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Saturday, December 20, 2008

INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL SLIDE SHOW

Here are some pictures of the International Walk to School Day Event.

Enjoy!



Be, Dream, and Believe!

Monday, December 15, 2008

INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY

According to the oficial International Walk to School webpage:

"In 2006, an estimated 5,000 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia held Walk to School events"

"In 2007, millions of walkers from around the world walked to school"





Here in Alamosa, Colorado the International Walk to School Day is celebrated in early October. All the students from Alamosa are encouraged to meet at the local park early in the morning to walk to school.


Who Are They?

This is my second year participating. This time I walked over Boyd Elementary School with 2nd and 3rd graders. Boyd Elementary is just a mile away from the park.


It was wonderful to see parents, teachers and volunteers involved in such a fun event.



After the event, I spend some time with students at the cafeteria.

For additional information: http://www.iwalktoschool.org


Be, Dream, and Believe!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

ALAMOSA HIGH SCHOOL XC TEAM



During the summer I got a phone call from a parent of one of the members of the Alamosa High School Cross Country (XC) Team. This phone call was an open invitation to come and support the Cross Country Team with a fundraising.


Head Coach: Larry Zaragoza

All the XC athletes agreed on having a 24 hour relay. The relay consisted on running around the Ortega Middle School dirt track for 24 hours. They would log the miles ran and then they would go out and find someone to sponsor them.
The sponsor would agree to pay .25 cents for each mile run by the athlete during those 24 hours. The purpose of this fudraisig was to cover the traveling expenses for a XC race in San Diego.



I was happy to be part of such a amazing event. That day I still had a p.m run, so I joined the group around 6:00pm and run 6 miles around the track while the athletes took a break and had some dinner.


Coach: Peter De La Cerda

The energy, enthusiasm and support all these athletes had was amazing. It was wonderful to see how some parents and family members came to cheer on the team. I left home around 9:00p.m to get some sleep on my bed while all the coaches and team members stayed on the field the entire night. The athletes would take turns to run and sleep until 8:00am the next day.



The following morninig I got up at 6:00 a.m and headed to the track and run 11 miles. The miles I run were given to some of the athletes that had less miles. It was nice to be part of such an event. I was inspired and honor to be part of a 24 hour relay run.



To me this is a real TEAM..



Thank You Alamosa High School XC team for your example..

Be, Dream, and Believe!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ZUNI HIGH SCHOOL


A video of my visit to Zuni High School.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery and trails.For detail information about this visit please click here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

MY FIRST VIDEO

Today as I was organizing some of the pictures and videos from all of my projects, I came across a program to make my own videos... After 3 hours I came up with my first video ever. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do...


2008 Easter and Spring Fun Mile Run at Boyd Elementary School in Alamosa, Colorado.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

VIDEOS: ASC 2008 HIGH ALTITUDE XC CAMP

The following are some of the videos from the 2008 High School Altitude XC Camp directed by the Adams State College's cross country Coach Damon Martin.


High School Cross Country runners at the end of a hard workout at Cole Park in Alamosa, Colorado.


Coach Damon Martin speaks with athletes after the workout..If you need some inspiration watch this video...


In this video I got a chance to visit with some of the athletes. Some of the activities included an hour conference, signing some pictures, shirts and taking pictures with campers.

For more videos click here

Sunday, November 9, 2008

ADAMS STATE HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY CAMP


Photo by: Coach Georjean Perez

The 2008 Adams State High Altitude Cross Country Camp was a great success.
High School runners from all over the country pose in this picture after a mountain run "Rock Creek" that started at 9,000ft and finished at 11,100ft. GREAT JOB!




During this time of the year there are thousands of student athletes in the United States getting ready for the most important race of their season. Some will be competing at the State Championship while others are aiming for an individual or team national title in the United States. To all of you that I have had the opportunity to come across, I congratulate you for making it this far.



There is nothing more satisfactory in Cross Country than running not for you, but for your school, your teammates, coaches, and all of those that have fully supported you in such an amazing journey.For many this journey started during the summer. I cannot imagine the amount of miles or hours of training all this athletes commit to. Yet, they do it with a goal in mind. To make the varsity team, make it to state championship, improve their times, be part of a team, make someone proud, or they simply do it because, they love the sport.



This summer I had the opportunity to speak in front of approximately 250 amazing Cross Country High School athletes from all over the nation. I hope all of them are having successful seasons or have been able to cope with any injuries or setbacks. To me all of these athletes are already making a difference in their early lives and the lives of those that surrounds them. The best to all of you!



Click here for fun, inspiring videos from this camp.

Be, Dream and Believe…

Friday, October 3, 2008

"USADA" IN ALAMOSA

video

The Flip Video camera really comes in handy!


Its 6:00a.m and I text coach Martin to see when I can come to practice. Within a minute or so I get a text back that reads:

"Janet will be done around 7:00a.m you can come then. Today's workout is: 65min and 5 times 100meters"

I get to the office by 7:15a.m, I stretch and turn on the radio. I am on the "ALTER G" (Anti-gravity treadmill) by 7:45a.m. I am in the office by myself and I listen to the Spanish radio station while I am running. Listening to the local radio station reminds me a lot of my mother, since most of the music being played is "Nortena" my mother's favorite.

Five minutes into my run Coach Martin comes into the office. Then, 10 minutes later 2representatives from USADA (The United States Anti-Doping Agency) show up asking for me. Coach Martin greets them and lets them know I am a quarter or so into my morning practice. Both representatives wait in the office until I finish so that I can fill out some paperwork and provide them with a urine sample. It only takes 30 minutes to complete the process.

This shows USADA is doing their job by testing athletes out of competition. I am honor to be one of the athletes that gets to be tested, because just like Coach mentioned to the representatives this morning "Zoila is all about running 120-140 miles a week"

God Bless! Zoila

Thursday, September 18, 2008

TO MY MOST FAVORITE FRIEND


Dear Wes:

Two years have past since your departure and I found myself thinking of you during my 11 mile run this morning. I kept thinking of our trip to Mexico and all the lessons you shared with me during the 4 years of our friendship. When I met your daughter Alicia during history class back in 2002, I never imagined that my life was going to take such wonderful shift.

How can I forget the first time I met your wife Kathy and your 9 wonderful children at Adrian’s wedding. Short after the wedding, I was invited to your house for dinner. When I arrived at your house I felt like at home. I felt I had found a new family. That day Kathy introduced me to the best fried chicken and mash potatoes ever. Being at your house I always felt secure and at peace. By late June, we found ourselves planning a road trip to Mexico. That trip was a by far the best experience of my life. You taught me to see and appreciate the spiritual side of things. You helped me realized things I was unaware off.

I was always amazed by your ability to listen and to get to people’s hearts. You were able to break my shell and you help me admit and show my vulnerability. Remember when I could not take it anymore while we were at my mother’s house in Mexico and I had the biggest melt down of all time. I will never forget when you told me “You are not the super women you think” “You can control some things, but there is no way you can control everything and everyone that comes to your life” I am so thankful you made me realize that It was not my job to change my mother’s life style. I was clear I had to accept my mother just the way she was, because I was the daughter and she was my mother. You advised me to enjoy my mother’s company to its fullest and make the best of our trip. Thank you for all those lessons and the wonderful moments.

