Life and Living with Crohn's Disease

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Running Inspiration : Marathon Training Prep Week

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Merci, Spoons!

Merci, Spoons!

I guess you could call it a running dialogue, eh? ::symbol clang::

I hope that you all had a lovely Wednesday, and that you got at least a casual jaunt in for National Running Day. A frolic, if you will. 

twin cities marathon 2014 suz

It was a non-running day for me (which happens every year!), but I did get some spinning in, so running of a sort, lol. I have published several posts over the past year and a half about running and my thoughts on running, so I kind of wanted to take the big takeaways from each of those posts and bring some together into a post that might give those of you who are embarking on the great journey of life marathon training.

running inspiration marathon training suzlyfe

Running Inspiration for Marathon Training

Found me some runners!

Found me some runners!

  • My post on Tuesday dealt with Avoiding Marathon Burnout
  • The next few months are not going to be easy, but what in life worth doing is?
  • Know that injury, frustration, and complete bewilderment are inevitable. This is not going to be smooth, and if it is, you are likely cruisin for a bruisin, either on the day of the race, or just because it is inevitable.
  • Don’t be jealous of each other, encourage each other. Smile as you pass one another, and never be afraid to ask questions. 
  • There is no foolproof training plan or strategy for marathon training, but we are all fools, and training for a marathon is proof of that. 

chicago lake sunrise run suzlyfe

How Running has Improved my Life with A Chronic Illness (on Run Haven)

  • Go ahead, call me crazy. You wouldn’t be the first (or the last). But if to be “crazy” is to want a better life, to believe in a better life, and to work for a better life, then I proudly claim Crazy.
  • Health Benefits, Body Awareness, Mental Fortitude

How I Beat My Body’s Barriers to the Finish Line (on Women’s Running)

  • Even if I could just run for eight minutes, those eight minutes still meant that I was alive and could fight for myself, my life and everyone else out there dealing with their own battles (Crohn’s or otherwise). Making my battle part of a larger war gave me reason to keep moving forward through flare ups.
It's her fault. All of it. And I should thank her for it everyday.

It’s her fault. All of it. And I should thank her for it everyday.

When I stop running

  • When I stop running… I hope that I will still be a runner
  • A runner… knows that, honestly, you can’t achieve anything you put your mind to. And you know what? That is O. K. The struggles and joys of the journey are more important and vastly larger percentages of life than the single moment that you are aiming at. (Basically, races are victory laps: the real triumph is the training).

race is the victory lap marathon suz

  • A runner… understands that happiness is individual. What drives me, might not drive you. But we are all entitled to happiness, and we are all entitled to pursue that happiness with the support of those around us. And we are entitled to return that support.

Running is Preparing Me to be a Better Parent

  • We respect our bodies. Something that exercise, and specifically training for a goal, has given me is an absolute and utter respect for my body, particularly in consideration of the other obstacles it has to overcome in the process (for those who don’t know, I have Crohn’s Disease).
  • We all have guilt about the time that we spend away from our family. But it is so important to remember that your health and happiness is just as important (in a different way) to the health and happiness of your family.

Running is a bad boy. (One of my favorite posts)

audrina caution

  • You always swore you would never be interested in something/someone like him. And then, one day, you decided that it would be good for you to try something new. Maybe you wanted to loosen up mentally/tighten up physically, but you started to dabble.
  • Your friends were in support of your dalliance at first, and then grew increasingly concerned as the frequency increased. Soon, it became a daily thing. You still weren’t sure why you were doing it–you hated it the entire time you were doing it/being with him, but when it was good, it was SO FREAKING GOOD. And afterwards, you felt oddly euphoric and also gross. You needed a shower and a beer.
susie beer phoenix marathon


Runner Favorites and Confessions:

  • At the risk of being all awwww, I would say that truly the best reward I get from running is the sense of accomplishment. I still have to pinch myself sometimes like after Phoenix. The fact that I not only ran that far but did it in that time. Holy balls. And then the confidence that it has given me in myself and my ability to feel brave enough to take on what I know will be some difficult battles in the future (as I discussed here and here). 

