Posted by: Susan Loken | November 23, 2011

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” Dolly Parton

Since my last blog on September 30th I’ve been putting all my energy and effort into healing my hamstring tear so I can begin training for the 2012 Olympic Trials.

Needless to say, it was very disappointing to drop out of the USA Women’s Master Marathon Championship and it has been a pretty big challenge trying to heal my hamstring injury quickly so I have enough time to train for the 2012 USA Olympic Trials.

So, in a nutshell here is what I’ve been up to and where I’m at

  • First MRI read showed that I had an 80% tear and things were not looking so promising, however my symptoms did not match up to this diagnosis. Thank goodness!!
  • Second read on the MRI disagreed that the tear was 80% and that I should be able to slowly start running. In this time frame the pain and flexibility had improved.
  • Cross-trained for a month. Thank you Steve Ellwell for getting me a 30 day pass at Lifetime fitness and thank you Kerry Camberg for taking me to spin class and showing me the ropes!
  • Started running/jogging again on October 24th
  • Karen, Me and Yohnnie after the race!! Running with friends...Priceless!!

    Ran the Healdsburg half marathon on October 29th in 1:31:00 just to test out my hamstring and have a fun weekend with my friends. YES, it is hard to line up behind the Elite in a race (I work hard to be an Elite) and it is even harder to win your age group (45-49) when your goal is usually to place in the top 3 overall. However, I was so grateful that I could simply run 13.1 miles that I accepted my age group award with a big fat smile on my face and I was Thrilled!!! My hamstring started burning around mile 7, so wasn’t out of the woods yet.

  • November 4-7 went to New York City with my team of 20 to watch them run the NYC marathon!! What a thrill that all 20 finished the marathon and had such a life changing experience!! I was asked to talk at the VIP/Charity breakfast for the New York City Marathon. What an honor!!It gave me the opportunity to thank everyone (Mary Wittenburg CEO, George Hirsch, NYRR board of directors) for my personal life changing experiences from running and winning the More Marathon 3 times, running the New York City Marathon as an Elite and having the privilege of volunteering for the NYC marathon for 3 years in a row and from my heart THANK them for giving Chances for Children the opportunity to have 20 runners train, raise money and run in one of the WORLDS BEST MARATHONS!!! I was also able to run 18 miles in Central park at a 7:20 pace and felt good! Maybe it was the positive memories that I have, I don’t know, but it felt awesome!!

    Team Chances New York City! Watching each of them succeed...Priceless!!

  • November 12th ran a local half marathon called Shun the Sun. I still have not done speed work so I just jumped in to make this a long run at a steady effort. I ran a 1:26 (6:36) pace and felt really good!! Ok, now I was excited to start full speed with training. I would slowly add speed work, lactate threshold runs and feeling very positive about having enough time to train so I would be in shape for a respectable time at the USA Olympic Marathon Trials.
  • Nov. 14-20…ran 59 miles this week with some speed and tempo miles and feeling like my old self again!!
  • Nov. 22nd ran 3 miles easy and the goal was to run 1 mile at 6:20, rest for 3 minutes, 1 mile at 6:15, rest for 2 minutes, 2 miles at 6:35, rest for 2 minutes, 1 mile at 6:20, rest for 3 minutes and 1 mile at 6:15…Well, as I started picking up the pace I could feel my hamstring and it continued getting worse until I had to stop and jog slowly back home. Not worth the risk. I had stopped taking NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) to see how my injury felt without the help of this drug and I guess not so well.
  • Nov. 23 (today) ran for 2 miles before my stride was altered due to hamstring pain. Walked home disappointed, but not defeated!!
  • Bottom line…It is going to take more time than I have to heal this hamstring. I will not miss running my 3rd USA Olympic Marathon Trials. I can manage my hamstring w/ anti inflammatory, therapy from Dr. Ball and a bit slower pace running. My goal for the Trials will be to get to the starting line and finish giving 100% of whatever I have to give based on my injury and training.
  • Sometimes you don’t have control over your situation, but you always have control over your attitude. I accept this situation, I will do what I can, I will stay positive and I will continue to feel blessed that I qualified again and that I have the honor to participate.


 Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and in doing so I hope that you find just a tiny bit of inspiration to continue going for your dreams no matter the challenges!! Never give up!!!

Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Hugs and Love,

Susan Loken


  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are such an amazing athlete and woman and I know I am blessed to know you. Even though times are a little rough there is always sunshine on the other side. Rest up and feel better 🙂

  2. thank you!! I’m training the best I can and looking forward to the Trials. yes, yes, yes there is Sunshine….no doubt about it!! xoxoxo susan

  3. Always inspired by you Susan!

  4. You are an amazing runner, beautiful woman, inspirational, and a wonderful friend. I know you will enjoy every moment of this experience you will have and we all can’t wait to hear about your journey and adventure upon your return. Best to you this weekend!

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