This month's inspiring member is proof that it's never too late to learn to run. Sue Dale was turning 59 when she joined Cottage Grove Moms on the Run — having never run before. Five years and several 5Ks later, Sue says her daughter, her coach and her teammates at Moms on the Run are the reason she now loves running.
Cottage Grove owner Charlyn McDanold shares, "Sue is always encouraging others and comes to class each week ready to give 110 percent. This year she is doing her first Winter Running Session so there is no stopping her. That takes a lot of dedication! Along with MOTR she also goes to the gym every morning to cross train and it shows, because every time she raced this past season she increased her pace. What I love the most about Sue, besides her dedication and commitment, is that she is always there for her team, to support them and to cheer everyone on."
Read on to learn more of our conversation with Sue.
Q: You started running with Moms on the Run in 2015. Before that time, you were not a runner. What (or who) inspired you to start?
A: My inspiration to join MOTR was my daughter Andrea. Andrea was with MOTR, was completely immersed in running and she loved the team. I was not a runner at all — I started just before my 59th birthday. I joined a fall session first, which was a combination of workouts and small runs. I started walking and walking fast during the "run" portion of the program. The next spring I joined MOTR, I was a little concerned with "running," but my daughter had became a volunteer coach for (Cottage Grove franchise owner) Charlyn's group and I joined to support her. I quickly learned what an amazing group of women the MOTR team was, they were encouraging and supporting; I felt welcomed and encouraged and never felt judged. I was generally at the back of the pack, but it did not bother me. Over the years I have participated in the summer, fall, and winter indoor sessions, but I generally "restarted" my running every spring, and that is tough. I participated in a few 5K's during this time, but a 5K was a major event for me.
Q: Tell us about your running journey with MOTR. Do you have a favorite memory? A favorite workout? A favorite race?
A: In spring 2019, my goal was to run at least twice a week and to not get stressed out when I participated in a 5K. I went to MOTR twice a week, my times improved and my stress went away. In July 2019, I ran the St. Croix Crossing 5K in Stillwater (see photo); this was the first race I ran on my own (I drug my husband with to cheer me on)! Amazingly, with my MOTR shirt on during this race, I met other great MOTR women. To keep myself running, I joined Polar Run for the 2019-20 winter season, and I am loving it. Running at 8 a.m. on a brisk Saturday starts the weekend out right. Of course my first day running, Charlyn had to keep me moving. (I was overwhelmed with the idea of running 4 miles).
Some of my favorite parts about Moms on the Run? I love the Polar Run, and the year-end MOTR run is an amazing team event. It is lots of fun to run with your teammates in a race. In 2018 I was completely surprised when I placed in the MOTR 5K. I never realized my age group is not too large! I really enjoy the MOTR team, I look forward to my MOTR sessions and our social events are fun, too.
Q: Tell us about your personal life. What other kinds of things do you like to do besides running?
A: I am blessed with 3 children: Andrea is 40, Stephanie is 38 and Nick is 32; we have seven grandchildren (ages 2 to 12), so I keep busy with family obligations, helping out with our grandkids and going to their school and sports events. I love cooking and baking, scrap-booking, going to the lake and craft projects. I also do some volunteer work at our church.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is not familiar with Moms on the Run?
A: To someone who is not familiar with Moms on the Run, I would say MOTR is a great place to focus on you — not your husband or your kids. MOTR is an amazing place to learn what you can do with your body — you find out how strong you are and that you can do amazing things. MOTR is an encouraging and supportive team. MOTR is a place to learn how to run and if you choose to complete a race or just to run for fun. [Coach] Charlyn always says to "Run your race, not someone else's race." That is great advice.
6) Anything else you’d like to share?
My daughter Andrea inspired me to start MOTR and she is my biggest cheerleader; she encourages me to keep running. When we are at a 5K, if we are not running together, she will be there recording my finish and cheering me on as I cross the finish line. She is the planner, driver and cheerleader of her mom. I am so lucky to share the great times with her.