A Runner's Blog

I Am On My Way to Dopey Challenge 2017!

After months and months of training, the start of my magical dream racing was about to begin! First of course is the plane ride from Los Angeles to Orlando. During the plane ride this was a great time to put together a new playlist for the Disneyworld Marathon. I had many new Disney songs I had to purchase prior to the races to enhance the Disney experience. A few of my favorites consist of: “Wreck It Ralph” “When Can I See You Again?”, “Zootopia” “Try Everything”, “Princess and the Frog” “Almost Their” and even “Frozen” “Let it Go”, (yes I know, its such a good song haha.) but these are only just a few of my favorite Disney songs. After spending an hour creating and listening to my new Disney playlist, it was movie time! Luckily the plane had complimentary television, where I found “The Parent Trap”, I have never seen this movie but I have always wanted to see this classic movie. A very good movie I may add. After a comfortable plane ride I was finally landing in Sunny Orlando Florida! With this being my first time being in Florida, I did not know the roads or ways that well at all. The drive to Disneyworld was nice and simple. The scenery in Florida, is very nice but a bit more swampy then I had expected. The weather and the forecast for the week of my races was very important to me as for the thousands of other racers. I expected and trained for humid and hot Florida weather. However for this January sequence of races, the heat was not the case at all. The weather called for Cold 40-65 degrees with some days of rain and wind! I was very shocked and hoped for the best. The first day of being their, the weather was cold but beautiful and calm. Finally making it to the entrance of Disneyworld now I just had to find the entrance to my hotel. The New Orleans Riverside resort. This was not the easiest thing to do. At Disneyworld nothing is exactly close together. Everything is far apart and there seemed to always be one or two road closures due to constant construction. Few road signs were out and hard to see especially in the night hours. After spending about an hour locating the hotel, I had to hurry and make my way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Zone to claim Packet Pickup. I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it on time to the event, and I knew this was important because I start racing the next morning with the 5k. Traffic was crazy for packet pickup, which was to be expected. Luckily I had my Mother’s handicap placard. Finding parking was easy once I got through traffic at least. I made it to packet pickup with 1 hour prior to closing. The area was very  big in itself, it was not hard to navigate, there was just a lot of stuff for one expo. Let me explain: one building was for Bib and Waiver Pickup. A second building was for merchandise vendors. And a third building was for the “real” expo with race and runner vendors with all of the official Rundisney merchandise. I have to admit I got lost a couple times. I eventually picked up my race bibs for the Dopey Challenge. At pickup I was very surprised at my corral placement. At past Disneyland races, I was placed in the last corrals due to not submitting a proof of time. I could not recall if I had put in a P.O.T. for this event. But for the 5k/10k I was in Corral A and for the Half/Full Marathon I was put in Corral C. This was very exciting because this meant less time to be wasted waiting in a corral. After Bib Pickup, Awesome race shirt pickup and photo opportunities it was time to make a last stop to the official merchandise. Since this is a dream race of mine, I knew I will probably never make it back to Florida to race for at least 10 years, so I had to get my hands on some awesome 2017 Rundisney race gear. I loved all of the merchandise, however I only bought gear that I knew I would use on my daily running workouts. I bought an amazing 26.2 Jacket, three headbands, and two hats from the Dopey Challenge and Rundisney 2017. Plus my racing shirts, I loved all of the merchandise I had purchased. Now it was time to head to the hotel room and getting something to eat. Of course I got a bit lost again back to the hotel but I was just glad to make it back to the hotel after a six hour flight, traffic and packet pickup. The hotel restaurants were very nice. There was one high quality restaurant and towards the back there were three smaller restaurants that had good mixed selections of food. I remember enjoying the fries and a good classic burger. After a great meal, I headed back to the hotel room, where I set up my race clothes, to prepare for the next morning. Of course I was supposed to rest, but I don’t know if it was pre-race jitters, jet lag or being some place new, but I could not sleep at all that first night. Nevertheless I knew that at the start line for the 5k would be the start of the most magical four day race journey of my life. Until the next chapter at the start line of the Pluto 5k, have a great day and always remember to Fear No Distance Athletes!


