It was the earliest I had ever been for a morning group run – I realised I didn’t have any phone numbers at hand, so I showed up 10 minutes early at the designated meeting point.. or what I thought was the designated meeting point – I had been waiting at the wrong carpark! I found the gang (gotta love social media) and we sped off.
Literally. My first few KMs were between 6-7 min/km, and it was odd that I felt fine, as I am usually all too aware of going out too fast. It must have been the cool and unusually less humid air of the morning – it was a very welcome break from the usual heatwave of this time of the year. Be that as it may, I was pretty sure I was being weighed down by some pounds of Chinese New Year goodies that have stealthily found their way into my running muscles. The group had set out to do a 15K on a route primarily on Jalan Beringin, i.e. the Bukit Damansara ‘ring road’, and I decided I would review my planned distance at the 10K checkpoint.
The route starts with a 500m dash up the slope between the National Science Centre and the traffic lights at the intersection with Jalan Beringin. With Beringin being a loop, one can choose to turn either left or right at the intersection. The group turned right, and I embarked on a route that was the reverse of my usual Beringin jaunt.
With the other direction, the ‘star attraction’ would be the ‘Mother Hill’ that leads from the valley outside the Jalan Setiakasih entrance up towards the school. Today’s route, though escaping the uphill incline of the ‘Mother Hill’, IMHO hits you more acutely in terms of the effort needed on the multiple hills per loop than the reverse route would. The significant uphills occur, firstly, at the National Science Centre slope. After a relatively flat reprieve, the next slope kicks in after the Shell station towards the school.
The school is at the crest of Mother Hill. As far as figures go, the long slope of Mother Hill is still the largest elevation difference on the Beringin loop (approximately 60m). Although today’s route takes the downhill of good’ ol’ Mother Hill, any relief is quickly countered by the final the challenge to close the loop – a short-but-steep 50m climb back to the originating intersection, a literally breath-taking end to the circuit.
After two loops, I was all puffed out but itching to continue on to my first three-loop Beringin, but a sense of self-preservation took over (I realised that my last run was at MPIB, all of nearly 2 months ago in early January!). I decided to cut it at two loops, and followed the self-styled ‘ladies of leisure’ of the morning’s group back to the NSC starting point.
Many thanks to the Gaited Community gang for a great start to a Sunday morning (and a great kick-starter to the remaining month of training before my Half at MWM!)