Meet Dan M

"Can't Stop, Won't Stop!"

This testimonial origionally was posted late last year... 

Expectant father, Dan Majka, discusses sacrifices and injury during training, as well as what he tells himself to keep pushing. Outside of running Dan also loves the Blackhawks, playing the guitar, and playing with his dog Grux.

1) How has your running career changed your life? 

Running has changed me a lot over the last few years. It has taught me if you put in the work you can get the results in anything you set your mind to. I have met so many great people through running with CARA, and have developed some wonderful friendships.

2) What have you found the most surprising about training and being a distance runner?

I was not a runner until my wife talked me into doing the Shamrock Shuffle with her in 2013. After many 5ks that year we both decided to sign up for the marathon the following year. From barely being able to run a mile then, to where I am now, is remarkable when I think about it. The first step is hardest of all! I really enjoy talking to some of my non-running friends. When they ask, "How many miles did you run today?" the look on their faces after you tell them is amazing. It's usually a look of disbelief. I love running early in the morning and getting my miles in before many people I know have gotten out of bed or go to work.

3) What is your biggest running related goal and how do you hope CARA can help you get there?

Being a run walker when I started out, I still have not completed a half without taking a walk break at some point. I have since switched to a run only program. I would love to complete a half without walking, and eventually a full marathon. With CARA training, I am constantly surrounded by positive people who push me as well. A friend of mine and fellow CARA member, Lori Wright, knows how to push the right buttons and keep me going.

4) If you could dedicate your PR to one person, who would it be and why?

I would dedicate my PR to my amazing wife, Judy Morales-Majka. I had a 38 min PR at Chicago this past year. I was hurt for the most critical part of training and missed my 16, 18, and 20 miler, and only resumed running 2 and a half weeks prior to the marathon.

I was very upset that I got hurt and was not fun to be around. She was positive the whole time and told me, "You never know you might still be able to run it." She is my rock. What many people don’t understand is that even though your spouse/significant other is not training at the time, they are making sacrifices at home whether it is taking care of the children or changing plans to allow you to run. Those are people that definitely deserve credit.

5) What mantra do you tell yourself when you really need to push?

“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop!” I ran a 5K a couple years ago and there was an older gentleman that was struggling some but kept saying that during his run. There is always worse places life can take you where you can’t do the things you love. Someone, somewhere, is wishing they could run but physically can’t. Don’t take anything for granted.