I am still pursuing my dream of becoming an Olympian. I was 4th at the Olympic trials on April. I am excited for the future and I am looking forward to make the 2012 Olympic Team. Soon after your departure, I joined “In the Arena” an organization that has fully supports me since 2006. A huge blessing! When Amory, the founder, called me to give me the news, I knew God had worked his magic to make this happen. Since then I had made big improvements in my running. Now, I get a massage at least once a week and I get to take naps pretty much every day for recovery. Also, I can afford to support my mother on monthly bases. The best part of being part of “In The Arena” is that I get to reach out to the youth. I found myself involved in speaking engagements and hanging out with kids from the local elementary school. If anything this has become a growing experience.

Norma, her husband, Alicia and the kids are doing great. We still live together and continue to support one another. My next race will be the Chicago Marathon on October 12th. If you can be there in sprit that would be terrific. My training for Chicago has been fantastic. My goal is to improve on my time and break the 2:30 minutes barrier. After that, I will take a nice break from running. I am contemplating going back to Mexico for vacation.

Wes, you really took the role of a big brother and really made a difference in the lives of me and my sisters. One way or another, you always made sure me and my sisters were protected. Did I ever told you that, you really made my day when you brought the entire family to cheer me on during the Adams State cross county home meet back in 2002. Oh God, there is so much to thank you about. Hope you are doing well wherever you might be. To me, you are still alive. You are a great friend, my most favorite friend of all times. YES, WE MISS YOU VERY, VERY MUCH.

Rest in Peace-

Zoila

Friday, August 29, 2008

SUMMER OLYMPICS

Hard to believe, the Summer Olympics came to an end and I find myself so inspired and encouraged by moments, athletes and a country that made the impossible possible by coming up with an amazing show.

Let me star with the opening ceremonies: Spectacular, mind blowing, incredible, astonishing, you name it! That evening the Alamosa High School Cross Country team had a 24 hour relay going on at their dirt track for fundraising purposes. I had no worries as I knew I could replay the opening ceremonies on the Internet. After my 6 mile leg at the middle school dirt track, I rushed home to watch the second part of the opening ceremonies with the rest of the family.

What about Michael Phelps and the entire swimming team? I do not know much about swimming, but what I saw on T.V. was just phenomenal. Phelps is just an example of how far years of hard training, commitment, and dedication can take you. Along with a network of support that made sure he was ready to go and get the job done. It was wonderful to see my 3 year old nephew get excited for the swimming competitions.

My most favorite moment was to watch Shawn Johnson win a individual gold medal on the beam. She stole my heart from day one. I admire her personality and professionalism. She never stopped smiling and cheering on her teammates. I admit I cried as she received her well deserved individual gold medal, cried some more when they were playing the national anthem and had a few tears come out when they interviewed her about her experience.

Many people e-mail me asking about my thoughts about the Women’s Olympic Marathon. Definitely, anything can happen in a marathon. I was extremely happy for Constantina Dita from Romania. She went for it and her courageous move paid off. This is an example of an athlete who never gave up and kept persevering. Finally, after many years of training and experience Constantina made it to the top winning the biggest honor of all, the Olympic GOLD medal.

I was in shock when Deena Kastor had to stop. I could not believe it. The first question that came to mind was WHY? Why Deena and why now? Deena has been an inspiration to me since the very first time I learned about her back in 1999. I admire her not only as the discipline fast runner she is, but I admire her as the women and kind person she is. It was unfortunate that she had to stop at the Olympics. I am confident she will bounce back and heal soon from this experience. If there is anyone that can handle staff like this is her. Deena is a fighter and will make the best of this experience.

If there is anything I learned from this Summer Olympics is that a single race or event does not determine who we are; but the journey, experiences, victories and defeats are the ones that help us define who we truthfully are.

Friday, August 8, 2008

THE BOILERMAKER!

As I had promised, I have some pictures from "The Boilermaker" a 15km road race in Utica, New York. This was my third year coming to this race and the whole weekend was quite an experience. There are so many things that make this race very special such as the community, volunteers, friends and elite runners.

1) The Community


All the people in Utica come together on race day. If people are no racing that day, they are volunteering or you will see people cheering for you for the entire 9.3 miles. This year one of my goals was to take a picture from the stage, so that you could see the amount of people who stay after the race just for the award ceremony. Isn't this cool?

2) Volunteers

The day before the race I came across Joe Johnson and Tim Fitzgerald. It was nice to be able to chat and share some of my experiences with them. I hope they have a great XC and Track seasons. Big Thanks to all the volunteers that make sure we had plenty of water during the race. Greetings to Jena Comstock, Kali Fical, Mike Fitzgerald, Debbie Comstock and Kim Fical.

3) Friends


Elizabeth and Mariann. I met Elizabeth back in 2005 when I run at Peachtree and I met Mariann in 2006 during my first Boilermaker. It was wonderful to get to see them again.


Larry Rawson, the best Track and field and marathon analyst of the whole world. He is one of my most favorite commentator. Larry knows how to cheer one on. Thanks Larry!


Kathrine, the fist women to officially enter and run the Marathon. She is a great role model and an inspiration.


I could not leave the stage without taking a picture with the Governor of New York, Mr. David A. Paterson. Yes, after a few attempts, finally one of his body guards had some compassion and offer to take the picture. Still, I can not stop smiling! That was by far the challenge of the day.


After the race, I had a blast in company of international athletes Lidia Simon from Romania, Felix Limo from Kenia,and Nadia Ejjafini from Morocco.

Yes! This year, The Boilermaker was a blast. An event that will remain in my heart and will motivate me as I continue on this journey.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

RUNNING AWAY


In the Arena athlete, Mike Hazle , makes USA Olympic Team

On behalf of the 8,000 young boys and girls we have already reached, I would like to congratulate all the “In the Arena” athletes for their inspiring performances as they attempted to earn an Olympic spot at the US Olympic Trials last month. Congratulations to Mike Hazle for making the US Olympic Team in the Javelin, a huge accomplishment and a well deserved honor.

Last week, I was scheduled to travel to Utica, New York for the Boilermaker, a 15km international road race that is well known for bringing some of the best athletes in the world and for having huge crowds that line up to cheer you on for the whole 9.3 mile course. Every year it amazes me how the whole community comes together on race day.This was my third year competing at the Boilermaker. I was excited to go back, have a great race, and meet up with many friends.

Just hours before I had to hit the road to catch up an airplane in Denver, CO (4 hour drive) I stopped by the Ortega Middle School here in Alamosa to spend some time with a group kids. Mi visit with these young enthusiastic kids turned out to be fun, pleasant and even a personal one. After I introduced myself and let them know all about my background, athletic career, and shared a few stories we moved on into comments or questions. Thank you guys for sharing some of your own personal goals, for wanting to know about what it takes to chase the dream of becoming an Olympian, and for all the tips, encouragement, and great deal of advice received. Believe it or not, these kids are smarter than one could ever think.

