Posted by: Susan Loken | May 22, 2011

Santa Barbara Half Marathon – May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011
Finish Time:  1:22:43
Finished Second.

Bill and me after the race

Ask Brett Schumacher, who knows Susan Loken “the runner” better than anyone else, what my number one strength is, and he would say that I have confidence and believe I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to.
Well, I had a temporary set-back in positive thinking during the first 7 miles of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon. Not sure what the heck got into me.
In the first few miles, two young women passed me. I started to think, “What the heck am I doing trying to keep up with these young girls? Look at how young, strong and fit they are. Why am I putting myself through this?”
The negative thoughts got to me and I fell back, racing a comfortable hard pace – not my usual pace, where I find a level of pain I can tolerate, and tolerate it. I decided I was old, they were young, and it was too hard to keep up with them. SO unlike me. I have stood next to the fastest woman in the nation and had convinced myself I had a chance, so why was this all getting to me?
Mile 7 was corkscrew hill (a monster hill) and as I ran up this hill at a training pace I finally started thinking my normal positive thoughts.

“You are doing this because you love to train, you love to set goals and achieve them, you love to do the best you can, and it doesn’t matter if those girls are 28 or 58. All that matters is that I give 110%, not this 80% crap! So, pick up the pace and get in this race!”

My final 6 miles were all under a 6 minute pace.

I ran hard, I ran strong, I ran with passion and I loved every single mile of it!

I passed the girl in second place and started to close in on the girl in first place, but needed another half mile to pass her. I placed second, losing by 24 seconds to a young, fit, sweet 28-year-old.

But, really, I didn’t lose today. I won because I didn’t let negative thoughts create a negative outcome. I replaced those negative self defeating thoughts with positive thoughts and it felt good! Today, I won.
I love that this happened to me because it reinforces what I already know and what I passionately try to share with others. 90% of doing anything is believing that you can.

Lesson: It is a choice to be positive. It takes a conscious effort every day in everything you do to be positive or negative. Be careful what you think, because you will become it.


Did I mention how blessed I am to live this amazing life of training, coaching and achieving dream goals? I love this life!


  1. Great race! Great advice. I hear the negative chatter all of the time as I continue to seek my dreams. You worked hard. Best!!!

  2. I just LOVE your passion for life and your positive spirit!! That big sincere smile of yours makes it obvious to everyone the joy you have for life!! It’s contagious!
    Congrats on another great race and thanks for sharing your experience.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: