On Easter Sunday, KMN and I ran (as a training run) the 2XU Compression Run. And there’s a race report on that coming. But first, we should catch up on last week’s training and bits (and bites) of goodness. So let’s do it!
12 miles? Bring it! KMN doesn’t so much like early morning running…
With my plantar fascia feeling good, and a solid week of training the previous week, I decided it was time to test a long(er) run. So two Saturdays ago (March 23), we laced up our sneakers, filled up our bottles, grabbed some Sports Beans, and headed out the door. The plan was for 10-12 miles, slow and easy, along the Park Connector Network (Singapore’s attempt to string together many small local parks into one long, connected path).
We ran through Bishan, Ang Moh Kio, and into Toa Payoh. This route contains a very limited number of road crossings (2 or 3), and a few overhead bridges. We ran through parks, residential areas, and industrial areas and got to see a pretty cool cross-section of Singapore, all in six miles. The biggest disadvantage of this route is the absence of fountains to refill our water bottles (and restrooms, but we were OK with that on Saturday). But, at the half-way point, we stopped at a kopitiam and bought two ice-cold bottles of water. Best $2 SGD spent that day! Cold water = lovely!
We turned back after 6 miles. My PF and IT bands felt good, although my legs were starting to get tired. Pre-PF, I was pretty comfortable at this distance, but it had been a few weeks since I’d seen double-digits on my Garmin. We knocked out miles 6-9 pretty handily, then clicked off mile 10. But I was getting tired – and I definitely got through the last 2 miles with my eyes glued to KMN’s back, just following his lead.
Between the heat and distance, I was spent by the end – but only in a “running tired” way, not an “injured ouchie” way. So that was awesome. Eschewing the heat, we spent the afternoon camped out in the air conditioning at Dome Cafe, working and refueling. I was responsible, and ordered something with carbs and protein (and some chips, but who’s counting?):
Sunday was a rest day (except church, errands, visiting, and dinner with KMN’s family), and I had my first real experience with jackfruit. This was actually a sanitized experience, since someone else did the hard work, of freeing the small fruits from the bit spiny pod (Wikipedia will now answer any ancillary jackfruit questions you may have). All I had to do was eat. Letting someone else do the prep is definitely the best way to eat stubborn fruits! [Interesting linguistic side note: In Singapore, people often use the plural of fruit in a way we don’t in the US. For example, after dinner, someone will often say, “I’ll bring the fruits out now.” or “We prepared the fruits earlier, so we can just enjoy eating now.”]
Each one of those small pieces has a great big seed inside. The flesh can be torn away from the seed, kind of in strings (although the mouth texture isn’t stringy at all).
My verdict? The taste is quite sweet, and has something about it that’s reminiscent of mango – but it doesn’t really taste like mango. The texture is very odd – soft and a little rubbery, maybe? Overall…I’d have a piece or two, but won’t be going out of my way to buy a personal jackfruit stash.
Getting ready for my first bite!
On Monday, I went to the gym for a BodyPump-Yin Yoga double-header. I was sporting an awesome hair-do:
I couldn’t get that pesky little cowlick if I tried, folks.
Noodles here are served as “soup” or “dry”. I ordered soup – sometimes, the soup comes on the side.
Mondays are pretty crazy days for me, so after working all day + gymming at night, I hadn’t done the grocery shopping. Plus, KMN was developing a bit of a cough and wanted some soup. So we popped down the street for some noodley, soupy goodness.
My noodles came with a bit of sauce and mushrooms, and the soup was served on the side. You can’t quite see it, but that silver pot in the back has a flame in the bottom, keeping my soup warm. The clear broth contained an egg, some pork bits, chicken, fish cake, tofu, and fish balls. You move the food from the silver pot into the bowl, a bit at a time, and take spoonfuls of broth to sip from there, as well.
KMN had a similar dish. Total cost of two noodle dishes and one herbal tea drink (for him – I stuck with water)? $10 SGD/$8 USD. I know I often complain about how expensive some things are here – local food stall food isn’t one of those things!
On Tuesday, I did the grocery shopping. Continuing on the theme of “things that are cheap in Singapore”, all of these items cost less than $2 SGD/$1.60 USD.
Clockwise from noon: 3 starfruits, silken tofu, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, and long skinny Japanese cucumbers
In the evening, I tried to go for a swim, but was foiled by a surprisingly full pool. I really like our gym, but the pool lacks lane lines and lines on the bottom, which makes circle swimming nearly impossible. I kept waiting for a free spot, but more people kept arriving and jumping in. They were easily accommodated, since most people were swimming like this: one length – 5 minute break – one length – 5 minute break. I, however, needed a full length, all to myself, for non-stop swimming. After waiting for half an hour, I lost patience, abandoned the swim, and got right to my run. Four miles on the treadmill was just what I needed. What I didn’t need? Forgetting (and thus losing) my goggles at the pool. Double-Swim-Fail.
On Wednesday, I made myself some laksa for lunch. Laksa is one of my favorite Singaporean dishes: noodles, tofu, hard boiled egg, and fish cakes in a spicy, coconut-milk based broth. I bought a laksa spice blend, and boiled the broth and prepared the add-ins all by myself. It came out pretty good – but not as good as the auntie’s down the road. I guess there’s something to be said for experience!
In the evening, I went to Alan’s spin class. I’m definitely liking the new RPM release, but also very much ready to start mixing up the tracks!
On Thursday, I went out to Queensway Mall on a hunt for a few sports-related item (including new goggles). Queensway has a high concentration of sportswear/sports gear stores (and print shops, apparently – weird), and it’s definitely an “old-school” Singapore mall: complicated floor plan, tiny stores, narrow aisles, makeshift dressing rooms, and some shops that still only accept cash. Ultimately, I came out with two items:
A pair of capris (a few of mine have bitten the dust lately), and a Nathan running belt.
I’d been in the market for such a belt for some time, and this was the best one I could find. Review forthcoming. Ultimately, these errands took considerably longer than intended, so I only had time to catch a yoga class at the gym. This was a good zen-end to a complicated a slightly stressful afternoon of shopping (I don’t like to shop, folks).
Friday (Good Friday) was a public holiday here, and I met a new friend at MacRitchie for one nice easy loop.
Who doesn’t love some 6AM pre-run foam rolling?
I enjoyed meeting another local runner – in fact, the company and chatter were so good (and distracting) that we were, quite literally, back at the starting point before I knew it. I’d been intending to turn off the trail a bit early for a shortcut back home, but ended up finishing the loop out, since we were in the midst of some intense discussion about…something running-related, I’m sure! Total for the morning was 7.6 miles. I neglected to take a photo of us together – but thanks, Charlene! [Who was super-sweet, and even brought me some post-run chocolate milk and a banana!]
Overall, the plantar fascia was pretty well behaved this week. It was a little tweaky again on Wednesday and Thursday, but apparently it just likes long runs, because it had pretty much sorted itself out again by the weekend. *whew*
Stay tuned, because upcoming posts include Sunday’s race report, Nathan belt review, and foam rolling the calves. Also, I’m making pesto for dinner tonight. Using lemon basil. Fingers crossed that comes out all right.
And with that, I’m off for some yoga. My hips need it!
Which part of your body needs some yoga love tonight??
Club sandwich / jackfruit / noodle soup / laksa: Which one do you want to try??