Last night I was tired and a little drunk, and worried about getting up early for a long run this morning. Still, I did go to sleep very quickly and woke up after eight solid hours sleep. I dressed and ran down to the fitness area at the base of the Pinnacle, and waited for my running partner to turn up.
It was chilly at 6:45. The sun was not yet up and a strong breeze was blowing past. I began to worry that a skimpy pair of shorts (with a hole in them where I skidded down a hill in Lantau in a race in 2008) and a vest wouldn’t be enough clothing.
Of course, once we started running being cold wasn’t much of a concern. By half way through, my shorts were dripping wet (so much for them being made of technical dri-fit material). As I’d only taken a pint and a half of water with me, I was almost ready to squeeze the water out of my shorts and drink it, but I didn’t think that would be a very nice thing for anyone.
Our route today was to run up the course of the old Singapore-Malaysia railway, which was very, very flat. For the first six or seven kilometres it runs alongside a motorway, but then it veers away into the jungle and you feel quite a long way from civilisation. Before that, there are various bridges to run under, some long, spooky darknesses full of holes to trip over, and then the backs of various industrial units. After the railway track, we ran up and down hills, mostly over rocky, rooty trails, always on the edge of tripping and falling headlong down a pile of rocks. Eventually, the trail spat us out in Bukit Timah, and then a few kilometres on Rifle Range Road took us to a rocky trail leading into MacRitchie Reservoir.
Finally, after two hours we reached the ranger station where I could top up my water. Now it was only five kilometres or so to the end. I picked up my pace and ran back as quick as I could.
Perfect timing meant that my wife and child had just arrived at the cafe as I got there. That was good because we could all hang out together, but bad because now I had to carry my daughter around on my shoulders and run after her, when I wanted to sleep.
Home we went, to breakfast on scrambled eggs, before putting our child to bed. I pulled on my compression tights and passed out for an hour, and then in the afternoon we took La Serpiente Aquatica Negra to her swimming lesson, where she quite happily plunged under water for twenty five minutes.
Unfortunately, it’s a thirty minute swimming lesson. At twenty six minutes, she climbed out of the pool and ran over to the changing rooms where I had to collect her and bring her back to the pool, where she refused to take any pleasure in being bounced up and down in the water any more.
This evening, no drunk man crashed his bicycle in front of us, so we took her to the supermarket instead. She has become obsessed with lion dancers, and so she spent ten minutes pointing at the lion on the side of the promotional Chinese New Year Carlsberg six-packs that were piled up in the middle of the shop. I do worry this might make us look like the kind of parents who think it’s ok to placate our child by showing it beer, but then I suppose that’s true. And it’s possibly better than this Tiger-related photo from last year.
Still sore (running fifteen miles is the longest I’ve done all year) I returned to the sofa and awaited blessed sleep.