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40 miles

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finished my favorite race of the year on Saturday. It is the first time I have been the female winner. My first endurance run was in 2009 and ran the distance of a 1/2 marathon. During the next year I ran 3 1/2 marathons. Last year ran 27 miles, did not follow it with a full marathon but instead ran a marathon at sea with John Bingham while in Alaska. I have not run an official marathon because it will take me close to 6 hours which is the cut off for many marathons. My goal this year was to run the first 26.2 miles then to continue to walk until I had finished a 50K. My running partner and I took bathroom breaks and an occasional break for snacks and just kept walking the mile loop of the endurance run. The time limit is 12 hours but we quit at 40miles. We tied as the female winners. The usual female winner do around 50 miles but they did not show up this year or did not run as long since it was around 50 degrees out, windy and rained for at least 6 of the hours. What I lack in speed I make up in my ability to endure. Julia and I wore our "suck it up cupcake" bondi bands.

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STUDLEEJOE 10/17/2011 4:39AM


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TENACIOUSTRISH 10/17/2011 4:38AM


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Alaska and the penguin

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Great Alaskan Marathon Cruise
Have cruised in the Caribbean and while I love to cruise was not sure that I wanted to cruise to Alaska. My husband on the other hand wanted to cruise to Alaska and saw the ad in Runner’s World for the John Bingham running cruise to Alaska. He knew I was a fan of the Penguin and felt it would be a cruise we both would enjoy. I thought about it for over a year and convinced my running partner, Julia that it was a great idea.
We flew to Seattle in July and got up early on Saturday and ran the hills around our hotel before heading to the cruise terminal. Spent the first night drinking champagne with the penguin, coach Jenny and the other cruisers. Each night we ate dinner with a different group of runners.
Sunday’s run was a 3 mile deck run, if you have never run on a moving ship it is really fun and we did have an ERC road marshal keeping the traffic in control.
Monday in Juneau we did a 10 mile trail run, 5 miles up Mt. Juneau and 5 miles down. Tuesday was a rest day to see Hubbard glacier, I for one was glad there was a rest day.
Wednesday was a 6.2 mile run in Sitka, Alaska, we were given a map and needed to have our race bib marked when we found each place on the map. Julia managed to get the ace of spades and won a yellow hat.
Thursday was a 7 mile trail run in Ketchikan and was my favorite run of the trip. The temperature was 52 degrees each day and it rained every day that we were there. The scenery was beautiful and the Alaskan running clubs that put on our races were great just like the runners from ERC. I was surprised that not all the runners on the cruise were penguins like me, there was a women who had run 109 marathons and some runners who were very fast. As someone who has never been an athlete; John Bingham has inspired me to find ways to enjoy running even though I will never be fast and will never win anything. The Penguin named himself after he caught sight of himself in a store window and realized he was waddling. In his words, “"It wasn't turtley," he says. "There was an effort about it"--a hectic flailing to outrun the body God had given him”. He was so nice and almost seems surprised by the effect that he has to inspire people. He also does the same type of cruise in the Caribbean and this September is doing a running land tour in Italy. Maybe we will want to visit Italy next year, we have not been there yet!

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GRAMPIAN 8/22/2011 6:46AM

  Glad you enjoyed the cruise: Alaska is beautiful.

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FCARMICH 8/22/2011 6:30AM


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TASHALNZ 8/22/2011 6:09AM

    emoticon Sounds like you had a blast!

