Short Long Run


Your long run should only be about 20% of the total distance that you cover in a week. That’s partly to prevent some intrepid (but idiotic) wanabee marathoner from trying to jog round the park once every evening, then make up his (and it’s pretty much always a male) mileage by running 60 miles on Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, I’d only run twice this week: 4k on Monday morning, and 7k after work on Friday. Which meant I ran a long run this evening of two and three quarter kilometres. Or a mile and a half and a bit, which sounds even more pathetic.

It’s quite fun to go running in the dark. It’s not as much fun as riding a bike in the dark, although both of them include the risk of veering off the path and doing some ad hoc dental work with a tree and no anaesthetic. (I know of more people who’ve knocked their incisors out while riding bikes in the dark than running in the dark, but it’s only a matter of time.) As this is Singapore, it’s still idiotically hot and even when you go out with a heart rate monitor and the determination not to exert yourself too much, you still return after twenty minutes’ exercise not so much dripping as oozing sweat. A cold shower is never cold enough; I have to be very careful not to touch anything in the apartment for an hour after I get back, just in case my caustic perspiration corrodes it into a puddle of slimy ashes.

Still, any exercise is better than no exercise, even if I ruin exactly the same amount of clothing by going running for twenty minutes that I do if I go out for two hours. At least this way I can still stand and speak afterwards.

That hasn’t been my only athletic endeavour today. I carried our daughter around a shopping mall for half an hour. We had the stroller with us, but rather than be rolled around in her baby chariot, she wanted some human contact. I provide warmth and some security, and because I don’t smell of milk or fake maple syrup like my wife does, our daughter doesn’t start thinking she needs food when she doesn’t, and instead goes to sleep.

Or screams at me for ten minutes until I find the bottle to feed her. Either way, it’s a bonding experience. I’m still not sure if this makes me a wonderful father who can calm his girl down, or just somebody who’s patient enough to wait a while until she stops being antsy and chills out again. I suppose I must be getting better at this though – no longer do I have to put her down because my entire body is wracked with cramps, the by-product of being too tense because I’m nervous I’ll accidentally break her.

The other great sporting achievement I had today was to use Powerpoint. Yes, I know most people will think that’s just a computer program and not a means to athleticism, but they haven’t been making a logo for the Singapore Cyclocross event. It’s not a very nice logo (Powerpoint was never going to be my first choice for graphic design, but it’s the only thing to hand) but it has got scrolly banners, and lions, and glowing red eyes (which I hope are a good colour match to the Singapore flag) so I think it will do the job. I’m hoping for volunteers to help me make it look ever more wonderful, but I don’t know how long they’ll take to find me.

Finally, I read to my wife before we went to bed. Amazon have wonderful technology which means you can now access Kindle publications via a web browser. Unfortunately, that means I’m reading a novel from the screen of a laptop, which seems to be a really great way for me to make my eyes burn and want to fall out of my face. Which does hamper my enjoyment of the novel, ever so slightly.


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