About Liana

My Story

Hi everyone, and welcome to my Running Strong Health and Wellness website. Running has been a lifetime passion of mine ever since I was 9 years old. Over the years I have done so many things and have purchased numerous products within the running world to help improve my performance, skills, and ability as an athlete.

I’m a small-town island girl from Maui, Hawai’i who grew up on an agricultural farm, and I would look for ways to get faster and stronger to improve my time. I had access to a lot of hills to train on, which I feel helped give me that competitive edge. A lot of runners would tell me they hate hills, but I would always tell them, “Hills are my friend.”

In high-school I would train on my own in the summertime, running on my 150m driveway to do hill repeats on. I also lived off a very steep, hilly half-mile road that was so challenging, it took me 10 minutes to complete it. It was so tough, but I knew it was worth it, getting me closer to reaching my goals and having that competitive edge over my competitors.

I believe we all have a burning desire deep inside of us to do so many great things. I want to inspire other running athletes to achieve their goals and to tap into their full potential.

Throughout my years of experience, I’ve learned a lot about running and was able to significantly improve my speed, strength, and endurance. I know YOU can do it too and would love to share what I know and have learned to provide you with tips and strategies to get started running and even push you to that next level, running faster, longer, stronger and smarter.

A Little Story About My Running Life

Growing up I was smaller from everyone else (and still am, hehe). I was pretty much always the smallest kid. I may have been small, but I was fast. The boys used to tease me a lot for my size, but I’d chase after them and catch them. I started doing the Physical Fitness Test in elementary. I loved it! I loved challenging my body to see what I could do and how far I could push my body. All the fast sprinting was lots of fun for me and I felt like I was good at it.

I went on to running track and cross-country from middle school and all the way up through college. During my senior year, I was able to reach my goal and go out with a bang, finishing my collegiate career as an NAIA 10,000m All-American in track.

After college I took 6 years off from any serious running, as I had entered a new chapter of my life, entering what people call, “the real world.” What got me back into running consistently again was going through a divorce. It had been an outlet for me to focus on and unwind my mind. It brought me back to what I’ve always loved to do and thought I was always good at, running.

After my achievement with the 10,000m, I had thought about running a marathon and hadn’t done one yet. A close friend of mine had been encouraging me to do one too. So, I got an online training plan and started training for the 2009 Portland Marathon in Portland, Oregon.

I absolutely had no idea what I was doing, training for a full marathon. I was training solo, with no team, coach or running partners, along with crazy 90 degree and higher weather. There were days it was so hot I struggled to finish my long runs. I had my previous knowledge of running, but I also didn’t know anything about taking gels, getting the proper level of electrolytes, hydrating during long runs, etc.

I was put in touch with my friend’s coach just a couple of days before the race, who gave me some pointers. I ended up running a 3:09 for my first debut marathon. My friend’s coach said he believed I could qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. Hearing that was like gold to me, as it has been my dream since a little girl to be an Olympic runner. From then on, I put my head down and got to work.

I gave up a lot to train and see how far I could go with my running. I’ll be posting more of my story and articles of it later on. Long story short, after hours of training, sacrificing, time, commitment, sweat, and tears, I had qualified for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. I have God and so many people to thank who helped get me there, and it wasn’t until I had the proper guidance and resources, training plans, and coaches to help me significantly improve my performance as a runner.

Paying it Forward

As I mentioned before, I have so many people to thank who helped me along the way to reach my achievements. My friends and fans loved hearing my stories, as they would tell me, “you’re so inspiring.” People would approach me and ask, “How do I start training for a marathon?” or “How do I start running?” So, I started this page, how to start running for beginners.

This is my way of giving back. Everyone deserves a chance at wanting to become great at something, no matter what background you come from. Needless to say, the popularity of running has grown exponentially, as more and more people are wanting to be more healthy, lose weight, or they catch that “runner’s high,” and want to see just how good they can get, like qualify for the Boston Marathon or running their personal best.

