Run Outside and Focus

Eversince I started seriously running to lose weight, I’ve been running indoors on a treadmill.  I’ve run outside on and off before, but those were the days when I did exercise like the way I ran: on and off.  Now its good. I’m still running although it was terribly hard to get back in “the mood” for running after going to Japan but its one of those things where you have to push the “mood” aside and “just do it.”  With the weather being as it is in Bangkok, averaging in the mid twenties, I decided it was time for me to take my running outdoors.

I got up, put on my running gear and headed to my fitness.  Instead of going to the usual fitness room, I headed out to the running track which encircles the football field.   It’s beautiful and green.  I feel like I’ve come to an oasis in the city, far away from the concrete buildings and the crowds.  I like feeling the breeze in my hair and the smell of fresh cool air filling up my lungs.  It’s definitely more refreshing than smelling airconditioned air.

The run proved to be much harder than I expected.  I knew it would be harder to run with the added resistance you get from the wind and the ground, but I didn’t realize how hard it’ll be. 

First of all, there is no moving conveyor belt to keep my feet running so whenever I feel like stopping, it becomes so much easier to cave into my mind’s lazy will and just start walking.  This happens the more and more I see people walking or feel like I’ve passed that “landmark” pole I set for myself.   My brain goes like this:  “Oh, there are people walking, perhaps you would like to walk too, you’ve done a bit of running already and you’re out of breath. Walking is goooood, walk, walk, WALK!”

It takes all my energy to tell my brain: “RUN you lazy girl, RUN! You’ve had an entire week off already, and the marathon is coming up!”

Something else I found difficult running outside, was keeping my focus.  On the treadmill, you can just find a spot outside the window you like and keep staring at it while running.  Outside, my big wandering eyes kept looking at the trees, watching the birds fly or seeing the horses out for their morning walk.  Then there were the runners on the running track who seem to just run like it was the easiest thing or earth.  I kept wondering if my feet were landing properly.  A million things ran through my brain during that half-hour run.

I also discovered that without the speed dial on the treadmill, I don’t know how fast I am running!  I didn’t know how to pace myself.. I had difficulty breathing and it was tiring. 

A funny thing is that distance on a treadmill is just numbers.  Outside, you see how far 500 meters is.  The running track is 500 meters long yet it feels so long I couldn’t help but keep wondering if they got it wrong, or I had somehow misunderstood.  I had to ask to kill my curiousity.  Sadly, the trainer reaffirmed that the track was a mere 500meters long. It was the longest 500 meters I ever ran.

Although it’s comparatively more difficult to run outside when compared to running on a treadmill, it is something that I think we should all give a try especially if we’ve been training only only indoors.  The cool air of winter has arrived in Bangkok and what more could you ask for.  Fresh air breezing through your lungs as you focus on your pace and run.   Focus on your breathing.  It’s hard, but Alex tells me I’ll get used to it with more practice. Of course, practice makes perfect. A little over a year ago, I could barely run a minute.  I’ll just have to keep running, focus my mind and take out all the distractions.  Practice makes perfect.