The unknown

I leave in a few days for the One Run For Boston relay. I am flying from Sacramento to Boston to run the last 4 legs = 26.5 27 miles of this relay across the U.S. that started on June 7th. This will be the longest I will run at one time, although there may be small breaks in between each leg. I am going out there by myself, with no friends or family to accompany me on this trip. I am actually really nervous.

This trip and run wasn’t on my agenda for the year. I already had set plans for my next half marathon and marathons the rest of 2013. It is a whirlwind of a trip, but my heart led me to this. However, it does come at a great time early on in my training for Berlin, so I have time to recover.

12153-i-run-because-i-can-when-i-get-tired-i-remember-those-who-cant_247x200_widthI think the fact that I am flying by myself, having to make my way to Hopkinton by myself, and even staying overnight by myself (in a hostel, no less) after what I think will be a great celebration when the relay is over, is hard for me. It’s not that I am afraid to be alone or anything, it’s just I am used to having friends or my boyfriend there for support along the way. Having someone familiar greet you and celebrate with you after completing a race or run is always a great feeling. So this will be very different for me.

I won’t know anyone there, so I hope to meet some incredible people who are there for the same reasons I am. We all have a reason and a story as to why we chose to do this.

I think I will learn a lot from this experience. I will learn about myself and my capabilities. I will learn about solidarity. I will learn about inspiration, dedication, selflessness, bonding, and much more. I do know I am going into the unknown though. This might be up there with the AIDS Ride I did twice in ’97 and ’99…500+ miles from SF to LA on my bike. You learn a lot when going on a journey as an individual AND when on a journey with like-minded individuals. But, I am up for the challenge and adventure. I will have a story to tell. I am sure of that.

It will be a great story.

You can donate toward my trip by going to this link:

Meet Mike Messina

I’m not an official coach or anything like that. I’m not certified or have a license. But I do like to help people if they are interested in training for a race or just trying to get some running into their exercise routine.


August 4, 2013

Recently, I signed up for the 2013 San Francisco Giant Race (Half Marathon) and Mike, my friend’s husband, decided he wanted to do it as well. He’s a big SF Giants fan and sports fan in general, so I think this is the perfect race for him. It will have great energy and fans along the entire course. He asked me for a training plan to help. I have many training plans for half marathons and marathons that I’ve run. Once I sent it over, he said it was a “serious plan”, but he was down to make it happen. So, I decided why not feature him on my blog! Since it’s his first half marathon, I wanted to show his progress and his experience.

The race is August 4, so we are still several weeks out. I check in with him periodically to see how he’s doing and get feedback and answer questions he has. I was a little worried a few weeks ago when he mentioned he was having issues with Planter Fasciitis. This is not pleasant and some runners have a harder time with the pain and not being able to run. But he seems to be okay now.

Mike also ran 7 miles the other day and felt “weak” and wanted to know what he should be eating. I gave him some tips on what to eat before the run and what he should be carrying with him on long runs – Shot Bloks, Gu, etc. I recommended he start training with these before the race so his body is used to it.

Mike and his dog Gracie

Mike and his dog Gracie

Here are some questions I asked him to get to know him better -

1. How long have you been running?
“Have run off and on for 20 years.”

2. Have you run a 1/2 marathon (any races) before? Which one?
“Never ran a half in a real race. I have only ran 5k fun runs.”

3. Why do you want to run this race?
“As a big Giants fan I think it is cool to finish in PacBell AT&T Park.” Me too!!

4. What keeps you motivated?
“Reaching goals.”

5. How do you like the training so far?
“Training has been fine; it has taken me a while to get used to it. I am used
to running like 5 or 6 miles a day everyday (with) very few days off. Now with the training I have days off and really only 1 DAY of a long run.”

6. What have been your challenges?
“Only challenges have been fighting foot injury (planters) and have to switch days around due to my basketball tourney schedule.” Mike’s a high school basketball coach.

7. What is your goal?
“My goal is to run my race and not worry about any other runners faster/slower, etc. Time goal – not sure, prob 9 [mins] per [mile].”

8. How old are you?
“50 years old.” But he assured me that he’s not your “typical 50 year old”!

9. Do you do any other cross training besides running?
“A little rowing machine box, jumps, b-ball.”

I’m really excited for Mike and can’t wait to see him cross the finish line! More updates to come…

Here’s the link to the race –

Any of you have tips for Mike?

If you are ever interested in running or training for a race, let me know. I’d be happy to help!

We’ve got Spirit, yes we do

We’ve got Spirit, how ’bout you? The Spirit of the Marathon II movie premiered on Wednesday at our local theater. A group of eight of us got together to see the film. The film was very touching and reminds me of all the reasons why I run and why the running community is so bonded. Set in Rome, and around several different runners of all abilities and ages, it really shows the beauty of what runners go through to get to their goals and dreams and in completing this 26.2 mile journey. It’s very inspiring.

Which leads me to my next story…

Three days ago I found out about a relay from California to Boston, 3,000 miles, to raise money for The run actually started last Friday June 7th and is set to end on June 30th. I’m not sure why, but when I read about this event, I got a little antsy and wondered how I could be a part of this. It was too late to run the California legs. I spread the word to my virtual running group on Facebook, told my boyfriend, and pondered over the idea of going out to Boston. And I kept thinking about it. I realized that if I could make this happen, I didn’t have to run just one leg, I could run the last four legs to complete 26.2 miles and run a marathon in honor of those who couldn’t finish the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 and for those who may never be able to again.

photo(22)I wondered if I could get miles or vouchers donated to help fund my trip and I spread the word out to some folks to see if they could help. Nothing panned out. But, when I arrived at the theater to see the movie on Wednesday night, Brian gave me a pin he got at the Big Sur Marathon in April and almost instantly I knew I had to make this happen. So many things were pointing in the direction of “JUST GO”.

