Sunday, November 29, 2015


The most memorable moments in life are worth to wait for. At times I just want to jump in a plane or get on my car to #OklahomaCity  to hold this angel. My "little" sister's, @aliz83  and @randomhero199, #Love, #Miracle, #Greatestgift ~ Little Scarlett  has two loving and caring parents that adore her, wished and waited with anticipation for her conception and arrival. For the meantime, I know the wait will be worthy. #Thankful for my #niece  Vale la pena esperar por esos momentos memorables de tu vida. Por momentos quiero subirme a un avión, subirme al carro e ir hasta Oklahoma y abrazar a este angel.  El amor, milagro y regalo mas grandioso de mi hermana menor, Alicia y su esposo Luke. La pequeña Scarlett cuenta con unos padres que la adoran y esperaron su concepción y llegada con ansiedad. Por el momento se que la espera para abrazarla valdrá la pena. #Agradecida por mi #sobrina
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This week served as an outlet to do more searching and finding on what it really means to be alive. The purpose behind ones existance and the motive to keep persuing excellence. Moments that impact my daily life positively.

For many Thanksgiving means having that opportunity to be closer to love ones. Thanksgiving is by far my most favorite holiday. In fact, thats the only holiday I celebrate. This year I celebrated Thanksgiving by commiting to my long term goals and doing something I love doing: Run, Eat, Sleep.. At dinner time, I prepared a dish that would allowed me to be ready for the next days workout. In my spared time I took advantage of social media to communicate with those I love. During Black Friday while people were lining up excited to do their shopping, I most likely was on my third dream of the night.

Its in weeks like this one that I get to connect to myself, the spiritual world and I pay more attention to nature and my surroundings. This week was like being in a spiritual retreat where all you do is Pray, Eat, Sleep... but in my case I get to Meditate, Run, Eat and Sleep..

The instagram  pictures are some of the best or most thankful moments of the week.. Some moments as old as an 18 year old..

1997 California Division IV High School #CrossCountry State Championships Results. My first athletic team.. First State Title for Costa Mesa High School in any sport.. 11th place & 2nd on the team. We all gave our very best and ran with our #hearts on that given day #proud #mustang.. My #teammates and #coaches did so much for me that season that truly impacted the rest of my life.. 18 years ago... 3,11,13,15,30,92,121 #makesomethingtodayimpacttomorrow Resultados del Estatal de Campo Traviesa de la División IV nivel preparatoria de 1997. Mi primer equipo de atletismo. Primer Campeonato Estatal ganado para la preoaratoria de Costa Mesa en cualquier deporte.. Quedé en 11 lugar y fui la 2da en el equipo .. Ese día todas corrimos con el corazón y dimos lo mejor. #mustang #Orgullosa Mis compañeras de equipo y entrenadores hicieron mucho por mi esa temporada que verdaderamente impacto el resto de mi vida.. Hace ya 18 años.. #hazalgohoyimpactamañana
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Tomorrow, the schedule changes as we go back to tutoring and on Friday I will be traveling to San Antonio, Texas to run the Rock n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon.

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For more pictures and random stories you can always follow me on Instagram ZoilaGomezITA

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Be, Dream, Believe!
Se, Sueña y Cree!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Grateful for In The Arena

First and formost, I am very grateful for another amazing year with In The Arena. 
In The Arena has allowed me to do, to see, to witness, to experience and to share life with our youth in the purest way possible.. I love being part of an organization that allows you to be yourself and gives you the freedom to implement the programs you believe in and convert those crazy ideas into reality. To say that I love being a mentor, a friend, and an athlete will be an understatement.  
Im thankful for all of those people who believed In The Arena and continue to support us. Behind each athlete there is a donor. Someone that also decided to make a difference in our youth. Thanks to their donations I get to see kids smile, I get to see their grades go up. I get to see many of them become leaders. Others have become or help their teams become State Champions.

I get to be the one that receives the good news when another kids wants to do a sport or join the music club. I'm also the one who gets that unexpected call asking if we can talk or if I can take them to a game, a party or an school event. My job is to motivate kids to believe in their dreams, to ask for help and to reach as high as they can. Also my job is to be there for them when they need me. To listen when they speak, to let them cry if they have to and to laugh when the storm has passed. 

