Don’t Think, Just Run

I feel like I’ve somewhat passed a strenuous physical exam after recovering from a super strong strain of flu that had my brain dizzy, muscles sore and made me just collapse into a sleeping beauty every night.  My immune system is now super charged and ready to take on what come.  Now it’s time to get ready for the Bangkok Marathon in November.  This week, I’ve started doing extra long runs at the gym. (Not really that long for a professional runner, but long for me)

I usually run two sets of ten minutes in the mornings, but that is really not far at all.  It takes me only roughly a little over a kilometer.  To make 5km, I’m going to have to keep running and running and running. Running for around 40 minutes non-stop.

To do that, this week I’ve been doing running stretches of 20 minutes.  Knowing that my brain would want to give up after ten minutes, I eased myself into running 20 minutes by lowering the speed slightly, but keeping the incline at 1% (so that the treadmill will resemble the outdoor a bit more).

I also had to stop thinking.  Yes, don’t think when you run.

If I think, I always end up stopping.  So I had to keep telling my brain to just ignore the thought process for awhile and kill off the voices from the lazy me inside.  Every five minutes, my lazy me would go through the cycle of trying to talk itself into stopping.

“Five minutes is a nice round number, yes let’s stop here for a bit.”  At this point, my lazy me is smiling and making the stop seem so pleasant.

“No, I’d reply.  Another five minutes then we can stop”  Yes, I trick myself every five minutes to run another five minutes. (I say I’d stop, but actually I won’t, because I’d trick myself again later.)

This self tricking involves not looking at the timer on the treadmill when the seconds count down from 4.56 mins to 4.57mins  to 4.58mins then 4.59mins.  My heart gives a big thump.  I must not give in, no I won’t and so I ignore this awful timer and instead try to look around the room at the other people running and exercising. I look out the window, watch the flickering TV screen and note to myself that the grandpa on the other treadmill seems fitter than me.  By the time I look again it becomes 5.10mins and then I say to myself,

“Haha!! you passed the round number, might as well run to the next round number. You know you are going to feel like a better person for having finished the entire run than giving up on yourself halfway.”

When I finish the run, it is indeed a feeling of accomplishment.  Even though how little the accomplishment, I think it’s a great way to start the day.  You won over yourself and ran a full 20 minutes. You killed the lazy voices, put them in coma.  Next week it’s going to have to start being 25 minute runs.

Yes, lets all stop thinking and just run!  RUN for your health, run for yourself, run for a new life.

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Get Ready for the 2011 Bangkok Marathon

This morning while running, I thought about the upcoming Bangkok Marathon.  I have to get a little more serious in my running.  In 53 days, the Bangkok Marathon will be held as it has been for the past few years.  On November 20, 2011 tens of thousands of people will be out running in the wee mornings of the day.  I will be there.  Let’s all be there.  Let’s go out, have some exercise and enjoy the experience.

For those of you who have never joined the marathon, let me tell you this.  Once you’ve experienced it, you will want to keep coming back.  It’s fun, it’s exciting and its open the everyone.  How often do you get to run on the street by the Grand Palace and watch the sunrise?

You don’t have to run the entire 42km marathon.  They have the 10K as well as the 5K for you to choose from.  I will be doing the 5K.  I want to run it all and not walk.

The first time I joined the marathon was 4 years ago, I was unfit, overweight and yes, I let many MANY people pass me by.  One of my most memorable moments was when I was huffling and puffling, red faced and short of breath. Then I looked towards my left and spotted a lady pushing another lady who was sitting on a wheelchair pass me by.  They both looked happy and not in the least bit tired.   That was a “down” moment.  I was overtaken by a lady pushing a wheelchair.   Imagine that.

The second time I joined, I had lost 15K and was running with Alex. I have to tell you the experience was a lot better.  I ran almost halfway before I took a walking break and yes, I finished it all in around 40 minutes which is not too bad for me.  I wasn’t huffling and puffing as much and my heart felt a lot stronger.  It was fun, I met friends, took photos and had a blast of a time.

This year will be third year, and I think I will finish the 5K with an even better timing than the last.  Of course, one must always aim for improvements.

So mark your calendars everyone.  November 20,2011.  Let’s all join the Bangkok Marathon.  Let’s have some “me” time and exercise!

Fear not that you won’t make it.  As a friend said the other day, “Once you start, you’ve gotta finish it.” I totally agree. No matter how long it takes, you will finish it.  Start little, start short distances if you are unsure.  5K is really not much at all. 🙂

Oh, here’s their website!  http://www.bkkmarathon.com/eng/index.php

Run. Run Properly

Believe it or not, I’ve been running regularly for over a year now. Compared to my very inactive lifestyle before, it still astonishes me when I think about it. Nevertheless, I am still not bored of running, and I don’t think I will ever give up running. There are always new challenges and something for me to focus on improving.

When I first started running, I had trouble breathing. I found myself wondering if I should breathe through my nose or my mouth. I gasped for air. Now I am focusing on how to ensure that I run properly. Just because I can run, doesn’t mean I am running properly. It is essential that I run properly to avoid unnecessarily injuring myself.

I noticed that when I ran, I was always “louder” than all the other runners next to me. I didn’t think much about it. I thought it was because I was “big” and so my weight on the treadmill was the reason for all that noise. Then one day, as I was running along and being quite proud of myself for having upped my speed and finishing my sets, I noticed the trainer standing behind me.

He stood there quietly behind my treadmill, watching the way I ran.

It was Sunday and the fitness was quite empty except for a few people. Some lifted weights, worked out on weights or were training their way on the elliptical machine. I was the only one running on the treadmill. It was easy to note where all the noise in the fitness was coming from.

After I had fully regained my breath, the trainer walked up to me and told me that there must be something going on with the way I ran. It was either my shoes or my running. It was definitely not my shoes, because they were wonderful running shoes. It wasn’t the treadmill breaking down because no one else had any problem running on it. It must therefore be my “running.”

I was running very small steps. It was more like running by walking. My legs were pounding on the treadmill in order to keep up with the fast pace. If I was running outside, it wouldn’t be so good for my knees. I decided change and take longer strides.

Common advice is to do the following when you run:

1. Make sure that your head and your neck are properly aligned and focus on the horizon. Make sure you keep your body straight with a strong core. Don’t keep staring at your feet. 2. Relax your shoulders and your arms. Don’t clench your hands and make sure your arms move forward and backward, not sideways.
3. When your feet hits the ground or the treadmill, it should be on the balls of your feet and then roll forward. The heels don’t touch the ground.

I’m not an expert and still learning how to run properly, but I want to make sure that we are all running properly together. We have to make sure that we don’t injure ourselves! 🙂

Below are some great articles on how to run properly. Runner’s world has lots of tips on running form 😀   Happy running!

 BBC Health

Runner’s World