Missing out

Staying up late and drinking isn’t part of the training regimen of most successful runners. I was meant to do 26 km this morning with a friend, and we’d arranged to meet at 5:15 so we’d be done before breakfast. I hauled myself out of bed with 4 hours sleep in me, got dressed and went down for my run.

My friend never turned up.

After 15 minutes waiting, I set off on my own, figuring if I didn’t start, I’d never finish. I still didn’t finish.

I did 20 km less than intended, at glacial pace. When you’re aiming for 5:30 kilometres and you’re doing two minutes slower, something is very wrong. I tried to push myself to go faster; I got slightly slower. I planned to run four laps of the Marina rather than do a long out and back; I managed one lap, then packed it in, standing next to a building site that stank like raw sewage and seemed to be a breeding ground for flies.

Broken hearted, I slowly crept back home in the dark.

On the corner of Shenton Way, where a new shopping mall has opened and through the glass I could already see staff, at well before 7, setting up in the cafĂ©, my friend appeared from the gloom, jogging on at reasonable pace. There’d been a missed text: he’d rescheduled our start for 5:30 and so we’d just missed one another. He tried to get me to follow him, but he was doing 4:30 pace; I was broken alright, and doing any more would just break me more.

I walked home, passed out on the sofa, sweating into the cushions. At 8, my daughters came and played around me, but couldn’t wake me. At ten, I woke, inexplicably returned to my bed. The day was just begun, or already over. Who’s to say?

A Night At The Races

This evening we went to watch the horse racing. The races are at the Singapore Turf Club, far north near Krangj. Unfortunately our taxi driver, breaching at least one stereotype, didn’t know where the Turf Club was and drove us erratically through rush hour traffic, lurching with every lead-footed stomp on accelerator or brake, for an hour, until we arrived tired and nauseous at the Turf Club. Hardly the most glamorous of starts.

Betting on horses makes everything more fun: do you choose based on prior form? On the horse with the silliest name? (Our pick of the night, Sir Reginald, placed, though we’d bet on him to win, a consistent mistake throughout the evening.) Or do you just choose completely at random?

Whatever and however you decide, you have to bet in cash. And there’s no cash machine onsite, a canny move by the Singaporean authorities, no doubt, to ensure nobody empties their bank account and maxes out their credit cards trying to win a fortune on Mr Ed in the final race.

That did mean that we went through all our cash (well, all my wife’s cash) in four races, not winning anything to offset our losses. Then all that remained was to eat copious dessert (sesame strudel, a dark and strange combination, beloved by my wife but revolting to me, alongside profiteroles, eclairs, sundry other cakes…) and then mosey down to the trackside to watch the final race thunder over the finish line.

After that, we took a car home to bed. I’d drunk as much beer as I could (carbohydrate loading for tomorrow’s run) so I felt a little dyspeptic, glad to be back from the wastelands of the far north, ready to sleep.

Locked out

I woke up at six this morning and ignored my alarm, until my wife came and told me off and kicked me out of bed, sending me out for a run this morning. It’s fortunate she did that, because after a long day of meetings, schlepping across town and spending too long in windowless rooms, I got home broken and in no state to go for a run in the evening.

Also, my wife had gone out with the kids and locked the front door, so I was slumped on the step for fifteen minutes until she got back.
Continue reading “Locked out”

Blue Wednesday

I felt quite blue all afternoon today, possibly because it rained, or because I kept having coding issues, or because La Serpiente had coughed half the night and I’d had to lie in her bed to console her while she coughed at me. At least, I think I slept there. I woke up on Destroyer’s bed this morning and tried to crawl back to sleep, but that sweet release wasn’t available as I had to go into the office for an early phone call.

Actually, that explains it. I’m not down because it’s been raining, or because my code isn’t working well, it’s because I can’t cope with early morning calls. What a hard life this is.
Continue reading “Blue Wednesday”

Yet more sleep deprivation

I couldn’t sleep last night, tossing and turning until 1am, and then woken by a crying child at 2, or at 5:30, or I don’t know quite when. I just remember waking up on Destroyer’s bed at 7:15, desperate to go back to sleep, and not being able to because I had an early morning phone call to get up and attend to.

When that was done, I put La Serpiente in a taxi (for we were running late) and took her to school. She coughed all the way. I got on a hire bicycle and rode to the station, took the MRT to work, and a few hours later got the glad news from my wife that La Serpiente had coughed and coughed until she was sick, and had gone home with a fever. Bad dad. Why did I take her to school?

I had my penance: a visit to the dentist to get a cavity filled. My dentist is very nice but seems very nervous whenever she talks to me. She has a fine bedside manner with La Serpiente, as I discovered last time we visited for a checkup, and is fine with my wife, but seems terribly concerned when she’s talking to me. Perhaps my enormous beard intimidates her. Maybe she’s worried that upon hearing the bad news about the state of my mouth, I’ll fly off the end of my handle and rage around the surgery. Or probably I’m just reading too much into this.

It was a small cavity but inconveniently positioned, so I had an hour of reclining in the chair, while she drilled and filled and polished, and I watched Mission Impossible 3. I don’t think seeing people getting shot is actually that helpful a distraction from the stress of having your mouth operated on, but then I’m not a qualified dentist. Afterwards, a little sore and numbed of face, I went back to the office and got moody with spreadsheets until 6, when I went home to my feverish child.

Destroyer was making the most of it by also watching TV, and she’s not even sick. I should have set her to some chores but it was far easier to have both kids rest their heads on me and watch penguins in Antarctica.

We put them to bed. I took an hour to get Destroyer down, or rather I woke up after an hour to find I’d failed and she was still awake and demanding bandaids for her knee, so I left and brought in my wife, and then she fell asleep on Destroyer’s bed instead.

Oh, what a night. Hopefully we’ll all be rested by tomorrow.

Brain fade

I slept well this evening. Mainly because I fell asleep next to La Serpiente at 8:20 and didn’t wake up for an hour. I crawled groggily from her room just as my wife exited Destroyer’s room. She went to do the dishes and I fiddled around with some code where I’d spent all day failing to make it work, because I’d typed one incorrect character. That’s the thing, it’s hard to debug code when you only have a 27″ inch screen in an ergonomic environment, rather than being hunched over a laptop in a dim living room.

That thing solved, we settled down to watch the last two episodes of the third season of Game of Thrones, which has some revoltingly gory stuff going on, and a man eating a sausage in front of the guy he’s just castrated, which is more than a little insensitive. There’s also people shot with arrows, stabbed, stabbed some more, … There’s lots of stabbery. No sexual violence for an episode or two, which I assume means season 4 will start with a bumper load of it.

I was meant to go running tonight rather than watch violent TV, but I was fairly exhausted. Tomorrow will be better, I promise. Or at least I won’t have a stomach that’s doing somersaults. But for now, just silence.

Another early start

I don’t know how I dragged myself from my bed at 5 am, but somehow I managed it, and went off for a 21 km run. This became a never-ending grind; the first 10k or so wasn’t so bad, and then it got worse with every step, my heel injury playing up from about 17k in, and the last couple of kilometres a misery of repetition, running up and down the footpath behind our building. Again, and again, and again. Continue reading “Another early start”