My knees were a little bit tender after a couple of running (despite the rather slack week last week), so when my regular running partner, Willie, asked if I wanted to run at lunchtime, I said:
Sure, but we'll have to take it easy.
He replied: No problem, I have a small hip niggle anyway.
Alarm bells should really have been going off at this stage. While I'm more of a long-day-on-the-trail type guy, Willie is a Speed Demon.
The pace at the outset was quite slow. Slower than I would have gone out, but I'm often happy just to cruise through a run and enjoy the simple movement and the being-in-the-environment. Gradually, however, the speed picked up like a stone rolling down a convex mountain.
Each time I stopped to grab a photo, Willie continued ahead, and I had to claw back the distance. Thus, not too many photos in today's post!
By the halfway point, we were already moving at a fair pace. No rest for me here! A small pagoda at Denon Terrace.
A quick snap of the little shop in Tseng Lan Shue
As we started the final few kms back towards UST, the pace was cranked up another notch. We ploughed down the hill (Willie, with his long stride, always easily makes ground on me on the downhill sections), and when we hit the bridge, we pushed to maintain the pace (albeit with far greater effort!).
On last weekend's 20km trail run, despite the high, hard climbs, my heart rate never broke 170, but on this run, in the final push my HR maxed out at 175. I was a little worried about my knees after the run so, post-shower, iced them but that night they came up really good. I quite enjoyed the hard ending and have decided that I should try to mix-in hard and fast runs more often. Although I love an easy cruise through beautiful terrain, there's also something something to busting your guts and pushing hard the whole way.
Running is like mouthwash, if you can feel the burn, it's working!