For the third time in just over a week, I decided to run my "big loop" after work again. And I decided to run against myself again with the help of the Garmin Virtual Partner... but who to choose? Slow Joe from the Tuesday before? Or the Competitor Joe who striped 9mins off Slow Joe's time?
I couldn't bring myself to race the slow version of myself. I knew that I'd only be comparing myself to the faster time in my head anyway. So, I decided to race the faster time, thinking: "just take your time and try not to pay too much attention to the clock"...
Well that lasted about 45 seconds after which I was already 10 seconds behind... Wow, I must have started fast on that day!
Heading out of UST, and already frequently checking the watch to see how I compared. It didn't take long for me to fall into referring to my previous self as "that bastard"!!
The Sun sinks towards the horizon as I cross the bridge towards the first hill climb
Starting my climb up the hill and already almost 30 seconds behind
Looking out towards the Ma On Shan Country Park
Road section complete as I turn onto the trail, still behind and having to work hard to keep up
The chicken is back, but this time I only stop for one photo instead of numerous blurry ones... allowing me to catch-up nearly the full 20 seconds I was behind!!
Cruising through the valley, looking back towards Razor Hill
Crossing through the village towards the serious hill climb
The sun getting low in the sky, but after gaining a little altitude things brighten up again
At the bottom of the hill, before the climb and trail section, things are neck and neck... But I remembered that last time, I took the trail section rather slow... so this time I planned on punishing the "lazy bastard" on it!
Sunset over Kowloon
Wonderful views down towards Tiu Keng Leng with the entire High Junk Peak ridgeline visible in the background
Painting on a rock with the road I'll be taking down the hill in the background
I did have another GIF to go here, but apparently it's too big to upload, so you'll just have to take my word for it!
At the last section of trail with a healthy 4min30sec lead
Fisherman down at Oscar by the Sea
Crossing through one of the many underpasses. They allow a running route uninterrupted by roads, but one that includes slight downhill and uphill sections each time
Pushing hard to the end I finished 6mins under Fast Joe's time, I guess making me the new Fast Joe!
So another 6mins off the time, bringing the original time down by about 15mins in just over a week. That's quite an improvement, but I can't help but feel like a lot of gains I made on this run were the result of taking fewer photos, and being more efficient when I did take photos. I certainly pushed harder on the trail section and made up good time there, but I'm not sure how much faster the rest of the course was.
I wonder how many times I can push the time lower before I falter. Will lower times all be at the expense of photos? And even if I wanted to take it slow, with the Virtual Partner switched on, can I even not race myself?? A dangerous game indeed.
See you, and me, and me, out on the trail soon!