Here's to a new year!

I’m not going to sit here and go into great detail about how much my life changed this past year. I think you pretty much all know the logistics.

A recap in a nutshell…I quit drinking, I started running again and I’m down 70 lbs.

2014 has been an amazing year for my personally. Lately I've been refelcting a bit on these past 10 months and I am just taken back. I really can't believe how much I have changed, and I don't just mean my physical appearance, but just overall in these past 10 months. I can't credit it all to my sobriety or my weight loss, but just an overall growth as an individual. If you had asked me this time last year if I thought I would be where I am today I would've said not a chance...but here I am!
But this year has also come with its fair share of struggles. How I’ve managed to stay sober through some of them still astounds me, but it’s all made me that much stronger. I’m thankful every day for the gifts of health & happiness that I have given myself (jesus, this sounds like a Hallmark card), a loving husband & stepson, beautiful fur-babies and an amazing support system not only with people I see in person on a regular basis, but also here online…YOU!
I’m thankful for all the messages, emails, and comments that I receive (& I am the absolute WORST on responding…I really need to work on that). I am thankful that many of you are willing to take this ride with me AGAIN. I am thankful that you read my angry, depressed, (most likely I was almost drunk) blog posts and that you now read my sober, maybe a bit less funny (but I think I’m hilarious sober so…) but definitely not as depressing ones. J

I’ve been quiet this month because I’ve had a case of writer’s block.  But I just wanted to end the year here by saying “Thank you!”  And by offering a bit of advice…

2015…the beginning of a new year. A new start. A new chance. A rebirth if you will. All around us there are reminders that this is the time to START FRESH! START NEW! Clean slate! People make their resolution lists…everyone wants pretty much the same thing…to be healthier, to be richer, to be kinder, more organized, more conscious, more green, more loving.

Personally I am not a resolutions kind of gal. Sure, I like to have some goals to work on. But some of the goals we set for ourselves are so broad that we are almost just setting ourselves up for defeat.

You want to be healthier? OK…how? You can’t just say “well I’m going to lose weight!”…HOW are you going to lose weight? Join a program…cut out junk foods…adding 3 servings of vegetables a day in…what is your plan?

You want to save $$ & become wealthier? OK…how? Do you have a set dollar amount that you are going to put away each week? Do you have a good place to store such funds? Do you actually HAVE the funds to do this? Where can you cut and where can you take? Is the money you are making now doable?

It’s so easy to say “It’s January 1st! It’s a fresh start!”…it’s the follow through that sometimes isn’t so easy. Especially when there is so much pressure around us to feel like we *have* to start new on January 1st.

I didn’t quit drinking until February 16th. I knew around the holiday season that I had to stop drinking…but I didn’t. The New Year came and I thought that it would be a great time to quit drinking and get back on plan…but I didn’t. I tried the getting back on plan part. I went back to a local Weight Watchers meeting but was not comfortable there, so again I stopped going.

It wasn’t January 1st… it was February 16th that I got my shit together.
So I guess the point that I am trying to make is that I hope you don’t feel pressured to make any huge life changes just because it’s a new year. You can change your life and the choices that you make in it any damn day of the week. It can be today, tomorrow, or two months from now. Though sooner is always better than later of course, but don’t beat yourself up if your “new fresh start” doesn’t happen or quickly dissolves…it happens.

Keep your goals attainable…like you want to run a 5K by April, lose 10 by March, send 1 snail mail/email to a friend per week, put $3 a week away…pin-point, checkable goals.  

And maybe 2015 is just a continuation of awesomeness that you hope to carry on from 2014. That’s kind of where I am at. I hope to continue my sobriety daily, continue to track my food and watch what I eat so I can get back to my goal weight, and I have signed up for Marathon #2 in October. I’d also like to finally be able to do a pushup. I’ve been doing planks almost daily for about a month now so we will see. This pushup thing has been on my list for a while but I never seem to do it. Maybe I’ll work on that this year.

I am wishing all of you a very happy New Year!! I am so excited to see what 2015 will bring for not only myself but for all of you as well. I feel so blessed to have so many of you by my side. If you go out on New Year’s Eve please be safe!! 
Here is to a happy & healthy 2015!! 

Train how you want to train

This week started the training for the Lake Effect Half Marathon (I will have more about this race and the cause I am running for next week!). I’m pretty sure that I have mentioned before about my hatred of training plans. See, I always think they are good idea. I mean they look good on paper and stuff. But then something happens and I miss this day, or miss that day, and POOF…training plan is no longer being followed.

That may very well end up being the same case here. But I am trying not to do that. I am *trying* to be good and stick to it. And one of the ways I made sure of that is to modify it to MY liking!

Thanks to everyone's awesome & super sweet comments on Social Media, I am never taking this jacket off again
& all pictures from here on out will be in this public bathroom.
Here’s what I got going on in my head when it comes to training plans…*I* am the one running!! Not you, not her, not him…ME!! I am the one going out there and putting in the miles. I am the one showing up on race day and crossing that starting line and (hopefully) that finish line. I am choosing whether to run for a PR or to just run for fun or to just run and hope not to keel over and die. SO therefore I would like my training plan to be a reflection of what I enjoy about running. I want it to be something that I know I will most likely stick to. There are so many elements in certain training plans that just drive me nuts and they are not to my interest. And I’m not paid to run…so why do something with running that I don’t like to do? Running is for my health & enjoyment…not to be forced into.

Training plan says- 2 X 200 then 4 splits of 10/3 then take that and circle it around for the 40X400. 
Suzi Says- I’m sorry…did you say banana split??

Training plan says- Tuesday: Fartlek run
Suzi Says- Heeheehee…you said FART!!

Training plan says- HILLS!! RUN ALL THE HILLS!!
Suzi Says- Awwwww HELL NAH!! Suzi don’t do no hills. Nope.

Training plan says- Cross Train
Suzi Says- I don’t know our local train schedule. And crossing an oncoming train sounds kinda dangerous, dontcha think?!

Training plan says- 1 rest day
Suzi Says- Awww, you’re cute!! Byebye training plan! 

But Suzi…you are not challenging yourself! But Suzi…you won’t have a great race without a great training plan! But Suzi…training isn’t supposed to be fun! But only get out what you put in!

But…NOTHING!! Look, many of you know that I am pretty good at challenging myself & striving to make myself better. I get it that certain types of runs and workouts will make me a better runner…I get that. I really do! But that doesn’t mean I HAVE to do them. I like to have a guideline...a flow that I can go with and can make changes to. I can still run great races, chase and set new PR's with the kind of plans that I follow. I have done it before and I will do it again! 

My training plan is based off of the Hal Higdon novice ½ marathonplan. I picked novice 1 because while even though I have run a bunch of half marathons (one just this past October) and have even ran a marathon, I am still adjusting to being a runner again. My progress is going a little slower this time so I wanted something with the flexibility to amp it up but not the pressure.

