Quiet night in

My wife had her Zumba class this evening, which meant I couldn’t go to the track. Instead, I gave the girls their baths and then put Destroyer to bed. “No!” she protested grumpily every time I tried to get her to lie down, demanding I read her Matilda’s Cat, a book with a great paucity of words.
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Running for the toilet

Tonight I jogged down to the National Stadium to run on the track for half an hour. I did the same last week and that time I went a bit too easy on myself. To be fair, you don’t want to be going all-out the week after a marathon, but given I could run that session and then bomb round the track for another five minutes, almost 10 seconds per lap faster than the main run, I had something left in the tank. [More]
Normally the long interval session is on a Wednesday, but this week my wife gets to go out on a Wednesday night instead of me, so I took myself out on the Monday instead. For better or worse, that meant an almost deserted track; one fast group of four guys, a few joggers and the odd person walking in the inside lane of the track with their headphones on, like that bestowed them invulnerability to the consequences of being run into.

Having nobody else around meant there was no traffic jam on the start line, or jockeying for position when somebody is ever-so-slightly faster or slower than you, but it’s also harder to keep focus. On my penultimate lap I tried running by feel alone, and went almost two seconds slower than intended.

Last week, 1:46 was a little too slow per lap, so this week I tried for 1:42.

Last week, after I’d run as hard as I could for the last five minutes of the session, my guts began to churn and I had to leg it to the gents’ to relieve myself. A stomach of curry and 4 minute kilometre pace don’t mix well.

This week, after 15 minutes at 4:17 pace I again had to head to the toilets. This time, I’d drunk too much water and running in tropical humidity wasn’t helping me sweat it all out. If this theme holds consistent, I guess next week I’ll be throwing up, and then I dread to think what the week after will bring.

Of course, my toilet diversion this week wasn’t at the end of the workout, it was eating into my three minute recovery time. I blame that for being less than stellar for the next ten minutes. That, or being alone while occasionally being buzzed by the four fast men, who managed to catch up with me just before I was going to overtake one of the slow joggers. There must be some excuse I can use.

Still, one way or another tonight took it out of me. I charged the last straight on the last lap to finish with a 1:38, and then tottered to the side of the track, exhausted. This evening I was in no shape to do another five minutes, and I’m happy because that means I did all that I could tonight. All that remained was a three lap warm down, wringing the sweat from my best, and the train home. Never have I been so grateful for air conditioning on trains, and never, I assume, have the people forced to share a train with me either.

Bad Dad’s Morning Run

We’d told La Serpiente she would be coming on my run this morning, but I snoozed my six a.m. alarm and when she came in to my room and lay down next to me at 6:30, she might have said she wanted to come, but she was still fast asleep at seven when I got up, and I didn’t have the heart to wake her. I left on my own, aiming to get a better time than I would pushing the stroller, and the minute I was in the taxi heading to the East Coast my phone rang.
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Happy 4th of July

There was a party in the office today thrown by my American colleagues, to celebrate the 4th of July. It was very nice of everyone to buy some kegs of beer but all the same, it was odd that they were celebrating my wife’s birthday. I mean, some of them hardly know her, and it’s not like she could attend, what with having to stay home and feed our daughter. I drank three small plastic cups of strong lager, and then went to buy a birthday cake, while carrying a heavy box of groceries.

In retrospect, this was not the best decision of my life. The groceries were in no hurry to get home, unlike me. They would have happily stayed in the office until tomorrow. Having to cart them around the shopping mall was quite unnecessary, unless you felt you needed to strain your arm and back muscles. Buying a birthday cake was also looking a bit difficult, as I wandered between chicken rice establishments, but I managed to find a cupcake emporium that sorted me out.

It’s only a short walk from the mall to our home but on a warm Singapore evening, a bit squiffy, labouring under a heavy load, it becomes an arduous journey. I got home,to find the front door locked and had to bang on it until my wife opened up, after which I flopped on the floor and failed to do anything for the next hour.

This wasn’t the best birthday present my wife has received, I’m sure. And I’d done so well up until then; first an oven, then a baby, then an iPad, then an electronic book, each present lighter than the previous one. A man, slumped over a big box of detergent, doesn’t fit well into the pattern. Luckily, friends, newly arrived in Singapore, came to visit and pick up the slack I’d left in the conversation.

Still, there’s always next year.