The Journey Back

The days leading up to the Diva run I questioned myself, on my own fears of will I fall again, can I do this and will I finish; the list just went on. My longest training run before this was 8kms. I knew I could do the half as I’ve done them before, mentally I knew what had to be done, it just was my body I was worried about.

I actually had nerves as this was going to be my first half marathon not my 8th, I had this thought that I wasn’t going to finish and I was going to let myself down and all those who were cheering for me.

This run was for me was the comeback run, which I needed to do and get over my fears and hurdles. It was for me.

This was the first run in a while that Koren and I did not plan to do together, Koren is injured right now and was just going to go out there and walk etc.

I am going to admit, this run hurt. My body hurt. I realized that my elbow and shoulder still flare up and cause pain. I still have a lot of work to do with regards to getting my body back physically in the shape it was in before my fall, so I don’t have shoulder issues as well as a burning left arm, when running. I know I got work to do.

But my biggest fear was my left leg. The Thursday before the run I met with my surgeon, who had all my test results and this meeting was to discuss surgery etc. The results did not come back as good as I wanted. My left leg does not get enough blood flow and at times the values leading to my legs are not working to pump any blood. This is causing my leg to struggle at times, feel like dead weight and can be numb or mostly I have pain that is sharp and stabbing. Once I talked with the surgeon, it was decided that I am too high risk to have the surgery and a new drug is on the market that can try and slowly fix the issue. The surgeon knows my medical history and knows what type of person I am, so before he even came to the table to say no to the surgery, he consulted with other surgeons. He told me I can still train and become a marathoner. He just said to me that I need to train smart and mostly listen to my body.

So for the future this is going to be my life. As always I never let this get me down, or consider my body winning, this is just another fork and as a creek/river, I bend, I will make new waves and continue on.

Jodie

This half gave me the courage to know anything is possible again and my fears were misplaced. I just lost my inner warrior. I went out and relearned what my body is capable of, being uncomfortable and learning what my body can do when pushed. I have no doubt I will cross the finish in October, regardless if I am crawling.

Flat RunnerJodie and Koren

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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

5 Years of Running

Today is my 5th anniversary of my first every 5k, so I am pretty sure I can call this my running anniversary. I can’t remember the first day I started to train, but I remember the feeling of just showing up to the start line. I was a basket of nerves. I didn’t think I could do it. But I did it. I crossed the finish line with Koren standing off to the side quietly waiting for me. I remember the feeling of triumph when I crossed. I looked back and realized I did it. The sad part to this was the run ran out of medals, so I had to wait 6 months to get it.

After this I just became hooked on bettering myself, training but mostly learning so much more about myself. I sought out the help of someone who could help me in being a better runner both mentally and physically. I found that in “coach”. He has stood by me during all my health woes and has coached and encouraged me to continue. So far that I am grateful.

To my both my friend friends and running family far and near; thank you. Some of you have become close friends and I consider you family. I love each of you for what you fill my heart with in you just being you. My first run 5 years ago, I had Koren who ran and Tracey who was the cheerleader standing at the finish yelling for me. At that point I didn’t know a soul beside these 2. Now I see faces who are now friends, who offer hugs at the start or finishes of runs and even at time when I am getting my medal.

Running has given me so much. I feel blessed to be able to do this journey, meet people and if I inspire just one person to try it, I feel like I was/am a good advocate for this sport, in showing anyone can do it. Running does not discriminate.

This year I will complete and become a marathoner at Niagara Falls International Marathon. I never thought 5 years ago that my body was capable of this. My mind was strong enough to train for this and have this burning desire to test my own limits.

So Today , I’m quielty celebrating me. My decision to say “there is no reason I can’t run” and mostly I am celebrating how running has changed me. I’m a better person both physically and mentally.

Thank you to every person, running organization and companies that has/have supported me in this journey. It’s not anywhere close to being done, but I can honestly say I love it this far. 

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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.

 

 

2kms is 2kms

This week was a bit of a “wonky” week as to just walking lots. Coach told me all he wanted me to do for the month of April was to walk, keep walking and test here and there. Coming back from a concussion that still at times rears its ugly head (no pun intended), I have to be careful.

For those who don’t live in Southern Ontario, we have had an ice storm for basically the last 3 days, I am currently ‘iced’ in and still waiting for the roads to be cleared. So yesterday with the “Cabin Fever” high, I got out my brooks shoes and made friends with the treadmill.

I consider the 2 kms I did a victory that I am in fact healing. My head held out for the 2kms, I didn’t want to push it and create a setback. Setbacks from concussions are not pretty and I’ve already set myself back with thinking I was healed. I’ve learned that healing from a concussion is not anywhere near healing from any other injury I’ve had.

This week, my goal is to just increase up from the 2kms, I ran on the treadmill. I have no “weekly goals” but to try to increase the mileage each week. So when May 1st rolls around, I am truly ready to jump in with both feet and know that my side effect days are hopefully done.

I can’t wait to officially start the training and push my body.

