Every Sunday mornings, like clockwork, I will find myself running somewhere. I could be running through some traditional village on secondary roads and watching the local folks enjoying their breakfast plate of roti canai at roadside stalls. I could be meandering through Kuala Lumpur’s city centre and taking-in the high streets empty of cars and people. Then again, I could be hitting a dirt trail, surrounded by 100-foot giant trees, feeling the cold spray of a passing water-fall, or the warm ray of sunshine occasionally peeking through the tree canopies, on my bare forearms.
With all my runs, I am not overly concerned about my finishing time as long as I can keep my heart rate suitably elevated throughout the run, I am quite happy. More importantly, I do like to survey and take-in the passing scenery closely when I am running. One of favourite training trails is FRIM (Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia) in Kepong because it is very scenic and the many varieties of trees there provide runners like me plenty of cool shade and fresh air. FRIM trails have a good mix of uphill & downhill slopes; dirt and tarmac tracks. Furthermore, I do enjoy running alongside the waterfall; its sounds is very soothing. Many a times, I have observed lone stoic figures sitting cross-legged in front of the waterfall meditating. If I have the patience for meditation, then that’s the exact spot I would choose to do my meditation.
My run today at FRIM was no less majestic. No matter how many times I have visited FRIM, the beauty of this place never fails to steal my breath away each time. To make this morning’s run even more special, I was able to share the run with my loving partner, and my dearest friends who were running the trail for the first time. After a quick warm-up and some dynamic stretching, our group of 5 people ran the course together at a friendly pace, not failing to stop and take-in the awe-inspiring beauty and nature of FRIM along the way. For first-timers and novice runners, the track up the 45 degrees slope to the canopy-walk point at 666 feet high can be quite testy. So, it’s best to keep an eye on any newbies along this stretch; if they run short of breath or start feeling giddy, then you should make sure they stop to catch their breath & climatise to the higher altitude.
Since I do not have a GPS watch, I can only estimate the distance covered to be around 10km. At the end of the run, I distributed some well-accepted bananas among us to immediately restore back some energy. Our small group of spent the next few minutes cooling down with jovial chit-chat and taking some obligatory photos, before we bade each other farewell, I headed our separate ways fully charged-up. For some of us, the lack of sleep on the previous night had meant that we would be hitting the sack pretty soon. As for me, I stopped by at Subang Perdana on the way home for a well-deserved roti canai & teh tarik.
On a final note, during today’s run, I was surveying the FRIM course to check if I will be able to do the run barefoot. Throughout the run, I was quietly smiling to myself thinking how great it would be to come back the next time, and add another dimension to the run by going shoeless. Now that would be some awesome nature’s foot massage.