How did I make it my own? Well first off…I took out one of the running days. It calls for one day of the week to have a 2 or 3 mile run or cross. I took that out and added a day of rest. Actually I have 2 days of rest in there, with a possible 3rd. I have always been a 3-4 days a week kind of gal when it comes to running. I have zero desire to run every single day. By having an option to add another day of running leaves me more in favor of ADDING a day of running instead of subtracting a day. I have a cross training day in there and I have a stretch/strengthen (aka Yoga) day in there.  

Yes, my training plan has 3 definite days of running with a possible forth. *I* like this…*I* want it like this…*I* am the one running. I run Mondays, Wednesdays and my long runs will be on Saturdays. I like that. I can definitely do that. That is feasible for me. And there is much room to add in another run or workout without it feeling like a job.

This is how I train. This works for me. That doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, but who knows! Don’t feel like you have to follow some strict crazy plan if that isn’t your personality. I've tried really detailed plans before and I always drop them. I don't like them and I don't have to like them. Some people need that structure. They need that kind of plan to stay disciplined, and that is great….for them. Remember, this is *your* journey…your race…your run. It doesn’t have to look like others. The only one it should be benefiting is YOU. Unless you are getting paid to run you should be trying to make this as fun as you possibly can because lets face it...the only real fun parts about running are the parts where you get to eat lots of carbs and wear a medal.

So who else is starting a training plan soon? Who wants to start a bet going on how soon I quit this training plan and just run whenever I feel like it?

My plate is GREAT!

As a member I always hated the Weight Watchers “Great Plate” week. If I am being 100% honest here (and I always am) it is literally my most hated topic in the history of topics. 

The great plate…a way to manage and control your thanksgiving meal. That's all fine and dandy but really it would be nice if we could just relax. 

My plate is greater. Why? Because I will put whatever the hell I want and however much I want on my plate.

Listen, I am not saying go balls to wall here. I am not saying to grab the pan full of stuffing and RUN! I am not saying when someone asks you “would you like a piece of pie?” you say “no, I want the whole damn pie!” What I am saying is…this is a holiDAY. It is ONE day. A single date.

I don’t know about you but I am pretty damn good most days of the week. I track all of my food. I plan out my meals and snacks. I save my weekly points and earn up extra activity for special occasions that will be requiring eating food. I try to make up for when I have garbage days. I am pretty obedient with my eating. So guess what?? I give myself a f%*king break on the holidays. I do not deprive myself of anything. I don’t put anything “off limits”. Hell, I even get a second helping if I want.  And you know what this allows me to do?? Eat without guilt and ENJOY my meal. And you know what that enables?? Control.

I don’t go absolutely insane. And if I do have that 3rd helping of mashed potatoes (seriously…potatoes…seriously) SO WHAT?!?! It’s not like I go all crazy and eat everything on site just because I’ve decided not to follow some stupid plate or Thanksgiving guideline. I mean holy shit, have we become so obsessed with sticking to plan that we forgot to relax sometimes?! You gotta relax, man. I speak from experience when I say that being that strict and not letting yourself enjoy something as simple as a single.freaking.meal will do your mind AND body absolutely NO good!!

To quote my boy Eric (many of you know him @TheMochnacz )“I think Thanksgiving is truly the one holiday that is about food. And I just don’t think you can happy sitting at that table with your family munching on rabbit food. And if you deprive yourself of all the stuff you want on the big day then you know you would angrily be eating all those leftovers until New Years. It will be a holiday shame spiral!”

I hit my goal and became a Weight Watchers Lifetime member right in the timeline of Thanksgiving to Christmas…I didn’t go crazy and not enjoy the holidays. I did exactly what I do today….enjoy the day. Thanksgiving isn't an eating contest yet we treat it like it is so therefore we put all these strict guidelines one ourselves that really are not that necessary. 

The holiday shame Eric said, not only are you opening the door to possibly having an all out regret fest with food, but by not allowing yourself to take it easy & enjoy some treats you are also opening the door to guilt & shame that can follow & consume you from here till New Years. Don't allow that to happen! Be easy and forgiving on yourself. 

Things I do that ease any guilty that might come along…I always go out for a run in the morning. I have always gone out by myself for a run to help me clear my mind and prepare myself for the day ahead. I reflect on what I am thankful for, and I get to earn some activity points while doing so. I also bring a “safe dish”…usually a side dish that I know the exact points for and is healthy for me to pig out on if I feel the need to. Also, because I indulge in a lot of mash potatoes (Seriously….potatoes) and I basically like to drown them in gravy, I bring my own jar of fat free gravy. No one is offended (and even if they are too bad) and the taste is pretty much just as good.  And yes, I usually do track my points but not always and not everything. And sometimes I just track “100 – Thanksgiving” and call it a freaking day. Maybe it’s way over, maybe it’s way under…either way I’ve tracked, accepted and enjoyed. For those who do want to strictly track their Points then you should check out my girl Dani's Thanksgiving cheat sheet

Just remember that it is a holiDAY not a holiWEEK!! Take it easy on yourself and just remember that YOU are in control of your meal. 

Have a very safe and happy Thanksgiving!! XO

I will be me...

I like McDonalds. I am obsessed with their grilled southwest chicken salad. And their French fries are basically my kryptonite. I even have a phone case that is a mock up of their French fries. I don’t care what people say about them. I don’t care what is “really in them” blah, blah, blah.

I’m a runner but I don’t need to look like one 24/7. I can wear high heels more than I wear running sneakers. I’m still a runner. I can wear clothes other than race t-shirts and running capris. I’m still a runner.

I do not have to give two flying fucks about crossfit. (Sorry to my Crossfit friends)

I do not have to care if my food is organic or not. I don’t have to care about Gluten if I don’t want to (and for the record, I don’t).

I do not have to try Beachbody or Wrap my body up like a mummy…just like you don’t have to care about Weight Watchers.

I don’t have to “stay out of bars” if I want to stay sober. I am a grown ass woman and I can put myself into any situation I want. I know what I can handle. I know what a temptation is & I know when I need to avoid it & when I’m ok with dealing with it. This is my battle, not yours.

I don’t have to pretend to like certain brands because like 99% of my friends on Twitter like that brand.  I mean seriously…I almost vomited trying to consume those things! They are NOT practical!

I don’t have to be an “ambassador” of something in order for my blog and my views to be relevant.

I don’t need to be anything but me. Take it or leave. Love it or hate it. I will be me and you will be you and that is what makes all of this so inspiring. Sometimes I get opened up to something that I didn’t think I cared about before, and vice versa. I don’t judge anyone for taking a different path on their journey…I respect it and commend it. It inspires me to take MY path, and in turn I hope that inspires you to take yours.

Now cue the beat...

