Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day to day, and you are a success.
As said by William J. H. Boetcker, this quote sums up how I feel about running.
I have used the Nike Running App since March 2012. Back on the day when it was still a red app that millions have downloaded, even after the new update and the change of the name, I hold on to it. My first run is here, the farthest, the longest, and the fastest are all in this app.
This app makes it possible to “do better than yourself.” Personally, by seeing how I have done yesterday compared to my run today, and seeing my progress, motivates me to reach the targets I set for myself. The past runs when I used the Nike app have amplified for me why I got hooked on running. All these runs below are in the MacRitchie reservoir loop. From struggling at 8′ min per km pace, I’ve felt lighter and stronger at my recent run with 7’17’ per km pace.
The MacRitchie Reservoir nature trail is the best place to practice 10km, there is no dull moment in this loop. There is uphill, downhill, muddy rocky trail, boardwalk by the water, the trail even runs through a section of a golf course.
There are two ways to run the trail, a loop starting by the canoeing and kayaking centre or starting from mushroom cafe, to the entrance of the trail. I tried both, and I prefer the latter.
Running the MacRitchie loop from mushroom cafe
When I run this trail, I count it to 10 sections
- Mushroom cafe to the 1st boardwalk; from the cafe to the proper park, you will pass by this twisting bridge, you can even run through it, there are even musicians playing their instruments by the park, as you run further, you will then see the sign for the entrance of the trail. Just a few minutes run from here, you will then see the 1st boardwalk. My suggestion is taking the boardwalk (although there is a sign that running on it is not advisable – there is a lot of trail from your 4km to 10km, that using the 3 boardwalks is a relief!)
Warning: you might see monitor lizards roaming the park.
2. 1st Boardwalk/Chemparai trail
3. 2nd Boardwalk/Jering trail; watch out for low hanging branch. On some days, you can see a lot of students training hard.
4. The golf link; a change of scenery. After the 2nd boardwalk, it is a short trail until you see the seemingly endless roll of green grass. There is a sort of dirt bridge leading to the golf link. Runners path are clearly marked, and there is a sign on where you slightly turn to the right to go back to the MacRitchie trail. When I run here, I was afraid of getting hit by those golf balls, because I once saw one rolled in front of me.
5. 3rd Boardwalk, up to Jelutong tower ; warning, a lot of monkeys here. After the golf link, there is a bit of a climb/ascent part, the trail though have stones stairs. Get those heart pumping more.
6. To the ranger station, up to Petaling hut; I think this is the rockiest point of the trail. It is hard to run and watching out for those rocks. The rocks are more exposed in this part, as water seems to slide down here, washing off all dead leaves and soil.
7. After Tree top sign; if you run the loop from the cafe and go first golf link, the sign to tree top is hard to spot, as it points to your let, but there is a hut there and normally a lot of people would be hanging around resting in the hut at the opposite side.
8. Turning right, and the short paved road part of the loop; I always see this point as my halfway point, although at this point, I have run almost 7km. It must be just about 20 steps of paved road, and you go back down to the trail again.
9. To Rambai hut; at this point, you’ll likely begin to think, “when will this end?” lol. This is the part where you dig deeper, dig down to your inner strength to just keep on, as the trail seems long, narrow, and even some hard ascents, which forces you to walk it up, but I personally hate walking, as I tend to get more tired when I stop to walk. So I try to just hop it up, or hop it down.
On the trail, a branch just fell. That just shows how alive this forest is. The Cicadas sound can be a bit frightening as they seem really so loud.
10. 2 km stretch to the exit; oh the light at that end, and the words in your head repeating “I did it! I did it!” At this point, you should be running more than 10km already.
It is then a short run through the reservoir, you will see people fishing, rowing, busy in the water, and you will run back down to the cafe, turning to your right. The complete loop is 11.13KM.