In the Arena with students from Ortega Middle School in Alamosa, CO.

I was very happy to leave the town knowing that back home was a group of kids possibly thinking and planning out their future and how they could make their immediate dreams come true. One of the stories I got to share with the group was about one of my early dreams.

“One of my very first dreams or fantasies (8 or 9 years old) was to run away from home and make my way to a big city, find a job.. Find a family that could adopt me, get an education, be successful and eventually take care of my mother.. I remmember my plan was to bring a few cans of tuna for the road and I would beg for money or ask for a job during my journey. Back then, these plans ended up being only plans. Yes, I never run away from home. Yet, now days I do find myself running away from home to big cities and other countries for competition. Yes, it took me nearly 20 years to do so, but I do it in a realistic way. Studying and working hard everyday at what I love doing, running, has allowed me to run away from home at least once a month. My point is that we can start making baby steps to our future now by dreaming of the type of life we want to live when we grow up. Always keeping our dreams and fantasies in our hearts and working toward them. Eventually, some of these dreams will become true”

After I was done speaking, we hanged out in the classroom, took pictures and I got to sign up autographs. As I was signing autographs I could hear some kids saying staff like: “Yes, I am telling you she is famous” or “ I will print a picture of her and post it in my room”. Many girls came up to me for a hug and promised me they would keep in contact. I did not have any ITA t-shirts in hand, but we made a deal. I encouraged the kids to write me a letter or e-mail letting me knows what size of t-shirt they would need and a return address, so that I could mail them an ITA shirt. Amory, I hope you do not mind.

As for the Boilermaker, please keep tune as I will be posting some pictures and sharing some cool stories soon!

Dream Big!

Monday, June 30, 2008

JUNE 2008: A MONTH TO REMMEMBER

There are some wonderful moments about the month of June that remainded me how bless I am for pursuing my athletic dreams, for being a part of ITA, and for having family and friends that will always love and support me no matter where I stand in life.

June 09, 2008
The Olympic Training Center
Chula Vista CA.


My experience at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista will be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. I was at the center for 3 days and the purpose of my visit was to do a Vo2 max and blood test. These tests will allow my coach to figure out more accurate paces for my workouts and we will have an opportunity to hear my body speak of itself through the fascinating world of physiology.

While at the center I had the opportunity to dine and go for a run with Sara Hall. Sara and I had met previously, but this time I had the chance to share a story I had in storage for Sara from 10 years ago when I first saw her compete at the Mt. Sac Cross Country race while she was in High School and I did not speak a word of English. This particular experience proved me that indeed there is a place and time for everything.

This was the time where a new door of opportunity had just opened. There I was, walking, dinning, sleeping, running, icing, and getting a massage at the USA Olympic Training Center. Now, I can say that I am closer to my dreams and I am more than ready to keep going in this wonderful world of athletics. I am excited, pumped, and inspired. Thanks to Team USA California and all the staff at the training center for making me feel like at home.

June 10,2008
Woodland Park Middle School
San Marcos CA.




The difference we can make in someone's life just by sending an e-mail blows my mind. A few days after the Olympic Trials I received an e-mail from Jose Pena a professor from Escondido California. In his e-mail he mentioned how impressed he was not only by my performance at the Marathon Olympic Trials, but my story in general. After Jose came home from the Boston Marathon he could not help it and went to school to share my story and a few pictures of me to his English as a Second Language Students. In his e-mail Jose asked me if I could send a poster of me to his class. To be honest I was so moved by Jose’s willingness to motivate his students, but I did not and do not have any posters of me so I offered to send the students some “In The Arena” t-shirts. Everything worked out perfectly as I ended bringing the ITA t-shirts myself to San Diego and personally gave them to Jose, so that he could handle them to his students on their last day of school ( June 10th). Unfortunately, I could make it to their school as I had the V02 max test that day. Later in the week, I had the honor to dine with Jose and his family at their house in Escondido CA. Jose's wife, Marion, has posted some of her impressions of my visit in their family blog.

I am extremely thankful for Jose's e-mail. My trip to San Diego turned out to be a great one as I did not only enjoyed my stay at the Olympic Training Center, but had the opprtunity to meet a wonderful family that received me in their house with open arms. In top of that we made 32 middle school students happy as they received the In the Arena t-shirts Amory Rowe did not hesitate to provide.

The following are some of the notes I received from some of Jose’s students:

“Dear Zoila, It is a really nice thing of you to give us t-shirts. I am 12 years old and I care about getting god grades, so I can get a good job. You should keep working hard so you can get where you want to be. Keep up the good work. Sincerely, Leslie Ortiz”

“Dear Zoila Gomez, Than you for the t-shirts. It is amazing how you got 4th in the trials. When Mr. Pena came back he talked to us about you. He also told us that you were also in ELD (English Language Development) like we are, and that you got out of ELD. Like me and my friend Amy are going to regular classes next year. You are and amazing person. Good luck in your running. My name is Alondra Calva. I am 12 years old. I am in 7th grade and the total number of members in my family is six. Mr.Pena also showed us pictures of you”

“Than you for the T-shirts, they are really cool. Good luck on your next race. I am counting on you. I saw you run the trials, sorry you came in 4th place maybe next time you can come in much better pace. Sincerely, Luis Sanchez”

“Dear Zoila, Thank you for the t-shirts you gave us and I hope you visit our school. Arturo Alba”

June13th 2008
Costa Mesa, CA


I do not even remember when was the last time I run at Fairview Park or to Huntington Beach. I could not come back home without visiting my family and friends in Costa Mesa, CA. I had a blast spending some time with my former Junior College coach Dave Fier and a few other people I have not seen in years.

It was nice having, my sister Nohemy and my 5 year old niece Mariana, around to time me for my 6 time 1 mile workout at Orange Coast College. After my 4th repeat, I was breathing so hard that my niece asked me if I was crying. Before my last repeat she came up to me and said “Remember, No crying!”

On Sunday, some members of my family had a Carne Asada to celebrate father’s day. The highlight the day was that we ended up having 100 meter races on the middle of the street and many kids from the neighborhood got excited and asked if they could race. See there is always an opportunity to reach out to our youth and I could not pass this one.

By the time Monday came, I was so ready to come home and get back into my small world of running, eating and sleeping.

Thank you to every single member of my family and friends for your unconditional love and support.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

TIME FOR MY KIDS PART II


One of the things I love about being part of “In the Arena” (ITA) is that the organization really gives me the opportunity to come in touch with so many kids here in the valley without having to sacrifice training time. We ITA athletes are in charge of our own programs, schedule and activities. Our working schedules are very flexible something that allows us train, compete and give something back to our communities with special emphasis on youth. After the trials, I was very excited to come home and reach out as many kids as possible. I had such a great time while I did several appearances at the Boyd Elementary School . Luckily, the kids had a series of events (The spring festival, a visit to the local museum and the spring mile fun run) I could be part of.