Summer Nights 5k Race Series 2016 Review

In sunny California, Summer races are harder to come by compared to the other cooler seasons. I would prefer if there were more half marathon events to help train for marathons in the future, but in the summer there are mostly 5k and 10k events being offered. So while checking out the internet on Running in the I found some fun local races to take part in this Summer season. The Summer Nights 5k Race Series is a small second year event vendor, that holds four Summer night races in the Orange County area. This is a small event that offers a fun race on weekday Summer nights, with a free raffle for great running prizes and some free shaved ice. They offer two runs in Heartwell park, Long beach, one in Central park, Huntington Beach, and Craig Park in Brea. It’s a great race to just relax and have fun with for any type of runner. It is also a great race for the runner who wants to PR in the 5k event. Many High School teams come out to run these races as well. With the combination of a fast race course and the young speedy athletes, this makes for an easier PR if you go all out. Overall this is a great race for anyone to participate in. I normally would not take part in this small type of race because I am interested in spending my money on the bigger name races, and higher distance levels. One day on my Instagram page I got a message from this race, saying they want to give me a free registration as long as I give them some free publicity on my pages. I happily agreed, because who would say no to a free race registration! I have visited this race many times in Heartwell Park to watch my friends race, I just practice around it to get in a longer distance instead. On the warm August Evening I made my way down to Central Park, Huntington Beach. I made my way to the registration table, the organizers of the race recognized me right away as their supporter and quickly gave me my race number and raffle ticket. I was very pleased with the speedy work and welcome. I then began stretching and warming up before the start of the race. I got to chat with more of the organizers of the race who thanked me for the publicity and conversed with me about running. Also got to meet up and chat with a few members of Team Runners High. The race course at Central Park was very beautiful! I loved everything about the park, full of hills, trails, recreational buildings, and ponds. I was even more fond of the race course because it is the same park where the Surf City Marathon goes through! The race had great running vendors at the race as well such as: Snail’s Pace, Mizuno Running Shoes, and GU Energy Labs! Overall it is a very fun race environment. At the start line, everyone gathers to start waiting for the race announcer to countdown to start. It is a very fast start, as all the fast people make their way up front to divide themselves from the slower paced athletes. The course was very fast paced, and you had to run three laps around the course. I paced myself with the same people throughout the whole race, hardly anyone passed me up however. My goal was to finish under twenty-one minutes. After completing the race I received the time of 19:59, I was very satisfied with the time! Now waiting for everyone to finish, and for the raffle to start, I got to meet and greet with other runners, to discuss the race and our other race endeavors. Athletes also received their free shaved ice to enjoy as well. When everyone finished the race, the raffle was underway. There were nice prizes, such as: GU energy, Running hats, A pair of new Mizuno shoes, foam roller, ice cream gift cards, running socks, and even Snail’s pace Glasses with store gift cards. The prizes were truly great for any runner. I managed to take home a GU Energy Labs Running Cap! I loved it because I love the brand and I love to show my running enthusiasm. Everyone was very happy with their prizes, and after the raffle we were thanked for coming, and given information for their future races. I definitely recommend these races for any type of runner for some Summer time running fun. Until the next race recap, always remember to Fear No Distance Athletes!

