It's not that I lacked enthusiasm in the beginning - I ran/jogged regularly, cut down my alcohol intake for a while and tried to eat less.
On returning to Doha in September I started running laps around the Compound but soon found that my back would stiffen and start to ache shortly after returning from my runs and at night time the pain would be so excruciating that I would be unable to even turn myself over in bed. As a result, I had to stop running for a while to let my body recover.
My next attempt at pounding the pavements, a couple of months later, resulted in a stress fracture in my foot, which then put me out of action for yet another 6 weeks.
So it is only now, that I am once again trying to grasp that nettle and incorporate some form of exercise into my daily routine.
Today is National Sports Day here in Qatar. In a bid to help stem ever increasing obesity rates, the Emir declared in 2012 that the second Tuesday in February would become a national holiday and people would be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of sporting activities across Doha on that day.
Last year was the second National Sports Day and we took the children to take part in one of the specially arranged events, the Doha Dash. Dependent on age and ability you could take part in either a 1km, 3km or 5km run or a 1km walk around Loseil race track.
Matthew took part in the 1km race along with some of his friends from Beavers, while Simon, Rebecca and Ben did the 3km race. I watched and cheered them on with a then 6 month old Ethan. It was obvious that Ben really enjoyed running and he and Simon crossed the line together in 19 minutes. A photo of them, which was taken by the official event photographer as they crossed the line, later went on to appear in a number of newspapers and magazines over the following weeks!
After seeing the famous picture of Simon and Ben splashed within the pages of a newspaper once again last month, we quickly signed everyone back up for this year's event too. Just like last year though I unfortunately looked on from the sidelines with Ethan as the rest of the family enjoyed the buzz of racing around a part of the international circuit with fellow competitors. Wearing their same football tops, Simon and Ben crossed the line in unison again today, but this time they were a whole 3 minutes quicker than last year, finishing in just 16 minutes (according to their chip times they were 75th and 76th out of a field of almost 600 runners)! Rebecca too, who doesn't usually like to run, managed to complete the distance faster than before and Matthew ran his 1km race so quickly that I didn't even make it to the finish in time to take a picture!
By Midday we were back home, everyone was showered and changed and the children were once more back to their usual pursuits of lounging around watching television, messaging friends via the iPad and sitting playing on their games console. The delights of outdoor pursuits may be finished for today but I can live in hope that the Doha Dash will have motivated them to try more energetic activities once again tomorrow.
As for me, it will be my turn to pull on my running attire as I take to running laps of our Compound tonight.........under the safe cover of darkness, which is just how I prefer it!