Saturday Spotlight – Diego Perez (2/8/20)

Name: Diego Perez

Age: 33 (August Bday)

Pets: 2 yr old Shih Tzu

Occupation: Accountant

Hobbies: Running, working out (seasonal), traveling, and attempt to watch some sports.

Hometown: Melville last year, currently in Westbury (Nassau).

College: SUNY Farmingdale & Adelphi

Favorite Race: Cow Harbor

Frequent Running Spots: All depends, I like to try out different routes in the range of 4, 6, or 8 mile routes (depending on the day). Perhaps currently is the 6 mile loop around Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

Personal Message:

Hello Warriors and Hillbillies! Good morning, My name is Diego Perez and I’m this week’s warrior of the week. I never really got a chance to put it all into writing and thank you Lou for allowing me to do this. As a WOTW, here’s a little writing about myself, how I ended up here, and my somewhat running journey!

I lost about 30+ lbs coming out of HS over the course of 2 something years. And no interest for running yet. My interests were weight training, and non cardiovascular exercises. But… weight training started to become boring over the years. So I started to “read” about running and its benefits. Okay I became interested. And without ANY formal training, or sort of training I ran my first half marathon. The Long Island Half in 2016. It was a big deal for me, my first half marathon! I can spare you all the details lol.. But I do remember LOTS of red shirts and reading “it’s just a hill, get over it” printed on the back. I thought what kind of group is this? I went home and thought ok never doing this again lol… what was I thinking?!

Fast forward to January of 2017 I joined a local gym where I met Debbie, and glad I did! Debbie, thank you for opening the doors and introducing to GLIRC. After a few months and some running, I decided to give the LI half another go. And this time, it was a completely different and much positive experience.

I started to love running! Summer of 2017 I did a lot of races and volunteered a lot with GLIRC. Began to see familiar faces and meet people in the running community. Also, I kept in touch with good friend of mine, who was my age and moved to California. He, at the time was battling cancer (he won!). He was a big influence and huge running mentor who told me all i knew up to then about this sport. He recommended a Hal Higdon book. September 2017, after MAJOR debate and overcoming self-doubt, I registered for my first full marathon with 2 weeks to go. The Hamptons, NY.

Jan 2018: first time signing up for the NYC Marathon Lottery (a shot in the dark) and got in! so 2018 was probably my best running year, (performance wise) leading up to November. Completed my 2nd Marathon.

Summer 2019: I met a fellow member Christopher and he introduced me to this awesome club. He mentioned: all I had to do was run the hills course and I’ll be part of the group. Challenge accepted. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! Here is where I learned what the “its just a hill get over it” motto came from!…. I ordered my first SHW singlet a few weeks ago, so happy to wear it at the races. I give you guys all the respect in the world for running the 10k on a weekly basis. This is such a humbling course!

But anyway. There is much more know and probably have left out a lot of details! In short, I love this sport, the community and what it has to offer! I wish I could train all year round, but usually focus on summer training. I hope to change it this year! NYCM 2020 coming up! so my Goal is to train my butt off and to volunteer much more after the month of May. And to continue to become more and more involved in the running community. I wish I could make it out more frequently to the Sunday group runs. But my commute is a bit far, however, the goal is to make it out at least once a month!

Thank you Lou for accepting me into this group and allowing me to share a bit of how I ended up here. Also, thank you guys for this Community! Hope to meet and see and meet more of you guys soon! – Happy Running!