The Burn

Sunday I did something that was a first for me…I ran TWO races in the same day. It was The Burn Run 5K and 10K.

2 races. 2 medals. 2 starting lines. 2 finish lines.

I was pretty excited going into it. The day before at Fleet Feet I got to do some shopping thanks to a wonderful and very generous blog reader who gifted me with a gift card that allowed me to get some much needed running essentials that I just don’t have the $$ to ever get.  I was able to buy some good gear that will allow to me get out and run in the cold weather. I was pretty pumped. Buying running gear & picking up a race bib…I felt like a real runner again, lol.
Thank you again with all my heart to the wonderful person who allowed me to get these gifts. XO
But race morning I woke up in not the best condition. I have been fighting a cold all week in hopes that I would not get sick for this race. Unfortunately I woke up with some awful sinuses that morning. I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't have any energy and was just BLAH all over.

Then my friend Mary had text me in the morning asking if she could run with me. Of course I said “Yes!” I have never ran a race with anyone but I do know that I have loved running with all of my Lake Effect friends (& she is one of them). I could have really used the boost and I could tell that she could as well. I warned her about my not feeling well and that I still run slowly as a snail so if she ever wanted to break away to go right ahead. I am always fearful of holding others back. But she reassured me that she just wanted the company and the support to stay out there. Well…we ended up needing each other. Me more than her maybe.

This race was much harder than I had anticipated...not just physically but more so mentally.

I couldn't get out of my head. I started out a little fast in the 5K and I think the struggle that came with trying to keep up with that kind of just got to me. I was ready to run, but I wasn't ready to fight. I wasn't in the mood to battle, physically or mentally. When the 5K was done I was seriously contemplating being done with running that day. I thought to myself “I’m not losing any $$ by not doing the 10K. All I am losing is a medal…and oh yeah, my dignity…and giving up on myself, AGAIN, and in front of all of my friends.” I did *NOT* want to run that 10K. I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to run. I didn't want to walk. I wanted to just quit Sunday all together.
But I got my ass to the 10K starting line, because I promised Mary that I would run with her. And because I promised myself. I wasn't absolutely in pain or so sick that I couldn't breathe so I really had no great excuse to get myself out of it.

When we started the 10K a friend of Mary’s named Heidi came up & asked if she could run with us. She ran the 5K hard and was just looking for a nice 10K. At first I was scared, because again, I didn't want to hold anyone up. But she insisted that she didn't care as long as we kept moving forward. Having her there was great. And since my breathing was so erratic thanks to my cold/sinuses it was awesome having her and Mary there to chat so I could try to focus my attention to their conversation since I couldn't participate in talking too well. (I swear I promise to be a better communicator next time, lol.)

I think I definitely hit a semi-wall at one point. And if it wasn't for Mary & Heidi being there to distract me with their conversation I would have most definitely stopped completely. When we passed the firehouse where we were all parked & was a little less than the ½ way mark,  I had contemplated over and over again in my head about whether or not I should just quit and go back to my car. I wanted to stop so badly. I was done. But I couldn't leave my friends…I couldn't do that to myself.

I had to stop and walk a lot. I was hurting. The physical pain was real. It was really real. I kept apologizing and then I felt bad about apologizing so I would apologize for that. I thought at one point that Heidi was going to slap me, LOL. I wouldn't have blamed her. I wanted to hit myself too. But I thought going all “Fight Club” in the middle of a race would really bring some unwanted attention my way.

I finished though!! I couldn't have done it without my girl Mary or Heidi there by my side and we all finished together. 2:06:47 was my combined time for both races (it was a gun start). It was fight from the start to the end and every bit in between. But I never quit. I never gave up.
What in the hell is with my hair?! How long did I walk around with my hair like that?!?!
At least there are TWO MEDALS around my neck to distract your eyes away from it ;)
I can’t do too much about the mental condition that I was in. That happens. It’s not the first time and it certainly won’t be the last. But I overcame that. I powered through the negativity that was in my brain:

{I’m holding these ladies back….why am I so slow still…why can’t I run like I used to…I’m still so overweight…why do I have to keep stopping…why can’t I breathe…why do I suck…they are just taking pity on me…I'm hurting because I'm too fat...I’m not part of this group, they just feel bad for me…I suck}

Yup…I am always successful at being my own worst enemy. The thoughts didn't stop as soon as my feet did. Honestly I am still on a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. But the high of finishing that race and knowing that I never gave up...that I never quit...well that negates any of those awful thoughts that I had. 

One thing that I CAN do something about though is my physical condition. Fact is…I need to stop hoping on miracles when it comes to larger races. I need to stop pulling a rabbit out of hat and hoping I can finish. I've always done this. Even when I was running faster I wasn't really training properly. How I managed to run my very first marathon in just under 6 hours is still hard for me to believe. I need to train. And training to me right now has been running 2-3 miles twice a week with a kind of but not really long run on the weekend. Now I've always been a 3-4 days a week run kind of gal. It’s not really that which I am disputing. It’s the effort. I could do longer distances during the week. I could keep increasing my long run on the weekend instead of the cap off at the usual 6 miles. I could add in sprints and intervals (just don't start putting math in there because that's when I lose any & all interest). 

I can’t expect to get any faster or be properly conditioned for these longer runs if I don’t put in the work. Just like how I put the work into losing weight by tracking my food, counting my Points, measuring my portions, I have to have to put in the work on my running if I want to get back to those not so hard 9-10 minute miles and an easy, breezy, beautiful 6 miles.

By not conditioning myself physically I am hurting myself mentally as well. My next big race is the Lake Effect Half Marathon. My focus and work will be put into that race. And it is time that I try to follow some sort of training plan. Time to start working on bettering my pace from what it is now instead of just wishing it to be what it once was. 

I've seen what my body can do without the training…I think I can amaze myself if I see what it could do with the training. 

*Want to send a quick thank you to all of the directors, organizers and volunteers who were part of The Burn Run, It was a great race and the medals are SWEET!! I will definitely be back next year.

**And another extra special thank you to all of the Lake Effect crew. Having you guys there was incredible. You guys really have changed running for me (in a really good way).

***And an extra, extra special thank you to Mary. I am so thankful to have you as a friend and to have had you by my side yesterday and any day. XO

Eat, eat, eat!

I seem to have this problem lately...
I can’t stop wanting to eat like… ALL. THE. TIME.
It’s all I want to do. Eat. Eat. Eat. All the live long day.
When I am done eating all I can think about is “what I will eat next?”
Even when I am eating I am thinking about eating.  (And I don’t just mean making sure that I don’t chew my tongue off or something)
I'm thinking about eating even as I type this. (Maybe I *am* eating as I type this. It's my blog so I don't have to tell you if I don't want to! ;P )
I want to eat till I am obnoxiously full. I want to eat until I am stuffed.
I want to eat until I can eat no more.
But I don’t.
So I just sit here and try to control my damn self.
I try not to think about lunch while I’m eating breakfast.
I try to tell myself to slow down, put the electronics away and enjoy & savor my food. (I’m a bad girl at this)
I try to tell myself that when I am done with that meal that I AM DONE WITH THAT MEAL.
I try to tell myself that I am content and that feeling content is better than feeling stuffed.

