January 30, 2010

Gloria Macias

Written by Dena Evans
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Gloria grew up in Houston, Texas, and has been married since 1969. She and her husband Raul have two kids: a daughter, who works as a surgical tech, and a son who graduated from Texas A&M and is stationed with the Navy in Spain. Gloria is a retired (December 2008) postal service employee and her husband, who grew up near Brownsville, Texas, is a truck driver for a concrete company. Gloria joined Focus-N-Fly through its partnership with the 2010 Aramco Houston Half Marathon, which she completed successfully in January.

FNF: How did you start running?

GM: I decided to start running in my 40s. I always had a weight problem, and figured maybe I would get into running and get the weight off. I ran for 6 years straight, and did the [Chevron Houston] marathon five years, then suddenly stopped. Last year, after I retired, I realized my weight was coming back.

After July 1st, I started running again and signed up with Focus-N-Fly. It has worked for me - the weight kept coming off, although I took a bit of time off when I went to Virginia to be with my son’s newborn baby. I was really pleased! I will stay on it [efforts to lose weight] until May, and then hopefully when we start training again in August I’ll have all my weight off.

FNF: Who is your running role model?

GM: The person that sort of got me into running was Irene, somebody that I met at the post office a long, long time ago. We haven’t seen each other in a long time. She used to run and she always invited me. I kind of liked it and decided to keep doing it.

I should have never taken that 15-year lay off, because it is harder to lose weight now that I am almost 60! When I trained back then the first time, I trained with a group that met in the [Houston Memorial] park. I was always in the beginners group, We had a coach that really kept us motivated, Chris Ramchek.

FNF: What has been your most memorable running / racing experience?

GM: I would have to say this year when I finally finished with an official time. Back then, I finished around 6:05 for the marathon, and the cut off was 5 hours. This year, doing the half, was my first time getting an official time (half in 3:37)

FNF: What have you enjoyed about working with Focus-N-Fly?

GM: I liked having the weekly schedule sent to me. I like the way it is not all running and it is broken up. You get a break, then maybe swimming. Before, I only did running. I also appreciated how when I had a question I could get an answer, and even some advice when I had an injury.

FNF: What is one part of your racing routine you can’t do without (sleep, pre race meal, tie shoes certain way, other ritual)?

GM: Usually, the day before, I go out to eat. My family will take me for pasta. I am one of those people who kind of gets nervous, so I’ll be up until 1 o’clock, getting my stuff together. I don’t get very much sleep the night before marathons. I also get dropped off early – when I am by myself I am all right, but when I am with my family I start to get nervous. All these years I haven’t run, I volunteered at the race, so the group I volunteered with cheered me on at mile 1 and mile 6.

My grandson [9-year old, her daughter’s son] was also motivation for me, because we are close, and he is having a little bit of weight problem. He saw me and said, he thought he could run 3 miles. So now we are going to do a walk with his church school. I’m hoping to keep him motivated. My son has done a lot of marathons too.

FNF: What is your favorite place to go for a run?

GM: Memorial Park in Houston. There are always a lot of people, so even if you go at 5 in the morning, you don’t have to be worried about safety. One time around is three miles, so you can just keep going around and around. There are lots of trees and it is just nice there.

FNF: In the next year, what goals do you hope to accomplish?

From now until May, I’d like to get the rest of my weight off, and then in August, I’d like to start my training again for the marathon, and be prepared to do the marathon and finish with an official time!

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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