It was around 30C as is usual on a Hong Kong summer day. But somehow today even with the sun shining it did not feel that hot.
My legs felt a bit week after the cold or whatever I have been struggling with since the Saturday Tai Mo Shan adventure but otherwise I felt good to go.
As usual I jogged my way up to Tai Fung Au. After a short bathroom break there I continued up towards Mt. Parker. I had no intentions to push too hard today so it was mostly power hike till the top. I stopped for a while at the top enjoying the views that were quite interesting thanks to all the scattered clouds.
This week view from Mt. Parker
This should have been morning trail run Tuesday. But after spending whole Monday trying to get rid of cold I decide to move my Tuesday run to the evening.
I was feeling much better than on Monday but I was not in the shape to push too hard.
I made an exception and chose to run with music for a change – something to keep my mind away from sore throat, runny nose and itchy teary eyes. Fleetwood Mac felt just about right.
Surprisingly I did not feel too bad. I was not pushing too much but I kept a steady pace. I guess the first half of the run was not that much slower than last week. This time however I kept the easy pace also on the Bowen Road, no pushing there. Overall it was an OK run given how bad I felt the day before.
Link to Strava here.
I planned easy 12-13K run for Sunday. I was still in pain from all the Saturday cramping. I also felt the legs from the proper exercise the day before. So easy run sounded like a good idea. But Tai Mo Shan weather left a mark on me, nice mid summer cold …
So this ended up to be “run flats and downhills but walk the uphills” kind of Sunday outing. I ran on Cecil’s towards Mt. Butler Road then down to Tai Hang Road trough Perkins – that was nice downhill training. And then back home in the opposite direction of my Tuesday night runs.
I suffered quite a bit because of the cold. But it did help my legs. So happy running, good week of training behind me.
Link to Strava here.
I was not sure what will be possible to do on Saturday. Thunderstorms were forecasted. Last thing I wanted was to get caught in one somewhere up on the ridge. First thing I did in the morning was to check the weather info. Thunderstorm warning was up. But quick check of radar images revealed there were no lightnings anywhere around. The west part of New Territories looked pretty clear so I decided to repeat the Mac 7-8 and back route.
The clouds were dark and low when I reached Shing Mun Reservoir but it was not raining. After the warm up hike from minibus stop to reservoir I started the Needle Hill climb. I was still a bit nervous about the possible storms so I wanted to have this hill done quickly. No sun and breeze made the climb rather easy. I was up and down in no time with no issues. The grip of the HOKAs also helped on the wet steps.
Clouds over Needle Hill
I ran quickly down from the top and kept on running on the flatter part of the Grassy Hill section. I felt quite good and the cool weather had a lot to do with it. I pushed on the climb to Grassy Hill. At times I could not see much in the fog but otherwise uneventful climb. Run down to Leadmine Pass was a bit slippery but nothing that the shoes could not handle.
This was one of the days sunblock and sunglasses were surplus to requirement… Cloudy, humid, rain in the air (but not raining) and the top third of Mt.Parker hidden in the clouds.
It was pleasantly cool (in Hong Kong summer standards) but unpleasantly humid and stuffy. Rain would have made things so much better…
I plodded my way up to Tai Fung Au running in steady pace sweating like a pig. Tai Fung Au was already in the clouds. As nature was calling I made a quick pit stop there before power hiking to the top. I had no mental strength to run through that steamy sauna. But as I will not be running the uphills during TDS uphill walking is also important part of my training routine.
Lovely steam bath view from Mt. Parker
This is a rainy week but I had no luck to get any rain at all on my runs. At least for this run I had post-rain cool weather (around 27C when I started) with some light breeze.
After long time I decided to run with music, just to test the gadgets to make sure they are all working well in case they will be needed to lift my spirits up at some point during TDS. Other than that just a bottle of water (no ballast on my back).
I also decided to run to feel only at first and only check the pace on my watch once I reach Bowen Road.
