Small Steps in to 2021

Well we are 16 beautiful days into 2021. Although I don’t see much difference from 2020. I know most of us will be able to give some positives from 2020, but most are going to remember the gray days.

So when I stayed awake to welcome in 2021, I think I personally just needed to make sure it happened, no ball got stuck and we did make it safely over to 2021.

I am not big on setting resolutions of what I want to do for the full year, because lets me real, I wouldn’t be able to stick them out for the full year. I didn’t reach any of my 2020 goals, which was to run physically in person 20 runs to celebrate 2020. I ran no runs in person in 2020. So that goal was washed away, plus all the other ones I had set.

This year I decided to set no resolutions. I end up becoming hard on myself and feel like I’ve failed. So this year I am going to be kind to myself.

I’m not setting a goal for the full year, but basically either by the month or the quarter. This way I can see the “light” and work towards something that is more achievable. Something that I can check off the success list. Small steps lead farther, over big leaps.

So first up is from January 1 to April 1; lose 25lbs. Odd number and really in 3 months its 8lbs a month, which seems low, but I am not going to pick a crazy high weekly amount that just puts stress on me. We are back in a “stay at home order” here in Ontario, gyms are closed and its winter. So I want something that is obtainable for me.  Something that is not going to cause me to put hard pressure on myself. We usually are our own worst critics and we can be so hard on ourselves. Covid has changed everything, especially mental health, so I am going to be kind to me.

Now that Christmas has officially been removed from the condo, I have room to workout. Which will be either on my “lunch hour” or after I finish work. This way I can get some exercise in and on nice days go for a walk around the block.

I’ve had the misfortune of still being sick with a horrible virus, which it has now been 29 days. I go this coming week for more testing to try and get to the bottom of it all. So people, please stay home, wear a mask and wash your damn hands.

I decided this is the year that I will truly make it about me and making sure I am happy or at least I am on a path that I am ok with. Covid is not going away anytime soon, until more people basically stay the hell home and the vaccine gets to more people.  I am slowly working away on getting a better balance in the work and home life, especially now that I am home more. Looking back at 2020, I believe it was a year of learning, but also at the same time, I reflect and realize even more now how much I stretched myself thin. Not this year, more about balance and working on my small goals I set for myself.

So to anyone who is already struggling with 2021 – remember everything starts with a small step, even 2021. Small steps. I will be keeping you all updated on my progress and my health!

Stay safe – wash your damn hands

Hiatus for 2020

2020 was a wild, bumpy ride of a year, with many curves, dips and turns, and some wild storms to weather along the way.  

I did no in person runs in 2020, it was the year of virtual runs. I’m going to be honest; I do not like virtual runs. They are not the same as being in person, with friends, finish lines and free banana’s! They are very hard mentally for me to have the same excitement, or even get out the door for a “virtual run”. It was almost like a training run with a medal waiting at home for me.  I had runs that were to happen, but just couldn’t due to the boarders being closed (Chicago Marathon, Pittsburgh Marathon weekend and onwards).

In March, the world came to a halt, I found myself working from home, and facing a whole new uncertainty. Everything changed and nothing was normal. Work became the front and centre of my life, as it almost consumed me all day and night, there was no work-life balance. We as a country and province did not really have an understanding of what “covid” actually was so everyone was staying inside and following the rules.

I just went to being on autopilot. Every day was just floating into the next, as I was not leaving my Condo. I was unaware how much my own mental health was slipping; I was falling into depression, all without realizing it. I was suffering anxiety attacks and I was to the point of not being able to sleep. It just came crashing down in August and I needed to take a break from work/life, from the direction of my doctor. I did not realize I was not putting me first. I never knew or acknowledged I was broken.

The fall I started to take back my life and make a “new normal”, with setting more lines for the balance between work and home (it is hard to do when work and home are the same place). I still struggled with the balance.

Roll into the Holiday time, Toronto being on lockdown it was not a very festive time. I celebrated my birthday in Covid, which 10 months before December, I never thought I would not be able to hug my friends and see my friends. Social Distancing was the new phrase we all learned to say. We all learned to wash our hands 1000 times a day.