Cypress 5k 2016 Race Recap

Cypress Race Logo

As a long distance runner who continues to strive to improve and train for the Marathon event, I forget that it is essential for a marathoner to work on speed over distance. For most races I sign up for the half marathon or 10+ mile events to get in the most distance. The 5k event is great for any distance runner to improve their overall pace and speed. As I signed up for the Cypress 5k, I kept in mind that I haven’t run a 5k since August of 2015 with the OC Fair Fun Run! Since I have been running longer distances and running longer races I didn’t know how I would do on a shorter but more intense speed race. If you have not run Cypress, I recommend that you do, Cypress is a very beautiful and clean city in the OC area. On the warm July morning I got up, eat breakfast and headed to the race. On the way to the race, traffic was easy, and the traffic control was very organized. Since this was a local race, I was dropped off, I had decided to run home beforehand. I walked over to the check-in table, where I picked up my bib by very helpful race volunteers. I had some time before the race start time. I met up with some members of Team Runners High, and stretched and chatted until start time. Since this is a race review I should mention what the Cypress race has to offer. The Cypress Race is a Summer road race that offers a 5k and the 10k events. This is an event that has age division awards as well as cash prizes for first, second, and third place male and females for both events. Elite, high school cross country, teams, and casual runners come to compete in this race for the cash prizes. If you are not an elite runner, it is a very tough race to place in. However it is a great race to PR in. Now the race course is very simple, can be easy for the 5k racers, but challenging for the 10k racers. Two years ago I ran the Cypress 10k, and it was very challenging after the 5k mark. The course consists in a square fashion around the neighborhoods through the city of Cypress. 5kers go around once while the 10kers go around twice. The course may not seem like a challenge, the real challenge is the weather! The start time for both races is 7:30 am. If it was any earlier, such as 7:00 am the sun would still be hidden and you would not feel the heat or humidity of Summer. Right as you start you are already sweating because you will start right as the Summer sun comes out. It is unfortunate because most of the athletes I talk to about the start time always wish that there would be an earlier start time. For these reasons, it is why I decided to take part in the 5k this year. Also if you like to race for medals, Cypress is a part of the OC race series. If you run in Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, as well as Cypress you will earn a fantastic series medal, If you do the races a second time, you will earn a second round series medal as well! The medals are truly great for an addition to your medal rack. Now returning to the start time of the race, after the announcer says “Go!” it is a very crowded start-up until the first turn. Once you get through the crowds, you can break away to try to catch up to your pace group or speed runners. After mile 1 you will head into a gated community, where you will be cheered by the locals. At this point I had my pace set, and just stayed consistent but kept up the speed since this was a short race. After exiting the neighborhood, at about mile 1.75, you will head down a long street all the way up until the finish line. So you have to run about a 1.25 mile stretch. At this point it gets tough, due to there being no shade from the sun at this point. Just remember to keep breathing and rely on your endurance to beat the heat. Still keeping on the speed at about a 0.25 mile from the finish line that is where I kicked in my stride to the finish. It was a beautiful finish by Cypress City Hall, where you will be given cool water and congratulations from the volunteers. Of course the 10k racers continued for the second loop of the course. I was very happy with my time of 20:30! Running a sub 7:00 minute pace felt very accomplishing to me. I then greeted my fellow team runners high members at the finish line and picked up my series medal. Relaxed some time before running back home. I still felt great to continue running, so I ran back the 7 miles home and getting in a total of 10 miles! So if you are interested in a summer time race, easier PR road course, and run with elite athletes I highly suggest you run this race! Until the next race, may your training always be great, and always remember to Fear No Distance!

OC Race Series Medals!


Run More Then the Minimum!


Running Clubs Go The Distance!

