The slowest 10km ever

March 30, 2008

I didn’t go to church this morning, opting instead to go for a long run in the Botanic Gardens. The brilliant plan was to run/jog/walk 10km. It’s 2 months to the Singapore Passion Run and at this point, there is no way I’d be able to run 10km without stopping to walk so I figured it was time to scare myself into realizing how much more training I’m going to need to do to be able to do 10km.

The problem with running at 10am in the morning is that it is HOT! Heat radiates from the ground, beats down from the sky and a lovely warm blanket of humidity envelopes you all round. Not fun. (Mental note to self not to wear favourite grey running t-shirt on long daytime runs. Sweat marks are very unglam.) So by 2km, I was thirsty, dying of heatstroke and totally knackered.

It turns out that the funny thing about goal setting is that it is very easy to get sidetracked. I usually run to a time goal (say 30mins) and at the halfway mark I would know how fast or slow I was going depending on which point on my route I was. Today, I ran to a distance goal (1okm) and around the 3km mark, I was totally demoralised by the heat and how slow I was going. I was ready to turn around, go home and have brunch! Then I realised that even if I walked the next 7km, I would have met the 10km goal (albeit with a shitty time) and that was better than running home now and completing only 5-6km. So I slowed down some more, tried to enjoy the scenery and had a bit of a chat with God (which went along the lines of – Hi. It’s really, really, really hot. Any chance for some rain. Oooh! Look a bright green lizard! Why did you make bright green lizards? Sorry for not being in church this morning. You know why. But you got to admit, it’s a lot more inspiring out here. To which He said – It’s ok. Enjoy your run. But you better go to church in the evening! Oops!) It turns out that it takes a while to get into the zone but things looked up from there. Until some silly tourist stopped me to ask for directions and broke my momentum. Humph!

Anyway, the park really is lovely. People seem friendlier and smile as I go past. I must have looked wretched and in need of encouragement. There were all these adorable old couples pottering along hand in hand. One little old lady sat patiently by the lake while her husband painted a lovely watercolour of the gazebo. I ran by this pregnant woman who was doing the most bizarre of hand gestures. Then I realized that she was playing a mirroring game with her 3yo. There were photographers with their clunky dSLRs trying to take pictures of ducks and groups of people doing tai-chi. There were 2 kids were pushing their dad on a little scooter down the slope at breakneck speed. There were bubble wands and beach balls and bicycles. Very nice.

So I’m very pleased because I achieved what I set out to do.

Even though I have blisters because at 10km, you start to feel the seams on the inside of your shoes.

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