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Sub-4, No Bust

I had this great post all ready to go but something else came up. I wanted to keep to the treadmill this week because it’s safe and predictable–something I really need during race week. Speaking of safe and predictable, I made sure that starting today, Andrew and I stay away from vegetables, spicy shit, things we don’t usually eat, you know, stuff that would mess up our digestive systems. I learned the hard way during colonoscopy prep that food stays in our bodies a lot longer than we think. Just because you see in your poo what you ate three hours prior doesn’t mean that there aren’t remnants of that cheese and broccoli quiche you murdered a week ago. So plain carbs it is and so it will stay until three hours and fifty-nine minutes after the start of that motherfucker on Sunday morning! I am SO EXCITED.


The treadmill. I wanted to stick with it but something happened inside of me today and it wasn’t just the quiche. It was passion. It was desire. And they told me to bust out of here and rip into the streets for my ten miler and twist the heads off of every civilian I passed. I ended up doing six 400m repeats at 5K race pace or less (6:07 min/miles with my fastest interval at 5:55 min/mile).

In the end though? It’s not this stupid 5K that I’m most excited for, no. It’s Andrew’s marathon. Because five weeks ago he was on deck for a 3:45 marathon, but after pneumonia and a busted up back? Honestly? It’s sketch. It’s fucking sketch. But this man has spirit and I know from having had lined up beside some serious crazy ass motherfuckers at the start of ultramarathons that the human spirit is hard to break. You can train like a Type-A and shit the bed on race day, or you can shit the bed in your training and then hit it out of the park when it matters. The only variable is the strength of your will, your spirit, and it’s usually measured by the amount of tattooed real estate you’ve got on your body. It’s kinda true. It really is. I don’t know if I have any ultra runners that read my bullshit but if they do, if they are right now, they’re nodding. There is more ink at the start of an ultra than there is during a Harley Davidson parade.


Long distance runners look so cute in their tiny little shorts, don’t they? Their svelte bodies sashaying around in their annoying skinny jeans. Right? How sweet. How cute. But come race day, their super human strength busts through it all and they eat NFL players for a post-race recovery snack. Protein, yo.


We leave at 5:30 am on Friday morning, and on Monday we will come back as sub-4 hour marathoners.

Have you ever run an ultra marathon? What’s up with the tattoos? Is it because we’re all divorced angry people with serious emotional issues? LOLOL!

Tell me how you feel right now. Let it out. LET IT OUT.

This question is for Lisa, because she’s my most sensible, mature reader, I think. That’s okay to say, right? Lisa, or anyone else who feels sensible and mature right now, which foods do you stay away from on the days leading up to race day?

Lisa is a saucy minx. Don’t even let her fool you. <3 I adore her. She’s been so loyal for so long. When I had zero readers and zero commenters, she would show up here day in and day out and give me props.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • Helly on the Run January 13, 2016, 7:19 pm

    I need some more of that no bullshit, get ‘er done mentality. I had it post baby when I was first coming back and then somewhere along the way it fizzled. This post got me pumped up!! Can’t wait to see you both!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 13, 2016, 7:37 pm

      Two things help me get fired back up: stress, and music. Combine the two and I’m an animal out there on the road gobbling up dots like Pacman.

  • Lorrie January 13, 2016, 9:02 pm

    Y’all are gonna rock it, can’t wait to read the post race blog…only thing I can say is steer clear of likeyourmamamakesit Indian and Mexican, that and sriracha shots, oh and jalepenos straight outta the jar, and tequila, no tequila, embrace the Crown, you’d think I would learn…nope, don’t, something about the post race burn? I dunno

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 13, 2016, 10:18 pm

      NOOOOO tequila. Ha ha! Jalepenos?! My bum would be on fire! I always take Immodium before I race. Always. Otherwise it’s just not pretty.