  For any active person it is an essential part of your athletic experience to stay motivated. In apart of staying motivated while running infinitely many miles every day and keeping on top of daily life and a standard healthy diet, it can be hard to do this on your own. I know this from self experience, being a June 2015 Lakewood High School graduate, and having fresh running legs from being on the Cross Country and Long Distance Track teams, I went from having a team of similar runners to being on my own. As a running enthusiast I of course continued to run on my own from there on. I had motivation to keep running, I had races lined up for the near and far future. Since I was on my own it became increasingly hard to run long distances, especially in the same area. for that Summer I continued running on my own, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed every mile I did and I continued to get stronger with every step I took. It can be mentally difficult however in knowing there is no one to share your passion with. At the time my main motivation was to race the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland, my eyes were definitely on the prize, with those great medals and a most memorable race experience. The race was great, however the post race running days after became a bit unbearable in a way. Sort of had me thinking “now what?”. A few weeks have gone by and September 24th had come, this is also my 18th birthday. During this time I had been brainstorming on how to mix up my running practices to keep myself motivated and interested in how and where I run for practice. As it happened it just so happened I thought of the local running store that help sponsor local cross country meets, Runners High. Not only is this a store that sells all merchandise for all of your running needs, from shoes, to food to marathon holding gear, this place also has it’s own team/club for all levels of runners in the long beach area. Feeling inspired and completely motivated to join this interesting group full of people who would have the same interest in running as I do, I looked up the team and downloaded the waiver and signed my name (as a new 18 year old) and for my birthday I joined the team and did my first practice with the team in beautiful Belmont shores. Being a Thursday night that warm September 24th, the team always meets their for a 4-7 mile practice. Feeling super excited I introduced myself to the team overall coordinator “Bob”. He was a nice older gentleman but I could tell this man had a lot of running experience under his belt. I also introduced myself to the other team mates who were there, they are all very nice and open minded people. My first run with these new people, I was a bit excited and nervous, but instantly I felt comfortable with these people, since we all had similar interests. Of course as a running enthusiast I did the longest distance, however it is hard to run in an unfamiliar area in the night. At the end of practice I am welcomed back with water and many conversations from the team. And since I had turned in my paperwork on my actual birthday, everyone had noticed it was my birthday, end everyone had wished me a happy birthday. And for the next couple of practices people know me and refer me as the person who joined the team on my 18th birthday. ha ha. Not only does the team meet on Thursdays but they also meet three other days of the week: Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. So far I have been running with the team on all of their given days at least once. All days have their own specific objective of running, speed and distance, with different varieties of people. Since I am training for my first marathon in February 2016, Saturday team meet-ups are my overall favorite, since that day is primarily focused on marathon training, and has always encouraging people that have conversations with you along the way of your 10-24 mile route on your training run. To me these people are like an asset to talk to, to keep myself motivated to keep running and training hard until the marathon.

 Tuesday team meet-ups are very convenient days to attend for myself because the team (always the biggest group of the week, average attendance: 50-70 people) meets up at Milikan High School which is literally 5 running minutes from my house. So of course I attend every Tuesday. The only back fire is that it is a track practice. Which is great, however for me if I do only the given workout I only put in 3-5 miles, and for marathon training that is nothing much. So I just supplement the workout by adding on at least 45 minutes of straight running before the actual workout, for me this always works out great because I end up finishing the day at about 8-12 miles on Tuesdays. Great!

 Tuesday practices are also great times to meet the whole entire team and hopefully get to know new people. Just be careful not to go out to fast on these track days because it can be a little bit of a speed demon workout especially with new found rivals next to you. I have felt sore the next day from going to fast on these days, which is why as a marathon runner I don’t do that any more and just put in my distance in a pace-time manner. Sundays are okay days they are meant for small groups of the team to join up in different areas, Its okay, but I would rather run on my own and run a greater distance then 7 or less. So now that you are not on your own when you run everyday, what else is a team good for? Well running and joining you at events of course! Every race I have done I have noticed at least some of the members or the whole team is at the event. Being on a team during an event is great because you get continuous

 encouragement from your teammates and of course recognition from others long after the race. The feeling of completing a race is just a lot better then completing a race on your own. That is something you definitely have to experience for yourself to know what I mean. I look forward to join this team in their holiday celebrations, and this team even holds their own 5k running events. To be apart of a team is just great. You stay motivated to keep going. You gain new knowledge to run a better race. You have constant support from new friends and teammates. To me all of these things is worth being on a team. To share a passion with a group of people and to share in the joy of a common interest is just something that can never be replaced. I recommend joining a running club 100%. Keep running my friends, and remember to always “Fear No Distance!”

Long Beach Half Marathon: Race Recap

  Another day another race has come and gone. And with that another start to the Beach Cities Challenge I go. My challenge always begins with Long Beach. Even though I love the area I live in and the marathon challenges that are given here but there is always that one race I dread to do because of a single part of the race that just feels long, endless and can ruin your time. For me that is the Long Beach marathon, in contrast my favorite race out of the challenge trio is Surf City, Huntington Beach, because of its cool weather and long and flat course with less twists and turns on the course.  

