Tag Archives: Running

07 in ’12: Starting

Today, I am filled with sadness.

I wish I knew the reason behind it, but I do not. All I know is that it’s something that’s been hanging over my head and last night was relatively sleepless because of it.

But I have never been one to wallow in the woes of my life – I think I stopped doing that the day I decided I will no longer hide behind my parents’ death. So let’s talk about something else in my life. Soon, I know my sorrow will pass.

So anyway.

As you all know, I follow several blogs too – finding inspiration from it, and, at times, using it as a springboard for my own entries. I was reading a post from The Positivity Blog (to read it too, click here) and I suddenly realized how simple and true the first tip was.

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Tip #1: The secret of getting ahead…

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

This is a very good tip and one of the best ones I have ever discovered and used to handle procrastination.

When you start to look too far into the future any task or project can seem close to impossible. And so you shut down because you become overwhelmed or fearful (of success or failure) and start surfing the internet aimlessly instead.

So instead, break that task into small and practical steps.

Then just focus on taking the first step today. That is all you need to focus on, nothing else. By taking the first step you change your mental state from resistant to “hey, I’m doing this, cool”. You put yourself in state where you become more positive and open, a state where you may not be enthusiastic about taking the next step after this first one but you are at least accepting it.

And so you can take the next step. And the next one after that.

Until you have arrived at your destination and completion.

* * *

Since my early twenties, I have perpetually been in the state of trying to lose weight. I’m always “trying” because I never actually lost all the weight I wanted to lose. In the many, many years that I have been “trying”, I have come to realize that nothing really beats hard work and a healthy diet.

I have also come to realize that there is no denying that I am an extremely impatient person. When I do something, I want the results to be immediate. Admittedly, has led to countless discontinued diets or workouts. Every single day, after doing something relatively strenuous, I cannot resist stepping on a scale and checking my weight. And then when I see that my weight has not changed, I lose interest because I feel it is not effective. Did I ever consider the fact that it might be too soon to see the difference? No. That’s how impatient I am.

Last year, I decided to start running. Or, to be more accurate, Brian finally convinced me to join him during his runs. So I did – I mean, I whined, bitched and complained along the way, but I still did it. In October of 2010, I ran 12 times and was able to cover a total distance of 48.2k. For a beginner, I was rather disciplined – I never let more than 3 days pass without running again.

Then October ended.

The following month, despite being able to run longer distances, I only covered a total distance of 11.1k. That was because I only ran twice in November – once on the 8th and then again on the 16th. And then I got really “busy” (lazy) and started justifying (making up excuses) why I wasn’t running as much as I used to.

The the time I decided to run again, it was December 30th. During the last 2 days of the year, I desperately tried to reach 5k on a single run, but I had let myself go and just couldn’t get back to it.

At this point, you might be wondering why I keep talking about running and losing weight when I started out with Mark Twain. The thing is, I realized two very important things towards the end of last year.

First, that I was running for the wrong reason. I ran because I wanted to lose weight. It was exactly the same way when I was going to the gym – I kept working out because I wanted to get thinner. And when I did, I couldn’t bring myself to continue working out. At one point, I read somewhere that if you’re going to run, don’t run for weight loss. Run for fitness, because fitness is a lifestyle. I totally get that now.

Second, I took on too much, too soon. Sometimes, I really have to take things one step at a time. When you take on too much, everything becomes overwhelming. It starts to look daunting, which leads you to question your ability to do it. And there starts your downward spiral to despair. I’ve been there many, many times and I’m telling you, it’s not somewhere you would want to be.

Now I honestly want to say that I’m running for fitness, but I can’t. I’m not sure if I’m there yet. But I do know I’m on my way.

I used fatigue from work as one of the more common excuses for not running. I get home at past 7 o’clock in the evening on a normal work day. When I get home, the only thing I can bring myself to do is collapse on my bed. After explaining this to him for the hundredth time, Brian told me to put on my shoes and take a walk anyway. “If after 5 minutes, you still feel tired, that means your body’s really not up to it. Go home and rest.”

These days, I begin every run with that thought in mind: “Five minutes”. For the last couple of times, by the time five minutes have passed, I realized that I’ve been running for the last two.

At the end of the day, it really is about the little things. It really is about the first step.

If you want to become someone… If you want to do something… The first thing you have to do is Start.

Ciao Bella!


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The Runner in Me (84/365)

After being successfully able to run multiple days a week, I finally picked up some of Brian’s running magazines.  It did, after all, pay off.  I’ve found a lot of tips and techniques… and I figured it was something worth sharing.  So here’s a couple of interesting tidbits you might be interested in.

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On How to Start (Taking you through your first three weeks of running)

First-run horror stories are common, but avoidable.  “Starting or returning to a sport is going to be a little uncomfortable because you’re not conditioned to it,” says coach Greg McMillan.  Having been a runner before or being fit doesn’t exempt you from this reality.  Elizabeth Hufton, 29, who recently returned to running after after more than a year out, says, “At first my legs gave out with a few minutes’ jogging.  I’d cross=trained, but it was a shock to find how much running fitness I’d lost.”

