My name is Danica and I started running when I joined my junior high cross-country team back in ’99. I ran track, played soccer and ran cross country through high school. I love the challenge of the half marathon, the marathon, and little 5ks – not a fan of the 10k. I ran my first marathon in May of 2009, and it wasn’t a great experience. I finally had the race that I dreamed of at the Long Beach Marathon in October 2009, you can read about it here. It was, by far, one of the best days of my life, and made me believe in second chances.
I’ve run quiet a few races since that marathon but recently have really been trying to make every one of my training runs have purpose. I have changed up my training routine to reflect that and in May of 2014, much to my surprise, I ran faster than I expected, pr’ed in the marathon by over 23 minutes and qualified for the Boston Marathon! It was another magical day and I can’t wait to run the Boston Marathon in April 2015.
A lot of things have shaped me to the person I am. I went to a small private college and graduated with a Bachelors in Communications and a minor in Creative Writing. One of the biggest changes that I’ve been through was when I lost my mom my Junior year of college. When she passed away, I stopped running. I don’t know why, but I felt like I couldn’t do anything that made me happy when she was alive. When I coached a small high school cross-country program at one of the first meets I attended, I cried at the start of the race. It was shocking because I am not an emotional person. It was then that I realized how much I loved running and how I missed it.
When I was began running consistently again, things began to fall back into place. I was happier! One saying I remind myself of often is, “Live What You Love.” That is exactly how I want to live my life, doing things I love.
I live in Southern California, where most of the running paths are flat and some are even along the ocean. I love watching all different sports and I am an assistant high school cross country and track coach and I work for a non-profit as well.
I am married to an amazing guy who is a firefighter for the City of Los Angeles. He doesn’t love running as much as me, actually who am I kidding, he hates running, but he has really made my life more fun.
In high school, I was much faster than I am today, but throughout my life experiences, related to running or not, I have come to realize it’s not about the time or your place in the race, but the journey it takes you to get to that finish line.