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Skagit Flats Recap

I woke up at 4:30am to Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and immediately chugged a giant glass of water before staggering downstairs to make coffee. Coffee with cream, two mini chocolate bars and a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar is all it took for Poo #1. I drank a big glass of Nuun and had Poo #2. Then I had a shower, got dressed, and woke Andrew up to get ready to go. We scooped up Callum and put him into the warm running van and started driving toward the border at around 6am.

Thankfully Callum stayed asleep until the stupid ass border guy with a big loud booming voice woke him up when he asked us questions about where we were going. He’s all, “You’re going to leave your kid with his dad while you run? Do you trust him for that long?” The border is not the place to be argumentative, but oh the things I wanted to say to that man. Parents can have penises too, dumbass. I know a few mothers that shouldn’t be left alone with their kids.

Callum fell back asleep and we drove to the package pickup without a hitch. I grabbed my stuff (the weirdest race swag EVERRRR) and then we stopped at Starbucks for Poo #3.

We found a parking spot at the start line, got in line for a port-a-potty and squeaked out a pee just in the nick of time to hear the national anthem. But then? I forgot that my gels were still in the van! So I ran back to the van to grab them while I heard the announcer count down to the start, “10-9-8…” I grabbed my gels. “7-6-5…” I slammed the van door shut and started running to the start line. “4-3-2…” I jumped over the ropes and got in line just in time to…drop my gels on the ground while I fumbled around with my headphones and Garmin “1…GO!” And off I went with no gels. ARGHHH.

I was in second place until mile 9 where I decided to surge past the first place woman and earn myself a cyclist escort. Then at about mile 12, some young little blonde thing absolutely fucking BLEW BY ME like Usain Bolt in a kindergarten PE class. At the turn-around point, she smiled and waved at me, gave me the thumbs up and shouted a cheery, “Way to go! Looking goooood!” while I was choking back the burbling puke, dragging my stiff and decrepit legs behind me in a sorry effort to stay in the game.

By about mile 6 I knew I was out for a sub-3. By about mile 14 I knew I was out for a PR. But as far as I knew at that point, I was still in second place with the first woman so far ahead of me that I’d never catch up.

At mile 14 I stopped my music but kept my headphones in and promised myself that I could listen to music again when I hit mile 20. Just before that point, I heard the third place woman’s mother tell her (which helped me figure out that she was literally RIGHT behind me), “Stay on her heels. Don’t let her out of your sight and let her pull you to the finish, and kick it at the end.” It’s all I needed to hear to leave her in the dust.

With each curve in the road, the woman in third place became less of a threat as I put more and more distance between us. I loved that we both fed each other energy during the race, pushing each other to work hard and dig deep.

I finished strong and smiling in 3:09:15 and I’m really happy with how it went.


I loved seeing Andrew and Callum out there and I couldn’t have done it without Andrew’s help. It’s not easy waking up at 5am to look after a toddler out on a race course for that long.

I was rewarded with another bobble head and a $75 gift certificate to the local running store down there!

Have any of you been late for a race start? Or drop gels on the course?

Do you perform better when there’s competition or does the pressure get to you?



{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Helly on the Run September 12, 2016, 10:51 am

    I thought about you all morning!! Congrats on your 2nd place finish and for showing that 3rd place girl who’s boss! You are such a badass my friend. So effing inspiring.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 4:00 pm

      What were you wearing when you were thinking about me?

  • meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) September 12, 2016, 11:53 am

    gosh I love your recaps! you did amazing, I am so proud. i haven’t been late but i have risked the start with the lines for the porta potties! i laugh at what the race gave out, i saw the bobble head on fb lol

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 3:57 pm

      There’s something so endearing about the bobblehead. It’s irresistible.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes September 12, 2016, 12:26 pm

    Congrats on your second place finish and strong race! You are so talented and so inspiring. You look so strong in the last photo!
    Seriously about the border control guy? That makes me embarrassed for my state and country. I’m sorry you had to deal with someone like that and on race morning nonetheless.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 3:57 pm

      Okay, I’m being honest here and I promise not self-deprecating when I say that I am not talented. Running does not come naturally to me. I work hard at it, really hard. I combine obsessive mileage over years of repetition, grit and determination and I literally force my body to cover the distance. If I was truly talented then the amount of running I’ve done surely would have earned me a spot in the field of 2:45 min marathon competitors. BUT THAT’S OKAY. Because it has to be. And because I like beer and chicken wings too much.

  • Allie September 12, 2016, 12:35 pm

    You are a fucking super hero!!!!!! I absolutely love how you left #3 in your dust after her mom tried talking smack! Not even!!!!
    You are such an inspiration!!!!!
    I also love your comment about parents also have penises 🙂 LOL!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 3:55 pm

      My mental strength was on point yesterday. My left quad? Notsomuch.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets September 12, 2016, 2:47 pm

    Three poos in one morning. Now that is impressive. A marathon’s not bad either. 😉

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 3:54 pm

      Well, yeah, but it’s normal that I poo three times. The first poo is like forced, because it’s 4:30 am. It’s a forced poo. The second one is an inevitable poo caused by food and coffee overload. The third poo is a nervous poo. They all serve a purpose. All poos are important.