I closed off 2020 with a negative covid test, but never leaving my condo for 2+ weeks as I was purely exhausted, had trouble breathing, congested, loss of my voice and sounded like a 90 year old smoker with being winded. The holidays were missed and I don’t remember much, even now I still am suffering lung pains and congestion.  I have stopped having naps, so I guess this is a positive.

I missed the gym in 2020. I am a treadmill runner especially in the summer and the winter; it’s a more controlled air environment. So the summer I mostly did walks around the neighborhood.  My condo did not open their gym or the pool due to covid. (my condo currently has a no visitor policy in place).

2020 taught me who I am, how strong I am and how much of a warrior I can be. I’ve learned a lot of who I am as a person, when I have a breaking point, how to take the time I need for myself. Learning to unplug is a huge one for me. I cried a lot. I did a lot of reflecting on my balcony. I am a big believer that our mental health should be discussed, there is nothing to be ashamed of, with having bad days and having really really bad days. We survive all of our bad days.

I did cut my coffee down to maybe just 2 coffees a day, from my normal 5-8 a day.

2020 showed me who is a friend for just pure friendship and who is someone who only is a friend when it benefits them. 2020 taught me to slow down, well it forced me to slow down and to accept that I can’t always control all things within my life and this is ok.  

I learned its ok to have my “give a shit button” to be broken once and awhile. It’s ok to say “no” to people who always rely on me, and need my good expertise in things. No is a very acceptable word.

So with the end of 2020, I was happy to see the year depart. I still am deprived of hugs (I am a HUGE hugger), but I am looking forward to what 2021 will bring both.

Much Love

Update (last quarter)

I’ve been quiet a lot lately in the last few months on anything running, so here is an update on the last few months…

I haven’t been hiding, just re-adjusting to a new normal. img_2368

As you all know I went to Paris France and was beyond lucky enough to run Disneyland Paris race weekend.  I highly recommend if you can, do the castle to chateau challenge. The course in Paris is beautiful, the 5k was at night. You run a whole lot through the 2 parks and back behind the scenes.

I did come home with a small break in my leg, which took roughly 4 weeks to heal, with a lot of discomfort from where the break was located in my leg, but as always I healed.

Once I was home, I had my normal specialist appointments to deal with my anaphylaxis. It was during the first week of October, that it was decided that I was at the point I needed the special, high caliber medicine cocktail (think high level like a chemo) to see if they could “cure” me. The idea has been tossed around for the last 3 years about the treatment plan, but it doesn’t come free. There are side effects and there is also a chance it won’t work. Well it was decided and paperwork put forward. My work health plan covered roughly $22k of the costs and I was left with a large amount left to pay, with some prayers, quick thinking it all has been covered.

Things move fast (faster than I was ready), so I went to the hospital on October 18, for my first treatment. I read the 5 pages of side effects and what to expect when the treatment happens and just after. 2nd Treatment was in November. A01C021E-25A9-4076-A90D-FE5D57A09C20

My treatments are every 4 weeks and this coming Friday will be my 3rd round. I’ve had my hair fall out, break off, I’ve experienced the insomnia and I have also experienced the exhaustion. I think the hardest one to handle is the nausea. Not wanting to eat, or even move fast.

But as always, I have faced this head on, without much complaining (well maybe a wee bit), I have followed all of the instructions from the doctors, the guidelines and just listened to my body. Part of this drug is taking out my immune system and killing off certain cells to see if in 6 months they will grow back “correct”. So I’ve avoided sick people, large crowds and wash my hands probably way more than I should and wear a mask if I need to.

I was not able to run (well I needed to wait until my leg was healed) and then with the treatment they didn’t allow me to. BUT this week I got cleared. I can go back to running, I can’t do any crazy long runs, but I can do 5ks and work my way back up to 5ks.

The last 3 months have been hard on my body and mind. My mental health has suffered, it is true how much running does help just clear the mind and give you purpose. I haven’t been able to plan any runs in the last fall and winter. I already have my 2020 year in the works, because there was no way my body was going to win on this.

The hardest part is to remember that all of this is going to be worth it in the end. That I can go back to eating foods I love and miss, never having to scare family and friends when I can no longer breathe.

So there are my last few months in a small nut shell. I am fighting my body and I will win. My last treatment is in March, I shall celebrate when this is done and it is successful.