womens running community running suck quote suzlyfe


willpower suzlyfe fitzala

This ISN’T About National Running Day : Why I Run

  • Running is as close as I will get to flying–lifted up by some invisible force to cover ground. To head straight into the wind, and to defy it, but to respect its strength.  
  • Running humbles me, but also congratulates me on a job well done. And so do my fellow runners. The support of a community, for the selfish action of an individual.
  • I run to move beyond expectations, as I so often say. I run to believe in myself, that I am capable. Maybe not of anything, but of more than I thought at first.

And… when it comes closer to the big moment, here is some advice on dealing with the taper crazies aka taper madness.

  • Body Glide. Everywhere
Running Inspiration: The mental side of #marathontraining #runchat #fitfluential #sweatpink Click To Tweet

Give me a sound bite of advice and inspiration for new runners and those heading off into the wild blue yonder world of training!

What is something that you hope to glean from training, whether for a race, for a goal, or just for life?

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Have you read these gems?


  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    My only advice is don’t say you can’t and never give up. You may start with just walking, you may start with intervals, but you will get there 🙂
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…Baby Brown: 21 Weeks and Registry HelpMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 6:23 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love that 😀

      June 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    All great lessons. I love that running is making prepping you to be a better parent, because I know it does for me. Although sometimes I feel like it doesn’t and let parenting get the best of me, but I’m thinking it’s normal to have those ebbs and flows!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: Yes, I’m still alive….My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 6:34 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think it is the nature of all parents to question themselves, what they are doing, how it impacts their children. But they see it making you a better person, right?

      June 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants

    I think running in general is a good analogy for life – Each run feels different, some days feel effortless while others seem to be a struggle from the start, but the important things is the perseverance to continue and to do your best, no better no worse.
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted…Choose GratitudeMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 6:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You know I agree with you there.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I can’t add a thing to what you wrote here. This is an amazing post! I love that statement: running humbles me but also congratulates me. #quotable

    And you know what? I always liked bad boys…
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…PerseveranceMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 6:43 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      June 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Michele

    Love the idea of being a runner even when running is done, just based on the experience of how running shapes us and changes how we approach all things in life 🙂
    Michele recently posted…Blondies, Mid-Day Yoga and Separation Anxiety – TOLMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 6:46 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I will be a horseback rider to the day I die–it shaped me into who I am. I hope to do the same with running.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Great lessons indeed! Running has taught me to persevere when the going gets tough. I know I will make it eventually. running also teaches me (and my kids) that it is great to set goals-sometimes we achieve them and sometimes we don’t but I keep going and try again.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Reston Sprint Tri Recap & What’s next?My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 6:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Running is such a great teaching tool. For all sorts of reasons. But perseverance is one of the best.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    I have no advice. Except not to run while injured. Also, running makes ME feel like flying, too! LOVE IT.
    Rachel recently posted…I really want to run a race this weekend!My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 7:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      PLEASE don’t run while injured. Please.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    Haha love your line that “we are all fools and marathon training is proof of that”…so true!!!

    June 4, 2015 at 7:19 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I said that to someone the other day and was like OMG

      June 4, 2015 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    Running has given me the ability to feel confident in myself. It has truly inspired me to go after whatever I want, even if I think it’s impossible. Because let’s be real… I never thought I’d run a full marathon. Who does that? Haha. Great points and a great post! Have an amazing day! : )
    Jamie recently posted…Thinking Out Loud Thursday – Total RandomnessMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 7:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know, who made us crazy enough to do these crazy things? We are fools. PROOF.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    I think the most important thing to remember is that there will be ups and downs…it can certainly be frustrating when things don’t go our way, but its part of the process. Its all about learning, making adjustments and going forward. I agree that running has definitely made me realize I am capable of more than I ever imagined!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…10 Thoughts This ThursdayMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 7:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yup–uphills, downhills. On the road of life and the road itself. (Unless you are in Florida or the midwest).

