Q & A with Gaston Ly


Gaston was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and is the store manager of the Honolulu Running Room. He says that people “generally think of Hawaii as very pastoral but Honolulu is fairly metropolitan. There are definitely no grass huts or coconut bras here although there are a few touristy places in Waikiki and Laie (the Polynesian Cultural Center) where you could find that.”

What are the last two concerts you attended?
Air Supply and Bruno Mars.

Name one playlist in your music library.
OST – Original Sound Track. Being the cinephile that I am, I have full soundtracks for many movies lumped into one place, looped and shuffled.

If you could take a weekend intensive workshop in anything, what would it be?
 Mortgages or investments.

What book is on your nightstand right now?
Personal Finance At Your Fingertips by Ken Little

What is one of your most used apps?
The game Puzzle and Dragons that I have  been playing since 2013.

Did you play sports in high school?
Yes. I lettered in Cross Country and Track & Field.

What do you want customers to feel when they come into your store?
Welcomed.  Relaxed. I train the staff to be as knowledgeable as they can be in conveying the information necessary for all customers to make the most informed decision when making a purchase.

How do you use the weather and location of Hawaii to your advantage in training?
I have the ability to run a lot of long, slow distances without injury.  I do not aspire to be an ultra-marathoner but I often train like one. The Hawaii weather allows me to train year-round with diverse running courses (hilly, flat) so that I can continue to indulge my appetite 24-7-365.

Are there any iconic or really challenging running routes in Honolulu?
The most iconic running route is probably Diamond Head loop. As for challenging; the H.U.R.T 100 20-mile trail loop.

What does running do for you: emotionally, socially, physically?
Emotionally, I am happy because I look forward to eating whatever I want (budget permitting) afterwards without feeling guilty. Socially, I am happy because I usually eat with whoever I was running with. Physically, running allows me to not feel uncomfortable in my body after the amount of food that I eat. I run to eat; not the other way around.

How are you  able to bring lessons learned on a long run into everyday life?
Patience and discipline. Running long, slow and steady helps me maintain a healthy weight especially with my eating habits without getting really sore or injured.  Both at work and personally, if there is a situation that is frustrating, I tend to have an easier time slowing down, taking a deep breath, and assessing the situation in a more calm manner–attributes that I believe being a long distance runner has honed throughout the years.

Assuming that you do not feel like going for a run every time you head out, what advice would you give to a new runner who assumes that the habit of regular activity is based on emotion versus discipline?
Great question. My advice is, as much as possible, have your workout become as habitual (or routine) as possible. Allocate the time out of your day to run/walk/jog if that is your goal. Emotion is definitely part of the equation, but don’t let emotion determine whether or not you go; let it determine the intensity. If you feel good, go out and run.  If you feel lower-energy, go for a walk. The point is to communicate with your body that these days of the week at these times, you are going out for x-amount-of-time. Once it becomes routine, it’ll be harder to break. Setting up the routine is the hardest part, establish that first, and most things should slowly fall in line.


Gaston has a Bachelor of Science in Information and Computer Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. On long runs, he listens to podcasts about the Los Angeles Lakers and other podcasts like Freakonomics Radio, Radiolab, Science Vs. He runs to work and on his days off, runs with friends to socialize. 




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.