Fundraising…

Do you remember when we were kids, mostly we still played in the park, local fields or went on adventure hunts through the woods just to splash around in a creek, get all muddy, but spend those lazy summers just being kids. Now the youth of this generation are out chasing a fictional character on a smart phone. Not chasing bugs, butterflies or feeling the wind as they bike crazy down the street. (remember I am a country kid)

Fundraising as a child was so much easier, we went door to door, knew the names of those doors we knocked on. Some houses always had a change jar by the door for such knocks. I could smile my ever so sweet toothless smile and I was in.  But oh have times changed….. I have all my teeth, there is no knocking on anyone’s door (I don’t even know if I’d be safe to do such a thing and/or not meet a police officer from some complaint)

So here I am; looking for support/sponsors for an upcoming run I am doing. It will be my 2nd 15k that I am going to complete. I have a time in my head, a mental game plan on how I will successfully cross the finish line on September 17th.

I’m not asking you to just give the money because this is run is going to be me against my legs, with my heart pushing me. I’m asking you to donate to this, to Sunnybrook Hospital, to support our youth.  I’m asking you to donate, to give our youth a fighting chance, between growing up (we all remember those hormones and emotions), dealing with mental health issues and just trying to figure life out in such a short spam in those youth years, we need to make sure they have a safe place to turn for help. To express the feelings, the walls they’ve built up and mostly know it’s ok to admit they need help. We may never end the stigma of speaking up and admitting its ok to need help, but we can give some a fighting chance.

I believe in our upcoming youth, which means those of you who are parents, I believe in your children. I believe we have youth walking around that have the ability to go into cancer research, go into engineering (because really before I die, I want to be like the Jetson and fly in my car.), we set the path for the youth, the next generation, but they still need us. They still need us to create safe places.

So I ask, pretty please consider donating, your spare change, the Starbucks/Tim Hortons coffee money. Don’t donate because I am going to run 15k whether I crawl, walk or woggle, I will finish and not disappoint any of you who donate, but donate to give our youth, their families a chance, a place to seek help.

This small town girl still believes it takes a village to raise a child….

http://support.rbcraceforthekids.ca/site/TR/Run/RFTK_2016?px=1039497&pg=personal&fr_id=1131

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RBC Canadian Open & a 1st for me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canada Day 5k


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I will be back again next year. 

My Cheerleaders 

Brace yourselves this is going to be a tad long. 
I had to sit on this for almost a week before I could put this into words on paper (yes I write this out), I’m still in disbelief that so many people came together for me. 
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I don’t know what made me sign up for this run way way back. More so to push myself for goals. This was all before I had major surgery etc. Saturday finally arrived. I prepared myself as best as I could. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loves 

Inspire

I honestly had no clue that I’ve actually inspired one person. Today (Sunday), randomly out of the blue I received this message:

So where to start! In December I signed up for my first half marathon. Over the first couple months I was pumped and think “what have I done?” Anyways I trained, I ran in all elements but funny enough never rain and I mean constant rain for 21 km plus the 2.5 km walk to the start line. I thought multiple times I should just go home and sign up for another one…. Nope… I have never met you and the closet I came was at the Run To Remember. None the less your blogs, your tweets, your IG message came rolling to mind and I kept walking. I started with the pack of runners and held a good pace with them till about 9km. Then the tiredness started, the cold continued, my legs grew heavy, the blisters on my feet became unbearable yet I kept going… I had two people who followed along cheering. Me on. I cried as I approached them. Fast forward to 18km when I saw them in the distance, dodging cars that couldn’t follow direction, not even knowing if I was still on track. I saw my friend and brother. She gave me a big hug, I changed my shoes and was able to continue. When I got to the finish line I was by myself but was coming in the the full marathon runners… As I got my medal I thought I was doing to pass out… As my friend and brother came around I was standing all alone, soaking wet, with water and food in my hands shivering…. And once again your smiling face crossed my mind and thought “Thank you Jodie” your blogs, words pictures don’t go unnoticed so I just wanted to say thank you for helping me though my 1st Half xo💕”

I honestly didn’t have any words to even return to this person. I was floored. But I let her know that her half was beyond earned. It wasn’t given and no one can take this from her. The finish line changed her as a person and as a runner.

I never thought that me, back of the pack runner could inspire someone. Be a voice in a head.

I’ve talked myself through so many difficult runs where I just wanted to cry. Give up and question why I thought I was able to do this. I’ve never given up. I’ve been last, I’ve came across a finish line needing a medic to cut the sock out of my blister. But in my heart I knew I couldn’t fail myself. I am stronger than I’ve ever thought I was.

Each of you who are reading this are capable of so much more than the fear you have. Your fear is not based in your heart but your mind. Your mental game should and always losing against your heart.

