Distance Running is Second Nature to This Mother of Five
Distance Running is Second Nature to This Mother of FiveBy Margaret Schauer
At five in the morning, the sun is still an hour or so away from flooding the horizon and the Shelbyville, Kentucky road is quiet except for the steady sound of rubber soles grabbing and releasing the asphalt. Four mornings a week, 33-year-old Susan Maddox and a friend set out in the last of the moonlight, running five miles before lifting weights at the gym. On Saturday or Sunday, the five miles are replaced with ten and the mileage increases if Maddox is training for a marathon.
While an ordinary athlete might bask in these fitness accomplishments, Maddox does not have the time. By the end of her workouts, Maddox''s five children, in the care of live-in babysitter Josefina, are close to awakening and she makes sure she is home by the time they stumble out of bed. Maddox is adamant about not losing any time with seven-year-old twins Morgan and Katie, five-year-old Madison and three-year-old twins Joseph and Grace as they start their day.
Balancing a full-time job and raising five children under the age of seven as a divorced mother is no easy feat. Adding marathon running to this hectic mix sets Maddox apart. However, for Maddox, who works for the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, distance running is as natural as breathing. She says, "I''ve always pretty much been fitness-minded. I was a cheerleader in high school and ran short distances then, but never thought about doing longer distances." After high school, Maddox joined the Army and ran six miles with a running team but still did not give much thought to further distances.
After she had children, Maddox used running as a way to get back in shape. She says, "I went to the gym one day and noticed this girl running on the treadmill beside me. We''d carried on a conversation before, but [that day] she asked me if I would like to train for the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon." In 1999, Maddox and Donna Dutton, her new friend from the gym, trained and ran the mini.
Upon completing the mini, Maddox knew distance running was a part of her life. "Oh, I knew it was in my blood - it got into my system," she said. "It was like the greatest accomplishment." She decided to try the Chicago Marathon, and in 2000, it became her first full marathon. A few years later, Maddox set the goal of running in the Boston Marathon. By her second Kentucky Derby Marathon, she reached the goal for Boston by falling within a minute of the qualifying time for her age group - a reflection of her perseverance and mental toughness.
This past April, in the space of 14 days, Maddox logged 49.4 miles in competition. On April 10, she ran the Papa John''s 10-mile race in Louisville , finishing 224 th out of 4,705 runners and second out of 334 females in the 30-34 age group with a time of 1:08:55 . Nine days later came the Boston Marathon, where she finished 3,088 th out of 17,950 runners and 278 th out of 3,938 females in the 18-39 age group, with a time of 3:35:46 . Five short days after Boston, Maddox took on the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon and ranked fourth out of 434 female runners in the 30-34 age group and 281 st out of 5,873 runners with a time of 1:35:51. She admits, "I was tired after that."
Maddox says she has come a long way since her first marathon. During that race, "I did no power gels, no nutrition during [the run], no Gatorade, just water. It took me two to three weeks to recover. Now I do the pre-race and post-recovery things and I feel fine the next day after a race." Concerning her training nutrition, Maddox says, "I pretty much eat a normal, well-rounded diet. I don''t really change my eating with marathon training and I take in about 2,000-2,500 calories each day. I stick to a low-carb, high protein diet." Maddox''s favorite breakfast consists of a mixture of cottage cheese, nonfat vanilla yogurt, raw oats and cashews.
Getting up early to run is nothing out of the ordinary for Maddox. She says, "[Running] is time consuming, especially when training for a marathon. It''s why I get up at 4:30 in the morning and when I put in 20 miles on a Saturday, we get started very early so I don''t miss any time with the kids. I think I''ve burned my friends out on marathons, so now my fiancé and I are long-distance training partners."
In the midst of her intensive training, Maddox crossed paths with fellow distance-runner Church Saufley. Over a year ago, they met through a friend at the gym. Maddox says, "He''s my running partner now for long distances and marathons. He understands the time it takes for training." On Memorial Day of this year, Saufley proposed to Maddox and they are planning a late-September wedding.
Running is undoubtedly a major part of Maddox''s life. She says, "Getting up early to train is almost second nature to me now. Running has been my sanity saver, especially when I was going through my divorce. It helps me cope with things and makes me feel good about myself. It also helps me set and meet goals and I hope I can instill some of those values into my kids and get them excited about it. It''s awesome for them because even the three year olds are aware of running, and I''ve entered them in some fun runs like the Turkey Trots. The kids do book reports on running and marathons and they take my medals, so it''s a good influence on them."
Maddox reflects, "I''m not really a competitive person. I compete more with myself than other people. It''s really more about setting goals and reaching those goals and feeling good about it."
Margaret Schauer, a swimmer and aspiring triathlete, is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts in writing degree at Spalding University .
|Copyright© 2004-2005 Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine. All Rights Reserved. |
No unauthorized duplication of any articles, graphics or other content without express written permission from KHF.
Site produced and maintained by interon design, inc.