Assuming I wake up healthy and feel great – I’ll do the race up the 500 meter high mountain in Tub Kaak, Krabi Province, Thailand tomorrow at 0900.
It’s a good climb. I’ve been up it many times – I say “50″ – that’s probably about right on. I love the climb, it’s challenging, and yet there are some flat spots that give a much needed break if going hard. I frequently drive the 40 minutes over to climb it because, besides being a great training hill, there is a chance at seeing a king cobra or other snake. I’ve caught a couple of snakes there, some big centipedes, seen many frogs and other lizards – including some absolutely beautiful horned mountain dragons. There are always howling monkeys (gibbons?) in the trees in the morning too – a great place to exercise.
It’s a dirt path up the hill. There is a very gradual incline for the first 500 or so meters. When I did the practice run – I walked that fast. I will likely jog it slowly tomorrow during the race instead of walk. I just can’t see me holding it together to walk fast while the rest of the pack will no doubt – run it.
I figure I’ll be in better shape than them once the hills come – no matter how fast we all go to start. I’ll just go with the pack unless they’re in a full out sprint. Then I’ll just watch them all die faster during one of the bigger climbs.
I saw one photo of at least part of the group that ran last year’s race. Couple serious people in there – runners most likely. That’s not a bad thing, there are very few hills around Krabi to actually train on if you’re a runner. Unless you’re running this mountain! I haven’t seen anyone ever training on this mountain – except my friend Alfred, and he’ll probably be there racing tomorrow too. I hope to see him there. He’s had some knee trouble and maybe that will KO him for the race.
Running up hills and walking up many stairs during competition are quite different than running on the flat. I think hard cycling would prepare one most for stairs or hiking up a hill… if one had to choose another exercise beside doing the hill itself. Running on the flat is great for lungs, but there is an entirely different set of muscles required for climbing hills or stairs.
My biggest fear on this mountain is that I’ll twist my ankle good and require surgery. I’m always a step away from that, my tendons are loose on my ankles and this path has twisted my ankles more times than I can remember. So many roots and vines, rocks.
I did get a watch so I can tell what time I got – even if those that are supposed to be keeping time at Thailand events – cannot. The Banyan Tree Race in Bangkok was a bit of a flop, not having the right official time. I didn’t train, spend the money, and travel there to have them dick it up… but dick it up, they sure did. I’ll always wear a watch from now on – lesson learned.
I saw my friend Lang yesterday. He owns a bike shop in Krabi – and is a good rider. His bike weighs 7 kilograms. He weighs 64 kilograms. I weigh 74 and I’m pretty happy with it. He won his last race – a short 28 kilometer race in Prachuap Khiri Khan. He’ll do a mountain bike race Sunday – so he won’t be climbing Ngorn Nak mountain for the running race. At least he said he wasn’t coming – I hope he comes, he’ll spur me on to a better effort I’m sure. He’s 47 and one of the top cyclists in Thailand. I think cycling is, like stair climbing, not such a serious pursuit in Thailand.
Ok the – enough blabbering. Gotta go grab lunch.