Tag Archives: running

What I think about and don’t think about when I am running

running agains the sun

So I was writing an article for most of the morning. I wanted to have it done by the end of the day, nicely! But I was a bit stuck.

At one point, I glanced down to my belly. There seemed to have an extra layer of fat, compared with the last time I had checked. (Oh well, my boyfriend is a very good cook.)

Anyway, I decided to go for a run. I could do with clearing my mind and coming up with something punchy for the article, while getting the belly back under control.

So at 5pm, I was out of  my house and started to run.

Oaw! The park is packed with people. 

Some are lying flat on the grass reading a book. Others are having a BBQ. Then… a few pretty girls and their plentiful picnic.

I could have been any of those chilling people. 

I live so close to this park that I can even bring a blanket to sit on and a cold beer to sip through slowly. But no, no, no! I’ve chosen to work my arse out on concrete paths.


phuzz…phuzz…phezz…phezz… (that’s how I breathe, sorry)

Stop checking me out so obviously, guys!

It’s hard enough running in this heat under this bright sun. I don’t need the ticklish feeling of being watched. You guys have never seen a girl running? Oh well, there is the first time for everything.

Seriously, this is the third time I run past you. And you in orange. And you pretending to do weights. Cut it off.

whiz…whiz…phiz…phiz…(I also breathe like this)

Right, I am leaving you – the picnic gang and the people watchers. I am heading out for the canal.


Man, it’s hot.

I should have been a smart arse and ran in the morning instead. It was cool this morning. And I know for a fact that it was quiet.

But well, I have done this before, I’ll do it again.

Remember that time when I ran with that group of friends on a super sunny day in Hanoi? It must have been at least 35 degree without a single cloud. I overtook all the boys, and the rest. In hindsight, they should use less of those motorbikes and more of their feet.

Anyway, I should stop judging and bragging – like, right now!


Seriously, that little motivation from the Hanoi’s story does not last.

The heat is playing it tough. I need water. Why do I stray so far from the inner park where the water tap stands? It seems like I have been making a series of bad decisions here.

Right, I am going back. I can make it back to the water source!


Oh, somebody is working out on my path. Maybe I act nice and run around on the ground instead.

Ocha! A damn hole. My left foot again. I am just about to recover from having twisted my left ankle in Berlin two weeks ago (again, I was not drunk).

The cute guy is running over to check if I am okie. Back off, boy! Have you not done enough damage?

Man, it hurts. I am not making it to the water, am I?


Right, I admit. I might have sworn  a few times there and then.


I am picking up the speed, though the sun is damn shining.

I will be so tan after this.

Mum will not be happy. “You are getting married in like a year. You should look white and shiny for the photos,”  She would say.

Nah, I am just being mean to my ma in my head. Sorry, mother. I tend to be meaner when I am tired.


The tap, finally! Water – My Precious!

So I am back, guy in orange and girls with the picnic basket. Oh, this guy overtaking me is new, and fast. But it is okie. I am not in race.

Keep breathing, girl.


Oh, I like this song.

And you are right, U2 – It’s a beautiful day.

And now I am in the shade. It’s not so bad after all. And the guy in orange seems okie actually. Even the new guy. He overtakes me again. Quite a bit shorter of a lap. But it’s also okie. Maybe one day, I will run as fast. Maybe not.


You know what? V-day has finally come! The day I enjoy the actual run, not just the feeling that comes after the shower. How weird is it? I thought it would never get better. But it finally does.

My good old iPod just shuffles into Happy. First time I run to this famous Pharrell Williams’ track. I found it suggested on a runner’s website.

Man, it’s great! 

If you saw a girl clapping her hand and running at the same time earlier today, you must have seen me.

Because it’s what happiness feels like.

I stopped to go home when RunKeeper showed 8.2 km – just above the target I set two months ago. RunKeeper must be pleased.

I got into the shower and realised that I have totally forgotten to plan the article. But look, I’ve learnt some other solid truth:

  • Running will get easier, even if it does not seem so at all, on the first day or the hundredth day.
  • Some people run fast. Some people run slowly. Some do not run at all. It’s a choice to be made, not one to be judged.
  • Stay positive, stay happy then you will make it to the next step. Put your Happy cap on, folks!


A letter to Miki

Dear Miki, 

I decide I will pick up running seriously as my new personal challenge: twice a week till I get really fit, and more importantly get rid of the belly you have pointed out. Probably you would ask about my reasons. Well,

Partly it seems easier to run in colder weather. Running here is nothing like when I joined you in that 5-hour mainly-jogging-plus-some-running session around West Lake in that scorching afternoon of April in Hanoi. It was hardcore.

Parks here are also quieter –which means it is more pleasant to run around and less embarrassing to pant like hell. Sadly, there is no fried egg with wormwood leaves (our “trứng ngải cứu”). I miss the one we shared in Lenin Park the other day. It was a nice day for a nice jog, was it not?

The main reason should probably be that it is time for me to stop idling around and get some real targets. Miki ah, it is scary sometimes not seeing what is coming. Everybody knows whatever will be will be, but it is not easy to not see where to aim in my walk through life. So I will run then, for a change. Sound more fun anyway, don’t you think?

Just so that you know – I have been missing you!