Week 4-Part 2 – Marathon Training

Well, I’m going to be honest; I didn’t run at all this week. My plan was there, my mind was ready but my body didn’t work. This time around the treatment they gave me knocked me down and kept me down. My body rebelled.

I talked to my doctors. I listened to my body. Mostly I didn’t trust my body to behave, from being dizzy, swelling and everything in between I decided I couldn’t risk it, a run was not worth me falling or passing out. To be honest I didn’t even leave the house until yesterday. This was my Friday night views..
So the remainder of this week I focused on making a better plan. I spent a lot of time researching foods and being creative with what I can eat right now. 

So today it was “meal prep” day.


I’ve made my breakfasts – egg cups. My lunches are planned for each day and are ready to be grabbed from the fridge. My snacks are measured, made into appropriate portions and again are ready to grab and go. I’ve made protein balls and super health sugar free banana protein muffins as well.

My dinners are made. Each day I have something different but healthy and clean. I will be having fish, chicken and pork (yup I eat pork).


I have everything ready to go. No excuses and no standing in the kitchen wondering.

So week 5 I have goals. First, I’m hoping the side effects are all gone and sleep will come back to me. 

I’m going to be adding extra runs. Making up runs and eating right. I’m going to aim for 5 runs this week including my long this weekend which Koren and I will do together. 

Yes this is a set back but it’s not going to change the outcome of this marathon. I will finish. 

Life happens and my body is an original so I have to protect it. I could be angry I’m behind but I’m not. I am going to focus on the positive in making this week count. Making up for lost kms. 

Bring on week 5! 

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3 Year Anniversary – Sorta


Today I have an anniversary of sorts; it was 3 years ago today I was admitted to the hospital for being in anaphylactic shock. 

I waited over 36 hours before seeking medical help because I didn’t think anything was wrong or basically I didn’t know what was wrong and just assumed it was nothing. 

I’ve been on a journey these past 3 years with many more anaphylaxis attacks; ambulance rides and stays in the hospital and numerous treatment tries. As well as being tested for everything imaginable including working with doctors in the US. (OHIP cut backs)


Most of you don’t realize that I live daily in a state of anaphylaxis. Somedays my meds work; other days I have to decide if I’m “gone too far” and need 911. There are days I struggle. There are days I’m fed up and over all “this shit” as I always say. There are moments when I get a wee bit of fear in me that I’ve waited too long for my epi and my airway is closing fast. 

I’m thankful for the team of specialists who will not give up on me and this invisible illness. Who work with me to continue to live a “normal” life and let me run and follow my dreams. 

Today I celebrate being alive. 

#ThisIsMe #IdiopathicAnaphylaxis #FaceItDaily #DontWearMyShoes #ThankfulDaily #LiveLife #MeVsMe #IDontGiveUp

Week 4 – Pt 1 of Marathon Training 

Well so far this week is being summed up as life truly does happen and we can’t control everything. 

For those of you who don’t know (or haven’t followed the journey from the start), besides having severe asthma I have idiopathic Anaphylaxis. Which means I’m in anaphylactic shock daily. Somedays my meds just don’t work and this was the case on Monday. I went into full blown anaphylaxis (closed airway, tight chest, hives, swollen etc), so I got a fancy ride in an ambulance with lights and all to the hospital. 


After treatment and I was given the ok to leave the hospital, I did manage to ask the doctor when can I continue my marathon training plan for the week, I’m pretty sure his eye roll said it all. If you don’t ask you don’t know was my motto, but he just didn’t know me. This was not my first rodeo with this. I don’t sit back. 

I came home on a heavy duty treatment plan which I get every possible side effect; insomnia (yes I haven’t slept in days), sweats, burning skin, swollen skin and joints that feel broken and so on. 

So I’ve sat today looking at my marathon training plan, seeing what I’ve missed this week and mostly trying not to be sad. 

I was on such a roll and beyond proud of myself for the full commitment and then my body decided to fight me. This body likes to think it can beat me. But little does it know I’m stronger then this challenge. I’m stronger mentally. 

So I’m listening to my body and with it being Thursday I’ve used most of my energy to go up and down stairs and walk around. I know tomorrow is a new day and one day closer to being finished the treatment plan and adjusting back to being in the new routine. 