      June 4, 2015 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Bri

    Love this round up of your posts!! Lots of my favourites in there 🙂 My advice for new runners is continue only if you actually enjoy it… not everyone who starts running loves it – they tend to start because they think it’s the best way to get healthy. It’s okay if you don’t like it — stop and find something you do like. Or perhaps try running on trails instead 🙂
    Bri recently posted…{thinking out loud Thursday} Fears about reproductive healthMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 7:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Also a great point–that you don’t have to love it. Continue because it is your decision, but do it for love–of the sport, yourself, or someone that makes it worth it.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    I start marathon training again next month. Oh boy…how did I talk myself into doing this again? I’m just going to focus on the actual marathon day itself. That’s what it’s all about right?
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…Travel Tips: What I Wear on a PlaneMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 8:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I actually like to concentrate on the training! For me, that is what it is all about–the shiny thing just gives you #proof. But I’m also crazy.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    The one thing that seems to surprise new runners is that just because I’m an experienced runner doesn’t mean that I always practice that way. What I mean is, I take walk breaks. I bring my phone along and check emails and Instagram and I sometimes even make phone calls. Sometimes I stop to cry, or text something funny. Sometimes I leave my phone and music at home and just run raw, and even then I will go slow, or fast, or both. Nobody is failing if they stop at a gas station to go to the bathroom or take a zillion walk breaks. Covering the distance and teaching our bodies to get out there and stay upright is what it’s all about.
    Suzy recently posted…Things About Me That Will Make You Feel Better About YourselfMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 8:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know. People assume that because we’ve run, and we continue to, that it is always good. But do you always love everything that you generally love to do? NO. But the pluses outweigh the minuses.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    great roundup!! I would say don’t let the bad miles define you – because there will be bad ones. Learn from them, shake em off (a la Taylor Swift) and move on!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Medina Half Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 8:22 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Another great blurb! Don’t let the miles define you 😀 love it Mar!

      June 4, 2015 at 2:20 pm
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    Love that you remind people not to be jealous of eachother – to smile and ask questions – such awesome advice. I taught group fitness for a long time and the people that stuck with the class for the long run were always the people that encouraged newbies and were always kind. The ladies that thought they were better than everyone almost always fell off the bandwagon first. You get what you give!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Grilled ShrimpMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 8:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      LOVE that. Get what you give. Spot on!

      June 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    My biggest advice is to remember that it is not always easy. It can be really hard. But there will be days you literally feel like flying. That makes it worth it.
    And the medals. They are kind of worth it too 🙂
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Summer Hiking & Hiking Shoe Giveaway!My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 9:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      haha. But yes–there is always more.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Sarah @pickyrunner

    Trust the Training is my absolute favorite quote. Not just about running, but about life. My swim coach used to say it to me all the time and I never believed it, but he was absolutely rigHT> If you don’t trust the training, you won’t reach the end result. LOVE.
    Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…my life in hashtagsMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 10:19 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So true. Because otherwise why the hell are you even training?

      June 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply Maddie @ Dixie Runs

    First of all, I love that before/during/after picture. Those are my exact thoughts before during and after every run. I think my biggest advice is to stay focused and not give up. The thing about running is that it takes a while to get adjusted to training, especially for your first race. A lot of people give up after a few weeks when they don’t see great results, but if they would just hang on a little longer they would be amazed at what they can do.
    Maddie @ Dixie Runs recently posted…Cooler Weather (FINALLY) and a Fun SurveyMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 10:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Another great point–stay the course (barring injury). Goes back to the discomfort (not pain).

      June 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm
  • Reply EB @ Running on E

    I always end up not running on National Running Day too! I hope I get credit for good behavior the rest of the year.
    EB @ Running on E recently posted…May RecapMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 11:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Seriously. Where are my brownie points?!

