Kallang Practice Track and other discoveries

track pace
This evening, after getting the battery in my Garmin heart rate strap replaced (my handy optician is back from his holidays, and was sufficently un-cack-handed to be capable of unscrewing the back of the monitor and replacing the battery) I went off to the track at Kallang. This has been operational for a while now, since they finished building the National Stadium over the road, but it’s still absolutely gorgeous. The track is soft and springy underfoot, the grass around the track is trimmed to perfection, and if you get there at 9pm because you spent the early part of the evening getting your kids to go to sleep, it’s eerily deserted and you can get your run in uninterrupted by other humanity. Unless you count the frisbee players practising on the infield. The only downside I can see is that they may have scrimped on money for the electricity meter: half the floodlights were turned off, so it’s dark at the 100m and 300m marks on the track. Perhaps I was meant to get there earlier.

Tonight I was doing 4x1000m, at 4:17 pace. Well, that’s what my instruction manual called for: I managed to bang them out at sub 4 minute pace every time, without really busting a gut. Perhaps it was the novelty of not running up a hill for a change, or having to blunder through a bus stop full of people, or not listening to a podcast about the future of the 500 euro note. Whatever it was, I was pleasantly surprised by my performance, and after four strong efforts, figured it was time to go home rather than risk putting in a bad one.

From the track, it’s pretty quick to get home; I was home in less than 40 minutes, and that included the time spent stopping off at the 24 hour supermarket to buy and drink half a litre of milk. I got back exactly 3 minutes after La Serpiente woke up, which meant my wife was in there pacifying her, while I neglected my fatherly duties…

Speaking of La Serpiente, today was her first day of the holiday programme at school, and the first time that we sent her off on her own. My wife was getting quite emotional as we put her into the minibus, but La Serpiente didn’t really seem to mind. She was more excited about having a window seat, I guess. The bus drove off, taking our eldest on a trip to Bukit Timah. And then turned around and came back to pick up another kid from the same building, and then drove away again. They’re not always very efficient, these bus drivers. Or perhaps he was an ex-computer programmer and very literal: go to this building and pick up child 1. Then go to this building and pick up child 2. (And of course, to go to a building you have to be somewhere else first – he couldn’t just pick up both children at the same time…)

After we disposed of the eldest, we took the youngest to Ronin for breakfast, and then I went off to do some administrivia, like sign a form at the bank, and visit the Peninsula Plaza mall to try to get a replacement heart rate monitor (I had been pessimistic at that point about getting my current one fixed). The Peninsula Plaza has a shop on the second floor selling penis enlargement pumps (something I didn’t imagine ever existing in reality, let alone in Singapore) (Peninsula Plaza? Penisularger Plaza more like!) which is right next door to a shop selling vitamins. I’m not sure if that’s a good example of how different brands can endanger one another, or just some clever cross-promotion. But just round the corner is the toilet, which has this sign:

Peninsula Mall toilet sign
(regular readers will remember this other fine example of signage, from almost two years ago – perhaps I need to get out more)

I thought about spitting somebody else’s saliva on the floor by the door, but that would have got me into terrible trouble.

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