“Someone who is busier than you is running right now” (and where to run in Bangkok)

Ouch.

I stumbled upon this old Nike ad in this engaging runner’s blog a few days ago. Well, it was one effective and guilt-inducing ad copy that immediately made me lace up and go for a run. My two-week (I’m in denial and I’m sticking to my story that it was just two weeks) hiatus from running came about during and after the trip to Bangkok.

I know I wrote it here somewhere that I plan to look for places to run and actually go running whenever I travel. Well, I did pack my running shoes, but I also ended up bringing a bunch of assignments with me on the trip. (Never a good idea. But you know what Nike will say…) The one morning I didn’t have an article to finish, I woke up early, put on my running gear, and headed out my cousin’s apartment all set to run. The neighborhood was pretty nice, with its wide, quiet roads and it appeared perfect for running. But then there were stray dogs roaming around, and pretty soon a lot of speeding cars were on the road, and there were no sidewalks, and…well, there’s always something. Excuses tend to snowball that way. And before I knew it, I was making my way back to the apartment.

Back to the apartment. Didn't get to run.

The day before we flew back to Manila, I did find a place where I could have gone for a run in the heart of Bangkok. Lumphini Park. It’s located in this very busy intersection, where crossing the street initially appeared to be a mystery. (We were not alone, when we got back to the Lumphini MRT Subway station, we overheard a fellow traveler asking a security guard where the park was. The guard didn’t understand English so I stepped in and told her it was just across the street. “But where do you cross?” she asked puzzled at the seeming absence of a pedestrian lane. But you can cross by waiting for the light to change on the major intersections and waiting for cars to let you pass in the other smaller roads.)

When we did manage to cross, the park was a revelation. Surrounded by so many trees, the sizeable Lumphini Park offers a well-deserved breather from the smog and congestion just outside its walls. It has sprawling well-tended lawns, a lake, a picnic area, and a lot of locals getting their exercise on–even a weight-lifting area. But the first thing I saw were groups of joggers. Suddenly, I wished I had worn my running gear.

Where to run in Bangkok? Lhumpini Park!

Pass by the Clock Tower on your run...

..or the lake

Since I wasn't wearing my running gear, my sister and I simply walked around the park...

...and look what decided to take a walk as well. Lazy little fellow also took his sweet time strolling around the park.

Now back here in Manila, I have started running again. The arrival of July made me realize I have less than six months to go before the half-marathon I plan to run in early December and I desperately need to train. That admonishment motivational ad copy from Nike will definitely be in my head. That will be preferred instead of all the excuses I’ve got lined up.

How to get to Lumphini Park: It’s at the corner of Ratchadamri and Rama IV roads. You can take the MRT Subway, which has a Lumphini stop.
How to train for a half-marathon: still figuring it out.

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