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Year in Review 2015 and Christmas Weekend


Happy Last Week of 2015! I’ll tell you about my actual Christmas Day and the weekend in a minute, but let’s all take a moment and let that soak in. 

2015 has been quite a year. Let’s discuss. 

Year In Review 2015

Year in Review 2015: The highs, lows, and lessons of the year. This was a year of big risk, big reward, big effort, and big trials, but I love my life and I wouldn't trade it!

Linking up with Smitha and Dani to celebrate the year!

In January, I met Heather 



and ran through a relatively mild Chicago winter with the help of Erica and the ladies. 

In February, I celebrated the Caitlin’s bridal shower (and saw and stayed with Heather the same weekend she found out that she was pregnant with Annabelle Grace!)

caitlin heather suz pittsburgh

then traveled to Seattle to visit Alex’s aunt and eat alllll the food (everyone must go to The Whale Wins and then to Theo’s Chocolate for a factory tour!)

Confections in the retail store.

Confections in the retail store.

The month concluded when Erica and I traveled to Phoenix to run the Phoenix Marathon, my first Boston Qualifying Marathon! (Check out my weekend here, when I got to meet Jen, Kaella (for a second, lol), Smitha. Carlee, and Pavey!)

March was a month of playing around, from taking classes with Erin at Sweat Chicago and then running a freezing cold Shamrock Shuffle.

mermaid pants shamrock shuffle

Shoulda worn my mermaid pants.

In April, I got a few fantastic days at home with my mom, and I rode a horse for the first time in 2.5 years.

ronan suzlufe horse riding

I saw Caitlin get married in Pittsburgh, met Gretchen, and I ended up with a stress reaction/fracture at the base of my tibia.

May was consumed with dealing with Das Boot, getting it off just in time for our incredible vacation to the Outer Banks,

Outer Banks Vacation Anniversary 2016

then coming back to start training for Ragnar Chicago. And don’t forget, I got my job as coach for Chicago Endurance Sports!

In June, I started coaching with CES and then ran Ragnar Chicago with Beth, Sara, Mo, Jessie, Krista, Eric, and so many others that I now call friends. I finally felt confident again while running. 

Ragnar Chicago 2015 Race and Weekend Recap Suzlyfe

July opened with a crazy visit from some of Alex’s (and my) old friends for July 4th, colonoscopy prep (so much fun), and then getting back on track and really starting to hit my stride as a coach. I met too many people to name at Blogfest!



And Alex and I got caught in a whirlwind of a fail of air travel, but had a great visit (though marked with a few bumps) to the east coast and our families.

Bird Hit Plane Alex Wants Tequila

August brought more great running, coaching, and just a lot of fun. And lunch with TIFFY


I also got to run with Alex on our dating anniversary!

Running with Alex on the Lake Front Path

And one of my old friends visited.

Courtney and Suz at J Parker

September started with running the Chicago Mag Mile Women’s Half Marathon in crowns with Erin.

Coach Walter, Lauren Fleshman, Erin Khit, Random Bear, Dave

Coach Walter, Lauren Fleshman, Erin
Khit, Random Bear, Dave

Because, you have to. At the end of the month was the big 20 miler for CES and tapering for the Chicago Marathon! And eating just about everything in sight, lol.

October was truly Marathon Month as I ran the Chicago Marathon (my second Boston Qualifier) and met Wendy, Helly, and Lauren over the course of the weekend, which my mom also came up for!

Susie's 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Finisher's Medal with its engraving. What an experience! Read about it at

I went to Milwaukee for my RRCA Certification course, and then Alex finally got off a double whammy of crazy rotations in time for our trip first to Virginia Beach for a wedding,

Susie and Alex dressed up for Andrew and Marie's wedding in Virginia Beach.

and then an epic trip to Grand Rapids, which we absolutely loved.

Alex and I on vacation in Grand Rapids, Michigan

At the end of October, injury hit again, and this time, for good. 

I spent November trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Looking back, now I know what I was in fact scared to move–I had fractured my back! But I worked hard to stay positive, and pouring my energies into establishing my coaching business and then hosting Thanksgiving for my mom and brother was a great distraction. 