Nothing in life is craved in stone; we are like rivers, streams, constantly are flowing, changing directions and adjusting to hurdles in the way. That’s what this week is about accepting and adjusting. 

Until then I’m going to stare at my runners, my clothes, hydration pack, dream and set new goals. 

I still have three days left in week 4 of the marathon training plan. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the pavement before the end of it. 

My body is not going to fully win this round, when I have determination in my blood.

Stay tuned for part 2 of week 4!
 

W3 – Marathon Training

I started this week out more concerned over the upcoming doctors appointments. My main focus going into the week above the medical aside was my food, changing the fuelling up and trying to figure out the proper balance for myself.  

Tuesday I was at the hospital meeting a new specialist who will be working with my asthma doctor. I completed a series of tests and came away with another medication to use before I do any exercise. Hopefully this helps with keeping airways open. Needless to say it wasn’t a fun day.

Wednesday I had another appointment to get some answers from the popping sound and pain in my chest and my legs. So the end verdict on my ribs is the intercostal muscles are moving, inflamed and angry, so they are moving my ribs (I have previous broken ribs & chest bone), which is causing me the pain. So I have a treatment and a game plan. Mostly remember to listen to my body and the pain. Now on to my legs and hip, I’ll be needing surgery and have been referred on to a specialist. Nothing crazy but serious enough. I have a plan; doctors recommendation and always remember to listen to my body. 

So with all this news I had to re adjust to a new normal

My runs this week I added kms to the runs just to try and make up missed kms. The humidity spiked this week so it was difficult to run outside. On Thursdays run I went out and did the loop, it wasn’t my fastest time but I look at it the 8km were done and completed. 

The long run was moved again this week to Saturday. Scheduled was 14.5km. We decided to do the waterfront trail, just to make it fun, with a bit of water and trees for coverage. 


Once we got going we realized we missed judged the starting point to get all the kms in, so yes at one point I was that fool making up kms in a parking lot. 

This run was a mix of good hills and flat all mixed in with repeats. It was good a workout.


Koren and I had fun again on this long run, last week we named the run “picking daisy” and this week it was all about the dance party. Koren forgot her headset so we ran with the music playing. So it was a dance party. 

​You have to be able to run and train all while keeping it happy. Who cares what others think. Have fun and be you. 


This run we kept a good pace for the first 8kms and from there it went downhill quickly. We both became hungry. I felt pain. I forgot my asthma medicine (don’t ask). I was hurting. But! I was ok with the slower finish because we still finished! 

Learning to listen to your body and realize you are not failing the plan or yourself is an adjustment. Knowing that I’m being smart and sensible because this goal is the goal of 2017, that makes me ok with everything. It makes me realize I’m a strong person. 

So again this week it’s almost like a reset button on last weeks goal. I’m going to figure out my nutrition, learning the new normal, listening to both doctors and following plans. 

So bring on week 4 with some changes and mostly me working on the other side of running. 

Marathon Training -W2

Well I was excited to start week 2 because I was happy I got through and committed myself to week 1. Dedication is hard when the goal is months away. 

After my long run on week 1, I experienced pains in my chest that were not “heart attack pains”. It felt like ribs had moved or something. I sought out some advice on if I should run, see a doctor or rest. I have broken a few ribs including my chest bone in the past. So with losing weight and losing the added protection around my intercostal muscles I need to see a doctor to be cleared (make sure that my ribs are moving, popping out when I try to sleep). 

So this week I knew my body was going to be the guide. When the pain hits running I stop. Again I’m not going to be a hero. This is a dream that is going to happen. 

On Tuesday I was scheduled to run 7k. I started out on the treadmill and just made it to 5k. I pushed myself and was happy. 

I was scheduled for my cross training / intervals on Wed and I knew there was no way I could do any of that without the pain, which comes and goes depending on how I bend, move. So I crossed it off the plan and added the words “make up” beside it.

Thursday I was scheduled again for 7km. The humidity spiked and I was not going outside. So I was in the treadmill, with AC and fans pointing at me. Again I only made it to 5k. I did learn I cannot have a conversation with a 5yr old while running on a treadmill. Those why questions become too much! 

