The Chicago Runner Series

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/16/2012, 03:43pm

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November’s Runner: Amy Sutton

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Age: 38

Day job: Retail Manager

Why do you run? I started running after my brother’s suicide. I was depressed, overweight and didn’t know how to make a positive change in my life. One January day, out of complete desperation, I put on my old running shoes, an unusual assortment of layers, and ran. I liked how it made me feel mentally and physically, so I did it again. I forced myself to run two miles a day every other day for 8 months. Right around the 8 month mark, my body began to crave the run, and then it wanted to go farther. Since my first run I have regained my mental health, lost 40 pounds and worked my way up to running a half marathon.

How long have you been running? Since January 2009.

What makes someone a runner? If you get out there and run, no matter the speed or distance, and then do it again, you are a runner.

Miles per week: 20-30

Mile time: 8-10 minutes. If I run by myself – 10. With others, I will keep up. Basically, I don’t care how fast I go, I like to take in the sights and sounds of what’s around me.

Races youve competed in (if any): Fleet Feet’s Rudolph Ramble and Turkey Trot - in costume! Also, the Hot Chocolate 15K – a favorite!

Favorite running route(s): I love the North Shore Channel Trail. You can make it as short or long as you’d like and you can detour into some great neighborhoods.

Best run: Anything with beer at the end.

Worst run: Something with poorly planned/executed hydration.

Do you run with music? I don’t – I like to hear what’s going on around me. I tend to zone out and need all the help I can get hearing cars, dogs, people etc.

Top Running Songs: When I did run with a Walkman (yep, back in those days), I only ran to Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. The whole album is perfect.

The Treadmill– Discuss. I’ve never used one. I run outside, year round.

Favorite time to run: Within 1 hour of sunrise. It is cool, quiet and there aren’t too many other folks out there to get in the way.

Tips on running through a Chicago winter: Don’t forget to hydrate. Also, you need the right layers.

Favorite temperature range: 30-50.

What running gear do you love? In the warmer weather, I love the C9 stuff from Target. It lasts, is comfortable and is reasonably priced. For colder weather I only use Under Armour. I LOVE their Cold Gear, especially the running tights.

Tips for a novice runner: Do what you can and then do it again in a day or two after your muscles have had time to recover. Also, give yourself a break – don’t compare yourself to others regarding form, distance, speed, redness of face etc. Nobody looks good when they run and everybody is in a different place. Focus on yourself and running WILL become part of you. Also, hydrate and stretch more than you think you need to.

Biggest accomplishment: Running a half marathon in April, 2012.

Brief Bio: I grew up in Arlington Heights and spent 6 years living north of Lincoln Square before moving to Portland, OR in 2011, where I now spend my days running in the rain. In addition to running in and around Chicago neighborhoods, I ran with the Fleet Feet running groups out of Lincoln Square. Running literally saved my life, and continues to be my therapy, getting me through each of life’s events.

A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, Herself When Shes Missing,” was called poetic and heartrending by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicagos StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually.
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