LOCAL MUSEUM

The visit to the Alamosa museum was a blast. There were approximately 100 kids who gathered in the Alamosa museum. I could tell, all of kids were very excited to be out of the classroom. I was very happy to be part of another cool, fun experience. I was so excited to bring in my Flip Camera and It was wonderful to see how many of the kids asked me if they could use it.
video
A visit to the Alamosa Museum

By the time we were done with the tour, once again I found myself emerged into a totally different world; the one of a 2Nd grader. This experience took me back to my own childhood as me and a group of kids stared playing “Me, me, me” and “Marinero que se fue a la mar y mar y mar” games that I used to play with my friends when I was 8 years old. I was amazed of how in a way history was repeating itself as I was able to share the games my role models shared with me some 20 years ago.

Me, me, me. Me subo a la torre. Toco la campana. El padre me regana. Me hace una pregunta. Yo se la contesto asi, asi, asi, asi: Me-Nu-Do

After we left the museum, the bus driver dropped us off at Cole Park. There, me and a few of the girls continued playing me, me, me and marinero que se fue a la mari mari mar.

"Marinero que se fue a la mar y mar y mar. A ver que podia ver y ver y ver. Y lo unico que pudo ver y ver y ver. Fue el fondo de la mar y mar y mar. (Repeat 4 times)"

MILE FUN RUN

video
Ready, Set, Goooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Spring was finally here and the kids at Boyd Elementary had their annual spring mile fun run. The highlight of the day was to realized that the time I have previously spend with all these kids is paying off. This time around I felt like at home. I knew most of the kids. Some of them came up to me and said “I saw you on TV” “Thanks for coming” Many girls asked for a hug, because they were very nervous. I was very glad to be there to support them.


This experience was just a reconfirmation of how we as athletes, role models, and organization can in fact make an impact in their lives.

A few interviews with some of our future running stars after their inspiring performances.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

TIME FOR MY KIDS

After some rest and catching up with family and friends, I have also been catching up with my kids at Boyd elementary school. Last week, I came by to share my experience with 22 wonderful second graders. They interviewed me and got to see some pictures from the race.



The kids were all excited to see some pictures. Most of them laughed and were quite surprised about our running uniforms and our painful faces as we were on the last stages of the race.

The folowing is a video of the kids singing in front of family and friends at the spring festival.



Today, they will have a field trip to the wild life refugee and on Friday is the spring mile fun run. Also,tomorrow afternoon I will drive to "Del Norte" a town 45 miles west of Alamosa for a speaking engagement at the local high school to the track team. I will keep you posted with some videos from the events.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

I am still trying to figure out all that has happened in the past 4 days. One thing I know for sure is that this was by far the best marathon I have executed until now. I am glad it happened to be on Sunday at the Olympic Trials. Going into this race I had a very important goal to achieve and that was to run for something better than myself (Coach, sponsors, family, and friends) I am very proud to say: "Mission accomplished". There is nothing more rewarding than to be able see all of them come together and enjoy this wonderful moment of my life with me. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share the best in me with the people I love, respect, and care so much about. Thank you so much to all my fans that follow my steps and keep me in their thoughts and prayers. Congratulations to Deena, Magda and Blake for a wonderful race and the very best in the Olympics. We will be cheering for you. God Bless Us All!


That day, God blessed me with a 4th place finish and a Personal Best of 2:33:53

MISSION CUMPLIDA

Aun estoy tratando de comprender todo lo que ha pasado por los últimos 4 días. De lo que si estoy muy segura es de que este fue sin duda alguna el mejor maratón hasta en momento. Estoy muy contenta que fue en el selectivo Olímpico. Para esta carrera tenia una meta muy importante por cumplir y esa meta era el correr por algo mucho mejor que mi misma (Mi entrenador, mi familia, mis patrocinadores, amigos y gente que me vio crecer) Estoy orgullosa de poder decir: “Misión Cumplida”. No hay premio mas grande que el poder verlos a todos unidos en pensamiento y disfrutando de este gran momento de mi vida conmigo. Estoy agradecida de tener la oportunidad de compartir lo mejor de mí con la gente que amo, respeto y quiero mucho. Gracias a todos mis fans que siguen mis pasos y me mantienen en sus pensamientos y oraciones. Felicidades a Deena, Magdalena and Blake por tan maravillosa carrera y lo mejor en las Olimpiadas. Estaremos hechandoles porras. ¡Dios nos Bendiga a Todos!

Dios me bendijo con un 4th lugar y una mejor marca personal de 2:33:53

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FLIP VIDEO CAMARA

The Flip video camara is now working.. So here are a few videos that my sister took before in case you are curios to know what we were up to, two days before the BIG RACE. Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2008

STILL IN BOSTON!

I am still in beautiful Boston. Besides being very sore and nursing some blisters, we are enjoying the extended stay in the east coast at Amory and David Salem's place. Also, I am trying to figure out how to post an Spanish interview for my family and friends that are non-Enlish speakers and want to know how I am doing and how I look after placing 4th at the USA Women Marathon Olympic Trials yesterday here in Boson.... I will try to be fair and if this works out, I will have an English interview for all of you soon.

The folllowing interview was conducted by Alicia Zapata.






AUN EN BOSTON

Aun me encuentro en la hermosa ciudad de Boston. Aparte de estar super adolorida y cuidando de unas cuantas ampollas; estoy disfrutando al maximo mi estancia en en el la costa oeste en casa de Amory and David Salem. Tambien estoy tratado de poner una entrevista en espanol para familiares y amigos que no hablan ingles y que estan ansciosos de saber como estoy y como me veo despues de haber obtenido un 4to lugar en el selectivo para el equipo del maraton olympico de Estados Unidos. Tratare de ser justa y si esto funciona, tendre un entrevista en Ingles para todos ustedes muy pronto. Entrevista con Zoila Gomez Por: Alicia Zapata

http://www.youtube.com/user/rungomezrun

Friday, April 18, 2008

GREETINGS FROM BOSTON

My sister Alicia and I are finally here in Boston for the most anticipated race of the year “The Women’s Marathon Olympic Trials”. We arrived yesterday afternoon and had the privilege to stay at Amory’s house. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with Amory and her husband David Salem. As always, they went the extra mile to make sure we felt like at home and prepared a delicious meal all of us enjoyed.

I got up this morning around 7:00 a.m. had a banana for breakfast and went for a 45 minutes run around 8:00a.m. I came back stretched and had a real breakfast before I took a shower and got ready to be taken to our hotel for a press conference.

The press conference was quite exciting. It really made me feel more relax and I realized I am not alone in this. There will be 153 women at the starting line on Sunday, April 20th. I am exited and honor to be here and be part of such an amazing event, surrounded by amazing people. Every single one of us, have a story to share, have a goal to achieve, and most importantly had work hard to make it this far.

I am also very happy to be able to share this experience with my sister. The weather for Sunday is expected to be ideal for the race. Thank you so much to all of you that follow my career for your e-mails and messages of encouragement.

PD: Amory is the founder of “In The Arena”

SALUDOS DESDE BOSTON

Bueno pues mi hermana Alicia y yo por fin ya estamos en Boston para la carrera mas anticipada del año “ El selectivo para el equipo olímpico del maratón”. Llegamos a Boston ayer por la tarde y tuvimos el privilegio de quedarnos en la casa de Amory. Fue padrisimo poder compartir un rato con Amory y su esposo, David Salem. Como siempre, hicieron todo lo posible para que nos sintiéramos como en casa y prepararon una comida deliciosa que todos disfrutamos.

