Toronto Beaches Jazz Run

Not sure what got in my head to sign up for a run in July, when I suffer with such severe asthma, but I did.

With the week before tossing my back out I had no hopes in this run but just to get across the finish line.

Run day arrived. I have to say parking was easy, very quick walk to start/finish.

Koren and I met up with the rest of #JPsTeam and got our tutus all on. Basically this run was the midsummer family reunion. Hugs were given and pictures taken. We just missed the bbq portion and chatted over port-a-potty lines, eating bananas and drinking water. Seems about right. 
Photo Credit: Inge Johnson

So the halfs were sent off, given plenty of time for the head start. Next the 10ks went off and then me (us) 5kers. 

Koren and I started out together. I told her to ditch me. I was running on a boardwalk, all with the fear of “am I going to trip”.  

I started this run off strong. The weather was chilly and the sun wasn’t crazy hot. I think the heat hit me mostly when I was close to the 2km mark. The puffer had to come back out. By this time the heat was crazy, I was sweating and my body was just hot. I felt like I was baking. 

On the loop back I saw my #JPsTeam, which gave waves, high fives and told me I had it. I knew I had it. Whether I crawled. I was not giving up. 

You look at how far you’ve ran or woggled, you know you can’t stop now. I know that time doesn’t matter, how much the heat is killing me and the fact my back is numb, I just don’t give up. People ask me why sometimes I don’t, my answer is because I can’t find a valid reason to tell myself. I can’t live with the upset of failing myself and knowing I could of done something if I just stepped an inch outside my comfort zone. 

The finish line was probably the toughest one I reached. My body was just super tired. Kelly and Koren brought me in. I crossed and didn’t even care about my time. I felt sick and for a first I felt like being sick. I finished a summer run with sucking back my puffers.

Now some highlights… 
I had a moment before the run which I sent a message to JP, to express how excited I was. My #JPsTeam singlet fit me. For many of you, you’ll never understand this, but this was a hurrah moment. My hard work paid off well before my goal of October. I finally felt like I was part of the team. My shirt fit. I could join in. It’s the small things. The moments that make you click and feel better. I was finally one of the cool kids.

I experienced highs and lows with random strangers running this course. To some of the 10k fast runners (maybe the elite ones), I want to thank you for telling me “I got this” or “good job”. Hearing that when you’re on the route back, pumps me up. Others believe in me. Support the back of the pack. So thank you for being kind. 

Now to the lows with random strangers: to the two girls who were in front of me, when I tried to pass you and you both looked at me, made your comments which was completely rude and unacceptable. I could hear you. Maybe you didn’t notice I only had one ear bud in. I heard you make fun of me. I heard how you wouldn’t let me pass you. All I can say is I hope karma does find you both. You both should know you have no place within the running family. You made tears hit my eyes. So bitches, I rise above you. I am a runner. I finished the same race as you. 

**Now to the whole overall run…The run itself from being organized to finish, I have zero complaints. The volunteer at the last 1.5km, thank you for not lying and saying I was close. Giving me the actual distance helped me mentally. I loved seeing the amount of official race bikes. I felt safe if in the event I needed medical attention. I saw these bikers constantly. Lots of water and Nuun on course. At no time did it get confusing with bouncing from boardwalk to path. I would highly recommend this run to anyone. It comes with a medal that is sweet. 

RBC Canadian Open & a 1st for me

This was the first ever run for the RBC Canadian Open. 

The reason I signed up for this run was because I’ve grown up golfing and having a golf course in the family just made it more special. Plus come on, I’ll never play Glen Abbey CC. So I decided to run it. 

Race pick up was easy. Emails were completely clear as to parking and what to do on run day.  

Saturday arrived! Up with the rooster and on the road to Oakville. Arrived at the GO parking, buses and volunteers were waiting to get us on the bus. I have to say our bus driver was awesome. 

The course and run area while waiting was just amazing. I loved seeing all the golf stuff set up and wandering to look at the 18th hole. 

Here was a first for me… I ran the run without my Garmin. Shocking eh?! It was liberating. I felt like a rebel. At the start line all I could hear was beeping as everyone set up their watches. Me I looked to the sky and was thinking I’m blessed to be running. 

Off we went. It was fun. But golf cart paths are not that big. Koren and I laughed and was more looking at the holes as we went. 

Around the 2km mark I had a woman approach me who reads this blog and told me I inspired her to run. If you’re reading this, thank you for that compliment. But, this is for you. Never give up. Be proud of every finish line and every accomplishment. 

Around the 2.5km mark my asthma kicked in. Was quick surprised it took to that point. Did my thing and was off. 

What I totally forgot which never entered my mind, from being a golfing family (with a golf course in the family) golf cart paths are not flat. Hills, twists and turns and more hills. 

