“What kind of crazy nut would spend 2 or 3 hours a day just running?” -Prefontaine

I never thought I would start a blog, but here I am, just me and my keyboard, faced with the responsibility of spinning out clever phrases and citing impressive statistics.  I’m a bit apprehensive, but I hope you all enjoy a post or two along the way.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a 23-year-old “ultra-runner” from Richmond, VA.  I’m in the midst of planning a cross-country run to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club, so I’ve started this blog to keep everyone in the loop about the preparations and training before the run, and I’ll keep posting while I’m on the road as well.

Most of you know already, I love running, and challenging myself under uncomfortable circumstances,  so a 5 month journey across the country on foot seems like a perfect project to tackle next.  I promise you though, I’m not the only one.  Runners are a weird breed.  There are plenty of people out there achieving far crazier feats, so much so that I feel bad even drawing attention to this small adventure of mine.  However, I would really like to help out the Boys and Girls Club as much as I can, and as such, I’ll have to get lots of people involved in the fundraiser.

I want to help the Club because I believe their philosophy is right-on, and their programs excellent. The Club gives kids – any and all types of kids – a safe, fun place to be after-school, during the weekends, whenever and wherever they need it. It provides opportunities for self-discovery, leadership development, personal challenges; and it always  encourages children to go far beyond their potential. And they do so much of this through active programs and games – sports, outdoor activities, hands-on experiences etc. So many of my real-life heroes tell me stories about their childhood days at the Boys and Girls Club – my parents, my teachers, my coaches. And I can see what a positive, life-long effect their days at the Club have had on them. I want to help give other kids the chance to have that same opportunity.  I hope the blog reaches people across the country and inspires them to support the cause.  The blog will be separate from the fund-raising web page  because the Boys and Girls Club already has an online system established for individuals who want to create their own fund-raising event. Both sites are linked to each other, however, and on this website I will also put up a list of other ways to help (offering lodging, running with me, leaving me motivation, etc)

I have the route planned roughly from LA to VA Beach, and at an average of 25 miles a day, with one day off a week, it should take me somewhere around 5 months.  As I plan the exact route from city to city, I will post it on here.  My fundraising goal is 25,000, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate any and all help from everyone.  I’ll be writing to potential sponsors as the planning moves forward, and hoping that some companies along the way are able to help me out with food and gear. I’ll keep everything updated as it progresses.  If you’d like to get involved, or if you know anyone who might be able to help with sponsorship or media interests, feel free to contact me by email: zoeromano@gmail.com or phone: 207.233.5292

It occurred to me just now that this can be a blog about jogging.  A jog blog.  I like it.  Hope all of you do too :  )

Author: zoegoesrunning

Hello! I'm a runner, a writer, and have run across the United States and the Tour de France course. Most recently, I'm blogging about my adventures in an MFA program that will bring me to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, and my teaching plans for Argentina.

40 thoughts on ““What kind of crazy nut would spend 2 or 3 hours a day just running?” -Prefontaine”

  1. Dearest Sparky
    I remember watching a news clip about a guy who traveled the world just to dance on the highest peaks . At the time, you were struggling in the ICU of St Mary’s hospital. Dad & I spent lot’s of time in the chapel praying for your recovery. When I saw that news clip I knew you had other unfinished business here & I had faith you would get better & give me another opportunity to feel proud & nervous all at the same time!!
    Thanks Zoe & thanks for sharing the running bug w Rosie & Gabe. Rosie says she really doesn’t like to run w anyone except you cuz you keep it all so positive & make it easy. Big love oxox mom

    1. thank you for your comment mom : ) I remember when you showed me the article afterward, i think it was the same thing, when we were in the cottage with some minestrone soup and that purple gatorade. and of course, the giant pills. And see, I knew you were excited for me : ) it just wouldn’t be normal if you weren’t also a bit nervous, so I can accept a little worrying. I hope you and Dad can run the first and last mile with me! xoxo sparky

  2. Dearest Sparky …I am now happy to say …I am one of your Jog Blog Dogs !!

    I invite everyone to join the fun and excitement of Zoe’s Fund Raising Adventure and become a ” Jog Blog Dog ” !!

    Papi and Romano Builders will donate a minimum of $ 500.00 to the cause and will match the second $ 500 donation made to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs !!

    I will also ride a bike alongside you for 7 days !! During the 7 days I will pay for food and lodging !! ( maybe a bottle of wine too ! )

    Come on all you Dogs …get off your logs and reach into your paw-ket books cause Zoe’s Going Running !!

