Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the Spotlight with Edwin

Meet Edwin
My name is Edwin Palencia and I only have one thing to say "Running has changed my life forever".
I was once 220 pounds unhealthy and not enjoying my life to its fullest.  

I'm a happily married Christian with four beautiful children and my family is the love of my life.  I work as a driver from Monday through Friday and when I finish work I always make time to run.

I train with my running group Team Lightning Runners.

I enjoy running with my friends and I wanna thank God for letting me enjoy these moments with these friends that I love like brothers.  I forever enjoy these moments to give me energy to live forever.

Running isn't just a sport for me it is more of a passion.  I run at least 60 miles a week and I've been running for 15 years.  Running has kept me healthy and energetic.  This life style of mine has inspired many of my friends and family to do the same.  Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly, you are doing the impossible.

"I plan on running for the rest of my life.  Being a runner is my life"

Thursday, November 6, 2014

In the Spotlight with Young & Cute Rachel

Meet Rachel

I was the girl who despised the “mile” run in Juinior high and some of high school. I was gasping within minutes, although I was quite fit. Doctors blew it off as exercise-induce asthma and gave me an inhaler; it didn’t help. After years of frustration, I was correctly diagnosed, I had vocal chord dysfunction. For part of my therapy, I also began doing what I once feared, running. I remember calling my dad, in tears, the first time I ran a mile straight. I heard about a 15k run in Coronado, and knew I had to try. I came in 10th to last out of over 1,000 people, but I am positive I had one of the biggest smiles crossing the finish line.

I continued running. It became spiritual, my time with God, myself, and nature. In January 2006, while I was running the Rock n’ Roll half marathon, my vocal chords closed at mile 4. I nearly passed out, and an ambulance came. My dad met up with me to give me a hug and encouragement. I pressed on and finished. At the age of 16, I ran the Rock n’ Roll marathon in 4:57. Months after, I ran the Women’s Nike marathon with my mom ( her first marathon). After marathoning for a year, I decided give something new a try; triathlons. After hearing about the “ Ironman” triathlon, I KNEW I had to do it. November,2008, I became the youngest female that year to finish Ironman AZ. I finished in a wonder woman outifit, and tears rolling down my face. My grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and brothers were at the finish line.

 The first year of college brought on new struggles; room-mates, caf food, hard classes and boys. This is around the time an eating disorder began. I ran less, and was constantly low on energy. I signed up for my first ultra ( PCT 50 mile) near the end of my Freshman year. I was curious to see just how far I could go. The race was a disaster. My camelback was too big I realized, and I often stopped because of stabbing back pain. I was not prepared for the distance. I dropped at mile 32, dehydrated and grumpy. Two things hit me about this race, the people and the beauty of being out running on trails. I got a picture with Catra Corbett (and talked to her for a while) , and was encouraged by Jakob Herrman. These people are stopping for pictures during a race?? HAHA! I finished my first 50 with Jakob Herrman’s help a few months later.
At this time the thought of running a 100, started crossing my mind…. I DNF’d my 1st 100 attempt at Javelina Jundred 2010, but what I learned through that race has helped me grow tremendously as a runner. February 2011, at the age of 20 I ran and finished my first 100 mile run,
The Rocky Road 100. With lots of friends help and hugs, I had a blast. I realized just how far I came, not just in this race, but how running has changed my life. I can do things I put my mind too! Since that 100, I have finished 9 more 100 milers and 35+ ultras, including Western States. It was a lifelong dream to finish that race, and with the help of my family and best friends, I did just that ( birthday weekend too!).

The ultra community has taught me so much about friendship, perseverance, and to truly embrace each and every day. Life is such a gift, and I am so blessed I have found a sport that I love and am passionate about. Smile through pain and embrace the moment.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In the Spotlight with "Rene"

Meet Rene
My story my life I was born a healthy baby girl. At 13 years old I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized but they did not know what happened to me. Because years later they discovered that I suffered from PTSD. I was sexually molested as a child and had suppressed memories. I was diagnosed in 1992 as being bipolar after being in a severely mentally and physically abusive relationship. I was told I was permanently disabled. Then I went on disability. Being put on medicines and basically being in a coma state and began having serious mental blocks of my life. With all the medicine I began to put on the pounds. I was also led to believe I could never have a child because of endometriosis. Well I met this man back in 1997 and then I got pregnant and had a healthy baby boy in 1999. They thought with me having a child and a husband everything would be fine.

Well having bipolar just does not go away. I also now found out I had a thyroid condition gaining weight again then down the line they discovered I had fibromyalgia. I had tried so many diets but kept gaining weight being overweight and having fibromyalgia I was almost immobilized. I was getting more depressed not liking how I looked not being healthy at all. I started sheltering myself from life. Then I decided with the assistance of my caseworker Margret who had WLS when it first came out. I began to research about WLS then I was checking on the computer for information and I kept seeing about people loosing hair call me vain but it scared me I backed off. Then a year later I was so tired of living the way I was and researched more about weight loss surgery. I started making appointments to prepare for surgery, with the help of my caseworker walking me through every step and every appointment. It took about 8 months because they are so thorough thank God. Then it was time for the WLS. I had some people close to me that were very negative towards my decision to have surgery. But it was all about me and my life so I was not going to let anyone stop me. After my surgery it was different. I lost a total of 108lbs from my heaviest weight.
 I started walking with a friend of mine, Maryann, who was one of the captains of a running team called WRTT. I was scared to walk with the team. How could I walk with WRTT? Walking with Maryann felt good there was a Mohawks 5k coming up in 2 weeks I decided I can do this. I sighed up only trained for 2 weeks. She walked it with me and encouraged me the whole way. I kept thanking her because I felt I would not have been able to do it without all her support. I ran through the finish line OMG what a thrill I was facing my fears head on. I felt unstoppable. So now I wanted to join WRTT I signed up. They were such a positive group of people. I began running 5ks then one day a member of WRTT Karina posted about a race Blessing of the Fleet and I noticed it first thing in the morning. I had an appointment went to my appointment came back it was still there I had to ask about it how much she could not go and she wanted someone to use it. God Bless her it was free. Well I wanted to go and I did not even know where it was. I messaged Maryann she said she would get out of work early and come with me. I did not know it was 10 miles I thought it was 10k but l I was persistent to finish my first long race all by myself with a beautiful view by the beach. I prayed through this race you can do it well was fine until they took the cones down and it began to get dark. The traffic opened back up. Well only I would get lost I realized I had gone too far. When I saw the highway oh no I had to try to find my way to the end no one around for a while then I began to see people and kept asking how I get to the finish of the race. I kept praying only God could get me through. I prayed for my friend to not be scared when she did not see me. I was so happy and so high on life when I finished.
Then I was told my leg was sprained before the race but it was healed I could run again well a few weeks later I had to go see an orthopedic he said I had osteoarthritis in my knee and I needed shots called orthovisk but first I had it continue my own therapy. I was taught in physical therapy to make my leg stronger for the shots. I could do everything except run I thought my world had ended. I came home and cried like a baby. Well about 8 weeks later I go back now I am just waiting for approval to begin and then after treatment I can run again I cannot wait.

I am going to train for a marathon. Watch out there’s no stopping me. Then I am also going back to school. I have not completely decided on my field. But know this peeps I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me anything is possible keep the faith.
-Rene Lomba-