100+ marathons, 50+ BQs, 1 Latina
Nothing can ever take away the special memories that my running journey has enriched my life with. There are many runners out there that have touched my heart in more ways they will ever know. Runners who have inspired me to search for my personal extraordinary. Their smiles and journeys encourage me to continue on my own. I reached 100 marathons and did it in the manner my heart felt happy: exploring the world when I could around family obligations and striving to always aim to improve myself. As one of the youngest to reach 100 marathons in the world, I have reached 100 and continue to challenge myself to within the marathon with over half as Boston Qualifying times and named "Best Frequent Marathoner" in the nation in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. I take pride that when I am in the classroom or on the field, I teach our youth to always aim for their best, live within their passion, and learn to appreciate all the little daily blessings we have in our lives each day. That is the essence of life where good isn't good enough but excellence is within all of us. There were the challenges from training long hours early before sunrise or hours after sunset, saving and budgeting what I can to be able to afford my races for the past 15 years, to balancing my passion around my responsibilities as an educator, daughter, sister, and aunt. It has only been the blessing of this year where I have acquired sponsors. Not because I am the fastest. Not because I run the longest. But because I aim to run with passion and encourage others to do the same passionately. I will always encourage others to be healthy, to search for ways to challenge themselves, and to work hard for their dreams. The rewards in doing so have been endless from learning the value of self discipline, dedication, and inner strength to creating everlasting memories with family and friends across the years.
|1999: My dad and my first marathon side-by-side the entire 26.2 miles|
Never would I have dreamt that when my father and I stepped foot at the starting line for our very first marathon at the 1999 LA Marathon that 17 years later we would continue to be running side by side. We crossed the finish line for our very first marathon together hand in hand, tears down our faces when I was 14 and then we did it again for my 100th marathon just the same: hand in hand, tears down my face at age 28 just like when I was a little girl. Tears of joy. Tears of pain. Tears of celebration. This is why I run: to share the love of running with those I love.
Below is a little photo journey of my Runner's World Magazine photo shoot, for the magazine that was the first ever magazine and continues to be the pages of reading that connects me to the wonderful running world. We, runners, are here to stay. Never give up on your journey no matter how difficult it gets… because it will. Tough times don't last, tough people do.
|My Running Partner, My Biggest Supporter, My Dad|
|My Parents I admire with all my heart: Jorge y Myriam|
|Sitting in my immigrant parent's backyard of their first home, achieving their American Dream|
|Mom: 10 marathons, Me: +100 marathons, Dad: +50 marathons, and the journey continues.|
Behind the Scenes:
|Playing dressing up runner style for a day!|
|Getting the goodies, medals, & bibs ready!|
|My old bedroom wall filled with trophies, plaques, & awards in running and outside of running|
|Setting up the photo shoot set II|
|17 years running, 350+ races, endless memories|
|The Runner's World Magazine Shot|
|Runner, Model, Teacher, Believer|
|Runner's World Magazine, 2013 October Issue|
Special THANK YOU to:
* Skechers Performance for the gear and shoes.
* Michael Lewis for the professional photographs.
* Runner's World for the opportunity to share my story.
* New Year's Race for helping me celebrate my 100th milestone.
* A Runner's Circle for being the running family any girl can wish for.
* My husband, family & friends who've supported and/or shared my joy of running.
* And most importantly: my parents for being my inspiration and biggest motivation to always aim for my best.