Never give up. Never toss in a towel.

So today I was surprised. It warmed my heart that I’ve been able to help one person in not giving up. It made me speechless. I just see myself as me. Not someone special.

So thank you Jenn for making my day and making me realize that my strength, passion and heart has indeed helped at least one person.

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Thankful

I was super stoked when Brian from Nuun let me know my bio had been updated on the site (Yes I know there is one typo….). 

https://nuun.com/nuuniverse/athletes/jodie-hutchinson

I am beyond thankful to Nuun for looking outside the box and making #TeamNuun full of all levels of athletes, fast, mid pack and people like myself who bring in the back of the pack. To give recognition to all these levels is something so many can learn from. Nuun beyond a doubt sees everyone as a whole and an equal. We all are part of the Nuun family. Thank you for believing in me. Seeing potential over anything else. 

Now on to the why… Why doesn’t companies as well as other running organizations (Runs who have ambassadors, digital champions etc) welcome people of all running levels, shapes and sizes? Why is it just usually the same people over and over? 

Myself, I like interacting with everyone, those who struggle but have the heart and those who just think speed is the answer. At the end of any run, we’ve all crossed the same finish line. 

I am a cheerleader. Standing in my corral waiting, I talk to the people standing with me. Encouraging others is part of the running family. You have to be part of the community. 

I’ve applied to be ambassadors/champions and never have been selected other then by Nuun. Is it because these other organizations just don’t want a back of the pack leader representing them? I don’t have the face of a runner? Cause I’m pretty sure I got a good smile and a heart of gold. I don’t run fast enough? But yet I don’t give up. 

My dream would be to see all levels getting picked to become a face of a run. People relate to those they feel they are like. In my dreams I might run a 5k under 30mins. But I can relate to someone closer to my speed and who have experienced my struggles with a tad bit of extra weight but never given up. 

So for who ever reads this just know what ever your speed, your placing in a run, you did it with heart and no one can take that accomplishment away. You crossed the finish line. 

For any running organizations…. Look outside the box. Don’t pick just the cool kids in the sandbox, because we all get tired over and over of the same cool kids. 

More organizations need to be like Nuun. Treat and see everyone equal. Don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit. 

If I’ve offended anyone. Just deal. Woggle a mile in my shoes. You’ll understand my motivation, drive and true encouragement. My hearts huge in supporting others. 

JP’s Team

My next run…. I’m getting to be a cheerleader! On May 8th, I will be wearing my JP’s Team Singlet with pride and just possibly might be in a tutu, supporting the rest of JP’s team at the Chocolate Run.

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If you don’t know who JP is… Please check out his blog…  http://www.breathethroughthis.com/

As well as his website, which details the “team”… http://www.runjprun.com/jps-team.html

It’s an honour to share in this privileged with being on a team, helping to support a cause, raise awareness as well as fundraise as you go for different runs throughout the year.

This is a running crew that truly understands, not everyone runs like a hare, some of us are turtles. We are not loved any less, or judged in any way. We are out there, to support and love each other.

I’ve attended two of the “JP’s fun runs” and was unable both times to actually run with the family, but the support was still there, the hugs, laughter and smiles regardless of how cold it was, we were there for one reason, united by JP and the mission of JP’s team.

For anyone that is wanting to just come try a group run, with some fantastic people, please look up JP’s team on facebook and watch for the next fun run. You won’t be left behind, someone will run with you, and mostly you will feel comfortable. Even if there are wogglers, you won’t be left behind.  We all start somewhere.

Also, if you feel that your wallet is a bit heavy, you decided you don’t need your Starbucks fix for the day, please consider  donating to one of these two charities that help and work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. http://www.runjprun.com/donate.html

**Picture courtesy of JP…or a member of the team..**

 

 

Surgery

 

If most of you’ve been wondering, why hasn’t this girl posted anything in a while?

Well the truth is: I had major surgery. It wasn’t a little in and out. The hospital was my home for over three very very long days.

Recovery has been slow, and I can only beg a surgeon and team of doctors so much to let me exercise. But the day finally came. I was told, light light jogging. I felt like a newbie. My legs didn’t know what to do, but I finally got back into a pattern. Each week I am seeing a vast improvement in my time and I am feeling so much better.

I know the road to recovery will be long, paved with a few bumps, dips and sharp curves, but I’m ready. I never back down from a fight, or a challenge and this will be no different.

I need to thank my friends, family and running family for the continuous support. The love all of you has shown has been amazing and heartfelt.

So 2016 (What’s left)…. I’m coming for you….

xo

Jods

My Glass Slipper Just Did Not Fit…

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How do I describe the experience of attending my second Run Disney event? With being registered for the 5k, 10k and half. The 10 and half equalled the glass slipper challenge.

