adiNation of Runners Indonesia (aNR) & Run Fairy Run jointly present an Interview with Mia Salim. Mia is one of the four moms in aNR selected for The Running Moms campaign to spread inspiration to women – specifically mothers – to pick up running. She shares some tips about running from work and more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 36-year-old mother of two boys. My eldest Zoltan is 9 years old and Navarro is almost 4. I’m a working mom by choice. I work for an Australian donor agency, AusAID, as their Head of Public Affairs. In my spare time I like playing with my boys, travel, watch movies and concerts, cook and lately – running! 🙂
What made you get into running and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve always loved exercising to keep my body fit and weight ideal. I used to be in a track team and swimming team back in high school. I go to the gym regularly. However, I’ve never tried long distance running (above 3.5k) until about 5 months ago. At first I just want to accompany my husband who’s slowly gaining mileage (he also runs!) but then I found the joy in it too! It’s a great stress outlet and you get that extra dose of endorphins after a great run. I sometimes even run home from work to beat the traffic. When my husband had a stress fracture and took a rest from running, I still kept going. I know that I run because I love it. I now understand when friends say ‘I’m addicted to running’.
So you run home from work! Can you share some tips with women should they want to pursue this practice?
I run from my office to home for the plain reason that I can’t be bothered to find a place to shower and get ready for work after a run. Whereas if I run home from work I can just shower back in my apartment. This minimises the need to bring toiletries to work.
The distance between work and my office is around 5.5k so it’s a perfect distance to run.
My advice to women everywhere would be the following:
- Travel light is key when you run from work. Bring only what you need. I only bring a bit of cash and my phone.
- Wear proper attire when you’re in Jakarta. I would wear a top with sleeves and knee length running tights instead of shorts and sleeveless top. I also bring a sports rain jacket to the office in case it pours and I still decide to run (I have done this a few times and it’s faster to run than be in a car stuck in rain traffic).
- Bring a pepper spray. My husband gave me one to keep me safe and I would carry that with me. But so far it’s been good, no one has attempted to harrass me while I run.
- Pick a safe route with lots of people passing by and good enough ground to run. Jakarta doesn’t have friendly pavements so that’s always a challenge on its own. And I run when the sun is still out (pick a day when I don’t work late).
It took me a couple of runs to figure out a system that works, what to bring and not to bring. I once ran with a bag pack with everything in it. But I ended up running too slow. I’ve also told my driver to come by to the office only to bring my bag home while I ran (he obviously thought I was kidding and/or insane).
I’d encourage anyone who lives close to work to give it a try!
I’ve only joined a couple of races. My most favourite one was Run for Childhood Cancer 10k at Lippo Kemang Village, Jakarta that took place on 7 April 2013. This event was organised by Indonesia Muda Road Runner (IMRR) with Yayasan Sentuhan Kasih Anak Indonesia (YSKAI) to raise funds to help children with cancer.
There are many things that made this race special. First of all, it was my first official 10k race. I’ve ran above 10k in the last few months but I haven’t tested it on a race. So it was a pretty big deal.
I wasn’t actually feeling very well, but I was committed to finish that race no matter what. My finishing time was 1.11 and not my personal best but I was just proud to cross the finish line given the circumstances. I had my adidas mates cheering me on and that really helped a lot!
Another thing that made the race extra special. It was an event that also marks the new aNR team. Helen and Pasha have kindly invited me to join them to help manage adiNation of Runners Indonesia community. So it was my first run as the new aNR ambassador/admin. Pasha and Helen asked what I’ll be wearing during the race just the day before without saying why. The next day we all wore matching outfits! We wore yellow and black outfit from Adidas and we three look like a swarm of bumblebees!
What do you enjoy most about running?
I like the endorphin rush and that great sense of achievement after a good run. Through running I become more convinced that I can push my self as far as I want to. It takes discipline and commitment to keep running and be better at it. The same principle applies when you try achieving anything in your life. Running is training me to be persistent and not give up.
I also have great running buddies that encourage me to push my limits and be a better runner. We’d share tips, stories and reviews about running and they make me feel like I’m part of something.
How do you juggle running with being a mother/wife?
When you make it part of your life, you make time for it. I need to run. It has become part of my life and it makes me a happier person. When I’m happy I become a better mother and wife.
When I lived far from work I run on Saturday and Sunday mornings. But now that I live closer to work and don’t have to travel long hours to get home, I make time to go to the gym after work and even run home from work (6k) when I feel like it.
Do you have any words of advice to other moms on why they should consider taking up running?
If you’re looking for an outlet to let go of all the stress of being a mom, running is a great way to channel it! 😉