It all started with wanting to take a trip to Disney...

"I started signing up for races in increasing distances to keep my training plan on track, otherwise it would have been too easy to let it slip."

It all started with wanting to take a trip to Disney! My niece was running the Wine & Dine half marathon and asked me if I wanted to go with her for the weekend. Well, I signed up for the 10K/Half challenge & then added the couch to 5K app to my phone as I had some work to do! That's how it all began, in May of 2018 at the age of 46 I took up running! I started signing up for races in increasing distances to keep my training plan on track, otherwise it would have been too easy to let it slip. I soon became hooked on the sport, or was it the bling??? I ran 15 races in 2018 - 3 of which were half marathons!!!  

In 2019, I had signed up for more races and needed a training program to keep me on track. My husband convinced me to try out a fun run with Gazelle Sports in Northville. I pushed back, that they were real runners and I wouldn't be able to keep up. But I went anyway, I did the scavenger hunt on a cold rainy Michigan spring day. I didn't know a soul, but was quickly added to a team and had a great time. My team even won!! Apprehensively, I signed up for Run Camp, still skeptical that I would be able to keep up, but the people were all so friendly I decided to take a chance.  

"My husband convinced me to try out a fun run with Gazelle Sports in Northville. I pushed back, that they were real runners and I wouldn't be able to keep up."

— Susan Nathan

My goal races were Disneyland Paris half and the Detroit half.

With my training plan set, I was off to another summer adventure meeting new people, buying new gear, and earning more medals. Run campers encouraged me, the staff listened to my woes, and the miles racked up. A few weeks in, a fellow run camper saw me alone, exhausted and slow with nothing left in the tank, and her (and her pup) ran with me the rest of the way in, it turned my run around - from a terrible one to making me feel like a part of something. By the time hill training started I thought I would die, my team leaders were amazing! They pushed me when they knew I needed a little more, and they told me to rest in the shade when they knew it was too much. They hung back with me on many runs, always cheerful to do so. One run I was lucky enough to get to run with Angela, I still don't know how she managed to run that slow - - or how I pushed myself to put in a little extra! But it all paid off! I missed plenty of Saturday runs, out chasing the bling! Seems like the real tough Tuesday nights is where I cashed in! I am not out to break any records, I'm in it to have fun and feel good. If I get a new PR, I'm thrilled, if I don't, I'm still happy to be finishing, but let me tell you, the PR's this summer have certainly been nice.

During all of this summer training, I was also occasionally doing a long run with a running friend to help her prepare for the Chicago Marathon. Secretly thinking that I might switch my Detroit registration over to the full at the expo. I booked a room in Chicago to cheer her on, put in lots of miles, and was soooo thankful it was her that was signed up for a full, not me! I wasn't ready! My husband said, run it, you're good, but who ever listens to husbands? My body said, don't even think about it. Angela sent an email that said, it's 90% mental. That was all it took! My hubs "found" me a race bib and I was signed up for a full!!!!!! OMG! Race day came, and I DID IT! I ran a full - 26.2 miles! I took pics! I felt great! I stopped for a quick porta potty stop & my running partner kept running (slowly). Between miles 24 to 25 I had to run (and I mean really run, not my usual slow roll) to catch her! But I did it! She took notice that my run camp had made me so much stronger. We crossed the finish line together and I will always cherish that moment. I am a marathoner!!!  

The following weekend I went on to PR at the Detroit International Half! I made 5 selfie stops along the way, too! How could you not - so many great sights to see! The bridge from afar, on the bridge, Detroit from the Canadian side, the flags in the tunnel, exiting the tunnel, I mean really I photo journalized my way through town and saw my run camp leaders at a couple spots along the way. No idea how they spotted me in the crowd of runners, but hearing my name felt so good and perked me up, they were there again at the end too! Gazelle VIP was amazing! Warm and toasty to hang out before the race and fabulous food to refuel and celebrate after. The location was ideal. I'm looking forward to next year already!!

Oh yeah, and the event that started it all for 2019, Disneyland Paris, was amazing!!!!! I earned my Castle to Chateau medal for completing both the Princess half marathon in February and the half in Paris. And I earned more bling than seemed legal!!  

In 2019, I will run 21 races - 5 half's & 1 full!! Who knows yet about 2020?! I'm throwing my name in some lotteries & will be back to Gazelle Run Camp!! Looking forward to another fabulous year!!!!!!!! Whether I ran with you at camp, heard your encouraging shouts, chatted with you in the store, high five'd after a race, or shared a long glance during an agonizing tuesday night at the track - you ALL helped me along the way! Thank you Gazelle Runners!!  


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