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April 24, 2024

Runcoach Success Story: Sonja Smith Bauer

Written by Cally Macumber
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A Remarkable Comeback: Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Personal Best

Major milestone:

I began running again about a year and a half ago after a 39 year hiatus. It was after I read about a terrible event in Memphis TN in early September of 2022 that I decided to Finish Liza’s Run, in memory of Eliza Fletcher, a mom and a teacher who was abducted on her morning run. I would learn later that Liza was my college classmate’s cousin.

What is the secret to your success?

I try my best to be consistent, even with a sometimes heavy work travel schedule. I’ve learned to make the best of hotel treadmills which are usually fairly new and very under utilized. I like that it is easy to put in pace times for speed work and most have televisions: I did a 10 mile run while watching the Olympic marathon trials. Of course I prefer running outside, but in an unfamiliar location, where drivers may not be familiar with runners, I hesitate to navigate traffic. Safety first!Success_Story_April

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? 

Mental: A humbling experience: I had to accept that I wasn’t going to run a sub 35 minute 10K again. Now, I am grateful to be able to run at 60 and I take pride in what I can still do.  Physical: Not knowing better in the beginning. I ran at the same pace all the time. I made every run into a threshold workout and so I was always sore, nursing niggles and not really improving. 

What is the most rewarding part of training? 

Getting faster and feeling stronger every month!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

Follow the program as best you can. Run the long slow runs slow - it’s about building legs. Make easy days easy so you can have the energy for speed work. It’s ok to go for a swim workout if you’re really sore from working hard.

Anything else you would like to share?

This program is amazing and Coach Cally always responds quickly to any questions I have. If I hadn’t signed up, I’d still be doing threshold runs every time out, or have gotten hurt. I managed to take nearly 2:12 minutes off my run time in the Cherry Blossom 10 mile last weekend by following the assignments as best I could. Negative splits for the last two miles.

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

It’s been a terrific experience! I signed up for Cherry Blossom training and decided to stay for the year. The assignments re- adjust according to your race schedule which is so helpful. Love the inherent flexibility.

Last modified on April 29, 2024
Cally  Macumber

Cally Macumber

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