I find something else to do.
I chew gum.
I look at my Weight Watchers E-Tools app and see my points for the day dwindling down.
I get on my iPad and look at food, pretend I am eating it, lick the screen & drool.
I go for a run or workout. (Not gonna lie…this option doesn't happen often, LOL)
I have a cup of coffee.
I snack on some veggies or fruits.

I try. I try my best to not making eating a sport. Now you might say I am not eating enough (not true) or that I am not eating the right stuff (kind of true) but really it is just the plain and simple fact that like anyone with food issues, or addictions issues or any kind really, that you will have moments where the cravings are intense. Sometimes they last minutes, sometimes days, sometimes weeks.
So I am just putting this out there...that lately I just want to eat all the damn time! 

What do you do to keep from becoming an eating machine when the hunger monster is chasing you?

Happy Soberween!!

As most of you know, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Every year I have certain things I do that day…cook certain foods, watch certain movies. I even take the day off of work. Yes, I use a vacation day for Halloween because in my book it is indeed a Holiday.

One of the traditions I have always done as an adult on Halloween is drink wine all day. It was probably the one day of the year where I would drink wine at a slow pace, lol. I would sip on wine throughout the day as I would cook and get dressed up. Then at night I would break out the Transylvania (which is now from a vineyard in California so it kind of lost its street cred) wine and drink that. Of course once that bottle was gone (and that bottle didn't last too long) I would switch over to delicious IPA beers. Even our neighbors would come over and “trick or treat” with beer for us.

Obviously this is a tradition that will NOT be happening this year.

I've made is threw a lot of “occasions” in my sobriety…an open bar family event, a Dave Matthews Concert, our 1 year wedding anniversary, summer in general, my birthday, running a half marathon celebration…a lot of these event’s I thought would be extremely difficult, and some of them were, and I know Halloween will be as well.

But I will do what I have been doing and that is setting myself up for success

I will make sure to have plenty of delicious sparkly water on hand. And to carry on the “wine” tradition I will pick up a bottle of some non-alcoholic wine. I’ve had non-alcoholic wine a few times before and it’s not that bad! I know that there are some who must steer clear of it because it is a trigger for them, but that is not really the case for me. Non-alcoholic beer however can be a trigger (since beer was really my poison) so I do not really consume that. I’ve had it twice while out on a lunch date with the hubby…it’s not awful, but it’s not good, and the taste just leaves me wanting more and set’s off that urge so I steer clear of it if I can.

I will pull out a fancy Halloween drinking glass or goblet and enjoy my non-alcoholic goodies in that. I think I might even get some yummy fruits like apples and black berries to garnish my waters. And how about some blood orange San Pellegrino…that is perfect for Halloween!!

Being sober (for a little over 8 months now) has taught me…well it has taught me many, MANY things, but one of them is that I can still enjoy holidays and functions and events without alcohol. Sure, there are some aspects of it that I miss and yes, the craving are still there…every. single. day. But each day I fight & I try my very best to stay strong and I remember how I was living every day for the drink and how my desire to not live like that again is stronger than my desire to drink. Sure, the idea of getting lost in a drunken haze sounds lovely. Giving myself one night to escape & succumb to the numbness that alcohol brings...I lived for that. But I don't live for that anymore. I can't...if I want to live at all. And I I don't.  

I do not need alcohol to enjoy or celebrate Halloween. The magick of the day has nothing to do with alcohol. The magick of Halloween is in the air and in my heart. So whether you are celebrating with an alcoholic beverage or not, 
*CHEERS* to a delightfully magickal Halloween!!

Be sure to check out my social media accounts for pictures of my costume this year!! 

Empire State Half Recap

So many thoughts.
So many thoughts ran through my head as I ran the ½ marathon this past Sunday. My first race since 2012. The first major race I have signed up for and not backed out of in over 2 years.

Some of those thoughts…

-What an awesome way to spend my birthday!
-I can’t believe I am actually doing this!
-Here we go! I am ACTUALLY doing this!
-Who the hell decides to spend their birthday this way?!
-OK, I started this…I HAVE to finish this!
-This sucks!
-Holy crapballz…I’m never doing this again!
-Worst birthday ever!
-I’m going to die!
-Holy crapballz I see the finish line!
-OK, run your ass through that finish line!
-When can I run another one!

Running through that finish line almost didn’t feel real. I can’t really explain it. There were SO many emotions…so many thoughts…good and bad. Of the past (I’ve ran a handful of these before damnit! Why can’t I run like I used to?!). Of the present (I should’ve been more prepared!). Of the future (I am running races again?!).

It was an odd feeling. On one hand it felt like common territory. I mean this wasn’t my first ½ marathon. But at the same time it felt brand new. This WAS my first ½ marathon since 2011. And it was also my first time running a race (especially a long one) at this weight.

I also had enormous support out there, which was also a first for me. Not only did I have my husband and my mother there but my uncle, his girlfriend & my cousin also came to support me as well. I’ve never had that much family support for me during a race…not even when I ran a marathon, lol. They even made me this kick ass sign!!

I also had support on the course with a lot of my fellow Lake Effect Runners who were running the race as well. I've been running with the Lake Effect Run Club for a few months now and it has been changing me not only as a runner, but as a friend as well. This is an amazing group of people and I am so thankful to call many of them my friend. Their support, encouragement and cheers kept me going through that entire course.  I wasn't just doing this to show myself that I could, but also to show them that I could too, and that made me feel very proud. (Quick shout outs (& they know why) to Mary, Brett, John, Russel, Jane, Michael & probably a ton others from that day that I am forgetting!!)

And of course there was the support from all of you. I don’t know if I could of kept going the way I did if it wasn't for you guys cheering me on. I started to live-update through Instagram once I got to the ½ way point. I was struggling for sure but you guys kept me chugging.

I struggled for a few reasons. One being that the weather was pretty crappy. It was very cold…definitely the coldest weather I have ran in since 2011, no doubt. And on top of that it was windy. I will run in rain…I will run in snow…I will not run in wind (well, apparently I will but I will hate every.single.second of it). Wednesday was the first day since the race that I didn't taste metal & blood in my mouth…YUCK!! The weather really took a lot of me & fatigued me very quickly. To my surprise my knee held up alright. It wasn't until mile 10 that I really started to notice any pain.  Let’s not forget that the knee injury (injured patellar tendon) kept me pretty laid up for weeks before the race. The longest run I got was 7 miles.  That surely did not make it any easier on me.

