Thursday, January 24, 2013

MacRitchie and the track

This weekend I ran around MacRitchie and added the out and back to rifle range road in the middle for a total of eight miles. It was raining – sometimes a little, sometimes pouring down. I saw maybe 15 or 20 people 95% of which were westerners. I’ve asked this question here before but I don’t know what it is about Asians not wanting to get wet. When you run around MacRitchie on a clear sunny day you get as wet with your own sweat as you do when it is raining. And a rainy run is much more pleasant. I should not question it because it was good to have the woods and trails mostly to myself. Running around MacRitchie is one of the things I will miss about Singapore.

I ran at the track this morning again. That makes two weeks in a row. I ran a mini ladder, 200-400-800-400-200 with 200 recovery in between. Once again it was good to run hard. I glanced down at the Garmin and saw times in the 7 minute and change pace per mile. It has been a long time since I have run under 8 minute pace. The last 200 was rough because my legs were tired but I kept telling myself “strong and in control”. The inside lane had a few walkers like last week. It is okay, I can go around.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Maze ... who needs sleep?

Jakeb sent me an email and said “Hey, if I can get some people interested would you help me out getting to Austin to do this?”

He added a link to the Rogue Running Trail Series of which the first race is The Maze. The Maze is one of my favorite (if not my all time favorite) trail runs. It takes place in Walnut Creek Park and the course is three 10k loops through the hills north of Austin with a couple of stream crossings per loop. The race has a distinctly Texas feel to it which is something I could use right now.

The trip always includes food from Chuy’s. I was jealous that Jakeb would get to run it and I wouldn’t. I considered replying and saying “Heck no I won’t help you get to Austin (meaning pay). You can find your own way!”

But I am a nicer dad than that so I didn’t. Then I looked at the web site and realized the race is on March 24th. I will be in Texas on March 24th so I shot back an email and said “I'll be in town on March 24th. Maybe I can meet you there and run it too.”

The euphoria was short lived when I figured out that I would not get into Houston until 5:40 pm on the 23rd. After flying for over a day, I would have to clear customs and get a rent car, drive between three and four hours to Austin to meet Jakeb where he would have checked us into a hotel and picked up our packets. Then get a short night’s sleep assuming I could sleep through the jet lag and then get up and run 18 miles.

That’s crazy! So I considered not doing it. I asked my voice of reason (Andrea) what she thought. Her reply was “will you regret not doing it?” Of course I would. So that night after Jakeb checked his school schedule I signed us both up for The Maze.

Am I crazy for doing it? Dang right. But Jakeb pointed out that he was coming to Singapore when school is out in May and hiking to the top of the highest peak in Southeast Asia a couple days after he arrives. I guess it runs in the family.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Speed and Nutrition

We live a little less than a mile from a track. I’ve driven by there but have never actually been on foot. This morning for the first time in Singapore I decided to do some speed work.

I ran easy to the track and once I got there ran 4x400 with 200 recovery. It felt good to move fast and work on controlling form. It was much slower than when I used to do speed work in Texas and it wasn’t very much as far as volume was concerned but I did it. And I think I will do it again. I would like to run the Sundown Marathon closer to four hours than five and I think this will help.

There were old Asian people walking on the track and a few “middle-agers” like me. I was the only one running. As is typical here there were a few people who walked as if they owned the place. Some weaving in and out of the inside lane while they walked. So I followed American track etiquette and elbowed the old ladies out of the inside lane as I was running past. Okay I didn’t but I felt like it. I made sure I ran on the inside of them fast and close …

Andrea and I have made some tweaks to our nutritional routine without making a big deal of it. We have pretty much cut out starchy carbs, sugar and dairy and are focusing on eating lots of vegetables, fruit and a moderate amount of lean meat. Both of us have lost weight without really trying too hard. I was scared I would not be fueled well for running. At first it seemed that way but I think it was because I was recovering from getting sick in London – and in some ways I am still recovering. But I feel like I have enough fuel to run  typical morning runs without any problems. I haven’t run any long runs while eating this way and those may require me to add some starchy fuel the night before – we will see.

We started eating this way hard core on January 8th - we dabbled with it for a couple of months before. So about the second week of February I will go to the doctor and get a physical (it is time). I am really interested in what my cholesterol numbers will be.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

End of 2012, London and the Beginning of 2013

The Stunz Family finished the year in London. Andrea, Anna and I flew from Singapore and met Jakeb, Tori and Tori’s boyfriend (now fiancĂ©) Austin who flew in from Texas. We did a bunch of the touristy things, watched an amazing fireworks display, saw a premier league soccer match (Chelsea va Queens Park Rangers) and Tori and Austin got engaged.

In the middle of it all I got to do some running. The first morning we were there Jakeb and I ran from our rented house in Chelsea to Hyde Park and turned around in front of Albert Memorial. It was good to run with Jakeb and as usual he push the pace for me.

The next time I ran was on New Year’s Day. We had stayed out late for the fireworks so I slept in and ran around noon. It was still cool (in the forties) and I ran King’s Park road to Westminster Abbey. It was a four mile run and when I arrived there was a New Year’s Day parade and the Stephen F Austin marching band had just finished and were stowing their gear. “Hello fellow Texans!” I got on the London Underground at Westminster and made my way back to Parsons Green.

The last time I ran was early on Wednesday morning. My plan was to run an easy three. I ended up getting lost on the way back and had to ask for directions. My easy three turned into a tiring six. But that is okay. Being lost running is not so bad of a thing.

London was a good trip.

In 2012 I ran 1388 miles. I ran in the US, Singapore, Italy, Vietnam, New Zealand, Cambodia and the UK. I ran a marathon in Christchurch New Zealand while Andrea did the 10k and I ran a marathon in Singapore (an hour slower than the first).

In 2013 I plan to hike up Mount Kinabalu with Jakeb and then run the Sundown Marathon in Singapore. After that it will be back to Texas and who knows what running will be like.

The list of countries I’ve run in will probably never be as long as last year but if I only ever get to run in Texas that will not be a bad thing.