    Go get em Sparky , Big Love Dad xoxoxo

    1. haha dad when i wrote that bit about it being a ‘jog blog’ at the end, i thought, jeez im corny. i should have known that you would have found a way to be ten times cornier than me. but i like it, jog blog dogs. i’m so excited that you are going to bike alongside me, although I hope i don’t hold you back! Uncle Mike said he will be alongside me for a bunch of miles too, I don’t know whether on bike or foot, so maybe we can coordinate something there, i’ll have an italian bodyguard team. On the serious side, I am going to start emailing you all the new steps that are going on, and if you could continue to help me out up in Maine that would be great. I have received so much good will from so many people, it is very encouraging, everyone wants to help out. The exec chef that I work with is trying to help connect me with some really important people down here in Richmond, and helping me out on the organization and logistics side of things. you guys will meet him when you come down next week and party at infuzion : ) okay, thanks dad love you!! xoxo

  3. You are incredible. I love you. I’m sorry I hate running, can I still be your sister? Maybe you might want some biker buddy motivation and company and pack mule services. If so, you could always call our Sagres biker friends from Natalia’s house…or me! Sending you way big love, sunshine, peace and happy thoughts.

    1. i guess you can still be my sister, you love dancing as much as i do, so i think that makes up for it. mmh sagres. maybe i should run the coast of portugal next? i could dream of the peaches at the supermarket there, it would motivate me thru to the very end. or, i could do it in spain, and think about all those damn ice-cream-eating-people in madrid. whew, there sure were a lot of them. xoxo zoe

  4. Awesome….be careful out there…and be thankful you’re not running along Washington Ave here in Portland, ME!!!

    1. Hi Pete, thanks for your comment! Yes, I am hoping I have some peaceful, scenic routes to run on during this trip. Especially since I will be running with a stroller! I hope everything is going well up in Portland and in our neighborhood, gotta admit I am definitely missing summertime in Maine. Take care, Zoe

    1. Uncle Bill!! What if I need a running partner, will you and Aunt Donna come run a mile or two with me?! Escape the Maine/Montreal winter and spend a week in the sunny southwest : ) Hope you are both doing well, hugs and kisses, tell Aunt Donna I’m sending an email her way xoxo zoe

  5. After taking a few runs with you I know that if there is anyone who can accomplish a run across the country its you! I never thought I would become a runner but you have some how– with your never failing positive attitude and encouraging inspiration– made me into a runner. Not only will the donations help a good cause but your story will for sure get others to go out and run! I hope to be with you at the start and the finish!!! Love you Z
    PS Can I train with you on your easy days when I get back down to Richmond?!?

    1. Hello MNIR, thank you very much for your inspiring comment : ) i’m happy i’ve helped you see the running light. Of course you can run with me whenever you want when you’re back down here. Maybe we can convince Xtina to come along too. Can you come back already? There is nobody to watch bad tv with. and, i am in dire dire need of some new running tunes, I meant to bring a copy of the midd kid cd back down here, and i forgot. now i get sad and nostalgic every time i swing my nalgene low. and i miss my boston boy sammie adams. xoxo zoe

  6. Frau Romano! Wow, you can’t imagine how proud I am of you!!! I wish I could be over there, a little bit closer to you and give you my full support. But I guess I can even help you from Germany by just sending you energy, the best thoughts, motivation and my love so you can pick up all these good vibes and send them right to your legs and feet so they can carry you through good and also hard times during your amazing adventure!
    And I also have to say, you really have that special ability to make other people run and loving it … you did it with me and I will think of you while I am running here in Germany!
    Big Love meine Zoe-Running-Hose!

    1. Herr Kreher, thank you very much for your comment : ) And thank you also for leaving me with so many good photos, especially of running trips – i wouldn’t have any of those places and times recorded if it weren’t for you and your lens with the red stripe. I am making a page on Facebook for the fundraiser, I will send you the link because it has a photo album which is pretty much all your photos. I appreciate the positive thoughts, i will definitely need them when i’m out in the middle of the desert with a drop of water left and 19 more miles to go. thanks for being such a supporter of my running and always understanding the quirks behind the obsession, and the endless nighttime jumpy leg issues. xoxo zoe

  7. run, Zoe, run! Wow. This is a great undertaking and will be a great success!
    Let me know where and when I can meet you and I’ll be there beside you for a bunch of miles! You are T-riffic!
    big love – Uncle Mike

    1. Hey Uncle Mike! Not to overwhelm you with such a statement, but I do hope you know that you personally are a huge inspiration in my running. Your drive has definitely motivated me to try new races, distances, bike rides, adventures, etc. Thank you for your comment, I’m so excited you’ll be running/biking alongside me too! You and my parents’ enthusiasm about all of this is so great – I guess I must come from a good family : ) I think you are maybe on vacation (?) so if you are I hope you had a great time!! Talk to you soon xoxo zoe

  8. Welcome Jog Blog Dog Alex !! Nice to hear fro you !

    The Jog Blog Dog Big Daddy wants to know if anyone else wants to ride their bike with me and Sparky ??

