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.

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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

About Time

After my asthma attack on Friday in which I needed to leave work early, I knew my scheduled run distance was going to be changed. I spoke to my coach and he told me that I need a mental break run. He told me to run “partially naked”. My new goal was just run for 3hrs. To listen to my body and don’t push my lungs.

So my alarm was set for 4:50am. My hydration pack was ready to go and my nuun was made. I set out to my starting point and just started running. I previously mapped out a plan for the “distance” run earlier in the week so I figured this AM I’d just start it and run the previously planned route.  I had a ride lined up so where I end at the 3hrs someone would pick me up.

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I find it peaceful to run through my towns quiet streets with the lights still on. Trust me I was a rebel and ran down the middle of the road.

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I remembered why I also hate running in the streets and no on paths/parks. I don’t do sidewalks at all. It kills my body. My knees hurt which they never ever do. It was horrible. So next long run will not have sidewalks.

I loved watching the sunrise. I counted 11 little bunnies and 3 deer’s that crossed my path.

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I have had some hip pain a couple of weeks ago on my right side. Last year it was my left. So I’ve stretched it out. Heat to it and now going to try ice. But I know I need to see either massage therapist or Dr. Ashley.

So Sunday I went 18kms. Not my best time not my worst but I did it. Marathon training  is more of a mental game this time around. Next week I will be back on track for speed. This is me. This is my speed. I’m not a “perfect” runner and you can’t compare me to anyone else

During my run I received this message from a fellow team nuun member;

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This was exactly what I needed. This amazing woman wrote me today of all days and it was what clicked. The hard times are not going to last and she believes in me.  No way in hell now am I giving up.

I know that in the end I have it in me to be a marathoner. I will accomplish this.

October 14 will be here soon and I have stepped up my game.  I’m out of my funk.

Also I think I’m going to switch up my shoe game.  Stay tuned on that!

the juggle

This is one of those posts I have stumbled in the start of it. Where do I start? Where do I jump in? This chapter has colourful moments and it also contains dark pages.

I’ve not been as strict this time around with my marathon training, I’ve used the nasty head game and talked myself out of runs, gym etc. Basically I’ve struggled a lot lately with my mental health.

I think my largest struggle is learning the life / work / training balance. I commute to and from work. There are days I’m out of the house for over 16 hrs. I admit I’m dog tired. Then my head game kicks in. I’d sooner sleep and rest over going out and run.

I’ve lost my every other week long run buddy. So I’ve doubt myself. All the while I keep forgetting the famous quote my Rumi

I went into sheer panic and almost thinking I’d drop out of doing the marathon because I did not believe I could do it alone. I reached out and asked friends who I thought could or would be wanting to help etc. But everyone is busy. Life is busy. So I mentally got myself wrapped around I could not do it. It was like I had the fear of failure and heart ache which just made me depressed. Last October’s attempt is still raw in my heart.

Last summer my Sherpa Mom and I had such a good schedule. This year it’s been lost. I’ve recently reached out to a friend who is a runner in my area to see if she’s up to doing some training runs. Finding a bike for Koren as she is broken with her knee.  It’s a matter of just asking. Knowing people are there to help me.

I did a lot of soul searching. I had to first find out if my body would be able to handle this again.  If the blood values would work and my legs would carry me. I’ve seen another specialist for my asthma and she told me to continue to run.

As we all know my body fights me daily but I’m still stronger.

Just recently (past week) I had the melt down. I acknowledged I’ve been depressed. I’ve been letting my body win. My mind win.  So I decided to take Jodie back. My anxiety had been keeping me awake, I constantly felt like I could not breathe. My anxiety was back full force; it was kicking in at times when I was meant to be out having fun (happened at a concert). I had/have to get on top of this. I had to become me again.

This past weekend I got back on the training plan, mapped it out better. I had to work on the work / life balance. To factor in getting home at times at 7pm and back up at 5am (or before I have a horrible internal clock). I had to plan and adjust to life of July.

