Well as I get ready to say good-bye to another year, I reflect on how much has happened. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 2014 was a memorable year for sure. I remember gearing up in January for my first full marathon. Nerves like you wouldn’t believe! The reason, I had little training due to fighting the flu all month-long in December. But I made it and finished after running the inaugural Minnie Mouse 10K 2 days before.

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It was the most amazing experience! So much memories and many points that NOW, I can laugh at! So glad my BFF Janine was there to share this amazing moment! I ran it with Alpha of course, and our friend and we were the three caballeros. and Alpha and I were tweedle dee and tweedle dum for the 10K. Part of running these races are deciding and creating the costumes for them. We rarely run a race that isn’t in costume.

In February, I ran the Chocolate 5K with my dear friend Joann. It was her first 5K in her journey to an incredible weight loss. I was so proud of her and honored to be there with her as she did her first, and definitely not last 5K!

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It was also the cheetah cub’s 3rd 5K which a mile and a half in he decided that he was too tired and cold to continue so yeah…through out the next months he ran many kid races and earned multiple medals and as his mother runner, I am beaming with pride!

Then came April, the month I decided that I would tackle the Goofy Challenge. Once I filled out the forms and paid the registration, yes I almost threw up! LOL No way that I just signed up to run 39.3 miles for fun!! Yes I was excited and set up my training schedule. This time things would be different because I would have more time and better access to run. When I trained for my first marathon, I would run out of day light to run on the trails and had no treadmill I could use. But this year Alpha gifted me with my own treadmill!

That meant no more training in harsh weather, and I could run at whatever time I needed to. This year I have become a better, smarter, stronger runner. I have learned SOOOOO much about my strengths and what I am capable of. I have been running for years and each time I go for a run I learn something new. Each run is different from the last. I have learned to give myself more credit for all the struggles. I have learned to not beat myself up when I don’t do as well as I’d hoped. Or stop comparing myself to 100% healthy runners.

The way I see it is like this…I may not run fast, I may not be able to run without struggling…but I CAN RUN! And I can run with all of you! Whether it’s beside you, or behind you, I am running the same race you are and I am capable of the same things you healthy 100% no problem runners.

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I have been training for months and been putting in double, triple the work needed to be successful at this Goofy Challenge which is just 2 weeks away. I have struggled with new pains and have made myself stronger. I honestly can say that I wouldn’t have been this well if it wasn’t for KT Tape. I may need a couple dozen, hundred rolls of tape to keep me running, but it helps. It keeps my pains under control and reduces my swelling instantly. I am also EXTREMELY grateful and honored to have found a PT who not only is willing to help me, but he also believes in me. Joe is the smartest, most giving person in the medical field I have ever met. While ALL others turn me away and give up on me immediately, Joe has stood up for me, spoke for me, and fixed me multiple times. He has pretty much become a best friend. Feeling alone in the medical world, he has never let me feel that. I don’t feel like I am fighting the Scoliosis battle by myself. I have the master on my side and he will never let me fall.

ruI have also had the pleasure of connecting with some incredible, amazing people! So many fellow runners doing amazing things, beating PRs, running 100 miler races everything. You all inspire me and hopefully can run beside you all one day. Too many to list but my Alpha, my coach, my military man, I love you and can’t imagine doing each step without you. Stephanie, you’ve always lifted me up and made me laugh my Jersey friend. Michael, you’ve NEVER missed one of my post and always comment on it. Leigh Anne, you are just simply the best! Joanna thanks for getting me through the hardest part of training. Janine, thanks for the tough love.

I also was happy to have run in hopes to raise some money to help Venezuela, where I was born. They went through a lot this year and I wasn’t to do my best to help so I got some friends together and we donated and ran to help those affected in Venezuela.

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Organized by Venezolanos en Orlando

I have also connect with some GREAT people like the fellas behind CogniTea. They are super duper supportive! They know how important support is for me and they have stood by me in my greatest accomplishments of 2014. They aren’t just a fun tea party, they are motivation friends.Here is the most Epic story ever written, in my opinion. I have officially added CogniTea to my regular morning routine. I even drink a cup before a run. It helps me stay focused and energized throughout the miles.

I have also met and had the honored of running with the ladies behind Runnerbox! I am so glad I came across Runnerbox. I think it’s the most genius idea! It’s a subscription you can sign up for where you would receive a box FILLED with runner goodies. I have found products and accessories I would’ve never found otherwise through them. I LOVE it and totally recommend it to runners! (Here is a discount code if you want to look into it RURUNRB)

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I am also happy to have been introduced to Vega Sport! It has fueled me all through training and gotten me stronger and faster! I love it because its plant-based, gluten-free, and soy free. It taste great and is easy on my stomach. I have used it pre, mid, and post run and have nothing but great results!

As we neared the end on 2014, I have 2 more races to go. One was the Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney, which I had trained to get an almost 15 minutes PR. My average time for a half was 3:02, I am happy to say that I KILLED that monsoon of a race with a 16 minute PR! It was freezing cold, and rained the entire time to the point where we unsuccessfully dodged massive puddles. It was a race I would never forget! It was the first race I actually ran the whole time with no breaks!

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Just weeks after this race, I would run my last race for 2014. The Track Shack OUC Half Marathon. I was honored to represent Florida Milk again. Alpha and I both ran with the team, and while I was shooting for a PR, I still wanted to get close to my Wine and Dine time. I did take several breaks as running on those brick roads is something I wasn’t used to. But boy was I in for a surprise! As I rounded the last corner to make it to the finish line, I realized I was about to blow my previous PR time out of the water! Once I crossed the finish line, tears ensued! I had just ran a half marathon in 2:41! An over 20 minutes PR!

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As this year comes to a close, I am more than ready for 2015. There were ups and downs that we went through, but our positivity, sense of humor, and support for one another got us through. I got past many obstacles that I never thought possible. Including running my first 32 miles in less than 24 hours a week ago. In preparation for the Goofy Challenge!

NEVER GIVE UP.
NEVER GIVE UP.

Here’s to bigger, better, most epic moments in 2015

-cheetah g

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