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Marathon – 2.0

I decided I was going to try this again; I am going to become a marathoner in 2018. It was just a matter of finding out which run I was going to do it at. I did a lot of research, with an open mind and was open to driving a great distance if the course was the right one for me. The first thing I did was select a few, I emailed Race Directors. I learned the hard way that websites are not always correct, race expos are not always giving out the right answers. So I emailed the amazing people at the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I ran the 10k last year, I enjoyed every experience at this event, including watching from my hotel room of the last marathoner coming in. I learned after running that this event is a hidden gem.

Once I got my email back getting my answers, I knew this was going to be the event for me. So I committed myself, I signed up this week, I am going to be running and becoming a marathoner all on October 14.

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I want everyone to understand, this run, has become epic, they have changed timelines, courses and mostly they are wanting us back of the pack runners to become involved, to drop our fears of the clock and just get out here and have fun. To become marathoners and even half marathoners.

2018 What’s New:
Option of RACE MORNING kit pickup for the Half Marathon, 10k & 5k races. Marathon is currently still a mandatory day-before race kit pickup process

  • Alternatively, race kits can be picked up on Saturday October 13th at our NEW venue – The Grand Hall of Table Rock Welcome Centre (beside our finish line). Please note that we are working on options for Marathon runners that work on Saturdays & are unable to pickup their kits. Stay tuned for developments!
  • Looking for the ULTIMATE Niagara Falls experience on the Saturday? We have outlined close by, FUN options to experience the Falls at various price points from free to $$$. Read more about that here
  • The HALF MARATHON course is now an out & back. This means NO MORE SHUTTLE BUSES. This means you park RIGHT AT THE START (same location as the 5k/10k start). This means sleeping in and/or driving morning-of for kit pickup if you’d prefer all in time for your 10 a.m. start
  • NEW Marathon start time – 9 a.m. This mean a glorious 7 hours for those who need a bit more time to finish their bucket race achievement! Shuttle buses will run from the Crowne Plaza in Niagara Falls 1/2 an hour earlier – from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.
  • NEW Marathon CUTOFF point – to abide by Niagara Park’s permit regulations we have added a cutoff at the 21.1 k (13.1 m) at 12:30 p.m. (half way point). You will receive a Half Marathon medal & be bused back to the Finish Line
  • NEW “Tailgate party for friends/family” program. This FREE service will bring your friends/family out to various points of the Half Marathon course to cheer you on!!!  Stay tuned for details on this one!
  • The GREAT 5k Canadian-American Challenge. Boy! This one is FABULOUS – read more about this one HERE and be prepared to RUN FOR YOUR COUNTRY!!!
  • Lastly, we will REWARD you $$$ for referring friends that register!!!  After all, YOU are our BEST Ambassadors!  Read more about how to earn cash here

I know this journey is going to be just as tough as the last one, but the thing I learned from last year is my mind is a strong piece of me. I changed my runs around and my training is mainly focused on October 14.

Due to my injury from running in Florida, I am bowing out of runs that are happening in the next couple of weeks. I am staying the course with following doctors instructions on doing things right, this is not a simple injury, my concussion is pretty serious and even 5 weeks post-accident I still have symptoms that happen.  I met with my run coach on Easter weekend and we discussed a lot, including a lot of small training and giving myself more time. I trust him, I also trust in this process.

I don’t feel that this is a comeback, more of I paused life. pause

I am just going to hit play again this weekend and start slow. I’ll be blogging this experience as I am thinking of it as Marathon 2.0 training. I will have changes, I will be still showing the world and mostly myself, you don’t give up when a goal or a dream doesn’t happen, you adjust the course, change the sails and find the wind again.

So I hope a few of you, read the NFIM website, see that this course is beautiful, you run along the Niagara River and literally end at the brink of the falls. I hope this encourages those of you who have the small fear of the time clock to sign up. Join me, run a first or a 10th.

I will be running this adventure with my best friend, Koren. We will train together when time, distance and work allows us, but we are committed. She is going to run beside me again and together we will cross. I couldn’t ask for a better friend to “give up” her own time to run with me in the back half, to support me, encourage me and mostly we both keep each other laughing on the course. I’m pretty darn lucky for her.

So if you sign up, please let me know. I’d love to do a meet up on the Saturday, if you are in town, or after I cross (if you’re still around), keep me posted on your own journey.

So stay on the look out for more updates on Marathon 2.0 training!

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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

 

Disney – Princess Weekend

I’m a Crowned Princess

I did it. I f*cking did it.

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Our trip to Disney was just that magical. We arrived after a long delay of sitting on the plane at Toronto, to sunshine and heat. I took my first ever uber ride, got the food I needed and hit the pavement to the Magic Kingdom.

Thursday morning we got up and took the bus to the expo. We got in line at the “Run Disney” merchandise tent and it wasn’t that bad. I talked with everyone and it moved quickly. I was able to purchase my running shoe ornament and my Minnie Mouse running singlet. I was set. Bib pick up was just as easy.