Esta mañana me levante a las 7:00 a.m. desayune un plátano y salí a correr por 45 minutos a las 8:00 a.m. Regrese y tuve un desayuno mas real antes de que nos llevaran al hotel para acudir a una rueda de prensa. La rueda de prensa estuvo muy emocionante. Me hizo sentir mucho mas relajada y me di cuanta que no estoy solo en esto. Habrá 153 mujeres compitiendo el domingo 20 de abril. Estoy emocionada y es un privilegio estar aquí, ser parte de este evento y estar rodeada de gente maravillosa. Cada una de nosotras tenemos una historia que contar, tenemos una meta por cumplir lo mas importante hemos trabajada arduamente para llegar hasta aquí.

También estoy muy contenta de compartir esta experiencia con mi hermana. El clima para el domingo será ideal para la carrera. Muchas gracias por sus correros electrónicos y mensajes alentadores.

PD: Amory es la fundadora de la organización "In the Arena"

Friday, April 4, 2008

ONE STEP AT A TIME

My training for the last month has been great, so here is a glimpse of what training in Alamosa for the marathon under the guidance of Coach Damon Martin is all about. My weekly schedule consists of 3 easy days, 2 hard workouts, 2 long runs and double workouts 5 times a week.



Mt. Blanca, one of the highest mountains in the world (14,000ft).


My easy days are on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. These days I normally run 11 miles in the morning starting at 7:30 minutes per mile and finishing up at 6:50minutes per mile. Then I come back in the afternoon for a 6 mile run at the same pace. If I am pretty tired then I forget about pace and just go for the mileage. Hard days are Tuesday and Friday. This Tuesday I did 5 sets of 5 times 1 minute all out or as fast as I could go with 2 minutes recovery between sets. Today, Friday I had 10 times 1 kilometer with 2 and ½ min recovery between each one. Then, I have a 5 mile easy run later today.


I only have a minute to go.. Like Coach would say "One minute of your life" I am almost at the top!

My long runs are on Wednesday and Sunday and I only run once. Sundays I can be running between 18 miles and 24. Last Sunday I had what I think would be my last 20 miler before the trials. The Wednesday run is still long, but shorter than Sunday between 13-16 miles in the mountains.


Are you ready for a race? Well, we are... Ready, Set, GO!
Brayan, Alicia, Alan, and Norma
.

Even though, my training might look somewhat difficult. I do enjoy every single step I take. To make the process much more enjoyable, I do take long naps after long sessions, take a massage at least once a week, and I try to have as much fun as possible by having my love ones involved. Last week, my mountain run turn out to be a picnic day for my sisters and nephews and a great training run for me as they came along, cheered me on, and gave me water during my 14 mile run. Enjoy the beautiful scenery Fort Garland Colorado has to offer.

UN PASO A LA VEZ…

Mis entrenamientos en el último mes han ido de maravilla y pensé en darles una pequeña idea del tipo de entrenamientos que hago para mi preparación del maratón aquí en Alamosa, Colorado; bajo la supervisión de mi entrenador Damon Martin. Mi horario semanal consiste en 3 días fáciles o de recuperación, 2 días de resistencia, 2 entrenamientos de intensidad o difíciles, y 5 días de doble entrenamiento.

Los días fáciles o de recuperación son el lunes, jueves y sábado. En estos días normalmente corro 11 millas por la mañana (18 kilómetros) comenzando a 7:30 minutos por milla (1600 metros) y terminando a 6:50 minutos por milla. Después regreso por la tarde para un segundo entrenamiento que consiste de 6 millas (9,600 metros) al mismo paso que el entrenamiento de la mañana. Si me encuentro muy cansada entonces me olvido del paso y del reloj y solo me concentro en la distancia. Los días difíciles o de intensidad son los martes y viernes. Este martes mi entrenamiento consistió en 5 sesiones de 5 veces 1 minuto. Este entrenamiento consiste en correr lo más rápido que puedas por un minuto y descansar por uno. Después del quinto tienes un minuto extra de descanso. Hoy viernes me toco hacer 10 veces 1 kilómetro con un descanso de 2 minutos y medio después de cada kilómetro. Luego tengo 5 millas (8 kilómetros) por correr por la tarde.


Los entrenamientos de resistencia o largos son los miércoles y domingos y solo corro una vez en estos días. Los Domingos puedo estar corriendo de 18 a 24 millas depende de la semana. El domingo pasado tuve lo que creo será mi última sesión de 20 millas antes de el selectivo. Los miércoles el entrenamiento es aun largo y consiste de 13 a 16 millas.

Aunque, la preparación parezca un tanto exagerada, difícil o un gran reto, la verdad es que disfruto al máximo cada paso que doy. Para disfrutar aun mas este proceso, duermo mis siestas después de las sesiones largas, voy a que me den un masajito de perdido una vez a la semana, trato de divertirme lo mas que pueda al involucrar a mis seres queridos. La semana pasada mi entrenamiento en las montañas se convirtió un día de picnic para mis hermanas y mis sobrinos y para mi fue un gran día de entrenamiento ya que tenia compañía, me echaron porras y hasta me dieron agua durante las 14 millas (aproximadamente 23 kilómetros) que corrí ese día. Espero y disfruten el hermoso paisaje que el pueblo de Fort Garland Colorado tiene para ofrecer.

PD: Fort Garland es un pueblo localizado a 24 millas (38 kilómetros) al este de Alamosa.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

HAPPY EASTER!

We are ready to hunt eggs!!!!

This past Thursday I was able to spend some time with a group of 2nd graders at Boyd Elementary School. I was very excited to help the teacher hide Easter eggs at the park. It was so cool to see all the kids run around the park looking for eggs. Some of them found as much as twenty eggs.

Can you tell how many eggs I found?

Also they had the egg drop contest. Kids were encouraged to bring a row egg, so that they could throw it out the window from the two story building. The goal was for the students to use their creativity to protect their row egg as much as possible so it would not break during the drop. 10 kids brought a row egg and were ready for the challenge. Only 6 out of the 10 eggs survived the test.

My raw egg will survive, I know it!

Reis Martinez did a great job by protecting his egg with a couple of pillows. The egg was so well protected that he even had a hard time finding the row egg to prove that it did not break. That was so much fun. We could not stop laughing.



The highlight of the day was to watch their joyful and pure smiles. I loved how Ms. Lopez (the teacher) rewarded every single student for their efforts. Some got mini notebooks, an extra Easter egg, pencils, jumping ropes, etc. I am optimistic that experiences like this one will help them shape their lives in a very positive way. I am glad I had the chance to be part of this valuable moment.



Happy Easter from a group of lovely 2nd graders, Ms. Lopez and a runner that wishes she could be a 2nd grader again!!!!

¡FELICES PASCUAS!

El pasado Jueves pase un buen rato con un grupo de niños de segundo grado de la escuela primaria Boyd. Me emocionaba la idea de poder ayudar a la maestra a esconder los huevos de pascua en el parque. Fue padrisimo ver correr a todos los niños alrededor del parque en busca de los huevos. Algunos chiquitines encontraron hasta 20huevos.

