Saucony 26 Strong: Something Bugging You?

Susan Baker and Christi Paine

Christi Paine, our veteran in Atlanta who is training with first-timer Susan Baker, had one of the more interesting running injuries during the past week: A bug flew into her ear in the middle of a 14-mile run.

“It was an awful situation,” she says. “I finished the run, but I had to spend some time in the ER later that afternoon. Do runners really need to wear earplugs?”

Apart for the freak bug invasion, the toughest part of Christi and Susan’s training so far has been the heat of an Atlanta summer. “We’ve had a lot of hot running so far,” Christi says. She’s also nursing a sore Achilles, something a bit more serious than a wayward insect. She’s been able to keep running, but it’s lead her to add some more cross-training to her regimen.

“I’ve learned cross-training may be more beneficial than I ever thought,” she says. “I needd to get back into the pool, for many reasons. Like the heat and giving my Achillies a rest.” She’s been very pleased with the results.

Christi and Susan met for dinner this week to talk about their goals at the Atlanta Marathon on Oct. 27. “She can do it,” Christi says. “I’m very excited for her and all of the kids who will witness her achieve this tremendous goal. I’m very confident in her.”

Susan works with teens and hears “I can’t” daily. “They say they can’t because they don’t have the time, it’s too hard, their minds or bodies won’t let them, or many other excuses,” she says. “I want to show them that if you make up your mind, you find that you can.”

According to Susan: “I am trying to accomplish the hardest thing on earth. It’s not losing weight, running a marathon, or bringing about world peace—it’s proving a point to a group of teenagers.”

Christi and Susan are well on their way to proving the point. But it will be nice when some cooler weather finally arrives…

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