Selina Prepares for the Chicago Marathon

JoyRide instructor Selina Santos’ determination never ceases to amaze her friends, family and those who take her classes. Not only is she the Co-Executive Producer of the Steve Wilkos Show, Selina is also training for the Chicago Marathon this October 7!

Below she shares her journey to accomplish a longtime goal — to run 26.2 miles in her hometown city. 


What motivated you to train for the Chicago Marathon?

Chicago is my hometown. I was born and raised on the Northside. I have a deep connection with the 29 neighborhoods I’ll run through. So, this won’t just be a marathon for me, but a trip down memory lane. Each place will give me just enough strength to keep going, I’m sure I’ll laugh and cry as I run through each one. 

What has your training (cross-training) routine been?

Outside of teaching I follow the schedule below pretty much to the tee. 

Run 3-5 miles before 8 a.m.
Cross train from 8-9 a.m.

Teach double indoor cycling classes at JoyDarien: 6 a.m & 7 a.m.
Interval Run for 60 min from 8-9 a.m.

Tempo Run: goal is to run 7-10 miles before 9 a.m. 

Teach indoor cycling class at JoyWilton: 5:30 a.m.
Cross train: 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. (stretching and mobility-focused) 
Teach indoor cycling class at JoyWilton: 9:50 a.m. 
Recovery Run- easy pace 3 miles 

Recovery Day 

Teach indoor cycling class at JoyWilton: 9:45 a.m. 
Aim for a Long Run (every other week)

“Chill Run” with no focus on time 

I try and keep my heart rate between 140-155 max to keep the pressure down. 

What is the longest run you had done prior to training for this marathon?

Three miles. Then two weeks later, I took on a half marathon. When I complete the Chicago Marathon, I will have finished four 5Ks, two 10Ks, four half marathons and one full marathon — all in four months. 

What is the longest run you have gone on now?

20 miles. I ran from Wilton. I looped a few times through New Canaan to north Stamford and then downtown to my office. 

What motivates you to train on a daily basis?

I was given a chance. When I was diagnosed with heart disease I was told I could NEVER run a marathon because my heart couldn’t take the stress. But I refused to live in a world where someone told me I can’t do something. So, I trained and I made reversing heart disease not only my priority, but my mission to build awareness for others. I will not waste this opportunity. I won’t run for me -- I will run for those who have had heart issues. I will run for those who were told they CAN’T. And I will finish so others can believe it’s possible to conquer a new goal at any stage of life, no matter the setback. 

Am I nervous? Yes — I am absolutely terrified. And this motivates me even more.

What are/were goals that you wish to accomplish with this race?

I started off completely obsessed with my pace and time. So much so that it wreaked havoc on my training. I listened to advice that didn’t pertain to me because of my broken heart. My original goal was to hit a certain pace. When I realized I maxed my heart rate out too much because of that obsessive need, I had to back off and start over. My goal now is to just finish. The joy is in the journey and I am going to savor every second of it no matter how long it takes me — and once I do, I will finally call myself a runner.