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Posts from the ‘running’ Category

Organizing Your Thoughts (and Maintaining Your Creativity)


Being sleep deprived can really take its toll on our mental alertness.

Think about the time when you had to burn the midnight oil – catching up on those deadlines.

Somehow your brain just lost its ‘sponginess’ in the morning following the very late night (or too early morning).

And don’t even think that your favorite double shot espresso can work its same magic in that morning.

The caffeine will only add up the feeling of being ‘wired up’. You can get so ‘wired up’ that you feel like all your nerves in your head is just like an overly stretch elastic band – any additional ‘pull’ to stretch it will only break it.

Don’t despair. (Imagine your favorite jingle in the background with a crisp booming voice over advising the following solution to your (good) problem)

Clear headedness is the solution of the problem. And being calm too.

But how? Adrenaline has been flowing like crazy – you just feel like you can literally spread your wing and fly away there and then.

Introducing.. Endorphin.

Not only that it induces feeling of happiness, it also helps you think clearer (at least in my own experience). How clear? Well, do you get ideas or inspiration when you have your morning shower? Now, multiply that ‘clarity’ by 2 or 10 for that matter – depending on your level of endorphin.

[Before you get any idea of how I ‘generate’ this happy hormone into the system, let me scope down the process first. We will focus on getting the endorphin through intense endurance exercise requiring  cardiovascular fitness: running]

So.. What to do when you need to bring the sponginess back to your brain so that you can organize your thoughts and draw creative ideas from that ‘well of ideas’?

Lace up your running shoes.

Hit the road running. A good 5 km of run (or around 30 minutes) should do it!

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My day will not complete until I _______


end of today

Take your time. If possible, find your preferred quite space to ponder on what to fill in the blank…

I can think of  a list of possible answers.

Let’s take a stab at it.

My day will not complete until I have a solid quality time with my family.

My day will not complete until I sip my cup of double espresso.

My day will not complete until I run my daily mileage of 8 km.

My day will not complete until I wrap up one major task.

My day will not complete until I see the sweet smile of my loved ones.

My day will not complete until I play Angry Bird – Star Wars version.

My day will not complete until I say my gratitude to the Almighty.

My day will not complete until I can share an enlightening thought to lift up a ‘gloomy’ soul out there.

Please do share your thoughts. What completes your day?

 

Picture credit: flickr/rospix

The Awe Inspiring Experience (Why Do I Run?)


Picture this: Dawn. The sun is barely up in the sky, new light spreads slowly in the horizon showing crack of orange colored clouds. Cool tropical breeze touches  your face.

You are enjoying this splendid sight, feeling this refreshing chunk of ‘universe’ while you are putting your ‘will power’ to the test..

Will power to the test? Yep you heard (read) it right.

You barely had proper rest the night before and now you are drilling yourself for a quick 10km as part of your marathon prep.

The awe inspiring sight, sound and ‘feel’ plus the endorphin paid it off.

What Fuels Your ‘Fire’? (On Bali Relay Triathlon)


Me?

My fuel?

The cute little family.

Thank you Retti and Aslan..

My fuel

..and my inspiration.

On Running & Writing (A Virtuous Cycle)


When was the last time that you had a conversation with yourself?

A self-reflection (a word that stuck in my head from my correspondence with an acquaintance from my previous job).

This morning when I had my ‘dose’ of 7km run was the last time when I had that conversation / self-reflection.

Through self-reflection, it became clearer to me as to what goals that I strive to achieve – and most importantly the effective way to achieve it.

So there you go..

I have my own personal virtuous cycle:

Running (to reflect and think) >> Writing (to pour down all those thoughts ‘catalyzed’ through running)

How about reading? Socializing? Other activities?

Those are equally important activities; I’d just like to focus the scope of this particular writing to running and writing.

Well, to bring context, all other activities are synthesized into ‘thoughts’ percolated inside the head during the running session.

So lace up your shoes and prepare a water-proof keyboard to withstand the torrential rain pour from your perspiration (from the run) and also the pouring thoughts..

Picture credit: http://publishingperspectives.com

(For The Love of) Running – On Jakarta International 10K Race


How it started 

They say that love gives you wings.. so that you can ‘fly’.

I would say that love gave me more ‘energy’ than any carbo-loading possibly could provide. It packed more ‘fire’ to your calves and pumped extra ‘beats’ to your heart that an hour of run was like a walk in the park. Pardon me for a being a bit of melodramatic and hyperbolic when I talk (or write) about running and family at the same time.

The morning started very early.. From 4AM to be exact. Got my gear ready from the night before i.e. BIB, jersey, shoes etc. I learned the hard way from my 2nd 5K Race not to be late (again).

Alas, I sort of made the same mistake that morning. Since I was riding with a colleague to the running event, and this friend was actually also a novice to running race (he is quite fit, though) , he made my mistake of being (almost) late.

So I caught a ride with him and he sped through the road..

…from Serpong to Monas in less than an hour (it’s around 30km).

The adrenaline already kicked in..

The car was running no slower than 100 km per hour and during the ride my wife and son called me..

My two year old said “I ‘yove’ you” (he can’t pronounce ‘L’ until now.. but it sounded so cute).. That’s what I meant by the ‘fuzzy’ feeling at the beginning.

