Who say you can’t run when you are pregnant?
24 weeks pregnant. 37 weeks pregnant. No problem!
JustRunLah! chatted with Hilda, the Champion Mummy who came in 3rd at recent 2XU Compression Run 2015 (21km). Get motivated by reading below.
1. JustRunLah!: How will you introduce yourself to Singapore running community?
Hilda Stoney: I was born and raised in Sydney Australia by my Chinese mother and Australian father. The Chinese call me ‘gwai mui’ (chinese for ‘white girl’ or ‘foreigner’) and talk behind my back in cantonese thinking that I don’t understand what they are saying but in reality Im having a good laugh inside. I speak and understand a pretty good level of cantonese (I think!) and can understand basic mandarin though I rely on my son to read and interpret everything else.
I am mother of two beautiful children (Ethan age 7 and Kaia age 4) and wife to very loving and supportive husband Darren. Together we enjoy travelling around the world and embracing different cultures. We appreciate arts, theatre, contemporary dance and ballet, classical music and competitive sport.
Around my family commitments I am a Runner and Triathlete. I am an absolute nutcase when it comes to training and exercise. I will get up as early as 4.30am in the morning just so i can fit a long workout in before the Singapore heat kicks in and my children wake up to get ready for school.
2. JustRunLah!: When did you first pick up running (what age) and what inspired you to do so? And run so fast?
Hilda Stoney: I’ve always a little bit of a fitness junkie. When I was living in Sydney Id mainly work out at the gym enjoying Spin or Les Mills classes during my work lunch hour and/or after work. Id sometimes mix up my exercise routine with a jog around Circular Quay and the Botanic Gardens if the day was too nice to be wasted indoors. Mornings before work Id enjoy running from home alongside the ocean and towards Watsons Bay or along Bondi Beach just as the sun would begin to rise. I found running very therapeutic and it gave me the opportunity to appreciate life and what it had to offer.
I began running competitively in 2008 when we were living in Bermuda. Living on such a small island with not much to do, I began to take part in a few of the local running races and found with a little more running and a bit more structure to my training it made me quite a quick runner!
The island was filled with so much athletic talent that it inspired me to set myself some new running goals including some new interests like competitive swimming and cycling which then led on to Triathlon.
I was blessed with so many athletic friends (both Pro and sub-elites) in Bermuda who were all very generous sharing their training tips and knowledge with me in regards to racing. The island also had retired athletes who have moved on to coaching residents for a very small fee if not, no fee at all. Bermuda just made it very easy for the aspiring athlete to reach ambitious sporting goals with its beautiful scenery, hilly topography and strong love and interest for competitive sport.
3. JustRunLah!: Congratulations! We recognise your baby bump. How many months are you pregnant?
Hilda Stoney: Thank you! I am currently 6 months.
4. JustRunLah!: What would you consider to be your biggest running achievement so far?
Hilda Stoney: Probably my first marathon in 2012 Richmond, Virginia where I clocked a cool 3:13. This was really all thanks to my hard-core Irish running friend Rose-Anna Hoey in Bermuda who taught me how to structure my training schedule and the importance of incorporating only 2-3 ‘hard’ days in a training week whilst every other day would be ‘easy’. She was ever so generous in inviting anyone and everyone to her track workouts 1-2 times a week. It definitely helps when you have friends who have the same running aspirations and who are willing to train with you when the going gets tough.
5. JustRunLah!: You ran a very impressive 1:37:03. Being pregnant is never going to slow you down?
Hilda Stoney: I don’t think 1:37 is anything to shout about but I feel very blessed in still being able to run and exercise throughout all of my pregnancies. Unfortunately pregnancy DOES slow you down and WILL continue to but right now, Im just enjoying the journey and switching the focus when it comes to running. It certainly takes a lot of burden off your shoulders when you have an excuse to ‘take it easy’ during a running event.
6. JustRunLah!: What are your future goals?
Hilda Stoney: To continue to enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle with my family and around my family commitments. Id also like to get around to training and doing my first Full Ironman with my husband Darren Ma.
7. JustRunLah!: What advice would you give to all running mummies out there?
Hilda Stoney: Pregnancy is not a disability. Provided that you have clearance from your doctor regarding exercise, continue with what your body is familiar with but with lower volume and intensity. Always listen to your body and avoid doing anything new.
8. JustRunLah!: Do you have any pre-race rituals? What goes through your head every time you run?
Hilda Stoney: I don’t really have any pre-race rituals. The morning of race day is pretty much the same as every other morning for the past 15 years or so. I enjoy a banana, a bowl of hot oatmeal sprinkled with cranberries, chia seeds and honey. Id probably add a cup of coffee before I head out the door on race day. I like to arrive to the race site at least one hour before it starts just so I can make sure Im in the first wave.
Before a race I try to clear my mind and remind myself to not go out like a bullet. I consider myself quite lucky in that I am not an Elite runner who would feel the pressure of needing to always finish Top. I only set 2-3 races a year as my ‘A-Races’. Everything else is just used to help me maintain my fitness level or assist in my next A-race. If I can continue to beat my own PBs or I can remain consistent with my times then Im pretty happy.
9. JustRunLah!: What is your mantra for when the going gets tough in a race?
‘It’s not about beating others; it’s about me.’ When the run gets tough I begin to check in on my running form and breathing and focus on correcting those areas if needs be. Some races or runs just don’t end desirably and that’s ok. There are other stresses in life we go through which can impact the way we perform. I actually use those bad or ‘tough’ runs to give me more ammunition to do better in the next running event.
10. JustRunLah!: Thanks a lot! Lastly, could you finish this sentence: Running is…
Hilda Stoney: …my saving grace.