  • Megan @ Meg Go Run September 12, 2016, 4:17 pm

    3:09 Suzy!!!! So freaking crazy. I am proud of you. Congratulations on second female!! I thought of you all day.

    What types of questions do they normally ask at the border? Are they US border police to get INTO the states and then Canadian police to get back into Canada? Tell me border stories! Blog about it!!!!

    Wait until Trump is president. I bet you won’t be able to drive down here to visit. Don’t worry, I will marry you so you are legal and can run as many races in the US as you want.

    I wish I only had 3 poos. I will poo until the gun goes off. I am so dehydrated before I even start! Actually, I do 3 poos before work.

    I hate pressure!!!! The last half I did I was the second woman until mile 10. The whole time I was first, I hated it… I felt like I should run faster to keep my lead… But no, I stuck to my pace and I stuck to my race plan. I had a time goal and that goal was more important than my placing. Well I didn’t reach my time goal anyway but oh well I TRIED and I didn’t let the girl behind me make me run faster because I really would have shit the bed.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 10:10 pm

      There is so much in this comment to reply to oh my god. The border crossing stories are so inappropriate. I have to message them to you, so remind me to if I forget. But yes, Americans let us into the States and Canadians let us back into Canada.

      I shit a lot too, especially ever since I had my colonoscopy. I just have to think about poo and I have to go.

      I love pressure. I’ll run a faster race if I’m in first than if I’m in second. I think most people like the chase, but I love being the chased.

  • Andrea September 12, 2016, 5:17 pm

    For Rock N Roll Chicago a few years back we hear the start go off and thought we had plenty of time before our coral would go over the start. Nope. Next thing we knew we walked out of porta potties and started jogging over to the start and never stopped running. It was actually kind of nice because we never had any pre-race jitters. Also, I ran start to finish with my doode friend who was running his first half. I hate running races with him. But, because of the wonky start we crossed the start together…. AND the finish together.

    Congrats on your race! You rock. As always!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 12, 2016, 10:07 pm

      I never thought about how I’d have missed the pre-race jitters. That is such a good point. I was so consumed with the national anthem especially on September 11th in the States, right? There is no WAY I would have moved an inch during the anthem, on any day, especially that day. I didn’t write all that in my post. But, yeah. No. Yeah. No.

  • Chris Harms September 13, 2016, 6:08 am

    I left my phone in the vehicle cuz it was so wet, even a few snowflakes- didn’t want to wreck the phone. I was mad though because I go to Canmore for the beauty and now had no camera. Turned out the route went past Jen’s car- score! Great pics, security blanket – map, watch, SO tool all in one. Was nearly late though. Peaches, yogurt & granola after a lovely time on the can. Such a good run. Next time shooting for a PR.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 13, 2016, 7:37 am

      The route sounds absolutely stunning. I am so glad you were able to run past Jen’s car and get some pictures!!! Are they on Facebook? I should check them out!

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe September 13, 2016, 10:17 am

    Let’s put it this way: you 100% ran you best race with everything going on. Most people would have crumbled completely, and you still brought it. Was it your sub 3? No. But was it subpar? Absolutely not.

    On the subject of poo, I pooed before my race and then took an immodium and pooed on course. I was very happy with that.

    And was the border guy American? That explains it.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 14, 2016, 6:55 am

      Aww, thanks Susie. You’re the best. I took an Immodium before the race too (I always do, but I forgot to mention it this time). I’m so glad you had such a successful race last weekend too! And yes the border guy was American.

  • Ange // Cowgirl Runs September 13, 2016, 1:33 pm

    DAMN gurl, way to go!!!!
    I hope you found some fuel on course??

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 14, 2016, 6:54 am

      Yes, they handed out Gu gels a couple of times on the course, thank goodness. I had two: one at mile 10 and one at mile 16.

  • Gretchen September 13, 2016, 4:12 pm

    You are amazing Suzy! Why can’t I be more like you? You absolutely crushed that race!! I have to say that I’ve luckily never been late for a race, mostly because I’m a freak about time and usually get there 2-3 hours before it starts or I get super anxious. If I went through everything you did before the race, I probably would have been like F IT and just gone home!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 14, 2016, 6:53 am

      We were so relaxed leading up to the whole thing. There weren’t a lot of people, the lines to the poopers weren’t long, and then all of a sudden everything happened! It was a bit nuts.

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine September 14, 2016, 8:26 am

    Wow, what an amazing job! I would be SO stressed if I dropped my gels and also if I knew someone was on my heels. Glad that it was able to drive you to finish strong. Congrats!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 14, 2016, 10:02 am

      For some reason, the stress helps me! Adrenalin, or something?

  • jade September 14, 2016, 12:09 pm

    Fantastic race!! I ran Skagit Flats in 2008, I’m also Canadian and flew there, and back then they did not give out bobble heads 🙁 I like to get to start lines as close to the start as possible, like within 10 minutes because I hate waiting…a couple of times I was running to get there as they were counting down the seconds.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com September 14, 2016, 12:47 pm

      Oh good–I’m glad I’m not the only one. There’s nothing worse that standing in a group of a bunch of runners at 6:30 am smelling all the hot nervous farts. NO THANK YOU.

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