Let’s just start with the ugly…

My glass slipper did not fit.

Koren and I did the 5k together, it was the first time ever we’ve come across the finish line together, it wasn’t a run of any sorts that we pushed ourselves; we just went out and had fun. The run itself is just magical, fireworks, characters and we dressed up like the Evil Step Sisters. Disney always goes above and beyond.

Now on to Friday (the day), not sure what hit me, but I was beyond violently ill. I was beyond nauseous. No appetite and I had such severe pains in my tummy I wanted to cry. I ended up being sick and not in any pretty sense either.

10k Saturday came, after a sleepless night, no food and water not evening staying in my system… I got up for the run, dressed and went to start my 10k. Koren looked perfect as Pocahontas and I just felt like death. But I didn’t give up. I figured I’ve got this far, I can do this. I started the event and went as best as I could, but after being sick a few times on course, with feeling like I was going to pass out, I decided that I’d basically go at a crawl until I was swept off course. I wasn’t going to give up. Needless to say, vomiting in front of a medic was not helpful in my situation. I was swept and brought to the medical area, just to make sure I was ok. The ladies at this tent were awesome. They were nurses and beyond extremely helpful. They gave me ideas of what to buy from the resort as well as told me to get off the water.

The half has arrived, Sunday. I slept as best as I could and my goal was not to give up. The weather took a changeover night and this little thing called humidity crept up overnight. I was partially a bit worried with my asthma that it was going to make an appearance, but it was still chilly, so I was hopeful. After walking about 2kms to the start line and waiting around till my corral was up, it was forever.  It was my time to go, off I went. I was doing well, was on pace and ready to keep going. But my lungs had a different story. My asthma went off, and I was unable to breathe, I was able to make it to a medical tent and between hand signs and barely audible words, they got me what I needed to go with my puffer. After a couple rounds of my puffer, it wasn’t getting better. I was carried (yes men carried this fabulous body) to warm up in a van and after realizing my vitals were not that awesome they carried me back to the medical tent until the “golf cart ambulance” could get to me.

I was transported to the hospital on Disney for the run. Just picture the tv show “Mash” and make it the 2016 version. I was met upon arrival by 2 doctors and moved to a cot to be hooked up to machines. At this point they wanted to pull Koren off the course, but I’m a tough cookie and told them no. I was in the hospital hooked up to machines, for over 2 hours with another dosage of breathing by oxygen mask and they were happy I was coming back around. I didn’t get to finish my first half-marathon. Am I upset? Yup. Am I giving up? Nope.

I’ve already signed up for my first half on Canadian soil, which will be in October. http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/en/index.htm < Excellent organization and who wouldn’t want to run the streets of Toronto.

In all the Disney weekend taught me, its ok not finish. It’s not the end of the world nor does it define me as a person. I tried and trying is just as important. Will I return? You bet.

How can I not want to go to the happiest place on earth and run with my bestie.

So…. Next time the glass slipper will fit.

 

Ohana

If I was to have a running team, club or just a group of people out running together our family name would be Ohana.
Ohana means family and nobody gets left behind. It also refers to a close group of friends or class that resembles a family.
^^ See that, my running family’s name right there, you heard it first here.

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I feel that as runners when we go out together in a group or even if only two of us, we never leave someone behind. If you need to walk, we walk. We don’t leave the weakest link behind nor do we make them feel weak for being good at their own speed. We don’t judge, we support.
When walking with your family, you don’t leave a child behind, a grandmother or even your father, you stay with them. Ditching is something you’d see on the movie Mean Girls, not in 2016 with grown adults.
Now the next thing would be once you speed runners and selfish individuals have acknowledged this is a group run, with the rules of: we cheer, we laugh and mostly you run with a smile. But if you show up on a group run day, you are not out to train for your next run, you are out training with your weakest link. You are there to build the middle of the pack to be stronger. It’s not a hard concept eh?

Now with being Ohana, we all are cheerleaders on run (notice I don’t call it a race) day. Time is great, because you know what, we all get the same 24 hours in the day, if you want to run to the point your legs and lungs are burning on the same run as myself, power to you. You are family. I’ll support you. I’ll ring a cowbell from the back of pack in salute to you. I will be a cheerleader. We all are cheerleaders.

When you pass another runner on the course that you see slowing, you will cheer them on when passing.
Running etiquette is starting to fizzle in the last year and a bit which is something that should never happen.
So if Lilo and Stitch had it right, so do I. I have a large running family, but every once and awhile I have to bring the attention back, group runs are not meant for speed, they are meant to spend time with your family, almost like that Sunday dinner…

So everyone is welcome at my dinner table and to be a member of Ohana