Ali on the Run Show Episode 56: Susan Pass, Nurse & 3:18 Marathoner

The Ali on the Run Show

Episode 56

Guest: Susan Pass

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“You should talk more and smile. It’s my favorite.”

Susan Pass — best known on the internet as “Susan Runs” and as the blogger behind “Nurse on the Run” — is a 15-time marathoner who holds a 3:18 personal best time. Susan is currently in school to become a nurse anesthetist — a career path she decided on after majoring in dietetics and going on to nursing school, then working in a burn unit in New York City for 7.5 years.

Here’s what you’ll get in this episode:

  • How Susan started running (4:05)
  • Susan’s history with injuries, surgeries, and a labral tear (6:11)
  • What the first run back after double hip surgery felt like (10:28)
  • Susan’s first marathon experience (11:55)
  • Susan’s current running goals (14:05)
  • How Susan became a nurse — and what she thought she wanted to do before deciding on nursing (14:30)
  • How Susan decided on a nursing specialty (16:00)
  • What it’s like working in a burn unit (22:25)
  • What it’s like working the night shift at a hospital (25:15)
  • Why Susan decided to go back to school and what her current 27-month program is like (28:10)
  • How Susan balances a demanding job and schooling with running (33:50)
  • Susan’s craziest nursing story (38:00)
  • What it takes to be a good patient (41:45)
  • Susan’s take on being an introvert (46:00)

What We Mention on this Episode:

Eugene Marathon

TCS New York City Marathon

New Jersey Marathon

Susan’s 2013 New Jersey Marathon recap

Chicago Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

Hal Higdon Marathon Training Plan

Boston Marathon

University of Maryland

Rush University

Burn Unit: Saving Lives After the Flames

Au Bon Pain

Mount Sinai

Pura Vida

Big Sur International Marathon

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4 Responses

  1. To those considering going back to school for nursing – we need you! I wanted to add in my experience in an accelerated nursing program today compared to Susan’s experience a few years ago — pretty much the same!! We have two days of classes (usually 8 am – 5 pm with a short break for lunch… we VERY antsy by 3 pm after sitting for so long) and three days in a row of clinicals. We also have various lab days each quarter that involve teaching days and patient simulations –
    both with freaky mannequins that cry, moan, and bleed and real medical actors that pretend to have a condition and we go in and assess them – there are cameras filming us so we can be graded!! Each quarter is a different rotation, so last quarter I had med-surg (what Susan described as just a catch-all unit for basically “something is wrong with you and we can’t discharge you yet”), maternity (labor and delivery, postpartum, lactation… some shadowing there, some hands on – “is it OK if I reposition your boob?” is fun to ask to new moms), and pediatrics. This quarter it’s critical care, med-surg again, and community health (i’m at a public school, shadowing a school nurse!)

    My program is a year, but if you can find one that is a little longer, say 15 or 18 months, I would highly recommend it. I’ll be glad I’m done, but this has been the most challenging year of my life. A couple extra months to study exams and prepare for the NCLEX would have been ideal. Trying to fit in anything other than school is extremely difficult- I trained for a marathon and completely fell apart afterwards likely due to stress/low immunity. Even typing this comment right now, this is not in my hourly schedule today- WHOOPS (worth it)

    We also are not allowed to start IVs at our school – though some nurses at clinicals will let you do it hush hush, we are only taught how to prime the tubing at school.

    At my Mom’s nursing school where she teaching in Florida, there’s an IV mannequin arm where I’ve practiced actually placing an IV. I’m very nervous about doing it for the first time on a real patient, and I’ve been told by instructors to NOT tell the patient it’s ever my first time!! But, worst case scenario, I miss the stick and try again.

    I loved listening to this episode and hearing Susan’s story from beginning to end. Thanks Ali!

  2. Excited to listen! Not sure if you take recommendations for who to get on the podcast, but would love for you to get Kate @socalrunnergal!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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