So there you go, with serotonin and adrenaline — at the same time —  as my breakfast, I joined my first 10K.

Jakarta International 10K.

Just 5 minutes away from 6.30AM, the starting time, we arrived and parked the car more or less 300 m from the starting line. We sprinted all the 300m to the starting line and joined the rest of the 30,000 over crowd of runners; sea of green.

Thanks to MILO (the title sponsor of this event), the shirt colored Jakarta green that morning..

Except for the elite runner who could wear their own jersey and the indorunners crowd who wore ‘funky’ and ethnic costume.

How it went

I saw many familiar faces (the familiar strangers) from the previous 5K races that I joined (Wintermar, Maserati and ISCI) — the young 20-to-30-something Jakartans and also expats. Yes, running is not actually a popular sports (yet) here in Jakarta and Indonesia, in general.

The second group people that I notice was the ‘cadet’ or ‘officers’ type — those guys with the crew-cut hair and army-like postures. I can safely say that this group made up half of the people that I saw during the race. Hahaha.. Go figure.

I kept reminding myself to run at my own pace in the first 5 minutes since (from my very short experience in 5k race) this is normally the time when — be it you are an elite runner or a Sunday runner — you will run at around 20km per hour. This is simply not sustainable pace for me. At least for the next 1 to 2 months 🙂

And.. Yep. I proved myself right. I ran past those crowds who sped through me; and that time, these guys were walking, catching their breath.. Well, guys, life is a lot like this long distance run. Know your resources (your body capacity) and run your journey. Sorry, I tend to be a hopeless philosopher as well when I talk about running.

The weather? It was a nice sunny Sunday morning.. Hmm.. come to think of it, it was a bit cloudy, rather.. However, since we were running due to South in the first 5K and going back to the North, you didn’t actually stare at the sun either on the first or second 5K.

The bitumen road is mostly flat, with a slight elevation during the first 5K (from 2km to 3km) and obviously the road back to Monas is the reverse..

But the highlight of the event is definitely the ‘show’ of costume by the runners from @indorunners. I can still recall one guy who wore a gladiator costume and pushed his wife on a wheelchair. Turned out that his wife was pregnant (At the time, I thought the wife was quadriplegic or something). Still a beautiful sight, though. There was another costume that caught my attention, this guy who wore oversize mask (it was an ‘ondel-ondel’ head) and wore ‘sarong’ instead of a running short. Hahaha.. Good one, mate 🙂

Oh.. and even a gorilla

The winners? The Kenyans. It took only 29 minutes for the 1st winner to run from Monas through Hotel Indonesia Roundabout and Sudirman (this is the first 5K route); and got back to the same route again to Monas.

Me?

Well… That was my warm-up race before the Triathlon Relay, next month in Bali.

Let it be a ‘suspense’ for now 🙂

Final thoughts

I know it’s a long shot..

Hmm.. Is it possible for us, Indonesians, to win our 10K race, at least at home, on our own turfs?

These days, when I start my morning run, my two year old Aslan always runs behind me (at least for 200 to 300 m) and tries to catch me.

Like an ending of a good Hollywood movie (with a sure sequel)..

I would say, “Watch out Kenyans”.

 

Picture credit: kompas.com, twitter picture from @indorunner

Why Do I Run?


for the love of my family..

Keep Up The Momentum


The ‘Hydra’ for today has been slashed with my light saber..

Energy level has dwindled somewhat..

Am also fighting the flu..

Hey, I still have my ‘mileage buildup’ to catch up.. I need to run for 45 mins tonight.

Going to catch  some of the motivational videos to amp up myself before the training.

 

Habit Keeps You Going


“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn.

Monday and Tuesday passed me by just like that.. I mean, I didn’t spend time writing this daily blog in the past two days. I am not trying to justify myself with my ‘busy-ness’. There should be no excuses. If it’s my priority to build my writing capability on a daily basis then writing this blog should be at the top of my daily to do list to be completed.

One more confession.. I haven’t been climbing the stairs (the usual twice a week 25-floors-climb) in the past two weeks. In my defense, I have been training for my 10K run instead.. Still, this should not be near to a good justification.

Just now, I have completed my stairs-climbing.. and I am writing this blog again. Boy, the two activities are way harder compared to the time when I was having the ‘momentum’.

So, as I quote from the mentor of Tony Robbins above, we just need to keep going by making the priorities as our habit. I did have a strong motivation in the beginning of the year.. Let there be no doubt about it. However, as the year unfolds, we tend to be swamped again by our ‘busy-ness’. This is exactly the time when you need to hold to the good habit.

Me and My Thoughts (When was the last time that you had a conversation with yourself?)


During my last running session (that’s the short answer to the question above).

That was the ‘usual’ time when I contemplated.

The conversation ranging from a ‘small talk’ to ‘in-depth discussion’ and even to a ‘lively debate’ (me vs myself).

I guess the so called ‘runners high’ (serotonin, dopamine etc) helps a lot to drive a healthy ‘conversation’ which usually brings refreshing ideas.

So, if you are in a dire need of a refreshing or brilliant idea, then simply lace up your running shoes and enjoy that ‘zen’ feeling (which usually hits when you reach 3 to 4 km’s) to get you in the zone.