Run to Tasek Lama, 28 Nov ’13

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Chatty Stadium Run, 26 Nov ’13

I caught up with a friend over a chatty run in the stadium area today, particularly around the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

I would describe it as very flat and easy with loads of people, and not to mention, CARS. I felt like I was breathing in tons of pollution. You could really smell the petrol in the air. Otherwise, it was a pleasant place to run with plenty of other runners and walkers.

I find it extraordinary that in Brunei people try extremely hard to feign ignorance at your presence. Nobody says hi or smiles to anybody else, and this applies when you are on a lonely trail. I say hello, and the other human gets a heart attack. Such a friendly atmosphere! In the case of running, I suppose the presence of such people is a good motivation in itself… If they’re overweight, thrash them. If they’re faster, then work till you’re at a level where you can thrash them. Work, work, work.

(I want running friends, stop ignoring me and smile back! You sadden me, Brunei!)

Also left my Garmin at home today, so no stats! I thought I might’ve felt lost running without my trusty Garmin. I mean, who doesn’t love all that nerdy data? On the contrary, I felt good. For once, my planned ‘easy run’ was an actual easy run. I felt no pressure to press on harder, go faster, go further, go longer. Felt so free from my annoying self-bullying inner being. If you run with a gadget, you might want to give this a try sometime! Leave your gadget at home when you plan to go for an easy run, plus, you might want to go someplace where you haven’t previously measured before. Might help you take your mind off comparing how you did since that last time…

Here’s a dramatic photo of the sky after my run, for your viewing pleasure.

 

Happy training,

Brunei Runner. x

Tasek Lama Brisk Hill Walk, 24 Nov ’13

It’s quite easy to get lost at the Tasek trails. I think I need to go there another few more times before I stop getting lost! If you’re planning to go try out the long Tasek trails yourself, please try to start early to avoid getting caught out in the dark. It starts to get pretty creepy around ten to six. Next thing you know you’re out there in the jungle in pitch black. Unless you love being out there in the dark, and would like to take the expression “being at one with nature” to an extreme level, you DO NOT want this to happen to you! Another thing to note – don’t fully trust those maps you find along the paths. There will be points along the route (not indicated on this map) where the path divides. GPS does not help either because those routes aren’t specified on Google Maps. I believe the one obvious thing you could do is to just try out the trails and familiarise yourself with the route. Start early (around four would give you two hours) and don’t get disheartened when you get lost – you can see from the map below that I got lost today too, stopping and tracing back my steps to where the path last divided. You can kind of tell where the path is just by the presence of people walking along it. This is not a fail-safe way to know the route though! People do use alternative paths! Also, I would suggest bringing company with you. In the case of failure, you can take relief in the fact that someone else is there with you (also, failing with you)!

Anyway, I had a wonderful time killing my legs on those hills today and I hope you would too when you go there yourself. Just think of the beautiful legs you will have once you’ve done it (about ten or thirty times – don’t kid yourself, you need to work to have beautiful legs).

Stop getting fat and work.

Brunei Runner. x

The Mysterious Insect

I got stung yesterday just behind my knee in the middle of Jalan Menteri Besar Recreation Park. It felt like a massive splinter and I swelled up a bit around the stung area. Have no idea what it could’ve been because I didn’t see what it was. Never went to the doctor’s either. If I die at some point this week, the mysterious insect could be the cause.

Off to Tasek in a bit.

p.s. Also contemplating whether I should start posting my run details. I’ll feel like I need to do extra well at every run if I do this. Nobody likes a loser. But then again, everyone loves comparing themselves to a loser..

Love, Brunei Runner. x

The Magical Treadmill

So I went to a gym today for the first time in about six months. I don’t remember ever having a magic time on a treadmill. Ever. And in case you’re thinking it, no, I absolutely did not experience a runner’s high on the machine today. How sad would that be?! My first runner’s high on a treadmill. That would be embarrassing. Mortifying. No, even if I did, I would refuse to admit it. I imagine my first runner’s high to be a wonderful experience set in the most extraordinary setting. I would be running on a beautiful woodland trail by a river. The snow would be falling gently, and I certainly wouldn’t be tripping over anything at all throughout the course of this wondrous event… Enough on this.

I suspect the marvellous feeling today might have been brought about by the change in running conditions. Goodness, I forgot how easy running on a machine is! No inclines (unless specified, of course), no obstacles, no change in direction, no opposing wind force… I don’t even have to think about what I’m doing! I suppose the only complaint I have is that the maximum limit on the pace was 6:00 min/km (10 kph), which I thought was pretty odd? I’m positive all treadmills I’ve previously used have gone faster than this.

I guess from now on I’ll think of treadmill running as a treat after a difficult week. No pain, no gain. But if you’ve been working hard all week, what’s a pleasant, (relatively) slow-paced, easy run where you can fool yourself into thinking you’re such an amazing runner getting down all these miles like you’re nobody’s business. Life is sweet when you have access to a magical treadmill.

Brunei Runner. xxx

Oh, hello blog!

A bit of background and reasons why I started this.

I just moved to Brunei six weeks ago and was excited to start running here. First thing that was on my mind was to find a running buddy or group that I could go with to familiarise myself with places that were good to run. After googling and asking around about runners clubs/groups, I quickly realised information about them weren’t exactly accessible by the general public. There were no websites, no facebook groups… A quick search on Garmin Connect turned up absolutely nothing. meetup.com only listed one event/activity which would consist, apparently, of geeks doing geeky technology things like debating, hacking and copyright piracy, or whatever they do that’s legal in Brunei but illegal elsewhere. I asked a friend whom I knew ran himself and he recommended some roads you could run along. I mean, roads?! Seriously, with all the beautiful nature you can find in Brunei the best place to go running is along the roads. Like shut up, please.

So I set out, forever alone as usual, to places I knew and have heard to be popular spots for running (or jogging, as many seem to adore calling it here). To name the places – Tasek Lama, Jalan Menteri Besar Recreation Park (JMBRP), and just today, Shahbandar. Tasek and Shahbandar, I absolutely adore! They have some great trails with loads of cute monkeys. I got chased by a cheeky monkey today because I meowed at it. That’s never happened before, and I’m really unsure as to whether monkeys are dangerous creatures? When I waved it away, it stopped and watched me continue on my way. JMBRP is quite the disappointment. Good enough if you want to do laps of that wonderful concrete. Laps and laps and more laps! Because it’s only 1.5 km and life isn’t short at all. I suppose that’s where roadsides come in..

I suppose you can tell what direction this blog is going to take from this point on. The blog title is pretty self-explanatory. I hope to be as informative as possible, but we’ll see about that.

If you are a frustrated runner in Brunei yourself and looking for running buddies or even just information, I would love to hear from you! If you’re a happy, satisfied runner in Brunei, I wouldn’t mind hearing from you either.
Thanks for reading,

Brunei Runner. x