Thursday, July 17, 2014

running Sue

After roughly 10 years, I'd decided to finally get back into the P.E.O. swing of things and was making my first of several visits to scope out local chapters. Hopefully I'd find one I felt was a good fit and vice versa.

I saw a spot on the sofa next to a woman wearing a sticky name tag similar to mine.  Ah, another visitor.

We talked a bit about our visitor status.  She had recently moved to the area from the midwest.  I explained that I'd been here for 10 years, slacking away as far as P.E.O was concerned.

She slid her purse over on the coffee table to make more room for me to sit, and that's when I saw the "26.2" dangling off her keys.

"You a marathoner?", I asked

"Yes!", she brightened, and filled me in on some of her various running adventures.

I could tell she was a bit older than me (I've since learned that she's 57), but she had bundles of energy.  She spoke rapidly with a slight midwestern accent.  Her hair was short, and she had that healthy weathered look of someone who spends a lot of time outdoors.  Her face never lost its smile. Her name is Sue.  She and her husband live in a mountain community just outside the city. 

Later that evening, Sue and I went with Ruthie to the basement where Ruthie hosts one of the local P.E.O. Bed and Breakfasts.  We got to know a little more about the chapter and each other.  When Ruthie told us of her husband's reluctance to have a Bed and Breakfast in their home - "Gee, I dunno about a Bed and Breakfast.   Maybe a 'Nap and Donut'?" - I knew I'd found at least two sisters I could get along with!

After visitng a few other chapters where I met plenty of nice people, I was drawn back to that initial chapter visit.  By that time, it was winter and Sue had also decided to stay, by then a member, fully transferred in.  I asked how her running was going.

"Great!  I'm going to do the Super half on Super Bowl Sunday!"

I casually replied that a half marathon sounded okay, although a full blown marathon wasn't in my sights.

"OH, you should do the Super half!  It's relatively flat, and you know it won't be oppressively hot!"

"*snicker* That's like two weeks away, and I really don't know...", but her enthusiasm was so contagious, "... well, maybe?"

So, running Sue thusly talked me into it only to get snowed in and miss the thing herself.

At our mid-June meeting, she told me about a marathon she's getting ready to do in September, out of state.  "And I'm doing the Fourth of July half-marathon here in town!"  (she often speaks in exclamation points).

I met up with Sue and her husband at the start of the race that morning.  He's not a runner, but was there, in cargo shorts and hiking boots, to happily support Sue. She was dressed in a bright fluorescent green top.

We went to line up, and I didn't see her again until later during the race.  It was an out-and-back course, and on my return trip I spotted her.  There she was in her white hat and bright shirt, moving at a steady balanced pace, looking focused and happy.  We gave each other breathy smiles and waves as we crossed paths.

We had a P.E.O. meeting this week, and I was hoping to catch Sue's thoughts on the race - how it compared with the many others she's done.

Alas, the road from Sue's home was closed due to flash flooding.

I half expected her to show up in a kayak.  With a big smile, of course!


Linking up again with Mama Kat this week:

1.) A new friend.


Jerralea said...

Sue sounds like a great new friend! I love people who talk in exclamation points!

Abby said...

Yes! So do I!

terri said...

Yeah, she sounds like a good fit for you! You have so much in common. Isn't it great to meet someone you connect with like that, especially when you're not really expecting it?

Guano said...

Cool greet-up. Ya never know where you'll meet a kindred soul -- but the more open you are, the more there seem to be!

Anonymous said...

So THIS is the Sue who talked you into doing the super half with only 2 weeks notice and then left you stranded!
Well despite that little hiccup, she sounds like she'd be a great friend. I love her energy, and I'm sure it's quite contagious. And it's always nice to have a running buddy... when the weather allows...

Abby said...

It was fun to meet her right off the bat - helped to ruin me for the other chapters I visited :)

Abby said...

You just really don't know. They ARE out there!

Abby said...

This is THAT Sue, a real fire cracker. I can only hope to have her energy at 57. She won't talk me into no stinkin' marathon, though!

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs a dynamic, energetic friend like Sue to pull us our of our comfort zone and stretch us to greatness!! Lucky you. :)

Riot Kitty said...

That's pretty amazing. I feel like a slacker.

Abby said...

Lucky me!

Abby said...

No. You're. Not.

agg79 said...

It helps to have someone like that to inspire you to the next level. I could use a friend like that to motivate me into more runs (or at least few more 5ks). I would complain that my age is a factor, but, since I am the same age as Sue, I really feel like a total slacker.

Abby said...

Yes, it's a definite help. I have another local friendly rival besides Sue that definitely keeps me on my toes, and she's 4 years older than me. No excuses for us!

Anita said...

Ditto to Guano's comment. I love a good conversation! And if it turns out that I have more with the person in the future, that's even better.

KatBouska said...

Sue sounds lovely! And I have to say someone should really patent that nap and a donut idea. You're on to something!