This race was a bit harder than I anticipated. I was so mentally picking out things that annoyed me (music, my handheld water bottle, my jacket riding up). I was focusing so much on how familiar my surroundings were and that was hard because it wasn't a distraction like I normally have in races this long. And of course I start doubting myself...*can* I really do this again?! Maybe I wasn't ready?! 

But I did what I do…I fought. I fought hard. I dug deep. I told myself that there was NO WAY I was quitting!! There was NO WAY I was backing out!! There was NO WAY that I was NOT finishing!! I would finish and I would finish hard, because 8 months I decided that enough was enough and I made a promise to myself that I would not let myself go again.  
I promised that I would not give up on myself…and I didn't.

My goal was to finish. Obviously I knew I wouldn't PR at all (my fastest 1/2 to date is 2:17) but I & given where my pace is right now with my weight & my knee, I thought it would be great and would be fair if I could finish at 3:30...I finished in 3:15!! 

Thank you *SO* much again to everyone for all the support & birthday love on Sunday!! You guys made that day utterly unforgettable!! XO

I will have more details about my next (yes, there is a next lined up!) ½ coming soon!! 

I am Suzi Storm...

So as many of you may (or may not) have noticed the name of this page and this blogs FB page has changed.
I have officially said "goodbye" to OK, Just One More Beer.

It took months of thought and as silly as it sounds, it was sad to say goodbye. But it felt like the right thing to do. I still remember the day I came up with that name...the day I decided to blog...and how it felt like such perfect name...and it was. But it just wasn't right anymore. The name didn't bother me. Seeing the word "beer" didn't trigger anything for me. It just didn't feel right didn't feel like didn't fit.

I thought about tweaking it a little but that just felt too long. Or changing it all together but I couldn't think of anything that I liked or sounded like me. I didn't want something cliche or that screamed "GO FITNESS AND HEALTH!!", lol.

I am me...I am Suzi Storm. If you follow me on my personal FB page you know that last week I switched the name from Suzi Storm to my married name. And if you have been following me for long eough you know that Storm is not my madien name.  My name is Suzi but Storm is something I came up with while talking with my husband. It wasn't blog or social media related. I thought it would be badass if my name was Suzi Storm. It kind of became a part of me when I first started my weight loss journey. It became to me what Sasha Fierce is to Beyonce...a side of me that I call upon when I need to kick ass. Some people in real life refer to me as Suzi Storm. That name has even been published in reference to me, lol.

Suzi Storm was here long before OK, Just One More Beer was...and Suzi Storm will be forever. It may seem a bit egotistical but oh well. This fits. This name, Suzi Storm, is not only me but is also a symbol of strength and perseverance. Every one has a storm within themselves...let that storm drive you towards your goals. Become the storm.

XO-Suzi F*cking Storm

P.S. I will have a 1/2 marathon recap post up soon!!

Oh the 3 0

Just days away from my 31st birthday (October 19th is my birthday…same day as my return to the ½ marathon!!) and of course I can’t help but reflect a bit on my first year in a new decade.
I was not scared or upset to turn 30. Age to me has always been a number, even when I was younger. I always looked older and I sure the hell felt older thanks to all the curve balls life threw me as a child. I even hung out with older people. I never really could relate or connect to many my own age. This even stands today. Hell, I married someone 13 years older than me.

My 20’s were great though. I blogged about them here. But of course, my life has changed in enormous ways in just a year.

 While I was 30 I came to the realization (& accepted) the fact that I had become an alcoholic. I have since quit drinking and as of today I am 8 months sober. This has been by far the BIGGEST change of them all. This change I firmly believe is what has led to all of these other changed, in some way or another.

I've lost almost 60 lbs. Drinking has certainly helped but I can honestly say that it’s not the main reason behind my weight loss. I’m not going to lie…I was super bummed that I wasn’t dropping lbs like it’s hot. But not drinking certainly helped me to make smarter decisions when it came to food. I track every day. I’m on a crazy few months spree with tracking. In all my years of being a Weight Watchers member this is the longest I have gone with consecutive tracking. I knew how to lose weight and drink beer. I did that. I lost 101 lbs while never giving up beer. Giving up beer this time really hasn't made a huge impact on that.

I've started running again! This Sunday is not only my birthday but also my return to the ½ marathon. It will be my first time in a race since 2012. Running has obviously helped me lose these 60 lbs and vice-versa. I've never ran a race at this weight, and believe me I am terrified to see the race photos, LOL…but my drive is stronger than ever. Running has helped to keep me sane and has been a huge influence in my staying sober. I have also met many new friends through running and by running with the folks in the Lake Effect Run Club.

My relationships have changed. Some have been better…some have been strained…some have become non-existent. People come and people go. I have always and will continue to always cherish every relationship, every person that has been brought into my life. As I grow, I will continue to fight for the love and light that I want brought into my life.

I know what I want in life more now than ever…and at the same time I have more questions about life more now than ever. I know what I do and what I do not want in my life.  I am more selfish. I do not have the patience for the negativity of others. I've dealt with a lot of bullshit and I still deal with a lot of bullshit. I do not need to deal with the bullshit of others. Don’t make your problems my problems…I got enough of my own.

This really is a journey. Life is a journey. There are hills and mountains and gravel and pavement. There is fire and wind and water. We are teeny, tiny creatures in this big ass universe just skipping about. And I live my life now trying to be mostly humming and dancing through this journey….and that folks is my Matthew McConaughey portion of this post.

So basically what I am saying, in a nutshell is...I got my shit together when I was 30.

My first year of being a 30 year old was fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. I can only hope that 31 will be just as awesome.

And I am still younger than Beyoncé. 

Ready or not, here I come...

So the Empire State ½ marathon is 12 days away…and I am kindoftotallysortof freaking out.

As usual, I don’t feel as prepared as I should be. But with that being said I am not completely under-trained. Since April/May I have been running consistently but that’s usually just 3-4 miles. I am certainly more trained for 5K’s or 10K’s.  But like everything I do in life…go big or go home!!

I signed up for this race exactly 10 days after I quit drinking. I normally do not do anything longer than a 10K in my area because I find them boring, as I see this scenery all of the time. Especially at the park where this race is because it’s the same place I go to almost every time I go out for a run.  I like to run longer distances in places that are new to me to help distract my mind. It’s easier to run 13 or 26 miles when I’m going “oohh, what’s that?!”  instead of “holy hell I am only to here?!”

But this race is on my birthday this year. That immediately drew my attention because I have always thought it would be fun to run a race on my birthday, because ya know, after racing comes the celebratory beers. I was only 10 days into my sobriety and at that moment I was still not fully admitting that I was indeed an alcoholic and that sobriety would be a lifelong battle. At the time I thought “I wonder if I can make it to my birthday and after the race I can have a celebratory beer!” LOL!! Obviously, being almost 8 months sober now and fully admitting that I had become an alcoholic, I have a different perspective. Now I just hope to NOT have a celebratory alcoholic drink.

