Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Exclusive: An Interview With Acis (Sheila Majid's Hubby) Who Ran a Memorable 21K in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2012

with wifey, the cheerleader!

Not every one can have Malaysia's Queen of Jazz, Sheila Majid as a personal cheerleader for his run! He is of course, married to Sheila. :) Acis, in his own right is a well-known composer, musical director and a member of the popular rock band Gersang in the late 80's/ early 90's. We talked to Acis about his passion - running and why his 21km run in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore recently is an unforgettable one.

1) How long have you been running? - I've been running consistently just recently, I think it was middle of March this year but I do remember getting 6th place for an under-12 years old category for a Pahang state meet a long, long time ago. I can't remember the distance but it was probably a 5km thing. A long, long time ago. =P

2) Do you still remember your first run? Tell us briefly what you remember. - The under-12? It was hot, sweaty and torturous. I was jus 11 years old. I don't even remember who registered me till this day! For the recent one which was more of a jog and walk, I just told myself please don't have a heart attack.

3) Why do you run? I run because I was looking for a bigger challenge than running on my elliptical machine. I've had a bad injury on my left knee a couple of years ago playing futsal so the elliptical machine was kinder and better for my rehab. That, Pilates and physio helped a lot. Once the knee got better I kept seeing joggers and runners around my area and thought I might be able to give it a go. I find it to be a great and most importantly fun way of staying healthy and keeping fit. The high I get from finishing my runs especially the races are incredible.

Showing off the finisher medal with his friend Arif who did a full marathon
4) Does Sheila run with you? She ran with me once. It was more of a walk/jog and I was very accommodating in slowing to her pace but somehow she complained about having aches for a whole week and I never saw her again on my runs. BUT after the Singapore Marathon she was in awe of the atmosphere and she would like to try again. Perhaps even enter the 10km. I must say she is quite fit as she does the elliptical machine and Pilates 3 times a week.

5) Where do you run? How often? How far? I run mostly in my area Damansara Heights 3 times a week if possible. My normal route is about 6.4km which I would do in 42-45 mins depending on my pace. You should try it. They don't call it Damansara Heights for nothing! My route takes me up 3 long steep ascents which I can handle now. Before it was really halfway stop, if halfway at all. I like the KLCC park as well although it does get crowded in the evenings, especially weekends. Lake Gardens is cool too. But I don't like going up that Rocky Balboa stairs. My knees and quads will not work the next day.

6) What are the must have items that you carry/ have during your run ? I have my SPIbelt which holds my iPhone and I use Runkeeper as my app. I don't use earphones to listen to music nowadays as I would rather concentrate on my breathing, pace and stride. I haven't found a watch device which I like yet so that's on hold. When I'm training for a race I bring my energy gels for the longer runs and some RM to go pop into 7-11 to buy 100 plus.

Finishing photo with pride.

7) What are the memorable (funny, proud) moments in your running experience? Finishing the Singapore Half Marathon with a kind lady helping me cross the line hand in hand. I came into the run injured so I was using a brace on my injured left knee. My pace was slower than usual obviously and felt fine until the 8km marker where I felt it buckling. I went slower and slower until the 18km marker where my left knee could not bend AT ALL. Stiff as a stick! I was walking like Igor from the movie Frankenstein and I lost count of the number of runners that offered to help me. At 19km I had to stop and ask for some deep heat from the volunteers and it really didn't help at all. So I was limping to the finish line and once I saw the actual finish line I got excited and started to limp and hop faster on my right leg and then it cramped!I couldn't move! I was holding on to the side boards and was wondering how the heck am I going to finish this last 100 metres till an angel of a lady stopped and very concernedly asked,"Are you ok?"

"I can't run or walk!", I replied.

"Don't worry", she said. "Let's cross the finishing line together!"

Mere words can't even begin to describe the feeling and emotions that was going through me at that moment. When we almost reached the line, I saw the official timing was going to be 3 hours. I told her, "Let's finish before 3 hours!" and we crossed the line with some seconds to spare. Felt like an Olympian after that. I thanked her and before we separated she said, "I'll see you next year, ok? You must come again." You bet I will.

8) Do you listen to music when you run? If yes, what are your favourite songs? Before I used to listen to Jamiroquai a lot, Madness and some Infectious Grooves but lately I don't anymore to focus on my running. If the traffic is quiet then I can hear my RunKeeper app alerts. If not it's just Chi Running.

9) What was your experience running the Singapore Marathon? Kindness, Camaraderie, Caring runners. It was very well organised. All the horror stories I've been hearing about congestion was really non existence. My lesson learnt is that never try to break in a new shoe 2 weeks before a race. That's how I injured my knee.

10) Do you plan to run a marathon 42km in the near future? Not anytime soon. I plan to run as many halfs as I can before deciding a full marathon. But if I do, I think I would probably do it somewhere cooler abroad.

Photo courtesy of ACIS.

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