What’s a Liebster?

I’ve been writing Shiawase Life since 2010. Back then, it was simply an off-shoot of my Wedding Blog, so I wasn’t sure exactly the direction it might one day go. Fortunately for me, I found running a few months later, which definitely guided my content (and really, my life) to the happier and healthier place it is today.

Through this blog, I have been so many incredible friends, mentors, coaches and sources of inspiration – and through this blog, I’ve had the pleasure of doing things I never imagined – running a marathon, discovering my love for fundraising and awareness, and, as cheesy as it may sound – finding who I am, and what I am all about. You know that expression, “I’m an open book,” – well, in this digital age, that’s what this blog is for me: a journal, a living document, a place for both inspiration and reflection and much, much more.

LiebsterAwardIt is in that spirit that I’m glad to accept the challenge set out by my friend Karla with her recent Liebster Award nomination. I have been lucky enough to also be nominated by my friend Carlee, and between these two nominations, I thought I could cobble together some sort of post to respond to both, while bending the “standard” Liebster parameters:

  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you
  2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
  3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award
  4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees
  5. You must go to their blogs and notify the nominees

I have seen many already nominated for these awards, so here’s my new challenge to you, my reader: pick your favorite question and share YOUR response in the comments! I really love learning new things about people, and think it’ll be fun.

So, without further ado, here we go with Karla’s questions:

1. Why did you start running?

I started running because it seemed the most accessible way for me to become more active. Setting out with the Couch to 5K app, I thought that I’d do a 5K, then find out what other workouts I could do, but after I crossed the finish line for the first time (August 2010), something clicked and I was hooked.

2. What’s your favorite distance to race or to run in workouts?

635293059222703291For general workout runs, there’s something about running 7 miles that I love – it’s further than an “easy 6,” but also gives my body enough time to really warm up, and can generally be accomplished in about an hour.

To race, I must confess, I am enamored with the marathon distance. It’s a fickle beast, and it has broken my heart more than once, but I keep going back.

3. What’s your biggest running goal right now?

Qualifying for Boston. It’s been my goal since January of 2012, and I’ve embraced the fact that it’s not an easy road, but I really do believe that once I reach it, it’ll be that much sweeter.

4. What’s your power song?

Imma have to be unoriginal here and say “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys – I mean, it’s on every single running playlist (I have a rule that I cannot stop or walk when that song is playing).

5. What mantra works for you when you’re pushing hard?

“Keep Moving Forward.”

5. What’s your favorite movie?

“Say Anything,” closely followed by “Titanic.”

6. Who’s your running hero?

I have a lot, but I am a huge fan of Robin. She is one of the most motivating and inspirational people I know, and she is this way just by being her.

7. What achievement are you most proud of?

51813a133503889b82d1dc3dcfda9a48This is a tie: in 2006, I moved from Japan, where I lived for 14 years to Washington State to attend college (GO COUGS). It was a huge culture shock, but one of the best experiences of my life. Then, in 2010, I shook it up again and moved across the country to Florida, to work, live and play at Walt Disney World. Working for the Mouse, for 4 years, was a dream come true, and it showed me that you really can do anything you set your mind to.

8. What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Ahh, just one? Okay, Disneyland. And the Grand Californian.

9. What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not running?

dug.jpgPlaying with and taking pictures of our pup, Dug! He is the cutest and silliest.

10. Dogs or Cats?

I think that’s obvs 😉

So, that’s all she wrote! Answer a question (or a few) so I can learn more about YOU! 🙂


  1. Ooh, I like your favorite vacation spot! My mom and I plan a Disney trip every two years or so, and we’re both already psyched about our Summer 2015 adventure. We’ve promised each other we’ll go for the Grand Californian this time, which we haven’t done since 2002 or 3. LOVE that place.

    My favorite vacation spot so far has been Ireland. Specifically: Dingle, Ireland. That town is just so welcoming, they have a “town dolphin” (named Fungie), and it’s happenin’ enough to keep a girl occupied for a few days before finding a new town to explore. I loved it!

    • Amy, that is awesome! I’d love to visit Ireland – I have actually never been anywhere in Europe (yet)!! I think it’s cool that you go with your mom; in 2010, I took my mom and sister to Disneyland (since my mom’s in Japan and my sister in WA, good meeting spot) and we had an absolute blast. Definitely a great place to make magical memories ❤

  2. OMG are we twins, but I’m just the much slower not loving marathons yet one?

    LOVE the moving Say Anything, but my current favorite movie is and has been for awhile, Pitch Perfect, closely followed by Ferris Beuller and Miss Congeniality.

    WDW is my Happiest Place on Earth, but I’ve never stayed at Grand Floridian – too rich for my blood. Port Orleans, Riverside is really nice though.

    Cats or Dogs? That’s obvious for me – I’m a crazy cat lady with one very sweet, 15 year old kitty. My heart will break in a million pieces when she goes.

  3. Biggest goal: I know you already know this but I’m going to throw it out into the running universe – a sub 2 hour half! Aaaggghhhh! I actually said it!!!!
    And cupcakes. I now consider myself a little cupcake. Until I hit that 1:59.59. Then I’ll be an all-grown-up cupcake! 🙂

  4. Oh my gosh, Dug is just TOO CUTE!

    I think the marathon is my favorite distance too and right now my running goal for the fall is to PR that marathon distance!

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