Meet Susana

Susana was Darien's 2016 Group Leader of the Year!

Susana believes running is more fun if it's a family affair with her husband and three daughters, especailly if you do it at Disney, the happiest place on earth. Drawing inspiration from her running Ohana and utilizing CARA's training resources, Susana has steadily improved her entire running experience.

1) Why is being a CARA member important to you and why would you encourage other runners to become members if they are not?

I have been a CARA member since 2013 and in 2014 I signed up for the family membership. Ever since joining CARA I have received support from runners of all different paces. From my first day of training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon, the CARA Darien pace groups were very encouraging, supportive and available for questions. As a new long distance runner, I was not sure what to expect and everyone was there for me and other first time marathoners when needed. I would encourage runners to become members because these groups of runners are outstanding. They are there for you when you have a question, need advice or simply guidance. They have grown to be my running “Ohana” (my running family). I have learned so much from every member.

2) How has training with CARA made you a better and more competitive runner?

Training with CARA has allowed me to gain some insight and tips on improving my form, speed work outs, nutrition, and of course hydration. The speed workouts allowed me to improve on faster finishing times.

3) Tell us a personal running success story.

2016 Chicago Marathon was one of my personal success stories. I had a personal record by 42 minutes. I was able to achieve this by cross training and taking advantage of the speed training workouts that CARA has to offer during the summer marathon training season. I also attribute my success to the support of my fellow runners Tera, Emily, Judy and Lori who were out in the course supporting and cheering for us. Their continuous support helped me focus on what really matters which is the course and to keep my mind and body in tune with one another. Seeing them put a pep on my step. A huge thank you is in store to those that trained with me during the weekends and weekdays such as Dan and Samatha. They all kept me accountable.

4) What is your training site like?

I train with the CARA Darien group. This group is very special to me. From day one I could sense the camaraderie between the various pace groups. I have experienced nothing but positivity, encouragement, support, and fun with these awesome runners. Jim Murphy, the site coordinator, plays a key role in bringing all pace groups together which now has become one big running family. The location is beautiful because you get to enjoy your training runs with the various sights and sounds of nature.

5) What is your next running goal?

My next goal is to be able to run Big Sur Marathon and enjoy every bit of the 26.2 miles it has to offer. I have signed up for the Winter Pass that CARA offers which includes the spring marathon training. I plan to incorporate some hill training and continue to do some speed workouts. I look forward to being able to train for my race with my fellow CARA members.

6) Why are you a runner?

I have always been an active person but what got me hooked on running was the race experience and meeting other runners who are training for the first marathon or their 150 marathon. Each person has brought a unique perspective to running and I have enjoyed growing as a runner because of each one them. I have learned that the running community is one of the greatest supporters out there. The people and the experience keep me going as well as looking forward to meeting others. I am currently training for my fourth Dopey Challenge and hope to remain perfectly Dopey for as long as I can. I have met various other groups of runners who have made my race experience that much brighter and enjoyable. It is because of them, my husband, and my children, that I keep finding my way back to the start line.

Want to know more about how to become a CARA member? Click here.