Monday, April 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Long Runs

On Saturday the 21st of April I ran a 19 mile long run. Andrea was in London and it was just Anna and me at home. The day before I tried to prepare as much as possible. I drank plenty of liquids. I ate a carbohydrate rich diet. Anna and I went to Chilli’s for dinner and I got chicken pasta with marinara. I went to bed early. I should have been totally ready for the long run.

But the next morning I woke up ate some cereal, drank water and coffee, stretched, filled my pockets with gu s-caps and a half of a pb&j, grabbed my water bottle and headed out. From the first step I knew it was not going to be a good day. My legs felt shaky and running was a labor. I ran up Tanglin Road and the small hill felt like hiking in Nepal. I ran through the Botanic Gardens and almost turned around and headed home because it was nasty. There was no way I was going to be able to run 16 more miles. I filled up my water bottle and took an s-cap and ran on towards MacRitchie.

When I got to MacRitchie I was feeling better but I was running slower than normal. As I got on the trails I got a gift – it started to rain. The water felt good as it rained really hard. I made it home but the whole way was a struggle. On top of that I realized when I got home that my sleeveless shirt had chaffed the insides of my arms. Nine days later my right arm still burns.

This Saturday (the 28th) I ran 20 miles. My preparation was much the same. Andrea made chicken for dinner with steamed rice and corn. That was really the only difference.

I got up early Saturday morning and prepared the same as the previous Saturday. I got out to run and from the first step I could tell it was going to be a good day. I ran the Park Connector, through Botanic Gardens, on to MacRitchie, out to Rifle Range Road and back. It was hot but I was running one to one and a half minutes per mile faster than last week. I was not walking as much. And then as I left MacRitchie to run the last five miles home on the road I got a gift – more rain. The lightning was a bit scary but the rain was welcome. I even felt better after the run this week than I did the last.

What was different? I wish I knew. I would make every long run like the one on April 28 and I would never have another long run like April 21 again. I think it may be because Andrea was home...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Telok Blangah forest walk in the dark without lights

I ran my 5 mile “Treetop” loop this morning. It is an elevated metal sidewalk grading that goes from Alexandra Road up a hill above the tree canopy to the top Telok Blangah Hill. There are normally lights that back light the path from underneath the grading. It is a cool effect because it lights the ground below but not the air above and it is kind of like flying while you’re running in the trees.

This morning for whatever reason the lights were off. At the beginning of the trail it was no big deal because I was at street level and could see pretty well. But there is a section where the path goes into the trees where there is canopy both above and below the trail. It was dark. In Singapore it is rare to find a truly dark place. There are lights everywhere. But as I ran into the covered area of the trail I could barely see the next couple of steps in front of me but I ran on anyway.

Like life. Sometimes it is dark and you can only see the next couple of steps. But what are you going to do? You can be paralyzed by the dark and stop. Or you can run on and hope no one has removed a piece of the grading in the sidewalk.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Staple it together and call it bad weather ...

In my last post I wrote about running in the rain and not seeing anybody out on a day that would have normally had the trails crowded if it would have been sunny. Today I ran across this quote on a running website.

"There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people." - Bill Bowerman

Was Bill right? Those who chose not to run in the rain will get the last laugh if I am ever struck by lightning.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A snake and an accidental 17.5

I ran five miles this morning on the park connector. The Alexandra Park Connector is basically a sidewalk that runs either beside the canal or over the canal when the canal is a big drainage pipe underground. I get on the park connector about a half a mile from the condo and I can run on it all the way to Marina Bay Sands. This morning I turned around at the 2.5 mile mark for five miles total.

As I ran on the section where the canal is underground I approached a mosque on my left. I was minding my own business listening to Band of Skulls and I caught a slight movement on the ground to the left of my feet.

I don’t normally curse (or as we say in Texas cuss). I think that people who resort to cussing in most of their sentences don’t have the vocabulary or creativity to express themselves very well. And besides when a person doesn’t normally cuss it means something when they do.

This is a family friendly blog so I won’t tell you what I said but it started with “holy” and ended with “it”. I am surprised I did not have an accident and get “it” all over me.

To my left was the largest snake I have ever seen outside of a cage. It was right beside the park connector. Not in the deep dark woods. It was where people are every morning. The snake was longer than I am tall and I am 6 feet 2 inches tall (or 188 cm for my non-American friends) and it was as big around as a baseball bat at its fattest point.

What in the world was he/she doing there? I made so much noise when I yelled that a woman in the mosque came to the window to see what was going on. My first reaction was to take off but then I had to stop and back track to make sure I had seen what I had seen. And sure enough a big snake was just lying by the sidewalk.

There are stray cats all over the place near the mosque. Maybe that was why the snake was there. They’d better watch out or they will become breakfast.

When I ran back by on my way home the snake was gone. A snake …. In the middle of Singapore!

I other news I accidentally ran 17.5 miles on Saturday. Actually I ran 16 miles on purpose but when my garmin hit 16 I was still 1.5 miles from home. So what are you gonna do? Run the 1.5 to pad the run log of course. It was a really good run. It rained hard on me as I left the house and rained for the whole run. I ran to MacRitchie and had the trail to myself. I passed two western guys going in the opposite direction from me. Asians apparently do not run in the rain. It was awesome and it made me miss running with Jakeb.