A Breath of Fresh Air

It's December.

The season of flu and respiratory illness, amidst a jingling wintry feel of the Christmas festivity...one would think it wise to choose a better way to unwind instead of the usual holiday destinations like Genting, or Singapore, or anywhere that's heavily populated. Is there such a place? The problem is, if you can think of it, others would have thought of it as well. Face it, the world is just too darn cram!  

I have opted to stay put in Penang. Taking a few days off from 22 til 25 Dec. And do nothing for a change. I remember last year's Singapore trip that had us elbowing and squeezing our way through Orchard road's massive crowd. We were lucky to make it out alive without being squashed. I had to resort to carrying my daughter on my shoulders most of the time. It was not very "festive" at all. More like a stampede waiting to unfold. 

So, lesson learned. Wising up to the idea that time spent at home is way better than braving the crowd and getting totally exhausted in the end. And I have just the perfect way to unwind.... 


Been initiated into the purportedly esoteric crowd of Trail runners. And Penang has it's own interesting trails to keep me well occupied. Assuming that the world doesn't come to an abrupt end on 21 Dec 2012, I would be happy trailing along in my new Asics FujiRacer.....

As a train up also for January's Vibram HK 100km, I would be training in the unlikeliest place of all, my own home. Yes, with 33 stories of staircase and up to 660+ steps, it is a fair training ground for HK100. Well, if I get bored of that, there's always Penang Hill, definitely next on my to-do-list during my Dec break. 

And yes, no more treadmill. After my Osaka ordeal, I have an unexplained aversion to that machine, albeit it's faithful companionship through out the year. Well, it was good while it last, but it's just not going to work out, babe!

It's nice to just run and enjoy the work out with no target in mind. No set pace. Not even a set end point. Just run. And when you are tired, just slow down or rest. No pressure of performance. No weekly mileage to think about. For many moons, in my hot pursuit of that elusive sub 3, I have long forgotten how that feels. And dare I say, it feels so good! It is just so liberating to be reconnected once again to the pure joy of running. Isn't that the very reason we run?

And this month will be devoted to just that. 


  1. Well said Francis. Sometime we (more like myself) put too much emphasis on certain training targets and goals that it takes away the simple joys of why we really run in the first place.

    And the trails in Penang looks mighty tempting t try :D

    1. Nick, it would be great if you could join us! I bet that GoTrail of yours is dying to go for a run....:)


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