The streak of hot and sunny days continues. There was no way I could do a fast run in these conditions so I at least made the most out of the beautiful (but very hot) weather.
I ran at reasonable pace all the way to my usual head cooling pipe. After few minutes under the pipe I continued across the Mt. Parker Road to the Hong Pak Country Trail. I slowed down here a bit but still kept mostly running – it was not too bad as most of this route is under the trees. The exposed section were properly hot though.
I ran all the way to the point where the small steps lead up the little plateau above the trail – that was my turning point.
Sunday is usually flattish jog day. But as Saturday was less hilly than planned I decided to re-route my Sunday jog over Siu Ma Shan and perhaps also Jardine’s Lookout. Ha ha …
I woke up too late. I only got going at around 9am. By that time it was oven out there. I was still fine jogging up the road towards the trail. But once on the trail I felt spent. I jogged mostly without any walking and made it all the way to the pipe near Mt. Parker Road. Quick planned shower under the pipe there and back towards the Siu Ma Shan steps.
The climb was just brutal. I had no energy left. Clearly that Saturday day out in the heat and on the sun left some marks on me…
I struggled my way up and over the top. Then quickly without lingering too long on the open ridge and made my way down towards the quarry. I decided that Jardine’s is out question today and turned onto the catchwater instead. On Mt. Butler road I took another quick cool down shower under a small pipe. After that it was painful and hot walk jog run walk jog run 5km or so on Sir Cecil’s back home …
This was short 12km run, but by the time I finished I was done. Two days in a row in this weather was pretty hard to handle…
Link to Strava here.
My original idea was to do Needle Hill, Grassy Hill, Tai Mo Shan, re-fuel at the kiosk and then go back the same way. Then I got Vic on board and we decided to do Needle and Grassy Hills and then decide what route to take next.
For a change it was nice to start the Needle Hill climb with fresh legs. While it was hot it did not feel too bad. Needle Hill was easy. The Grassy Hill climb did not feel bad either. I had no difficulties at all. I felt like I made it to Leadmine Pass without too much effort.
After short discussion we decided that instead of Tai Mo Shan we would take Wilson Trail – Cloudy Hill and Pat Sin Leng. I survived those last week and it looked like doable challenge even with some miles and climbs in the legs already.
We ran down the trail to the outskirts of Tai Po. We made quick pit stop in a restaurant – Vic for food, me for some cold drinks only. Once refilled and cooled down we set off towards Cloudy Hill. The pit stop re-energized me. But the heat was full on by now. I knew that the immediate future isn’t going to pretty.
Thursday again, time for a Mt. Parker run. The satellites were a bit dodgy this morning and it took a while for my watch to stop losing and finding them again.
When I started the run it was hot and quite sunny. Look up at the sky however revealed fast moving clouds. Rain was in the air.
I felt a bit hot on the climb toward Tai Fung Au so I made one quick cool down break to soak my cap under a cold water pipe. But as I was getting closer to Tai Fung Au the first rain drops were already falling.
I continued straight up towards Parker but I switched from running to run/hike mode for the remaining 1.5km of uphill. I heard some distant thunder but it was not anything to worry about, yet.
View obscured by clouds this week
After two weeks it was time again for Tuesday night road run. It has been raining past few days. But unfortunately there was no rain at all at the time when I went for the run. It was not too hot but it was very humid.
I felt a bit rusty right at the beginning. But after 2-3 minutes of moving the legs up the hill all was fine. My pace was quite fresh for the first 5-6km. For a while I even thought that sub 1 hour time may be on cards today. Unfortunately as I was getting closer to the Bowen Road the high humidity was beginning the affect me.
The Bowen Road bit was a non-event run, nothing went wrong. But thanks to that high humidity I simply could not pick up the pace. I pushed a bit also on the final downhill but not too much in order not to risk some silly injury.
At the end I finished this run at around 1h04mins – not too bad for this humid season. Thursday hills coming up next …
Link to Strava here.
I felt quite OK after the hot Saturday in the hills but I was a bit tired from all the sun. Luckily I planned only an easy jog, somewhere around 10km. Also a week or so ago I was lucky in OTW lottery so this run was good opportunity to meet up with Sean and discuss our plans for the Trailwalker.
