I can safely say, in a new place, my running regime/schedule? has changed greatly.
When I first started running seriously, my weekday runs would involve some serious pounding on the dreadmill. I would run 3-4 times a week on lunch hours, and believe it or not once I ran 80 minutes non stop on the dreadmill. I guess when you don't have a choice, you just make do with what you have. My outdoor runs are usually weekend LSDs in the kampung.
Now, in a new place, where running outdoors in so easily accessible , I try to run 3-4 times a week around the taman. And my perception on my weekday runs has changed totally. Before, weekday runs are a must as part of my training. Eventhough it's crappy on the dreadmill and boring as hell, I'd still haul myself to pound mile after mile.
Now running in fresh air ( almost fresh),it's like I'm not only running, but I get to go sight seeing and people watch too! And it's so liberating. I can venture this lane and that road and look at all the pretty houses and make faces at kitties at the side of the road who stare back at me like I'm some crazy lady. I can run freely and smile at the passing motorists who pretend not to notice me but then steal glances at their side mirrors when they pass by ( they always tend to look away when I do this), I can share jokes with makciks sweeping their front yard, I can exchange greetings with fellow walkers/runners/exercisers along the way, it's all good.
And now, I find myself looking forward to those runs. Seriously.
And it'll be such a bummer on some days when the sun is scorching hot and it's almost impossible to run and not get my skin charred. I'd whine that I would have to pound on the dreadmill that day and hub would say , " Sebelum ni bolehh je"
The only glitch is, my kids aren't used to me running outside. I'd be home after work, sharing some snacks with the kids, and all is well until I put on my running gear. Suddenly, my son gives me a panic stricken look, " Where are you going?"
I sigh and explain to him that I'll be running outside. " Noooooooo, run insideeeee, on the treadmillllll" he wails and clings to my body. His little sister who was fine before, decides to go into hysterics as well . Hub takes the kids and shoo me away, " Go, run! " he would say. And I'll guiltily walk out the gate, trying not to look back and I could hear my kids screaming " Mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" till the end of the lane. The neighbors would smile politely and say something like, " Diorang nak ikut jogging sama la tu"( jogging?!!) but I know in their minds they're tsk tsk tsking away.
On some good days, I can talk them into accepting my new running routine and thankfully they'll be all quiet, resentful but quiet. But on bad days they put on so much drama, I'll instantaneously feel like I'm a bad mother and that I'm depriving them of attention.
" It's just a 35 minute run, for goodness sake!" hub would exasperatedly claim to me and the kids. " You'll spend the rest of your time with the kids so stop being so melodramatic."
Some non-runners would judge me and think I'm being selfish but cut me some slack please, this is my therapeutic run. Coming home from work, muscles sore and joints stiff, the last thing anyone would think of is running , but that's what I do. I feel more refreshed after the evening run, with all that post work stress drained out from my systems with the sweat. And it's the only time I'm alone for the whole day. Enough time for me to rethink what I've done and ponder on what I'm going to do. It's my time to process the going ons of the day and solve what I have to solve. Once home, I'll be up and about to start with dinner , kemas rumah and other things a mommy is supposed to do.
But the kids are getting better. At least I like to think they're better. If I forewarn them of a run before they go to school, they'll be okay with it afterward. Sometimes.
Except now, they've processed that when I run sometimes I'll feel guilty, so they'll say, " You can go run, mama. But after that we'll be going for ice cream right?"
***UPDATE : Anyone out there interested in a free Ipoh International Run 21K bib? Category men's open. I'll give you the whole race pack minus the shirt and the kacang. Oh what the hey, I'll throw in the kacang as well.