Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Couples that run together have Fun together

Rudy & Noemi Arzaga

Couples that run together have fun together!

A perfect example of this can be found by taking the example of Rudy and Noemi Arzaga.

The couple has known each other for 19 years, been married for nine years and has three children. 

“We didn’t always run together,” Noemi said.  “I was the first one that started and Rudy would actually say that I was crazy.”

Noemi, who is a registered nurse at Hilo Medical Center, was encouraged to start running by coworker Dave Adachi.

“Dave is such a great coach as he encourages me and stayed with me the first time we ran together,” Noemi said.  “I ran very slowly, in fact it wasn’t even running as I barely jogged.”

Between the slow jogging there was lots of walking as Noemi needed to get herself into shape, but it didn’t take long before she was able to jog her first 8 miles with a Sunday running group.

“The first time I tried I could barely do a lap around Liliuokalani Gardens without stopping,” she said.  “But by having someone to help guide me I learned to pace myself and eventually built up my endurance.”

Once Noemi got her confidence level up she then began asking Rudy to try running with her.  “Rudy seemed to have no interest in running at all from the very start,” she said.  “In fact when I would ask him to join our group on the Sunday morning runs Rudy would say ‘you’re crazy’.”

In 2008 Noemi successful completed her first official race when she ran from Pepeekeo to Hilo, a distance of 10.8 miles in pouring rain.

“There was lightning and thunder and the rain never stopped,” Noemi said, “and I heard the never ending ‘you’re crazy’ from Rudy.”

As time went by Rudy began to gain weight and developed high blood pressure problems. 

“Rudy started having eye twitching and he couldn’t bend down much to install heavy cabinets and floor installations,” Noemi said.

Rudy is the owner of JNR Works, LLC where he fabricates custom made cabinets and does floor and tile installation and being physically fit is an important component of his daily duties.

With the start of some health related issues Noemi was able to convince her husband to join her Sunday running group which was headed by Hilo Internist Doctor Aaron Morita.

Their Sunday group is comprised of a number of health care professionals which include Dr.’s David Nakamura, Melanie Arakaki and Eric Helms along with a number of RN’s from the Hilo Medical Center.

It didn’t take long before Rudy discovered his love for running and now he is the one that encourages Noemi to get out and get going.

The couple has developed a love for long distance running with both running in numerous marathons (26.2 miles) over the course of the last several years.

Just this past year Rudy ran and finished five marathons and a half marathon while Noemi completed four half marathons and one full marathon.

“Rudy is more health conscious than me and that is highly visible just by looking at us,” Noemi said.  “I love to eat and I reward myself with food after running.  In fact, food is highly up there as one of my reasons why I run.”

Noemi credits Rudy with her love for food by saying, “he is such a great cook and if I didn’t run or exercise I would probably be double and a half my size by now.”

Rudy is into eating large salads and according to Noemi he has better control than she in eating.

The couple were both born in the Philippines and moved to Hawaii when they were 14 years of age, with Rudy attending Pahoa and Noemi at Hilo High.

“A friend introduced us while we were in high school,” Noemi said.  “Rudy was on the varsity basketball team and I gave cross country an unsuccessful try.”

The couple credits the enormous encouragement they receive from their Sunday running group as the reason for their success and they also give kudos to family members who will care for their children when they go out for a run.

“We have great support from family and friends which make all of this possible,” Rudy said.  “Without their help we wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of our exercise related goals.  We are very blessed to have them in our lives.”

“We take pride with what we both have and God has blessed us with three wonderful children and with having a strong relationship,” Noemi said.

The couple that runs together have fun together which was the lead in this story is very applicable to the Arzaga’s as they share a common bond beyond that of a typical couple.

“We have a unique relationship in which Rudy is my first and only love and I was his first and only as well,” Noemi said.  “We hope to remain that way as we feel the love is strongly growing.”

Rudy and Noemi just completed the Big Island International Marathon on Sunday and are looking to do many more running adventures together.

Big Dog believes that the more fun couples have together the greater their value of self and each other.  The more fun they share with others, the more fun they have and the cycle continues.

And someday should you happen to see a fun loving, healthy, retired teacher jogging around your neighborhood remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com.

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March 21, 2011 - Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , ,

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