Saturday, October 22, 2011

Run, forest, run

Only 6 weeks to the marathon now, so I've been trying to step up my training. I think I'm getting to a point where my body is probably in both the best and worst condition of my life. There's no doubt that when I can do 20km on the treadmill in the gym without too much stress, followed by another 15km on a bike, my stamina is starting to get into marathon-capable territory. However, the truth is there's a reason I stopped at 20km, and I'm finding myself having to take extraordinary measures to keep my body going. I'm not talking about performance enhancing drugs, strict diets or Satanic pacts. All I'll say is that for anyone planning anything similar, lycra shorts and Vaseline are your friends.

On a more positive note, despite the humidity, running is a nice way to explore Singapore. And getting out into the forest, especially during a thunderstorm, is liberating and a great way to escape the stresses of the city. As can be seen in this map of the last 2 runs I did (yellow 29km, red 17km), the distance I'm covering isn't an insignificant portion of the country which is also quite satisfying. Perhaps if I'm ever feeling particularly energetic (unlikely while on night shifts) and sick of the daily traffic jams, I could run home from work (marked with a white cross).

I have to watch out for dangerous animals though. Like the monkeys who were stubbornly blocking my path and made me nearly fall into the reservoir. Or the huge eagle that seemed to be circling over my head for a while; I thought it might be a kite, but there was a pretty intense lightning storm in progress so anyone flying it would have to be even crazier than I am. And even when I return home I still have to watch out for this beast who loves the smell of my sweaty trainers.

The marathon race route for this year has just been released so I should study that and ponder what I have let myself in for. I'm sure that no banana has ever, or will ever, taste as good as that banana at 29km.