Thursday, February 16, 2006

Race against the worldly...

I huffed...
and I puffed...
and almost spilled my lungs out!


Just came back from a run KL invited me to join in.
It was a weekly Thursday affair organised by RunningLab (a retail outlet at Funan Centre catering to every runner's needs!) and local running-enthusiast-group SG Runners.

***

Today, Nike Singapore came to offer some of their latest running-specific models for us to try out on the road. F.O.C. plus a range of about 4-5 different models catering to various persons feet-specifications; both for the ladies and men. That was one of the incentives for me personally. For you see, I have not been hitting the road/track/trail regularly enough. I knew that the 10km-route to be covered that evening was not to be taken lightly.

So I thought giving this a shot might help rekindle those athletic aspirations I once had :p
School(almost expectedly) schedule is the reason for this season of sedentry or "nua-ness" (btw I believe "nua" in Hokkien means: "liquify", also refers to "saliva", but used in my context it means to "slack-off physically".) These days, I only manage short jog/runs lasting no more than 30mins, roughly twice a week. That seems to be the bare minimum for maintaining some form of fitness that I once had during N.S. (Not fantastic but to me, it's a milestone already!)

And so we gathered at this wide open pavement, along the SG-river (opposite some nice-looking restaurants like Riciotti and Just Steak). There, the whole lot of about 40 runners were led through a comprehensive warm-up session. I found out from another fellow senior SG Runner that he appreciates the warm-up leader's efforts. "Very good stretching and best thing is that we don't need to sit on the ground too!" he quipped heartily.

***

We took off towards the Esplanade park, passing Clarke Quay, Empress Place(where the A.C.M is now, with VCH nearby), Cavenah and Anderson Bridge along the way. We make a right at the Esplande Bridge, taking the broad walkway beneath the bridge, and towards the Esplanade Theatre. Going past the numerous strolling couples and dinner crowds in the restaurants alongside, I couldn't help but wonder who was more envious of the two parties - I'd love to be having dinner just there and then but perhaps the diners were wishing they could have more exercise in their lives too. hoho...

At almost 2km, we "charge" into the coastal grounds known as Marina Promenade. As I passed beneath the Sheares bridge flyover, I felt a tinge of doubt; questioning whether I cound actually make it back on my own two feet, running!

Anyway, to spare you the excess commentry, at the 5km turning-point, Kallang MRT was no more than 200m away. As we made the U-turn, the sheer thought of having to cover that much distance back to finish was almost crippling,psychologically. This was mainly because of a growing ache in my lower abdomen that, up to this point, had been not subsiding at all. The other mind-block had to do with the memory of my freak lung puncture back in 2000.

Now, every stride I took was becoming shorter.I tried hard to regulate my breathing but the ache in the belly wouldn't go. KL called out to me as he noticed me lagging behind. I waved him forward, asking him to go on first since he still showed no signs of tiring. Then in a brotherly-gesture, he slowed down his pace to match mine, constantly urging me to keep going. I appreciated his timely encouragement and convinced myself that I was going to hang in there despite that tummy-cramp.

With his motivation, we made it back in about 53mins. That works out to be 5min18sec per km.
Later, we retrieved our bags from Running Lab, freshened-up and went to nearby Circular Road(i think) coffee-shop for dinner. Fellow SG runner commented over dinner that "today's pace offered a reasonably good workout". I certain agreed; recalling how I much better I felt after the finish - once I caught my breath and cooled down.

***

As I reflected on the run later...
I realised how it parallels one's walk with God.

The physical strains to keep oneself moving forwards is akin to the Bible-study and Quiet-time in the process of spiritual growth.
When fatigue sets in later in the run, words of encouragement are priceless towards helping one reach the finish-line. And likewise when various challenges threathen to dampen one's spiritual-life, there is nothing like being prayed for by fellow Brothers & Sisters; to affirm each other in Christ.

Patience is of upmost importance especially in long-distance runs.
A SG Runner commented, "Young people generally don't have the patience to run marathons. That's why you notice mainly middle-aged people participating in them. Bcs they have the patience to run 4-5hrs on the road". If one starts off too quick a pace than necessary, the irregular rhythm and cramps that results later nullifies any initial advantage gained.
And in our relationship with God, we should not be preoccupied with trying to make God tangible to us. Just as every relationship requires time and devotion, let us instead seek to build ours' based on the fundamental truth that "God loves us"; reciprocrating His love in earnest prayer, worship and ministry. With that, may we come to realise that God's been with us all this while.

***

Perhaps...
The race, of life, is in fact against oneself.
Search your heart. Only when you find the pace that works best for you; will you truly find contentment and enjoyment with every stride you take.

***

A Big "Thank You" to KL
-for it was he who helped me with my leap of faith .
6 months and counting now :)

"And let us consider how we may consider to spur one another on toward love and good deeds" Hebrews 10:24

5 comments:

joline said...

I read this bit (from "Heaven is so Real") about how the author was reminded of this verse... I think we're familiar with it, but oh how it speaks everytime!

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who
earnestly seek Him" (Heb 11:6)

Oh and guess what. I read this bit about aborted babies. Jesus safekeeps them in heaven but He's so grieved by abortion, abortion that is so rampant in countries like the United States. I can't wait to lend this book to you! Maybe you'll have more freedom and time during the hols to read it through.

weirong said...

*inspired*
In all circumstances, hold on to God we must!
*mustard seed sprouting*

***
Hmm, tt's quite startling thought(abt tt abortion bit) indeed!

I'd love to have a read when u've enjoyed it to the last page~
:o)

chelsea5manutd0 said...

oh dear.
i thought "nua" means "good." so "nua beng" means good soldier.

anyway, glad u finished & enjoyed the run...& u persevered thru! I think 53 min is really fast. I can run 1 km in 4 min 55 sec but can only do that for 2.5 km after that cannot take it liao - and that's on treadmill.

i admire u for ur talents in sports, art & design, music, computer, interpersonal skills...in fact u r multi-talented in so many areas.

weirong said...

to eugene
I think in school now, there is no time to "nua" man! >.<
*Thinks of more predictable army-life-days* lol..

***

Thank you for your compliments, though think i'm only a nivice in most of those "talents".. >.<

joline said...

http://www.threadless.com/submission/70513/Love_is_Peanut_Butter_&_Jelly

(hee)