Friday, July 31, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Fiona did really well and kept a steady pace around the 3.7km circuit and managed to go without taking any rest walks!
On the second outing the run felt much tougher as the humidity was very high and it felt like to were running at 2000ft above sea level. Fi is now contemplating running the Dubai Marathon early next year with me. This will be part of my prep for the MDS in April 2010.
I am now trying to mix up my training program by including gym work, swimming and biking as I am sure I will get very bored come December. I know it is important to add miles to the legs but I am going to focus on my general fitness as well as losing a couple of pounds which would make the running a bit easier as well!
Monday, July 20, 2009
I decided to trek across a patch of desert first through very soft sand. The backpack was very comfortable with a 3 way adjustment. I tried to run some of the first sand sections and immediately realized that running with a backpack is not the most natural thing in the world, especially over the soft sand. I also found it to be very very hot with no breeze what so ever to cool you down. I decided to drink more water due to the heat, then stop off at a cafe and get some isotonic drinks.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Today we did a long run around the Jebel Ali hill which was pretty heavy. We left at 5h30pm and the temprature was around 39 degrees with the humidity at 66%! It is pretty hard to get your breathing under control with the humidity that high.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It is part of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times more likely to strike boys than girls. Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with rigid routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively arranging objects or following very specific routines. Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.
Autism was first identified in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the same time, a German scientist, Dr. Hans Asperger, described a milder form of the disorder that is now known as Asperger Syndrome. These two disorders are listed in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as two of the five developmental disorders that fall under the autism spectrum disorders. The others are Rett Syndrome, PDD NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. All of these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behavior.
Autism spectrum disorders can usually be reliably diagnosed by age 3, although new research is pushing back the age of diagnosis to as early as 6 months. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child's failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. Pediatricians may initially dismiss signs of autism, thinking a child will “catch up,” and may advise parents to “wait and see.” New research shows that when parents suspect something is wrong with their child, they are usually correct. If you have concerns about your child's development, don't wait: speak to your pediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.
If your child is diagnosed with autism, early intervention is critical to gain maximum benefit from existing therapies. Although parents may have concerns about labeling a toddler as “autistic,” the earlier the diagnosis is made, the earlier interventions can begin. Currently, there are no effective means to prevent autism, no fully effective treatments, and no cure. Research indicates, however, that early intervention in an appropriate educational setting for at least two years during the preschool years can result in significant improvements for many young children with autism spectrum disorders. As soon as autism is diagnosed, early intervention instruction should begin. Effective programs focus on developing communication, social, and cognitive skills.
I am meeting with Dubai Autism Center at the end of the month and hope to get more insight on the disorder and how to deal with better. In the UAE there has been a massive drive to raise awareness. I will have more info after my meeting with Hayula.
1. Funding scientific research aimed at understanding Autism and developing knowledge-based treatments with the intention of finding a cure.
2. Funding Centers of Excellence which include all of the following:- Educational programs for students age 3-21 years-A services component of doctors, speech therapists and other specialists-An on-site research center- A continuing services program for adults with Autism Spectrum DisordersThe Els for Autism Foundation does not award grants to individuals, except through their institutions.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Mariana decided to join me for part of the run. Marxie wanted to go do the MDS 2010 with me but unfortunately she could not do it this time around, maybe next time!
Mariana has bought a Garmin wrist watch and managed to pull the info from the watch and did the run profile on the left. I am defiantly getting on of these bad boys. You can get feedback on time, distance, elevation and then map it on Google Earth. This would be great to have for the MDS in April 2010. Fiona would be able to track my progress and upload this to the Blog on daily basis! (Thanks Babe!)
I like running in this area as it has many elevation variations as the rest of the tarmac roads in Dubai are completely flat! The area will be used for future developments.
I am always on the look out for Vipers as they are pretty dangerous, I always see the snake holes, think they might be dozing during the day! I also saw a desert hare sprinting across the sand, trying to keep up with me........whatever ek se.
I have decided to post a couple of pics of myself. I am currently weighing around 95kg and will be aiming to get this down to 80kg by April 2010. I have never weight this much in my life,so I am posting this as a challenge to myself to get back to the Ironman form I was in during my younger years! Go boet!
I got home and I was feeling so hot, I had to take my shirt of half way through my run which is a big NO NO here in Dubai, however, I was not in public view except for the 600 meters across the Gardens to get back home!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Marathon Run for Els for Autism
Adam du Plooy, a native South African now living in Dubai has qualified for and will run in the Marathon Des Sables in 2010 to raise money for Els for Autism. The endurance contest requires competitors to race 243km/151 miles (equivalent to 5½ regular marathons) across Morocco’s Sahara Dessert over a period of six days. The 30-year old veteran of two Ironman Triathlons, Adam is currently operations manager of the Wild Wati Water Park in Dubai. He feels close to the issue children with autism and will run the race on behalf of Els for Autism and and the Dubai Autism Center.