I started easy on the uphill then relaxed the legs while increasing the pace on the Tin Hau Temple Road downhill bit. Steady paced climb up the Cloudy Hill Road felt pretty effortless. Thanks to that I could keep easily quite nice pace on the entire Tai Hang Road section. It felt pretty good.
Once on Bowen Road a quick glance at my watch suggested that if I push the final bit I may manage a very rare sub 1 hour summer finish on this route. So I pushed. At the end of Bowen Road I knew that sub 1 hour is in the bag so I was a bit more careful on the final steep downhill down the Garden Road – I did not want to risk any injury. But is was still a quick one – later look at Strava told me that it was my second fastest downhill from Bowen to Pacific Place …
It was nice quick run, refreshing change after the pathetically slow hot and humid Saturday Mac. Nice to see what a little change in weather (for better) can do!
Link to Strava here.
Because of the shorter than planned Saturday training I needed a more mileage on Sunday. I haven’t done the Tai Tam loop for quite long time. It sounded like good idea for this week.
It was another hot day. A week ago the heat killed my Sunday morning run, I was wondering how the body would react this time.
I managed to jog up the hill (unlike last week). Just as a precaution I switched to walking about 100m before the steps to country park. I had a weird feeling in my left calf. Silly injury this close to the race would not be smart. So I hiked my way up to Cecil’s Ride from here. The calf was happy with that. It would not bother me any more.
I took the shortest path to the Mt. Parker Road. I felt quite OK, running jogging all the way. Quite a different feeling comparing to week ago. I could feel the heat but it was not bothering me that much. Still I decided to take every opportunity to cool down. This quickly turned into a run from pipe to pipe, tap to tap, stream to stream
The original idea was to try to do Double Au. My main concern were the thunderstorm warnings – would not be fun being up on the ridges with lightnings around.
The weather in the morning looked OK though. There was the thunderstorm warning but look at the lightning radar images did not show any lightnings anywhere. So this looked all good. It got even better when I was on the bus from Sai Kung to Pak Kung Au – it was raining!
Unfortunately it stopped raining by the time I started. And the rain instead of making things better made them much worse. Firstly – it was slippery. And this being the first wet run in my new shoes I needed some time to get used to the slightly different grip (or no grip at times). Even worse was the sauna the rain created. Thanks to the heat I was simply moving through the steam.
It was a bit cloudy and it did not feel too hot. So the start of the run felt quite pleasant. I kept nice and steady running pace but the higher up I was getting the more I was struggling. It took me a while to realize that it is seriously humid again. Anyway I kept running all the way to Tai Fung Au except a very brief cool down pause at the pipe on the flattish open section about 800m earlier.
From Tai Fung Au to the top of Parker it was quite a struggle. I did jog here and there but mostly it was just a fast hike. I was sweating like a pig and drinking a lot. Thirst was the theme of the day. I thought that I would have to skip Butler…
I made a short stop at the top. Long enough to take a picture as usual and refill the Nuun bottle from my soft flask water reserve.
The usual Parker view
I jogged down and up to the next radar. After spitting my lungs out at the gate I dashed down the road back towards Quarry Bay.
My shoe choice for the TDS would be either my HOKAs (if too wet) or my ASICS Trabucos if the weather behaves. The problems is I am on my last pair of Trabuco 2 and by the race time they will be too worn out to be good for the long race. And now I can’t get the version 2 anymore. I have been running in these for over 2 years. But then came Trabuco 3 that did not really fit me too well. Cascadia 10 felt pretty close to Trabuco 2 but unfortunately my toes hated their toe box… I went to few shops checking out some other brands but could not find anything that would do it for me…
Then while searching online for any store that still sells Trabuco 2 I found out that ASICS came up with Trabuco 4. So I decided to take a gamble on the size. I ordered 2 pairs in same size as I would for Trabuco 2.
Trabuco 4 ready to roll