Interview with Melissa Gacek – How to Have Fun Running While Living a Great Life
Our conversation today is with Melissa Gacek from White Bear Lake Minnesota. She has been running competitively since high school – racing and winning races from the 5K to the marathon. She has twice qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials, with a marathon personal best of 2:44:10.
Melissa runs with the MN Red race team, and trains with coach Ron Byland of Mile to Marathon. She is also a mother of two, small business owner, and elite athlete with Oiselle. She is a fixture in the Minnesota race scene.
Melissa was the US Track and Field Athlete of the Year for Minnesota in 2013 along with a host of other amazing achievements. With close to 30 marathons under her belt, she doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Melissa’s Race Racing Highlights
- Winner of Milwaukee Lakefront marathon 2014
- 2nd place Tallahassee marathon 2014
- US Track and Field Athlete of the Year – Minnesota 2013
- 4th place USATF 5k Championship Minnesota 2013
- 1st place & Course Record Midsummer Mile 2013
- 49th place USA Half Marathon Championship 2013
- Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier 2008
- 8th place, Grandma’s Marathon 2007
- 1st place Wisconsin Marathon 2007
- 5th place, Houston Marathon 2004
- Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier 2004
- 2nd place, 10,000 Conference Champion 1998
- 2nd place, Regional Championship and Conference Championship 1996
- All American for XC 1996
Start smiling at the end of the marathon… if you smile, you can trick your brain into thinking you’re not hurting so bad, especially at the end of a marathon… You get people to cheer for you and secondly, your body thinks, ‘oh you’re not hurting as much.’
- Marathon – 2:44:10
- Half-Marathon – 1:18:58
- 10k – 36:06
- 5k – 17:25
In our conversation with Melissa, Sara Welle and I talk with her about how she started running, why she loves it, and how she manages to continue training at such a high level while running a business and raising her two kids.
We talk about how to have perspective, have fun when running, discipline, strength training, kids, and a bunch of other stuff.
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