International Women’s Day!

Ladies – what five words would you use to describe yourself? I recently was asked this question, for IWD. I could not just name five, plus coming up with five was a bit of a struggle. I ended up canvassing people with what five words would they use to describe me, these are just a handful of words that got sent to me;

Humble – Independent – Outgoing – Kind-hearted – Resilient – Sassy – Fierce – Hilarious                          

Energetic – Interesting – Caring – Dedicated – Loyal – Generous – Intelligent – Conscientious   

Strong – Kind – Thoughtful – Compassionate – Brave – Fighter               

These words are from family, co-workers and friends, both male and female, it was quite interesting to view how others see me. We never view ourselves in the same light.

The one thing I have learned a lot in this past year of Covid and changes are; we never ever need to apologize for being us. For being a strong women, a women with an opinion, and idea. I’ve learned we can say no, and not provide a reason.

This is our time, time to chop down anything that stands in our paths. Take the road less travelled.

We need to remember our words are valuable, both in our careers and amongst our peers. We are allow to make noise in both balances of our lives, at work, at home, amongst our peers. Make the noise to be heard and to allow our voice be recognized. I have learned this year, I do not need to bend, because it makes someone else comfortable or their lives easier, but mine takes the impact. I am allowed to say no. I am allowed to suggest we brainstorm, I am allowed to use my voice to help with change and to be the change. We do not need permission from anyone to be a voice making waves.

This world pandemic has taught me, I am strong, and just how strong I am.

Strong enough to get up each day, to continue on when I felt like giving up. Strong for asking for help when I was drowning. Strong for acknowledging I needed help for my own mental health.

I always have been a fierce woman. I am at times a small thunderstorm, and then I strike like lighting. Fierce is also being strong, but is also being untamed, wild and intense. I believe that being all these within my personality makes me who I am.

I am outgoing; I always have time to smile (when masks are not mandatory), at a random stranger, to give a simple hello. To compliment a random female, on her beautiful coat, earrings or hair. We need to raise each other up. I am a one-woman show at work for an unofficial social committee.

I am loyal, I am a loyal human to all those in my life, I am loyal to my job.

I am compassionate in everything I do; I can read a situation and be a shoulder, a cheerleader and mostly a friend, co-worker etc. I give all with my heart.

We now are in the time, to raise each other up, to provide support, friendship, and cheerleading to each other women. It is our time to rise, each damn day; we rise up. Never shy away from giving your voice to a support other women. We are our own cheerleading squad.

Each day, I try to be a better version of yesterday. To be a good friend, co-worker and at times a role model for other woman, girls and even to men. I always try to find a positive in each situation, whether I am crying or I am laughing until the tears come rolling down my cheeks.

I know as a woman in the past year, it was used against me;  I was not heard, my intelligence had not been valued. BUT I elevated above all that and never once faltered in being me, I continued to be strong.

All of this is how we internally feel, how we process our emotions, how we process our actions to others. We have emotions and we can never be ashamed to show them. Be proud you feel.

Our beauty is our own, my flaws are the new sexy. I have freckles on my face, which I have learned to love. I have saggy skin, but this is my body, but this is the picture of my body, of the hard work I put it through to lose weight, to be a better version of myself. I have breasts that are not perfect in my eyes, but they are a part of me. All of this is my make-up as Jodie, which I am a sexy strong woman.

We do so much to tear ourselves down in seeing flaws; we need to see these flaws as sexy attributes of our body. Our bodies have endured so much! We need to love ourselves more. It has taken me a long time to fully love myself, my body, and all that I’ve been through. This is my journey. This is me. This picture of me represents me, flaws and all; I am beautiful.

Thank you to Anita Canada for this opportunity to be part of the #AnitaIWDTakeover

Today is our day, to shine, to get the “round of applause” for all that we do. For all those moments, we shine as women, for all the remarkable things we do, and never get the praise. Remembering we never have to apologize for being a powerful women. For being warriors, whether silent or loud. For doing the job of 3 people and knowing it goes un-noticed. Today is our day to sparkle

So to all of the women reading this – love yourself fierce, be strong enough to say no, be brave enough to show up when you want to stay hidden. Be loyal to those who deserve your loyalty and love. Never be afraid to toss an idea out at work, because your ideas are valued. Love yourself and this includes all your flaws. We already have all this within us, we just no longer need to be scared to let us shine. Some of my greatest accomplishments started with me blurting out an idea and chasing it down.

I am leaving you with a challenge, to boost your confidence, your self-esteem – tell me five words you would use to describe yourself as well as ask some random people in your life. You will be surprised in how they see you, especially when they are words you probably would not have used. It will be an amazing boost for you, as it was for me. Try this and let me know what words you used and others.

Enjoy our day, we are equals, we are bad-ass and we all deserve the same opportunities and respect in this beautiful world.

Xx Jodie

Let’s Talk Mental Health

Well, today is “Bell Let’s Talk Day” here in Canada. It is a day we as a country try to show, that having any sort of mental health is not a stigma, you are human and its always ok to talk about it.