Around the 3.5km mark I was going along at decent pace and all of a sudden the I felt the pain. My lower back and right leg. I knew something happened. Something seized. My leg felt like lead. Tears hit my eyes, but I knew I couldn’t go off the cart path and I saw medics once on course and never again. 

So I carried on. Told Koren we need to slow down and walk hills both up and down. I was bound and determined I was going to crawl across that finish line. Tears and sweat rid body was going to make it. 

I finished and crazy enough I only added 40 seconds onto my time. Not sure if I was flying or not but I was happy. 

I discovered wearing a watch, it becomes a weight on your arm. I realized before I always was looking at it. It was a stress. Am I on pace? Am I on track? How much further? This run, without a watch I truly enjoyed the scenery, looked at more runners, talked to more people and just relaxed. I felt like a rebel. I didn’t wear a watch during a run. 

I got my medal which was the golden moment. I’ll never play this course but I ran it. 

After the run, I knew that Koren’s cousin who is a Chiropractor in Burlington does work Saturdays. Koren called and Ashley could see me. I was in heaven. If anyone is in Burlington please look her up and seek her out. She is beautiful, but her hands are tough. She was able to help my back, get me able to at least walk and sit without pain. 

So here is the one thing that need to be changed for this run: No Strollers!!! Golf cart path is not wide enough for a double wide stroller and a runner without respect. I shouldn’t feel a stroller on my heels. 

Will I run this run again? Yes, I need to kick this course back in the ass. Prove I’m the winner. It might of won this round but I know what to anticipate for the next time. 

Here is my challenge to you! Run a run withou your Garmin or any other tracking device. Feel the freedom. The difference it makes in your heart at just running. Try it. Just run. 

Asthma Runner

Oh summer how I’ve waited for you to arrived. I survived the cold winter, the damp spring all in the anticipation of sunshine, blue skies, but I quietly dread the humidity that comes with the lazy summer days.

I am an asthma runner. 

By no means is this a pity post. It’s a post for you non asthma runners to understand. 

Today, I had to refill 2 prescriptions that totalled over $150. This is just a months supply. I have a specialist who has provided me with the other puffers I need free of charge. (I do not have a drug plan). 

Humidity, sucks the air from my lungs. I wheeze like a 90 year old, smoking bingo playing grandma. I have pains in my lungs. I can’t take deep breathes. I actually talk less. Shocking!

Going outside is planned around times of days, weather reports & what needs to actually get done. God bless AC! 

So with all this, I have to look at the big plan. How the hell does one train for a 15k in September and a Half in October. 

Well my answer is: weights. Build strength. Do small gym treadmill runs. Keep it simple. 

I may be on the large side of the scale, but that doesn’t change my commitment. Doesn’t change the struggle of trying to breathe. 

In the real world the perfect plan would be have a plan. Never wander from it. Keep it. But that’s not my world. I grab at those days when we get a heat break. Leave my bed at 4am. The evenings when it’s cool. My plan as of now. Is just to keep moving. Keep going to the gym. Run when I can. 

It’s constantly a daily struggle. But I won’t give up. Summer may give me all sorts of breathing troubles etc but I’m getting my vitamin d and a perfect tan. 

So summer, keep kicking my ass. I got a plan not to plan. I will train. I won’t give up. 

Canada Day 5k

Signed up for this run without thinking that the weekend before I was going to be doing a 10k. 

Koren and I discussed if she was going to run ahead and do her own time or if she was going to run at my speed a couple of days before. We knew we were going to be matching besties again (well close enough).

Canada day arrived. Weather was hit and miss if it was going to rain or not. I am that one runner who doesn’t care if it’s raining. I always do better in the rain. It’s like the theory of dancing in the rain. Running is my dancing. Make the best and who cares if anyone is watching. 

I had some other friends running this, Melly made the trek out to Burlington. Dave from the Beaches Runners. 

The run arrived. Koren had agreed to run with me and keep me on track. By now it was pouring rain. We took off on the waterfront of Burlington. Rain and dark clouds were not slowing us.

Course wise my only negative is we hit a section of sand and not the packed down kind. This caused me to fully walk. The 5k is a loop, 2.5k and turn around. So got that dreaded sand twice. 

On our way back, we gave it our all. Melly came back out to run back in with us. With these 2 as my cheerleaders, pushing me. I was able to find what I needed to dig deep and cross the finish line with a new personal best. 

My old record was: 46:58
Canada Day: 45:05

I was able to take off 1 min 53 seconds off my record. This may not seem like a victory by any way to some but to me this was and is a huge accomplishment. I was able to push myself. I’m not normally a person who is about time, because the run itself is about the journey. Who you cheered along the way. The way you fought yourself and the way you felt coming across a finish line. These are feelings no one can give you. No one can take these from you. 
But to know my hard work is paying off in bettering myself as a runner is a feeling I can’t describe. It’s a feeling of triumph. 