Otra actividad que los niños tuvieron ese día fue la competencia del huevo crudo. Los niños fueron animados a traer un huevo crudo para que fuera tirado desde la ventana del salón, que esta en un segundo piso. La meta era que los niños usaran su creatividad y protegieran su huevo para que cuando tiran el huevo, este no se quebrara. 10 niños trajeron huevos crudos muy bien protegidos y estaban listos para el reto.

Reís Martínez hizo un excelente trabajo al proteger su huevo con un par de almohadas. El huevo estaba tan protegido que ni el propio Reis podía encontrar el huevo para comprobar que no se había quebrado. Eso fue tan divertido que no parábamos de reír.

Lo que mas lindo del día fue ver sonrisas alegres y puras durante la tarde. Me encanto como la maestra López premio a cada estudiante por su esfuerzo. Algunos niños recibieron mini libretas, un huevo extra de pascua, lápices, cuerdas para brincar, etc. Mi optimismo me dice que experiencias como estas ayudara a los chiquitines a construir sus vidas de una manera positiva. Estoy contenta de haber sido parte de momentos tan valiosos como este.

Felices Pascuas de parte de un grupo de adorables niños de segundo grado, la maestra López y una corredora que desearía estar en segundo grado una vez mas!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

“THE ROAD TO SUCCESS WILL BE ROCKY”

Thursday, March 6th: I was ready to go for the 15km USA championships in Jacksonville, Florida. I left Alamosa at 6:30 a.m. and I arrived to Jacksonville at 4:30 p.m. To my surprise, I found out my bag was missing. I filed a claim and I did not make a huge deal about it, since the person at the luggage claim desk assured me I was going to get my bag late that evening. Fortunately, packing my uniform (tights, shorts, singlet, pants) in my carry on backpack allow me to go for a 40 min run soon after I got to the hotel.

Friday, March 7th: I placed different phone calls to try to locate my bag. I was worried, because I did not have my racing flats with me. I called the Asics manager in California to see if he could referred me to someone in Jacksonville, so that I could get a pair of flats and an extra outfit. A representative from Asics in Florida was able to provide me with an outfit from the Asics boot at the expo. He also kept making phone calls to see if he could find me a pair of flats. No luck. Fortunately, as soon as I arrived to the hotel from the expo, around 6:00p.m, I was confirmed that my bag had just arrived.

Saturday, March 8th: Race day, I was ready to compete. As soon as the race started, a pack of 13 girls stayed together. Not even a mile into it I got this weird cough. I tried to relax and go with the flow. The pace was not that hard, still I felt was putting more effort into it than normal. After 5 miles or so, I started loosing the pack. I timed mile 6 to 7; my split was 5:50. I knew I had more in the tank and I could run faster than that. I made an effort to pick up the pace. I tried to visualize myself running the last part of a tempo run. That seemed to help. I battled against myself and the wind for the last 2 miles. I was able to catch a couple of girls before I got to the finish. During the cool down, I was starting to feel sick, my whole body ached and I could barely jog. At this point I knew that while I was fighting to stay with the pack, my body was busy fighting a cold.



Sunday, March 9th: Got up at 3:30a.m. to be taken to the airport. My flight in Atlanta was delayed due to mechanical problems; as a result, I missed my 1:00p.m flight to Alamosa. Next flight was not until 8:00p.m. After 2 hour search for my bag in Denver I headed out of the Denver Airport for a jog/run that only lasted 50 minutes after a coughing attack forced me to stop. As I was eating, I tried to reflect upon my race and the entire trip. I was sad I did not get a chance to test my fitness. What else could it possible go wrong? I had a fortune cookie in front of me and I remembered the message I got from my last fortune cookie a month ago “ The road to success will be rocky” I quickly opened the new fortune cookie I had in front of me searching for some comfort. “The Clouds will rain success in to you” It said. I smiled, picked up my backpack and headed to my gate to catch the plane that will finally take me home.

Monday, March 10th: I have a terrible cold. I ate and slept as much as I could. I was tempted to go for a run, but my body felt so weak that I knew running was not a good idea. I opted to stay home, rest, and make some chicken soup to bust my immune system.

I am so looking forward to be 100% for my next competition. Although, the road to success can be rocky, I need to be healthy to be able to receive the rain of success the clouds will bring.

Be, Dream, and Believe.


“EN EL CAMINO AL ÉXITO ENCONTRARAS OBSTÁCULOS”

Jueves 6 de Marzo: Estoy lista para el campeonato nacional de los 15km en Jacksonville, Florida. Me fui de Alamosa a las 6:30 de la mañana y llegué a Jacksonville a las 4:30 de la tarde. Para mi sorpresa, me encontré que mi maleta estaba perdida. Inmediatamente pongo una demanda y no hago tanto escándalo ya que la persona que me atendió en la oficina de reclamos de equipaje me aseguro que mi maleta llegaría por la noche y seria enviada a mi hotel. Me sentí tranquila de que la situación se había resuelto. Afortunadamente el poner mi uniforme ( shorts, pantalones, playera y chamarra) en la mochila que llevaba conmigo me facilito el que pudiera correr 40 minutos tan pronto como llegué al hotel.

Viernes 7 de Marzo: Hice varias llamadas para localizar mi equipaje. Estaba preocupada porque no tenia mis tenis de correr conmigo. Llame al encargado de los atletas de Asics en California para ver si me podía ayudar a conseguir un par de tenis y un cambio de ropa aquí en Jacksonville. Un representante de Asics de Jacksonville pudo conseguirme un cambio de ropa en el puesto de Asics que estaba en la expo. También hizo varas llamadas para poder conseguirme un par de tenis. Pero no tuvo suerte. Afortunadamente, a eso de las 6:00 de la tarde tan pronto como llegué al hotel de la expo el personal del hotel me confirma que mi maleta acaba de llegar.

Sábado 8 de Marzo: Es el día de la carrera y me sentía lista para competir. Cuando se dio el comando de salida un grupo de 13 corredoras nos quedamos juntas. Una milla (1600km) dentro de la carrera me dio una tos muy rara. Trate de relajarme e ir con el paso de las demás. El paso no era tan difícil, pero me sentí como si estuviera poniendo más esfuerzo que lo debido. Después de 8km comencé a perder al grupo. Tome el tiempo de la milla 6 a la 7 y estaba corriendo 5:50 por 1600km. Sabia que tenia mas energía y que podía correr mas rápido que eso, así que hice un esfuerzo. Comencé a imaginar que estaba corriendo las últimas dos millas de una sesión larga de entrenamiento. Al parecer la visualización ayudo un poco. Luche contra mi misma y el viento por los últimos 3 km. Conseguí pasar a dos corredoras antes de llegar a la meta. Mientras enfriaba comencé a sentirme enferma. Todo mi cuerpo me dolía y se sentía como cortado y apenas y si podía trotar. En ese momento me di cuenta que mientras yo peleaba para permanecer en el grupo durante la carrera, mi cuerpo estaba ocupado tratando de pelear con una fuerte gripe que se aproximaba.



