Sunday, January 30, 2011


Heather Wood and I meeting with Naida after the race.
Picture by: E. Ivan Benavides

The 2011 USA Houston Half Marathon Championship (13.1 miles) took place on Saturday, January 29Th in downtown Houston, Texas. My training leading up to this race went great. All indicated that I was well prepared to run a PR. My goal into the race was to run a 1:12:00- an average of 5:30 per mile. The results were off. I ended running 1:16:24. When I woke up I felt good, fresh, and ready to go. My warm up went well and quite honest I was very confident It was going to be a good day. It was not until right after mile 3 during the race that I started to feel a little side stitch on my stomach. This was good enough to prevent me from running no faster than 5:50 minutes per mile. Reason or explanation? Unknown. Today, one of my ribs is fairly painful and I've been having headaches and nausea since yesterday. Tomorrow calls for a visit with a physical therapist, chiropractor, and Coach.

Many of the pros from this race were:

1) It was nice to run on the 2012 Olympic Trials loop. That is exciting as the trials will be here in no time (January 14 2012).

2)Heather Wood a former Adams State athlete and friend was there for her first big post collegiate race. We warmed up and cooled down together.

3) Saw a few of my friends from Rice University (Becky Wade and Adisson Pye)

4)The highlight of my weekend was hosting a special guest for the rest of the day and night. I got to spend quality time with my 13 year old niece,Naida. I think last time she saw me compete was back in 2004. Last time we met was last year when I had a 3 hour layover in Houston and she came and hang out with me at the airport.

With Naida and her little brother, Ivan, at airport.
Pictures by: Maricela Benavides
Post race Spanish-English interview from Videos Zoila Gomez Post-Race - USA Half Marathon Championships 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011


It has been 4 years since the founder of In The Arena, Amory Rowe, called me and asked if I was interested in being part of the roster. Since then, I have been able to not only persue my athletic dreams, but to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children and their families in the United States.

As of today, Im so happy and excited with the ITA After School Tutoring program here in Alamosa which started 2 months ago. Kids have responded so well. It is so rewarding to see them take advantage of this opportunity. On daily basis, we have an average of 15 kids per session.

We tutor from 4:00 to 6:00p.m unless the kids need more time. When I say "WE" I refer to the rest of the staff members, Norma Gomez, Phil Archuleta, and Kimberly who volunteer their time and knowledge to keep the program going.

Eventough, it might only look like a 4 person project, there are so many people involved. Thank you to all those people that are behind the scenes (Founder,board members, donnors, foundations, volunteers, and organizations)for helping make a difference in our lives.