A big thank you to Marie Claire Malaysia for featuring my running story in the April 2016 issue, in the article “Run A Mile In My Shoes” (pp. 164-167), alongside fellow women bloggers The Expat Runner (Johanna), Lorna Wong, Missyblurkit (Evelyn Ang Loo) and AdeleRuns.com (Adele Wong)!
The issue is available at bookstores, in electronic format, as well as online. Here are some screenshots of the article (click for larger view).
I’ve reproduced the text of my story below, from the original article in Marie Claire Malaysia (20 April 2016) by Pamela Victor (Lifestyle Writer).
(The following is part of the article first published in the Marie Claire Malaysia April 2016 issue:)
CHAN WEN LI
“I took up running in a bid to stay active after recovering from a kneecap dislocation (the injury was not running-related). Not thinking that running seemed remotely possible with a ‘bad knees’, one of my proudest moments was when I first hit my 10KM mark – after months of researching, reading books on running technique and running injury-free; and training at a neighbourhood park, increasing my mileage very gradually. I went on to run even up to the 7th month of my pregnancy (with my doctor’s approval, of course).”
Wen Li started running at the age of 34, and transitioning back to running after her pregnancy helped keep her sane while battling post-partum depression and anxiety. So far in 2016, she has had her first attempt in trail-running at the Compressport Trail Challenge and she would like to complete her second and third Full Marathons by mid of the year.
“I love being outdoors, and there is often a wonderful camaraderie amongst fellow runners you meet along the way – whether in races or amongst friends who run or in a running group. It’s also a way of getting some time to myself, to clear my mind or just let my mind wander, to relax. I do also push myself to test and learn my limitations and slowly overcome increasing goals – it’s a very gradual process, but it’s rewarding when you realise you’ve improved and become stronger and more self-aware.”
When asked about the difference running has made for her, she says, “It’s common for runners to be told that running is bad for their knees – the opposite appears to be true in my case – running has helped improve the strength of my lower limbs, including the muscles that stabilise the knee. However that’s not as easy as it sounds – in the early stages, it took a lot of sweat and tears (no blood, fortunately..) to learn proper running techniques and how to run injury-free, but it’s paid off – I used to run with kneeguards, now I don’t anymore, even on trails.”
Wen Li’s advice for beginners:
“It would be good to read up as much as you can on running techniques – go to a bookstore with a good selection of running books, or get them online – and to try out those techniques at your own pace (I benefitted greatly from this). Good running technique may not come naturally for everyone, and even seasoned runners would benefit from gaining more knowledge on how to improve their performance. It may be useful to join a running group, where one can benefit from the support, motivation and guidance from fellow runners.
Wen Li is a lecturer by profession and Co-Founder and Chief Cartoonist of Malaysia’s first comic strip on running, Running Toons which was the Official Cartoon Partner of the upcoming Malaysia Women Marathon 2016. You can follow her doodle work on www.facebook.com/RunningToons and her writing on running at ‘Living On The Run’ https://speedshuffle.wordpress.com.