Im very thankful I live in a small town where I ca be at many different places in one day. Im thankful I dont have to rush back home because I will hit traffic. The extra minutes I get to spend with our youth are golden.
I survived my own youth thanks to mentors and people that deeply cared for me. People that lend me a hand and believed in me. Im thankful In The Arena allows me to do the same for our kids while In The Arena does it for me.

Im thankful for the In The Arena team, Margaret the athlete coordinator and Amory Rowe, the founder. Thank you, thank you for working and believing in us, the In The Arena athletes. 

Im thankful for L.L Bean. Even tough I am in love with their product, I am even more in love with their commitment to help make a difference in our youth. Im thankful for giving the In The Arena athletes the opportunity to share their stories and work in different venues.

Im thankful for the relationships we have developed through the years in and outside the organization.

The trust and love one gets back from our mentees is second to none. My In The Arena "job" bring happiness and joy to my life and for  that I am forever grateful!

To the entire In The Arena Team: Thank God for You!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

In The Arena in Oklahoma

Today I got a chance to practice, challenge myself, encourage others and get inspired and encouraged by the best.. From a 68 year old woman who ran a 5km to a 13 year old boy who took a wrong turn and ended up running double the distance; to the greatest and most supportive #sister and the amazing runners from today's #greatratrace #kids and #adults 1 mile #5km #10km at the #watonga #cheeseandwine #festival Hoy tuve la oportunidad de practicar, retarme, animar a otros y ser animada e inspirada por los mejores.. Desde una señora de 68 años que corrió 5km a un joven de 13 años que corrió doble de la distancia; a la mejor de las hermanas que siempre me apoya y todos los corredores de hoy, niños y adultos en Watonga, Oklahoma en el festival del queso y el vino.. #HowWeBean #WeAreInTheArena #outerstrength
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After my short visit in Oxnard I headed to Oklahoma City for a 3 week sea level training stint. The goal was to test how my body would respond to the training. Like anything all decisions come with a risks, adjustments and many logistics. Where to go? Where to stay? Where to train? Financially, how much is this going to cost? etc I have been in Oklahoma before when I came to visit my siter Alicia and her husnad Luke. I was already somewhat familiar with the area and knew of the places to train. Alicia and Luke have always been very supportive. A few moths ago, they offered me their place for me to stay whenever I wanted to go train or race at sea level. Both know how much it means to me to be back training and what it would take for me to get that  Olympic Trials qualifier.

My comeback has not been easy. For the contrary, it has been more difficult and slower than expected. Nonetheless, trust me when I say that I am enjoying every step of the way, every result. This "comeback" has allowed me to look back and truly appreciate and put into perspective the achievements from the past and enjoy to the best every time I get to lace my shoes now. 

The first week in Oklahoma was a challenge as I could hardly walk after the mountain run the day before my arrival. For 5 days,  I had to train according to how my body felt  each day. By Saturday, I was able to get back into my normal training schedule and I found myself running some 1km repeats on the track. The following days you would see me running around Lake Hefner or around the neighborhood.

The second week I signed up for a local 10km race in Watonga, Oklahoma  just an hour away from my sisters house. The support and encouragement I receive from participants and race director was second to none. It was fun to participate in a race where people were genuinely happy to be there. 
 That morning I ended up running by myself the whole way. I was hoping to run in the high 35s, low 36s but again my legs would get stuck on one pace and not wanting to switch gears. Even though I won the entire race there was a feeling of disappointment, but thankfully that did not last
too long as I was able feed up from the positive energy from other participants and see the experience from another perspective. I was able to put in a good run and in the process inspire and be
inspired by a few. It was wonderful to share another running experience with my younger sister Alicia and it was wonderful to be able to run pain free.  After I finished, many people and kids came to say hi and congratulate me on the win. Some asked for advise and shared their running story.