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine January 14, 2016, 2:01 am

    HA! Aw your the best!:) I have no idea if I am sensible and mature but I guess I try. As for your question…I just try to stick to what I usually eat but focus on more carbs and less fiber. If Im eating out I avoid anything greasy. I think its an individual thing, like I can eat salad the day before a race but Im sure others can’t. I avoid nuts and dairy because those could potentially mess with my stomach. I hope that helps a little! So excited that race day is almost here!!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:53 am

      Oh, you’ve definitely got a mischievous sparkle in those eyes. I’ve seen those huge wine glasses all filled up to the top. Ha ha ha! Oh, I forgot about nuts. Totally forgot. I’m glad you reminded me to stay away from those!

  • Megan @ Meg Go Run January 14, 2016, 3:10 am

    YEAH!!! I can certainly concur that things can go either way on race day no matter how you trained! I wonder if we can track you guys??? I ran ultras in a past life but no tattoos!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:51 am

      I actually thought of you when I made the generalized statement of how ultra runners have tattoos. Because I know you don’t and I know you ran them. So, I’m sorry. It’s douchey to generalize. And yeah I’m going to figure out how you can track us. I’ll post it on FB.

      • Megan @ Meg Go Run January 14, 2016, 2:32 pm

        That is a pretty harmless generalization! At the race I did w/ my dad and his friends on 1/2, his friend at some point took his pants off to reveal shorts. I glanced over and thought he had mud all over his legs but no, it was that his legs were COVERED with tattoos! He also had a beard you could tie with a knot. 🙂

        • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 5:08 pm

          I saw that guy in the race photos! He and your dad look awesome, for what it’s worth. They’d be so cool to run with.

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe January 14, 2016, 4:25 am

    Taper off of high fiber foods, cook your vegetables, and don’t go crazy on carbs the night before but build them up through the week. I eat less as the day goes on the day before.
    Andrew is going to kill it, or go down trying. We all know this.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:50 am

      HA HA! So true. We do all know this and I love it.

  • Gretchen | Gretchruns January 14, 2016, 5:00 am

    I’m feeling very conflicted right now. Yesterday was the drawing for the Powerball Mega Millions (big lottery if you’re unaware…the jackpot was over a billion dollars) and I really thought I would win something..just a million would be nice. But NO- nothing. So I’m heading to work and reach in my jacket pocket and find $7 in there! So in a way I feel like I did win the lottery, and treated myself to a coffee at my favorite place (had to get it black because of the freaking whole30 but it’s still a treat!). And that is story time with Gretch.

    SOooo excited for Andrew’s race! Even though the last portion didn’t go as planned, he’s a true fighter like you said and can do anything! Rah rah Andrew!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:50 am

      I love story time with Gretch! I love Gretch! Okay and deary, if I get Andrew in under 4, then it’s your turn next. Boom.

  • Heather @ShoesRun50 January 14, 2016, 5:59 am

    Andrew has that sub 4 in the bag. I had a pretty similar lead up of training to my marathon, at least in terms of long runs. My half marathon 4 weeks out was 1:42, which I think points to 3:45 shape, had things gone to plan. Like I said earlier this week, I still managed 3:59. Go Andrew! You’ve got this!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:49 am

      I read this out to him. Your comments have been the most reassuring just because of your experience with injury, long tapers, etc, so thank you SO MUCH for writing in.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes January 14, 2016, 6:53 am

    You rekindle my feistier, no-bull-shit side that I kinda squashed down for a few years (let’s just say I can be too smart, stubborn, and no-bull-shit for my own good). Blog posts of yours like this are a true fight song, Suzy – I love them.
    Go Andrew! You two both have this. The human spirit is really what divides achievers from those who fall short – running is 90% mental, and how bad you want it matters just as much, if not more, than a perfect training cycle. I’m going to be creeping on your race times as best I can from London – best of luck!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:48 am

      Oh that’s right! You’re in London! SO COOL. Okay, I’m going to try and figure out if we can be tracked. I’ll post it on Facebook.