I can’t thank Koren enough for dealing with all of this, the side effects and everything in between. To my family and friends, thanks for the support, the check ins and mostly just being around.

To the running community, just thank you for continuing to prove why I love this family.

To both Brooks and Nuun, I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me this year, supporting me and providing encouragement and support, these families are just special and continue to make me feel like the runner I am.

#MeVsMe

 

Me

You ever have one of those moments in time when you just don’t know where to start? I’m in one now. Some of you may have wondered why I’ve been quiet and not as much as in the light etc. Yes I’ve been running.

I’ve ran a bunch of runs this year after Disney Marathon weekend, which I’ll do a summary blog post shortly.

So here is the guts…why have I really been quiet?

I’ve been broken but not as in bones, but my spirit. My mental health took a dive. I didn’t realize it because I didn’t see self-care as a necessity. I didn’t see the signs my body was giving me. If I did, I just ignored it as I was “just too busy”

As with probably everyone; work can just consume your life, things happen and adjustments that are temporary are made but don’t ever seem to be temporary. New norms are made and you adjust and just keep flowing with the current. I just never realized how much I let myself and my mental health go.

I fell into this deep dark hole and just didn’t realize it until recently when my body just broke. My mind was screaming at me that I was hitting the wall.

I was in a constant state of anxiety. I couldn’t breathe by the end of the day and I felt my as if my chest was broken. So I knew I was done. I was living for months in anxiety and having panic attacks (even at work). I couldn’t carry on this way anymore. I couldn’t sleep and what sleep I was getting was all over the map.

I had to basically stop. Refocus and figure out what is all wrong and how to get my joy back. How to get my health back in a state that my doctors will be happy with. Stress and everything made me lose my proper eating habits, skipping meals and not getting proper nutrients have left me in a state of anemic (more than usual), beyond low levels of vitamins and minerals which are now being monitored. I was (and still have moments) exhausted.

I had to get my running all back on track and focus again on the joy of my dreams.

I had to refocus my “plate” at work and take some of the load off my shoulders. Find a balance that works with work and with me. I’m slowly finding it, it’s a step forward.

I’m re-adjusting my commute for work. I’m working on figuring it out. But I feel joy again; all because I realized I am worthy of self-care. I took a self-care day last week and it was beautiful.

I have plans again. I have dreams and goals even for my upcoming runs in September and October. I have new finish lines to chase. I have goals already for 2020.

With all of this I realized I need to never ignore my mental health. My body was showing me signs.

If you take anything from this don’t ever let the stigma of mental health stop you from speaking to people and being open. Remember you are worthy of days to recharge in order to get your own batteries back up to full. self-care-quotes-1

Self care is worth is.

Mental health days are required.

Remembering to look for joy each day and find the positives are a must.

I want to thank my tribe and importantly my bestie, who dealt with a lot, but stood by me. To those who have been from my past; those public school friends who randomly checked up on me when I needed it the most, who gave me support and continued to show their true kindness. Also to those who recently have entered my life, you all have shown kindness when it has been needed and given support.

A special thank you to my Brooks and Nuun family for supporting me, checking on me and mostly never letting me give up.

I am like the phoenix; I rise.

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And as the song goes:

“I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me”

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I am a Marathoner

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. I am a MARATHONER. Last, Sunday January 13th, 2019 I went to sleep a marathoner.

My Journey:

I went to Disney World and completed the Dopey Challenge.

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I have done other Run Disney runs, which are just over 3 days. I think the hardest thing of all was adding in the 4th day, which is also the Full.

I didn’t post anything on the journey leading up to go to Disney, if anything I just announced I was going to Disney because Mickey called me home. I love Disney and fully can relax amidst the chaos and magic.

But I was going to Disney to run the Dopey Challenge.

For anyone that does not know what the Dopey Challenge is, it is you run the following over 4 days; a 5k, 10k, a half marathon and on the final day you run a full marathon.

Koren and I went in with a plan, as best as we could plan.

The morning of the 5k the weather was Canadian weather, it was 5 outside. A lot of people thought we should have been able to tough it out without our teeth chattering, but I didn’t add in “standing outside in a Minnie Mouse running costume for over 2.5hrs before you get to run” into my training plan. When my corral went off, I couldn’t feel my toes.