    If all goes well , I’ll be riding a Trek Touring Bike for at least seven days with Z …I actually hope to do it in several locations between Sunny California and the white sands of Virginia Beach .

    Anyone else up for it …join Sparky and Big Daddy …get unleashed and ride and run with the Blog Dogs !!

    1. good choice on the Trek dad, I think you will be happy. I just had to put a new tire on mine, and I got one with blue racing stripes on it : ) After this run, i think we should bike the Santiago de Compostela route in Spain, what do you think? xoxo sparky

  9. Zoe!
    You´re crazy! I admire you and you´re adventure!
    I can say that I`m also one of this persons you have made run.
    You wrote me before I was leaving Sevilla, that you hope we are running into each other again – I still hope, this will happen some day!
    For your music: I`m not falling…, Far, far away…- do you remember?!
    I will send you more music-recommendations per mail =)!
    and: this time for you–>lots of good energy!!!!!

    1. luisa mein madchen!!! does it sound really funny when i say that? i was so happy to hear from you, it would be the best if you could come run some of this with me. i think maybe you need to study in the states, aren’t you doing English linguistics as well? Of course I remember Far Far Away, I listen to it all the time : ) it’s funny, nobody here really knows that song, so it makes it even more special to me. I am tutoring this couple who is going to Sevilla in November, and we were looking at the tour books last lesson, and it made me so nostalgic for everything in seville. oasis, calle sierpes, the river, our running route of course, alameda, the fruit!!!! have you been in to visit at oasis again? is luis still there, can you say to him hi for me?
      thanks again for the comment, i will make sure to keep you updated on everything : ) PS Cindy is coming to the states this winter, I might get to see her!!

    1. Hey Rooms : ) Thanks for the message!! I really think I do need to link to our infamous running man youtube video here, I mean it really is a work of art. Hope you are well, let me know when you are coming to visit me!! We need to go deer hunting again!

  10. very well done Zoe!! finally it is getting real and all by yourself!! a greatest adventure for a special person! muchissima suerte wind gigetta!!

    1. gigetto!! thank you very much for your comment. it is indeed finally getting real, after all these weeks of thinking about it and staying up at night imagining how exciting it will be. Now I’ve just got 5 months of lots and lots of organizing, and lots and lots of training. Not too bad : ) thank you for your support and for running miles and miles with me in Richmond and Portland, when you had no idea how long we’d be gone for. You have some great natural endurance gigetto! And sorry about the time in Sevilla when Luisa and I just couldn’t stop running, I still feel bad about that. Next time we will plays hours of soccer instead : )

  11. Zomar,
    I am sorry it has taken me this long to post on your blog. I think about you, brag about you, and spread your amazing goal with people each and everyday. You are a determined, smart, and stubborn young lady who is going to accomplish this dream no matter the challenges. I remember the year you decided to go without television. Regardless of all the naysayers (including myself) you managed to complete your goal. It’s been an incredible journey growing up with you, and I cannot wait to see all the other amazing things you are going to accomplish in your life…this one being just one small step. Know that I am sending you thoughts of strength, perseverance, and most importantly tons of love. You are an incredible sister and bestfriend, but before I complete this blog, I would like to clear the air about two important topics…
    1.) I now run to avoid becoming a fat blob…Your crazy marathon runs through the night and into the morning have not motivated me…my rolls have. Mom would like to think otherwise…hahaha.
    2.) Secondly, while you are running, my Spanish will improve, and in turn I will become the mas bueno Spanish speaker.
    Seriously though, when you find yourself in a rut…hopefully not physically, just mentally, during your run, think of all the people who love you and are cheering you on. Let the thoughts of those people, and the people’s lives you will change through this run, keep your feet moving and your lungs breathing. I love you Sparky.
    P.S. if that doesn’t work, think of “freestyle sidewalk running.” Those recycling bins can really get ya!

    1. What would we all do without Gabe’s great humor …and sweet words !!

      He’s so spot on Z …let the vibe of all those that love and care for you , give you the strength to run on !!

      Now for a little humor and corny stuff from Dear Old Dad …how about anyone that runs with you , bikes with you , walks with you or in some way joins you during your journey is called ….are you ready ….A Jog Hog !!

      Now we have the Jog Blog Dogs and the Jog Hogs !!

      Go get em , you run and leave the corny stuff to me !! Big Love , Dad xoxoxox

      1. Jog Hog??? No way…how about this idea…(this was my idea for a running group) the Jogger-nauts! hahah. I think it should be that

    2. Congrats on the Race tonight!!!! Gabe “The Babe” Romano running a 28:40 4-miler. Not too bad at all. Pretty damn good if you ask me.

      As for your comment: I can agree to those things (except the part about you being better at Spanish than I am) if you agree that my legs will be infinitely stronger than yours by the end of this thing. I mean, since they are already starting out stronger than yours, it stands to reason that they will also finish stronger. As I said, infinitely stronger.

