Foray into coaching

Training together at Toro Park in Salinas, CA, one of my favorite spots.

Training together at Toro Park in Salinas, CA, one of my favorite spots.

My foray into coaching led to Faviola Sarai Igari Perez visiting from her home in Mexico. We met on Facebook and until I picked her up at the San Jose airport a few weeks ago, we had never spoken, and I quickly realized she did not speak ANY English and had been using google translate. Oops, though I have been trying to learn Spanish on my own, I would classify myself as a beginner.

I invited her to come run the Monterey Bay Half Marathon figuring it would be a good time to meet and see her run in person. Luckily, she was able to get time away from law school where she finishes up in 9 months. Despite our language barrier, we managed to learn a lot about each other and found ourselves laughing quite a bit. It was a nice change for me to have someone to run with. The last time I had someone to consistently run with was Magda while in Beijing for the Olympics.

I love her energy and desire to challenge herself, and I am looking forward to guiding her on her own running journey as mine gets closer to the end. I admire her work ethic, particularly knowing how hard it is to train in Mexico alone. It makes me realize how lucky I have been these last few years to live in such an amazing place, with a Coach and a family behind me. Now that she is back in Mexico, we will rely on email, Skype and the trusty Garmin.  She has some lofty goals, but my Coach Bob Sevene always says it all about the journey. To quote one of my favorite movies, St. Ralph, “If you are not chasing rainbows, what’s the point eh?”





Blake Russell

Runner, Wife and Mom. Enjoying where the running world has taking me and looking forward to the journey.

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5 Responses

  1. Kind of awesome! No, definitely awesome!!

  2. Michael says:

    I train with a friend who’s a native spanish speaker. He’s an active marathoner. If you need translation of cultural help, I’m sure he’d like to help. We live in Central Valley ca

  3. Marci says:

    What a wonderful surprise! It’s great that running can connect people on so many levels. So many feelings and thoughts about chasing goals are completely universal and beyond language and distance. I hope Faviola’s half marathon went really well! Great luck to both of your training and chasing your rainbow!

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