Koren and I just went out in the 5k to have fun, smile for pics, thank all the volunteers and not stress our bodies.

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Friday the 10k I was dressed as Daisy and it still was cold. This time we had the mylar blankets and was able to keep warm. I met some pretty amazing people in the corral who just made us laugh to help pass the time. The 10k we just went out and had the same thoughts, slow, steady and no stress as time was not a factor, just saving our energy and bodies for the following two days of running.

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Saturday the half marathon, this course was the same as the Princess Half, the last time I did this exact course was when I wiped out and don’t have the memory of the route. So I enjoyed collecting memories of running up Main Street and running through the Castle, which was beyond magical.

After we finished the half our game plan kicked in. Go eat, bath (by the way we found these amazing bath bombs at the expo which are amazing with recovery… go check out…… need to insert website ), nap and get up and go to Disney Springs to just walk and keep our legs limber. I like Disney Springs as they have this amazing vegan bakery.

Our goal was to eat and drink during the day so we didn’t just do one large meal. I always said half the battle of this weekend is making sure you get rest and sleep. That is half the challenge in refueling the body. My water was full of nuun on Saturday as Run Disney sent out a warning that the weather was going to be hot on Sunday.

I figured my luck, I basically freeze on the first 3 runs that when I am attempting my second try at a marathon the weather would spike right up in to the 30’s with nothing but blue skies and sunshine.

Sunday arrived.

I can’t say I had nerves, maybe more a fear of the famous balloon ladies taking me off the course, but I knew my body could easily go 37.9kms without issues. I more just wanted it done and over with, the idea of just starting and getting it done was all I could think of. My running costume was based upon the unicorn theme, anyone who knows me (and seen my work desk) will truly understand, if I could believe in unicorns I knew I could believe in me.

Koren and I discussed a new game plan. As we would be shot off before 5:45amish we knew we had roughly a good hour before the sun rose. So our goal was to “break” the rules and go hard out of the gate to get as far as we could before my Asthma would kick it up. The game plan was to keep my puffer in my system so my lungs had the help always and should not struggle.

We started out strong as what we wanted. It was already humid and warm by the 5km mark. My body was fighting me and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. We ran the 30/30 method, which is run for 30 and walk for 30.

By the time the sun was up, my body was screaming at me, my head hurt, my lungs felt like they had turned to rocks. But I was not giving up. By km 29, I was in pain, my left shoulder and side was killing me, my asthma had me slowed down.

I told Koren at km 33 to go on without me. I was not admitting defeat but I was not going to allow her not to be a marathoner, and complete the dopey challenge. I think it was the hardest decision she made as we stood there and I kept pushing her on, that I was ok to be left alone and I would still do my best. I couldn’t honest hold her back, it was unfair. It was an emotional moment that is for sure, I know she felt like she was leaving me behind, but I was holding her back.

After she left, my music died of all things so it was just me and my thoughts. I knew that I had to dig deeper than anything I’ve ever done in my life, to stay ahead of the balloon ladies if I wanted to completely this. When I hit the one ramp to go on to the next road, I realized I knew where I was. This was the finish from the Wine and Dine. I was so close to Hollywood Studios. I was being blinded by the pain and thought my head was going to explode, I was over heated but I hit km 37.9 and I was not giving up. I can’t even describe the words, thoughts and prayers I gave, but I was out there with these random strangers all over the place just cheering me on.

I made it to the boardwalk to get into Epcot. I had a medic come and tell me the Balloon ladies where about 5mins behind me, this just made me find strength I didn’t know I had and I just started back doing my run walk. I told myself I didn’t have time for my puffer and just was going to get it done. Epcot was another world, the people, the words of encouragement from staff, other runners who had finished was amazing.

I made it to the Choir and I knew at that moment I was going to become a marathoner. I did it. I was already crying and was thankful my glasses was hiding it. This moment was a moment I couldn’t even and still can’t comprehend.

I saw the finish and I just kept going. I remember the announcing saying my name and I just looked up and I was there. I crossed. I finished. I was a marathoner.

