Rediscovering Running... #FitFriday Inspiration from Daniel

Posted on September 01 2016

Since a young age, Daniel has loved to run. Though career and family separated him from his love of running, he has rediscovered it later in life, and used it as a way to bond with his wife and shed 75 pounds. 

What inspired you to get into running?

I can remember from a young age, mainly in elementary school I loved running. I was that kid who couldn’t wait for PE class to start. I was always trying to run faster than all the other kids in my class. My uncle used to run marathons when I was a kid and I remember my grandmother always telling me that I should start running races if I really liked to run. I remember her taking me to a running store and helping me pick out my first official pair of running shoes (Asics), she signed me up for my first 5k that was in Seaport Village where I got 1st place in my age group. I went on to run the Carlsbad 5000 soon after too. Fast forwarding to May 2015 when I turned 30, I hadn’t run in years nor did I do much of any other physical activity. I was overweight and out of shape to say the least, so I made a commitment to myself that whatever it took I would get it done. It started as family walks around the neighborhood, which soon turned into jogs, before long we were running short distances and signing up for races. It felt great and made me lose weight, I was hooked.

#FitFriday Miles and Pace

How often do you run?

Probably less than I should, but depends if I’m training for a race. I usually run a couple low mile runs per week with one long run on the weekend.

What’s been the most difficult aspect of your running practice?

I would definitely have to say finding the time, I know that sounds like an excuse but between my career, having 3 kids, and trying to train for my first Triathlon, which means fitting in 2 other activities besides running, makes it tough.

#FitFriday Miles and Pace

When you don’t feel like running, what motivates you to lace up and get out there?

My wife, Stacey, there were so many times over the last year where she’d be ready to run when I got home from work and I totally didn’t want to go, but seeing how excited she was to get out there changed my mind to follow. I never regretted going, I was thankful that I had somebody there to encourage and push me when I needed it.

How many races have you run?

Probably about 11 total. Two 5k’s, 8k, two 10k’s, a 20k, and 5 half marathons.

#FitFriday Miles and Pace

What’s been your favorite race? Why?

My favorite race would have to be my most recent half marathon, the Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego. Although it was not my best time, it was my most memorable race to date. San Diego is my hometown, and being that I don’t live there anymore makes every trip there special. The weather was perfect, the crowds were awesome, volunteers were amazing, and the post-race parties were so much fun. I think this might be a yearly tradition!

#FitFriday Miles and Pace

What’s been your least favorite race? Why?

Outlaw Half Marathon in Luckenbach, TX. First of all, Stacey and I didn’t know we were going to run this race until the night before. We didn’t have anyone to watch the kids until Stacey’s Mom said she would at about 8pm the night before. Luckily it wasn’t sold out so we registered and got everything together to wake up at 4am to make the 1 ½ hour drive out to the Hill Country of Texas, “which I would soon know why they called it that”. This race was in April which isn’t really a cold month here in Texas but that day was a bit chilly and looked like a storm was headed our way. This course was probably 95% hills, up and down, it rained miles 4-6, my headphones stopped working, and the water stations were very seldom to say the least. It was a grueling 13.1 miles but I have to say this race made me a better, stronger runner who appreciates flat courses!

What do you love about running?

First and foremost, I love running because it makes me healthy, it is what helped me shed nearly 75 pounds over the last year. I also love running because it is something that Stacey and I can do together, we joke about it all the time that races are our date nights, or in this case usually mornings. I love to run because I love to eat, that’s not really a good reason but seriously makes me not feel as bad eating some tacos knowing I’m going to run the next day! There is no super crazy expensive equipment involved, all you need is miles of road ahead of you.

#FitFriday Miles and Pace

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself, your journey and your runs.

I have 3 awesome boys. Dylan who is 8, Ethan is 5, and Jackson is 2. I have an amazing wife Stacey, who has been an inspiration to not only me but several others in the running community showing that you can overcome obstacles and fight through pain to do what you love. I’m passionate about building things, I’m a Project Manager who focuses on Federal Gov’t projects and love taking on challenging tasks. I’m currently training for my first Triathlon and love spending time in the gym doing strength training.  

To stay in touch with Daniel's running journey, follow him on Instagram at @danielecrago.