Today’s Rockstar Runner is so amazing – she has survived and thrived and continually gives back to others by inspiring them to be their best selves. Meet Sue Henderson!
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a 48 year old Mom of four kids who are 23, 24, 25, and 28 (2 girls, 2 boys), a wife of 16 years to Robert, and a Grandma of Mya 4 and Lucas 2. I am a Color Run Ambassador, Crazy Compression Ambassador and Glitter Skirt Ambassador. I belong to a few running groups, volunteer at local races and I run for my buddy Brayden who lives in New Zealand. He suffers from Noonans disease and has a little learning/social delay. I’ve been matched with him for almost two years and we keep in touch through FaceBook posts & pictures. He, as I say, is my lace up, show up and never give up. I love to have fun with my friends doing mostly anything. I had a bad job accident in 2000 and it basically ruined my lungs. I had Bell’s Palsy & a small stroke along with a less than normal immune system and fibromyalgia from it. But as I say it is what happened to me not who I am.
My husband three years ago said he signed up for a local 5K and I said “OK sign me up.” I never have been able to really do much but he seemed so excited about it I figured I would try it.
What do you love about running – what keeps you coming back time after time?
It gives me that feeling of accomplishment that each time I’m showing my body I can and will do this. I love being out there with my friends and all the fun and laughter we have. That slow walking and last are OK.
How do you get yourself out the door on days when you’re just not ‘feeling it’?
I look at Brayden’s picture and read what he has told me he is doing that week and lace my shoes up.
I say my funny story I love is my friend Denise and I dressed up at a 5K as Superman and I was Batman. We got held up at the bathrooms due to lack of toilet paper, missed the start by a good nine minutes and decided if we were that late then we would treat it as a parade and we walked those three miles waving to cars going by. I flashed cars my Batman underwear I had on over my shorts and we said hello to every single runner as they went by us but we got down the hill and five dogs got loose and came across the street after us.
I told her not to move because we had capes on our socks. I yelled out that I sure would make the nightly news if I got bit “girl as Batman gets bit by dog…news at 5.” We finished the race last but were cheered on by crowd.
Inspirational was my recent marathon. I told very few people in case I couldn’t finish. It was a looped course that I needed 20 laps to finish. I was determined to have 26.2 be my last distance to be checked off. I trained as best I could. It took me nine hours to complete but I am shouting to the world I’m a marathoner. My dear friend Laura Backus was with me for 17 miles helping me learn how to fuel and hydrate. She and my friends each wrote sayings for me to read and her watch would beep and I would grab a note and read it aloud. It was one the most special things they all did for me and it made my marathon so much better.
How has running changed your life?
It has showed me I can do more than I believe I can. It also has given me some of the very best friends I could have in my life with the best memories. I prove daily that what tries to slow me down can’t.
What words of wisdom do you have for brand new runners?
Put those fears and doubts away. You can do anything you want. It doesn’t have to be how others do it for it can be how you do it and each time that’s a big deal!!!
What are your favorite inspirational blogs to follow?
A Fat Girls Ironman Journey. Each post I find a little bit of me in what she writes. I am so happy she is also a great friend.
Have you ever been injured running, and how did you recover?
Twice. I had a swollen foot muscle and had a boot on it. I had to wait it out which was a struggle. I also broke my side toe bone in such a awkward spot that I had to be in a boot eight weeks. I didn’t listen to the doctor and delayed my healing six more weeks. I was so frustrated being sidelined when I had been doing so much but learned that an injury takes time, let it heal and you will come back just as you had been.
My sports bra. I’m a big chested girl and I need them to stay in place and be supported.
What’s your favorite race distance?
10 miles. I can walk it in under three hours and recovery is good from it. My body seems to be ok with it. It’s just a fun distance.
What was your favorite race?
Hmm that’s a hard one. I have to say for 2015 it has to be Finish at the 50 in Gillette Stadium. I’ve done it two years now and it’s been a great put on race and fun. The Color Run is right next to it. You can be an adult and get dirty with colored dust, look silly and it’s ok.
I’ve stopped listening to music but my top 3 were: Don’t Want to Fight by Alabama Shakes, Ain’t It Fun by Paramore, and Animals by Martin Garrix.
Treadmill or outdoors?
Outdoors. I have to hold on when on treadmill.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
That being slow or a walker or dead last is OK. Its about our own journey and how we see ourselves that should matter. Support everyone out there. Most of all have fun in anything you do!
How can we find/follow you on social media?
Thank you so much Sue for sharing your story with us! If you’d like to read about other Rockstar Runners, please click HERE.