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So this is where it gets ugly. I needed my puffer, I had no feeling anywhere on my left side. I was able to get my puffer out and by this time these women were getting me in a wheel chair. I couldn’t breathe. I was taken into the onsite Mash style hospital set up, I was transferred to a cot and immediately given oxygen and Ventolin to get everything working again, once my stats climbed back up to a number they were happy with, they started feeding me salt to help with the swelling, it was at this point I was able to get the nurse to help me get my phone plugged into a battery back so I could let Koren know where to find me. The nurse was able to get me to walk a bit with my stats remaining in a “safe zone”.

They moved me over to the “PT” department which in my delirious state I thought I was getting a massage from Disney, on the way to this location I got Koren brought to me. I ended up meeting a nice orthopedic surgeon, which was not giving me a massage.

He broke the news to me that I ran basically my marathon with my shoulder and elbow dislocated. Which he was kind enough to tell me that if was in a real hospital I would have been given drugs and sedation, but I was on a runners high, so how much worse could the pain of been? Yup, he was right when he said lean right to vomit.

The one Run Disney rep went and go my medals that I needed to collect. So I missed out on getting the “I did it picture” and the thrill of having that medal slipped over my head, but again nothing can take away I am a marathoner and I completed the dopey challenge.

After everything was settled I was released with paperwork to bring back to Canada and got to wear a super cute sling. We got a golf cart ride to the bus to head back to the resort.

It was after I got back to the resort I finally posted that I was a marathoner.

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To this day, I still look at all the medals and I can’t believe I was strong enough mentally to complete the challenge and to finish my marathon. I don’t know how I did it and even explaining it here, it doesn’t seem real. But my heart got me to the finish.

Some facts I burnt over 14,497 calories just during the 4 runs. This is not including the walking, rides and other things I did while awake to burn off calories.

I used Endurance Tap as all my fuel for the run. I went through a lot as my own running plan has me fueling up differently.

I went through tubes upon tubes of nuun. People forget that even if it’s chilly and you don’t sweat like in the heat, you still need to replace those electrolytes.

 

Now to thank some people;

Koren – Thank you for agreeing to come along on this crazy adventure. Thank you for keeping it just as quiet as I did and not posting anything running related. Thank you for the random yelling at me during some of the running points. Also you did confirm to me Disney does not have medics dressed as runners as I’ve always believed since my fall. I’m glad I got to share this journey with you.

Aaron – Just thank you for believing in me from the start, finish and all the emails in between. I’m blessed our lives crossed paths.

To my co-workers (turned family) and those connected through work – Thank you for the facetiming, for the hugs of encouragement before I left, the support during and all the hugs after I returned to work, limping and barely able to go in and out of the office. You all are amazing cheerleaders and I can’t wait to do the Run Like a Diva in Toronto together!

To my Family, thank you for continuing to support me in this journey.

To the family at Endurance Tap – Thank you!

My nuun family and Legacy family members – Thank you as always for the support! Including you Andy who I told first before the world, I finally did it!

This accomplishment is about pride and I am still in awe of my own self, and my resilience in not giving up on me.

To anyone reading this, you can do anything you set your heart to, your mind will follow, even if you don’t succeed the first time, don’t ever give up.

 

Other pics from the runs:

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Closed – The book of 2018

I reflect back on the last 12 chapters of this book called 2018, I believe it went how it was supposed to. Sure it was not perfect, there was some awesome highs as well as some many lows, but the lows build the character and that just made me a stronger person.

I look at my best nine of 2018 and see so many different emotions. I see small victories that even most people don’t see, but I also see and went over those hurdles for each of these pictures. The smiles can hide the pain, the laughter is always in my eyes and my own pride is right there. The hard work of changing my life, losing weight, and continuing to find the best version of me. Seeing how the change slowly has happened.  Never giving up on myself in 2018 is shown in this picture.

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I started January still feeling completely bummed (well heart broken) over my experience in October, it took so much mental strength to find my passion in running again, to know one run didn’t break me.

