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Sara Sutherland’s Attitude of Gratitude After Being Away From Racing


“I remember the day I ran 4:06. I was on the phone with Riley and he was like, ‘You did it! You got the Olympic standard!’ And I was like, ‘Ugh! I just want to go faster!’ We’re all wired that way. That’s how we roll. Right now, women’s distance running in the United States in the 1,500 and 5,000 is amazing. There are so many women who have taken these preconceived barriers and said, ‘I don’t care. I’m going to go way faster.’ That’s my hope as well. I feel really inspired to see what women have been able to do over the last couple of years. I definitely felt like I was missing out on so much of that. I’m really excited if I can just stay healthy and be up there again.”

Sara Sutherland is a professional runner for Saucony. She was a star at the University of Texas and the University of Colorado. She’s got personal bests of 4:06 for 1,500 and 15:26 for 5,000m. Just a few weeks ago, she raced at the Music City Distance Carnival and it was her first race in a year and a half. It’s been a challenging road back but if there’s anyone who has ever had a great attitude when faced with tough obstacles, it’s been Sara. We catch up on her work to get back to 100% and the gratitude that comes with doing what you love. This was a blast to record and Sara said I asked a lot of good questions.


– “You know what’s funny is that when you’ve had all of these injuries, I feel so much less nervous for racing because in terms of the worst thing that can happen to an athlete who wants to compete is not being able to train, not being able to compete and not being able to do what you love. So, I feel like it’s really easy to feel that having a poor race is sort of the worst outcome but it’s not. You get to be there. That takes a lot of the pressure off in terms of I have experienced something that was totally not fun and I made it on the other side. I’m here so whatever happens happens.”

– “It was the first run that I had where I was conversing with my friends and just really enjoying myself. I wasn’t thinking so much about: How is everything feeling? Is my foot sore? What pace am I running? I was just enjoying the moment. I feel like this is going to become a theme maybe quickly. I’m driving home and I was hit with so much gratitude. I started crying. I was like, ‘Man, this is exactly what I was dreaming of doing all of those times that I was in the pool training, on the bike and all those things.’ That’s what it really comes down to – having so much gratitude for health, having fun with friends and doing what I love to do.”

– “I don’t look at my workouts or my racing the same way at all. I think that I’ve had periods of time where I’ve felt super perfectionistic or been really, really hard on myself. It’s so much better to frame it as I’m doing the best I can. I’m super glad to be here. There’s so much freedom in that. I’m operating from a place of gratitude and anything that happens is a bonus because I’m healthy and having a great time.”

– “It’s a Big 12 love story. I thank the Big 12 for bringing us together. Riley was running at Oklahoma and I was running at Texas. I developed a crush on him and I’d see him around. We did not meet until he was running professionally for the Brooks Beasts and I was in my last year at Texas. We were running at Iowa State – again Big 12 love story – and he was running the mile or something. I was running the 5K trying to get a national qualifier. I went into the training room after the race to put ice on something. He was in there and I just pretended that we were friends and acquaintances and was super friendly despite the fact that we’ve never met. That was more or less how we met and everything got started.”

– “I think we’re very much on the same page about wanting to get the most out of ourselves and having a passion for just working as hard as we can at something. I think we’re wired pretty similarly in that way. We want to seek excellence and seek our best at whatever it is that we’re doing.”

– “We were psychologically ready to get going this year. I was so ecstatic to be healthy and so ecstatic that my training had been going well. I think I was out for a run and there was a period of a couple of months where I didn’t meet anyone to run. I was doing so much running by myself. I came back to the car and opened my email. Mark had written to the post-collegiate group that he coaches and he said this is kind of what it’s looking like. He gave us a little bit of a heads up and told us don’t be totally shocked when you hear [the Olympics are postponed.]”

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😎  Support for this episode comes from GOODR SUNGLASSES  – I’ve been rocking Goodr sunglasses throughout the past couple of months and they’re the best. No slip. No bounce. No fog. Polarized. Ridiculously affordable starting at $25 a pair. No discounts needed when they’re already the most affordable performance shades on the planet. | Visit GOODR.COM/CITIUS to check out some of my favorite pairs.

Plus…. here’s Sara rocking a pair of Goodr shades!

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