So at this point I have 4kms I want to make up because I feel it will continue to make me stronger. 

We moved our long run to Saturday because Koren came for a visit. So we spent our Canada Day morning running the Trans Canada Trail just outside of Peterborough. We decided to run this trail as there are no lights or cars to worry about, just snakes! Which we saw zero this time!!!!

We started out strong, even with the intense heat burst we went through. It was cloudy and there was a small breeze which helped. 


The plan was for a 10.5k run. I said to Koren let’s just see what we can do. We kept it up strong until about the 7k mark just when my chest was done. I had to slow up and eventually ended up walking back. 


To me I still am considering this a successful training run because: 1. I listened to my body. 2. We completed 10.5k 3. I didn’t care about the time. 

I knew going into this training program and making this commitment to myself that not every run is going to be pretty, full of rainbows, sunshine, there are going to be ugly ones that just make you wish you were finished, or full of mental battles. 

So my focus for week 3 is nutrition. Most of you are all unaware I have food restrictions and can not consume a lot of “normal” foods. No this is not because of “diet” but because it’s health related. 

I need to learn this week protein before and after a run. How to fuel my body in advance better and afterwards. What carbs might actually work for me that my body will accept. 

My running times have me out running longer than most, so I need to factor in my runs are longer and I need more fuel so my legs don’t feel like cement filled cinder blocks holding me back. 

So bring on week 3: 

Doctor’s appointment to get medically cleared and to make sure nothing is wrong; 

3 runs; and hopefully intervals and cross training. 

And learning nutrition for me. 

Week 1 – Done (marathon training)

So… week 1 is done, checked marked off. 

I was scheduled to run an easy 5k on Wednesday which I had a first. I ran my first ever 5k without stopping. This is huge to me and such a victory all on its own. It was just me and a back country road. Small steps lead to big steps. #MeVsMe


My next scheduled run was for Friday, which I’ll admit life happened and I didn’t get it in. I did however walk well over 5k around Toronto (avoided transit). I knew it was an error on my part for not getting out when I got home, but I know sometimes life creeps up on us. Plans change. 

Today (Sunday) was the scheduled “long run”. Koren visited for some Summer weekend fun (bonfire, sunsets and smores), so this AM (Sunday) we got up to go out for our 7.5k run. 

The sun was out, we were out with nature and off running. It was an easy path with some little hills. 


I had a few things I normally do that I didn’t today (Sunday); I didn’t run with my hydration pack. I ran with everything in a belt around my waist (which doesn’t fit everything) and water bottle in hand. I was completely fine for the 5k with this set up but not for this distance. I think I need my pack for longer runs. It’s way more comfortable and offers me easier access for my puffer. 

Today (Sunday) I also had another first…. a side stitch that all these people talk about. This was an experience. I said to Koren “is this a heart attack?”. I could barely breathe and I was bent over in pain. It was not fun.

So, I didn’t tell Koren but our 7.5k was actually 8k from where we parked the car to entrance to road we ran on. So it sort of helped a wee bit with missing the Friday run. 


My legs felt good, I was not pooped afterwards. I truly believe my body is adjusting to this running and this frequently, with such longer distances. 

The one thing that as my kms increase u have to accept I don’t get pizza. The rule always was after any “run” I’d get pizza or a slice but not anymore. Now my reward is food to refuel my body properly (but I still think pizza is proper). 

Marathon training is just not running but also food and mental.  

So let’s see how week 2 pans out. Stay tuned. 

#MyJourney #BackOfThePack

Marathon Training 

Well I knew this was going to roll around sooner than later. I had a beyond lengthy discussion with my run coach on Tuesday. He and I discussed so many different logistics, including my health to just about what I’ll eat daily or mostly on days of long training runs. 

Most important for summer training; listen to my body. Listen to my asthma. Don’t be a hero.  

I have the schedule. I have the days written in my agenda, it’s real now. I’m going to do this. 


Today is day 1 of week 1. 

I’ll be posting more as weeks go on, more so to keep myself accountable. 

I thought a lot today while being crazy busy about the start of this journey. I realized my first 5k of this plan is (was) done on the longest day of the year, but mostly today is a new season. It seems fitting. 

