So today was going to be nice and simple. Wake up, have some breakfast and do around 14km training. Didn’t want to go too far as haven’t been outside all week. I wanted to see if the hard work in the gym was translating onto the trail.
The route was from home to the Wilson Trail Section five. I would be running the second half to Kowloon Reservoir. Then following the next section to Shing Mun Reservoir and then hitting the Maclehose Trail Section Seven over Needle Hill and then down into Shatin and meet Michceala for lunch.
Well I did it. Not in the speed I wanted. No where near in fact. I was a good 1 kph slower than what I wanted. Why? Simple, it rained. And rained. And rained. As I was going up Needle Hill, there was enough water to be covering my ankle as it came down as I was going up.
This posed a serious question when looking at the shoes I am using. I currently wear the Asics Gel Fuji Trabuco 2. They are great but the grip on them just disappears under wet conditions especially when you look at the steps that are used around some of the trails. I do not understand why you would make steps out of materials that become dangerous when wet. Luckily, I only slipped once and my ass hasn’t lost enough of the fat yet for it to be painful.
The start of the route was a nice flat jog along the Wilson Trail. I always like this section as it feels like my home run. The place where there are no surprises and I know the area well. Aside from the wild dogs and macaques, there is nothing exciting going on. It is a means to test how well I am doing. I feel there is improvement. I feel like on the flats, I have the strength and guile to run and run well.
Reaching Kowloon Reservoir, the next steps were unknown to me. I hadn’t really been around here before to know what I was doing. I planned the route the night before via Movescount so my watch had the route and was ready to kick in. This is where the steps started. I was prepared and had knowledge that there was going to be a lot of ups. I just didn’t realise that over the course of the route there would be twice the height of Needle Hill in ascent. Although I wasn’t happy with this, it was what I needed. A challenge.
The next section of the Wilson Trail was quite dull. Lots of steps, a few flatfish trails but nothing of any note. There was one part when you ran down to a lovely little stream and I spent a few minutes there just relaxing and taking it in. Other than that, there wasn’t much until you arrived at the Shing Mun Reservoir.
(I stole this photo as I forgot to take one. Thank you Google!)
This was the start of the bit I was dreading and it had just started to rain. The route up was hard. It felt like it went on for a long long time. The steps were awkward and once the water started coming down, I hated every minute of it. I just wanted it to be over but there was no way in hell I was turning back. I am far too stubborn for that! The higher I got, the harder the rain became, the more difficult the walking got. As I was going up, people were coming down and were lovely.
“Not far now!”
I realise now, that these people had blatantly lied to me. I wasn’t even half way at this point. My shoes full of water, my clothes drenched, my bag weighing ten times what it had at the start. I kept going. Suddenly without even realising, I was at the top. The rain was coming in sideways. My face was cold. I touched the wooden plaque with the height on. 535 metres. And immediately turned and started the walk down. This was hard. Really hard. Uneven steps. Water rushing down. Idiots trying to push past and run. Rain hitting my face. I honestly thought at some point, I would fall down here and end up at the bottom. I didn’t. Sadly, I had to walk down which was far harder and more painful than what I think the falling would have been.
Once at the bottom the steps turned into a road. And the rain. Stopped. For about a minute. Then it started again. This time with the bonus of a thunderstorm also. I continued my route down and eventually hit the path which would lead me down into Shatin.
So the stats:
Pace: 3.9kph. (Target: 4.5kph)
Ascent: 884m (Target 900m – See LantauVertical)
Calories: 2752 (beers tonight)
More can be found if you click here.
And now Needle Hill looks like this from our window. Who would know that it almost kicked my ass…
But like I’ve said before
If I can do it, you can!