Monday, August 31, 2009

Singapore said "Cannot!"

A rep from the Singapore Marathon called me last week and said “No! Your 16 year old son cannot run the marathon. And no you cannot receive a refund. Cannot! Cannot!”

But she said they would gladly withdraw our registrations if we would like. Withdraw them without a refund … yeah right!

I am still signed up for the full marathon and Jakeb is now signed up for the 10k. We will at least go get our packets. I may run as much as I can slow and easy on less than full marathon training. I may run just to people watch and have fun.

We are switching our training around and will probably run the Hong Kong marathon in February. They allow 16 year olds to run their marathon. We may run something else, we will see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Running fun

This morning Jakeb and I ran four miles in the rain. It was a really fun run. We ran beside drainage ditches that were flowing like the Guadalupe River with Canyon Dam wide open. Everything looks different outside when it rains. I’ve always liked running in the rain and it is no different here in Singapore. We will see if my opinion is different after monsoon season.

Sometimes running can become drudgery. For the last couple of weeks though I have looked forward to almost every run. Even running the hills has come easier and I feel stronger running them. Hopefully the good feelings will last for a while.

When we first moved into our townhouse here in Singapore I woke up early the first morning and ran four miles. I got done with my run and I stood in the outdoor shower for a second to rinse the sweat from my clothes and then dove into the Allsworth Park complex swimming pool. I floated in the water for a while when a security guard walked around the corner of the building.

I said, “Good morning.”

In his staccato Asian accent he said “Pool’s closed.”

I said “okay when does it open?”

“Seven o’clock.”

“But I run every morning before seven o’clock and I want to cool off in the pool.”

“Pool opens seven o’clock.”

“So you mean I cannot jump in the pool to cool off after I run because some person somewhere decided the only time residents should enjoy the pool is after seven?”

“Pool opens seven o’clock.”

Knowing I was not getting anywhere with Mr Rigid Rule-follower I gave up and got out.

So I do not jump in the pool after I run except on the weekends when I run later in the morning. But I do go down and cool off by standing under the shower by the pool. I know the security guards know I am there because there are cameras everywhere. I have not been kicked out of the shower yet. Even though it is not the pool I enjoy being able to cool down after a run before I have to go inside. It reminds me of standing under the water hose behind the house in Lake Jackson.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Running the Singapore Marathon .. or not

I registered Jakeb and myself for the Singapore Marathon the other day. We have been looking forward to running this marathon for over a year. This would be Jakeb’s first. The problem is that to run the Singapore Marathon you have to be 18 years old.

I emailed them and asked if they would let me sign a waiver to allow him to run. If not we will be looking for another marathon on this side of the world to run between December and February.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Making Peace With The Hills

Singapore running is hot. I expected that. Jakeb and I ran eight miles on Saturday morning and when I finished my shoes were squishing with the sweat that had run into them from my legs.

If I do not run early here I will not run. That is no different than it was at home. Life here is busy just like it was in Texas. As the kids get involved in school and we get involved in church and work picks up and all of the other things we will find to do my schedule will not get any better. So in Singapore like in Lake Jackson I run mostly when the sun is down. But I expected that too.

There are quite a few things about running in Singapore that I did not expect. I did not expect to run with so many other runners. There are a lot of people who run here. I think this morning was the first time I have not passed another runner during my run. Today is a public holiday and I am going to work. Everyone else decided to sleep in I guess.

I did not expect to have to run on so many hills. They are not big hills but I come from the pancake flat Gulf Coast of Texas. Our house in Singapore is on a hill. You don’t notice it so much when you drive to it. No matter which direction I run I finish going uphill.

At first I just powered up the hills. I continued to run the pace I was until I made it to the top or had to stop running and walk. I walked a lot. But somehow along the way I figured out that I have to shorten my stride and slow down to be able to run the hills well.

This morning I ran a four mile loop (or a little less than seven kilometers – I will always think in miles). I ran alone and listened to music and ran within myself. I felt good at the end and I probably finished faster than when I push myself too hard. This is a lesson I should probably try to learn in other parts of my life as well.