Minimise discomfort by taking walk breaks and keeping your pace slow.  Use the following guidelines to map running a positive experience.

TIP #1: Walk First

Start with three 30-minute walk a week for two to three weeks.

TIP #2: Then Run/Walk

Interspersing walk breaks into your running lets you catch your breath and protects your joints and muscles.  “Even if you’ve run before, and especially is you’re returning from an injury, walk breaks are smart,” says top coach Jeff Galloway.

TIP #3: Go for Time Over Distance

Runner love ticking off the miles, but don’t worry about that at first.  Running by time de-emphasizes pace, and allows you to adjust to how you feel that day.

TIP #4: Tap the Power of Three

“People who do not run regularly are more likely to quit,” says Galloway.  Run three days a week: you can only achieve running fitness if you do it consistently.

TIP #5: Get to the Ninth Run

The end of the third week is the turning point for many new and returning runners.  “Your metabolism’s changed, you’ve got more energy, you’ve probably improved your diet – everything starts happening for you,” says Anderson.  “But you start to feel unfulfilled, so you need a new target.”

TIP #6: Endurance Over Speed

Fast running puts a greater demand on your muscles, connective tissues and cardiovascular system than jogging.  Build to 30 continuous minutes before you work on speed.

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Running, right now, is something I do because of vanity.  One day, I know it will become a habit.  And then, hopefully, a lifestyle.  It’s not easy, but it’s possible.  But I do need all the help I can get.

Hopefully, you got something out of this, too.

Ciao Bella!

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Seriously?! Seriously. (78/365)

So you know I’ve been going running, right?  I’m still waiting for it to become a lifestyle – like how it’s become for Brian – in the hopes that would make it easier for me to do it on a regular basis (and without much prodding).  I never really thought I would have it in me to be the running type (just like more than a year and a half ago I never really thought of myself as the gym-going type… It’s almost funny how frequently wrong about things like these) and the first time I reached my first 3 kilometers, I wanted to faint.  These days, I run an average of 4 kilometers – almost 5 on a good day.  Hopefully, it doesn’t stop.  This is the cheapest form of exercise I can manage – and with the budget I work with, I need all the help I can get.

One thing I did realize is that running, for me, is a solitary activity.  It’s one of those very few things that benefit me most when done alone.  It really does clear my head – much like yoga (speaking of which, I really do miss doing yoga).  I’ve even figured out which songs light a fire beneath my feet:

  • You Can’t Stop the Beat, Hairspray
  • Valerie, Glee
  • Born this Way, Glee


I got around to finally downloading a good copy of Mamma Mia! and I’ve been watching it since I came back.  I’ve always loved this movie – I watched it twice or thrice in the theatre, I think.  It’s such a “girl friends” movie – comparative to how Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was such as “sisters” movie.  Mamma Mia, however, does call to mind a couple of statements to mind whenever I watch it

  • “Like mother like daughter”
  • “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” (and yes, when this popped in my head, I was thinking of the crazy gene)

Then there’s that awesome segment when Dancing Queen was performed and I couldn’t help thinking that I could totally see myself in that same number, dancing to the same song… and so many of the other performers would be gay.  Gay friends and the best kind.  Ever.

So there.

Blessed Be…

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Because I Can’t Let It Go (77/365)

Still watching One Tree Hill season 1.

Brooke got Lucas drunk and they ended up making out in an alley somewhere.  And then he comes home with a tattoo (the chinese symbol for “fun”).

God, Lucas is an idiot.

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On a rather unrelated note…

I’m  starting a new series – NBC’s Grimm.  Like Once Upon a Time, the show is loosely based on various characters found in fairytales.  Once Upon a Time, however, takes on a more magical, Charmed feel, while Grimm is something of an action, Buffy the Vampire Slayer thing.  Both have proven to be interesting.

Grimm begins its first episode with a girl going out for a run (and I’m taking this as a sign that I should go jogging today.  Due to recent events, I’ve missed out on one).  I had a rather strange moment, finding myself thinking that the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams would be a good song to run to.  Anyway, so this girl goes running on a trail in the woods.  Somewhere along the way, she notices a little figurine on a piece of fallen wood (it looked like Gretel, if you ask me).  She stops and picks it up and then suddenly this black furry blur comes out of nowhere and drags her off-screen.  We then hear her screams and, at this point, it would be appropriate to assume that she was dead.

Now Buffy the Vampire Slayer held my interest for so many years – up until that very, very disappointing finale – so it’s very possible that I may get hooked on this show.  Imagine CSI crossed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Nicholas Brandon as a comic relief.

I guess, for now, it’s wait and see for me.


Blessed Be…

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