A Soft, Silky Run


Recently, I finished a 3km run in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The run attracted all kinds of runners you would see. From the amateur, casual, fun joggers, competitive, to seasoned runners, all were enthusiastic and overzealous. Besides runners, walkers were equally energetic and passionate including the courageous participants with disabilities.

Fortunately, I was mentally prepared, albeit not physically fit for the run due to inadequate training. Neither had I planned nor been eager to meet a given time target, so I decided to take in my stride. A stroll in the park sounded about right without undue pressure.

One of the concerns that I had not prepared was protecting my skin while running, or probably struggling as I crawled to the finish line. To make matters worse, I am not exactly fond of sunblocks or sunscreens whichever way anyone describes these skin protectors.

Many previous experiences have left me feeling like a human yogurt with streams of white residue on my skin; or like a bubble gum gone wrong, all sticky and gooey! Yet as I looked about me, I saw many people slathering on creams and lotions. Eeewwwww!!! That was what greeted my thoughts. I decided that this was not going to hurt me and plaster a generous amount of lotion on my face, upper and lower limbs.

The runners darted at the word GO! I gently jogged off and built up my pace as I moved steadily along. The route was largely flat with the exception of two long ascending stretches that took a big puff out of me. The route was very well policed by volunteer marshals, the police themselves, and some paramedics. A real temptation hit me as a couple of female paramedics looked at my creaking legs.

A teenage pacer ran along with me to assist me. He was egging me on to sustain my movement even at a slow jog than to walk. I found that quite challenging. My legs were becoming more stubborn and refused to listen to my brain that was stuttering to a halt. And as I approached the end of the finish line, my pacer urged me to run as fast as I could – preferably at breakneck speed – to the tape. The only problem was that it was still 500 meters away!

As I ran past the finish line, all I could think of was a welcoming bottle of iced water. I saw some in the far distant: it was in a vending machine. My interest in the water quickly liquidated: it was too far to walk to quench my thirst. I resorted to the next thing that engulfed my mind. The sunscreens!

Voila! I was pleasantly pleased that I did not look like human yogurt or feel gooey and sticky. Phew! That was a welcome relief. It was more revolting to be sticky. Then I entered into an air-conditioned car to be drying up like a sticky fly pad, and being a royal stink in my own car was not appealing. But presto! I had none of those aftermath physical feelings. So I guess there are sunscreens and sunscreens.

The sunscreen that was given to me before the race started working wonderfully, leaving my skin moisturized, and without that sticky feeling that I am sure no one likes having to deal with. It was also great that I did not look burnt or scorched. I guess the sunscreen provided me the protection that my skin craved for. And I can safely say I am pleased that my snub at sunscreens is now in the past!

Besides running, I have also used it during my occasional bikes and hikes. The UV lights are undeniably strong that I can never say no to sunscreens. However, visualizing the sticky, gooey, disgusting application on my skin is simply intolerant. Similarly, hiking in humid rainforests in Malaysia requires non-sticky sunscreens.

To achieve the comfortable and plain feeling, on sunny days or rainy days, Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunscreen Lotion ideally suits all kinds of exercises.