February, I went to Disney for my 3rd Princess weekend, this time I knew I was going to finish, no asthma or anything was going to stop me in getting all 4 medals (glass slipper challenge). I did amazing the first 2 runs, even with the heat, it was during the half that I took a fall 5kms in to the half. I didn’t realize how bad the damage was, but it was bad. I finished the run by the Grace of Angels and the support of Koren. I had my shoulder in a sling, a horrible concussion, brain issues, whip lash and many things that kept me sidelined for most of 2018.

I was only cleared to do short distances and keep it to an easy pace as it was too simple to set myself back with the dizzy, pain and unable to stand the pain in my neck, shoulder and back. But I was determined.

In June, I did the Run Like a Diva half on Toronto Island. (I failed to mention this to the team of doctors, but I did it), it was a perfect pace and I brought in someone on their first ever half, which made my heart beyond happy.  Running is not always about a time on a clock, but the victory of crossing a finishing mat.

I trained throughout the summer just to keep my body limber and able to run. I had intentions at the start of 2018 to try another Marathon, which I had planned to make it the Niagara Falls International Marathon, with the fall in February, I kept thinking I could double up and double down and plan and still accomplish this, I knew in late July it was not going to happen. I had to alter plans and just focus on healing.

In October I did the Niagara Falls 5k, it was not my favourite course as I said earlier in a previous post. I did STWM the following weekend. I was proud of my time for STWM as I personally took 9 minutes off my first ever 5k time of STWM, so I had a new course PB.

The end of October took us back to Disney to run the Wine and Dine weekend, which was a first and a completely different experience over Princess. I loved it. I loved the weather, it actually rained at Disney. The course was completely different over Princess. I had fun. Although I learned the lesson the hard way, don’t do rides that can alter, hurt and bring back the pain of the whip lash before running, it makes doing a half a wee bit difficult.

I got to experience the joy of seeing Halloween at the happiest place on earth and leaving with Christmas in full swing.

In the last few chapters of 2018, I put my body back in touch with my favourite Chiropractor who has helped me deal with my hip issues. I also went back to my massage therapist, who kept telling me I am crazy to keep running and setting goals and dreaming large, but supports me nonetheless.

In 2018, through all these chapters, I met some amazing people who became friends, who supported me all without understanding the runner’s mentality. These people have been gifted to me by way of my work, and in forms of 6 degrees of separation, and mostly in general conversations of passing.

Some of my lows was hurting myself and not recovering fast enough. Having to give up runs, and see bibs pass by and being unable to run. I had to say goodbye to my running coach as he needed to move on, which sucked, but I knew I was strong enough to continue on with what he has taught me, and that I am capable of handling the mental game with running which at times its my anxiety in the high.

I finished the year with an ambulance ride, a mini hospital visit and spent closing the book of 2018, in bed well before the clock stroke the last ding in 2018.

I learned mostly this year take nothing for granted, don’t assume that everyone knows how you feel, and that tomorrow is never guaranteed. I learned to balance life, work and running. I learned I can’t rush an injury to heal. I learned to actually listen to my body, who cares what someone thinks if I know I can’t do something. I love me.

In 2019, I shall continue to dream large, love myself more and continue to be true to myself. Stay tune for what I’m dreaming about.

Disney – Wine and Dine

This post is beyond late, but much needed. Especially if anyone is thinking of running this event in 2019 – my advice…. DO IT.

I want to explain how different it is running from Princess to Wine and Dine. I loved Wine and Dine. I loved the food festival, even as a vegan; I ate. The fun to be had at the festival is amazing. Plus it is also Halloween when we arrived, so we did Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

The runs were fun and unique. I loved the 5k even with the parking lot running. It still has narrow spots that you need to walk, but really running through Animal Kingdom was just amazing, with the lights, sounds of the animals waking up. I loved it. I dressed as Hei Hei and Koren dressed as Moana.

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The 10k started at the parking lot of Magic Kingdom, we ran alone the road and came into Epcot to finish, we had fun on this run just walking and taking our time. Never in a rush. We grabbed pics and finished in a decent time.  We finished at Epcot, and the last 5k is just pretty much close to Princess.

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The half was amazing. We started in the same parking lot at Magic Kingdom, ran back to animal kingdom, over to Hollywood Studios and finished at Epcot, yes there was a lot of road running, they had lots of entertainment, and the only down side was, I was hungry, they didn’t have the jelly beans in the normal 13k stop, it was more closer to 16/17km.

