Thursday, June 20, 2013

Running in London

While in London, I had a few days to run and explored two parts of the city. The first day I decided to go for a run along the river. I ended up running west to east, with my turning point being Big Ben. Overall the run was very nice, I saw several parts of the city and there were many people out biking and running to work. However, unlike Boston, the river views were not impressive. There were a lot of buildings and construction sites in the way, and there weren't any of the beautiful sprawling parks I've been used to.

The next two days I changed course and ran through Hyde Park, as I was staying just a couple blocks from the south side of it. Over the two days I ran through pretty much the entire thing and enjoyed every minute of it. There was a wonderful pond to run around, paths reserved for only walkers and runners, and having no cars was a huge plus. Additionally, the park is large enough where I could go 45-60 minutes without repeating anything. If I'm in London again, I'll definitely plan on doing this run again.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Running in Singapore

Last week I ventured to Singapore's Botanical Gardens for a couple run. I was staying about a mile down the street, so it was a quick run to the park, on sidewalks that were nice and wide.

Upon entering the Gardens, I was immediately taken back by how beautiful it was. There were so many trees, flowers and beautiful paths and walkways. Of course, it was incredibly clean and there were people throughout walking, running and enjoying the day.

I ended up running around the Gardens twice and covered most of the paths. They wind around ponds, waterfalls, fields and flower gardens. Additionally, I discovered a long boardwalk through the woods that really made me feel like I was in the jungle. It was a very cool experience and the boardwalk didn't shake at all - again, not surprising for Singapore.

If you're staying closer to the waterfront in Singapore, the other place to go for a run is along the river. There are beautiful, wide sidewalks on the bank and will provide great views of the city. However, the Gardens are definitely worth going to if you're able to. Plus, you can run about 4 miles without repeating any paths (just be prepared to get lost a bit on the winding trails - but it's fun!).

Another thing to be prepared for is the heat. Singapore is really hot and really humid. Make sure you're hydrated and make it an easy run day, because after about 10 minutes you'll really feel it. I'd recommend running in dri-fit because otherwise your shirt will be soaking wet and weigh you down almost immediately.

Also, Singapore is really safe, so even though you may be running around new and unseen territory, it's perfectly fine to do alone.

Phuket 10.5K Recap

On June 9th I ran the Phuket 10.5K in Thailand. I had originally singed up for the half marathon, but due to the heat and humidity (nt to mention three weeks of treadmill running that was more about maintaining shape then anything else) I decided to cut down on the distance.

The race began early in the morning and was mostly flat, with just one uphill. It was great to see the roads blocked off really well and plenty of water stops. Not knowing how my body was going to react to the conditions (i.e. 90 degrees and humid and all hell) I began the race at a comfortable pace and aimed to maintain or pick it up as I went along.

After the first kilometer, I began picking off the runners in front of me ne by one, realizing I felt surprising good and the course was flat. I also had to adjust to having kilometer markers rather than mile markers and did my best to calculate my splits (it was a rough estimate). Unlike most races, I noticed that runners paid close attention to me as I ran by them. This was probably because I stuck out like a sore thumb, but it was a bit weird to experience.

I ended up finishing in 13th place, running just shy of 42 minutes - a pace of around 6:16 miles. After the race I got a quick massage/stretch by the staff, collected my age group award and went for a swim, because I was dripping with sweat.

Overall this was a great experience. It was my second international race (the first I've done in Asia). Of all decisions I made, the best was to rn the 10.5K - the humidity was a killer!

Overall Ranking: 7 (out of 10)
Course: 7
T-shirt: 7
Medal: 6