Just thought I’d start something fun!#AdeleWFOTW
No, it is not WTF! Although at first glance, it may seem so. Anyway, WFOTW – Women Feature Of The Week!
I want to start featuring the women around us – just normal everyday women going about their busy lives juggling work, family and play. I know many of us struggle to have work/life balance, let alone sneaking in a run/workout!
The people around us play a big role in shaping our healthy lifestyle/habit. There are SO many people that helped get me to where I am today in terms of health/fitness and running. So, each week (maybe not every week) I will feature 1 special person! These women have been my source of inspiration and I hope that they can be yours too!
We’ll kick start this WFOTW with Michelle Chua – a familiar name/face in the running scene. The both of us go WAY back, probably 2 years ago when she volunteered for the Tiger run. We always see each other at race events and fast forward to this year, our friendship has grown beyond running. We have quite a lot in common. Oh, and did I tell you we share the same BIRTHDAY?!
Here’s a bit more about Michelle:
1. How long have you been running?
I have been running casually on the treadmill maybe since early 2010. But I never joined a run because back then, I didn’t know any runners! I only joined my first ever 10km in October 2010 with my boyfriend (then friend) and immediately did a 21km the next month (not sure what I was thinking, or if I was even thinking)! I ran throughout 2011 and did my first full marathon too! However, I took a break in 2012 because I was in my final year in university. After exams, I immediately got back to running on my favourite treadmill in the gym. There, I met a couple of ironmen who invited me to run with them on the road! A few of us joined a run in December and I unexpectedly came in 3rd! After a lot of encouragement, they got me clocking more kms on the road!
2. Why do you run/choose to run?
I started running then because I think I was eating too much and not doing anything about it. I decided to start running to counter my appetite (haha!). I fell in love with the road after my first 21km run and it is not really a choice now. I think it has become more of a habit.
3. What do you like to do during your free time (other than running)?
I love playing the piano in my free time! Running is a good way for me to gather my thoughts. It is my alone time. But I can’t run every day. So the days I don’t run, the piano is another way for me to just be me.
4. Your profession:
I am an accountant by day and an educator by night. However, I am looking to move towards education in the near future.
5. Do you have a training schedule? What is it like?
I try to run 4 days a week. But I usually only manage 3 days because of work obligations and well, life. I do my long run on Saturday or Sunday, if there is no race. On Mondays, I try to do a recovery run but I usually never wake up in time. I do an easy 10km on Tuesdays and a hard tempo run on Thursdays. This gives enough rest and recovery for my body because I think anything more (for me) will probably just lead to little progress or injury.
6. How do you juggle work and running?
You need discipline. And a very loud alarm clock. If I know I am working late or if I have plans after work, sometimes I have to get up at 4.45am to do my run. It is easier on the weekends because there’s no rush but I still prefer running earlier because I just cannot run in the sun. Again, I think it is back to habit and discipline. It also helps to train with friends. Sometimes after a tiring day of work, I really just want to stay in and channel surf or do nothing. But I have a student who runs around my neighbourhood. Whenever I feel sluggish but I see him toughing it out, it is motivation for me to get out there and do that run too.
7. Who do you usually train/run with?
If I do a recovery run or an easy short run, I bring my dog along. Sometimes, I run with my boyfriend too. But usually, I run alone. I really enjoy being able to lose myself during the run or to just do some thinking and be away from the distractions of life.
8. Which was the most memorable race event and why!
I think my most memorable was still my first 10km. The We Run KL 10.10.10 event was fun because I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But we did, and we finished together!
9. Do you have any prerace routine? Do share!
The day before my run, I always lay out what I’m going to wear. Always Puma! I pack my protein, my water bottle, a change of clothes and sun block. Never forget the sun block! Races can end late. You don’t want to be under the sun for too long without protection! I do all these the day before because I will forget stuff if I rush the day itself!
10. Favourite distance:
21km hands down!
11. Who inspires you the most and why?
Tirunesh Dibaba. She cruises behind her competition and has an amazing break away the last few hundred meters of the race. It is always so inspiring to watch her run!
12. Favourite running mantra/quote:
My favourite quote is by Julie Isphording: “Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running”. Whenever you dread doing your run, think about the first time you started.
13. What are some of your running goals?
Hmm. I think my goals change from time to time. Every time, I reach a goal, I set another. And it is usually to beat my previous times. For now, I’m training to eventually reach a 3:45 marathon! I also hope to inspire other people to pick up running. It can be fun and a healthy past time! I got some of my friends and students to register for some runs and that felt like an accomplishment because otherwise we are always just… eating lol!
14. OK, FINAL QUESTION: You are SO LEAN! What is your secret? 😉
Hahaha I am so bad with diets. I try so hard to eat healthy. I think my healthiest meals are on Mondays. But further into the week, I allow myself to ‘slack’. I am working on it!
So, there you go! Now you know a bit more about Michelle Chua! Thank you for your time! 🙂
Who will I feature next? 😉