      1. Hi everyone – it seems that there is a flaw in the technology of this blog. I have posted 3 different posts, as well as adding a sidebar menu with route details etc. It seems that a lot of people are unable to see this, and that they are only seeing the very first post I wrote – “What kind of crazy nut….” I tried to fix something tonight but if it doesn’t work, I think I’ll have to get in touch with the blog techies. Can anyone who sees this comment just let me know what they are seeing when they go to the blog main page? Is there a post “A Post for the Running Nerds”, as well as some sidebar links? Or just the “What kind of crazy nut….” post?
        Thank you so much!!

  12. Hi Zoe!
    I am so inspired by your planned run to support such a great cause. I am your cousin and a fellow runner. Wow pleased to see you quoted Prefontaine– a true legend of the running community. I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, 1 hour north of Denver and your uncle Mike. Are you coming through Colorado or Wyoming perhaps? It would be great to meet up and run part of a leg with you, if you are into that. And I would also support you with some $ too, since I know that is your ultimate goal in supporting the Boys and Girl’s clubs.
    And no, I cannot see the route or anything but the first entry (and the replies) you posted in your blog. Hope the tech support can help you out! I am interested to see where you are going!

    1. Hi Maria!
      thank you so much for your comment : ) I am happy you like the Prefontaine quote, he was and is one of the most amazing people ever. My parents showed us the movie about him way way back when we were little kids, so I have to thank them for filling my world with such great heroes.
      Unfortunately I am not running through any part of Colorado, it is a huge bummer because I love Colorado and your family and Uncle Mike and Miguel are out there, but I’m starting out in Palm Springs, CA, and keeping a pretty straight route across the south after that. Uncle Mike and Miguel will definitely be joining me for some of the run though, on their bikes or on their feet, and I would love it if you could too! You have an open invitation to join at any time.
      I figured out the glitch in the blog – you have to actually type in the blog address: https://zoegoesrunning.wordpress.com in order to get the current homepage. If you are going from a link, or copy and pasting a link, than it will bring you to the homepage of the date when that link was created. Once you type it in the address bar, you should be able to see all the other parts of the blog – route, details, etc. I just finished the route this week! Mapping it out was almost harder than I think running it will be!
      Hope you have a good run today : ) Thank you again for the support and please let me know you still have trouble seeing the updated blog. Take care, Zoe

  13. Hi Zoe,

    You’re taking on quite a commitment for a nice cause. When I was a kid the Portland Boys Club was a safe haven for me and many other young kids that might otherwise had gotten into mischief. As someone who logged many miles on the roads around Portland I know the ups and downs of the runner. As Forrest Gump says: “My momma says that life is like a box of chocolates….”. Watch out for uncaring motorists.

    Uncle Jim

    1. Hi Uncle Jim,
      Thank you for your comment, I can’t tell you how many people have shared positive anecdotes about the Boys and Girls Club, especially the one in Portland. It is really encouraging to recognize how important the Clubs and their programs are, and that I am able to help support them.
      I will definitely watch out for any wild cars who might not share my love for running in the streets, thank you for the advice : )
      Hope you are well and that I get to see you soon! Maybe around the holidays?
      xoxo Zoe

  14. Zomar,
    It was so nice seeing you last weekend. Just hearing about your run is both inspiring and uplifting. Keep your eye on the prize, and know that I am right here with you through it all. P.S. Listened to some soothing John Mayer on my run yesterday…suprisingly it was the perfect fit. Can’t wait to see you again kiddo. Keep in touch, and hope those weaker legs keep pushing on.
    Love you,

  15. Hi Zoe, I have sent your blogs and emails to my good friend and fellow runner, Kim Moody. I think that you two should connect BEFORE you take off. You know that you are like my second daughter and I love you so much. I think that you should prepare very well in the area of personal safety. Things like MACE, extra phone (you know how you are with phones), night and isolated spots safety. This is huge, of course. I want you to be safe.
    Love from Maggie

  16. Hi Zoe,

    Wow…you are amazing!! Fund raising alone is a challenge …and you’ve taken on the extra step(no pun intended) of running accross the country with it!! I’ll be following your blog and sending some good thoughts your way. A couple of years back I ran a few marathons and know all the hard work that goes into that one big day…..and it blows me away that you’ll be covering that distance on a daily basis. It’s so nice to see such a selfless act of kindness..you’re an inspiration! Good luck!

    Cousin Alicia

  17. Zoe,

    What an amazing acheivement..certainly you have already succeeded in going the distance……physically, emotionally…beyond what most dream about. You are truly an inspiration and continue a family legacy of altruism. All the best, Deb, Kohl and Preston DiBiase Fiarri in AZ!!!!

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