Last year I set a goal to do a half marathon. I accomplished that in October. Since the start of 2017 I’ve ran 4 half marathons and 2 10ks. I could of worked on my half marathon time and kept getting better times but I figured I needed a tougher goal. I needed to prove to myself this back of the pack runner can do a full. I can do the challenge. I can win and beat my body and mind. I’ll be a marathoner. 

So stay tuned for this journey it’s going to be epic, an adventure and mostly me probably grumbling but the finish will be worth it.

This is my journey. It’s #MeVsMe

Lululemon Waterfront 10k

I am going to start this off with an open letter to Lululemon (Toronto):

Hi Lululemon,

You fine folks surely knew how to throw one hell of a party, the cheer stations were unreal, loud and proud.

Well now on to the race swag, well basically the top I got. I’m going to be real here, I am not a size 12. Check out my Instagram and you’ll see; I’m plus size and I’m a runner, yup I’m a runner (insert a gasp). 

So you see the size 12 shirt just doesn’t work for me, I thought about maybe if I put on my saugage suit (that’s what I call my spanx), it might work, or look maybe some what acceptable to leave my house in, but lets be real also, I need to breathe. So maybe instead of a shirt (which was 68$), you could offer an exchange, or a second option, like socks. You see I wear your socks to run in, train in etc. They fit me perfect, and offer the right amount of comfort. So I’m ok with only getting an 18$ pair of socks, because I’ll use them, I’ll wear them with pride, I’ll incorporate them into my outfits so they match. I’d love the idea of an option for socks, because not every runner has a lululemon body.  I totally get and respect your sizes are your sizes but maybe next year you’ll think of all shapes, sizes and remember its more than just about the miles.

Every single one of us who ran on Saturday, ran the streets of Toronto with pride and happiness. But some of us just can’t be fully part of the “cool kids” cause our shirts just don’t fit. So think about it for next year…. socks. (Cause I’d take a pair of socks now). My shirt is just going to the back of the closet.

But thank you again for an amazing experience but really think about the socks.

Yours in running

Jodie.

Now on to the guts….

Last year this was my come back run from having major life surgery. I had never ran a 10k before, and this was all new to me. I was nervous, I had my new found running buddy Alex (who I met day of run), running with me, keeping me going and not letting me stop. When I was coming to the finish my whole running family brought me home. I felt and still cry when I tell people this story, I felt like I was coming home and all I still feel is the love from that day.

This year it was #MeVsMe my goal was to finish and if possible set a new course record. This run had a first for me; I was not that last corral before the walkers, I was a corral up. I was the leader of the back of the pack. I was going to make sure everyone got to the finish.

I knew from the start I went out to fast, I felt like I made a rookie move and the whole time running down University I kept saying I need to slow down. When Blair sees these splits hes going to be upset. Once I got into the grove of things which took about a km I readjusted my goal, to just maintain a pace, run more and walk less. Push my body, but listen to my body. My goal was only to walk the “ramps” and pay attention to my asthma as it was HOT and sunny again, with no breeze.

Once I got to the area where I was meeting runners coming back into the finish, I started seeing my running family, this is where these people became my wings. I saw them, heard the cheers, the claps and the yelling to dig deep. So I dug deep.

I crossed the finish with a new course personal record and took 9mins off last years time. I pushed myself and I am proud of myself. I actually surprised myself.

I ran 10k to get my medal from Allison, who volunteered. I had my family giving me this medal in which I loved the journey to get it. So it was completely special to me. 


Lulu paid for all participants to get their race pictures for free. I don’t honestly remember seeing any photographers on course but this picture is me. This is my runners body.

Now on to a more ethical note about this run, they had towels that they were handing out at the finish (you know those ones you get from buffet restaurants or riding the VIA first class), but by the time I got to the finish there was none left, to me if you do the math they should of had one for each participant…. I actually stopped a group of runners who each had approximately 10 or so in their check bag, and basically told them to give me one, as there is none left and runners still out on the course. I said really one per person is the rule, common sense and a respect thing. But I smiled when I said all this.
People often forget there is a back half of a run, who have paid the same fee as you, ran the same distance as you, so next time you grab 2-3 banana’s or multiple bagels, ask yourself this….

Are there still runners out there?

Do they deserve to have food/water/treats when they finish?