 That is probably why I chose this race to run as my first full marathon. However another race another medal to earn is what I always say. Living in bipolar weather California, and even though it is the middle of fall and the mornings are supposed to be cooler. Of course during this race weekend Southern California decides to go through a heat wave. Let me say that last year’s race that was this same time last year, race day was a whole lot cooler then this years. With the heat advisory of race day this year the Marathon offered a new option of instead of starting at the 7:30 half marathon time, they offered all runners to start at 6:00AM marathon start time. Living in Southern California I assumed I would be okay to run at 7:30 and bare the heat of the So. Cal heat. I watched everybody else start early and I stretched and prepared myself for my race to begin. Next time a race offers an early start time, I am going to take it because once that sun came out the heat just came with a vengeance. At the start of the race it was a brisk cool just enough to not be cold, and the first 7 miles were very interesting. These miles are easier to get by, because you run through Downtown Long Beach and there are things to see and keep you distracted while you get your miles in. that is the easy part though, the next part is what I dread most about Long Beach, is miles 7-9.5 is on the bike path on the beach, and yes in some ways this part is beautiful in its own way. For 2.5 miles in the hot sun with no shade on a straight is not exactly the best accommodations for any runner. Luckily I had some support from fellow team members from Team Runners High during the race, but the heat was really unbearable and I had to slow down a bit. In my thought when it comes to heat I chose to never mess with it, because while running it is so easy to get sick or worse so it is always better to play it safe. After the grueling 2.5 miles at mile 10 we get back on the pavement and start to head back to downtown to the finish line. At this part many runners are exhausted but luckily the kind locals of the city offer refreshing, energizing snacks or gels and spraying of water to fight the heat. Personally this is my favorite part of the race because the view of the city is just a phenomenal sight to see, and from mile 10-13.1 is just a straight shot through the city with the beach in your sight. Feeling tired at this point I got support from more team members that gave me the encouragement to keep going and finish strong. To be really honest without the support of my team I would have given up so many times. Down to the finish line is literally the best time to sprint because it is a fantastic downhill finish. At the end of the race and heading to the finisher’s chute I literally felt like I was dying but that’s okay because the race was over at that point. As always I was more than happy to receive my new medal. After that I literally stopped and felt like I could not move anymore, and as I started walking back to my team tent to meet with the others my eyesight was literally going and changing colors. I believe I took dehydration to another level at that point. Again to be honest after every race I love that feeling It is the feeling of pushing my body to the limit and even though I feel horrible I honestly feel good and healthy because of the accomplishment of completing a long distance race. After a few drinks and re-hydration I began to feel normal once again. Being with the team was great we all discussed our experiences of the race and exchange ideas on how to improve on our next races. The worst part of the race though was literally walking back to the car It felt like a never-ending walk in the hot sun. This race was not the best race I ran in my life but it was not to bad. There is definitely a lot I need to improve on, to prepare for my next race in November. Just have to keep practicing and keep running miles beyond miles. Also need to continue to bare this heat of California because I just have that feeling that we are in for a very warm Winter. Can’t wait to inform you all of my next race, next month from Aneheim, at the Disneyland Avengers Half Marathon. Until next time my friends keep on running and remember to always Fear No Distance! 


Never Ending Road: Running tips to Keep You Going!

 Runners everywhere no matter what skill level always hit a symbolic wall of conflicting thoughts, and questions of why? This can happen for a number of different reasons. It can happen to a person when they are just beginning their journey as a runner. It can happen when you are in the middle of your training. Even when you least expect it, sometime or another you will always wonder “why do I run?” However in saying that there is also a number of ways that can inspire you and remind you of why you run and know where you are going in your life of running. But if you are in the middle of a “running slump” and you feel like you just can not run any more, here are a few ideas to keep you motivated. If you are like me, a person who loves to run, who enjoys the thrill of running a great race, and receiving an awesome medal. Whenever I feel like I am in that slump I just remember the feeling of racing and that is what I run for, and to also add another great medal to my collection of course. Another great idea is to set a goal for yourself. Such as if you are a 5k runner you should work up your weekly distance so you can prepare for your 10k (6.2 mile) race. It works for marathoners as well. Like right now I am a half marathon runner who is training for his first marathon this coming February 2016. You definitely have to run a lot more miles to accomplish that. Another great idea to help you on your never-ending road of miles is by joining a running club or a team of some kind. A team/ club can add a great enhancement to your running experience. When you join, you get more than an experience you get new friends and people who share a common-interest that you can all enjoy together, most of the time when join a club you will be running events that you most likely do usually single-handedly anyway, so why not do it with new friends, while also helping each other reach new heights. In addition try to practice run at new destinations, run to new cities, run some place mysterious, just keep it mixed up in where you run. Because let me tell you, from my own experience running in the same place day in and day out can get insanely annoying and can decrease your enjoyment in running. These are just a few tips to keep you motivated to run. I hope everyone can just focus on their goals and enjoy their own running experience. Remember to always “Fear No Distance!”

