because it put my protruding belly forward and down and removed the pressure from the tip of the spine, aka lower-back. (*I cycled with my physician's ok and support)
Post my all natural vaginal birth though, I could not even imagine cycling. Though I missed cycling, I could not even imagine sitting on a saddle, if you know what I mean. So, after the birth of our daughter the end of April, I took time to heal. After 8 weeks postpartum, I started swimming and by mid August, I was back on my bike again thanks to CSD. I started out with the 45 km group on Friday mornings and quickly regained strength to join the 65 km group. Stewart and Des from CSD always talk about muscle memory but I was honestly surprised at how fast I regained my strength and got back into shape.
My journey back into being back in cycling shape was not without its challenges, however. After I started cycling again, I started to experience knee, shoulder, back and lower back pains. Fearful of injury, I took my self to UpandRunning to see Dr. Gus (awesome guy, highly recommend him). He told me that the back pain was most likely from the delivery itself where the joints are still soft and loose and they still needed time to heal. He also told me that feeding the baby all hours of the day in weird positions (I have been lazy to use a feeding pillow) put a lot of strain on my shoulders and back. After some assessments (feeling my muscles and watching me exercise), he told me that my knee and lower back pain came from the weakened traverse adnominis (TVA - the muscle that you contract to hold the pee) which resulted from the pregnancy and delivery. So, he prescribed some physical therapy to isolate and retrain this particular muscle as well as my gluteal muscles.
To tell the truth, I never 'isolated' muscles and exercised them. Not that I did not believe in these types of exercises but I just never took time to do this when I preferred to be outside, cycling, swimming or running. But after seeing and feeling the result of strengthening my TVA and glutes in how strong I felt when cycling, I was forever changed. Not only did my knee pain go away but I felt much stronger cycling. I also asked my physical therapist to send me scientific articles about the relationship between TVA and lower back pain (me being a public health professional...) and I attached them below.
Thanksgiving is here but we are celebrating it tomorrow (Friday) since we do not get Thursday off here in Dubai.
We will prepare the Thanksgiving meal with another American family and will eat and celebrate with multiple multi-national families Dubai style!
Here is what we are planning for tomorrow...
The picture on the left is my inspiration for the decoration.
(First, I am giving Thanks to Everything Thanksgiving by Martha Stewart...)