Running for Sundaes!

Heaven & Sundae

Pictured: Heaven Vallejos and her post-5k sundae. Photo courtesy of: Heaven Vallejos

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I went to my Grandma’s house. My dad deep fried a turkey and it was good. We ate candied yams with marshmallows on top and pumpkin cake. This year I’m thankful for family and friends

Heaven & Lisa

Pictured: (l-r) Heaven Vallejos, Lisa Fiorentino. Photo courtesy of: Heaven Vallejos/Lisa Fiorentino

On November 2, I ran the Two Cities 5K here in Fresno with my braille teacher. The race was fun and some people wore costumes. This race is usually only a half-marathon and marathon race, but this was the first time they had a 5K. A 5K is 3.1 miles. After the race they gave us free brownie sundaes, breakfast, and I got a free massage! After my twin brother heard I got a brownie sundae, he said he wanted to run next year, too. My next race is on December 7 and it is the Mara-Fun-Run in Sacramento. I ran this race last year for the first time. It was very cold, but fun! After the race I went to the Youth Paralympic Sport Experience where we did judo and goal ball.

My birthday is Thursday December 4th. I will be 11 years old. I’m having a party at my house after school. We are going to get a piñata! I like it when it breaks – it is like candy falling from the sky! If everyone wants to we will go ice skating too.

I want everybody to know that you can send me questions I will be happy to answer them. I have enjoyed writing for my blog. I hope it helps other visually impaired kids get excited about sports. I like sports because it makes me feel good. In the future I would like to try snow skiing and power lifting. Power lifting is where you lift weights in three different positions. I want to power lift because then if I ever have to lift a couch or a car I will be able to and I would be able to lift my cousins when they ask me to!
I will blog again in January. I hope everyone has happy holidays and I’ll be in touch in 2015!
Until then,
Heaven

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California Chrome

Hi!
On July 20th I completed my second triathlon in Fresno,CA. It went good, but the swimming was the hardest part. I think it was because I didn’t have enough room on the tether and that made the guide too close. I felt like I needed more room to use my overhand stroke. I’ve learned that meeting my guides before the race is a good thing because I usually don’t know them and meeting them the day before gives us a chance to talk about things that can work for both of us. I can teach them some things I’ve learned from my other races. I plan on doing other triathlons. I will definitely do the San Diego Spring Triathlon next year and I will also do the Fresno I Can triathlon again. Running is the easiest part for me. I will be starting cross country when school starts, and l would like to run some more foot races and mud runs soon. Before this triathlon, my dad called me his “California Chrome” like the racehorse. I met a girl at the triathlon who is about 9 years old. She says she likes my catchphrase, “Time to kick some bootie!” I also met a girl at the race who lived in Siberia before she moved to Fresno. She is in 5th grade like me. Races are good places to meet people.

I swam a lot this sumer. I swam for fun, but I also took swim lessons (Thank you CTEBVI!) I also ran this summer. Today, I am getting ready to go camping with my family. We are going to go rafting on the King’s River. I have been on a raft on a lake, but never on a river, so this will be another first! I’m looking forward to roasting marshmallows over the campfire.
School starts soon. I’m sorry to see summer be over, but I’m really looking forward to starting 5th grade!

Here is a link to a video about my latest triathlon. Enjoy!

Until next time,
Heaven

A Goal Reached

Heaven on a tandem bicycle participating in her first triathlon.

Photo by: ABC10 San Diego

On May 4th I participated in my very first triathlon. A man named Sam, saw my documentary and sent it to Dave White at the Blind Stokers Club in San Diego. Then they contacted a man by the name of Joe Stine and he called my dad. He told my dad that he would bring me and my family to San Diego, and pay for everything, so that I could participate in the Spring Sprint Itsy Bitsy Triathlon. With my scholarship money from CTEBVI, I was able to pay for swim lessons, so that I could get ready for the triathlon. I also practiced on the tandem bike, and on Friday, May 2nd we went to San Diego. We were given a nice room at the Hilton, and everyone who helped my family and I get to San Diego came to a dinner at Aqua on Friday night. It was a very fancy restaurant. I had duck for the first time and it was tasty! On Saturday, I went to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) gym and a man named Samuel gave us a tour. I got to ride a wheelchair hand cycle. It was cool! I also met my guide for the triathlon, Katarina, at the gym. On Sunday, we got up really early and went down to the beach for the triathlon. There were news stations and they interviewed me. I am attaching a link to one of the news stories. Katarina found us and we got ready for the race. The first event was swimming – in the bay! It was the first time I ever swam in the ocean. I had to swim 100 yards. I had a wet suit on, but it was still cold! I sort of warmed up, and only my hands were cold. I had a tether tied to my waist and Katarina held the other end in her hand while we swam, so that I didn’t swim off into the ocean. The next event was the bike. The bike part was three miles. I was the only tandem bike rider there. It was a little different from my tandem bike, and had skinnier wheels. Finally, we got to run. The run was ¾ of a mile. I was tired, but I did it and finished my first triathlon! Yay! I want to do another triathlon this summer. It was really fun! On Sunday afternoon, the Blind Stokers Club got us tickets to a Padres game. The game was exciting and the Padres beat the Diamondbacks. The Padres game was one of my favorite things of the weekend! I want to thank everyone that helped me realize my goal of being in a triathlon. You guys are awesome!

Until next time,
Heaven

To read a story about the triathlon: http://www.10news.com/sports/10-year-old-blind-girl-tackles-spring-sprint-triathlon-05042014