Thanksgiving 2015 Family Shot

December started with great hope, but I was quickly put in my place by my MRI results and the introduction of my crutches. With instructions for complete rest from impact activities, I had to find new ways to cope and new ways to workout beyond what I had been doing the previous month. I seemed to be doing better by mid-month, but a major setback–right after writing my update post!–has me questioning where I truly am. But as ever, Alex has stood by me, and we were able to have an incredible day off filled with new experiences and the shirking of tradition. 

Happy Holidays from the Chicago Lemmers!

Which brings us to this weekend! Thank you Katie for the Marvelous Link up!

Christmas Weekend

Christmas proper was pretty quiet for the most part. Alex was working, so I watched TV, napped, and then headed out to Mo’s dad’s house for Christmas dinner with her and her family. Even though I was alone for most of the day, I don’t think of that day as one that I spent alone–I spoke with my whole family on the way to Mo’s, and then, once I was there, I instantly felt like a part of her family. Dinner of beef tenderloin, green beans, biscuits, olives (such a great touch that took me back to Thanksgiving as a kid!), mashed potato, and salad was such a perfect meal for the night. It was just a meal made with love, you know?

Cammie looked as happy as I was!

Cammie looked as happy as I was!

After some digesting, we got after it with a super fun trading card game called The Pit. SO MUCH FUN. Mo’s dad ended up winning, and then it was time for dessert, which was make your own ice cream sundaes, another touch that totally reminded me of my family–we used to host Christmas dinner for my mom’s family, and there was a year that we did ice cream sundaes for dessert. I went with double fudge chunk topped with sour cherries, bourbon caramel sauce, a ginger molasses cookie, and sprinkles (because duh). 

Make Your Own Ice Cream Sundae's for Christmas dinner!

I stayed for a bit longer, but then decided to head home so that I could see Alex for at least a little bit of Christmas, and so that I could give him part 2 of his gift. Remember how I gave him alcohol and candy last year? This year, I gave him Nike Vomero’s and an electric toothbrush!! No lie!

Saturday was gross and rainy, but I had coaching in the morning, and then I picked up Alicia for brunch at Yolk! This time I did get a picture of the Ironman omelet (so nice I had it twice in 4 days!).

The Iron Man Omelet at Yolk is my favorite brunch dish in Chicago! Veggies, egg whites, fruit, and an English Muffin make for the perfecthealthy and satisfying breakfast, lunch, or brunch! @suzlyfe

After brunch, I went home to do some work before going to the gym to hand bike my life away. Alex met me there and we went to Target to pick up some things (like toilet paper, which I had planned to try to carry in my backpack). I fixed dinner (tortellini with pesto and chicken for Alex, spaghetti squash with goddess dressing and chicken for me, and then we watched Secretariat, which was cute and very Disney, but totally enjoyable. 

Sunday was super chill, largely because of the setback in my stress fracture healing. I wanted to stay as quiet as possible, but I did go to the gym and do the hand bike and some chest exercises. Lunch was brought to me by Whole Foods salad bar and 7-11 popcorn 😀 I like to mix up my high and lows, lol.

Whole Foods Market Salad Bar creation for the best healthy lunch!

Today, I am both excited and nervous. Excited because I am having lunch with Tiffy! Nervous/kind of dreading because I am going to call my PM&R and either try to go in or try to figure out what to do over the phone. I don’t want to dwell on it right now. Right now, I want to be excited about my lunch with Tiffy!

What a post, thank you sticking through (or at the very least, scanning through) it! 2015 was a year of big efforts, big rewards, big trials, and tremendous personal growth and professional growth! I continue to be in awe of the friendships and the quality of the people that surround me, both near and far. To have people who invite me and my family into their home to share special time with them is truly a gift. Thank you all for reading, commenting, engaging, and supporting Suzlyfe!

What a roller coaster of a year! Check out @suzlyfe's year in review #fitfluential #sweatpink #yearinreview Click To Tweet

After the Christmas/Holiday festivities, what was your weekend like?

What was your favorite present–material or otherwise?

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