What We All Can Learn From Lucie
by Team Film
If you want to see how accomplished guest blogger Lucie Mays Sulewski is as a runner, just Google her name. If you run or walk on the Monon Trail in Indianapolis, you’ve likely seen her fly past. If you’re wearing Team Film gear, she’ll throw a big smile your way.
goal seeking : testing yourself : reward :
I believe that you have to push yourself in order to achieve a goal. To me the reward of achievement is an accomplishment. Goals keep you motivated to achieve and test yourself, whether you want to be faster, stronger or healthier!
pushing limits : payoff :
Three weeks out from the 2003 Chicago Marathon, I was very fit and ready to run the race of my life when I felt a stress fracture coming on. The timing was terrible, as I had my sights set on qualifications for the 2004 Olympics. The injury sent me to the pool—absolutely no running.
During the race, I felt no pain and PR’ed in 2:47:42, making it under the 2:48 qualifying mark. The following spring, I toed the start line with some of the world’s fastest runners during the Olympic Trials in St. Louis, just an hour from the town where I grew up. About 60 people from my town came to cheer me on. They wore “I Love Lucie” shirts. I finished the race in 2:52.
In this case, pushing my limits up to the point where I felt an injury coming on paid off big time. While it can be tough to cope with setbacks, my coach helped me stay positive during those hours in the pool, and in hindsight, I see that those three weeks just prior to the marathon weren’t so important to my training.
I love competition. I’ve always wanted to be the best that I could be. Even at 44, that hasn’t changed. My mom gave names to each of us as kids to describe us. “Determination” is what she called me. I’ve been determined and competitive all my life.
motivation : love :
My nephew once said to me before a big race, “Do what you do.” Motivation comes naturally to me. Staying motivated has never been a problem. Maybe because I’m doing what I love to do. I absolutely love running. It’s a part of me. I love what I get out of running, meeting other people and developing relationships. I love running gear and shoes!
Running is also a sport that you can easily get your family involved in, too. I have two boys, ages 9 and 7. They ride their bikes with me when I run during the summer, and sometimes they’ll do some laps on the track when I’m doing a workout. They signed up for the Underground Railroad Run in Westfield this spring.
Without my husband supporting me in this love, I could not do it. He was a runner at IU so he understands, and I enjoy having him and the boys at as many finish lines as they can!
risk taking :
I’ve had eight stress fractures, which I know sounds like a lot. I started getting them in college. I’ve been running for 34 years, so eight stress fractures over the course of that time is not that bad—but not that good, either.
I’ve been sidelined plenty of times when I push my limits too far. But when you get to the edge and you see your times going down, and you think you need to do a little more, just a little more, that’s when you go over your threshold and get stress fractures. I also struggle with Vitamin D and calcium balance, so I have to aware of those things.
pushing your limits : playing it safe :
Pushing your limits is being realistic in a challenge that’s attainable. So that could be a 30-minute 5K if you’re used to doing a 33-minute 5K. You will be able to achieve it, and get to the top of that mountain, and then you can push it again.
injuries : goals :
Acceptance is hard and painful, but I’ve been thankful the pool has gotten me through injuries. I’ve run a marathon off of strictly pool running. You have to be mentally into it. Get in a group and push each other. In the past, the Carmel Swim Club has been a great group for me. There’s also the elliptical and bike to get that burn. To stay positive, you have to keep your eye on the prize.
group training :
The three-person group I run with meets at 5:15 a.m. during the week. We laugh, we share things about our family lives, our personal lives—it’s very social. We tell jokes, crack up, sometimes laughing so hard it’s hard to run. It’s not all serious.
These friends in my group are reliable and dependable, and we hold each other accountable and know how to work with each other to use our strengths and weaknesses. During track workouts, we know how to push each other and encourage each other. When I watched one of my friends—a mother of three—from the group break three hours at the Monumental Marathon last year, it was awesome.
performance : drive :
Never be disappointed in any performance because there is always another race. Never get discouraged. It’s hard. But the moments of pushing the limits are few. It’s the drive to get those few that keep you motivated.
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