By September 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Join a Marathon Training Group

By Karen Lozano Whether you’re looking to lose weight, become more active, meet new people, or cross it off your bucket list, training for and running the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon (SAMM) may be just what you’re looking for. “I never thought running was for me,” said Debbie Myetich of Turlock. After hearing about the SAMM training group sponsored by the ShadowChase Running Club of Modesto, she attended a meeting last September, “and from that day forward, I was hooked! “Last year was my first year in the group. I couldn’t have done a full marathon without this wonderful group of people; such support and encouragement! Learning how to train properly and what to do when there is an injury was so enlightening.” Originally, the idea of running 26 miles seemed “far-fetched … unreal almost,” said Myetich, who had just turned 53. It seemed so out of her realm that she only signed up for the half marathon. However, “I started giving serious thought to what they had said, that by sticking with them and the training program, I’d be able to run a marathon in March. She said her family and ShadowChase were so encouraging, “it really seemed that I was being sent a message that I should start this new (marathon) journey.” Myetich, who works for the Stanislaus County Department of Child Support, said she’s made a lot of new friends through the training group, met a great training partner, and even discovered there are people she works with who are runners too. Christina Strohmeyer, a stay-at-home mom from Modesto, joined the training group last year for “as much as a personal health challenge as it was ‘me time’ for my own sanity. “At that time, I was 42 years old, and 47 pounds overweight. I had a 3-year-old who I could barely keep up with, and had to do something about it,” she said. “I ran the 2013 Modesto Marathon 5k and barely finished. Throughout the year I worked on getting healthy and running longer distances. I read somewhere that ShadowChase was doing a training group, and I signed up for that thinking I’d try to run the half marathon.” However, in November, during training, Strohmeyer attempted her first half marathon and was so proud of finishing that she told one of her training group coaches, who then urged her to change her Modesto Marathon registration to the full marathon, “and the seed was planted. “Yes, I was terrified, but I really wanted to challenge myself. There were times when I told myself I was crazy — juggling a family and a preschooler … but I honestly enjoyed it. “Running the marathon changed my life in a very positive way. I know what I am capable of… I don’t think I could have finished without the training,” she said. “I made friends and looked forward to the long Saturday runs because of the camaraderie.” In fact, just like so many members of past training groups, Strohmeyer enjoyed the training so much, she’s looking forward to returning this year. Informational meetings will be held in September and the training begins with walks/runs in October. Kristin Roper of Oakdale said she didn’t realize how dramatically changed she would become after training for and running the Modesto Half Marathon this year. “I admit my personality was somewhat defeated, insecure about my own capabilities and possible limits I could exceed. When I challenged myself to this, I didn’t realize how dramatically changed I would become.” Roper said she walked during training, and at times found herself alone “as the slowest.” But as she advanced, “I took the headphones out of my ears and started looking up, realizing I wasn’t alone. I had others runners and walkers surrounding me and telling me ‘good job’ and ‘keep up the good work,’ words that lit up my confidence like a firecracker on the Fourth of July. “Shadowchase did that for me,” said Roper. “They instilled an inspiration and confidence that I had lost and long forgotten. They helped me overcome my fears and ignore the negative thoughts and replaced it all with motivation and positive thinking. Today, I am a changed person. I see my self-worth rather than questioning myself. I’m more positive and the encouragement I received I now pass on to whomever I come into contact with. I let them know, yes, you can!” No running or walking experience is needed to join the training group, and members can train for any distance, from the 5K, to the half marathon or the full marathon. The Modesto Marathon will be held Sunday, March 29, 2015. New this will be a half marathon relay consisting of two individuals signing up to run the 13.1 miles in two legs, one approximately 7 miles and the other 6 miles. The Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon Adult Training group informational meetings will be held Thursday, Sept. 4, at 6:30, Saturday, Sept. 13, at noon, and Monday, Sept. 15, at 6:30, all at Central Valley Specialty Hospital, 730 17th St., corner of 17th and H. Coaches will be there to discuss the 26-week training calendar, as well as expectations and to answer questions. For more information, contact Mike Mason or Susan Taylor at> or visit or ShadowChase Running Club Public Relations Director (209) 499-3455



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.