Preface: Was Never Always a Runner

 As a person who loves to run, if you know me you probably would think that running is my whole life. If you knew me a couple years ago I was a completely different person. There are many reasons why I have created this blog. To be honest I didn’t even know people even made blogs anymore. What has come to my attention is that it turns out that many people create blogs for many reasons. Some create blogs for business, some for self awareness, even some for release of tension. As for me the point of this blog is to write about anything that is running and/or running related. But this blog is going to have a lot more then just updates of my own race experiences. I want to be able to help others accomplish more from running, and be more confident in their ability to run. As the reader I am sure you would like to know who is writing all of this running stuff. Well my name is Jacob Abrego living the blessed life in Southern California. As you can probably tell by now I am a very involved running enthusiast. Based off the title of this article I was never always a runner who runs endless miles every week, six days a week. I have learned quite a lot over the past hand full of years. I am not a naturally thin person, no the body I have now, is something I had to work for very hard for now and in the past. When I was younger I was a very chubby person, back before high school. I remember just the way I used to eat, I remember always telling my Mom or Dad, when they would pick me up from school and take me to McDonalds and ask me what do I want. ” I want a 10 piece chicken Nugget meal with a large Fries and a large Mr. Pibb!” Geez I still can’t believe I would do that, I even remember what I would do if I wanted to be on somewhat of a diet I would have 10 chicken nuggets, a medium fries, and a medium soda drink. Just wow! This does not even include all of the dark meat, fried foods, and plain straight out of the package Salami I would eat on a daily basis. No wonder my asthma was so bad back then. However as I got older I became more aware of what I was doing to myself, and comparing myself to others, as any other pre-teen would at the time. So I eventually made a great change for the better. Surprisingly, at first I got fit by playing video games. Of course this was no, sit on the couch potato video game, It was the “Wii Fit”. It took me a while to get used to doing all of the different exercises, but with these exercises having a video game aspect, It grew very easy for me to get used too. At the time, with all the peer pressure, and puberty happening, I used my gathered energy almost everyday to exercise (very hard), and put myself on a strict diet to live a more healthier life, and to, of course shed off the pounds. I remember being so concentrated on losing weight at the time that for the longest time I would skip school lunch, because I believed it helped. Luckily the timing was great for me, because during that time I hit a major, painful growth spurt. That Summer, I grew six inches! So with time, help from puberty, constant exercising, and a healthier diet, I eventually earned the healthy life I worked so hard for. During all that time I have leaned a lot, one to not starve yourself! and two, the key of how to exercise for your health, as a lifestyle, not just to lose weight. Keep in mind this was all before running for me. So the moral I would like to say about this is, to stay determined. No matter what situation you are in with enough determination you can do anything. Also to me it is a very key essential to live a healthy lifestyle, with a healthy diet and daily exercise, even if it is your bare minimum.
  So you got to know my background, but what kind of person am I? Well, I am a younger brother of three, cousin, best friend, Uncle, and a Godfather. I believe I am a family person, I enjoy being with my family every moment I can, and to just keep my ties with them as strong as possible. It is this trust and strength that is probably why I feel so encouraged, to keep going and do what I must to make everyone proud. Without a support system, what you do is almost practically nothing, its like doing something where you are always alone, with no one to help or talk to along the way. So without the support of family I probably would not be the person I am today.