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5 years under goal

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I joined spark people not to lose weight but this time I wanted all the help possible to not regain the weight. I did lose over 40 pounds at weight watchers but despite losing weight in the past had never been able to maintain the loss. Thought of it as a diet with an endpoint not really a change in lifestyle. I did maintain the weight loss for two years without any exercise at all but did not really feel any better. Was tired all the time and had a lot of muscle and joint pain. I decided after I started to exercise that I wanted to run a 5K. I started the couch to 5K program but was not able to run my first 5K but was able to run/walk it. It took me several months to be able to run for a mile without having to walk. I had to learn to run slower. Within a few months was able to run for 5-6 miles and not walk. I can run without walking but now put in walk breaks for a long run. I found spark people when searching online for information on the Cook Forest 1/2 marathon and found a blog from a rookie running group member. I have now done 4 1/2 marathons and run 27 miles at the local endurance run. This Saturday I had my monthly weigh-in at weight watchers. I am at the lowest weight for the weigh in that I have been at since 1984. It has now been 5 years that I have maintained a normal BMI and have been under my goal weight for every monthly weigh in for the last 5 years. I am surprised when people think I have this weight thing all figured out. I do not. There are days when I do not feel like going out for a run and for the 1st 1/2 mile do not even think I can run at all. There are days I would rather read a book and eat high calorie processed food. I recently went on a cruise and did all of that. I also ate some healthy foods, ran, kayaked and snorkeled. I lost weight before the cruise, came back and got right on track and weighed in less then I did before I went. I may never be able to go to a party or go on a vacation without indulging but it is much easier to lose a few pounds then to think about 50. I am not so sure I could start over again so every day hope to continue to live a lifestyle that keeps the weight from returning. I am excited because my deposit is down on my next vacation. I am going on a cruise to Alaska in July. This is so much more then a vacation since am going with my husband and a running friend and her husband and it is on the John Bingham marathon at sea cruise. I reread his book every time I feel discouraged about running and the thought of organized runs in such a beautiful place should be great. Suzy

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BOBBYD31 12/27/2010 8:15PM

    totally missed this suzy, i was wondering how your bet went. i would have to say you both won!!! like anne said you can try intervals, tempo runs, fartlek's and hills these should increase speed. but if your happy you can continue to waddle with the rest of us.

ps JASR's is only 12 weeks away

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MIAMIA7 12/27/2010 7:11PM

    Way to go Suzy! I am with Janice...maintaining is tough! But if we continue to realize it is a lifestyle change and that we keep educated on nutrition we can do it! I love this idea of a cruise AND running. I will have to check into this! Anne

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2WHEELER 12/19/2010 11:27AM

    Suzy--congratulations. Keeping if off is definitely harder than taking it off. The Alaska cruise sounds great & to pair it up with running is even better. Alaska is on our bucket list--not sure when we'll get there, but I know it will happen.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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No turkey costume for me

Sunday, November 21, 2010

When I first lost my weight my goal was to weigh 140. I have managed to maintain this weight for the past 5 years but I had been thinking all along that I wanted to weigh 135. I have gotten close to this a few times but never did it. I could not think of any reward to motivate me to do this either. My daughter came up with a challenge that would have me wear a costume of her choice to run the turkey trot 10K on Thanksgiving if I did not weigh 130. She had set a goal to lose 15 pounds and I would buy her a dress to wear on the cruise we are going on next Sunday. The weigh in was today. I did not get to see 130 on the scale this morning but was at 131.6. This is a weight I have not seen since 1983 and then weighed that only for a few weeks before getting pregnant with her. She did well but came short of her goals by 2 pounds. We gave each other a weigh-in advantage just like in BL. Did we fail, no we both did great but both made goals that were maybe just not possible in the time we had but we both are wearing clothes that used to be too tight. What was the biggest reason that we both failed to meet our goals. It is because we are both sick. We can not sleep and can not stop coughing. I did run 19 miles this week but that was all I could do and was too tired to do any more. I had to run my miles slower that usual and the real reason that I ran is it was the only time I seemed to stop coughing. The cool fresh air felt great. The funny thing is that I started to run to keep the weight off and I wanted to now lose weight so that I could run easier. It did not work though. I have tried everything I can think of to run faster, run longer slow runs, train for a marathon, cross train, strengh train and lose weight but despite all of it I still waddle a very slow pace. There is just less of me to waddle now. Suzy

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MIAMIA7 12/27/2010 7:06PM

    Suzy-I just stumbled across this blog! Way to go on meeting your goal. I know you were a whopping 1.6 lbs away but heck, you did great! And so did your daughter! As far as running faster...that is a tough one. Do you do speed work? That always helped me. I have slowed down considerably since my health has thrown a few issues at me. At one time I had it down to a 9:30 mile but am lucky now if I hit a 10:30. Most time I just stick between 11 and 11:30. But the fact is we are out there running. Something I never thought I would be doing. Life has it's up and downs and so does our running I guess! Keep up the good work! Anne

