Twelve Hours

Last night, after Destroyer screamed at me because I couldn’t find Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to read to her, I fell asleep on her bed. My wife came in after an hour and woke me, and I went into our room, lay on the bed and woke up at 9 this morning, wearing the clothes I’d put on yesterday. I guess a week of four hour sleeps every night has a way of catching up with you.
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Time flies when you’re running

After four days without running, I went out tonight and ran up a hill. That was less pleasant than expected, because while I’ve not been running, the insect population of Singapore seems to have been reproducing at a fearful rate, and then going suicidal, desperate to fly into the mouth of anybody passing by. 

Simultaneously, my beard has suddenly become too bushy and I was beset with rage at how itchy and sweaty it’s become. It’s not as if I’m living in a tropical country, after all. 

Oh, and I had severe back pain, which didn’t show up at all yesterday but was probably due at least in part to lying in bed for the past three days and not moving around enough. Basically, I’m a wreck. 

On the positive side, my Bangkok sickness has mostly departed, which is to say I don’t feel weak and snuffly constantly. My throat is still a little sore (but I can speak) and the kids were more cooperative tonight than yesterday, as they’d had a bit more exercise. I read Destroyer the first chapter of Declare tonight and she dozed off quite peacefully, leaving me to fiddle around with internet advertising, and for my wife to bake cookies until the same ailment that affected La Serpiente on Sunday took her down instead. 

So it may be a long night again, is all I’m saying. 

Two Hours


Two Hours, a book about marathons, was something I only found out about via a circuitous chain of hyperlinks. DC Rainmaker’s blog linked to a Tracksmith-sponsored piece of photojournalism, where they took pictures of the 3rd and 4th place athletes at the US Olympic trials. (Third place goes to the Olympics, fourth place goes home.) Tracksmith is like an American Rapha but for well-paid runners rather than cyclists. They sponsor a running-and-stuff weekly newsletter called the Weekly Round-Up, and the writer of that had interviewed the author of Two Hours. Whew.

When I say marathons, Two Hours is more specifically about modern marathons, and the men that run them the fastest. There’s a short discussion of the start of the modern era (including what must have been one of the world’s most boring spectator events, 262 laps of Madison Square Gardens) but the majority of it is centred on the Kenyans who dominate the event since the turn of the century. (They almost all have names that start with a K, which makes it a little bit hard to keep track of.)
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Another early start

Yesterday I ran along a beautiful beach, looking out at the sunrise reflected off the bottom of fluffy clouds. Today, I ran under slate grey skies, the wind gnawing at me, the threat of rain omnipresent. This is how it goes.
At least I had a coconspirator to inspire me to keep running; Rob, one of our friends from Seattle. Although perhaps he had been persuaded by the promise of fried eggs for breakfast afterward.
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Running without much power

This morning I was meant to go for a run with a friend at 7, but his alarm didn’t go off and so I waited on my sofa until almost 8 for him to turn up, before I had a most horrid run. The weather conditions were good – overcast, but not raining – but I was dreadfully tired from yesterday. I was running with my power meter, and trying to keep to a low power output because I knew I was tired, but even going as slowly as I could up every hill, I was still well in the “you’re going super fast” zone. Except I was running at about 7 minute kilometre pace, which is more than two minutes slower than my goal race pace. Even my slow recovery pace is usually a minute or so faster than that, so I’m not sure if the power meter has gone crazy, or if I have an incredibly inefficient gait (where my arms and legs flounder without my heart rate rising significantly) or what can be going on.
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A long fast day out

This morning I ran the parkrun thirty seconds faster than last week. I’d worried after all that long, slow running that all I’d be able to do was more slow running, but I kept a fairly creditable pace: I held back on the first lap to stay at a 4 minute km, then didn’t collapse on the rest. Afterwards, I jogged up to the nearest Starbucks for a coffee (decaffeinated) then got a car back to the city. I stank of decaying vegetables, but that’s the peril of a vegetarian diet.
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Late brunch, early to bed

We were meeting friends for brunch at 11 at Super Loco, and rushed over there after a slow start to the morning. Our friends ended up not arriving for an hour, by which time we’d fed the girls a bowl of noodles each, I’d inhaled a portion of elotes and was well on the way to polishing off a plate of huevos divorciados. (I don’t know why fried eggs with salsa counts as grounds for divorce – blame those crazy Mexicans…)
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