Remember what took you 40 or so minutes to run a 10k, there is still a runner out there who will cross at 1:31 (ie me), who deserves the same as what you get, because really I might want a banana (the bananas on Saturday looked like they had been squished, opened and there was only about 20 left). So think before you grab! 

I will be back next year, regardless that again I said again its too hot, but this run is becoming tradition to be my “spring finale” until the fall season kicks in. My asthma wins in July and August and this year I am listening to the team of specialists. I only have one body.

So thank you CRS for the excitement of the run, happy crowds and awesome medal.

I’ll see you next year.  


The run family (missing a few!)

Run Like A Diva – Half Marathon 

This was the first time this running series was brought to Canada. It was on the bucket list for sure to do! I was beyond fortunate to be selected as an ambassador. I was able to be me, speak to women throughout my travels (and runs) to bring the idea forward of a diva filled women’s run.

The week before this run, my body fought me and won. I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and had a nice stay. All week leading up to this run, I was doubting my ability of evening being able to tie my runners without the side effects of the medication / treatment plan (to keep me going). All week I suffered. I told myself that just showing up was the victory, but even if I started and got a “DNF”, this did not change my ability as runner, it didn’t change me as a person. It was just me being smart and my body was talking to me. So yesterday I went in with the intention of just supporting women, doing a half marathon in the mind frame of I was going out there to pick daisies and make art from cloud shapes. There was no time in my mind.

Yesterday, well summer surely hit yesterday in Toronto. Monday we were freezing and yesterday we had a medical examiner heat advisory in effect. I was not prepared. My lungs were not prepared. But again, I was just going out to pick daises and try. I was just going to show up.

A couple of hiccups with the run was Toronto Island is flooded. So the course had to be changed last minute, this is nothing the organizers had control of, so we ended up on a pretty blah course, with very very very little shade. This didn’t deter women from supporting each other as they passed each other, had random conversations and just kept checking on each other. This is what women are about. We support each other.

Arriving for the run yesterday, I dressed cool as possible with the weather being so HOT. Koren and I started in wave 3. We were shot off around 8:48am. The sun was up but we had this breeze that was amazing. We started out slow and steady. My goal; just try to maintain a pace, not fall back and not give my body a chance to say… “STOP”. The side effects of the meds were still very present but I just said I’m tougher than this body. I will win. I battle daily with this basically invisible illness, I fight myself daily to stay out of the hospital, so I had to be the tough one yesterday and beat my body. It was a mental fight.

The course was an out and back, so we were constantly surrounded by Diva’s running. It was nice to see people, hear encouragement and just have so much positive vibes, even in the extreme heat.

When we hit the last 4 kms it was high sun and it was bad. I stopped to offer my nuun (hydration pack) to women who were suffering from the heat, we checked on women as we passed them. I knew I was suffering from the heat as I had goosebumps, and I was cold. I just said to Koren, please don’t let me go down. Lets get this done.

I crossed. I finished. Yesterday I won. Barely, but I did it. I earned the bling. I am a Diva.


I was happy to see many of my running family out yesterday, to the Holman family and to Mike and his wife Rose, I am thankful for these people, the cheerleaders and the supporters. You at times keep the wind blowing in my sails.

I can’t thank Koren enough for just putting up with my “ugly” and my emotions yesterday, there was times I thought of myself as crazy etc, but I actually felt good keeping a good pace, to what I thought I was going to be. I felt that I maintained a steady run. I didn’t push myself. I didn’t make my lungs scream at me. The only thing that hurt was my feet (I still have the blister from running my last half in Ottawa).

Anyone who has a complaint about yesterday’s run, remember hiccups were bound to happen as this was the first time it was here in Canada, as well as having 2 weeks to come up with a big plan B. Mother nature didn’t help. I know that next year they will make it great, hiccups will be ironed and and who knows it could be snowing come June, we can’t predict the weather, but just roll with it. Plus you did see the firefighters, although I wish they had the hose going and spraying us down at the end cause it was hot 😉

I was happy to be a part of this and I want to thank the Run Like a Diva Series (Canada) for letting me be a part of this. I truly felt empowered yesterday, and it was an amazing day full of positive. I’ll be back, because I need to keep my Diva status.