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?
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