Well, it has been a while coming, but, welcome to Timotia Devi, aka Tia, as a Richmond Harrier member. Apart from a love for running, she also has superb music taste, unabashedly sharing that one of her favourite songs is What a Fool Believes – arguably the Club’s unofficial anthem (MJ). Perhaps the Pandemic has shaped Tia’s running trajectory, but Strava posts show she is a diligent and consistent in her training: mixing up her running with yoga and gym sessions. As Joji always drums into all and sundry, the results will come even when it feels like progress is slow. Nonetheless, Tia already has a trophy in the bank – via her in-between-lockdowns Runners World handicap.

Tia, in the zone, running past the Hot Air factory


How did you get into running?

Growing up in Indonesia, I did a lot of game sports like tennis and basketball. Running was never part of the local school extracurricular – we didn’t have any cross country events, let alone an inter-school athletics team. So it wasn’t until 2013 (I was 27 then) that I started getting into running, and that was only because:

  1. In conversation, a fellow media intern mentioned casually that as part of her soccer training, she was doing 5k runs regularly. At the time, I would struggle to just run 2k’s non-stop, and this got me *triggered*
  2. I was living in close proximity to the Harbour Bridge, so it would’ve been a waste if I hadn’t at least tried to run it, right?

Fuelled by envy and rage, I made it my mission to jog the Harbour Bridge without stopping. Once I’d worked my way up to 5k’s, I signed up to do the Bridge Run with a friend, and that got me hooked. I started running more, further. You should’ve seen my face when I first did a 10k without stopping. I was so proud, I gave myself a high-five.
Now, 8 years on, and after a few on/off periods, here I am: watching running videos on YouTube with my husband, Christian, whom I, myself, triggered* into running. Ha! Such is life.


*I did this by beating his time in not one, but two Sydney half marathons. I obviously can’t keep up with him anymore these days, but whenever an opportunity arises, I shoot my (cheap) shot.


How did you come to join Richmond Harriers?

Honestly, after all that lockdown running that we did in the first half of 2020 (we were lucky to be in Perth at the time, so it didn’t even last that long), I was just desperate to have a running buddy that wasn’t Christian. Well, that, and because I also wanted to be a better, more consistent runner.


After a quick Google search for a local running club, a read-through of the Richmond Harriers website and a few email exchanges with Joji and Max, Christian and I decided to see the Harriers in action at the Richmond vs Malvern race at the Tan – and it did not disappoint. Everyone that we talked to was friendly, humble and passionate about running. It really didn’t take much convincing for us both to sign up to the club, and to later join the (literally) slippery slope that is the 2021 XCR Season.


How does running make you feel?

Will you slap me if I say ‘all the feels’? But in all honesty, to me, a running session often starts with that sluggish, still-sore-from-yesterday feeling, which gets progressively more chill, energetic or aggressive (Designer’s ‘Panda’ always gets me) with every track in my Spotify playlist^.


And of course, nothing beats the satisfaction of finishing a running sesh – and seeing my Strava’s Progress graph tick upwards.


^In a rut? Check out my Canberra Times Marathon 2021 playlist here.

How has training been going? What have been the ups and downs? What have you learned about running and training over the past few months?


Not gonna sugarcoat it – in the past few months, training has been slow and gruelling. Due to an injury, I’ve been focusing on building easy mileage and cutting out speedwork completely from my routine – but frustratingly, I still somehow managed to develop other injuries.


One thing this fool believed (ha!) was the misconception that strictly following the 10-percent rule when building mileage would keep one free from overuse injuries. Boy, did I learn this the hard way.

Letting the good times roll


Maybe I should’ve incorporated cut-back weeks more regularly, or maybe I’m still so early in my journey that I don’t have the stabilising muscles that are strong enough to support my running – who knows. But whatever it was, I’m persevering through it by staying diligent yet cautious, because I know I’ll come out a better runner.
Besides, what else is there to do in this seemingly never-ending lockdown?

Tell me your thoughts on the Virtual Race. 


Due to said injuries, I unfortunately only managed to do one of the three virtual races. I knew running the race would likely aggravate them, but I wanted to do it anyway. So that day, I met up with Marianne, both in our RH jerseys, then we ran around the Olympic Park together.


Did I crack a PB? No way. But I was excited to be part of it, and I think I can speak for everyone and say that we really appreciated the effort that MJ and the handicappers were putting in to get these races going. Plus, it was nice seeing everyone’s results and happy photos. Especially those of Joji’s cat.


Did you get a chance to do a Vic Aths cross-country event?

Yes, I did – though I only managed to do two of them, i.e. 8k’s at Lardner Park and 12k’s at Cruden Farm, before things got cancelled because of COVID restrictions. I had never ran cross country before, so it was exciting though challenging for me, what with the uneven grounds, undulating hills and the occasional cow poop. 10/10 will do it again next year!


Do you have any target races coming up, apart from Saturday’s 5km?

Sadly, no, but the virtual 5k races have inspired me to do better at this distance. So I’m keen to work towards breaking 22 minutes at parkrun once things open up again.

***

Awesome, Tia. Salam olahraga 🙂

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