The course does double over with Princess, I did have to stop for one bathroom break, I swore I thought I’d make it, but it was not happening. I remember why I don’t stop, heat, sweat and running gear really doesn’t come off and on easy.

I think with the half the reason I was comfortable and ok knowing Koren was running with a horrible knee and well I may have brought on some concussion/whip lash symptoms riding rides before the run, I was in a better starting corral. I felt more confident that no balloon ladies would catch up to me nor did my anxiety kick in. I was comfortable, I felt safe, if that makes any sense.

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It’s amazing how much your mental health plays with you when you are running a run. I’ve had to take my anxiety meds midpoint of runs because I at times couldn’t shut it down.

That vacation I did Disney for Halloween and I woke up on November 1st to Christmas, it was amazing. I relaxed, had sunshine and my first ever rain while at Disney. Koren and I met people, had a good dinner out. Just in all it was what I needed.

I tell people Disney does not disappoint, even at 1am when you are getting up.

So bucket list this one, as I know I’ll be back one day.

Here are some pics from the vacation and running.

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Run Report – Niagara Falls International Marathon 5k

Yup. This is a wee bit late!

Niagara Falls International Marathon – 5k

This at the start of the year was scheduled to be my 2nd attempt at a Marathon. Even after I did Disney and broke my body, still in my mind I was stubborn to think I still can do it, even not being able to run without being dizzy or having severe pains.

I dropped to the 5k just to do it. It was actually me against the finish line, so I was pumped with the weather being cooler that I was going to have a decent run.

The race expo moved locations, which was nice to park, walk along the water and see the falls. The actual expo had way too many people in it for me, I just wanted to get out as fast as I could. There was a lot of confusion where to go, and which lines up everyone was in. I didn’t stop at any of the booths at the expo as it was just too many people. I liked it back at the centre, where there was room, to shop, talk and view, plus room to move. So hopefully next year they figure out a better system to keep people moving, signage up and mostly less confusion. I was also confused as when I got bib and shirt, there was no bag to put anything in. So in in essences there was no “race packet for the 5km”.

This year NFIM changed the half marathon course, to an out and back, which started after the 10ks (went first) and then us 5ks followed by the halfs. We all ran an out and back.  This will never work if they try to send off the halfs last. I was clipped by a runner coming back and ended up landing on my tail bone and left side, as Koren tried to keep me up. While I was on the ground trying to make sure my wrist was not broken, I had runners still crossing the “line” trying to run me over. I want to thank the random stranger who for right on the ground, who helped me get my wind back and was true angel. I got up dusted off the mud and finished in true Jodie spirit. But even at this we had runners in the half thinking they had the full road. There was no Marshalls on course keeping everyone to the right. I don’t even think I saw a medic riding around at all.

I finished the run. I was happy to get up, but mostly angry and that I let drive me to finish. I knew the next weekend I had STWM and I could set out to chase a new PB.

I love the sparkle on the medal. I earned the medal, after getting up and realizing that I re-hurt myself from the fall in February.

Unless the order changes for this run for next year I will not be doing it. I can’t risk the runners of the halfs taking up the full road, clipping me or I have to be pushed to the uneven grass to accommodate them. We all are out chasing the same finish line.

So I will be eagerly watching to see what is changed for the 2019 run.

Adjusting My Sails

I’ve been sitting on this and with some news I received this past week a lot of puzzle pieces were able to be clicked together over the week.

Sunday August 12, I had a long run for my marathon training plan. I started out before the sun was even glowing to rise and start a new day. I felt strong at the beginning and ran the first 6kms on a solid pace. I’ve been experiencing a pain in my hip but it was centred to one point and it just started to flare up, which slowed me a bit but I didn’t think much of it. By the time I was over 10kms in I was adjusting my running to compensate for the pain. I just ignored it, I knew it was a mental game, or that is what I liked to think, by 15kms in I knew it was going down fast. I had to stop for the bathroom, which I never do. This was a life struggle with wet running gear. After getting back going the pain was very present.

I just decided to fight my mind. Koren was with me riding her bike, making sure I had my endurance tap, my nuun was topped up constantly.