This was a easy jog on the very familiar route – starting from the Sinopec station at the Wong Nai Chung Gap and running towards Braemer Hill. Easy running pace, the only bit I walked was the short uphill after Mt. Butler Road. Turning back down to North Point at the Po Luen Path marker would make my run a bit too short so I suggested to go a bit further and do also the 800m loop before coming back.
Back at the Po Luen Path marker I turned right toward North Point while Sean continued back in the direction of Wong Nai Chung Gap.
Easy jog, recovery run but also some back-to-back effort for my legs. Good end to a running week.
Link to Strava here.
Saturday was time for yet another insanity – 32km or so following the route of KOTH Tai Po race in northern part of New Territories. It was less than 44km of HK Trail last Saturday but on much tougher and more exposed route. Never before I even dared to attempt the Pat Sin Leng range on a hot day like this. This time though I was determined to finish. My plan was to take the initial climbs easy and to make sure I always have something to splash over my head to keep cool. I knew there are some streams along the way. But I needed to make sure I have water when I need it not when it appears. So on top of 3 liters of drinking fluids I also carried with me 2 liters of stream water for head showers. Proper 5kg ballast. But that will be roughly the weight of the gear I have to carry with me on the TDS race anyway.
Eleven of us set off from Tai Wo station towards Cloudy Hill. I saw no point pushing up fast on the first climb only to stay up there on the sun waiting for the others. I decided to be one of the others and climbed up at the very back of queue. I missed most of the photo opps at the top as a result but at the same time I was still feeling totally fresh after the first climb of the day.
Hot and sunny Thursday morning for the Parker run. There was track session last night. I had to postpone my Tuesday run to Wednesday morning and I did not want to overdo it by adding another session in the evening.
In theory my legs should have been fresh then. But they did not feel so. The funny feeling around the knee was still there and the legs still felt tired. Tired like “we-havent-shaken-off-the-last-weekend-yet” tired.
Nevertheless it was time for Mt. Parker. The heat was manageable thanks to the decent tree cover and I ran in steady pace all the way up to Tai Fung Au. Once there the legs said enough. I had to switch to fast hike for the last 1.5km to the top. I tried few times to switch to run but today it just wasn’t working. I made 2 very brief stops at some water pipes and water hoses to cool down my head. Once at the top I took a short break and the usual photo. It came out pretty well this week:
Nice view this week
This week Tuesday did not work out. First I could not make the morning run. I decided to alter the plans and go for the evening version. But unfortunately work commitments held me up and I could not do the evening run either.
So slightly out of the usual sync I went for a run on Wednesday morning. I have had a funny feeling around the right knee for few days. Moreover the legs did not feel like they have recovered from the weekend (1) mileage (2). And last not least it was crazy hot – official number was 33C. So the quality of this run was a mystery.
I started easy on the uphill, Legs felt a bit heavy but I reached the the end of the Po Luen Path just in below 9 mins – that is pretty satisfying pace in the summertime. I was contemplating turning right for a change once on Sir Cecil’s Ride but the vision of cool water pipe less than 3km away prevailed – I made the left turn. It was steady jog/run all the way to the pipe. After quick cool down I continued towards the Mt. Parker and beyond – all the way to the bridge.
to the bridge and back
I felt quite tired after the HK Trail run on Saturday. The early wake up plan did not work out. And as I obviously had not had enough of sun and heat the day before I ventured for another hot run at 11am.
Two reasons for this run – a) to give the legs and mind back-to-back action but at the same time b) to shake off that long run on Saturday.
I decided to go for 10km and that is it. So it was up the road to Cecil’s Ride, then to the pipe, cool down, cross the road, hit the shade at the Hong Pak Country Trail, turn around, and the same way back including another cool down at the pipe.
It was easy jog with some walking on the return leg. The heat felt even worse than on Saturday and 10km was about as far as I could realistically.
This was also a first run in really long time in my favourite Fuji Gel Trabuco 2 shoes…
This completed 85km week.
Link to Strava here.