Domingo 9 de Marzo: Me levante a las 3:30 de la mañana para que me llevaran al aeropuerto. Mi vuelo en Atlanta se retrazo por fallas mecánicas. Como resultado perdí mi vuelo de la 1:00 de la tarde a Alamosa. El siguiente vuelo no era hasta las 8:00p.m. Después de buscar mi maleta por dos horas en el aeropuerto de Denver, salí del aeropuerto a correr o trotar por 50 minutos después de que un ataque de tos me impidiera seguir corriendo. Mientas comía, trataba de reflexionar acerca de mi carrera y mi viaje. Estaba triste por haber perdido la oportunidad de correr fuerte y quedar en un mejor lugar. ¿Que mas podía ir mal en este viaje? Tenía una galletita de la suerte/china frente a mí. Cuando recordé que mi ultima galleta de a suerte que abrí hacia ya un mes tenia un mensaje que decía “En el camino al éxito encontraras obstáculos” En busca de consuelo, rápidamente abrí la galletita de la suerte que tenía frente a mi. Esta vez el mensaje decía “Las nubes traerán una lluvia de éxito hacia ti” Sonreí, recogí mi mochila y me dirigí a la sala de espera para agarrar el avión que finalmente me llevaría a casa.

Lunes 10 de marzo: Tengo una gripe horrible. Comí y dormí lo más que pude. Me dieron ganas de salir a correr, pero mi cuerpo estaba débil que sabia que el correr no era una gran idea. Decidí quedarme en casa a descansar, y hacer un caldito de pollo para reanimar mi sistema inmunológico.

Estoy ansiosa por estar al 100% para la siguiente competencia. Aunque, el camino al éxito tenga sus obstáculos, necesito estar saludable y lista para recibir esa lluvia de éxitos que las nubes traerán.

Se, Sueña y Cree!

Friday, March 7, 2008

HEART AND SOUL ARE FULL OF SPIRIT!

March 2007
Jacksonville, Florida.

First of all I want to apologize for taking so long to update my blog. The intention and ideas were there, but my training for the month of February was so intense that I totally segregated myself from everything and got into my own little world of running, eating, and sleeping. Last week, I was anxiously counting the days for the month of February to be over, back off, and relax for a bit. Something that I know my legs will totally appreciate. To make things even better, my heart and soul are full of spirit due to a sequence of great news I recently received by love ones.

Having Coach Martin around during some of my training sessions is always a treat. If you know Coach Martin you will agree with me that he is a busy man. Still, he has managed to come out to time me and my training partner Emily Mortensen for our hard workouts. Last week, I came by his office after a recovery run to thank him for bringing me water on my 24 miler the day before, and for him to know that I was still alive. We sat down and he talked about how excited, pleased, and happy he was about how my training was going. Then he gave me the best news of all “I am making arrangements, so that I can be in Boston for the trials” This is very meaningful to me, because he will be heading to California first for Mt. Sac Relays then he will make his way to Boston for the trials. The only way I can thank coach for all his support is by making sure I do everything right, execute my workouts and race to the best of my ability. If I do that day in and day out, I know I will be mentally and physically ready to make my coach proud at the Trials.

To make the news even better, my younger sister Alicia announced to me that she is also coming to the trials. Knowing that Alicia is coming to the trials makes me somewhat nervous. She is someone I admire and look up to for overcoming so many obstacles in her short life. She is never afraid to confront an issue. Her constructive opinion and advice has helped me get up when I had been knocked down. I am glad I will get to share this amazing experience with her. To have her support and knowing she will be waiting for me at the finish line means a lot to me.

My training for the month of February went very well. This week I will back off my training, relax for a bit and put on my racing uniform. I am heading to Jacksonville, Florida to race at the 15 km USA Championships this weekend. With all this great news I am so motivated and full of spirits to continue getting physically and mentally ready for the Olympic Trials on April 20th.

EL CORAZON Y EL ALMA ESTAN LLENAS DE ESPIRITU

Antes que nada quiero disculparme por haber tomado tanto tiempo en poner al día mi blog (diario). La intención e ideas estaban, pero los entrenamientos en el mes de Febrero fueron tan intensos que totalmente me segregué de todo y me metí en mi pequeño mundo de correr, dormir, y comer. La semana pasada estaba ansiosamente contando los días para que el mes de Febrero llegara a su fin, pudiera descansar, y relajarme un poco. Algo que mis piernas agradecerán. Aun mejor, mi corazón y mi alma están llenos de espíritu gracias a la secuencia de buenas noticias recibidas por seres muy queridos.

El hecho de que mi entrenador venga a supervisar algunas de las sesiones de entrenamiento es como recibir un regalo. Si conocieras a mi entrenador estarías totalmente de acuerdo en que es un hombre muy ocupado. Aun así se las ha ingeniado para supervisarnos durante las sesiones de entrenamientos intensos a mí y a mi amiga Emily Mortensen. Hace dos semanas después de practica pase por su oficina para agradecerle el que me hubiese traído agua durante 38 Km. que tuve que correr el día anterior. Y también para que viera que aun seguía viva. Ya en su oficina, nos sentamos a platicar y me hizo saber lo contento, emocionado y satisfecho que se sentía de como iban mis entrenamientos. Cuando de repente me dio la gran noticia:

“Estoy haciendo arreglos para poder ir a Boston
a verte correr n el selectivo para la Olimpiada”

Esta noticia tiene un gran significado porque justamente esa semana mi entrenador viajara a California para los famosos relevos de Mt. Sac de allí se las ingeniara para poder llegar a Boston para mi carrera. La única manera que yo le puedo agradecer a mi entrenador por todo su apoyo moral es asegurándome hacer todo bien, ejecutar mis entrenamientos y carreras de la mejor manera posible. Si hago eso día con día estoy segura que estaré no solo mental pero físicamente preparada para lograr mi entrenador se sienta muy orgulloso de mi en el selectivo (carrera).

Las noticias no terminan, aun mejor, mi hermana menor Alicia me informo que ella también vendrá a apoyarme a Boston. El saber que Alicia vendrá al selectivo me pone muy nerviosa. Ella es alguien a quien admiro y es un ejemplo para mí por todos los obstáculos que ha tenido que enfrentar en su corta vida. Alicia nunca tiene miedo de enfrentar cualquier situación. Sus críticas y opiniones constructivas me han ayudado a levantarme cuando he estado a punto de ser vencida. Estoy muy contenta de que podré compartir esa gran experiencia con ella. El tener su apoyo y saber que me estará esperando en la meta significa mucho para mí.

Mis entrenamientos en el mes de febrero estuvieron estupendos. Esta semana descansaré un poco, me relajare y me pondré mi uniforme para competir. Viajare a Jacksonville, Florida para correr en el Campeonato Nacional de los 15km este fin de semana. Con estas buenas noticias estoy muy motivada y llena de espíritu para continuar preparando tanto física como mentalmente para el selectivo Olímpico el próximo 20 de Abril del 2008.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

UNANTICIPATED E- MAIL!