So now that you have a good glimpse of who I am, you are probably left hanging thinking how did I begin running? Well fast forward for me back in High School of Sophomore year. I have never joined a sport, and I did not want to be stuck in another year of physical education class. I had no idea if I was good at anything sport-related, so I started looking for any sport that I thought would be easy for me. I knew for a fact I was no good in football, basketball, or baseball, or anything ball-related, mostly for the fact I have never played those sports. With the process of elimination, I eventually came to the thought of Track & Field (Cross Country was not even on my radar at that time, because who can run three miles?) With Track, I knew the racing events were not an option for me, because I was just not fast at all, but the field events seemed to be a different story for me. The throwing events, of course not, to much strength. The jumping events? “Sure, doesn’t seem too strenuous.” So with that, no tryouts required, and with the beginning of the school year in full swing I began my training as a jumper. Let me tell you, Jumping is a lot harder then it looks! As a jumper you do not just “jump” you have to run, and learn the technique of jumping. With that comes jumping exercises and track exercises for practice of that event. And here I thought I would never step foot on the Track. I stuck with the practice and did whatever my coach told me to do to the best of my ability, and eventually came my first track and field season meets. In doing the Long Jump event for my very first, I was very nervous, and well I did not do very well for my first try but I eventually got the hang of it. During the short season, I grew to find that jumping was very boring and there is no recognition that jumping could bring that a runner on the track could get. So that next year I decided to stay with the jumpers until I would workup the courage to go somewhere else, but what other event? I was still not very fast, I still could not throw, but I had noticed that there was an event I was completely oblivious too. The Long Distance events, These events had their own group and coach, which is why I have never thought about it before. I decided to join that section of the team, and what I got was a lot more then just a new event to practice. I got a new network of a support system, and I would soon find the love in something that is more then just running. When I joined Long Distance my confidence grew along with my stamina and endurance that came with the determination of constant practice. I am not saying I was a superstar or anything like that on the team, because I was not, but for me being able to do all of this running and never ending miles, was a huge milestone in my book. After a great season of Track I decided to take the distance even farther and join the Cross Country team. While doing all of these endless miles, every week, every month, I have learned to love running so much, that I felt like I could do so much more then just school events, and do something even bigger then this. One random day during that time I decided to do some research and look up some local five kilometer races, that are coming up soon. I find one that is that Sunday in Studio City, Los Angeles. My parents were shocked to learn that I wanted to do this, however they were very glad I wanted to take part in something new. So with my first ever 5k, I ran it the best I could, while enjoying this brand new experience. After completing the race I felt better then ever, and there was plenty of recognition to have from many different people. I was just happy to have completed the race with the feeling of doing it effectively. What happened next was a complete surprise to me! After the completion of the race and the results have been accounted for, the officials announced the winners for the top three in each individual age group, in my age group I actually got 2nd place, and received a medal! Again this was a complete shock to me, and I have never felt the way I felt at that moment, the feeling of confidence, and the feeling of ” I can do this!”. After that day I went on to complete more races, and win medals, and reach spectacular new heights! I went and am still going the distance with 5ks, to 10ks, to 15ks, to half marathons, to challenge races, to where I am proud to say I am currently training for my first full Marathon, February, 2016. So with this blog I hope to keep you guys motivated with running, and maybe even help you, with running and practicing. I hope in sharing my running experiences, you can get a feel of running and the potential it holds for anyone that chooses to go the distance. Remember “Fear No Distance!” and don’t ever be afraid to try something new or even change to live a more healthier lifestyle.