  • Erin@BeetsPerMinute January 14, 2016, 7:09 am

    The most I’ve ever done is a half marathon. I have so much admiration for distance runners. It’s tough stuff and you’re so right, there are lots of people who really shine when they hit the race course. Good luck!! <3

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:47 am

      Thanks Erin! You know, distance is tough and everything but it’s a different type of tough. I find it much more tolerable than a 5K. Honestly. I’m running the 5 on Saturday and I’m scared shitless. It’s so intense! And every step counts! AHHHH!!!

  • Heather@hungryforbalance January 14, 2016, 10:19 am

    GOOD LUCK! Not that you guys need it!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 10:46 am

      Thank youuuuuu! Getting so excited.

  • Allison January 14, 2016, 11:27 am

    I’m not Lisa, but this girl has the tendency to crap her pants. I check the fiber content on everything days out from a race, and I don’t eat anything with fiber. Trust me, I can still drop a deuce before my race – nooooo problem.

    GOOD LUCK ANDREW!!! Ugh, sorry about the pneumonia and back injury. I missed a shit storm here, too apparently. He’ll still kick ass though!!!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 5:12 pm

      I’ve only crapped my pants twice ever, but not while I was running. When I had poo trouble during a run, I always manage to find a spot to poop, and some miscellaneous thing to wipe with. I’ve been quite blessed. LOL

  • Maddie January 14, 2016, 1:13 pm

    So excited for Andrew!!!! You’re such a good coach/motivator/wifey! Right now I feel like I really don’t want to be at work anymore and I just want to go home and lay on the couch and watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns… but I just read your blog instead because you’re way more entertaining! I have serious problems “avoiding” foods. Anything that I say I will avoid I just want 1000x more, so I try not to rule anything out.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 5:10 pm

      Oh me too. I’m like a terrier with a tennis ball anytime I start blacklisting food. As soon as it’s blacklisted, I fixate on it.

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 14, 2016, 1:13 pm

    I’m feeling pretty good right now, thanks for asking 😉 A little tired and hungry, but that’s probably just the afternoon slumps talking. And your feisty badass-ness is making me want to you outside and kill a run. Bonus badass points for me because it’s snowing?! GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND!!!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 14, 2016, 5:09 pm

      Thanks Amanda! And you’re right—you wouldn’t catch ME running in the snow! I’d retract all my tough talk, put on a pink frilly number and curl up into the fetal position if I had to run in the snow.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets January 16, 2016, 10:21 am

    Oh lord, I hope that wasn’t my quiche. 🙂

    I’m super pumped for you, especially after you reading this. You got me all jacked up and just when I was about to take a siesta too.


    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com January 16, 2016, 4:31 pm

      SO EXCITED! Well, I’m on my second glass of wine, so there’s that. And Andrew is lying on the hotel bed in his underwear and he looks super hunky, so there’s that too. But this race is going to be so great.

  • Chris June 17, 2016, 6:00 am

    Just came across this totally by chance, and read the post and in particular the bit that states ‘You can shit the bed on race day and then hit it out the park when it matters’ and had to laugh and nod my head enthusiastically. Because a few months ago I was in Malaysia about to do a 15k charity run while on my holidays, and 24 hours before the event I came down with a bug that made every possible solid part of my body turn into liquid and then violently break out of it. To cut a long story short, the next day I was up at 5am for a 7am race start (it gets hot and humid there early) after only 3 hours sleep and i hit a respectable 1hr 15 mins finish time and had the most fun event ever doing it too. I really shouldn’t have run and was advised against it and was pretty much bedbound (and toilet bound) the entire day before, but there’s something to be said for feeling like shit before race day and then just going for it anyway and doing better than you ought to.

    Oh, and the link between heavy ink and ultra-runners? You could be onto something! I mainly run HMs and occasional marathons so can’t comment about ultra events, but I can say that the growing sight of full sleeves and back work at my events is definitely there (and I’m fully sleeved myself). I consider running to be punk rock in its ethos, and so heavy ink on any long distance runner would make sense in my eyes tbh 🙂

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com June 17, 2016, 12:25 pm

      WELCOME TO THE INSANITY, CHRIS!!!! And I’m so glad you know what I’m talking about when I say that anything can happen on race day. Woohoo!

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