Yesterday morning I booked my flight. $526 later and an email from one of the organizers who secured my spots and it was all done. I’m going to Boston! It’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but I think it will be so worth it.

During the SOTM film, there was a piece that resonated with me. A Ukraine professional runner, who is trying to qualify for the Olympics, mentions how WE create our own personal history. And he is right. I don’t know why I am here and what I am on this planet for, but I enjoy running and I want to help inspire and help others if I can.

Boston 2

At the start of the Boston Marathon, 2011

In two weeks, I will see you again Hopkinton!

If you are interested in supporting my journey to Boston, I set up a fundraising page to make it easy for folks. I’m hoping I can get my flight paid for. My entry fees are going to the One Fund Boston charity, but my flight and accommodations are out of my pocket. If you or anyone you know is able to support and help donate, that would be truly amazing. Anything helps! Thank you!

I won?!

Today is National Running Day. I have no idea how long this has been going on for, but this is the first year I have heard about it. For weeks now, I saw posts on Facebook from different running organizations putting on special runs for today.

One that caught my eye was by the local Sacramento Running Association. They organized a 5 mile run along the American River Bike Trail tonight at 6pm. There wasn’t much broadcast about it other than a time and a place and maybe free swag. Well, I didn’t care about the free swag necessarily, I just knew I needed to get a run in today, so why not join them.

photo(19)I don’t usually join groups to run with because my schedule is so crazy, so I can’t stick to one group consistently. But I marked my calendar for tonight to get my butt down to Guy West Bridge to check it out.

Earlier today I caught my friend Scott, who is also a Track & Field coach at Sac State, on Facebook and he said he was going to be down there as well. So it was also a chance to see him and catch up for a few.

I arrived not knowing anyone, but got in line to fill out a raffle ticket.  I picked up a water since it was blazing hot out. And we were able to pick up a free tech shirt from a past race (I got two, while others were grabbing what looked like several). It’s always nice to stock up on tech shirts to run in.

After the 5 mile run along the river in the 85+ degree weather, I cooled down with some water and chatted with a fellow, Alex, that I introduced myself to while we were waiting for the raffle.

photo(20)Next thing I know, they called my name! What?! Me? I never win anything. I won a free entry into this year’s California International Marathon! Kinda cool! So, if any of you want to run the CIM this year, let me know. I have already paid for my entry (the early bird special) and you could get a great discount if you want the entry. They can’t comp my entry or give me a refund, so I would have to sell my freebie. But it was still cool to win!

Great evening overall! 5 mile run in, free shirts, free marathon entry…couldn’t ask for much more.

Happy National Running Day to you all! Hope you got a run in!

Zombies are coming!

So I am sure most of you know that I organized a zombie run last year. Maybe you don’t. Well, we’re at it again for 2013.

Last year when I started the planning of the run, I had no experience and no idea what I was getting myself into. We honestly thought if we got 300 people to participate, that would be amazing and it would be a success. Well, it turned out that 3,000(!!) people participated and a total of about 4,000-4,500 people showed up on the day of the event. This was much bigger than we ever anticipated and as the event got closer we had to order more bibs, more shirts, more medals, more brains, more of everything to make sure we were covered. We had about 2,400 runners and 600 zombies. It was wild!

Logistically, we were not prepared though. We got through it all, but I was literally a zombie during and after the event. No really, you should see a picture of me. I was pale, skinny (I lost like 3 pounds that week), and looked horrific. But, everyone seemed to love the event, hiccups and all. And we were able to give the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society about $10,000 from partial proceeds and donations from the event.


Our new logo

So, now that we have that one under our belt, we had to make a few changes. I split from my partner and dissolved the partnership and we started a new business. With this, we had to rename the run: Capitol Apocalypse 5k Zombie Run. I really love our new look, logo, website, and everything we’ve done so far. And we’ve done it all in a short timeframe.

My friends have been amazing, last year and this year. They have participated in our photoshoots and video shoots and have stepped up to help a lot.

Our event is on Halloween weekend, Saturday October 26th. The only thing about this event that sucks for me personally is that Halloween is my favorite “holiday” of the whole year and last year I didn’t get to dress up and go to a party or have fun like I normally do each year. The run falls on the Saturday that most Halloween parties happen, but we were exhausted and there was no way we were going anywhere that night. And it will be the same this year and probably for years to follow. I’m hoping with some of the changes we are implementing, it will help in alleviating some of the stress and work load and I may be able to go out for Halloween. We’ll see…

Anyway, if you are in Sacramento or live in California (we had many participants from all over California), you should check out our event. This won’t be the last time you’ll hear about it. Sorry! The next five months I will be marketing and promoting the heck out of this. It’s my job. We’d love it if you could “like” our Facebook page. It really helps spread the word virus. And we are on Instagram too – @capitolapocalypse (we love social media!).

We hope you can participate or come out to support!

Scared, aren't you?

Scared, aren’t you?