So instead of spending my birthday in a bar like I normally would have I will be spending my birthday with a couple thousand people pounding the pavement.

This will also mark my first time getting behind a starting line since the 2012 Utica Boilermaker, which was a pathetic attempt of me pretending I was still an active runner when in reality all I spent my time doing was drinking, eating, and drinking some more. I would sign up for many races between then and now but I would drop out of every single one of them.

I’m not dropping out this time!! While I may not be as physically prepared as I should be I know that I can pull this one out. I have lost over 50 lbs so while yes this will be the heaviest weight I have ever raced at (well mine maybe the first 5K I ever did) I am certainly much better off than I was when I signed up. Sure, the farthest distance I have ran since getting moving again has been 7 miles  but it was a decent, strong 7 miles. Remember when I ran my marathon and my longest run before that had only been 13.2 miles???? Yeah…again…training plans + me just don’t get along.

I know I have the drive, the will, the craving, the desire, the strength inside me to run those 13.1 miles. I know that I have ran 13.1 miles many times before. I know the excitement of being in a race again will start some adrenaline to course through my veins. I know that having some friends out on the course will be motivating me (and also know that if I drop dead and they run by that they can at least identify my body). I know that having my husband…yes, this will be the first time that I can say that my husband, not my boyfriend, is at the finish line, will be waiting for me at the finish line will keep me moving forward.

I’m not doing this race to prove anything to anybody but myself. I know that I will not come even close to any previous ½ marathon times I've hit, and I am OK with that. I am not going out there to try and set any PR’s (but to be completely honest, knowing where my pace is right now & my fitness, I would like to finish at or under a time of 3:30). I am going out there to cross a starting line and a finish line. I don’t care if I stop and walk a bit, because I know that I will. I don’t care if some of my friends finish the marathon in almost the same time (or less) than the ½ because I’m not competing with anyone…but myself. I am here to prove that I can do this again. I am here to prove to myself that I didn't just sign up on a fluke and that I am a runner again. I am here to prove that I do not give up on myself.

The only thing I am worried about mostly is my knee. As many of you know I have had issues with my left knee and got diagnosed with Patellar Tendonitis. I took the rest and medication as the doctor ordered (which was another setback in getting properly prepared for this race) and will take my first running steps today. I don’t plan on running a whole lot between now and race day. Let’s be honest, what’s done is done as far being prepared for the race.  All I can hope for at this point is for my knee to hold up and for no further damage to be created.

My girl Dani has a saying that keeps her going…finish what you started…and that is exactly what I plan to do. 

Hello October!

It is that time of year again…that most magickal time of year…autumn!! This time of year soothes my soul and makes my heart extremely happy. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than fall time. October is my favorite month out of the year…it contains my birthday and my favorite holiday, Halloween. Ever since I was a little girl I felt deeply connected to this time of year.

Sweater and hoodies…comfort food…warm coffee, tea & cider…boots…comfort food…scarves…crisp air & crisp leaves…comfort food…gorgeous display of colors & red (my fav color)…comfort foods…

Did I mention comfort food??

See for me, whether I am (re) losing weight or maintaining my weight, Fall/Winter are the hardest times for me. Now I did hit my goal weight & reach Weight Watcher Lifetime status in the fall but it’s always been a battle. I’m not a huge craver or sweets…it’s the savory that I like to get down with. Cheesy, crunchy, gooey…I’M IN!! Summer sure has its fights, like a lot of outdoor holidays, picnics and parties. But there are SO many great, healthy options during the summer. Endless fruits and veggies and GRILLING!! And drink wise this summer I was hooked onto diet Snapple and Crystal Light tea drinks which cost me no Points+ values. Unlike the delicious lattes and cocoa I want to consume…like…ALL THE TIME!!

It can be difficult to stay on track during this season if your trigger foods/drinks are the highlight. So here I have some of the tips and tricks that I have used over the years to help me not fall (haha…get it…I know, I know…I’m hilarious) too off track & sabotage my goals:

This is my #1 rule…ENJOY!!!! I’ve preached this at SO many WW meetings…you have to let yourself ENJOY the season!! If you swear yourself off of that Pumpkin Spice Latte, or promise to not eat that homemade macaroni and cheese then you are just setting yourself up for a potential failure. PSL’s (that’s what all the cool kids are calling them now) may seem like crack, but they are not...they won’t ruin your life.

MODERATION!! Enjoy, yes…but in moderation. Have that SLICE of pumpkin pie. Have that SERVING of chicken and dumplings. Indulge in A pumpkin or fall flavored drinkable treat ONCE a week. You can ENJOY these things when you practice MODERATION.

How about LIGHTENING things ups!! Love homemade mac & cheese?? How about using a 2% milk cheese or replacing the whole milk with 1% or skim (I use Skim when I make mine and even the hubby can’t tell…and I make a MEAN mac & cheese). Or how about some more nutrient filled noodles. Getting that PSL?? Get it with skim milk, no whip. Fat free whip cream on the pie…use a can of pumpkin puree to make cookies or muffins. There are a lot of ways to lighten up your favorite cold-weather comforts.

Stay ACTIVE! It can be hard to get outside and get your walks/runs in when the weather gets cooler. I live Central New York and we have one of the snowiest winters in the US. But we still get out. Invest in some proper clothing. Get something to modify your shoes for when it’s icy out. Don’t want to go outside? Well if you have a treadmill now would be the time to dust that thing off. How about buying a new workout DVD that you can do right at home? Invite some friends over…have some drinks and do some drunken Yoga or whatever those PiYo things are all about. If you are going to let yourself indulge in more fat & calorie filled up foods you really should make sure to keep your workouts filled up too.

Sweaters…they can be your friend or your enemy. DRESS for your body…do not hide your body. For many of us, losing/maintaining weight is a mostly mental battle. Sometimes we see all these adorable, comfy sweaters and just buy, buy, buy. But the sad truth is that not every sweater is right for everybody. If you start dressing slumpy, you will feel slumpy.  (I don’t think “slumpy” is an actual word…but this is my blog and I do what I want) I know that is huge for me because the minute I start to think that I look frumpy, I feel frumpy…and when I feel frumpy I care less about what I eat…and then I care less about working out to keep my figure and then it all goes downhill from there. Try that sweater on first and make sure that it’s not too bulky, and make sure those leggings and skinny jeans don’t make your legs look like a can of crescent rolls waiting to be popped open against the edge of a kitchen counter.

