Sunday, August 4, 2013

Trail weekend

This week I'm on STRICT orders again to dial it back due to a janky knee (feels like the medial meniscus if anyone's asking - yes I've been icing and now I am finally in possession of a foam roller.) When your knee starts making alarming clicky noises - LISTEN TO YOUR COACH. Oh, and bargain with the running gods to get you to the start line healthy, I guess.

So what's a girl to do? Hit the trails, of course.

On Saturday I took my friend Lin out for her first-ever Macritchie trail loop.

At the end - should be 'You are leaving a nature reserve'. Photo courtesy of Lin. Or should I say Linstagram.

Of course I didn't know it was her first time there until about ten minutes into the run, to which she added, to my horror, 'Oh, I haven't run in a couple of weeks.' (My immediate reaction: 'Oh no, I've killed her!')

(*Later edit, to assuage concerns - I did not, in fact, kill Lin, and there was no whining from either one of us. Just to be totally clear...if I invite you to run, it's not really a serious run for me. I'm expecting a social run at a pace that both/ all of us can handle comfortably, and no one gets left behind. Well, unless it's me, anyway. I'm constantly getting left behind.)

So we took it easy, power-walking all the hills (this works even better than running on steep slopes) and saw what was either a rooster or a red junglefowl - could've been either - near the ranger station. The weather was absolutely brilliant for running, and a wonderful time was had by all.

On Sunday (today) Mr GCA and I went out to the Green Corridor. We basically live right atop it. I try not to run it alone except on weekends though - it's quiet enough as it is and because there aren't a whole lot of entry and exit points, there isn't anywhere else to run should anything happen.

But you have to admit it's gorgeous. Particularly at 7am. 

Today we went a little beyond the Bukit Timah train station, end point of the Green Corridor Run, and turned around after half an hour. Rain has collected in the ditches along the sides of the former railway line and they're pretty full of water now - the perfect environment for white-breasted waterhens (we saw two - good grief, they're getting to be like weka) and I heard a rustle and splash that could've been a monitor lizard. Or a stealth kaiju that was going to pounce from behind and gobble me. You know. Not nervewracking at all.

When we got to our neighbourhood, husband went home, and I continued down the road to Kent Ridge Park, which has these delightful views reclamation and oil refineries at Pulau Bukom off the southern coast. Right.

I promised myself today's easy run would be exactly as fast and as far as I wanted - getting into the flow is after all the point of an easy run, isn't it? Holding back the pace or pushing hard takes too much mental energy. The whole point of an easy run is that it should feel easy - mentally as well as physically. An ample supply of easy runs - that's how you run forever and love running forever.

Neither holding back nor pushing hard was a problem for me today, so I made it 14km to HortPark and headed home. The knee didn't complain. And some bad news in my work email was immediately offset by the coffee cheesecake the husband just took out of the oven...

This week's workouts:
Monday - 10km
Tuesday - speedwork (about 6km - apparently I am not getting slower, just been running in place for the past year.)
Wednesday, Thursday - insane workdays, cranky knee; off
Friday - 5km
Saturday - 10.6km, one loop at Macritchie, felt terrific
Sunday - 13.9km, up and down the Green Corridor and then up to Kent Ridge Park - those hills hurt, but in a good way.
Total: 45.5km with coffee cheesecake

PS: I really, really want to read and review David Epstein's 'The Sports Gene' (Amby Burfoot review here). Can't call myself Genetically Challenged Athlete without at least some discussion of genetics. 


  1. I'm glad you didn't leave your friend dead out on the trail. It just makes it that much harder to find people to run with you if you knock them off. And also glad to hear that your knee behaved itself.

    1. Thanks! 'Don't kill your running partner'. That's some solid advice.

  2. That IS gorgeous! You're lucky to have something that amongst all the city stuff.

    Thanks for the book recommendation! I've been searching for a new read and that sounds like it could be interesting.

    Good luck with the clicky knee! That does sound ominous, indeed.

    1. Aaaaaand, book purchased. It doesn't take much to convince me.