This run was beyond well organized and Kelly and the crew she has working with her are all amazing. The food after was pizza. Who doesn’t want pizza after running on Canada’s Birthday. I would of went with a slice of cake as a full cheat day 😁

I will be back again next year. 

My Cheerleaders 

Brace yourselves this is going to be a tad long. 
I had to sit on this for almost a week before I could put this into words on paper (yes I write this out), I’m still in disbelief that so many people came together for me. 

I don’t know what made me sign up for this run way way back. More so to push myself for goals. This was all before I had major surgery etc. Saturday finally arrived. I prepared myself as best as I could. 

Prior to the run, Alex a running family member who I had yet to meet reached out to me and offered to run with me at my pace. I honestly didn’t know how to take this. My guilt kicked in. Was I going to slow her down. Was she going to over push me. My mind was going super fast. Was I going to be too slow for her. So much was going through my mind. Once I met her on Saturday, all the doubts and worries vanished out of my mind. Alex and I worked into a comfortable pattern. We figured out a routine and we went full speed ahead. 

Prior to getting myself into the corral, Koren and I walked to see friends. Got the last minute hugs, good lucks and just the encouragement I needed.

JP surprised me and said he would finish and come back out to get me. I was surprised. Shocked. I didn’t really know what to say. I was afraid at this point he’d hate running beside me. I’m a turtle. But his smile and hug gave me encouragement. 

So the run has started, I was met by Gillian at King St. with a hug and encouragement. It gave me the sense I got this. 

This run was a test to me. A test on my legs. My heart and my mind. 

What most of you are unaware is I ran this run 61.5lbs lighter. I busted my ass from the start of this year to achieve this goal. I lead the back of the pack. 

Alex who in the end was my saving grace, I never wanted to quit, give up, toss in the towel. I was focused on my breathing, keeping my asthma in check. Alex and I took this run 1km at time. We hit the 5k mark, did a dance and shake out. It was time to start the next 5k. 
We passed the finish which was full of runners crossing. I didn’t let it discourage me. I let it fuel me. I wanted to get to the same finish as everyone else. I was not going to quit. 

We arrived at the 5.5km and the first cheer station. It was tribe fitness and Melly & JPs crew. At this point it became apart that these people all knew me and were cheering for me. They yelled words to keep me going. 

Now the sun was out. It was getting hot. We passed the empty cheering sections as I mentioned in my previous post. 

When we came back to the Tribe Fitness cheer station, the tribe was cheering, loud and happy. They were cheering for me. It came apparent to me when we ran passed them and JP and Mary-Anne joined us. 

As we kept running more and more people kept joining us who had already finished. 

This is when JP let the cat out of bag that a secret FB group had been formed and all these people were here supporting me. Cheering for me. I got tears in my eyes at this point. The tears were falling mixed with my sweat. I was emotional. 

The last km I kept looking at all these people wondering how did I get so lucky. How did I find a group of people who believed in me. The home stretch with the finish in sight I looked up and saw Koren and Matt waiting and cheering. At this point my biggest surprise was seeing Mike standing inside the finish line waiting for me. I cried again. 

I crossed with a large group of supporters and a group waiting for me. I’ve never had a group of cheerleaders before ever in my runs. I’ve never had anyone wait but Koren. 

I crossed the finish with a full heart and beyond emotional. 

I had a highschool gym teacher, Mr. Larry, this group of supporters and this run made me think of him and my gym days. How he somehow knew there was a warrior inside of me. He pushed me. He believed in me. He never let me give up. He crossed my mind a few times during this run. I guess I was thinking he would be proud of me. 

This group of people from this FB group “Jodies Cheerleaders” was working with the same ideas. They believed in me. They knew I’ve never quit. They never left me behind. To all the people a part of that group who ran Saturday but didn’t stay around. I know you were still supporting me. Some of you reached out afterwards and gave me encouragement and made me feel pretty good. I never knew I had this many supporters. 

Melly… I don’t even know how to thank you for organizing this. Besides anyone who knows you, knows your heart is always in the right spot. You truly made me cry, blew me away with doing this. I’m honoured to call you a friend. You’ve been a good cheerleader and a rock in my corner. You can rock a tutu better than any dancer. 

Laurie.. Thank you for the video. It was the encouragement I needed. I had that run and I knew I could do it. Thank you for believing in me and I know you were at the finish in spirit. 

JP and Mary Anne, thank you for the words of encouragement to get me to the finish. Thank you for being you. You both are kind and loving people. Blessed to have met and created a friendship. It’s an honour.  

