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Seattle Rock ‘n Rolled Over

I will say two things: 1) I am thankful for my ability to run and 2) I ran that marathon as hard as I could.

On Saturday morning I woke up at 3am, ate a plain raisin bagel, drank half a thing of Gatorade and went back to sleep. Then I woke up at 5am, had a coffee and a poo, and got dressed.

The race started at 7am and Andrew and I were sitting in traffic at 6:40 with the start line nowhere in sight so I gave my love a kiss goodbye and hopped out of the van to run to the start (about 2 miles away). Once I got there, I found out that the race had been delayed 15 minutes which gave me time to stretch, take one more Immodium (I took 3 total) and a glug of Gatorade and just generally get my shit together.

The first half was right on pace, maybe even a little too fast in the early miles (mile 5 was 6:09, when it should have been 6:50) and I hit the halfway mark right at 1:30. Then? I felt dizzy and hungry and I knew that if I kept up that pace, then I would get sick or get hurt; I know my body so well. I took a Gu at mile 9 and then again at mile 15, and another one at mile 20. I grabbed Gatorade or water at every single station. Next time, I would definitely eat my 3am bagel 3 hours before the start, not 4.

My pace slowed once I felt dizzy and hungry, down to about a 7:20 pace, but I was okay with it. From that point on I decided to not look at my watch at all, and I didn’t. Not once. I decided to just run with my heart, and I did.

I don’t remember much between miles 15-22 except that it was just me out there, nobody else. It was my moving meditation, my catharsis, my conversion. At mile 22, I realized that I had conserved energy by dialing back so I decided to use the extra gas in the tank to surge ahead. I started passing people (two women, one by one) and I finished strong. I left everything out there, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



(I stole this one from the marathon photos):


If you asked me beforehand how I’d feel about a 3:06 finish, I would have told you that I’d be disappointed, even angry. But I really feel like I ran a smart race, and I pushed my body just enough to leave it all out there but not so much that I would get hurt. When I got back to our hotel, I took the hottest shower ever and I felt the sting of the mark left by my running bra. I saw my rapidly beating heart beneath my empty breasts and I knew I had given my all, my everything. And that’s all I could ever ask for.

We can do all the right things and we can train in all the right ways and then life happens, right? Life happens. But the key word? Life.

Chip time was 3:06:26 which got me 6th place out of 1084 women and third place out of 186 women in my division.

The best part of all was that I got to be close to Andrew all weekend. I am so thankful for his love and support, and for his parents for taking Callum so that we could go away like this.


These were my splits: 6:51, 6:37, 6:41, 6:09, 6:49, 6:42, 6:45, 6:55, 6:52, 6:54, 6:59, 7:13, 7:21, 7:06, 7:11, 7:05, 7:21, 7:31, 7:38, 8:30, 7:37, 7:36, 7:27, 7:21, 7:15, 7:00, 0:15 for the last 0.2

So, that’s it! I’m about to put Callum to bed and go for a shakeout run on the treadmill. I’m still the same Suzy as I’ve always been. CRAZY!

Have you ever been to Seattle?

How many days off of running do you take after a big race?

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Meredith @ cookie chrunicles June 20, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Congrats again! I’m so very proud of you 🙂 I don’t have set rules on shake out runs after a race. Some races I feel fine and some I am more sore. I say do what works !

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 9:21 pm

      Thanks Meredith. I felt super sore when I finished the race but it felt good to run today so I did 7 miles on the treadmill. It was perfect.

  • Helly June 20, 2016, 1:24 pm

    I’m so ridiculously proud of you. I tracked you and screamed and yelled and cheered ♡ and when I saw you finish strong, I knew you’d be okay. Love you girl.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 9:21 pm

      I love YOU HELLY!!!!!! If you need to escape the heat, come up here and visit us again okay? xo

  • Megan @ Meg Go Run June 20, 2016, 3:31 pm

    You definitely ran a smart race. Not only are you an inspiration to me because of your speed, but you are an inspiration they way you listened to your body. Andrew must be so proud of you! Thanks for including your splits, I was curious! I am usually pretty sore after a marathon so I do about 3 days off before I test the waters with a short run… more if something feels wonky. I have never been to Seattle but Paul and I really want to go! We want to do a Seattle/Oregon trip. How close are you to Seattle? If we go out there next summer for vacation maybe we could meet up! If you are not far, that is. To me Canada is far no matter how you slice it!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 9:19 pm

      Meg, we are only 2.5 hours north of Seattle. It would be a CRIME if we didn’t meet up when you came for a visit! I included my splits at the very last second, mostly because I wanted it as a keepsake for myself. I’m glad you appreciated it though. I noticed you wrote a post on the Hanson’s FB page. Your PF is still kicking you in the ass, eh? FUCK.

      • Megan @ Meg Go Run June 21, 2016, 4:54 am

        COOL! Well WHEN we go to Seattle (I just don’t know when that will be) I will let you know! I hate to say my PF is gone because I fear the min I say that it won’t be gone. But it is gone. Knock on wood. I was just wondering what do do about training because I missed ALL of week 5. 🙁 Just jump in at week six???? I’m going out for a run now but not doing speed work that is on the sked. That just seems like a bad idea. I ran easy 6’s on Sat and Sun, then took off Mon or good measure to let things settle in and all is good. Those 6s were HARD! I am going to do 6-8 today depending on how it all feels! Maybe speed on Wed (abbreviated) and tempo Fri.

        • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 21, 2016, 8:31 am

          Yeah I mean it’s early enough that you can just jump into week 6 no problem but if you have flexibility in your schedule then maybe shuffling it around a little is a better idea.

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine June 20, 2016, 4:12 pm

    Wow, you really did amazing! That was so smart to dial it back when you did, and you were still able to finish strong! Im also glad you got a fun weekend away. I would love to visit Seattle one day!
    Congrats on a great race!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 9:17 pm

      Thank you, my dear!

  • Kelly Ens June 20, 2016, 4:44 pm

    that’s pretty freakin’ amazing! wow!!! and so great that you were able to go just with Andrew and enjoy that time together.

    I haven’t been to Seattle in years (except to drive through it last year) but I’d love to go back.

    I don’t race much but because I give so much in my races, I pretty much always take the following day off (though I might at least walk just to be moving and get fresh air).

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 9:17 pm

      Seattle reminds me so much of Vancouver that I forget that I’m there and not here. And yes, moving around the day after a race is the best way to recover! It hurts at first but it really helps!!!

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe June 20, 2016, 5:05 pm

    Perspective, emotion, to the point. Proud of your effort, and just how you should feel. You are still my beasty.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 9:13 pm

      I think by now, at the ripe and sexy age of 38, I should know how to keep perspective, and not get all testosteroney on it all. You’re my beasty too. 10 miles today, eh? NOICE.

  • Amy Lauren June 20, 2016, 7:03 pm

    Congratulations and you are amazing! It is so cool that you ran a smart race, listened to your body, and finished strong. Hooray for passing ladies in the end too- that had to be a huge mental boost. It looks like you and Andrew had a wonderful trip as well and enjoyed Seattle. Don’t blame you at all to take advantage of the kid-free weekend. We are hoping to visit Seattle later this year, too.

    Most of my races are 5Ks. I usually run a long run the next day (because the race is Saturday and Sunday is my usual long run day). After a 10K or half I do a short shakeout (like 3-4 miles) the next day though. Typically if I take a day off post race, it is 2 days after the race because the fatigue always seems to hit me on that Monday.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 20, 2016, 8:41 pm

      Yes, so true. DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). See? I DID learn something from my degree!!!!

  • Allie June 21, 2016, 3:29 am

    First of all you are fast as hell woman!!!! Those pictures are fantastic – just so strong and determined – I love it!!! I also love (probably most) your attitude. Life certainly does happen. It happened all over me at the NYC marathon but, like you, I turned it around and focused on the positive and the love of my family. That means a WIN every damn time. Great, great job out there!!!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 21, 2016, 8:33 am

      Perspective really is EVERYTHING. Thankfulness is key (my dad taught me that). There is always something to be thankful for. Not in a fake happy white knuckling pretending life isn’t shitty way, but a hey my life is shitty and I’ll cry like an amazon woman and break all the blood vessels in my face doing it and then I’ll get up and look around me and focus on the good stuff-type way.

  • Gretchen June 21, 2016, 4:56 am

    Girl you are my hero. You ran such an amazing race and you’re happy with it despite missing your goal. I’m glad that you value your health over hitting a time, and I know that you’ll get that sub 3 when the time is right. You freaking rock.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 21, 2016, 8:30 am

      That’s the truth: That I do value my health over time, when it comes down to it. And maybe you know, I obsessively hit my numbers week after week after week but when it really comes down to it, to making a decision between hitting that number and compromising my quality of life or dialing it back a bit and putting the right things first, I’m really glad I made the healthier choice.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes June 21, 2016, 5:50 am

    Congrats again! A smart race is a huge accomplishment, I am so incredibly proud of you. I had my eyes glued to the tracker the whole time and cheered when I saw each update. I love the photos – so strong and determined – and love your attitude!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 21, 2016, 8:28 am

      I remember running along just before the halfway point and thinking, Laura is getting all mu updates, so I need to keep at this! It really helped me to know you were “watching.” Thank you!

  • kristi June 21, 2016, 9:23 am

    Suzy this is truly my favourite post you have ever written. You killed the run (amazing btw) but your self love and self acceptance is incredibly clear in your post and that is a rare thing to read these days from most bloggers. I love it and find it even more inspiring than if you had gone sub-3. You left it all out there and you know it. High five for being rad.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 21, 2016, 5:29 pm

      Kristi, I read your comment three times. I needed the affirmation, I think. Just because we do and say the right things doesn’t mean we 100% *feel* them, but I did and said the right things with the hope that the feelings would follow and they did, and your comment sealed the deal. Thank you. That really means a lot to me.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets June 22, 2016, 6:59 am

    Yep, you definitely impress me. You did the right thing and you did an amazing job. I’m so glad you got the time with Andrew too.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 22, 2016, 8:15 am

      Thanks Meghan 🙂

  • Nikki @ will run for pizza June 23, 2016, 6:34 am

    You. Rock. Seriously. It’s very inspiring to hear that you ran by feeling and stayed smart about your body. I need to do more runs like that…

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 23, 2016, 2:19 pm

      Nikki, you inspire me too and I’ve never once thought of you as someone who wouldn’t do the exact same thing as me in regards to staying smart about your body.

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