One of my goals for this blog is to highlight everyday, non-professional runners who inspire me. Mostly, my hope is to focus on Austin runners since I run here the most, but of course, I never stick to rules and regulations so to kick things off, I’m not even starting with an Austin runner. In fact, she hasn’t even run in Austin yet. That’s okay though, I’ll get her here for the 3M this year.
Let me introduce you to my long time friend: SUSAN – aka SNUE
You may have seen Susan before, as I’ve posted the above photo of Susan and I from the Mudathon that took place a while ago in IN on my site in the past.
I’m inspired by Susan for many reasons. She’s the type of person who decides on a goal and makes it happen. When in college, she was the first of my friends to travel abroad and become truly engulfed in the culture. Early on, she was not usually swayed by what others thought but would take different opinions into consideration. Today, she’s a mom and wife, has a job she loves, travels, runs, and is still the head strong woman I knew back in college. Though we don’t see each other often, I have very fond memories of traveling the west and southwest with her and have her to thank for getting over my fear of bears (well, not over, but I’m not terrified of camping in bear country anymore).
When asked when she first started running Susan cited fond memories of her father running but it wasn’t until years later, in 2008, when she went out to Louisville to cheer on her sister who was competing in her first ironman that Susan considered that running was even a “thing” that people did. It was even a couple more years until Susan started running herself. She was 30 when she began considering herself a runner. Before that, she had run along the Lake Michigan lakeshore in Chicago, but her first time training for a race was for the Chicago Run for the Zoo 5K in 2010 with a 11:33 min mile pace.
Since then Susan has kept running. After her first 5K, she couldn’t get enough. She “entered every conceivable 5K possible in Chicago with a 10K sprinkled in.”
By 2011 she was ready to move on to bigger and longer races and attended her first Team in Training kick off event and signed up for the Chicago Triathlon and Chicago Marathon. “Post kid me gives pre kid me some super high fives for that one,” she wrote to me. I’m joining you Susan, high fives on the ambition.
True to Susan form, she finished both the Chicago Marathon and Chicago International Triathlon. She even completed more 5Ks and 10ks before finding out the good news that she was pregnant. Overall, Susan has a very active 2011 and 2012! Then she had another kid. So, she took some time off but not for too long.
In 2015, she got her “butt in gear post second kiddo and joined Team in Training efforts again to train for the 2015 Detroit Half.” She continues her running and will be doing her fourth half in the fall. This is the year she says she really started focusing on her running, becoming a full time runner who doesn’t rely on races to keep her going. She finds running to be her way to align herself and loves the quiet.
When Susan does run races, she prefers ones where she knows others that she can celebrate with at the end. She’s also a “sucker” for themed races or races that give her access to venues with a different view of the street that she normally gets.
Her cross training includes mainly taking care of kids and Orangetheory Fitness. She considers herself a good eater already but says she could probably go without some indulgences, like a good ole hoppy IPA beer (you understand now why we are friends? :)) if she wanted to see more of the health benefits of running.
As Susan continues her life as a runner she hopes to bring her half marathon pace under 11 minutes and hopes to participate in a half ironman when she is 40 with a trail race or two thrown in there.
Well Susan, cheers! Thank you for being an inspiration!