the pencil runs

posts on running

Botanic Loop

Friday, May 19, 2006

Running matra #4

About 7pm today, I ran past this long line of tired-looking people
with groceries waiting in line for the taxi, and my first thought:
"Don't queue lah! Come run with me!" And then I realised they
couldn't, because they were carrying too much stuff. Which is the
inspiration for running mantra #4:

"The less you are carrying, the less encumbered you are."

Between my sweethearts

I thought of them before I fell asleep last night, and of them again
on the way to work, and I am tempted to dump them both. I am afraid
that having too much information will spoil the romance of the run,
and the experience of the run will be reduced to a mere statistic.
Will I be distracted from the "here and now" if I have a constantly
changing number on my wrist, yelling "Speed up! Too slow! Too short!"

There is the "science" of running: speed, distance, hills, repeats,
time, improvement; and there is the "art": the breeze, the sound of
the foot on gravel, the sweat, the regular breathing, the feeling of
your heart as you push yourself just a little harder. Runner's World
has a column "Waddle on, friends" for those who take it slow, and in
the last issue I read, the columnist was emphatic in saying that no
two runs are every alike, the way you can never put your foot in the
same river twice. That is what I am afraid of losing.

I think I think too much.

A happy quandry

My sister wants to buy me a birthday present, and she wants to get me
either the Garmin Forerunner 201 or the Polar RS200sd. I've been
drooling over these two watches for possibly over a year now and now
when it looks like my dream is coming true, I suddenly can't decide.

Which sweetheart should I choose? The Garmin who would spit out
elevation and tell me exactly where in the world I am, or the Polar,
who knows exactly how my heart beats? Do I want a sweetheart with
links with outer space, or a down-to-earth girl tied to my shoe? Do I
want square or do I want round?

Running mantra #3

Monday, May 15, 2006

Running matra #3 is brought to you by Hill Repeats.

"Some runs are for fun; Some runs are for pain."

MacRitchie Jog

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Taking a risk
Went for a jog at MacRitchie yesterday evening with Smole. It takes me
a good 45 minutes to get to MacRitchie and when I boarded the bus, it
was pouring. But we steeled ourselves with Joan's mailman adage, and
took that risk.

The rain stopped. Phew. :) So we didn't have to test how strong-willed
we actually are. It continued to drizzle ever so slightly, but the
weather was perfect: cool, not humid, with mist over the reservoir.

Drama at MacRitchie
When we were walking to the lockers, I heard a man say loudly in
Hokkien, "Aiyah this girl went and got lost in MacRitchie, and they
still haven't found her, now I cannot go home." Oh dear. I really
hoped I misunderstood him, but it turned out that I kinda did, but

Near the ranger's station, a policeman stopped us to ask if we had
seen any lone men while running on the trail. He said that he was
looking for a single Japanese man in white shirt and brown shorts who
went missing earlier. Oh dear oh dear. We saw very few people along
the trail and none of them fit that description.

Smole and I kept a look-out throughout the rest of the hour long run,
but all we saw were runners like us. I hope they found him or her
before it got dark... Does anyone know? It is actually quite difficult
to get lost in MacRitchie if you stay on the trail. All of the trails
run into each other, and eventually, a runner will pass you whom you
could ask for directions from. But I suppose, you never know. My
father had a childhood friend who was found dead in a shallow creek in
MacRitchie. He was only 16 and had gone there to run. So you never

Sigh. I really hope they found him.

1 big 2 small

Nope, not toto.

That was the number of rounds I did at botanic. There is a particular
stretch that I like. It is the downhill (what else?) curve around
around the big field with the large outdoor stage. Everytime I run
down that stretch, I want to run down it as fast as I can with my arms
outstretched and sing loudly.

That was the reason why I did 2 small rounds -- I get to run down that
stretch twice for the same distance!

I love running.

Running matra #2

Monday, May 08, 2006
Today's mantra is sponsored by the letter, J; and words Outstanding, Ace, RuNner:

"Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night shall keep me from my appointed rounds."