Find a second family and run the Second Wind

  • This was printed in February of 2014 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 38th installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

Calling all Madera runners, walkers, and soon-to-be runners and walkers! The inaugural

Second Wind 5K race will be held April 26 at 8 a.m. in the Madera District Fairgrounds.

The course — mapped and test-run by myself and Barbara Leach — begins with a lap on

the LoanMart Madera Speedway, winds around and inside the fairgrounds, through some

horse and hog barns, and back to the Speedway for a half-lap on the track finishing at the

checkered flags.

Proceeds benefit the Madera Rescue Mission and the Madera County Food Bank.

Mission director Mike Unger and food bank director Ryan McWherter came up with race

name, Second Wind, because both nonprofits help to give the needy their “second wind,”

whether it be in the form of a shower and a place to sleep or a box full of food. Of course,

runners also find their second wind — especially when working to complete a marathon

or half.

Visit the race’s Facebook page at Registration,

which is $25 for adults and $20 for kids 10 to 17, can be done online at We won’t have a kids’ race for the

younger ones this year, but it is definitely in the works for next year.

Yes, I am calling on all “soon-to-be runners and walkers” to sign up for this event

because I truly believe that anyone can finish a 5K. It’s 3.1 miles and you have 75

minutes to complete it before the course closes.

Potatoes, get off that couch. Download the Couch To 5K (C25K) app on your

smartphone, or lookup the C25K plan at, and get moving. If you

start the program now, which begins with 20 minutes of walking and jogging intervals,

you’ll be ready to run 3.1 miles — yes, without stopping — well before race day.

If you need some extra motivation, there are groups of runners and walkers in Madera

that will hold you accountable for your workouts.

The Finishers (find them on Facebook or email will begin a

training program that includes group runs on Saturdays beginning Feb. 15. Those who are

entirely new to running can begin now with 15 to 30 minute brisk walks three times a

week to prepare.

The Posh Makeover Movement 2014 (find the group on Facebook or email garcia- also motivates group members to participate in various workouts,

including occasional runs. A group trail run and yoga excursion is scheduled for Saturday

at Hensley Lake. Participants are meeting at Posh Salon and Spa in Madera at 8 a.m. and


I highly recommend joining a group because I know I would not be the runner that I am

today had I not joined my troupe of running buddies — now dubbed the Wicked Fast

Wascally Wunnahs — exactly one year ago.

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, I woke up at 4 a.m., nursed my then-4-month-old son and

met up with the group at 5 a.m. Before that day I had run no farther than four miles on

my own. That day I ran eight miles and felt unstoppable.

That day I truly became a runner.

One year later I have three half-marathon medals and two full-marathon medals hanging

on my wall along with some 5K, 10K and 10-miler souvenirs. Those medals wouldn’t be

there if it hadn’t been for the support and motivation of my second family: my running


Join the running community. Grab a friend, a family member, a coworker or a perfect

stranger and go out for a run. Motivate each other, push each other and sign up together

for the Second Wind 5K. I can’t wait to see you there!


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