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27 miles

Monday, October 18, 2010

Here in northwest Pennsylvania I think that fall is the best time to be a runner. Everything I have accomplished as a first has been in the fall. I started to run right before I turned 51. I never ran when I was younger or did much of anything for exercise. Even as a kid I hated to be outside because I would sunburn and get short of breath when I tried to run or bike fast. I loved to read and was the ultimate nerd. I had lost weight at different times but never managed to maintain it. I made the decision to lose the weight for my health this time because I was on blood pressure pills and blood work showed I was also now a diabetic with high cholesterol. My doctor gave me three months to try and lose weight and have the blood work repeated before I started on medication. I went back and was 20 pounds lighter and went on to lose over 40. I was able to maintain the weight but did not feel better and started to exercise. It took me 6 months to go from a couch potato to running my first mile without having to walk. My 5K PR of 31:08 was in October 2008. I hurt my foot running on the ice in the new year's day race and was not able to run for months. I swam, biked and started back to learning how to run. In 2009 ran the Erie endurance run. It is a one mile loop and you run whatever distance you want. I ran 13.1 miles then walked the rest of mile 14 and was able to run my first 1/2 marathon. I did train with a group and have run 3 more 1/2 marathons since then. I have been so tired at the end I thought I would never be able to run further then a 1/2. I have been lucky to run a Saturday long run with friends and my friend Julia is signed up to run the Philly marathon. I told her I would continue to run the long runs with her as long as I felt fine but had no intention of running in Philly but would see how far I could get in the endurance run. Made it through every long run with the 20 mile being terrible. I tapered for 2 weeks and Saturday was the day. Thanks to sunscreen I can run outside and not burn and thanks to Singulair I can now run without chest pain and shortness of breath. My goal was to run the race as close to a marathon race as possible. The weather was perfect. As you passed the timing arch there was a table with water and Gatorade. I also had parked my car so I could run past it so instead of throwing clothes and gloves away when it got hot was able to toss them on the trunk of my car. We have trained with a walk break every mile so would get a drink and walk until we hit the garbage can. Ran with Julia and Tom and he dropped out for a little bit when he hit the marathon distance. He had started running 90 minutes before we did. Sheryl (2Phatt) ran with us for awhile. I hit mile 18 where I had suffered the last 2 miles of the long run but felt OK. At mile 20 I was still OK and Julia was going to drop off since she had planned to run her 20 mile long run for training. I kept going and by the 1/2 way point of the mile she had caught back up. I kept expecting the wall but it never happened. Our friend Teresa was waiting for us and she ran the last 3.2 miles with us and walked the last .8 as a cool down. I had 3 goals for the race. One to run further then I had ever run, 2 to run a marathon and 3 to run in under 6 hours since that is the cut off time for our local marathon. I did all three. Not only did I not hit a wall, I had a runner's high during the last 7 miles that lasted all day Sunday. My ankle hurt after the 20 mile run and hurt yesterday but seems to be fine today. The only thing that really hurts today is my one toenail. It looks dark red and will not be surprised if it turns black. I did not lose any weight while training for a marathon but did not gain any either. I have now maintained my weight loss for almost 5 years. I will now recover and push to lose enough weight so that I will not be running my next race, the turkey trot wearing a costume my daughter will create. I started to run to maintain my weight and I now want to lose weight so I can run faster! My friend Tom who has been running with us for the last 2 years, well he ended up running for almost 12 hours, he ran 50 miles!

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BOBBYD31 10/18/2010 11:21AM

    FANTASTIC RUN SUZY! you should be very proud of your accomplishments. someday i hope to be able to run that distance, hoping to at pittsburgh marathon in may. thanks for a wonderful blog that can keep the hopes alive of us not marathoners. hey suzy you are a marathoner! now about that costume......... LOL

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CJROMB 10/18/2010 11:01AM

    What a great blog!!! Inspirational, too. I haven't run my first marathon yet. I've run a few halves, but I've been chicken of the full. The race I ran on Sunday (that I wrote about in the blog you commented on) was the first in the Austin Distance Challenge. There's a marathon looming at the end of it. I'm gonna mark your blog here to re-read it later when I need the inspiration. :) Love the way you put this all down, and CONGRATS on keeping your weight off for 5 years. That's huge. Or NOT huge, as in we're not huge anymore. Haha.

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DEEJ4FITNESS 10/18/2010 8:13AM

    AWESOME JOB & FABULOUS BLOG :) those of us giving a full (full consideration) need to hear from those of you who have accomplished it :)

CONGRATULATIONS on a race well run!!


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