I realized even more this journey is going to be more of it being about me and learning just how strong my mind is. How much I’ve grown since I first started running. This marathon; I know my body can take me 42.2kms. It’s my mind I am training this time around. More so I don’t have anxiety or just do not finishing. Not having panic. Mental health is serious.

I own the road. The road does not own me. So this plan and training I’ll figure it out. I’ll do myself proud. I will stay being me and mostly I’ll ask more people for help, I won’t keep quiet and I will speak out when I need to and mostly I will continue to love running and the joy it brings me.

“sometimes, you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.”

I Challenge you to…..

be a Motivator-Bunny and here is why:

Leading up to the Diva’s half, I reached out to many women who would be there running their first half or first 5k. I made a connection over a year ago with Robyn. The first time I met her was in my corral for the marathon last October. She was an amazing cheerleader to me. I talked to Robyn leading up to the half, as it was her first. I sent her a bunch of Diva buff’s for her and her tribe. Her tribe trained with her and got her to the start line.

Leading up to the run I told her I’d run with her and if she was faster to run on and spread her wings. Let them fly and soar.

On the morning of the run I up with Robyn and her amazing friend Amanda who is a warrior herself. I was super proud to meet her. This women has a beautiful soul and the Diva’s run was hers to run.

This run was a first for me as I think I was afraid I was going to slow Robyn down. I believed us to be in this together.

I considered my job the Motivator-Bunny, not a pace bunny, because I was not going to push her past the point of still loving running, but to get the job done, be uncomfortable.

We started out perfect and how can you not love the views that Toronto Island has to offer. The weather was perfect. We slowed a wee bit as the sun came up and the temperatures got warmer, but we never stopped, there was going to be no towel tossing in on my watch.

I personally look back on this run and I am pretty sure Robyn might just think I am a wee bit nuts as I danced, ran backwards, sang to her (trust me I don’t do any old school songs justice), told stories but mostly I reminded her why we were out there. She was going to become a half f**king marathoner, which I think I yelled a few times as well. I kept her focused, away from the pain, the mental questions of why did I sign up for this. I was just the crazy cheerleader running beside her. I felt her emotions, I read her body and knew when to be quiet and let her mentally focus, as well as I knew when I could push her a bit more.

I never let her think we are last or in the middle or the front for as long as I could, we did have our own security after a while and he was pretty sweet, as he did offer me food.

The main focus with being the motivator-bunny was remaindering her its only one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, this helped me and we got the 21.1 kms done.

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I cried for Robyn. I cried for her when I told her how proud I was of this amazing woman who crushed a goal, who had the courage to start. She was a diva for sure on that Sunday, but mostly she on her own became a half marathoner. I relived what it was like to be doing this for the first time, but also to experience the emotions on another level.

I honestly don’t think I know how to put the words down in print on how my emotions were. I am thankful for Robyn for allowing me to tag along in her journey. She allowed me again to see how strong this running community is and how much we are a family. Robyn taught me so much during those 21kms, about myself and my love of running.

I don’t know if Robyn will ever run with me again, as I still can’t sing and my dancing is left to the imagination, but I was blessed for this experience. So Thank you Robyn for allowing me this experience, for filling my heart on happiness and giving me the chance to see this half through fresh eyes.

So…. To all those who are reading this, I challenge you to be a motivator-bunny for someone in the back half of a run, who is out there running for the first time, or who is trying to get to a new goal. Remember goals are different for everyone.

I challenge you to see running through the eyes of someone who is so far out of their comfort zone they are scared, fear is right in their face and failure is floating in their mind, but they are going to get it done because the finish line is the victory.

Don’t go pace someone, go motivate someone, time is not what their run is about maybe, but as I said the finish. Help show and remove the stigma attached that being in the back half is an embarrassment.

Go feel how the victory is, how the back half run and get to the same finish you normally do (and in some cases in half the time).

So the challenge is out there…. Go be a motivator-bunny for someone.

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