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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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.

Adjusting My Sails

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

healthy

Transformation

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

But what you all do not realize is this;

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

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

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

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

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.”

Famous from a Small Town

I received love from my small town Ontario- hometown paper this week. I still can’t believe it. I was interviewed sometime back by Sarah and didn’t think anymore on it because I honestly don’t know how newspapers work.

I always feel humble (and a sense of pride in myself) when I see myself in “print”. I never know what to say when I get the compliments. Thank you to all my cheerleaders and supporters.

From the comments and responses I’ve received I know I did what I always set out to do, inspire just one person. For that I feel blessed.

#MyJourney #MeVsMe #TeamNuun #TeamTap #Runner #BackOfThePack #AsthmaRunner #Disney #iRun #Brighton #Metroland #RunHappy

Flying

Believe in your beauty. Believe in your wings. Emerge, and let yourself fly.

If it takes a few set of wings before you learn to fly. That is ok. This is me. I tried on many different sets all before I learned to fly. I’ve spread my wings and flown but I learned that not all flights are meant to just soar and I’ve crashed.

Two versions of Jodie; both are beautiful. My soul is the same; my shell has changed.

Fly Fly

My words to anyone who struggle, allow the struggles, embrace the good with the bad, and accept that perfect is just a word found in the dictionary. Set backs occur, your wings need a break. Its ok.

 

 

iRun Radio; March 18 (interview)

When I received the email out of the blue on being asked to be on the iRun Radio, I will admit, it took me a couple of days to reply to Mark. I kept thinking, “why would they want to talk to me” and more so “what could I possibly say”.  I wrote back saying yes. Me being me was asking my co-workers, do I get questioned email? How does this work? Either way, I interviewed.

I think the best part (besides me being me and answering all the questions) was carrying a conversation with Mark as we are old running buddies sitting down for a tea/coffee and how much at ease Mark made me feel. I can’t wait to meet him in person and hope that I do one day.

This interview, which I learned upon answering questions is truly me. Yup I wiped out at Disney on the half during the princess run, I still ran. I started running for me, because I tell people running does not discriminate.  It doesn’t matter your shape, size and how fast you chase the finish line, the main thing is you showed up to the start. That is the biggest victory, showing up to the start, mentally battling yourself to get out there, once you start running you make up mental games, you do what you need to do to cross the finish, but at the end, it will always be you vs you.

So thank you to iRun and iRun radio for having me on, letting me chat all things running.

Since this has aired on the Radio in Ottawa and online, I’ve received messages thanking me for being me, telling me I am an inspiration, I truly never know what to say, but thank you, this is me. This is who I am. I’m real, I have bad runs, bad training runs, I have hurdles, but mostly I just don’t give up.

So have a listen. I start roughly around the 43min mark.

http://irun.ca/index.php/irun-radio-march-18th-2018/

irun

 

2018 Dreams and Goals

2018-Goals (1)

Well for once I came into a new year, new book of a fresh 365 pages with no goals, no dreams, nothing, my plot line was not there. I had to sit down, talk to friends, family, my coach and have some alone time with my thoughts.

I had to decide what the book of 2018 was going to be; I thought maybe this year it should be a mystery but I am a planner, someone who lives with structure so I knew I couldn’t do this.

So here I am a few days into chapter 2 of 2018 and I’ve finally gotten the basics figured out, the bare bones. Dreams and goals are made. My runs have been planned with careful consideration with my run coach. My training plans are coming together for the goals I’ve set.

Later this month, I will be flying to Florida for redemption at Disney for the Princess weekend. I will be doing the challenge and the 5k which means I will be running a 5k, 10k and a half over the 3 days. I will finish all 3 runs and receive my 4th medal. There are a few changes from when I tried this run 2 years ago, I am 140lbs lighter, and I know now I can’t drink the water. I will finish regardless if I’m crawling. No balloon lady is going to catch me.

In March I will be doing the Frosty 5k, which is an excellent easy run with an amazing medal. I highly recommend this run (along with the Chilly Half), its just a fun day out.

In May I have the Mississauga half marathon, this will be a first for me as I’ve only ever ran the 5k the night before. So this was part of the plan to try new runs. I’m looking forward to this course, the people and having an earlier half in the year here in Canada.

Also in May I will be doing Sporting Life 10k, which I did for the first time last year and loved everything about it, the random cheers, the good conversations in the corral and how fast pace it is but still back half friendly. Plus the money goes to such an amazing cause, children with cancer and supports their own special camp.

In June I am an ambassador for the Run like a Diva run in Toronto, which I want as many ladies to sign up for, there is a 5k and a half. It is one of those events that will change your life. Trust me on this. Sign up. Use my discount code; JUSTMEJODIE

Plus I know the island is not going to be a disaster this year and it’s going to be a true island party.

