analytical Q Search Journal Photos Contact
Journal Entries
Reaction to journal:
Your 16 Nov journal is one of the best readings I have enjoyed. So it has finally dawned upon you that it's the process, not the end, that counts. Just like a movie story, moviegoers wish to enjoy the progress of the movie plot. Just knowing of a comic or tragic end or a happy reunion is not enough at all.  As a toddler, you could easily trip and fall. Now you can jog along with those Europeans, if not running a race. Slow down, don't burn out. Your Dutch joggers can give you valuable enlightenments.

Bon Journal

Run for your life in Laren

I have always admired people who run or jog regularly, for they can do it whenever and wherever they like. I, on the other hand, have to rely on the peer pressure of an aerobics class or the monetary pressure of having joined an expensive health club to do my regular body conditioning.

I have never been good at running. My memories of trying to jog around the golf course near my childhood home in Okinawa are filled with that of my friends pushing me along. I have never quite understood how they were able to reach the end without running out of breath.

So it was with great reluctance that I got up early yesterday morning to run with a local Dutch group whose members are training for the marathon. I knew for sure that I would once again be embarrassed by my inability to keep up.

With much trepidation, I shook hands with other runners, aged between 35 and 65. The air was cold on this grey day, and the nine of us gently jogged along for 7 minutes into the fields of Laren, a flat area of the Netherlands, before forming a circle to do the warm-up exercises. We then broke into two groups: the 5 km and the 13 km run.

The coach Michel led the slow group. He immediately sensed that I was running too fast. Slow down, he said. You should be able to talk, say a few sentences without being out of breath. Talk? That, for me, was unheard of. Luckily, everyone else in the 5 km group slowed down for me so that I could say a few words.

There, Michel said, that's better. Running is about finding the right pace to get you to the end. It's not about being fast. It suddenly occurred to me that the race of life is also about reaching the end and not about trying to be the first one to get to there. That is also the philosophy of sustainable development -- not unlimited growth but getting there without breaking the earth or burning out before you get to the end.

If you don't find your ideal pace, you may risk burning out before you get to the end. That's what's been happening to me all these years in my attempts at running. I run too fast to keep up. I sprint and stop. It's like getting a car started. Too many starts and stops hiccup the car's ability to provide a smooth ride. And it wears out before long.

The coach also gave other pointers such as using my arms to help me run uphill. He suggested that I use my breathing to pace myself.

After an hour, we ended the 5 km run. I was jubilant! I have never run such a stretch without stopping before. And all it took was to find the right pace and to keep going. I was even able to carry out a conversation with the members of the slow group. I think there's hope yet for my first half-marathon!

16 November 2003 Sunday

For journal entries about "running" in the Bon Journal, search Bon Journal on analyticalQ or Bon Journal for "run".
Like this entry?
Your comments:
Your email address:
Recommend this page to a friend:
Your name:
Your email address:
Your friend(s):
 (please separate additional addresses with commas)
Your message:

Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.