Monday, June 4, 2012

June's Guest Post

June's guest post is Lisa Gonzales, from Alta Loma, CA. 

I ran across Lisa's blog during my early days on Twitter, and I have been inspired by her running ever since.  I hope you enjoy getting to know Lisa, I hope to one day run a race with her.

How did you start and how long have you been running?
I started running in January 2009. I weighed 220 lbs when I started and started out with a run/walk program. It was more walk than run. I gradually reduced the walking and increased the running until I was just running.

You have an alternative transportation system to get to and from work.
On my 40th birthday I weighed 300+ lbs, never enjoyed walking and running wasn’t an option because my knees were bad. I started riding my bike and worked up to where I could ride to/from work without being exhausted. I found that I really enjoyed bike commuting. It’s a lot less stressful than driving to work in the morning and it gives me a chance to decompress on the way home. I’ve continued it even after losing the weight. Now it’s about being green and saving money on gas so I can enter races! :)

This year, I decided to try running to work because the only thing I didn’t like about bike commuting was rainy days. I love running in the rain though so I thought I would try it on rainy days. That’s been a lot of fun and lets me get in doubles on the days I run commute.

What makes it easy for me to run/ride to work is that I only live 5.5 miles away so I can do as little as that or as much as I want (take the long way). When I run, I usually run between 6-7 miles each way. When I ride, it’s usually between 16-30 miles round trip. I can do most of that on the bike trail that connects the town I live in with the town I work in so it’s really stress free!

What was your first race?
A trail 5K, I had no idea how hard it would be and thought I was going to die! I weighed about 200 lbs and the hills just about killed me. My time was 51:31.

What were your thoughts when you crossed the finish line?
I was happy I didn’t die! Seriously, I think I had a whole range of thoughts. Happy to finished, frustrated with how slow I was. I was determined to get fitter/faster.

What’s your next race?
12 Hour – The Nanny Goat 12 Hour in Riverside, CA. Timed races are a lot of fun, there’s no pressure. Whatever you do, you do. You’re usually on a loop course so you get to know the other runners.  You get to see everyone, the fast/the slow because they’ll either pass you on a loop or you’ll pass them.

What is your proudest running accomplishment?
My proudest running accomplishment was the Lovell Canyon Love Me Two Times Challenge in Las Vegas last year. The Love Me Two Times Challenge has you pick one of their races on Saturday and another on Sunday. They have everything from 10K to 100 Miles. I chose to do a half marathon both days. It was my first back-to-back races and I wanted to run them smart. I surprised myself, the first day, I got a 7 min PR and won my age group even though I ran it “easy.” I was worried I’d run too hard to do well Sunday but I felt great the next day and ended up getting another 7 min PR, going sub 2hr for the first time in a half, AND winning the women’s race! My mom was there and that made it more special.

Do you listen to music when you run?  Why or why not?
I listen to music probably 50% of the time, mostly when I run early in the morning. Also on long runs because I can focus on that instead of pain/tiredness.

What is the longest distance you have run?
 45.6 mile at the New Year’s One Day 12 Hour in San Francisco.

Craziest thing you have found while running?
I haven't found anything weird, just always happy I find my way home. Especially on the trails. :) 

Who is your favorite runner?  Why?
 I have 2. One is Desi Davila because she has a lot of heart and she’s worked really hard to get to the level she’s at. My other favorite is Megan Aborghast, an ultra-runner who is kicking butt at 50 years old! It gives me hope, I have some fast running years ahead.

Who would win in a Ultra-marathon, Sherk or  Gumby?
Gumby would win because he has great form. It’s almost like he glides along effortlessly. :) Heat might be a problem for him though.

What is the address to your blog and what is the one thing you would want my readers to know about your running experiences.

The most important thing I've learned with running is that the ONLY limits we have are those that we've placed on ourselves. You CAN do more than you think you can. You CAN go farther than you think you can. It just takes time and patience. 

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