I usually use the Waterfront 10k as my spring finale run until September because of my asthma. It has yet to be announced so I might be changing my plans, but we shall see.

In September I like doing the RBC Race for the Kids, as it’s for youth mental health, which I’m a big advocate. I believe we can do more for families and youth. I know we can offer more help. I’ve experienced heartache and sadness over suicide and experienced just recently helping someone get help. So I encourage everyone to sign up, raise money and fight with me for our future.

In October I will be doing a marathon. I will be a marathoner this year. I will not experience another heartache or hurt. I will be ready and I’ve already reached out to confirm timelines etc. I suggest to anyone considering a marathon in October to seriously look into the Niagara Falls International Marathon.8B0D6AC5-B37B-47E9-9588-AA3419A6A113

I was an ambassador last year, had a blast, ran, chatted and watched the last person come in to a cheering crowd. This run has taken it to the next level with course times; 7 freaking hours to do a marathon! That right there is a huge stress off anyone’s shoulders! It took me a long while to recover from what happened last October with my first attempt. I had guilt of making Koren fail, the hurt of everything, but I finally recovered mentally.

I will still do STWM the following weekend but just the 5k to shake out my legs, more of a recovery run, plus it’s a tradition now.

The one goal I am going to do which I have never done before is keep track of my kms. Whether it is running or going for a walk at lunch. I am going to track and keep myself accountable. So with this, I signed myself and Koren up for the Run The Year event which is “2018 miles in 2018”. This is a reason to get some extra runs in, train and keep track. Also, I get this amazing medal at the end when I hit my goal. IMG-4436

So my questions have all been answered and plans are getting set in stone. I will continue to share this journey with everyone again this year, as I want to show to at least one person its ok to fail and try again. To show you just don’t give up.

I will continue in 2018 to grow as a person, take on challenges and never back down. My own health will be a missing puzzle piece but even missing it doesn’t change or define me as a runner. It just makes me unique. I can’t let it define me or set me back. I will continue to love my body for what it gives me in return.

So this year I will cross finish lines, lead the back half of the pack in, continue to be an advocate for those in the back. I will cheer on everyone for their own personal goals, however big or small, they still are goals, which I celebrate.

But mostly, I am going to continue to just be me; Jodie

 

 

2017; Thank you

thank you 2017

How does one sum up a year full of runs, let alone a year that gave me huge life changes? Well I’m going to try my best!

2017 my only goal was to complete a marathon. When I did my first half in October 2016, I knew I could set the bar higher. I knew it was in me to keep pushing myself. I could have listened to everyone who told me not to try, but that was not me. I needed a goal.

Most people who know me, know that time is just time to me, I get excited when my training and life works together and I happen to get a new PB. My goals always are just to chase the finish line. Most runs are day related decisions with weather and how my body is doing.

My asthma doesn’t stay controlled by a magical wand.

I started 2017 on the injury reserve list, after having an emergency surgery on my birthday in December. Once I was cleared I was back to fully training as I was doing my first half marathon in Alabama in Feb.

In the meantime, life sort of settled out in the aspect of my job, I was able to secure a quick employment contract. Which was amazing and a stress relief.

February arrived and so did our road trip to Alabama. I was beyond happy to spend time with my run family and just relax. Just meeting the amazing people connected to the run family in “Bama was memorable. These people are friends for life. This half marathon turned out to be a new PB. I still am not sure how this happened as this course was hills. I mean hills! I even did an ugly cry to a police officer at km 18, asking when the hills would end. I stopped for selfies on the course just to give my asthma a break, chatted with the fire department but mostly decided to have fun. I even used a port-a-potty. I learned pulling your pants up is not all that easy after running in the heat and sweat.

To this day, I am still thankful for the memories and love I got from the Alabama family.

March brought the Chilly Half, which was going from one extreme for weather to the other. My coach told me how to dress and said I was prepared and ready. No I wasn’t. The cold weather and a half didn’t work out well with me. I finished. It was a beautiful course along the water. It just was a cold day, but at least the sunshine was shining. I would tell anyone wanting to find a run to train during the winter for, use this one as the starter for the year.

March further brought more personal changes, which involved the need to move, job ending and more hospital visits from Feb and March. It was truly a month to deal with the changes and learning new normals.

I was also interviewed in March by the Canadian Running Magazine for an article on the back half of the runs and how I continue to be me. How time is not everything to me and just the success of crossing the finish line is the victory.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/06/26/canadian-running-magazine/

Since I was accepting a new normal, I knew this would be a time of change, reflecting and changing my training plan to accommodate changes.

Spring or was it an early summer month of May arrived;

I did Sporting Life 10k, which was a first for me and I did get a new PB. I was proud of myself, but mostly the memory was talking to a beautiful lady in the corral beforehand. I pushed myself as much as I could and the results were worth it. The atmosphere in this run is crazy and it’s very well organized. Plus the cause is something that is worth it to partake in.

