Why I Run: Heather Gonzalez

Heather living the dream of any 5-year-old boy.

Heather initially made an impression on me because her twitter handle is hmgiraffy; yes, I permanently have tall on the brain, and thought she might be a kindred oversized spirit. So I headed over to her blog, 365 Days of Awesome to check it out, and read her bio. "Hi! My name's not really Giraffy. I'm not really tall. I don't really have a purple tongue (sadly)." Oh. But after reading this essay and spending some time on her year of awesomeness, I came to realize she is definitely a kindred, badass, mother runner spirit. Just more petite than I am. 

I ran my first mile (actually, it was two…) in October, 2010. I wanted to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, and my husband mumbled something obnoxious about “Yeah, you’d have to actually RUN first....”

So I did. And since then, I’ve completed three 5K’s, two 10K’s, and five half marathons.

Despite my crossing 10 finish lines in 2011, this has been a hell of a year. In January, my youngest daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. My husband had to leave his job to care for her at home. In August, I took a giant leap of faith, and left my cushy job for a new opportunity in a different field; I departed the glamorous world of cosmetics for paper goods.... think Dunder Mifflin.

With three kids, half the income, and a million hospital stays and doctor visits, running is the only thing that has kept me sane. That situation alone—and the peace running brings me—is plenty to get me out the door, but inspiration to run for me changes day by day. Some days it’s just to burn some calories because I know I want an extra brownie. Some days, I just need to pound on a treadmill with some very, very loud Social D and Bad Religion.

And so, 22 random reasons why I run:

Giddy up, Heather.
  1. Pepperoni pizza.
  2. I was laughed at when I implied I wanted to try it.
  3. Cupcakes.
  4. I like wearing the skinny jeans I hung on to for 5 years, clinging to the hope they *might* fit “one day.
  5. Bacon.
  6. I beat my husband in a 10K.
  7. Beer.
  8. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing relieves stress better than a sweaty run.
  9. Fried anything.
  10. It’s a quantifiable way to measure how much more awesome I get the more I try.
  11. Espresso Love GU is freaking delicious.
  12. To raise money for an amazing cause.
  13. Milkshakes.
  14. As a running blogger, it would be super lame to just stop.
  15. “Bye, mom. Have a good run!” is the best thing to hear on a Saturday morning.
  16. My quads are badass.
  17. In n’ Out.
  18. Carb loading does not suck.
  19. First rule of Zombieland? Cardio.
  20. The medals are shiny. And look fancy hanging all over my wall.
  21. My 12 yr old is a super star; she placed in her age group in three 5K’s in the last 6 months! And the hope that some day....maybe one day, I might be able to run next to her.
  22. I’m a healthy, balanced role model. The is idea that one day, hopefully, my kids follow in my footsteps. I hung onto those jeans and that worked out. I have hunch this will too.


16 responses to “Why I Run: Heather Gonzalez

  1. At 48 I now run because most didn’t think I could and the others who started with me at the start of the year have all dropped away. I am proud to say ‘I am a runner’

  2. I’ve been reading Heather’s blog for about a year and find her so very inspiring and FUNNY. Someday I hope to get to go on a run with her down in sunny SoCal!

  3. With all of Heather’s food references, I read her last sentence as “have a lunch” instead of have a hunch. Somebody get me a brownie. Heather is an awesome blogger, and amazing mom. Lots of love for her and her family.

  4. I was laughed at too, my family made fun of me …. But my DH didn’t. And now I have 6 marathons behind me and my quads are rock hard solid. What you wrote is amazing, rock on fellow badass mother runner!

  5. heather is one heck of a sweet gal and a tough motha too – she might be going through all sorts of tough crap and doesnt even mention it. she doesnt complain, doesnt get down, just gets through it like a trooper.

  6. Wow, Heather IS badass (in a good, another mother kind of way!)
    I can’t imagine being in that position, but wish her the best.

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