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).