I was in the iRun magazine for athletes for Canada’s 150 birthday. I was honoured to be considered and featured as number 1. I still don’t even know how to deal with this when people bring it up. I am just humble and don’t know how to answer.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/05/23/irun/

I was an ambassador to the Run Ottawa Marathon weekend. Which brought a weekend away in Ottawa. This run needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. The city just has a vibe that is amazing. Everyone chats with everyone and it’s just surreal. The day of this run, it was hot, so my goal was just to finish. While in the corral I met another girl who was running her first half, she asked if I could help her stay safe and keep her going. I of course said yes. I got her to the finish. She was thankful as she was completely unprepared.

I am still thankful for the Ottawa Marathon organization in taking me on as a member of Team Awesome. I am in the back half of runs and it was an honour to be considered equal and part of the family for this.

June brought the Diva’s half marathon, which I was blessed enough to be an ambassador for this event. The weather did not play well with the run, which caused flooding on the Island in Toronto, so the run was moved with last minute, so it was not the beautiful scene, but it still was fun. The weather was crazy crazy hot. This run is amazing. Just imagine running with 3000 women, who are all supporting each other and cheering, singing and dancing. It was truly a remarkable experience. You saw nothing but a sea of pink, tutu’s, and everything in between. https://justmejodie.com/2017/06/12/run-like-a-diva-half-marathon/ & https://justmejodie.com/2017/11/13/run-like-a-diva-2018-2nd-chance/

End of June was the waterfront 10k which was taken over by lululemon. I didn’t get any PB and the experience was fun, had some bumps but it has been ironed out. The day like the rest of my patterns of runs was hot, sunny, but had a bit of a breeze.

July and August, I take off from “organized” runs. I had my marathon training plan set out, I was following the plan, running and training and it worked out. I was happy with how well it was turning out.

My mom became my side line coach, with the water head offs, she would show up with bananas and just check up on me. Especially on long runs. I am grateful in her support. My long runs I would work in with Koren’s schedule so we could do them together, until her injury set her on the sidelines.

My anaphylaxis never stopped and I had several hospital visits during the spring and summer, which put me down for a week or so after each attack.  In August I was bit by a poisonous spider, which resulted in me not feeling well for a few weeks, which included a heavy dose of medication for a bone infection.

September brought the RBC Race For the Kids and Army run weekend, yup, they both were on the same weekend. I did the 5k with RBC and raised money for Youth mental Health, which I am it believer in. If you are in Toronto on this weekend, please consider signing up this year. Lots of fun.

On the Sunday in Ottawa I did the commander challenge, which was a 5k and a half. It was hot. If you haven’t ever done the army run, you need to add it as well as to your bucket list. It’s emotional. It’s an honour and mostly it’s a huge sense of Canadian pride. I love this run.  https://justmejodie.com/2017/09/22/canada-army-run/

Right after this weekend, I ended up having a bad experience with my anaphylaxis and put me behind on my training, which mentally I had a hard time dealing with.

The end of September brought more new changes, with a job that took me back to the City and working an odd shift. Which I was unable to honestly adjust to.

October came in like a rush, I had the Niagara Falls International Marathon 10k just before the weekend of my first Marathon. The course for Niagara is beautiful (again the weather was all over). Running beside and ending at the falls is beautiful. I will be doing this run again. The town is alive and the community is full of support.

My marathon weekend came. I don’t even know how to re talk about this, but you can read it again here, or for the first time. https://justmejodie.com/2017/10/26/my-try-at-a-marathon/

I took a step back from running after my attempt at my first marathon. My heart broke. I had to heal. I had to reflect and accept as well as know I am capable of finishing. It was hard to find my grove again, but I knew that I would not quit. It was a matter of figuring and finding.

I learned more about myself this year as a person, what I am capable of. I learned I can accept change, I can handle curve balls and it’s ok to have a new normal. I was able to process my own thoughts and fears.

With the end of November brought more personal changes as after years of bouncing and playing the game, I finally secured the long awaited forever dream job. So I’ve learned to adjust, make new routines and make a new normal.

I closed off 2017 feeling my own self pride, my own sense of accomplishment knowing I can do all that I am capable of. When I set goals, I will push myself to the limit. I have been knocked around and faced many hills but through it all, I never gave up. I learned I am strong. I am ok being uncomfortable.

I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who have believed in me, helped me with the journey and lifted me when I did struggle. The messages and comments have been appreciated. The companies that took a risk on me, stood by me and supported me even when I didn’t feel like they should, thank you.

I do represent the back half of all runs and the runners within, but I hope that if anyone can take something away from my 2017 experience is that, you are capable of everything, you can do anything you put your mind to, and mostly, set and dream large.

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