Running helped this woman overcome addiction.

Suzanne Swanson has not only changed her life with running, she’s transformed it. She says, “You can’t become who you want to be by staying stuck with who you were. Addiction was my story. I wrote it, lived it…breathed it…became it. I was addicted to alcohol, food, self-pity, and self-destruction. I chose vodka over people, processed crap over self joy. I choose lies instead of truths, I choose self-sabotage over self-belief, I choose disgust over dignity. Today I choose inner peace, and perseverance, I choose grace, and gratitude, and most importantly…I choose me.”

How did you first start running?

Long funny story, but my first race was an 18 miler! While most people train for a first race as a “5k,” my sister-in-law told me about an 18 mile run in Long Beach Island at the Jersey Shore…she said “Sue, there is an 18-mile race down the island, jokingly she said you should run it” I thought about it for a minute….and said why yes I should! The rest is history. I didn’t even own a pair of running sneakers 😂. I started from ground zero and proudly finished the 18-mile run as my first race ever. What kept you running? The peaceful feeling that came upon me while doing it. I knew when my feet hit the pavement…I had found my soulmate!

What impact has running on your life?

Enormous. The people I have met both in person and on social media. The ability for me to use running to share my story of both my drinking and eating addictions. It has allowed me to finally open and bloom into who I was destined to be.

Any running goals?


What advice would you give to other runners?

Consistency…no goal is unobtainable, you don’t need to be perfect or the best…you just need to be consistent.

Just for fun:

I love great white sharks and I own way too many sneakers 🤣!

Run morning, night, or noon?

A mixture of both…I love an evening run when the sun is setting, but nothing beats a sunrise run. The solitude and magic you can create within yourself before the rest of the world wakes is amazing.

Run outside or on the treadmill?

OUTSIDE! I personally would rather walk through a plate glass door than be on a treadmill!

Favorite race or place to run:

I have run in many states…but nothing beats running in my home town, down my back county roads…where my local farmer always waves, the mailman nods and moves his mail truck, and the beautiful farm fields in my peripheral silently tells me all is well in my world.

Favorite post-run food:

Cape cod kettle potato chips!

Running must-have (gear):

JUNK HEADBANDS! I own about 50 of them