The expo with vendors I could spend hours in there just chatting. I want to thank the wonderful woman at the Spibelt booth who helped me find a belt that will work with my phone, epi pen and puffer.  I was able to stop by and meet Warren from Zensah. I was able to grab more sparkle skirts and arm sleeves from my ladies from Spark Athletes. I love running in these skirts as they add to my outfits.

Thursday was Koren’s birthday so we went to Disney Springs to wander around and have a nice birthday dinner.

Trying to find a restaurant that is vegan friendly was a chore but we ended up at Rain Forest Cafe. I did learn in the states when you’re a vegan you don’t speak to the manager the actual chef comes out to discuss your meal. Well after it was all done the chef just made me something sort of on the menu but not.

Friday – 5k day! Our goal was just to go out and have fun. Be silly, take pictures and enjoy the sunrise. We had a blast. I stopped for Dopey and the folks from the Canadian house! I dressed as my girl Minnie Mouse.

Saturday – 10k! My goal was just finish, as the heat was present. We had fun again with others. While waiting in the corral before you start (trust me it’s over an hour or more), we met this amazing couple from Toronto! So we chatted with them. I was happy with the timing and we didn’t push it as we knew tomorrow with the hot sun and heat the half was going to be harder. I loved this course around the boardwalk and seeing the people out cheering through Epcot.

Sunday – The half! This was the run I was chasing redemption on. I was up early as I was in the last corral and for my own mental game I needed to be at the start far away from the balloon ladies. We arrived and got to be the starting group toeing the line at the start for when we were shot off with fireworks. We had a plan, while running out on the major road ways we were going to push, make time so when we entered the parks where the road narrows we would be ok. At the 5km mark (give or take), I wiped out, I think I thought I was going to be like Tinkerbell and fly. I landed on my face and my left side. To all the runners who picked me up and placed me back upright. At this point my concern was getting going again. A medic appeared out of no where and told me to get my hand iced and he would allow me to continue.

We continued on. I was in loads of pain as I felt like my left arm was no longer attached, running hurt as I couldn’t bend my arm. But I got it done. These pictures show how congested it was running through areas of the half. I honestly don’t remember much after I had my fall.  The heat was creating havoc with my asthma and the sun was up so it was becoming crazy hot. I made sure I refilled and nuun’d up at each water station, kept my endurance tap in me to keep the energy going.  My allergies were crazy from all the cherry blossom trees so my nose needed blowing constantly.

I crossed the finish. It was a moment I said in my head, yes. I won. I am a Disney princess. I got all my medals.

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Once I crossed I went right to the medic tent as I was in so much pain, I needed someone to look at my arm. They were able to get everything back in place as best they could and saran wrapped me to keep my shoulder and arm in place. Was given medical instructions and I went on my way to get my fairytale challenge medal.

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I didn’t let this get me down or slow me down with my mission of enjoying my time at Disney. I wore my sling, found a tube of biofreeze and figured it was nothing.

I am completely proud of myself for getting up after eating pavement at the 5km mark and finishing 16km in pain, blood and a swollen arm. I learned in this how deep you can dig, how much more you have in you before you want to give up. I was on a mission and I succeeded. I won this round at Disney. My asthma didn’t take me off course, my legs and my heart got me to the finish.

Since I’ve been home I’ve went to the doctors, saw a concussion specialist. I have had testing (xray, ultrasound, CT). I am a tad broken, but I will heal. I am working and listening to the doctors. I know my limits and I will heal.  I will be back on the pavement training. I got more goals this year and I will accomplish them.

Thank you Disney for testing me, showing me how strong I really am!

Disney; I’m Coming For My Bling

I fly in a few short hours back to the most magical place on earth and mostly I’m going to claim redemption.

I’m off to the Run Disney Princess weekend. This will be my 3rd time running this weekend. This is going to be my second chance weekend.

The last time I did this event (everything the 5, 10 and half), I was ill. Beyond ill. My asthma took me out of my first ever try at a half. I ended up in the “Disney Hospital”. I got the medals but I never got the finish line victories.

This weekend this is going to change. I’m chasing 3 finish lines and I am going to cross them all.

Mentally I’m ready. I know I can’t fail as I’ve done a half before. I’ve done numerous 5 and 10k events. Physically I’m healthier as I’m over 120lbs lighter, I’ve trained. I know the plan. My only concern is the weather keeps getting warmer. This will play havoc with my asthma but I know I’m stronger. I know to be smart.

I know that every run I did last year it was brutally hot! So my body is used to this.

So as I sit here at the airport i know I’m 89% ready for this. I got the plan. My costumes are set. I’m going to sparkle, my brooks shoes have magically been converted to glass slippers that will dance me to the finish line.

I’m also going to be spending time actually relaxing, seeing my girl Minnie all while strolling Main Street sipping my Starbucks!

I’ll be posting videos on my IG: justmejodie so follow along.

See you soon Disney! I’m coming to chase finish lines and be crowed 3 times.

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