it’s kind of hard to talk about running and exercise in general without sounding like a proper health freak who follows a high protein diet and wears a odometer everywhere he or she goes. i am no health freak and too much protein makes me gassy. i hate gas.
i want to talk about running because it has been a while since i engaged in proper long distance. recently, i have been feeling the odd and familiar urge to stretch my legs once more. i want to document my relationship with running from now on in here. from summer 2009 up until now, i have only been doing 45 minute cardio sessions or one hour group exercise sessions two to three times a week at the gym. this is all well and good, but nothing thrilling. i first began running seriously in 2008. seriously, as in i would run 8-10km every time i stepped on the treadmill. less, if i ran outdoors in the cold biting english winter wind.
some of my friends always associate me with running. however, truth be told, i can’t run that far that fast. i do not have the build of a typical long distance runner: i am short legged and heavy bottomed. in my youth, i was made to run the 1500m every year on sports days. i hated it, because i was made to do it. plus, i was fat. now, i exercise and run purely because i want to. they say that you can do whatever if you train hard enough, ultramarathons included. i suppose i haven’t trained hard enough for any sort of event in my life. i meant to run a winter marathon in 2008, but due to adverse weather conditions, the race was cancelled and so my first attempt at running 42km was never realised. i was disappointed after my 3-4 months worth of so-called training. i figured i could always do it again, but since then, i haven’t really done anything quite as intense.
“why do you run?” is a fair question. initially – and i say this unapologetically – it was because of a watershed crisis of sorts that involves two people, otherwise known as a Bad Breakup. then it just stopped being that and i stopped thinking about bad things. running evolved quite naturally into something that became part of my life and part of my routine. i was very happy to learn that i could run more than 10km without stopping under an hour. it was something i thought i could never ever do. i grew to like it very much. as difficult as it is to believe, i liked the outdoors, the sweeping feeling that i got from each stride i took during my run. it is an emancipating feeling that courses through your blood, forcing you to focus your attention like a laser beam on purely what lies ahead. there is no looking back. in a way, this is how i would like to live my life: focused on a goal without ever looking back.
“isn’t running boring?” not at all. well, i am not averse to being alone, therefore i am never bored when i am by myself. it has always been a part of me, hanging out by myself. i don’t need people to survive, just as i am sure people don’t need me around. i like running by myself. it gives me peace. moreover, it’s so easy. all you need is a pair of good running shoes and an iPod and out the door you go. most days, i like listening to metal music and/or Lady Gaga on my runs. Lady Gaga never fails me; listening to one song by her whiles away 5 minutes as i belt out (in my head, of course) the goosebump-inducing chorus of Bad Romance.
i never want to push people into doing anything they don’t want to do. i don’t want to push you, the kind person who is taking time out to read this, into running because i say it is good for you. it is and yet it isn’t, just like everything else in life. running is not for the kiasu unless you are at some sort of competitive level. mostly, running is quite personal and individual – just as this blog is.
more next week.