30 July 2010

Lòng Người Ngại Núi E Sông

Đường đi khó
Không khó vì ngăn sông cách núi
Mà khó vì lòng người ngại núi e sôn

From the Vietnamese heroic song Đường Chúng Ta Đi, the words roughly mean

The road we travel is not difficult because of the mountain or the river but because of our lack of spirit.

As I work toward my goal of getting into better shape through running, I often thought of the song.  Lots of time I lack the spirit to start the run.  I would make excuses - the weather is too hot, I did not get enough sleep, there is not enough time, etc.  Then once into the run I would feel discouraged just thinking about the distance to be covered.  My modest goal of 8 km (5 miles) or one hour seems too ambitious at times.

This past Sunday I took part in the Queens Half-Marathon.  It was the first time I ran in a race since seriously getting back into running.  Up to then I ran alone and afterward calculated the distance I covered.  In the Half-Marathon, there were official time, water stations, and of course, other runners.  I only expected myself to finish the 13.1 miles (21 km) but it was still good to be running with others.  I actually reached Mile #5 in the first hour, just like during my normal run.  I may even edged past two hours for Mile #10, but by then my spirit already broke.  Somehow the trip back from Meadow Lake over the L.I.E. seemed so long.  My legs were not that tired.  I could still pump air to the lung and not out of breath.  But I just did not have the will to run again.  Maybe it was the heat.  I ended up walking from Mile #10 to Mile #11.  A good helping of water spray helped revitalizing me into finishing the race, even though the spray was too much and my sneakers and socks were soaked.  I managed to sprint to the finish line just for the camera.


  1. Good Sunday morning to you Qap,
    Nice post - I always like it when you inserted Vietnamese expression into your writing.
    I also like your updated photo of reaching the finish line - reminded me of my running days back when I was young and full of spirit. Now I am old and full of something else - haa haa
    It is still hot and humid here in St. Louis. The T-bird continues to stay in the garage since it is too hot for convertible.
    Have a good week and stay cool.

  2. The photos I ordered from BrightRoom arrived yesterday, I just updated the profile photo again.