Compressed, not faster

I tried out my new blue socks properly this evening, by taking a trip to the Bukit Timah Stadium (the technically correct, but slightly overblown name for a running oval and a few tennis and basketball courts. I did a couple of warm up laps, trying to avoid treading on any of the enormous moths that have descended on Singapore, and then put in a 5k.

I was aiming for sub 20 minutes, but after a few laps my times began to slip, and I ran a 20:54; not a bad effort, considering I was doing close to a minute slower that that a month or so ago, but still disappointing, given the goal I had set myself, and of course, 7 seconds slower than

Of course, the last time I’d done a 5k, I’d been quite fresh, instead of coming off the back of a ten mile run the day before, and spending Sunday entertaining our daughter, firstly by taking her for an infernally hot walk around the Botanic Gardens, and when we got back to the flat, dancing with her for an hour to console her while she demanded food and sleep from a cruel and ungenerous universe. (I’m trying to get her into 90s Big Beat and British electro now, so that we’ll share musical tastes twenty years down the line. And so she won’t try rebelling against her parents by doing amyl nitrate and dancing in sweaty clubs.)

That meant I had tired legs, and I only made things worse for myself by eating a huge bowl of pasta half an hour before I left for the track. Well, I was hungry and wanted some carbs. If I’d been sensible I would have let my meal go down and run later (but the stadium closes its gates at 9 on Sundays) or eaten after the run rather than before (but then I wouldn’t be eating until close to ten o’clock, also a bad thing).

I also didn’t listen to aggressive shouty music on my way to the track, as I was talking to my taxi driver about how much it costs to be a driver ($120 to the taxi company every day, or more if you choose a newer vehicle) and the hassles of ferrying drunk and moody passengers around Singapore. And finally, I failed to eat my delicious cubes of energy before I started running.

So after all this poor preparation and a surfeit of moths on the track, it was only to be expected that I wouldn’t hammer out a new personal best. I think from now on, I’ll concentrate on taking a second at a time out of my current best time for the year, rather than trying to hack out another three quarters of a minute. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast, after all.

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