I love running, and I love helping and seeing others succeed in it too. I’m very new at starting my own website to help others in their running journey, but I’m also very excited to bring what I know to the table in helping you succeed too.

I’m also one of those people who gets so emotional hearing about stories of their road to success. I start crying and get goosebumps when I watch inspirational videos/movies and they reach their wildest dreams. Hopefully, I can be a part in building your success as a runner too. So, look around. I would also love to hear your experiences, comments, and questions from your running journey.

If you would prefer to send us an email for any questions or additional information, please feel free to contact us at liana@myrunningstrong.com.

Happy Running,

Founder of Running Strong Health and Wellness




  1. Inspiring story. I like the focus on health and wellness. I believe running can save-your-life, as far as health is concerned. Looking forward to more blogs RE: running and staying with it.

    • Thank you so much, Tom! Running has definitely served as a life-saver in so many ways for people. I’m also looking forward to posting more blogs for you and others to read. Stay tuned 🙂

  2. You were always one of my favorite, most inspiring high school team mates! Love that you are elevating your quality of life with running and other people’s lives as well!

    • Wow, Annebelle! You made my night with what you shared about me! I have always loved your amazingly positive, bright, and fun attitude you brought in our high-school years together. I hope you can keep running or athleticism alive in your life somehow too.

    • Hi Anna! Thank you! Stay tuned for more to come :). I hope you’re doing well in S. Korea.

    • Hi D.J.! Long-time no see. I’m doing well and still enjoying being in the Philippines. Thank you for commenting on my site and your encouragement. I hope your running is going well too!

  3. Your experience was remarkable! I hope i could be an athlete too. I do love sports but i guess sport didnt like me😆. Keep going ate Lily! Continue to achieve your goals. Run for your Dreams!😘

    • Thank you so much, Dwine die! If you really desire to be an athlete, just find what you really love and it will love you back :). Don’t give up just yet. Live your dreams too!

    • Hi Aunty Lyn! Thank you for your encouragement. I can’t wait to build it out more. Keep on the lookout 🙂

  4. Hi Liana,
    I’m looking forward to hearing more stories and advice about running. Maybe you’ll inspire me to run more than the 1-2 times during the week during soccer I’ve currently been doing. I’m sure my team would appreciate me showing up more fit. Haha. 😘 I hope you are well.

    • Hi Verity,

      Thank you for commenting on my site. I’m looking forward to delivering more content and stories for you to hopefully enjoy too. I just published a new post to help you find the best running shoes to get started. Maybe that will inspire you somehow moving forward. I’m glad you’re still playing soccer. It’s a perfect cross-training activity that you enjoy doing. I hope you’re doing well too.

  5. You probably know this already, but your father was a fast runner, and, come to think of it, not much bigger than you. He had to be different, though. He ran cross-country without shoes in high school! I vaguely remember the terrain. It was truly cross the countryside through woods and fields.

    • Hi Uncle Sandy! My Dad and I were a lot alike. I know I got my running talent from him. He always did things outside the box, so I’m not surprised he ran barefoot, which still has its benefits. I hope I can experience the woods and fields he used to run through.

  6. Wow, you have an amazing story! You really are an inspiration!

    I think it’s great you want to give back and pay it forward. I’ve always believed that living with gratitude and helping others achieve their goals will bring us closer to realizing our own dreams. I don’t think you’re at the end of your runners path just yet; Somehow I could see you trekking it up the side of a mountain somewhere haha!

    I wish you all the success in the world on your way to the top!
    Blessings, Shannon

    • Thank you, Shannon! It feels really great helping others achieve or realize their goals and/or dreams. It puts us in the right heart of what our dreams should be. Thank you so much, also, for your words of encouragement in my running path. I really needed to hear that. I will hold on to that vision you see for me! I’ve been wanting to do a lot more trail running too, haha. And thank you for taking the time to check out my website and leave a comment.


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