T&M man…T&M…let’s hashtag that sh*t… #TM…TRACK AND MEASURE!! During this time of year I make a lot of big pots of soups and dishes of casseroles. They are wonderful for providing multiple meals but it’s also extremely easy to over serve yourself. Take the time to measure out your portions. Invest some nice measure cups and spoons and even containers to store the extra servings in for future meals. And make sure to track it all! Even if you go 100Points over (and believe me…that has happened)…track it!! If you don’t follow WW you should still try to keep a log of what you eat. Invest in a new tracker/journal for the season.

Stay FOCUSED!! Do not lose sight of your goals.  Maybe come up with new mini goals just for Autumn/Winter. Like trying a new winter vegetable or participating in a winter sport.

There will be days where maybe you over enjoyed a bit…days where you forget to ask for the skim milk…days where you said “screw it” and just plopped that mac & cheese right on your plate…IT HAPPENS!! There’s nothing you can do about it but to accept it and move on!! You can still work towards and hit your goals around this time of the year. Enjoy the great offerings that this seasons brings…just be sure to stay mindful of them. Happy October!!

What I would tell my former, thinner self...

Dear Suzi-
You don’t have to live like this. Life is more than just counting points, stepping on scales and gaining mileage. Take it easy on yourself. Take time for you. Remember why you want to be in the body you are in…it’s not for show, or “fame” or for others…it’s for YOU. Enjoy life! Enjoy it in moderation though. In a few years times your love for alcohol will turn on you if you are not careful so keep your feelings in check and keep taking care of yourself. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you gain weight back. It happens. Don’t be ashamed of your body at ANY weight. Your weight does not define you. Your weight does not measure your worth. Love yourself. Love your body. Believe it or not you can still feel beautiful and sexy at a heavier weight.  You don’t need to be at “goal weight” to be a beautiful human being who can go out and take on the world. Don’t hide from the world if you put on some weight. Don’t limit what you can do just because you might feel ashamed. The only thing you should be ashamed about is not trusting and loving yourself. Your weight has no impact on your ability to go out and live an awesome life. Believe that. Life is not about “healthy living”…life is about living every day to its fullest and trying to make the choices that you want to make and that in turn makes life about living healthy which is the true importance.

Whether you are a size 6 or a size 16, you are beautiful and nothing, I mean NOTHING, can hold you back. You don’t have to wait for the scale to reach a certain # to get out there and start living. Take care of yourself. When you fall, get up, brush yourself off and move forward.  You cannot change what it already done, so don’t even bother going over and over it. Let it go. Don’t be that person…you know who I am talking about…that obsessive person whose entire life revolves around their weight. "OMG I can't eat that!" "OMG I am over my points!" "OMG I haven't ran 100 miles this week!"... you have to be healthy mentally about it too or your obsessive thoughts will get the best of you.

Stop beating yourself up. Start living life.  Don’t give up on yourself. Fight for what you want and go out there and get it.  Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t sit around waiting for the perfect time to start living life because RIGHT NOW is the time…it’s the only time. Believe it.

Keep being true to yourself. That will never fade or disappoint.

With Love-
Your #1 Fan

The 6 month mark...

This Saturday, August 16th, marks my being 6 months of being sober. That almost seems surreal to me. If you had asked me around this time last year if I thought I would be sober, let alone for 6 months, I would've laughed & took a chug of my beer.

I could sit here and write about all of the amazing things that I have learned about myself in the past 6 months. I could tell you about the things I am still learning almost every day. I could list all the pro’s of quitting drinking.

But I am not going to do that.

Instead, I am going to share a small moment that happened a few weeks before I quit drinking (please note the few WEEKS before). No one knew about this…not even my husband up until a couple of weeks ago. But I am sharing the story here, today on my 6 month mark of being sober, in hopes that maybe someone who is reading this and might be in the similar place that I was in at the time, gets comfort and help and doesn't feel so alone. (Just a heads up for any family that may be reading this...the following contains a pretty sensitive and upsetting situation so you may or may not want to continue reading...I figured it was best to give you a heads up but it is up to you of course.)

The death of Robin Williams is very sad and very tragic. As someone who has dealt with depression her entire life (with a serious, debilitating case in my early teens) his death hits me very hard. I too had tried to take my own life before. Thankfully I was unsuccessful. But just like Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death was hard for me, as it shined a light on my secret struggle with alcoholism (and I was a very big fan of him & his talent since I was young), Robin Williams death has made me look at not only my battle of addiction (that he unfortunately battled as well) but also the importance of watching and maintaining my mental health. It was said that Phillip Seymour Hoffman told a friend that if he ever died by drug overdose he would hope its legacy would be to teach others about addiction and to help themselves like he could not help himself. That is exactly what it did for me. His death pushed me to really quit drinking and to be honest with myself about my alcoholism. I would think that Robin Williams would want something similar to come out of his passing…for someone to connect with that kind of pain and see that there are options…there are other ways.

I had this blog post planned out for the past two weeks and while it is sad that is coincides with the recent passing of Robin Williams maybe it makes it that much more powerful.

I don’t remember the exact day…but I remember it was around 1:30-2 o’clock in the morning. I had been drinking of course. Frankie had gone to bed pretty early that night and as usual I stayed up. TV was boring so I turned on some music and began to get lost in it (it’s one of my favorite things to do). Only I got lost in a very deep, dark place. Over and over in my head I beat myself up. I thought of every mistake, every poor choice, every regret, and every failure. It played in my head on repeat just like the song I was listening to. I kept drinking and at an accelerated pace. I was hoping to quiet my stupid fucking mind up, but it was only getting louder and darker. Thoughts grew to places I hate to go…thoughts of death…thoughts of suicide…thoughts of ways to truly shut up that deep, dark voice. 

I began to take count of every pill I had in my house. What was strong and would work the fastest.
Then for some reason instead of picking up the bottle of pills I picked up my phone and looked up the number to a local suicide hotline. I dialed it twice. First time it just rang and rang and rang. The second time it was a busy signal. I felt alone and helpless. Again, for some reason, I just went to bed and cried myself to sleep.

Come morning I would figure out that I was so drunk that I dialed the number wrong. I can’t even being to describe how thankful I am. The shit storm that would have created would have been MASSIVE!! And as you recall me saying before…this was a FEW WEEKS before I actually quit drinking. At that time I was not ready and was not even contemplating giving up alcohol. If they had tracked my number and came to my house to get me I don’t even know where I would be today. I don’t even know if I would be here to write this. But this definitely opened my eyes more. It definitely made me see that I was not in a place I wanted to be. I wanted to live. And I wanted to be OK.

It was the first time in over 10 years that I had seriously contemplated taking my own life. Now you are probably saying "what about your husband?! what about your stepson?!" and you have every right to say those things...but if you have ever been engulfed in a certain stage of depression you know that the only person who can truly save you is yourself. My family's love keeps me going and keeps me strong...but it doesn't save me. People can *help* can *save* you. 