Alex… You got anything you ever do. You have a cheerleader for life. I’ll be your supporter. You pushed me, got me to the finish and I had a blast. Thank you for giving up a time to run my time. That proves that you are not selfish and the running family comes first. It was an honour to meet you and I’m happy to call you a friend. 

Matt.. You always know what to say and how to say it. Thank you for the walk as you said it did help me. You’ve supported me from my first run to my first training adventure. You’ve left words of encouragement and support. Thank you for the video at the finish. It will be forever a memory I can watch. Because I can do anything.  

Mike.. No words that you found the time during work to come stand for me and cheer. Your words of support and encouragement has been amazing. You’ve been a rock to me. You’ve listened to my fears. My “I cants”. You’ve been the voice of reasoning on many occasions and you and I both know times in the past I’ve failed to listen. Thank you for being my surprise. My cheerleader. My friend. My family. 

Koren.. You surprised me just as much as Melly did with keeping this a secret. You know I don’t do surprises. Thank you as always for waiting for me to finish. I know the weather hasn’t always been the best and Saturday it was hot and sunny. Thank you for pacing me on training runs. Which I know are more jogs/walks. So thank you! 

To everyone else, Tracy, Scott, Leanne, Karen, Nancy, Kelly, Allison and Tribe Fitness (Yes I am missing names… But know you’re in my heart). Thank you. Thank you for being kind. For being real. Thank you for supporting the back half of the run. You all made my heart full. Happy and truly made me realize I am part of the family. I am a runner. 

This run changed me as a person and as a runner. I still can’t describe the support and what it truly means. I am a back of the pack runner. We face different challenges. 
So thank you everyone again. 


Review of Waterfront 10k

The back of the pack review….

Package pickup:

I had no complaints in the location and the size of the expo. My only complaint is that pick up was Wed-Thurs.

The swag:

I just love getting sunscreen in my swag bags. The shirt love the design and colour.

Race day:

Starting corrals were well marked. Music was playing near the start area. I didn’t need to use the porta-potty, so I can’t comment on the line up.

Once I got to my corral and inside (Purple), I felt we had no clue in what was going on as we could not hear the speakers. I found not being able to hear, it became difficult to know what corral had went off and what was going on. So my Garmin setting up was off this time.


Was well marked. It was nice to run downhill for the first km. I will openly say I hate running up and down ramps to the Highway. Just hate them.

We zig and zagged alone Lakeshore out to a turn around and came back. The part I liked we ran by the finish and at some points racers on the home stretch were cheering us on, including friends who gave high fives.

At the split Tribe Fitness was at this cheering section, they were loud, happy, cutely dressed as well as super supportive. Saw a few JPs Team tutus. 😁 It was nice to see kids and teenagers out cheering. I feel It gave them an appreciation of all level of athletes.

We then at this point continued onward to the turn around point. We did pass a cheering section which was abandoned. We continued down the hill to the actual turn around and again this cheering section was packed up. People sitting on the grass, backs to us as we turned. Indie 88 you completely disappointed me.

The last hill in the sun and June heat just about did me in. The heat by this time was becoming gross. (Again ran past the abandoned cheer station)
I got to run by Tribe Fitness cheering section again, they had their water gun out. Jumping in the road and just being loud as can be.

The home stretch….the Finish line:

The announcer was good. Got some power bar goodies.

The volunteers with Red Door who gave out the medals were full of energy and having fun. (My medal was given to me by a close friend who was working and surprised me at the finish).

Food and after area was decent. I got a banana and that is all that matters. The bread everyone was happy with. It was from Paniera Bread.

Finisher Medal: 1st Edition, funny enough my outfit matched the medal. I find it amazing. Nice and heavy. One of a kind.

Overall I will do this run again. Only to prove to myself I can be better.

Now for the “Complaints”……

If you as a running team/ organization or even a radio station that has signed on to be a cheer section, why on earth were you packed up when the course still had runners?

Do you only cheer the front half of the runners on this run? Only cheer till your friends are passed? What about the rest of us? You had the easy job. Cheering. It was for a couple of hours.

No one will understand how it emotionally feels when you see an abandoned cheering station. It’s a feeling of “wow they’ve given up on me and the rest of us still out here.”

So you cheer stations who quit… You literally should be ashamed of yourselves. You running groups/clubs who packed up, you’re not part of the running family. You gave up on us. You became the selfish kids.

To Indie a business, who packs it in early? You don’t support everyone in a run? All of Toronto?

In the end we deserve the same cheering as the 1st half of this run. We all cross the same finish line.

Lastly, to Tribe Fitness (Heather & gang including JPs Team), thank you for believing in all runners during this run. For standing out in the sun and heat. You cheered loud and proud. Thank you again.