During my cool down I decided to head back to the course and see if anyone needed a pacer. To my surprice 1km to go I came across this young boy whom by mistake ended running the 10km instead of the 5km. We connected and he accepted me pacing him for the the last 1km. At the award ceremony, we celebrated together the fact that we made it to the finish line.
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Since Watonga did not go as planned, I decided to stay for another week. The following weeks of training there went great. I enjoy the sunsets at Lake Hefner as well as some beutiful encounters with other runners and other people.
We arrive at the same time, they inspired me as I see them cheerfully  running away from me.. The scene was beautiful.. 1 hour later, we come across each other at the other side of the lake.. I notice the youngest one is struggling, so I cheer her on. They are 4km away from where they started.. 15 minutes after  I'm done with my  run, I look around, I don't see them so decide to get on the car and check on them.. I find them 3km out.. Asked if they need  water, a ride back.. For a moment they hesitate, then accept the ride.. "Do you speak Spanish Ricardo asks" "Si" I answered.. Ricardo: "Where are you from?" Me: "Soy de San Luis"  Ricardo: "Nosotros tambien"  Big lake, small world! Llegamos al mismo tiempo, me inspiro al verles muy contentos alejarse corriendo de mi..La escena fue linda.. 1 hora mas tarde nos reencontramos del otro lado del lago.. La pequeña se ve exhausta, así que con una sonrisa la animo..Están a 4km de su punto de partida.. 15 minutos después de que termine de correr.. Los busco no los puedo ver, así que me subo al carro para ir a buscarlos.. Los encuentro al kilómetro 3.. Pregunto si están bien, si ocupan agua, o un aventón a su carro.. Sudados y muy cansados, dudan pero aceptan el aventón. . " Hablas español?" Pregunta Ricardo.. "Si" le contesto.. Ricardo: "De dónde eres?" Yo: " De San Luis Potosi"  Ricardo: "Nosotros también"  Lago grande, mundo pequeño!  #makesomethingtodayimpacttomorrow #hazalgohoyimpactamañana  #outerstrength #lakehefner
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The highlight for Lake Hefner was the day I arrived and I was inspired by a group of two teenagers and two kids running away from me as they looked excited to be outdooors. The scene was so inspiring that I was only able to take a mental picture. An hour later I saw the group 4km away from where I first saw them. Roughly 15 minutes after I finished my run, I looked around and I could not see the crew. I got concern so, I jump in the car and went to look for them. I found them 3km out and struggling so I offered them a ride back. After deliberating, they say yes and I took them back to their car. I congratulated them for being outdoors and gave them a few tips on hydration and on how to make the next trip to Lake Hefner more enjoyable.

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Also, I would like to thank, the athletic dicrector from Piedmont High School for allowing me to use their track facilities and hurdles during my stay.

Part of being #InTheArena means knocking on doors, asking for help, finding resources and ways  to accomplish that workout of the day.. Shout out to #Piedmont Athletic director for allowing me to use their facilities. My morning was more than complete when I got to encourage a group of elementary school kids at their 1/2 mile run during  P.E Class.. It was in the fall of 1997 in a mile run during P.E Class that my love affair with running started.. #HowWeBean #llbean  #makesomethingtodayimpacttomorrow #memories #madetolast #outerstrength Parte de estar "En el ring" significa tocar puertas, pedir ayuda, buscar los recursos y maneras de lograr hacer el entreno del dia.. Un reconocimiento público al director de atletismo de las escuelas de Piedmont por permitirme usar sus instalaciones.. Mi mañana más que completa al tener la oportunidad de animar a un grupo de niños de primaria mientras corrían 800m en la pista en su clase de Educación Fisica.. Fue en 1997 donde mi amor por el atletismo  comenzó justo en una clase de Educación Fisica.. #hazalgohoyimpactamañana #memorias #hechoparaqueperdure
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My theme for this trip was "Add color to your life" and it all started when I started packing.. I believe bright colors bring are magical. They pump me up and make me feel energized. I love sporting my L.L Bean singlets and shorts. The weather and training venues in Oklahoma were perfect to sport my most favorite training gear.

The most rewarding part of chasing a dream is being able to share the journey and adventures with love ones. I enjoyed every dinner and moment I got to share with Alicia and her husband Luke, the ones I will get to blame for feeding that burning desire to go after my running dreams...

 Be, Dream Believe!