I can’t say that I will be sober 6 more months from now. I can’t even say that I will be sober tomorrow. Every minute or every day that I spend sober is hard work and is celebrated. I now know that I am not someone who can just have one drink. I mean maybe I could, but the risks are far too high and it’s a chance that I hope I never take.

My alcoholism isn't the cause of my depression and my depression isn't the cause of my alcoholism. But they definitely enjoy each others company and that is something that I have to be very, *very* aware of. I, just like Robin Williams, will be battling alcoholism and depression every day of my life. And in the wake of his tragic passing I am reminded to keep fighting. And that there is love and help out there. If I should ever fall, I hope to remember this.  And I hope you do too.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Also if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please seek out help from your Doctor or visit to find localized help & hotlines. 

Protecting myself this time around...

I was asked a few months to give an interview with a woman who I think is very wonderful. She runs a great blog and many of my fellow friends have interviewed with her as well. At first I accepted the invitation and like all invitations I receive, I was flattered and considered myself blessed that someone wanted to talk to me about my “journey”. After saying yes I felt an immediate dark cloud cover me. All these emotions came rushing through me. It made me look at my past and it made me reevaluate how I handle sharing *my* story.

I am very much an open book.  I do not hide much, if anything, with others. Especially when it comes to here on the blog and social media. Which is kind of funny considering that I was so hesitant for years and years about joining Facebook.  But I don’t hold back. I share the joys and I share the sorrows. I've never held back on letting everyone know about the 130 lbs of weight that I gained after shooting the Weight Watchers commercials and I never refrained from sharing that my relationship with alcohol turned from friend to foe. I put my story out there because I hope that it inspires others and helps them on their own path. I put my story out there because in a way it is helpful and therapeutic for *me*.

I spent a little over a year sharing my story of my weight loss with almost everybody. I never declined an interview. I never refused to answer a single question asked at me. I've said this before and I will say it again…I do not regret a single thing I did. I was completely honored and extremely blessed to be given all of the opportunities that came my way…Weight Watchers, Oprah, Books, Magazines, Newspapers…I really was given it all.

But I also let all of that ring me dry. My words were always my truth. I always did those interviews out of nothing but wanting to inspire others. It wasn't about any kind “fame” or recognition, though I would be lying if I said that it didn't feel nice. My story (& let’s face it…my life at that point) became about helping others so much that I forgot to help myself. I never really sought out any of the opportunities that came my way, so in a way it was a very big jolt for me.

As I have said before, I do not blame any of this towards my regaining the weight. I put the fork and the bottle to my mouth. But it definitely played a part in how I saw myself and how I treated myself afterwards.
I've made a promise to myself that I will not repeat this cycle. That I will not just offer up my story to anyone that asks. That if I decide to share my story again that it is on my own terms, in my own way. I see some people, some of who I consider friends, *begging* for their story to be shared on certain platforms…and I just silently shake my head and wish that they could see that having their story shared does not make it any better, any more important or any more successful than someone else’s who was not shared. Your worth, your hard work and your dedication is not validated or judged by who, what or how it gets shared.

While I feel bad about the last minute cancellation with the interviewer I am also proud of myself for listening to my instincts and for protecting myself. It's not that I am unwilling to tell my story or talk about the issues I am going through right now. I am in a wonderful place right now and I don’t want to stray away from myself. I don't want to let someone else open up my own book right now. I have the right to protect certain parts of *ME* and my story…and that is exactly what I did in this case. 

(*Side, non-related note: I have had to enable security on the comments due to the increased volume of spam. I hope this is not an issue for some of you.)

I am not a beer runner anymore...

This weekend is the Utica Boilermaker road race. The 15K is one of the best around! I have ran this race twice.  In the past I have included brewery tours with the race’s biggest sponsor, Saranac Brewing Company.

This race is all about running and beer. Running and beer. There is free beer after the race (and I’m not talking about this “here’s your free 8 oz cup of beer”…this is pretty much unlimited free beer) and one hell of a party. Along the demanding course are spectators galore, many of which have…you guessed it…beer!! This was MY kind of race!! Running and beer.
My 1st Boilermaker Race!
The weather is always hot and humid and running through under the fire truck spraying water is one of the best feelings you will experience.  But the heat doesn’t bother you…and neither do the hills…because, running and beer.

You see people with signs…”The beer is near!” or “5 miles to beer” and my personal favorite “hurry up, the beer is almost gone!” The last year I ran it I even wore my “beer bitch” t-shirt and it was a hit!!

My 1st 1/2 Marathon in Philadelphia!
I didn’t know then that it would probably be the last time I ran that race.

I didn’t know then that I would describe myself as an alcoholic.

I didn’t know then that I would be working on my sobriety every. single. day.   

I’ve been running again recently and let me tell you, it feels GREAT!! For the first time in a long time I feel alive again. I’m not going to lie…it still sucks. Especially being heavy again and running (If I have two black eyes, no my husband does not beat me, I’m just a big booby runner ;) and especially because I remember how easy running used to come to me and how I could actually run a mile straight. BUT…I will get back to where I was, all in time & work.

But one thing I used to love…going for a run and enjoy a nice cold beer afterwards. There was nothing more satisfying then going for a run on a hot summer evening and then getting back to the house and cracking open an IPA. Jesus…I’m getting all bothered just by writing this, LOL!!

I loved beer and running SO much!! Beer and running was ME…it was part of who I was. For those of you who are new to reading here or just don’t remember, I was even named one of Draft magazines Top 12 Beer Runners in 2011 to watch.

My 1st Marathon in Corning, NY!
But I am not a beer runner anymore.

And this is something that has been the hardest to come to terms with since I’ve begun my sobriety. I am around beer every day (my husband still drinks) and it doesn’t bother me to pick him up beer while I’m out (well, sometimes but not usually) and I can even sit at a bar with him and nurse a diet soda without it getting to me (most of the time). But ever since I started running again I have to admit that my cravings for a beer afterwards have been fierce!!

Why?? Because I was a beer runner and a part of me still is. That will never die. But I know that I’m not the type of person anymore who can just enjoy a beer or two after a run anymore.

I am not a beer runner anymore.

Right now I don’t think I will ever be able to run the boilermaker again which is sad. And yes, I know that you don’t HAVE to drink beer and do the race, but that is what that race meant to me and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. I don’t think that I could do it any other way. I may have had to let go of some things since sobriety, but the things I am doing and receiving in return are so much better.

So I have put away my beer bitch shirt...I have passed my "My Indian name is Run's with Beer" shirt onto The Frank...My pint glass now hold's an amber color of ice tea...
It feels like a part of me has died, but maybe that is OK. I will always be grateful for all the good times that being a beer runner brought me and especially for all the amazing people I have connected with in the process. 

I want to wish all of my friends running the Boilermaker race this weekend the best of luck!!

And drink a beer for my former beer runner self. *cheers*

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