Interview #6 for Inspiring Women Who Run
Mimi Mashud, or simply Mims, is one of my long-time close buddies who took up running before me and inspired me to do to the same. This creative lass has also recently launched her self-published travel-comic called Beijing in 5 Days (which is also available in print). Let’s find out more about this lady runner slash professional doodler – here on Inspiring Women Who Run!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
What made you get into running and how long have you been doing it?
According to my log, I started running around May 2010. Wow, it’s been 3 years!
I wrote about how I got into running here. I never got around to writing the 2nd part of it. But basically after that light switch flipped, I basically stuck to it and managed to turn it into a habit. And then I started joining all these races with friends, which added to the motivation to always do better.
What’s your typical running routine like?
I run on treadmills at the gym mostly. Running outside is obviously nicer but consistency is a priority to me, and the gym allows you that. Sometimes I’d go run at Putrajaya at night with friends. I try to hit 30-40km per week. That’s usually covered in 3-5 days a week. One typical run usually goes for about 8-10km. LSDs (long slow distance) would be 12-15km, but I don’t do it every week.
Sometimes I add some speed work and light strength routine at the gym. I don’t exactly stick to a certain schedule, just whatever I feel like I’m up to that day. I’m more of a ‘I’ll just wing it’ sort of person when it comes to running.
Being freelance allows me to be flexible with my running routine, which helps a lot.
Do you have a special diet?
Not really. I was a really unhealthy eater before I got into running though, fast food and junk almost every day. I noticed that after I got into running I started eating more healthily, and if I eat too much fast food at a time my body would reject it. Still won’t say no to a good burger and fries once in a while though.
What is your favorite race distance and why?
I’d say around 15km. I’m not fast enough to make a good 10K time and I often suffer/get bored the last 5K of a half-marathon. 15Ks provide a nice balance for me, not too fast and not too long.
Passion in what you do is important, but you can’t run on passion alone. – Mimi Mashud
What was your favorite race? Where was it and why?
Hard to name favourites because I usually enjoyed most of them. Even if I suffered I learnt something from them. If I really have to pick then maybe SCKLM 2011 Half Marathon. The months prior to that I was struggling to adapt to forefoot striking, it was like I had to relearn running all over again. A lot of times I thought ‘this isn’t working’. Then I got a PB (personal best) at SCKLM. That made me really happy. Persistence pays and all that.
Do you have any other goals which you have not yet achieved in running?
To finish a full marathon. Hopefully that’ll get done this year at SCKLM.
If you could meet any celebrity runner, who would it be and why?
Haruki Murakami – so I can ask him how did he write all those books and still run every day.
Speaking of Haruki Murakami, I understand you’ve read his running memoir at least 20 times now. What part of that book resonated so well with you?
I’ve always been a fan of Haruki Murakami’s books. I like his descriptive style, and how he doesn’t impose his views on his readers. And of course if he’s going to write about running as a habit, I can’t think of a better person to write it. Basically the book just describes ‘hey this is what I do everyday, it doesn’t mean that you should too’.
Obviously my accomplishments (both creative and running-wise) are nowhere near Murakami’s, but I can relate to the things he wrote about the necessity of pushing yourself physically, in order to be able to produce creative works for the long run. The discipline, persistence, mundane-ness required to run every day will affect how you approach your creative work. Passion in what you do is important, but you can’t run on passion alone.
There are days when you feel like you don’t want to run, but you go anyway. There are days when you feel like you don’t want to work, but you do it anyway. One habit will feed the other, I think.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking about running but does not know where or how to start?
Start small and easy. Actually start smaller and easier than you think you can. If you think you can run a 1K easy, then just run 500m the first month, but EVERY other day. Make it a habit first. Distance and speed will come later.
Thanks for the interview, Mims! Wishing you all the best all the best in all your future endeavors – whether on race day or on canvas!