Small goals lead to larger milestones
BRIGHTWATERS—The inaugural Suffolk County Marathon and Half Marathon that takes place on Sept. 13 will be a family event in at least one household in Islip Town. Susan Moran of Brightwaters and her daughter Susannah Moran of Bay Shore have been practicing for the big race. And although they’ll be running in different categories and also at a different pace, they are determined to celebrate the completion of the half marathon race together.
“I started running over 40 years ago before my [last] child was born,” said Susan, 71, the mother of eight. “I started running to lose weight and stay in shape. I struggled with weight all of my life and this seems to help. And my ex-husband was a runner, so it made sense.
“We are a family of runners,” she added, noting that there are children and grandkids that run, and she even has a daughter that completed the NYC Marathon.
Since that time, Susan, an administrator for SCO Family of Services, a not-for-profit agency for the developmentally disabled, has run approximately 10 races a year, mostly 5K and 10K. The Suffolk County race will be her fourth half marathon.
However, Susannah said she was never all that interested in running. The 49-year-old, who has a grown daughter, said she’s only been running a short time. “Once I got into it though, it took off,” she said.
“I was not very athletic, but then I had a health scare. That’s when I started walking.” Susannah said she started off setting short-term goals and once achieved, she would raise the bar.
“My goal last year was three million steps. I decided that if I could run it, I could finish faster. I really like the feeling [of running],” she added. “Then my mom convinced me to do a race. I had so much fun doing it. Now I’m addicted.”
Susannah said her goal this year is to run 1,000 miles and a half marathon.
Susan said her goal has been to do 10,000 steps a day. “I do that five or six days a week and usually exceed it.
“Having mini goals help move you along to bigger goals,” Susan added.
Susannah, who works for a website that trains teachers to use literary tools, said setting those goals has helped her to achieve success in running as well. The 30-plus-year alumna of Bay Shore High School has been sharing her experience with others on a blog, www.fatnforty.wordpress.com. “[The blog] makes me feel like I’m part of a bigger community,” she said.
Aside from the personal satisfaction though, both women said they are happy to take part in this event because it’s local and it’s for a very good cause—supporting veterans services in Suffolk County.
“We have friends who are veterans that rely on those services,” said Susannah.
Susannah said she often trains in Heckscher State Park and so is pleased the race will begin and end in a familiar location. And she indicated that the event might provide the impetus to setting yet another goal.
“Who knows, maybe I’ll run a [full] marathon in the near future.”
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