Saturday, April 21, 2012

Running out

Last night's run was probably a silly idea; I didn't need to run 8 km, and I didn't need to inadvertently photobomb every tourist on the bridge between the Esplanade and the Merlion. But every last tourist taking photos on the bridge seems to stand there aiming their camera for a good minute before pressing the shutter button, and given the choice between delaying my run interminably, and inserting the blur of a pasty lad running through each tourist's snapshots, I know what I'm going to do.

This meant my legs were tired this morning, but I had an afternoon of drinking scheduled, so I couldn't rely on getting my long run in tomorrow. So I hauled myself out of bed at 6:05 and got dressed, chowed down on some disgusting energy chews, then sauntered off to the river.

Usually on a morning run the sky gets lighter as the run goes on. However, as I headed out towards Tanglin the sky was growing steadily darker, that uniform dark grey that promises thunder and lightning. As I reached the 5 km mark the rain was coming down, by the time I got to 7.5 and turned around it was battering me so hard I thought it was hailing, and shortly after that I ground to a halt, blinded by rain (or by sweat washing off my forehead and into my eyes).

I grumbled to myself and considered giving up, but the problem with running 7.5 km away from your home, without any money or a travel pass, is that if you do give up, you've still got to walk 7.5 km in the pouring rain. My shirt was soaked through, my shorts likewise, but at least I could no longer feel droplets of sweat running down the back of my neck.

In fact, with the wind and rain, I felt cold for the first time since I got to Singapore (air conditioning idiocy excepted). On I trudged.

The rest of the run was a struggle. Having done 14 km there wasn't much chance that I'd pack it in at Clarke Quay and go home early, but my lap around the Marina Bay was miserable, shoes squelching and toes blistering as I carried on. I made the annoying discovery that Marina Bay Sands even runs arctic air conditioning in the car parks and loading bays, if the clouds of cold air billowing out of those entrances that I ran past were anything to go by.

I went past a group of six cheery Singaporeans, running together and discussing welfare systems. And looking quite dry, as they'd clearly waited for the end of the storm before starting to run. How come I have nobody to discuss insurance loss ratios and cost per click advertising models as I jog around Singapore?

I got home at 8:25, 5 minutes slower than last week's half marathon distance, and tried to nap (unsuccessfully) for fifteen minutes, before walking back to the riverside in a fine drizzle to get breakfast. God, those 3 kilometres were murder, even though our hearts were lightened by seeing a old man in running kit doing very fast intervals paced by his small gray Cairn terrier. Breakfast was good though.


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