What does it take to run..?

When most of my friends heard that I took up running, some were very surprised (Armin Baniaz running??!!!), some never believed but those that were indifferent, will tell me how much they admire the fact that I am so fit to run (yaya.. this being polite thingy does not work here…). Really and honestly, I am not fit nor was I ever an athlete. Infact, I have never played any sports, exercise and never thought of running. As many would know, half my teenage life … was spend in hospitals and all my working life.. in meetings and office! Of all the people… if I can run marathon.. anybody can run.. yes, if they wanted to.

A good friend of mine, who is also my IT advisor, Sayf, once told me that he runs after women.. and runs after money… and definitely runs away from problems.. but will never run for nothing.. ie marathon.

I woke up late this morning and could not go to my usual running place at the Kiara Hills (next to Taman Tun Dr Ismail) so I ran surrounding my neighbourhood at Penchala where I stayed. I planned a slow jog to sweat, considering I did not have enough sleep last night reading chedet.com and Raja Petra Malaysia-today.net till morning. My slow jog did not start well when I did an almost at 100% max Heart Rate intensive running being chased by 6 stray dogs. There were only a puppy and its mother at the corner 10 minutes away from my house. I jog slowly minding my own business. I have never been a great fan of dogs and choose to ignore them until the tiniest puppy start barking endlessly. Suddenly, the whole family of stray dogs, 6 of them, appeared out of nowhere and started barking. I did not want to wait till the whole bunch chased me and immediately pace-up my jog speed to sprinting mode. The stupid dogs chased me! Obviously the dogs ran faster than me and my heart pumped like a V12 turbo engine. I ran for at least 8 minutes with the dogs continued to chase me. I think they were really laughing rather than barking having fun looking at me freaking out. When they were tired chasing me (hah.. looks like I have better stamina after all..), they stopped and turned back. Dogs…..

Getting a good running track to train is difficult. I used to run from my old house in Kelana Jaya all the way to work at Damansara Perdana. I started my run daily at 6:30am along the roadside in SS3 to SS2 and across Damansara Jaya before having to take the LDP highway to the Curve. The distance is slightly more than 10km. My driver will wait for me at the Fitness First gym @ the Curve with my working attire where I would shower and change to be at work by 9am. This works well although my bro Simon (Singapore) called me stupid having to run to work whilst my driver enjoy the luxury car but I had fun until I moved house to Penchala. My new house in Penchala is only 5 minutes away from my office and running to my office is too short a distant. Kiara Hill became my training track. Kiara Hill is a tough running track given the hilly terrain but the track in the jungle makes it a perfect place for a peaceful jog. Peace with the morning breeze, trees, birds and away from the pollution but hey… Monkeys are the permanent residents there. Goodness, similar to the stray dogs, they seem harmless but yes, once I got chased by the monkeys too.

Having to wake up in the morning daily at least at 6am to start running before going for work is another story. What is more important than the actual training, exercise schedule or discipline, commitment and time to run is to have the right spirit and willpower. When you have the right spirit, being chased by dogs and monkeys became a routine way to make your run faster. With strong willpower, you will find the time to run and to withstand the rain, hot sun and the hectic work schedule. When you can self aspire yourself to be in the right spirit and build a strong willpower, then you will find any training schedule to be helpful. The commitment and discipline is a default result from the spirit and willpower to run but HOW to get the right spirit and willpower? For a start, running increases cardiovascular strength. If anybody should have a reason to run.. it should be for better health (once you lost it, then you will regret it) but if it is not good enough a reason, then running is the best way to burn fat and lost weight… hence beauty!

If good look and health cannot be a good justification, then equate running with sex.. if you can complete marathon in 5-6 hours.. imagine how many hours you can have sex!!

But if even sex cannot justify for you to start running…. Then you will be better off NOT living!!!! :-p


  1. Lesson on Dog behavior:

    1) Dogs, since their ancestors, are naturally predatory creatures. That means, it's in their instinct to chase any fast moving object (i.e. cars, bikes, cloth/rag, plastic bag, rabbit, running cat, sprinting Armin)

    2) City dogs, especially the strays generally have an inferiority complex. If they sense that others are weaker than them, they may be tempted to “bully”… (Think: humans with inferiority complex and how they treat others who seem weaker than themselves)

    3) Why strays chase people. Most don’t chase to attack. They don’t chase out of anger or to harm. They most probably chase to play and have fun (think: playing ‘Catching’, the childhood game). Every time they chase something, and it moves faster away from them, the dogs probably think “cool, this fun” (think: a child chasing butterflies/ birds/ the neighbor’s cat)

    4) Solution:

    (a) DON’T react to their barks, or their advances towards you. DO slowdown to a confident walk. Walk tall and with some air of arrogance. You’re better than them. Think, feel and act composed. No need to even look at them… just look straight ahead.

    (b) If the dogs wanna take a chance and get within a radius of 3 meters from you, then do this:

    > (b1) Stop, turn and face them squarely, then glare straight into their eyes, at their brains. If it’s a group of dogs, choose the one who looks like the boss or the bravest.

    > (b2) Imagine a powerful energy (i.e. flame like in Jap animae) grow within you, rising above your shoulders. By then, the dogs should sense that you’re no fun and start backing off.

    > (b3) You can tell if they’ve hesitate or have changed their minds by looking at their ears and tails. Both will be less perked up and will drop. If dogs turn away from you means that they’re uncomfortable with the situation. Means that you’re winning the “energy-challenge”!! Hooray!

    (c) Continue walking confidently until they’re about 10m behind you and you’re safe to continue whatever you were doing.

    Warning: Running away from dogs will create potential dangers upon yourself. Dogs can out run humans if they wish to. Just use the methods above they work almost all the time :)



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