A couple of nights ago, I received and e-mail from my dear friend Jessica. I met Jess back in 1996 when both of us were taking English as a Second Language classes at Davis School in Costa Mesa, California. After a year at Dais we both went different ways and lost track of each other. It was not until yesterday night when I got her e-mail that we got connected again. The e-mail reads in part as follow:

“Hi Zoila,
I don’t know if you still remember me. I am Jessica. We met at Davis School (Costa Mesa). I have been curious to know what had happened to you so “I goggled you” I had done that before, but could not find your e-mail address. This time I had more luck and found your In the Arena’s blog site. I am glad to know your running career is going great. …. If you do not remember me it’s fine. Either way Congratulations and I hope your dream to become an Olympian becomes true and as a bonus I hope you bring back with you a medal.. God Luck! Jessica”


This e-mail really touched my heart and basically made my day. So many great memories have been running through my head. Jessica and I did not speak a word of English when we first met. After regular classes at Davis we both would stay for a conversational class from 1:00p.m til 3:00p.m. When we were invited to join the advance group at the conversation table our conversations would always go like this:


“Hi, My name is Zoila/Jessica. I am from Mexico.
I do not speak English. What is your name?”



Those were in fact, great times and getting this unanticipated e-mail really makes reflect upon my life and the blessing God has granted me through out the years. I truly appreciate who I am and where I come from. I am so proud of my background, friends and all my memories. I guess Jessi and I will have to make some time to share what we have done and where we have been for the past 10 years.

Un Correo Inesperado!


Hace un par de noches recibí un correo de mi querida amiga Jessica. Conocí a Jess en 1996 cuando ambas estábamos tomando clases de ingles en la escuela Davis en Costa Mesa, California. Después de haber estudiado un ano en Davis las dos tomamos caminos diferentes y perdimos todo tipo de comunicación. No fue hasta hace poco cuando recibí un mensaje de ella que textualmente decía así:


"Hola: Zoila.
No se si me recuerdes soy Jessica, nos conocimos en la Davis school (Costa Mesa), la verdad es que tenia curiosidad de saber que había sido de ti, así que "I Google you". Lo había hecho tiempo atrás pero nunca había encontrado un email address tuyo. Esta vez tuve mas suerte y encontré tu site/blog. Me da mucho gusto saber que tu carrera como maratonista esta de maravilla. Si no me recuerdas de todos maneras no importa hace mucho tiempo que nos conocimos así que no lo tomaría a mal. Pero de todas maneras Felicidades y que tu sueño de ir a las olimpiadas se te haga realidad, y de pilón que te traigas una medalla.¡Buena Suerte! Jessica"



Este mensaje realmente toco mi corazón he hizo mi día. Tantos recuerdos comenzaron a corer por mi mente. Cuando Jess y yo nos cocimos no sabíamos ni una palabra de Ingles. Después de clases regulares en la Davis, nos quedábamos a clases extras de conversación de 1:00 a 3:00p.m. Cando nos invitaban a la mesa de conversación con el grupo mas avanzado. Nuestras conversaciones eran algo como:


Hola, Me llamo Zoila. Soy de México,
No hablo Ingles. Cual es tu nombre?


Esos fueron en verdad grandes momentos. El recibir este no tan esperado correo me hace reflexionar acerca de mi vida y las bendiciones que dios me ha brindado en todo este tiempo. Verdaderamente aprecio quien soy y de donde vengo. Estoy orgullosa de mi pasado, mis amigos y todos mis recuerdos. Creo que Jessi y yo tendremos que hacer un espacio para poder compartir que es lo que hemos hecho y donde hemos estado por los últimos 10 anos.

Friday, February 8, 2008

COLD and SNOWY!

Alamosa CO.

The weather here in Alamosa remains the same: COLD and SNOWY. As a consequence: My visits to the recreational center are non-stop and three new training partners decided to join me in this wonderful journey towards the women’s marathon Olympic Trails.
We have had very low temperatures for the past 2 months ( Low -32/ High 20s) and the snow storms keep showing up which personally prevents me from running outdoors. To be honest I have no idea how I made it through college while at Adams State. I clearly remember my first Sunday run, 15miles. This was back in January of 2001, when Melissa Bouren (former teammate) and I were running together and Coach Martin came by in his truck just to let us know that we were running in -10 temperature weather. That was just one of many Sunday runs to come under the same weather conditions. Now, there is no way you see me running outside unless all the gyms are close and I have no other choice.

Besides being a baby for not running outside I have a great reason why I now run
inside. I am basically taking into consideration a personal advice I received from the best male marathoner of our country “Ryan Hall”. I met Ryan back in 2006 at the Worlds Best 10km in Puerto Rico. As we are chatting during breakfast, he mentioned the benefit you get from running indoors versus outside in freezing temperatures. Ryan’s informal advice came in handy 2 years later.


Thanks to the challenging weather, my visits to the recreational center are non-stop. People there are just wonderful. I have met so many families and kids that come and exercise after work or school. I love this facility. It has a cardio room with TVs J, 3 gyms, an indoor track, a room for the kids, a locker room and the staff is great!

As for my three new training partners, let me introduce you to the best training partner team I could possibly have.

Alan Gomez: Alan is my 3year old nephew. He runs against whoever is in the indoor track, bikes, plays with the toys, makes his mom run, and sneaks into the cardio room to watch me run!


Brayan Gomez: Brayan is my 8 years old nephew. He loves playing basketball and racing against me when I have strides.

Norma Gomez: Norma is my sister and like a second mother to me. She chases Alan around. She plays basketball with Brayan when possible and makes sure I do: “Run, Eat, and Sleep”

Even though the weather has been COLD and SNOWY, I am grateful to have a family and a whole community that are by my side 100%.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DREAM AND BELIEVE!

Houston, TX
January 13, 2008

I just got back from Houston, TX. where I opened my 2008 racing season at the Armco Houston Half Marathon. Overall, I can say it was a good weekend. There is definitely room for improvement and areas I can work on while on my way to the Olympic trails, April 20th. Going into the race I had a couple of goals I wanted to achieve. The first one was to finish in the top 3 and the second one was to run a PR (personal best).

My training for this race went very well. I averaged 80-90 miles a week. After the weather here in Alamosa got crazy cold since November, I made the decision to sign up at the Alamosa Recreational Center. Since then the treadmill became my unconditional training partner for almost 8 weeks. I felt fit and ready to go. In fact, I was excited to find out the end results. Well approximately 13 hours ago, I was crossing the Armco Houston Half finish line in a personal best of 1:13:11-9th place.

After the race, I met with a few of the Rice University Cross Country runners and had lunch with Nicole Mericle and her Mother*. Later on, they took me to the airport and I headed back to Colorado Springs* where my car was waiting for me to go home.

It was nice to be able to achieve one of my goals today, yet I am not satisfied. After all, I have big dreams to fulfill and I do believe great things will happen this Olympic year. I am looking forward to keep growing as a person, an athlete, community mentor, public speaker and ESL teacher. God Bless us all!

*Nicole and her family provided housing for me during the summer when I came to Houston for a training camp to get ready for the World Championships back in August 2007.

*Colorado Springs is 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Alamosa.