Running. Over 20 years ago, running was never a term or activity that existed in Estella’s life, even though many people today associate her with it. These days, it is something that she does on a weekly basis. One may question how to begin running as a hobby.
For Estella, it was one summer day back in 1997, when her employer, Texas Children’s Hospital, was the Official Fundraising Chair for marathon and wanted to get their employees involved in the race. Upon their insistence to register for the 5k or full marathon, as there was yet to be a half-marathon, Estella complied and decided to go for the 5k, as she had never thought about running 26.2 miles before.
After some initial informational meetings, Estella was persuaded to run the full marathon as she was going to be trained by professionals. Texas Children’s provided them with trainers to help train them and coach them along for the next couple months leading up to the race.
On the morning of the race day, it was pouring down rain with record low temperatures, but Estella decided to give the race a shot, since she had already gone through all the training.
Record lows, heavy winds, and constant drizzle were not ideal conditions for a marathon, especially for a first time runner. With only a windbreaker and a hood on, Estella pushed on mile by mile. As many people were experiencing hypothermia around her with some even being picked up by ambulances, she just kept running and running. Even though her body was telling her to stop at mile 20, her heart was in it till the finish.
With a great feeling of accomplishment and excitement, Estella finished her first marathon, overcoming the harsh conditions. Year after year, she continued to run the Houston Marathon as she found it was a great way to exercise and it was something that she could do on her own. It was also a great way to fundraise for nonprofit organizations that she supports.
With huge support on the streets every mile along course, the Houston Marathon has always been a special event. Estella is very proud of the marathon organization, which has improved a lot over the years for both runners and spectators, such as the implementation of better technology to track the runners’ time and pace.
As her 17th Houston Marathon begins, Estella waves to her supporters in the crowd. The first couple miles are often the most crowded, as she makes her way through the crowd to find some running space.
Training for the marathon is never an easy task, but Estella prepares herself by constantly running throughout the year to remain in shape. Along with running, adequate rest is necessary when preparing for the big run.
This marathon, however, was very tough for her. She speculates that she may not have trained or rested enough, which led her legs to fell more tired much earlier in the race than in previous years. Even so, she did not give up. She pushed herself to just keep running mile after mile.
Though coming in just minutes before the time limit in a highflying fashion this year, Estella has no plans of stopping yet. She hopes that her legs will make it to at least her 25th marathon.
For those who don’t know, Estella is my mom, and I am one proud son for what she has accomplished, in running and in life. Not only has she set an amazing example for my life, she has loved me, supported me, and encouraged me in all my endeavors. Thank you for leading the way and guiding me with your wisdom, for I don’t know where I would be without you.