Best of company with a very special couple, all of the sights, the sweetest tastes of home- quite literally, great spots for training and one too many dumplings!
Monday 29th January 2018
First impressions of Singapore, wonderful! Literally minutes to get through immigration, Changi airport is fab. I was met by Tom in arrivals who had very kindly come to collect me and take me back to the condo. I am super, super excited to see him and Deborah, catch up with all their news and experience a wee taster of their lives here.
Paterson hospitality really is second to none. Irn Bru and Tunnocks Teacakes in the fridge for my arrival (they’ve never tasted so sweet!), group chat (with all emergency contact details included) set up within minutes and Tom made sure I knew where everything was, and I mean everything, no detail was missed.
And….Santa’s been! It’s Christmas! Christine has sent over some treats of some lovely new training gear and M&S goodies, Percy Pigs, my favourite, such an unexpected surprise. So kind, as always.
I had planned to meet Deborah at her office when she finished work and it was just so special to see her again. We chatted non-stop on the short walk to Blu Jazz Cafe in Bali Lane where we were meeting some of Deborah’s lovely friends for dinner and a pop up movie event. That’s one of the great things about staying with friends, as locals, they can give you lots of tips and know all the cool spots to go to. You get the perfect balance of doing the touristy things and seeing the real city and places you might not visit otherwise. It was such a good way to spend the first night here; smashing company, food was grand and I think we all enjoyed the cathartic blubber at the end of the movie to round things off.
Tuesday 30th January 2018
After the challenges with training in Bali, today’s the day I finally get back out there to get the legs moving. Deborah and Tom are working during the day, so that works out as the perfect time to fit in the training and some sightseeing before meeting up with them again in the evenings.
Singapore is hot. Very hot. And humid. But when your hosts have a lovely outdoor pool in their apartment block, cooling down post-run really isn’t a problem! Easy 40 minutes with some strides in some of the surrounding streets was enough to get the legs ticking over for today. They felt quite heavy as the first one back. I don’t think I’ve lost too much in the way of fitness but maybe a little bit of sharpness has gone.
Some chill time in the sunshine at the pool, quick shower and then time to do some exploring, a walk out to MacRitchie Reservoir Park for a wander round and to suss out a possible long run route for later in the week. It’s a good couple of miles from Tom and Deborah’s apartment, so made for some good active recovery there and back. The perfect spot; trails, hikes and forests, and in the sunshine, lovely. I did manage to find Singapore’s version of The Clyde Valley too, with garden centres galore along the road.
In the evening I met Deborah at her office and we went straight to Marina Bay Sands, easily the most breathtaking hotel in Singapore. The worlds highest and longest infinity pool and the most incredible 360-degree views of the city from it’s observation deck. We got there at the perfect time, not quite dusk, so we were first able to enjoy the views in daylight. Tom joined us a little later to enjoy a glass of red and as time passed and we chatted, we were treated to the most unbelievable sunset. A picture perfect postcard!
After being beyond snap happy, we made our way to Din Tai Fung for all of the food. Like actually, it just kept coming and coming so we kept eating and eating. Each dish more delicious than the one before.
One too many dumplings, and probably what became high risk of us turning in to one if we were to eat another bite, we took a walk around Gardens by the Bay to at least walk a little of it off. Heaps of pretty plants and futuristic-looking super trees (like something right out of Avatar) that are beautifully illuminated at dark.
Wednesday 31st January 2018
A lovely easy pace 5 miles in beautiful East Coast Park today. I’d left it a little late to get out this morning, the temperature was already rising rapidly, but job done and a nice coffee stop on the way home. It’s almost becoming the habit that I can’t seem to run these days without the post-run coffee. Like banana and peanut butter, I feel running and coffee are a match made in Heaven!
I didn’t want to do too much in the way of exploring today as I’ve got the long run coming up tomorrow and the last couple of days walking around and training in the heat meant it was important to make sure I was starting tomorrow hydrated.
This evening I met Tom at his office to explore some of the exciting things going on in China Town ahead of Chinese New Year. The decorations were beautiful, the year of the dog is always a winner in my eyes. The market stalls were, well interesting, and I don’t mean this to be disrespectful, but I often wonder who buys all of these nik naks, some are rather weird and wonderful.
We had Dim Sum for dinner, maybe in slightly smaller portions to last nights efforts but just as tasty and enjoyed chatting and reminiscing over lots of happy Paterson/Lindsay memories.
Thursday 1st February 2018
Fuelled by dumplings…long run, 20 miles….boom! Around East Coast Park, Marina Bay Sands and the promenade took me on a lovely out and back to make up the distance for today’s run. Given the predicted hot and humid conditions, Tom wanted me just to bank it as time on feet, so no real structure to this one today other than getting it done and keeping the pace easy and conversational. I’m trying to go less by my watch when it’s run to feel and my test for this is that if I can sing along to something and not be out of breath, I know I’m at a good pace. I started just before 7am, eating my oats on the way there in an attempt to beat the heat. I just about managed, though it felt warm from the off, it wasn’t melting. It sure was by the last 10km though but I held in and got it done at a good average pace of 9:41. Lots of stretches when I got back made for a great session today.
Lunch and rumour has it, there is a Marks and Spencer’s here. I took a quick little trip out for a few sneaky supplies and managed to pick up a little pot of porridge to keep on standby for Tokyo Marathon race day, just in case it’s hard to come by in Japan! And bonus, I don’t need to limit the Percies to one a day now!
Well hi there little fella!…
Deborah took me on a fab wee tour of Little India in the evening. We stopped off at what is likely to be Singapore’s most colourful building, the house of Tan Teng Niah, the oldest Chinese house. We were also lucky enough to have a nice experience in the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple where there was a ceremony taking place. Taking our shoes off, we enjoyed quietly observing what was taking place inside. We strolled along the little market streets past the Masjid Sultan Mosque before meeting Tom for dinner at a very tasty Indian restaurant, the perfect post long run treat.
Friday 2nd February 2018
Well, Singers, it has been an absolute blast. I can’t thank this special couple enough for being the best of hosts. I’m sure the next time we catch up will be on Scottish soil, but I do hope to come back and see you sometime on your side of the pond.
Adios Amigos, thanks for everything!