Ernie Els and his foundation commend Adam and are supportive of his efforts. Els for Autism is focused on finding a cure for autism and developing Centers of Excellence which include educational programs for ages 3-21, on-site medical and specialist services and on-site research facility and lifespan services for young adults 21+. Adam hopes to raise at least $10,000 for Els for Autism.
For more on Adam’s quest go to:http://www.firstgiving.com/adamduplooy4autism
Friday, July 3, 2009
It is three years since our seven-year old son Ben was diagnosed with Autism. We’d suspected for a few years that something was wrong. I mean, there’s a process that every kid goes through. Crawl at nine months, walk at 12 months, and then start talking and so on. With Ben we started thinking: ‘Why is he not crawling? Why is he not walking? Why is he not looking me in the eye?’ Things like that. We soon discovered he was quite severely touched by Autism.
One in 150 children is affected by Autism and that was perhaps the most shocking thing about all of this; the number of people it affects. And you know, it hits the whole family hard. For a long time you are trying to figure out ‘What just happened to my life?’ You feel sorry for yourself and for your kid and for your family. And the tragedy is that even in this day and age, the kid who has Autism is often forgotten about. The feeling is that he’s almost a waste of time, which says a lot more about society than it does the child. It’s heartbreaking.
Ben’s condition was the main driving force behind our decision to relocate our base from Wentworth to West Palm Beach in Florida. The move has benefits for my golf, but more importantly we have been able to secure a more intensive form of therapy for Ben. And he’s doing great. He might act and say things a little differently from other kids, and he obviously has some difficulties, but he understands everything we say and is particularly in tune with our emotions; it’s almost like a sixth sense. And thank God he’s got such a nice nature. He’s a very friendly, very happy, very shy kid and the more loving attention he gets and the smiles that he sees, the better. Samantha, his older sister, is great with him.
Liezl and I are private people, but we are also very much in the public eye and we recognise that this gives us a platform to help raise funds and awareness for the causes of Autism and its possible treatments. It is something that we both feel very passionate about.
We established our Els for Autism Foundation in the Spring of 2009. My first goal was to help fund an Autism Center of Excellence, a model for the world of what should be done for children with Autism. The Center will include an educational program for children age 3-21, an on-site services component for doctors, speech therapists and other specialists, a continuing services program for adults, and for me, most importantly, a research facility where scientists can study what causes Autism and possible treatments for it. That’s just the beginning. In the coming months my foundation will also be funding cutting edge Autism projects at some of the best universities and research labs around the United States. I’ll keep you posted on progress.
Years from now people may remember me as a golfer and a major champion. But I’d like also to be remembered as somebody who took the issue of Autism and did something with it. The rest of my life, I’ll be fighting this thing…I hope you’ll join with me.
1. Fund scientific research aimed at understanding Autism and developing knowledge-based treatments.
2. Fund Centers of Excellence which include all of the following:
How thrilling, we’d love to have to have you running under the Els for Autism banner. It appears from some of the press information I read that you will need our logo. I’ve attached it.
You’re right that finding a cure for Autism and providing all the necessary services for children on the autism spectrum is a top priority for Ernie and he’ll be delighted to know that you share his passion. We’ll be anxious to know how you’re progressing and wish you great good fortune in the race.
Stay in touch,
Big thank you must go out to Rebecca Prelle who has been amazing in helping me with setting things up for fundraisers and spreading the word! We have some exciting meetings lined up with media representatives here in Dubai.
The race covers 243km/151 miles run over 6 days – equivalent to 5 ½ regular marathons. In addition to that competitors have to carry everything they will need for the duration (apart from a tent) on their backs. I will carry my own backpack containing food, water, sleeping gear and other material.
I will need to carry and prepare all my own food during the race, unfortunately Spinneys hasn’t made it to the Sahara yet! Water is rationed and handed out at each checkpoint and it is absolutely essential to manage consumption throughout the race.
I will experience:
· midday temperatures of up to 48 degrees Celsius
· running or walking on uneven rocky stony ground
· between 15% - 20% of the distance being in sand dunes
The heat, distance and rubbing will trash my feet and may cause severe trauma if incorrect shoes and equipment are used. Mental stamina probably constitutes at least 50% of whether I will complete the distance or not.
One of the longest stages take place on the 4th day, I will set off across the barren wilderness to complete a 72-80 kilometer stage. Few people complete this before dark the same day and some will not come in until after dark the next night. This is immediately followed with a full marathon distance. Remind me why I am doing this again....?