Friday, March 13

I just can't say no, now can I?

So here's the deal. About three months ago I embarked upon an excruciating journey of liberation, leaving Elephant land, and going towards, I don't know ... the light?! in what I have since come to call Project Elephant. As any indoor activities literally make me puke (except for gym climbing/bouldering), I could not embark on this journey alone, and hence I recruited a colleague to go with me. After sharing so many twists and pushes and turns, we have also become friends (but this is another story). Anyhow, needless to say that this friend of mine enjoys yoga very very much. She has progressed from a noob (like I still am) to doing scorpion pose, crow pose, headstands (HEADSTANDS, people!!!) and almost doing handstands (HANDSTANDS, people!!!) Her utter passion for the sport (?!) has made her attend classes were i nearly broke my joints, nose and knees and furthermore to attend them with a higher frequency than me. Which brings us to last night.

So last night was my scheduled running night, in preparation for my blitz-krieg-i-wouldn't-advise-anyone-else-to-do marathon training. I was planning to run home following a smooth and known 8 km route. My plans crumbled to the ground when said friend asked me if I want to join her for yoga (ashtanga) at 8:45 pm. As i cannot obviously say no, I say yes. But then I went on to say "of course, you realize that i am making a big sacrifice in renouncing my run" (but very very happy inside because this meant that i would have to do a run on the track - and since i can't run around like a carousel elephant for 8 whole kilometers, it would have had to be halved). But then said friend (with friends like these, who needs enemies) said "Why don't you run to yoga?" Now what was I supposed to say? I don't know the route, never ran it, will not commit? I don't want to run that long? (Especially after she said "how long do you want to run for? 10-11 km?") I don't have any clothes to come back? (she would take some for me) And thus last night I ran an unknown 11-12 km route to Raffles Place (from NUS). While I had a good idea about the distance, I didn't know how the run would be. And while I do notice roads/ crossings/various buildings from the bus and can reproduce them if needed, nothing compares with pounding the asphalt like a mad ... peacocky elephant. Because you see ... the advantage of running home and in the dark is the fact that you can wear anything. So for last night I had paired my hot pink very short shorts with my yellow lime singlet. A sight for sore eyes, what can i say?

So it all went as good as it can be expected, with me occasionally scaring unsuspecting grandfathers that were just enjoying the night breeze on some bench or other... Until i got to the intersection of havelock road to some other road. That was the point until i had memorized the map, thinking that from there on i just somehow make a right and I reach the yoga place. But noo... when i got there, the right turn wasn't as obvious. So, after several traffic lights, i worked up the courage to ask some fellow runners that were waiting at one stop for the way to raffles. They seemed to be from a running group as they were wearing matching singlets. The leader (guy in front) told me the directions and i was about to thank him but then he said "or you could just follow us". Pfft! And of course, I said yes. Not only am i arrogant enough not to refuse a challenge but I am stupid enough to tackle it heads on. It's nothing more gorgeous to start sprinting at the end of your run. Because you see ... those guys were pro. And they were fast. And so I had to keep up with them. And that i did. It killed me but I did. I was right there next to the leader. Yup. Nothing gave me away. I didn't huff, i didn't puff. Except for my heart monitor. It went on beeping like mad. Beep, beep, beep beeep beeep ... My heart rate was around 170-180 bpm and my easy exercise was set to maximum 160. And these guys were not listening to music. And when I said "sorry for the beeps!" one of them replied, "nevermind, it's a distraction" ... And now comes the worst part. Your pinky-lime elephant (wearing knee guard and ankle guard on the same leg) was running through robinson quay and clarke quay and what not, which are some of the busiest eating/hanging out places in downtown Singapore. And they are packed at night. Yup. Running through the middle of it all.
The guys finally left me to die in peace when we reached boat quay and from there on I had to push myself really hard to even jog for my last 500m. To the corporatist guys that were heading into boat quay but stumbled unto red faced, sweaty, crippled, pinky-lime elephant muttering uncomprehensible things to herself in what appeared to be romanian, I apologize.

cca 11.5 km . 5:15 min/km


san said...

oh my! u're crazy. learn to say no next time my friend..

claudia said...

ROAR! Of course I would say no if the challenge was too much (or too little) but otherwise,I dun think so! Argh ... yet another weakness to add to the list :))