From The Lips Of A Local: New Year’s Resolution Edition!

Ahh, 2014!  With the new year now about a week in, we thought it’d be fun to make this week’s edition of “From The Lips Of A Local” all about not only creating a resolution, but sticking to it!  We’re delighted to be talking to our very own contributor, Orlando Manuel, who resolved last year to conquer a pretty incredible feat: run a marathon, WHILE fundraising money for an excellent cause.



What was your motivation for signing up for the marathon?

My motivation for signing up for the marathon was San Francisco itself. My motivation for joining Team in Training was the passing of my mother due to leukemia when I was a teen. When I saw San Fran on the list my eyes lit up. I had heard stories about how the city of San Francisco is the only city that resembles NYC and yet manages to keep its own identity. I had to check it out for myself, and guess what? The rumors were true — what a fantastic place! I felt at home.

Leading up to the race, how did your diet and workout routine change?  And honestly: how time consuming was the training?

I ran the race October 20th — I started training in June. I already ate clean — organic — so there were no issues there. One thing my coach took issue with was me going Paleo mid-training. He was worried about my carb intake. I told him I was good. I had a plan. After listening to me break down my plan (and tell him I was already two weeks in and doing fine) he nodded and gave me the thumbs up.

We often hear about marathoners hitting the “wall”.  Did you experience this at all, and if so, what mile was it?  How did you push through?

The wall is real — very real! Mental, obviously. The body does get weak, but the drive is in you. That same drive is also around you — I’ll explain. I hit my “wall” somewhere after the mile 22 marker. I was hurting. Somehow I started chatting with another runner on the course. She was from the Philadelphia chapter of Team in Training. I left one ear bud out and we carried on short spurts of conversation until the finish line. Once we crossed it she thanked me for helping her push through; she was pacing off of me. My answer to that was, “You were pacing off of me? I was pacing off of you!” Teamwork!

What were the top 3 motivating songs on your running playlist?

As far as motivating songs on my running playlist? Let’s go with an entire album: “Licensed To Ill” — Beastie Boys

Any tips for novice runners that are considering running their first race/marathon this year?

Hmm, tips for novice runners aspiring to run their first marathon, huh? Too easy! Listen to one person and one thing — your coach and your body. Don’t give up, or second guess, either.



Kudos, Orlando, for accomplishing your goal and giving to an incredibly important cause on top of it!  We hope that his goal setting/achieving will inspire YOU to get busy with making your resolution happen this year, too!

We’d love to know…what’s your 2014 resolution, and the first step you’re taking to make it happen?  Share below!



By: Jessica Tiare Bowen



  • Mette says:

    Impressive. A feat like this deserves the utmost respect.

  • Congrats Orlando! That is no small feat. San Fran is so beautiful and unique. And I imagine your mother was looking down from heaven and cheering you on the last leg.

    And thank you for the motivation to hit the gym today :)

    • Used York City says:

      Ahh, yes, he was running in your neck of the woods Linda (or at least the same state…I guess SoCa and SanFran are *slightly* different!;-)

  • Marcia says:

    Huge kudos to Orlando. I’m so glad he did the marathon and raised money as well. It really is an enormous undertaking to do both, especially for first timers.

    I did the same thing a few years ago, inspired my one of my grand-aunts who had a stroke. It was a huge accomplishment and I felt very proud when I finished.

    Best wishes to you for 2014, Jess. Congrats on your wedding. Wish you many years of happiness.
    I’m in NYC for a few months. Would love meet up when the weather gets warmer. Let me know.

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks Marcia, and kudos to you as well for running for your aunt! I know you made her very proud!

      I’d absolutely love to meet up once the winter hibernation has ended!;-) Would be wonderful to finally meet you in person!

  • JULIAN says:

    happy new year Jess!!!!!!

  • I’ve always romanced the idea of running a marathon (although I hate to run). I’ve always thought that if/when I do, it will definitely have to be in a gorgeous environment. San Francisco would definitely be a picturesque place to run one and it’s true that Frisco does remind me a lot of NYC. I really admire people who are able to accomplish marathon runs – very motivating!

    • Used York City says:

      You could always plan a marathon/vacation at the same time! Although I think you might have to do some serious rest time after the 26.2…so pick a place with a good pool!;-)

  • Scarlett says:

    Very inspiring! Maybe this will be the year I finally do it too xx

    • Used York City says:

      Oh I’d love to read about that, Scarlett! I’m sure it will have a humorous twist, as per usual!;-) xo

  • Mike says:

    For me personally, I like my resolutions to be set daily not by a date on the calendar. I feel the latter only perpetuates procrastination. I’m very sorry for the loss of your mother, Orlando, but wow is she looking down on you with immense pride!! Not just for the race but always in your life. I’ve never run a marathon but have several friends who have and do. They’ve talked about “the wall”. That is awesome that you connected up with the lady from Philadelphia. I hope this inspires so many others to get out there and do it! This is such a feel good post :)

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Mike! Orlando is an absolute inspiration on many different levels!

      And can very much appreciate small, daily goals…sometimes I think the only thing that keeps me sane during the day is checking things off my daily checklist;-)

  • Maria says:

    Kudos on the marathon Orlando – takes a lot of dedication and love the way you pushed beyond the wall.

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