2016 Goal: Complete 9 races & Run a 5K in 30 minutes


I have always been fortunate in that health and fitness came relatively easy to me. I was an active kid: skating, bike riding, boogie boarding and water skiing. In my 20’s, I started weight training and for a decade I was probably in the best shape of my life. I continued to skate and work-out for fun into my 30’s, but weight training became sporadic. Eventually exercise and fitness became less of a priority and by the time I had my third child, I was still “active” but not fit. One day at the end of the summer in 2012, I looked at myself and I didn’t like what I saw. More importantly, I didn’t like how I felt. I had no energy. I felt deflated. Sad. Bored. I started to push a little bit. I started getting up early to use the Wii Fit to do yoga and cardio. Then I added some weights. Then my husband got motivated and we both started getting up and walking 2.5- 3 miles. Then we added stairs. Then we added P90x. We pushed each other, but something was missing for me. It was hard to stay focused and by the time the holidays rolled around, I had lost my edge. I gained weight and while I wasn’t “heavy”, I was out of shape.

I started training to run 5Ks at the end of 2015. My initial inspiration was my husband who decided in 2014 that he was going to run a 1/2 marathon for his birthday in 2015. He had not been much of a runner before, but he got off the couch and started training. At first I just watched and cheered him from the sidelines. Then I got back in touch with an old friend from high school, a former dancer and all around amazing gal, who had been diagnosed with Lupus. She had to take a host of steroid medications which had caused weight gain and brittle bones. She suffered a bad fall and broke her tibia and was confined to a wheelchair. Two surgeries and many painful hours later, she heaved herself out of the wheelchair and into the pool to begin the long hard road of weight loss and phyisical recovery. She never stopped smiling and she never lost her positive zeal. Her outlook on health is what made me realize that while I had no ambitions of running a half marathon, I could still run and I could enjoy myself in the process.

Susi-and-CamSuper bowl Sunday 2015, I was ready for my first race. I tipped the scale at 144 lbs. I ran that 5k in 36 minutes. Over the course of 2015, I ran a total of 7 races. My son, Cameron, started racing with me in June. He ran four races with me through the end of the year. His first race he finished in 46 minutes. Our best time at the end of 2015 was 34 minutes. I had shaved 2 minutes off my first race time and Cameron had reduced his time by 12 minutes. Cam and I made a pact to run 9 races in 2016 and get our 5K finish time down to 30 minutes. Super bowl Sunday 2016, at the place it all started, I tipped the scale at 122 lbs. I had lost 22 pounds in one year of training and racing. Cam and I ran a great race that day and finished in 33 minutes. A 3.23 mile course with 10 minute sprints in the first and last mile and a 12 minute mile uphill for the middle mile. On March 13, we ran our third race: The St. Patricks Day 5k. Cameron finished in 31:45 minutes and I finished in 32:24 minutes. We have four more races scheduled between now and September to complete our goal of 9 races in a year.

I should mention that I am doing this at the age of 49 which goes to show you it is NEVER too late to develop a passion for health and fitness and to strive for balance in your life. I work, with Tami, at a company that strongly supports the concept of work life balance and the importance of fitness. As a busy mother of three, this philosophy is critical for me in terms of my ability to follow through on the running goals that I have set for myself.