An honest conversation…wherein I blame Susannah for everything.

Posted: 10/15/2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

It is last Wednesday. I was sore, basically from head to toe. I smelled very bad. And as I settled my tired, grumpy ass into a bar stool at the Mexican restaurant where I have met Eric, I ordered a SMALL Negro Modelo and the chicken tacos when what I really want is covered in melted cheese and salty sauce with loads of rice. I want a beer as big as my head to pair next to it.

I had just finished 6.7 miles of semi-rolling hills and pushed myself pretty damn hard through the entire route. I am proud of this run. I did my work. A pack I am normally behind, I had stayed in the midst of or even a block in front of for most of this run. But now I hurt. That deep bone, achy kind of hurt where my core is tense and my body tries to tell me I’m almost 40. I tell it “what-the-fuck-ever”. Because I’m grumpy. I cuss more when I’m grumpy. Did I mention that I’m sore?


“Change Day” has sucked.  It has been almost carb-less (except for the small beer & soft taco shells). It has tasted like salads without cheese or creamy dressing. Smaller portions. My stomach actually growled at one point because I was timing my meals. (First world problem, fo’ sho!) Ugh. Then, there was this run when all I wanted to do on getting home from work was sit on the couch. But nope – off to running group. Because the whole point of “Change Day” is not doing anything fun or yummy not doing the things that make me fat. It’s choosing chicken tacos instead of cheesy enchiladas and getting my ass out running instead of collapsing on the couch.

It’s about telling yourself to stop being lazy. Making easy, lazy choices. It’s day one of your kick-in-the-fat-pants realization that you’ve been slacking, a rut is looming and that if you don’t snap out of it, you’re going to get stuck in it.

“Change Day” is all Susannah’s fault.


This face – not so innocent as it looks!

Susannah is one of my fellow ambassadors – and it’s her that I was out running with when I realized a Change Day REALLY NEEDED TO HAPPEN. As part of the weekend in Lexington, and for the fun of watching us groan with hangovers, Eric & Rachel have organized a run the morning AFTER our distillery tours. The plan laid out in front of us is 7-miles on the Run the Bluegrass course. Unfortunately, my hangover says 4-miles is a better choice.

Or at least I wish it was just my hangover. That’s easy enough to fix.

After going out a little too fast on the first 3/4 miles (@10:10), Susannah & I slow it down together and decide to let the rest of the pack move along ahead of us.  It’s a good chance to get to know her. If I’m being perfectly honest, when we first got settled into our little group, I wasn’t so sure about her. You see, Susannah is Southern. And though I’m raised Ohio nice, I was born Chicago badass. Everyone born in Chicago secretly feels like they’ve got a little Capone in their veins. It’s why we have a reputation for taking no crap. However, a little secret about Chicago badass DNA – the only thing that scares the hell out of it…Southern women. Shhhh! A Southern woman walks into a room and we want to jump up on a stool and shriek like we just saw a mouse. We have no idea what to do with y’all.  Exactly how does one respond to “Kiss my grits!”?

No really, I need to know. I always thought that was just some made up thing on a TV show, but they really do say that! I heard it!

So Susannah, I’m trying to figure her out and getting a whole lot of nowhere. Are we going to be friends? Are we going to be stinky-side-eye-ers? It’s unclear. It’s not until drinks on the tour bus are being passed and I watch Susannah keep passing them right on past her that my head really cocks to one side and I get even more confused. Does she not drink? ‘Cause I’m okay with that if she doesn’t – but then where are all the solo cups going? All those other people seem to have cups and yet, I’m still passing cups of booze* to her…she is like the black hole of yellow solo cups. Then, IT comes out. Double-insulated with a big orange ‘T’ for Tennessee Volunteers – Susannah brought her own cup on the tour party bus – her own REALLY BIG cup! It’s then that I know.

She and I – we’re gonna get along just fine.

What I still don’t know – where all the solo cups went. Seriously Susannah, where did all the cups go?!

It’s over getting to know Susannah on this run, talking horses and scenery and injuries and life,  that it becomes apparent to me that I haven’t been doing my work. I feel fat and sluggish. That is NOT easy to fix. And of course because Susannah is running with me when I figure this out, it’s all her fault. Running Rule #1:  Run is sucking? It’s  your running buddy’s fault.

Wait, what? That’s not your rule #1. Hmmm. You should try it. It’s a good rule.

The route is just as hard as I remember it. I end up introducing Susannah to 3:1 Galloways.  We finish around 5.5 miles because I didn’t pay attention when I reset my watch for the intervals, but the overage justified walking a gratuitous portion at the end and I feel like I’ve been beaten up. Susannah must have been pounding on me a little when I wasn’t looking. You know how those Southern women are.

Friends, it has been a REALLY FUN Summer. In that way that fun means lots of beers and ballpark food, grill outs, the patio at Oakley Pub. I have been eating like crap! I’ve been skipping runs to go do other fun things.  When I have been running, I’ve been chilling out – enjoying it – hanging back. Nothing wrong with that at all except that I’ve let go of most of the speed gains I worked so hard for last year. I’ve been putting in my work sporadically and then wondering why I’ve got niggling aches and pains and things aren’t going the way I want to during harder routes.

The Run the Bluegrass route is a reality check. It’s time to get a plan. The eating needs cleaned up. There will be no kissing any cheesy grits. The weight-training, it must come back. My body loves it even if it feels like a punishment to my soul sometimes. I do like being able to do a solid set of push-ups. There need to be working runs in addition to fun runs – speedwork, hill repeats. Consistent work with the trainer and at the boxing studio to anchor in the heavy core work. And Yoga, of course. There is always time for yoga.

Most importantly, my head has got to get back in the game. I’ve been mentally lolly-gagging. Time to re-focus. While I work on getting the plan details worked out, there’s Change Day. Good choices do not need to wait on a solid plan. You just start making them. This is last Wednesday –  the day that all the crap going in my mouth and all the crappy excuses coming out of my mouth STOP. The day 6.7 miles of HARD work gets done. And the day that kicks off my doing better, working harder.

Thank you Susannah.


*sometimes not booze. I swear she’s not a lush.

  1. […] Race Experience Coordinator. Her birthday just passed.  Susannah in the light green at right, I introduced you to her before. Mark is standing next to Rachel and Dawn is in the light blue with the braids – Friends, […]


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