I started to slow and at one point the lady in the crocs ran past me and I told Koren I was just done, but I was not going to quit. This run was supposed to be 22kms. After an ugly cry, the pain being unbearable and my head felt like it was floating, I called it. I called it not even at an even number, I just stopped. IMG-6270

I was angry. I hated this run, I hated how it was just ugly all around. It was the worse training run I’ve had that I can remember in my running career. It just was nasty.

I knew my body needed to be looked at, I could barely lift my leg to get into the vehicle. I was in pain. I felt broken.

Leading up to this run, I had a lot of things take place over the days before. My run coach told me he needed to step back, away, down to deal with some personal issues, which I am ok with, it just came more of a surprise as this was when I was needing him the most, with my nutrition to added the kms and a huge percent was for my mental health, in understanding the fears, the doubts. So I had this loss and I will be honest it did hurt, but again I respect his reasons and the why.

After that Sunday I knew it was time to see Dr. Ashley, she is a runner and understands my body as she’s been working on me for over 3 years. I was struggling for most of the week to just do stairs without pain and in the night the pain was waking me up. I was doing heat, stretches, but I knew, it needed an expert.

As well as last week, I went to see my doctor, I had not been feeling well in the last few months, I just couldn’t shake the feeling of always being tired, and I felt that I was struggling more and more each day. After I was in the hospital in November and recovery after that I never really honestly felt myself. After some extensive testing and spending a day going back and forth to doctors/hospital. I’ve been given my answers. I have a long road ahead for bringing my body back to “healthy” with regards to no long being anemic, needing shots and transfusions at the hospital. This has explained so much in why I am in bed by 8pm and I just want an afternoon nap. My body is struggling. All this has brought down my own mental health and wellbeing.

I saw Ashley on the weekend, she talked in sports medicine talk and all I think I understood was my pelvis or something was twisted and my bursitis hip/sack is something….. But she gave me some food for thought, to decide how and if I can continue training for my marathon. Its ideas I need to weigh out for pain vs getting in distance or focus on becoming healthy again.

This past week I’ve weighed out my options, I have done the exercises, I’ve rested, I’ve heated and I’ve come to the conclusion. I can’t be marathon body ready. I can’t run the long distances for training. I can, but I can’t run with tears or pain. I can’t risk having an injury that prevents me from running in the future or limits my distances.

This decision has been heart breaking to make but I have to think long term but mostly about my health today. With having to have transfusions and injections to bring my body back to “healthy”, I can’t add in the stress of the extra early mornings of getting up and training and exhausting my body.  I’ve sat on this, talked to people and just had to make the decision.

I want to be healthy. I want to be able to run the Wine and Dine in Disney in November. But mostly I want to be able to know my body can still run and reach goals and achieve my dreams.

This set back is huge but it’s not going to destroy my goals but I have to be smart. Trust me I’ve cried. I’ve talked to my doctor and mostly I have had to listen to my body. I am just exhausted and I need to continue training but for a half marathon distance and not stress over a marathon at this time in my life.

I know I will become a marathoner, it’s just a matter of time and it will happen.

To everyone, including those companies who have believed in me this far, don’t give up on me. This is just a setback. I am going to crush it at Wine and Dine (plus not fall during the half and injury myself). I have major plans in 2019. I am going to be stronger both physically and mentally.

healthy

Transformation

This week my #TransformationTuesday showed a huge transformation of my body.

But what you all do not realize is this;

Picture on left; I was over 300lbs. I had this fear of walking on this suspension bridge in the town near me. This was the farthest I’d walk out on it. I had panic attacks that my weight would break the bridge. Yes this is a fear plus size people have. I was so afraid to step on the bridge.

Picture on right; I’ve lost over 140lbs. My fear of my weight breaking bridges is nonexistent. I have confidence in me; in knowing I can’t break items just by standing on them. I walked this bridge without fear.

My life has changed both on the outside and my own mental thinking with my weight loss. I don’t see myself anymore in the sense “I will break things”. I can enjoy life so much more without this mental road block.

#RunningChangedMe #Plussize #Fitness #Healthy #MeVsMe #MentalHealth #Fears #Weightloss #FatGone #ThisIsMe #RunChat #Marathon #BeHappy