I have always been open and honest about having suffer from anxiety, but I think I am just going to be real and honest here. I did blog earlier about how bad 2020 was, but I’m going to be real again;

I faced a lot of changes and challenges in 2020; one of the things I had learn and realize that I am not always in control, and I have to let things go, let those chips fall as they do, and then work with where they land.

For me with work things changed so fast when covid hit, we were unsure of this virus, the outcome and how to deal as an office, as humans and the slow realization that we would be limited to seeing people was a huge change.

I embraced it all as best as I could. I had manager changes; roles changed and people were shifted on teams, a whole lot of changes and my plate of work just became basically a serving tray. I just kept my head down and continued to be the hard worker that I am. My office was in my living room, I stole Koren’s craft table and just made the best of it. I constantly was staring at my work, regardless of the time of day, whether I was “on the clock” or not. My work because of the lockdown was all I had to do, so I just worked. Soon I was working 50+ hour work weeks, I was becoming exhausted. I just was drained. I was burnt-out.

By this time, it was near the end of July and I just was full speed ahead; working still from home and just not seeing other humans. This was killing me as I am a person who needs human contact, I live for hugs and I mostly live for conversations that are not read as emails. So I was drained, I felt like my spirit was just being sucked away.

By the start of August, I was again asking for help, being so short staffed and waking up in the middle of the night, remembering or thinking “did I do that” “or oh shit I forgot to do x”. 

My own health was all over the place, I kept having random infections, pains in my belly and having to go for ultrasounds, blood work and constantly peeing in a cup etc, as I just was in pain. My body was not happy.

I remember the day I knew something was wrong, the day it finally hit me. I remember sitting on my balcony, watching the world go by, texting with a friend, I remember saying to him, I feel so numb, I’m broken, something is wrong with me. It was the same day, that the doctor called me, not my own family doctor, but one that was following up with the latest tests and she just asked me “Jodie are you ok” and it was at this point, I just started crying and I could not stop. I remember saying over and over, I am so sorry, I don’t know what is wrong with me. She told me she knew what was wrong. She talked to me for well over an hour, made sure I was ok. She told me I need medication; to get back to being the me, that I knew and wanted to be back to. She wrote me off of work for 2 weeks with a follow up, as she wanted me to be off for min of 4 weeks. I had this guilt of I can’t leave work that long, who is going to do my work. But I knew I had to take care of me. I am the only version of me. So I unplugged. Sat on my balcony, read, played some stupid game on my ipad. But mostly I slept. My body wanted to sleep. For me to return to work, I had to leave my house, there was no way I could continue working from home.

During the time I was off, we moved my “office” to Koren’s bedroom and I had my living room back, to being my own space, I was able to cut myself off from work, as it was no longer “in my face” constantly.

When I did return to work, I physically returned to work for 3 days a week. This worked, it was a balance. As always things changed in the fall with the pandemic and we were busier yet again. I knew the signs this time as I was waking up again with anxiety attacks, unable to sleep properly. I went back to my family doctor and we talked, we got my medication adjusted again. I was off again in November sick, as I was not doing well mentally, the lack of sleep, change in medications just had me all over again. I never wanted to go back to the at zombie state again.

So as we are now in January, coming up to a year that I was “sent home to work”, I reflect on how much has changed, how much have I changed? Do I feel I have my anxiety controlled; no. I will speak to my doctor again, as I am back to waking up at 3 to 4am having anxiety, over at times the silliest thing, but the lack of sleep just changes my focus; I end up forgetting to eat, I feel that my mind sucks all my energy and I just become so exhausted.

Can I sleep a night through without taking something to sleep – no; this is why I know I need to speak to my doctor. This is why I know the balance has been lost again with work and me.

Living with anxiety and panic attacks; they are never fun, always come at the wrong time, whether I am trying to sleep, my mind thinks of things and I just can’t shut it down. Or I’ll be working and things are just overwhelming and I just get completely twisted and turned that I can’t breathe, so I have to take a breather.  I know the signs; I can almost predict if I feel that feeling growing in the bottom of my tummy. I know who to call during the day (I have some of the best coworkers around, they just know how to be perfect).

Having anxiety and panic attacks, and needing daily medication does not define me. It does not make me less of a friend, a daughter, a sister or a coworker. I am still human. I am Jodie.

Should anyone be afraid to admit they have anxiety, panic attacks or even sad moments, no not at all. If the world pandemic has taught me anything, it is to take more time for me. Slow down and mostly admit when you have a bad day. Someday’s I just feel happy I got out of bed or I got 5 hours of straight sleep. There are times, with working from home, I just need to walk away from my “office”, go and do something for me.  I have started knitting just to calm me, give me something to do in the evenings. I am not perfect at all, and I am sending these imperfect dish cloths to those who have said they want one. This keeps me busy in the evening and keeps me calm.

So never be afraid to be you; our imperfections make us perfect. The bad days never out run the good days. The storms break, the light shines and rain makes us grow.

If you ever need to chat, I am always available. Don’t keep emotions and thoughts bottled; it does no good for you, your own body. Your friends and family are there; you just need to start the conversation.

Continue to love you. Stay strong!

** if anyone wants one of these dishcloth – reach out.

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.




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.


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”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.