RunDisney: Dumbo Double Dare First Time Recap

    For many people everywhere Disney is probably the most happiest place on Earth. For many people running is probably the best extracurricular activity you can do. For some including myself, when you combine the magic of Disney, the pressure and excitement of a race, and add some spectacular medals, you can be sure to see me there. As a running enthusiast, fresh in College, former HS Cross Country and Long Distance runner and of course a Disney lover, when I first learned about these events I was very enthusiastic! Some people may say that the price for these races are too expensive, however in contrast for Disney, $500 for a two race challenge and 3 high quality medals( not saying anything about the 5k “medallion”) is not a bad price if it’s something you have to do at least once in your life. For any race that involves running or pretty much any sport, it is important that you prepare and practice. That concept is especially true when you are aiming to complete a RunDisney challenge race ( Dumbo Double Dare, Pixie Dust Challenge, Rebel Challenge, etc…), to prepare for these types of races practicing is most definitely the key to improvement. If you are preparing for the big 19.3, and you want to run a great race it is essential that you practice a good amount of your week, for me I practice six days a week, however if you are a busy individual it is best to run at least 4 days a week whenever you have an adequate amount of time. When practicing you want to be preparing to run many miles a week with sufficient running shoes and clothing. If you are just beginning to run, you should definitely start small and work your way up like for example start with a quarter or half a mile a day and work up another quarter or half every couple days or weeks, at least do as much as you feel comfortable to start out at. After spending much time on running many miles for practice, when it comes time to race your first RunDisney race expect a lot of fun, traffic, and early wake up calls. As a first time RunDisney racer, I did not know what to expect from the course or the countless other athletes I was up against. Since I was participating in the Dumbo Double Dare challenge the 10k (6.2 miles) race was up first. Driving to Disneyland at three in the morning is nowhere near as harsh as I thought it was. (at least traffic wise) Be prepared to pay parking fees even on multiple visits to Disney. When it comes to entertainment, Disney is no slouch. Even at three in the morning the pre-race party was just superb. there are many camera people ready to take pictures of you and hopefully you are in a great Disney costume. Also there is a DJ, and soon the famous Mickey and Minnie come out to visit. However since this year was villain themed, the villains come out to take over the race, and to wish all the racers a frightfully horrible time. The actual 10k race is great, that comes with race music, and appearances from Disney characters. One thing I have learned is that for a challenge, or any Disney race, you do not want to speed through the course, to try to get a personal record. You do not want to do that because: this race costs a lot of money, and also the course is one of the most interesting curses you will ever run. Especially since the course consists of going through the beautiful streets of Anaheim, through Disneyland, California Adventure and even go through the behind the scenes of the iconic theme park. For many people with running a race the best part of being in a race is probably completing the race, crossing the finish line, and claiming the superb medal. With Disney crossing the finish line is amazing you have countless people cheering you on, and many Disney characters are there to welcome you back from the race, and what is also waiting for you is the medal you have been waiting for. Now if you are lucky enough to participate in the Disneyland half marathon, that race is a completely different story. Compared to the 10k the half has about 9000 more racers, this year there was about 18000 participants! The 10k only held about 9000 participants. So you could say for the half that the race was a little bit “crowded”. Like I have already mentioned with any Disney race you want to enjoy the race and savor the sights and sounds that come with it. In saying that, while running in that race expect a few crowded spaces and some traffic jams. Of course Disney makes up for that by having you race through a beautiful race course that consists of again through Disneyland, DCA, the streets of Anaheim, the Honda Center, and even race through Angel baseball stadium, filled with many fans cheering you on along the way. Now after two racing days all of your hard work has paid off by crossing the finish line, and again being welcomed back by the Disney crew, fans, friends, and family. Of course when you cross that finish line expect to feel some sort of pain especially with the challenge races now being completed. Luckily the Finish line holds many resources for health such as: ice, advil, or cooling leg lotion. After you feel well enough to continue, you can head over to the medal pick up and claim your race medal and/or challenge medal(s). Overall RunDisney half marathon weekend presented by Cigna is the best race experience I have ever experienced, If you are ever able to, and love to run I recommend that you should experience this race as well. Also, the perfect touch to the end of a RunDisney race is to go to Disneyland, have fun, and replenish your calorie intake by eating Disney. Also Don’t forget to show off your RunDisney race bling around the park.

Blog at

Up ↑

The Lights into Mia's Life and Career

Welcome to Lights Within.


Real Fitness, Real Fun, Real Inspiration

Big Cat Runner

Running for the welfare of exotic cats.

Stuff I See When I Run

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller