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How I Began Jogging by Peter Kuan

It all started when one fine day, I found out that even though I am still in my mid-forties, my waistline was getting bigger by the year and my weight was 91.5 kg . Also I met a friend who is in his 50s and has completed his first marathon. He encouraged me to take up jogging but as usual I mentioned about my weak knees. He put my fear to rest as he mentioned that when he took up jogging a year ago, his knees not only strengthened but there was no more pain. This started the jogging bug in me. So I met up with him in Bukit Jalil and started jogging. However my legs were full of cramps over the week and also the next and I was skeptical again.

One of my office colleagues linked me to Jamie Pang of Runners Malaysia to learn the right technique of jogging. So there I was with my son one fine Saturday morning on 27 May, 2006 in Bukit Aman Car park and Jamie was there to welcome the five of us newcomers to the Beginnersí running programme. He went through the warming up exercises and the jogging route.

Then off we went and I must say that it was done at a leisure pace and it was an experience to be with first timers and also past runners who wanted to learn the correct technique of running. The first run with Jamie was without any pressure and I must say that he actually ran back and forth to check on all of us. What dedication!

As this was my first proper run with the sifu, I was taking it easy and must admit that I was out of breath. So I was jogging and walking along the way. After the run we learn how to loosen our muscles and cool down. He noted our shoes and jogging apparels and explained the type of shoes and best jogging wear. He also advised us to jog on our own at least twice during the weekday to build up our stamina.

So I made a commitment to give this jogging thing a go and do my own jogging every Tues. and Thurs. at Tasik Perdana after work. It was difficult at first to jog alone but then I felt motivated when there are also other joggers along the way. Very soon I started feeling good as I was gaining stamina and discovered that I was also losing weight. Every Sat. I will join Jamie or Wan Yew Leong at Bukit Aman car park and I would learn new techniques and exercises.

By end July I have lost 4 kg, and I was motivated even more to carry on and lose more weight along the way. I also completed the jog along Tasik Perdana non-stop at a leisurely pace and I felt good. However I think I overstretched myself and I felt a pain in my left knee for the next few days. So I rested for for 2 weeks and once I was OK, I carried on my jogging routine. I must admit once again it was difficult to get my rhythm back after the rest, but I persevered.

By September it was approaching the Putrajaya Marathon. I had registered earlier for my 10 km run and 7 km for my son who is 14 years old. On the race day, it was pitch black at 6.05 am when we arrived at the car park, but there was an air of excitement as there were runners everywhere I look. I never saw so many runners gathered before in my life.

Father and son team wearing their medals

When the 21km race was flagged off at 6.30 a.m., everyone was excited and cheered them on. By the time my race was due to start at 7.30 a.m., I was getting nervous. I was just thinking that maybe I was too optimistic to sign up for this race as I have not done 10 km before in my life. But anyway since I was there, I thought that this will be a good learning experience for me even if I donít win anything.

When the race started for me, I just thought to myself to stay calm and focused and run at my own pace and not to compete with others. In the first km, majority of the runners were just running past me, but I kept my head. After that I just kept to my routine run like what I have been doing in Tasik Perdana and Bukit Jalil practices. I felt OK during the jog and walk routine and towards the end I could catch up with a few runners who was walking more often now. When I saw the finish line approaching, I was still jogging at my own pace and managed to be 237 position and get a finisher's medal. It was an achievement for me as I completed the 10 km around 1 hr 15 mins.

My son also managed to complete his 7 km run for a position of 222 in the Junior category and was also rewarded with a finisher's medal. It was a happy day for both of us as this was our first official race and both of us managed to complete the race and obtain a medal each.

Now I am going to build up on this and hopeful to collect more medals.

With the guidance from Wan Yew Leong and Jamie Pang in Runners Malaysia, it is easy to start this jogging routine without any fear. All we need is a commitment to ourselves that we want to do it because we want to be healthy. All my thanks to both of them for their untiring dedication and effort to promote this sport.

Peter Kuan
11 Sept 2006


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