Friday, April 12, 2013

Running in Texas, Running in Singapore

For my two weeks home in Texas the weather was cool. It was in the 40 or 50 degree fahrenheit range every morning. On the mornings I ran at home I ran on the sidewalks around our subdivision so it was all flat. I wore my garmin every run because I don’t have any idea of the distances yet and I would consistently see paces in the 8:15 to 9:00 minute per mile range while running comfortably.

So I got back to Singapore and last Monday morning I laced up my Brooks and took off toward Telock Blangah hill. I ran like I was still in Texas. As I pushed up the tree top walk I felt good and strong. But I paid for it. By the time I crossed Henderson my legs and body said “that is enough” and the last three miles were brutal. Now I am back to running at paces more like 9:00 to 9:45 range. It is amazing what heat humidity and hills do to one’s ability to maintain a pace that is completely manageable in cooler weather.

I look forward to running in cooler Texas weather for a short time every year. I will not miss the Singapore humidity but I will miss running in the rain. It is somehow different running in the rain here than in Texas.

I do not look forward to the monotony of flat Texas sidewalks in a subdivision. I will miss the treetop run, Kent Ridge and MacRitchie Reservoir. I hated the hills when I got here but I have made peace with them now.

I’ve known people who have trained for marathons in the US tell me they could never train for one here in Singapore. But Singapore and its heat humidity and hills have made me a better runner. I trained in Singapore for the 2011 Texas Marathon and set a marathon PR.

I have a friend named Procosh. He is from India and he runs. I had no idea. I saw him at our condo a couple of times with his kids. I’ve seen him outside smoking a cigarette. And then I was running at MacRitchie one Saturday morning on a training run and there was Procosh with a camelback on his back running the North Face 100k. A guy who smokes running a 100k! We hadn’t really talked before then but on that day we said hi and now we have great conversations about running while standing in the condo driveway. I will miss the diversity of people in Singapore – like my friend from India who runs and smokes although he says he is going to stop someday soon (smoking that is).

Monday, April 08, 2013

Two weeks in Texas

My flight from Doha landed early in Houston Saturday afternoon and I was on the road to Austin by 7 pm and in Austin by 10. My prerun dinner was a chicken sandwich and fries from Burger King on the road between Houston and Austin with a couple of Newcastles when I got to the hotel for good measure.

Jakeb and I woke up at 5 am and got ready to run. It was really windy and cold (about 45 degrees) when we picked up our race chips. The race started at 7 am and we were completely unprepared for it to be dark. It was a good thing other people around us had headlamps. We were running behind a girl that asked if we wanted to pass her. I said “No we appreciate the light.” She replied “Oh I see, you’re using me for my light. When you win make sure you mention my name.” I said “No chance of that happening. Me winning I mean”.

Jakeb and I ran the whole race together. Our pace was right on and we ran comfortably the whole time. I tripped on the second lap and scrapped up my knee and right hand. Then on the last lap I tripped twice. My left pinky was bleeding pretty bad but we were almost done. My race number has spots of blood on it. I thought that was cool.

We ran the whole race except through the aid stations (2 on each loop) and the last hill. We finished in 3:19:56. The Maze is a great race.

Afterwards I spent most of the rest of the time in Texas working on the house. Andrea and Anna got there on Thursday night and Tori, Austin and Jakeb came on Friday. We were all together for Easter weekend and it was good to have everyone under one roof.

We primed, floated, textured, and painted. We hired a contractor to remove almost 800 square feet of ceramic tile (what a mess). I built a new gate for our cedar fence. We ate good food. Some we cooked and some we ate out. We celebrated Jakeb’s birthday. I got to spend some time with my dad.

It was hard to leave Texas to come back to Singapore. But it helps knowing we have tickets to move home in June.