      June 4, 2015 at 2:17 pm
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    Once I stopped worrying what everyone else thought and just ran, it worked. It didnt matter how far or how fast I ran, I was going it for me and that’s all that was important.
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted…Passing the NASM Certified Personal Training ExamMy Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 11:42 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ooooh great point. DO YOU

      June 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    All of these are such great pieces of advice, whether you are training for your first or tenth marathon! I think it’s also important to not burn yourself out in train so that you have nothing to give at the race. Patience is key!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Versatile Blogger Survey {Thinking Out Loud}My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 11:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      But I don’t have enough patience for patience 😀

      June 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Rae

    Body Glide for the win! Seriously, I sometimes use it even when I’m not running… Thigh chafing isn’t just for runners!
    Rae recently posted…I’m a Color Run Ambassador!My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 12:21 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Preach to that–it is really good with summer sandals, btw.

      June 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Ashley @ A Lady Goes West

    Ohhh the inner dialogue we have with ourselves when it comes to exercise and working out. While I don’t run very often just to run (I do run in group fitness classes), I have experienced plenty of mixed emotions. I love that you’re so passionate about being a runner, Susie! And a runner you will always be! 🙂
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…A mid-year blog and goals check-in for 2015My Profile

    June 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thanks Ashley! I think I relate to the lifestyle and the sense of community–the fact that there is so much that you can learn and take with you!

      June 5, 2015 at 9:34 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    OK, here is mom……again…..
    I have never been a runner, I have been a walker and I’ve done 6 half-marathons as a walker.
    I consider myself a half-marathoner, but most runners don’t see me as such, because I haven’t RUN the miles, I walked them.
    I know what it is to set a goal. A goal only I believed I could make. I’ve trained really hard and I reached that goal……more than once.
    Now, I know my days of half-marathons are behind me, but I will always be a half-marathoner. If I am no longer an ACTIVE half marathoner, it’s because my body told me that it had done the best it could do, but it had finally reached a wall.
    I had to listen to my body tell me something I didn’t want to hear…….but I HAD to listen.
    Those 13.1 stickers on my car mean something—–something very important to me.

    Perhaps, I should think of it this way:
    I am a mom. Just because I am no longer giving birth to children does not mean that I am no longer a mom. I am and will always be a mom. I’ve been through the child-birth part of being a mom, (its someone else’s turn) but I am still a mom!

    I will cheer on every one of you that sets a race/distance/event as a goal. The distance doesn’t really matter–what matters is the heart you put into it.

    June 4, 2015 at 8:50 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You will always be a mom, a ballerina, a sorority girl, a southerner, a deb, a catholic, a run/walker, and my best friend. ALWAYS

      June 5, 2015 at 9:35 am
      • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

        Those last 5 words just made my day!!
        Love you!

        June 5, 2015 at 4:37 pm
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    I love this little compilation of Suz 🙂 cheers to FRIDAY!!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Vietnamese style stuffed tomatoesMy Profile

    June 5, 2015 at 7:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe


      June 5, 2015 at 9:32 am
  • Reply Nicole@thegirlwhoraneverywhere

    There are so many things I love about this post!! I love that you compared running to a bad boy…that’s just amazing.

    “A runner… knows that, honestly, you can’t achieve anything you put your mind to. And you know what? That is O.K. The struggles and joys of the journey are more important and vastly larger percentages of life than the single moment that you are aiming at. (Basically, races are victory laps: the real triumph is the training).” —YES YES YES

    Love ya boo
    Nicole@thegirlwhoraneverywhere recently posted…Happy National Running Day & Why I Run!!!!My Profile

    June 5, 2015 at 12:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Love you right back 😀

      June 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    Oh how I love this post Susie! I ran six miles on Friday and I felt great, I could have done another six. I was going to run six yesterday and could only get through four, and that was with a few moments of walking. You have to listen to your body! Yesterday mine was telling me that it was too humid and it couldn’t get a breathing rhythm, or enough oxygen, so I took it easy. And yes, it was one of those, “I hate my life” kind of runs. 🙂

    June 9, 2015 at 8:41 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahaha, I know so well what you mean! I think people assume that just because we can run long and far means that every run is easy peasy. NOT SO

      June 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

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