The runaround

When I woke up this morning, I didn’t really feel like a repeat of last week’s taxi driver incomprehension, and I was feeling pretty tired after staying up late watching comedy videos on Youtube, but I still had an 8 mile run to do. So eventually I bullied myself out the door and set off for Marina Bay, on the basis that eight flat miles wasn’t as good as a round of MacRitchie, but it was a lot better than faffing about and doing nothing.

Like every other weekend at the moment, there was a race on: this time a 3/10k event, starting near the Fullerton, or about 2k into my run. It hadn’t actually started by the time I approached it, so rather than fight through the crowds getting ready to run through the start archway, I took a detour between the skyscrapers of the financial district, and then through the overflow carpark of the Marina Bay Sands. This only constitutes a scenic route if you like motorcycles, workmen sleeping on the ground, and lots of traffic lights.

Still, I was both pleased and dumbfounded to find that I was running 5 minute kilometres, consistently, at a low heart rate. A few years ago, if I’d gone for an easy run (as prescribed by my training plan) I’d probably have had a lot of variation between 5 minutes and 5:30, without any consistency. Today, I just kept chugging a consistent five minutes, over and over, even with the crowds of runners I had to negotiate. (The way back was harder than the way out, as my route got more and more clogged with people coming the other way, but I managed not to collide with anyone, even the man with a pack of cigarettes and a Healthy Heart t-shirt.)

Returning home, I felt remarkably fresh rather than totally broken, which was good as we had a whole day of baby wrangling to do. First there was breakfast, where even the lure of scrambled eggs wouldn’t persuade her that the high chair wasn’t a cruel and unusual torture device.

Then we went grocery shopping. La Serpiente Aquatica Negra wouldn’t stay in her stroller or in a shopping trolley, so I had to run after her as she did her own supermarket sweep. She plucked a bag of fun size Toblerone and took them across two aisles, then some dehydrated lemons back one aisle, where she secreted them behind a box of tea, which she careered with down the aisle before dropping in favour of a huge pink bag of potato crisps, about the same size as her torso, which she ran with until I caught her and tried to pit everything back where it had begun. Truly, children are the nemesis of the supermarket stock taker.

I’d managed all these, then she started on bottles of mineral water, although she returned the (non-San Pellegrino) bottles to the shelf when I asked her to, then on to the metre long tubes of Jaffa Cakes (at least she has good taste) and finally bag after bag of mini Kit Kats, which I wrested from her just as her mother appeared with the shopping completed.

We went home and she slept for a blessed hour, as did I, before we went to see friends at Artichoke, a task made more difficult by a sudden rainstorm. Eventually we got a taxi out of flooded Chinatown, to find half a mike away the streets were dry. Our daughter ran around outside the restaurant, hugging every piece of street furniture she could find (and demanding we did the same), until the owner kindly gave her a bag of sweets. I say "kindly" but refined sugar and our daughter are two things we don’t want to combine, so I selflessly scoffed all the sweets before we took her to the park for another hour of running around.

She’s quick, but she looks funny doing it. When she runs, it looks like she should be going sideways more than forwards, but she has a good turn of speed. For a treat I gave her the bonus experience, where I tucked her under my arm like a rugby ball and ran up and down as fast as I could. That seemed to make her even happier, although the last time I did this was in Halifax, and the following day she fell off a slide and bashed up her face, so tomorrow we’ll have to be extra-super-careful.

Thence to Bukit Merah for a swimming lesson, except the torrentiak rains returned and we were becalmed, or waterlogged, or whatever the correct word is for being stuck at Tiong Bahru without a taxi to take us the remaining mile to the swimming pool. Apparently the class wasn’t cancelled, until after five minutes it was, when the peals of thunder rang out across Singapore. We took our child home and fed her broccoli for an hour.

Part way through this hour, she jumped in the air. This was a source of great amazement, as it was the first time she’d ever managed this, and also some consternation, as the vertical movement also stimulated a tremendous bowel movement, the first of the day. You can imagine what proud parents we were.

She went to bed very easily this evening, probably exhausted by everything, and then woke after three hours and started screaming. I can get her to sleep if she lies on top of me and wedges her fist in my neck, but that’s no good when I have a blog to write. I’m hoping that by the time we go on holiday, she’s out of this phase and sleeping happily, but it may be a tough few months. Ah well. I’ve got used to sleeping on the sofa, or being assaulted by my daughter. I just wish I remembered to put in ear plugs before every one of her sonic assaults.


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