Tuesday, 31 May 2011

If I Win, I Lose - Thursday the 26th of May, 2011

My new Garmin GPS watch is like the swiss-army-knife of watches, and among those many varied (and occasionally bizarre and useless) functions, the watch allows me to take all the data from any previous run and "race" myself. The watch tracks if I'm still on the same course, if I'm in front and by how much / long, if either I'm rest or my "virtual partner" is, etc and is able to display all this on the watch. The key screen is a visual representation of who's in front and by how much with numerical values at the bottom, but there's also another screen showing an elevation profile and where you both are, so you can judge if your "training partner" has reached the top of the hill yet, etc, and also map and compass screens in case you're following a trail that you're really not familiar with.

But enough about that... on with the race!! Let's have a look at the major differences between the two run:

Tuesday's Run Tuesday's Run
Weather Heavily Overcast Bright Sunset
Shoes Brooks Cascadias Asics Gel DS Trainers
Carry gear Nathan Gel Pack +
MutationX Waterbelt
Squeezed everything into the Waterbelt
Previous 3 Day's kms Rest, Rest, 10.5km 10.5km, 18km, Rest
Misc Advantages Shot fewer photos Took 1 Gel
Was daylight for longer
Had MP3 Player

So let's take a look at the photos:

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Heading up the first hill looking into the setting sun. Unfortunately for most of the course, the sun was either behind me, or hidden behind something else, so not too many wonderful sunset photo opportunities

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Part of the way up the first hill I've already opened a small advantage on... err... myself

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Spent a fair bit of time trying to get a good looking photo of this chicken/rooster... My other self must have been pretty happy to catch up a little

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
A photo from the same spot as one from Tuesday's run

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
The sun dips low with Kowloon Peak on the horizon

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Checking my progress as I enter the village halfway along the trail... just before the serious hill climb... Yep! Still in front

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Creepy statues halfway up the hill

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
After gaining a bit of altitude the sun reappears, only to sink into the haziness

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Another replication photo from Tuesday's run. It's easy to see here how much lighter it was on this run

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Looking east towards Tiu Keng Leng, where I'll soon be. The High Junk Peak Trail, pretty much covers the entire ridgeline visible directly behind the buildings

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Rocky terrain as I work my way towards the road. Luckily I only have to climb one of the next two hills before dropping onto the road and cruising down to Tiu Keng Leng

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
I spent *ages* trying to take this photo, but just couldn't get the camera to correctly line-up the photos. To top it off, just after taking this, I turned back towards the track and caught the side of my knee-cap exactly on a protruding stump

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
After wasting a bit of time taking photos that didn't turn out, I hit the road still 4+ minutes in front and gaining

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Wonderful lights and reflections as I cruise past Oscar by the Sea. I'd taken a gel about 5-10mins before this so was feeling in great spirits

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Another replicated photo, the shadows probably looking better in black and white, but I had more light to work with on this run

20110530 Post-work Road/Trail Run
Pushing hard through the last km to try to get my average pace down below 6:00min/km (I didn't quite make it) I ended up easily besting my Tuesday self by over 9mins.

Overall, I felt that I worked quite hard on this run, the competition with myself driving me faster. The exception was, I took my time and enjoyed the trail section, where I had already established quite a lead. I felt really great the whole time and was pretty surprised by the significant pick-me-up effect that getting a little sugar into the system had on me when I took the gel.

Overall a run that I was really happy with, despite just missing my speed target.

Being chased by my own shadow!
~ Joe

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