Our Running Stories: Mother and Daughter (times two!)
Contributed by Lisa Gonzales, a 2018 Ambassador for The Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon.
In high school, my after school time was spent at the track at Gilroy High School, but let’s get something straight. I wasn’t that fast. Don’t get me wrong, I could hold my own, yet my little “pee wee” legs weren’t enough to challenge all the long legged gazelles on our track team. Nevertheless, it was a team sport and I loved it.
Fast forward to the years after college when dabbling in running was still an interest.
Enter tall boyfriend with really long legs who loved 10K’s. We tried a few runs together, but alas….pee wee legs were no match and he wasn’t one to slow down, not even for me. In time, when our relationship grew tired, he issued the ultimate challenge: “You’ll never be a real runner.” The dude forgot who he was talking to, as I was always the “throw down the gauntlet and I’ll beat you to a pulp” person. (Disclaimer: I’m not a violent person, just competitive).
That summer, as he traveled internationally (and dumped me), I went from being a tiptoe through the tulips runner to a half marathoner. Soon he and his new girlfriend were a bit stunned with my accomplishments (yep, she got the guy and I got new running shoes). Half marathons were quite satisfying for a while. My times? They were pretty good, especially compared to where I am twenty years later. I was running with some friends one day when one said, “You know, only 1/10 of 1% of the population can run a marathon.”
Bingo! Gauntlet again!
I joined San Jose FIT and trained for my first marathon and…the rest is history. Eighteen later, I’m now finishing my sixth year as a head coach for the RUN365 program. I love coaching, I love pacing, but more importantly, I just love helping others accomplish their goals. And…I’m inspiring the next generation!
I’m Landry, and I’m 13 years old. For the last two years, I’ve been an Ambassador for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon and last year I was an Ambassador for The Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon. I’ve played competitive soccer with Santa Clara Sporting since I was seven years old and at my middle school, I play five sports: cross country, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track. And I just finished a year as Student Body Vice President.
I started running when I was four. My mom would run half and full marathons and when she reached a certain spot, I’d run across the finish line with her. I always thought it was funny when people would say, “That little girl just ran a half marathon!” The bummer was that my mom never let me take the medal that volunteers handed me because she said I needed to earn it.
Fast forward to two years ago when I was eleven. I finally decided I’d run a half marathon (and we convinced my dad that I wouldn’t get hurt). I trained with the RUN365 program when I wasn’t playing soccer on weekends. This past July, I finished my 9th half marathon in the last two years.
I always lay out my clothes before a race and take a picture of my invisible self. I really enjoy running with the RUN365 team because they treat me like an adult and not like a 13 year old. Our team runs lots of races together, like Santa Runs and Turkey Trots.
I love running cross country and track at school because it’s fun to be with other runners who like the same things that I do. And it’s great exercise. I love being an Ambassador for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon because I’ve been told I inspire other runners and I can tell people about that race.
My name is Kennedy and I love to run. I’m good at it too. I run so that I can get exercise and be healthy. My earliest memory of running was when I was about 5 ½ and I would finish races with my mom and cross the finish line with her. (And if you read all that stuff about my twin sister Landry, same for me – same age, same grade, same school, same sports, same number of half marathons, but she was Vice President and I compete in speech).
My favorite race ever was the year we ran The Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon and it rained. My mom checked her weather app with a bunch of other runners and it said the rain wasn’t supposed to start until a half hour after the race started. Guess what? It was raining before we even made it to the one mile marker.
I’m a big fan of Dean Karnazes and met him at this year’s Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. He had just finished an ultra-marathon, which meant he ran the marathon from the finish to the start, and then ran from the start to the finish. He didn’t look as tired as I thought he would!
On our cross country team, I love encouraging other runners and I love running on relay teams for track. I’ve been running the 4×100 and 4×400 for years and I don’t have a favorite. They are both great distances. I’ve learned that when we really work as a team, we can conquer our goals!
Don’t miss your chance to run with Lisa, Landry and Kennedy at this year’s Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon – save your spot today!